Wednesday, March 5, 2014

BREAKING NEWS: Host Geoff Edwards Dies at 83

For die-hard game show fans, it hasn't been the best of weeks as another veteran game show has passed away. Former game show host and actor Geoffrey Bruce Owen Edwards has died at the age of 83. According to his agent, Fred Westbrook, Edwards died of complications of pneumonia earlier this afternoon at a Los Angeles area hospital. Plans are currently being made for his funeral. Edwards had been married to his actress wife, Michael Feffer, since February 13, 1973 and had two children together.

Throughout his career as a broadcaster, Edwards had been a radio host/DJ, news reporter, actor, writer and game show host. After hosting unsold pilots Says Who? and Cop-Out! in 1971 and 1972, Edwards would finally have a chance to host three full-time game shows in 1973: Hollywood's Talking, Everybody's Talking and Eye Bet. Afterwards, Edwards would progress television emceeing career by hosting several other game shows hits, including Jackpot!, the controversial The New Treasure Hunt, Treasure Hunt, Chain Reaction, Starcade, Play The Percentages and The Big Spin. Later in his life, Edwards had traveled frequently and hosted traveling shows for TV and radio.

Piggybacking on the subject of underrated host, per last week's article, Geoff Edwards would more than likely top the list of the most underrated and unappreciated hosts of all time. Personally, he is one of my top five favorite game show hosts ever. What made Edwards so special and unique as a game show host was how he could relate to the contestants with his razor-sharp wit, great humor and exuberance, and how he could easily fit and accommodate to any game show format and make it fun to watch. For example, when asked to host Starcade in 1983, to take the place of Mark Richards at the time, Edwards knew very little about video games and studied video game magazines and played video games often so he could get more involved with the show and help contestants to succeed by offering pre-game tips, tricks and hints. He also was not one to sell out and do anything just to keep a job on television. During the fourth season of The New Treasure Hunt between 1976-1977, producer Chuck Barris wanted to make the prize reveal skits more sadistic and cruel. One example scenario included a contestant being shown a luxurious and expensive car that they had "won", but would later be told they had actually win a small part of the car, like the rear-view mirror. Upon hearing Barris' idea for the skit, Edwards refused to put any person through that unnecessary torture and was fired. Barris later changed his decision and brought Edwards back without missing any episodes.

Geoff Edwards' versatile hosting style was one-of-a-kind and one that could not be replicated easily. He was the type of host that could make an essentially one-dimensional game show, like Treasure Hunt, enjoyable and fun to watch for hours. His presence will be missed among the game show community. Check out some of his best moments in the clips below, including the last video featuring a compilation of his funny interactions with Treasure Hunt's resident bonded security agent and straight man, Emile Autouri.

Source: Associated Press

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