In Praise of the Two Fat Ladies

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Mr. Game Show was a Hanukkah gift that my parents bought me one year in the 1980s. It looked like a regular board game (small tokens that you moved around a large, printed board) except there, in the middle, was a plastic figurine that talked. “Hello!” it announced in a Guy Smiley voice, “I’m Mr. Game Show! Who’s ready to play a game?”

Mr. Game Show’s Mr. Gameshow had slick-backed hair and big white teeth. He embodied everything that was false and mockable about that most loathsome TV type: the game show host. As time marched on, and we moved through the 80s to the 90s to today, the TV landscape has shifted enough that, even though there are still game show hosts (Pat Sajak and Alex Trebek haven’t gone anywhere) there’s a new contender for that most loathsome TV type: the food show host.

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