As you likely know by now, Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek died over the weekend after a battle with advanced pancreatic cancer. The 80-year-old was the quiz show’s leading man for a whopping 30 years, and over that time built a cult following.
The Canadian charmer won the hearts of the audiences whose homes he regularly appeared in, and there’s no doubt he’ll be sorely missed.
In the name of the charismatic Trebek and that unique love we share with game show personalities, I’ve gone ahead and compiled a list of beloved Aussie hosts. Because, well… who doesn’t need wholesome content right about now?
Starting off with one of the classics, old mate Larry Emdur knows his way around a game show. He has hosted everything from The Price Is Right to Hey Hey It’s Saturday, and his dorky dad vibe makes him oh so loveable.
Mike Whitney and Tania Zaetta
If you missed out on Who Dares Wins, I have to tell you you’ve lost out on a key point in Australian television history. The show paired former cricketer Mike Whitney and Tania Zaetta and saw them dare random people to take on (often gross) challenges for cash.
Naturally, the show was incredibly popular, and Whitney and Zaetta are still attached to the gig some 20 years on.
Family Feud. Dancing with the Stars. Game of Games. Sometimes it feels like Grant Denyer has hosted every game show in Australia. But hey, he’s great at it, and he never misses an opportunity for a (cheesy) laugh, so can you blame us for frothing over him?
John ‘Burgo’ Burgess has a background in radio but became best known for his time on Wheel of Fortune. He hosted the show with Argentinian-born Adriana Xenides, and the pair became a huge part of Aussie pop culture in the ’90s. Burgo was so popular that they named his next gig after him: Burgo’s Catch Phrase.
“You are the weakest link, goodbye” will forever be canonised in Australian culture because of Cornelia Frances. While she may have been a tad terrifying on the show (The Weakest Link), Frances was a well-loved figure on Aussie television. The late actress also holds a special place as one of the (very) few women to host a game show in Aus.
If the passing of Alex Trebek has highlighted anything, it’s that not just anyone can hold the job of appearing on your telly every week. And cheesy though they may be, we often grow up with these game show hosts. How could you not grow to love a few.