Friday, June 16, 2006

CARD SHARKS, AND A LOOK AT THE CAREER OF JIM PERRY

You know, summer TV ain't so bad, so long as you don't take it too seriously. It's good time-waster TV. Which is why you see a lot of game shows aired during the summer months on prime time TV, like Game Show Marathon over on CBS.

I think the show's a blast, you get to see these old, beloved, daytime game shows on TV again. Last night they aired a revival of Card Sharks, which was won by Brande Roderick.

I'm thinking, you know, they ought to bring this show back for real on network TV because poker is so big right now. And speaking of Brande Roderick, they should try and get her to be a model on one of these game shows! She'd be perfect for The Price is Right, she's got the blonde look. Anyway, that was last night's Game Show Marathon show.

That show brings to mind Jim Perry, who hosted Card Sharks in the early 1980s when the show aired on NBC during the daytime. Perry was one of the more prolific game show hosts of all time; he also hosted Sale of the Century which ran for many years. Maybe if they bring Game Show Marathon back next year, they'll have Sale of the Century as part of it.


Some fun Jim Perry facts for the audience now:

- Perry got his start as a game show host in Canada where he hosted such classics as Eye Bet and Headline Hunters, over on CTV. In fact he was one of the mainstays of the CTV network for many years, on many game shows.

- For years he hosted Definition on CTV, one of the most famous and most iconic Canadian game shows of all time. It ran for two decades on Canadian television. Its famous theme song was the Quincy Jones classic Soul Bossa Nova, which was later adopted as the theme for the Austin Powers movies. But really, when I think of that song I think of Definition, which was sort of like Wheel of Fortune but with celebrities. Perry hosted this show at the same time that he hosted Card Sharks and Sale of the Century in the USA.

- Interesting Alex Trebek connection: at the same time that Perry hosted Definition and Headline Hunters on CTV, Trebek was hosting the bargain-basement figure-skating production Stars on Ice on the same network. Truly, a show to forget.

- Jim Perry hosted the Miss Canada Pageant every year on CTV until the early 90s, a pageant once hosted in the 1960s by -- get this-- none other than Peter Jennings. Yes, the tape still exists of it, and Jennings had to sing, too. Truly, a show he hoped people would forget.

- I like this fun fact: Perry used to come to my home province of Saskatchewan every year to be one of the main hosts of the Kinsmen Telemiracle telethon which was televised across Saskatchewan and raised millions of dollars. That telethon was packed with celebrities back in the day, people like Alan Thicke used to be on it.

- In his early days as a game show host Perry's hair went a premature grey, predating Taylor Hicks by several years. We're talking Steve Martin grey here. Finally, in the mid-seventies Perry got fed up and shocked his Canadian game show audience by dying his hair. This move led to plenty of good opportunities to host game shows in the 'States. Of course, Bob Barker did the complete reverse late in his career by ditching the dye completely, going grey on The Price is Right.

According to Wikipedia Jim Perry retired from the game show business and is living in Florida. Whether he still bothers to dye his hair, though, is an open question.

2 comments:

Jebb said...

Perry was a classy host -- one of the very best -- and it's a shame the great $ale of the Century doesn't have a home in the U.S. these days. "Going once! Going twice! No sale …"

http://thejebber.blogspot.com

Russ360 said...

Jim has gone Grey completely.