There is something irresistible about watching everyday people like ourselves compete for the chance to win big on game shows. We love to play along and imagine how we would fare if given the chance. The hosts become familiar and cherished figures, and we join in as they call out their famous catchphrases.
It’s a beloved tradition that started in the 1920s, when TIME magazine aired a radio show called The Pop Question Game, in which contestants were quizzed on current events. It was the first game show ever, and others soon followed, expanding on the theme. In 1937, a show called Professor Quiz became the first game show to pay out cash prizes to the contestants as well as people at home who submitted answers to the questions posed on the air. It was an instant success.
When television came along, game shows made the transition easily. The sets were simple, the contestants were eager, and live audiences added to the excitement on stage. In the 1950s, game shows were some of the most highly rated programs on television.
Then, as camera equipment became more transportable, the genre stepped off the sound stage and into the real world, bringing us shows such as Survivor and The Amazing Race. Over the decades, hundreds of game shows have aired with varying degrees of success, and though there are always critics eager to proclaim the genre is dying, new shows are premiering all the time.
In honor of the grand tradition of game shows, we’ve collected a few of our favorite catchphrases from hit programs through the years. If you pause for a moment, you can almost hear each show’s theme music and see the cheering crowds.
Come on down!“The Price Is Right”
You are the weakest link. Goodbye.“Weakest Link”
The tribe has spoken.“Survivor”
Deal, or no deal.“Deal or No Deal”
Is that your final answer?“Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?”
Let’s make a deal!“Let’s Make a Deal”
Shut that door!“BBC Generation Game TV”
This is Jeopardy!“Jeopardy!”
Good luck. Travel safe. GO!“The Amazing Race”
Let’s find out, are you smarter than a 5th grader?“Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?”
Survey says…“Family Feud”
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