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!

Friday June 2

Ray Combs (died, 1996)
Richard Dawson (died, 2012)

Saturday June 3

Chuck Barris (born, 1929)
Dennis James (died, 1997)

Thursday June 8

Michael Larson out-whammies the Whammy on Press Your Luck (1984)

Michael Larson was an unemployed mechanic in Lebanon, Ohio, who was obsessed with game shows—in particular, the bright lights and big bucks of a certain Press Your Luck. VCR remote in hand, Larson discovered the slot-machine-esque Big Board was hiding a huge secret: the bouncing light that when stopped banked whatever money or prizes it illuminated ran on predetermined patterns. Using his last savings to get to LA, he earned a spot on the show and won $110,237—and the ire of CBS.

Thursday June 15

Bob Barker's last episode of The Price is Right airs (2007)

The revived daytime version of Bill Cullen’s The Price is Right premiered on CBS, helmed by popular, slick and endearing showman Bob Barker, in 1972. In 2006, after 3 decades, Barker announced his retirement from the show; his final show aired on CBS on June 15, 2007. The show’s—and Barker’s—popularity received a huge boost from college-aged kids following a cameo appearance in the 1996 film Happy Gilmore.

Saturday June 17

Bill Rafferty (born, 1944)

Saturday July 1

Hugh Downs (died, 2020)

Sunday July 2

CBS Television Quiz premieres (1941)

From what we know of the show today, it sounds like Jeopardy!: contestants were given clues, and asked to formulate a question that the clue would answer. Created, developed, produced and hosted by influential television producer Gil Fates, the CBS Television Quiz was the first television game show to be regularly scheduled and broadcast. It aired Wednesdays at 8:30 PM Eastern. The series ended on January 7, 1943. Gil Fates would later go on to become the executive producer of What’s My Line for its entire 25-year run on television. The quiz’s on-screen scorekeeper, Frances Buss, went on to become the first female television director in the United States.

Thursday July 6

Merv Griffin (born, 1925)

Friday July 7

Bill Cullen (died, 1990)

Thursday July 13

Johnny Gilbert (born, 1928)

Saturday July 15

Bert Convy (died, 1991)

Monday July 17

Art Linkletter (born, 1912)

Saturday July 22

Alex Trebek (born, 1940)

Sunday July 23

Bert Convy (born, 1933)

Tuesday July 25

Regis Philbin (died, 2020)

Saturday July 29

Bill Todman (died, 1979)

Monday July 31

Bill Todman (born, 1916)

Sunday 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.

Friday August 11

Bill Rafferty (died, 2012)

Saturday August 12

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

Tuesday August 15

Jim Lange (born, 1932)

Thursday August 24

Dennis James (born, 1917)

Friday August 25

Regis Philbin (born 1931)