How to be the perfect game show host in 16 easy steps
So you want a career like the legendary Ian Turpie, who died on the weekend.
And you’re thinking, how hard can this thing be? You put on your Karandonis shoes, your fat tie, your suit so shiny it negates the need for studio lighting, and bingo! You’re ready to come on down.
Not so quick. This is tough work. To make it in the cut throat world of game show hosting, you’ll face some real heat. More heat than those namby-pamby miners up in the Pilbara. OK, so admittedly, most of that heat will come from tanning salon lamps, but all the same, this gig is harder than it looks. Here’s what you’ll need…
They must be white. And big. White like Shane Warne’s and big like Bugs Bunny’s. The best part is, you will be celebrated, not ridiculed, for these attributes.
You must have hair that would not budge in a cyclone. Hair so thick and lustrous, each individual strand could be matted together to make a rope to save your colleagues in a fire emergency.
The ability to talk to imaginary people
Perfect Match host Greg Evans had Dexter the love robot. Andrew O’Keefe has Walter the imaginary bank manager. Eddie McGuire imagines he has fans.
We are yet to see the a game show host who actually used said bodily protrusion in the course of his work, but suffice to say, if you ain’t got one, you ain’t getting’ the gig. Scientists attribute the predominace of male game show hosts to the strong link between the Y chromosome and the smarmyness gene.
A good game show host won’t be the kind of guy to pinch his female co-workers on the arse after the show. That’s more your late night host, right Mr Letterman? But he must possess a certain inoffensive, smarmy charm.
Brains, but not too many
The trick here is to act like your intelligence is roughly on a par with your contestants and studio audience. When you have a studio audience like The Price is Right, that’s quite a comedown.
Random uncle skills
You will need the ability to wink and make it look genuine. You’ll also need to know how tell a joke. And here’s the biggie. You need to be able to put your arm around everybody, male or female, without making it creepy. Are you beginning to understand just how specialised this job is?
A penchant for small talk
Your 15 second exchange with Nancy from Nunawading must come across as the most scintillating conversation you’ve ever had in your life.
Better get an an annual subscription to the solarium. Regular skin checks might be the shot too.
You need to make me believe a Daewoo Lanos is the most desirable vehicle on earth.
A lucrative but safe side hobby
Tony Barber sings Christmas carols. Andrew O’Keefe also sings, and dabbles in morning television. The trick is to appear well off and multi-talented, but not dangerous and cutting edge. If your own life is too exciting, how will you ever be able to fake excitement at Tenille from Toongabbie winning a washing machine?
When a contestant blows their chance to win a priceless super suction vacuum cleaner, it must feel as though someone has ripped your first born from your arms.
Game show hosts must be a little flawed like the rest of us out here in Schlocksville. You cannot be too handsome. Or too tall. Or too buff. If you have these qualities, go and enrol in Ryan Seacrest University, not Game Show Tafe.
Mastery of the Zen art of matching sports jackets with jeans
It’s amazing how few people can pull this look off. Discounting the members of “happy clappy” churches, of course.
The ability to make fake laughter sound real
Sound canned and you’ll be banned.
When things go bad, you cannot blink. Whether your contestants assault you with profanities or the inanest inanities, you must act like all is good in the world, even as you seethe inside at the sheer, utter stupidity of humanity.
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