Bob Stewart: The Inventor Of Game Shows

It may not be a useful product, but what Bob Stewart invented has kept millions of people entertained for years. He created the game show. This historic man recently passed away at the age of 91, leaving behind quite the legacy, reports The New York Times.

Mr. Stewart’s long-running hit shows, which also included “Password” and the “Pyramid” franchise, relied on his belief that simplicity could fascinate viewers, Fred Wostbrock, a co-author of “The Encyclopedia of TV Game Shows,” said in an interview on Monday.

“Bob had a talent for tapping into Americana, meaning real people: a pricing game, a game of occupations, trying to get you to say one word,” Mr. Wostbrock said. “These are what I call communication games — not music shows, not a stunt show, not a singing competition. They were a lot different from the shows at the time and a lot different from what’s on TV now.”

As Mr. Stewart himself put it, in an interview for the Archive of American Television: “Once you cause somebody at home to talk to the set aloud, even by himself or herself, then you’ve got a good game show. You want them to say, ‘It’s number 2! It’s number 2! It’s number 2!’ before the moment of truth comes out.”

Photo by Matthew Simoneau

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