The Buzzerblog Almanac

The Buzzerblog Almanac

BuzzerBlog is creating an ever-updating almanac of important dates in game show history. Follow along and see what interesting parts of game show history happened today! This calendar is set to show events and anniversaries in game show history in the next 90 days. Come back often to see new and interesting game show facts!

Monday July 22

Alex Trebek (born, 1940)

Tuesday July 23

Bert Convy (born, 1933)

Thursday July 25

Regis Philbin (died, 2020)

Monday July 29

Bill Todman (died, 1979)

Wednesday July 31

Bill Todman (born, 1916)

Tuesday August 6

The Chase premieres on GSN (2013)

The popular UK daytime quizzer was an underground American hit thanks to a combination of a stellar format and rampant, region-free episode uploads on YouTube and beyond. ITV and GSN partnered up to bring the format to the United States. One chaser, The Beast Mark Labbett, made it ashore. Former Baywatch actress Brooke Burns ended up behind the podium (allegedly after negotiations with sportscaster Dan Patrick fell through). One of the biggest hits in GSN history, the highest-rated episode saw over 800,000 first-run viewers. The highest dollar amount ever given away on GSN’s run of The Chase was $180,000: In 2015, Leo, Amy and Brandon beat the Beast; but more impressively, that amount was won on the premiere night, in 2013, with a team comprised of future Mental Samurai Heather Hurley, future Master Mind Jonathan Corbblah, and future Jeopardy! meme Cory Anotado.

Sunday August 11

Bill Rafferty (died, 2012)

Monday August 12

Charlie O'Donnell (born, 1932)
Merv Griffin (died, 2007)

Thursday August 15

Jim Lange (born, 1932)

Saturday August 24

Dennis James (born, 1917)

Sunday August 25

Regis Philbin (born 1931)

Monday August 26

Bob Barker (died, 2023)

Bob Barker, an iconic American game show host with a career spanning over 50 years, has passed away at 99. Known for hosting The Price is Right from 1972 to 2007, Barker won numerous Emmys and became a prominent advocate for animal rights. His broadcasting journey started in 1956, and he initially hosted various shows before finding immense success with The Price is Right. Barker’s charismatic hosting style and his engagement with viewers contributed to the show’s popularity and longevity. Alongside his hosting achievements, Barker was involved in controversies and lawsuits, including allegations of sexual harassment and wrongful termination by former show models. Despite the controversies, Barker remained a beloved figure and a strong voice for animal rights.

Read our obituary for Bob here.

Friday August 30

Dan Enright (born, 1917)

Saturday August 31

Mark L. Walberg (born, 1962)

Tuesday September 10

Jeopardy! premieres in syndication (1984)

After a long and influential run on NBC, Jeopardy! returned to airwaves after a 5-year absence. Replacing original host Art Fleming was an up-and-coming presenter named Alex Trebek. Trebek was no stranger to game shows, having hosted several shows in both the US and Canada throughout the 70s, and got the Jeopardy! job through the lobbying of Hollywood legend Lucille Ball. Outside of an April Fool’s episode in 1997, Trebek hosted every episode of the syndicated revival of Jeopardy from 1984 until Trebek’s death in 2020.

Sunday September 15

Jack Bailey (born, 1907)

Bailey was the host of Queen for a Day from 1948-1964, and also hosted Place the Face and Truth or Consequences from 1954 to 1956.

Nipsey Russell (born, 1918)

Thursday September 19

Press Your Luck Premieres on CBS (1983)

A late 70s game show on ABC hosted by Jim Peck called Second Chance failed after 19 weeks, mostly due to a poor noontime time slot. With six years of retooling the base idea of the game show—answering questions for chances to win money and prizes on a massive slot-machine-esque game board—creators Bill Caruthers and Jan McCormack—premiered Press Your Luck on CBS in 1983. While the show only had an initial 3-year run in daytime, its enduring legacy in reruns on USA and GSN have cemented itself in pop culture history. From the cartoon bankrupting Whammies to the larger-than-life jackpot that Michael Larson won (and subsequently lost), Press Your Luck is one of the most influential game shows of all time.

Wednesday September 25

Richard Dawson loses it over September (1980)

An innocuous episode of Family Feud four years into the show’s original run on ABC culminated in one of the most memorable moments in game show history. The Trejo family returned as champions and earn a come-from-behind victory. During the Fast Money round, when contestant Cathy answered the question During what month of pregnancy does a woman begin to look pregnant? with the unexpected September, Host Richard Dawson begins to absolutely lose it. He stops the clock during the game while everyone in the studio doubles over with laughter. Eventually, composure regains and Cathy’s half of the round finishes with a solid 92 points. It’s only when the second half of the round starts with Cathy’s sister Angel playing, and Cathy’s terrible answer is re-revealed. Dawson doubles and triples over with laughter, unable to even read the question, before falling to his knees in mania.

Saturday September 28

Rod Roddy (born, 1937)

Sunday September 29

Burton Richardson (born, 1949)

Wednesday October 2

Nipsey Russell (died, 2005)

Monday October 7

Tom Kennedy (died, 2020)

Wednesday October 9

John O'Hurley (born, 1954)

Saturday October 12

Johnny Olson (died, 1985)

Monday October 14

David Ruprecht (born, 1948)

Tuesday October 15

Art James (born, 1929)
Jack Narz (died, 2008)