Social Question

poisonedantidote's avatar

What traits and qualities make a good gameshow host?

Asked by poisonedantidote (21675points) June 21st, 2011

As some of you no doubt already know, I recently started working as an entertainment manager at a local hotel.

I don’t exactly belong on stage, I’m not your tipical opressively happy camper, and part of my job is being on stage.

After 2 or 3 months or so, I am finally comfortable on stage. I look around to make eye contact with some members of the audience, I talk loudly and clearly, I don’t panic if I can’t think of something to say for a moment, and I can even get a laugh or applause from the audience on demand.

However, with the aforementioned in mind, I’m no super star. The audience don’t complain, they find my efforts acceptable, and some little old deranged ladies even thing I’m great, but I’m not.

The question is, What traits and qualities do you find make a great gameshow host?

B.Q: What little tips and tricks are there to keep an audience on your side?

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14 Answers

erichw1504's avatar

- The ability to think on their feet and improvise.
– Humor, of course.
– A clear and loud, but not too loud, speaking voice.
– Charm.

Check out Wayne Brady on the new Let’s Make a Deal.

ucme's avatar

Gift of the gab, cheesy gags & a touch of camp.
Oh & you gotta have a catchphrase.

poisonedantidote's avatar

@ucme “you gotta have a catchphrase”

“Lets get this show on the road” is the one I use at the moment. “Goooood evening good evening ladies and gentlemen, lets get this show on the road…”

erichw1504's avatar

@poisonedantidote not bad, but not very original.

poisonedantidote's avatar

@erichw1504 Indeed, this is the whole problem. I’m just bland and only just good enough to not bore people.

ucme's avatar

@poisonedantidote That’s okay, but you could pinch one from a movie perhaps.
“Stop your grinnin & drop your linen!” Being one possible alternative.

chyna's avatar

Look good in your leisure suit.

Hibernate's avatar

A tip .. someday you’ll have someone talking at the same moment with you and he/she won’t stop because it was your turn. You need to practice a bit listening to him/her and thinking to what you say and talk at the same time .. sounds weird but it’s a difficult thing to master. Practice for when the time will come [ though just don’t increase the volume of your voice just to cover them ].
Though I’m not sure you’ll need this that much.

flutherother's avatar

Making it look as if you are enjoying it.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

Is this a job that you really like and just want to become better at it? Tell us what you really like about the job….the small, specific tasks that bring satisfaction.

The reason for asking this is that, like you, I have been in a position where I found myself ‘onstage’ in conducting training classes for hotel managers, along with other trainers. What I found is that we all had different talents that we tapped into that made us successful.

There are a few resources that I would be glad to share with you, but for now, I am more interested in what tasks you have that you really enjoy doing.

Kardamom's avatar

I like it when they are funny (but only clean humor, like Bill Engvall)

It’s nice if they know all sorts of interesting fun facts and odd, random anecdotes (not just stupid stuff, but interesting and potentially educational stuff) Pat Sajak seems to be pretty good at this.

Someone who doesn’t get flustered, or angry or pissed off.

Someone who can get the ball rolling, when things seem to be falling flat, without having to resort to low humor or insults or putting people on the spot. John Stewart seems to be pretty good at this as is Rachel Maddow.

I’ve always enjoyed hosts (maybe more like Ellen or Oprah) who have a few common subjects like their pet or their propensity for enjoying southern cooking, or whatever, that they become known for, so that even though maybe the audience has never met them, they can bring up these “familiar and/or homey” subjects and then everybody can relate to them on a more human level.

Be humorous, in a kind and gentle way. Don’t use insults as humor.

What I absolutely hate (because I’m a pretty private person) is to be touched, singled out in a crowd, or put on the spot. I hate it when comedians come up to people in the audience and try to make a person be part of the show. I absolutely hate that, and it has happened to me more than once, and I wanted to run, crying and screaming out of the place. Don’t do that to people. If you are the host, you need to host. Don’t make your show about pin-pointing people in the audience. And don’t ask people to come up on stage and help you and don’t ask them questions. That is really horrific for people that are shy and reserved.

Examples of good hosts: Pat Sajak, Ellen Degeneres, Oprah Winfrey, Kelly Ripa, Bob Barker, Wayne Brady, Guy Fieri, Drew Carey, Ricky Lake, Jay Leno, Jeff Foxworthy and Jerry Springer (his show might be trashy but he’s not, and he is a kind and gently funny and very intelligent fellow, you’ll notice that he doesn’t yell or curse or make fun of people).

The best host of all time IMO is Tom Bergeron.

Not so good: David Letterman (too sarcastic) Chelsea Handler (too insulting, but her show and her comedy are funny, but not for the general public) Joan Rivers (too negative, although she can be very funny, but not for a general audience) Conan O’Brien (too boring and directed at a specific demographic, not good for a general audience).

Horrible: Don Rickles (really mean, insulting, picks on the audience, not funny) Howard Stern (vulgar, mean) Glenn Beck (often wrong about important subjects, not funny, irritating way of speaking and moving around on stage) Rush Limbaugh (he’s too much of a blowhard, can’t relate to the general population and has a big, ugly ego).

People who I think would make good hosts: Jenna Elfman, Jon Cryer, John Goodman, Betty White, Matthew Morrison (the teacher on Glee) Sean Murray (McGee on NCIS) Alan Alda, Billy Gardell (Mike on Mike and Molly) Sean Hayes (Just Jack from Will and Grace) Megan Mullally (Karen from Will and Grace) and Kelsey Grammer, John Mahoney and David Hyde Pierce (all from Frasier). All of these people seem nice, are extremely funny and would never use their humor to hurt someone’s feelings and they are relatable to most regular folks.

JLeslie's avatar

Don’t pick on people in the audience unless they are willing participants. Don’t embarrass people.

Smile and have a sense of humor.

Keep things moving. What that basically means is have a lot things planned, more than necessary for the evening, and plan B’s.

Kardamom's avatar

@JLeslie Yes! Have a plan B, always! And be able to improvise if something goes wrong.

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