As you, the subtly attractive T&R reader, no doubt know, the game show genre holds a special place in that place in Tinsel and Rot where a heart would be. It's a very populist genre (its contestants are, by and large, more real than your average reality show participant), and we're populist kind of people, so it's a natural fit. But sometimes the common foolk aren't enough to take a game show to the next level. Sometimes you need a host that can tie it all together.
The Hall of Fame has already welcomed the Game Show King, Mr. Chuck Barris, and today we would like to honor another of the true greats in game show history, Mr. Richard "Dickie" Dawson.
If Mr. Dawson's career consisted solely of a starring role in a sitcom with perhaps the most unlikely "sit" of all time (that would be, of course, "Hogan's Heroes," which brought us the lighter side of Nazi Germany), it would be worth noting. But it wasn't until Mr. Dawson's post-"Hogan's" career as a game show icon that he earned his induction into the Tinsel and Rot Hall of Fame. First came "Match Game," where Mr. Dawson was a world-class bickerer with host Gene Rayburn and fellow panelists Brett Somers and Charles Nelson Reilly and the go-to guy in the Super Match round. And he also honed his shameless flirtation techniques.
Mr. Dawson really upped the flirtation on "Family Feud," where he became legend. Ray Combs did a decent job after Mr. Dawson left, but every host that followed was so awful that they only highlighted the brilliance that was the Dawson Years. And in those years, Mr. Dawson kissed every female he laid eyes on--young, old, pretty, homely...he kissed 'em all. Aint that a man?
There are many fine, fine moments from Mr. Dawson's tenure as "Family Feud" host, but these two are genuine classics.
Then, after leaving "Family Feud," Mr. Dawson delivered a stellar performance as the heartless Killian in "The Running Man," likely Tinsel and Rot's choice as Favorite Schwarzenegger Film (Non-Comedy Division).
We salute you, Richard Dawson. Survey says you're in the Tinsel and Rot Hall of Fame.