[[quoteright:350:[[Series/ThatMitchellAndWebbLook http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/NumberwangHost_5400.png]]]]
[[caption-width-right:350:"[[{{Calvinball}} That's Numberwang!]]"]]
->''"Hi gang! Pop Quiz here! We ask several historical questions to our players, then act flabbergasted at their overwhelming ignorance!"''
-->-- '''Father Time''' as this Trope on a game show sketch, ''WesternAnimation/{{Histeria}}''

->"You don't remind me much of a scientist.....more like a game show host."
-->-- Creator/SigourneyWeaver to Creator/BillMurray, ''Film/{{Ghostbusters}}''

The visible front end of any GameShow. This is the person who moderates the show and actually runs the game; s/he also enforces the rules (though s/he usually has to defer to off-screen officials for any close judgment calls), engages in small talk with the guests, and keeps the mood light and fun.

Game Show Hosts are [[AcceptableTargets popular butts of jokes]] in fiction. This may have something to do with their need to maintain a jovial atmosphere as previously stated, even when contestants are losing, which might make them seem aloof; or maybe they just come across as slimy and slick, like common depictions of a [[HonestJohnsDealership used car salesman]]. For whatever reason, fictional game show hosts are often presented as smarmy, obnoxious, untrustworthy opportunists who seem to revel in the misfortune of contestants (a DeadUnicornTrope, of course). Also, since quiz show hosts know, by necessity, the answer to each question (at least in theory; there are some game shows, like ''Series/FamilyFeud'' and ''Series/CardSharks'', that don't list the answers on the card), they tend to come off as condescending — perhaps unintentionally, but nonetheless. They also tend to be almost [[AlwaysMale exclusively male]]; women on a game show's staff are more likely to be {{lovely assistant}}s.

Despite their reputation, some hosts become legendary if they have a specific gimmick to them, or they end up coming off as sincerely wanting a contestant to win big. Since, in most instances, it's not ''his'' money he's giving away, the host is more or less rooting for the contestant, even if it's only in the back of his mind. To some hardcore game show fanatics, the skills of the host (and his sincerity) can make or break a show's success, and they seem to be right: Some of the more successful game shows are known in part for how the host carried the show along.

There has been a recent (not new) trend, at least for high-profile American programs, to cast has-been D-listers and comedians as Game Show Hosts.
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!!Notable Game Show Hosts include:
* BillCullen, the original host of ''Series/ThePriceIsRight'', ''Series/{{Blockbusters}}'', and many other shows.
* Bob Barker of ''TruthOrConsequences'' and ''The Price Is Right'', probably the most famous game show host in history.
** Dennis James, Tom Kennedy and Doug Davidson, from various nighttime syndicated versions of the latter show.
* A close second might be Creator/AlexTrebek of ''Series/{{Jeopardy}}'', ''HighRollers'', ''[[{{Concentration}} Classic Concentration]]'', and ''DoubleDare1976''.
** Art Fleming, the original host of ''Jeopardy!''.
* BruceForsyth, the British host who gives a new meaning to the term "Brucie Bonus".
* Gene Rayburn of ''Series/MatchGame''.
** Ross Shafer and Michael Burger of both 1990s revivals.
* Richard Dawson, from the original ''Series/FamilyFeud''.
** Also the late Ray Combs from the 1980s revival of same.
*** Not to mention Louie Anderson (1999-2002), Richard Karn (2002-2006), John O'Hurley (2006-2010), and Steve Harvey (2010-present).
*** Al Roker hosted a one-season ''Celebrity Family Feud'' SpinOff during the summer of 2008.
* Chuck Woolery, original host of ''Series/WheelOfFortune'' and ''LoveConnection''; also ''Series/{{Scrabble}}'', ''TheDatingGame'' and ''Series/{{Lingo}}''.
** Creator/BillEngvall hosted a one-season revival of the latter show in 2011.
* Pat Sajak of ''Wheel of Fortune''. Rolf Benirschke, Bob Goen, and David Sidoni have also hosted versions.
* Monty Hall and Wayne Brady of ''Series/LetsMakeADeal''.
* Wink Martindale of ''Series/TicTacDough''.
* Bob Eubanks of ''Series/TheNewlywedGame'' and the 1980s version of ''Series/CardSharks''.
* Bert Convy of ''{{Tattletales}}'', ''[[Series/{{Password}} Super Password]]'' and ''Series/WinLoseOrDraw''.
* Peter Tomarken of ''Series/PressYourLuck''.
** Todd Newton of its revival, ''Series/{{Whammy}}'', and ''Hollywood Showdown''.
** Matthias Opdenhövel (who also Hosted ''Die Quizshow'' (the German localization of Fox's short lived gameshow ''It's Your Chance of a Lifetime'')), and later Steven Gätjen of ''Series/SchlagDenRaab'', with Stefan Raab as the featured opponent (who also hosted the 2009 season of ''Schlag den Star'' before taking the role as the Joker from the 2010 series onwards, and the late night variety show ''TV Total''), and Elton as the host of "Blamieren Oder Kassieren"
* Peter Marshall, original host of ''Series/TheHollywoodSquares''.
** Also John Davidson (1986-1989) and Tom Bergeron (1998-2004) for the various revivals. Sha-Na-Na's Jon "Bowzer" Bauman hosted the ''Squares'' portion of ''Series/TheMatchGameHollywoodSquaresHour'', and Peter Rosenberg hosts ''Hip Hop Squares''.
* Regis Philbin of ''Series/WhoWantsToBeAMillionaire'' (the American version) and ''[[Series/{{Password}} Million-Dollar Password]]''.
** Meredith Vieira of the former program.
* Drew Carey of ''The Price Is Right'', ''Power of Ten'', and ''Series/WhoseLineIsItAnyway''.
* Anne Robinson of ''Series/TheWeakestLink'' became so popular in Britain that she migrated to the United States to host the Americanized version.
** The syndicated version would be hosted by George Gray. Yes, the same guy who is now TheAnnouncer on ''The Price Is Right''.
*** Gray also hosted ''Extreme Gong'', a cable revival of ''TheGongShow''.
* Brit host Chris Tarrant has hosted at least 16 different game shows, but is most associated with ''Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?''.
* Speechwriter/actor Ben Stein of ''Series/WinBenSteinsMoney''.
* The ''Buzz!'' series of party video games features Jason Donovan as a stereotypical Game Show Host.
* The various sarcastic voice-over hosts of the ''VideoGame/YouDontKnowJack'' series, most notably Cookie.
** The short-lived live-action game show version on Creator/{{ABC}} featured Paul Reubens as Troy Stevens, a parody of a normal Game Show Host.
* Marc Summers of Nickelodeon's ''[[DoubleDare1986 Double Dare]]''. Ironic, in that Summers has obsessive-compulsive disorder, yet hosted a show that reveled in getting everyone messy.
* Dick Clark of the various ''Series/{{Pyramid}}'' shows, ''Series/TheChallengers'' and ''Series/{{Scattergories}}''.
** Donny Osmond and Mike Richards of the former series' latter two revivals. Richards is also executive producer on ''The Price is Right'' and ''Let's Make a Deal''.
* Jim Lange of ''The Dating Game'', ''BullseyeUS'', and ''Series/NameThatTune''.
* Tom Kennedy of ''You Don't Say!'', ''Series/SplitSecond'', ''Name That Tune'', and ''Series/BodyLanguage''.
* His brother, Jack Narz, of ''NowYouSeeIt'' and the syndicated ''{{Concentration}}''.
* Howie Mandel on ''Series/DealOrNoDeal''.
* Lynne Thigpen on ''Series/WhereInTheWorldIsCarmenSandiego'' and its successor series, ''Series/WhereInTimeIsCarmenSandiego'', though she wasn't the quizmaster.
* Creator/JackBarry on ''Series/TwentyOne'' and ''Series/TheJokersWild''.
* Allen Ludden on ''General Electric College Bowl'' and ''Series/{{Password}}''.
* Jeff Probst of ''[[Series/{{Jeopardy}} Rock & Roll Jeopardy!]]'' and ''Series/{{Survivor}}''.
* Creator/JoeRogan of ''FearFactor''.
** Some traditional game show fans can get a little testy if you call the latter two (or similar programs) game shows.
* John Daly of ''Series/WhatsMyLine''.
* Geoff Edwards of ''[[TreasureHuntUS (The New) Treasure Hunt]]'' and ''{{Starcade}}''.
* Art James of ''The Who, What or Where Game'', ''Series/BlankCheck'', ''TheMagnificentMarbleMachine'', and ''[[SuperPayCards Pay Cards!]]''
* Jim Perry of the 1978-81 iteration of ''Card Sharks'' and 1983-89 American ''Series/SaleOfTheCentury''.
* Phil Keoghan of ''Series/TheAmazingRace''.
* Silvio Santos, founder and owner of {{SBT}} and a LongRunner. He's basically a Brazilian Cullen who resembles Dennis James with the ageless appearance/voice formerly held by Dick Clark and the bonus of a unique microphone style from at least 1974. You name it, he's probably been involved with it, ever since about 1961...and [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qRoC3tyTHAs this montage]] shows just '''40''' of them.
* Bill Rafferty of the late-1980s editions of ''Card Sharks'' and ''Blockbusters''.
* Jordi Hurtado and Juanjo Cardenal (who also doubles as TheAnnouncer) have become incredibly popular in Spain after 15 years in ''Saber y Ganar''.
* GrouchoMarx for ''Series/YouBetYourLife''.

!!Fictional Game Show Hosts:
* Guy Smiley, a {{Muppet}} performed by JimHenson on ''Series/SesameStreet''.
* Damon Killian, host of ''Film/TheRunningMan'' in the 1987 film, played by Richard Dawson! (In the [[Literature/TheRunningMan original Stephen King book]], his name is Dan Killian and he's the producer rather than the host. In the movie, he's the show's host and creator.)
* Mike Terry, host and play-by-play announcer of ''The Prize of Peril'' in [[http://arthurwendover.com/arthurs/sheckley/prizep10.html the short story of the same name]] by Robert Sheckley (written in 1958).
* Mr. Wink, the host of the Japanese game show in ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' episode "Thirty Minutes over Tokyo", voiced by GeorgeTakei.
* In one episode of ''Series/RedDwarf'', an American game show host named "Bing Baxter" supplies the voice for Lister's Confidence-made-flesh. Which show Mr. Baxter hosted is never revealed.
* The webcomic ''{{Pibgorn}}'' features a demon who takes the name and appearance of a game show host named Tom Torquemada.
* Chip Ramsey, the HollywoodCyborg host of ''VideoGame/LexiCross''.
* The unnamed host of ''VideoGame/SmashTV'' who is also the BigBad, since he is the last boss you battle.
* The [[Franchise/SuperMarioBros Mario]] series has a few of these, including Chuck Quizmo in ''VideoGame/PaperMario'' and Game Guy in ''VideoGame/MarioParty 3''.
* Gruntilda plays the part of one in the game show–like sections of ''VideoGame/BanjoKazooie'' and ''VideoGame/BanjoTooie'', respectively Grunty's Furnace Fun and the Tower of Tragedy.
* In the opening scene of ''OnceUponAMattress'', the Wizard tests Princess No. 12 in quiz show fashion.
* The many hosts of the ''VideoGame/YouDontKnowJack'' games, including [[EnsembleDarkhorse fan favorite]] Cookie Masterson.
* In ''WesternAnimation/{{Shrek}}'', the magic mirror presents Lord Farquaad with his potential princess mates using the format of ''TheDatingGame''.
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