Sunday, November 22, 2015


All right, I know that game shows get no respect.

Our little genre is the Rodney Dangerfield of the TV world. With the possible exception of Jeopardy, which picks up Peabody awards and other highfalutin' kudos nobody cares about, game shows regularly get drubbed as mindless fodder for stupid viewers. I know it's silly of me to get exercised about the obnoxious put-downs from elitist critics. But now and then the snobbery still ticks me off.

Case in point: this asinine article from a TV critic in Buffalo named Jeff Simon. The larger point of the dumb and dumber column is to extol Stephen Colbert as a deep thinker with a brilliant guest list, which I think is ridiculous to begin with. Colbert is an unfunny ideologue whose dull show is sinking like a sped-up Titanic in the ratings. CBS has gotten so desperate about the disaster that the network is even giving Colbert a post-Super Bowl slot in a frantic effort at revival.

But leave all that aside for now. The really galling idiocy from the article: "Jimmy Fallon's insistence on mounting the night-time relocation of a daytime game show has become close to unwatchable to me however much he, as Leno used to, leads the ratings race."

In fact, Fallon's game show segments are a whole lot more bearable than the musings of a TV critic who wants to be an intellectual but doesn't have the cerebral cortex. You'd think this genius might ask himself why Fallon leads in the ratings. It's because his game shows, and the rest of his program, entertain people.

What a novel concept. People enjoy watching game shows. No wonder snooty critics hate the genre.


  1. As much as I like Colbert, his show bores the hell out of me. Too many political guests and if you think about it, it's basically The Colbert Report stretched to an hour. Fallon's game show segments are funny. Just look at the two Family Feud segments with Steve Harvey. Sure, he may do a lot, but they are still humorous. With people though, they can't accept that Johnny Carson or even Jay Leno is not there anymore. And besides, his show is #1 because it has a huge young audience. With Colbert, its 18-49 crowd is on par when Letterman hosted.

    1. I don't like Colbert - his one trick gets old after five minutes - but I agree that his show is boring and overly political. But what can anybody do? Colbert himself is boring and overly political. That may have been sort of acceptable on a niche cable network with a small audience. But it's not working on CBS.

      Anyway, the critic's snobbery toward game shows got me ticked. I should just ignore such silliness, but I decided to push back for once.

    2. I don't know. I think playing a game on a late night show doesn't hurt one bit. Fallon and Kimmel do it and they do it well. It would have been nice if Craig Ferguson could have played Celebrity Name Game with a couple of audience members and his celebrity guests during his last couple of months on The Late Late Show last year.