GSN’s First Game Show Awards

GSN’s First Game Show Awards

Celebrities love to play games. That’s why so many of them showed up to enjoy the very first Game Show Awards for GSN, the Game Show Network (premiered on June 6).


Who had the endurance for the marathon two and a half hour telecast? A lot of famous game show hosts and players including Jeff Foxworthy and his pint-size troop of smarty-pants kids from Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader? Plus, Alex Trebek, Meatloaf, Brooke Burns, Alison Sweeney, Nicole Sullivan, Carnie Wilson, Richard Karn, Alfonso Ribeiro, Alan Thicke, Kate Flannery, George Wallace, Fred Roggin, Fred Willard, dynamo entertainer Charo and Jeopardy wiz Ken Jennings.

Christopher Knight was happy that his Brady Bunch siblings Barry Williams, Eve Plumb, Mike Lookinland and Susan Olsen, got the spotlight for their appearance on Knight’s popular game show Trivial Pursuit: America Plays. And they were named Favorite Celebrity Team.

The comical Rip Taylor revealed he always did well as a contestant on various game shows spanning 50 years, “because I always read a lot on the plane or bus trips between club engagements. My encyclopedia became my best friend.” Of course Taylor started throwing around his signature confetti like Rice-a-Roni at a “parting gift” party.

All arrived ready to have fun at the historic Wilshire Theatre in Beverly Hills. But there was nearly an awkward moment with red carpet maven Melissa Rivers avoiding poker queen Annie Duke. After the feud that flared up on Celebrity Apprentice, Duke was very vocal about how Melissa’s mom Joan Rivers owes her a big apology.

Seeing the Dancing with the Stars host Tom Bergeron and judges Bruno Tonioli and Len Goodman waltz in, along with all the fabulous pro-dancers, was great. But my favorite moment was when Cloris Leachman lit up the red carpet in with her handsome escort Corky Ballas.


The dance duo not only radiated star-quality but also pure goodness as they talked to the press and posed for pictures with fans. They did a special performance on the show, with Ballas choreographing outrageous moves for the 83-year-old Leachman, which “wowed” the audience.

Although Ballas taught Cloris about ballroom dancing, he revealed that Cloris taught him something too. “I learned that your mind has to be like a parachute, always open,” said the proud dad of Mark Ballas, who just won the “Dancing with the Stars” competition with Olympian Shawn Johnson.

Leachman has a lot going on in her life right now, with four upcoming movies including Inglourious Basterds, directed by Quentin Tarantino and starring Brad Pitt. She also oversees her own clothing line called Cloris Line, and is in the middle of a book signing tour for her tell-all “Cloris: My Autobiography.” And she’s not shy about revealing her sexcapades. Oh my!

The GSN extravaganza was hosted by the irreverent Howie Mandel, who actually showed a lot of reverence for the great game show hosts of the past. There were tributes to beloved icons in the genre. Monty Hall, host/producer of Let’s Make A Deal was presented an award by the show’s original spokes model Carol Merrill.


Bob Barker, the long-time host of “The Price is Right” was honored and confessed to me that he would have made a lousy contestant on his show because he’s never had a clue about the price of anything.

Between awards, Mandel played a variety of games and seemed to have as much fun as the contestants he plucked from the audience. Mandel’s Deal or No Deal is now on the GNS schedule and he told me an original online Deal or No Deal is being created.

Oh yes, a gaggle of the Deal or No Deal briefcase models were also on hand for a little eye-candy. Another reason to tune in.

Margie Barron has written for a wide variety of outlets including Gannett newspapers, Nickelodeon, Tiger Beat and 16 Magazine, Fresh!, Senior Life, Production Update, airline magazines, etc. Margie is also proud to have been half of the husband & wife writing team Frank & Margie Barron, who had written together for various entertainment and travel publications for more than 38 years.