The Quick 10: 10 Celebrities Who Appeared on Game Shows Pre-Stardom
Before they were stars, they were just like us - they had big dreams of Rod Roddy calling their name on The Price is Right and visions of throwing an impossible question back into the face of a stunned Alex Trebek. Here are 10 of them, some successful, some... well, not.
1. Linda Cardellini won a fireplace on The Price is Right in 1994. She was about 19 at the time, so I’m sure a fireplace was very useful.
2. Before he was singing “Bye Bye Bye,” Joey Fatone was a contestant on Nick Arcade, a game show I had fond memories of until I watched this clip (yes, I did watch the entire 19 minutes) and realized how cheesy it was. You actually spend a portion of the game watching people play Pong. Really. Joey blows the game when he incorrectly answers that Abraham Lincoln was a Democrat.
3. Kirstie Alley’s first work in Hollywood was on the show Match Game, where she introduced herself as an interior designer from Wichita. She followed it up with a stint on Password Plus in 1980.
4. You know Vanna White for her prowess turning and tapping letters on Wheel of Fortune for past 30 years or so, but her first appearance on a game show was actually in 1980 when she came on down to Contestant’s Row on The Price is Right. Sadly, she didn’t make it onstage.
5. It was rife with pre-fame celebs, but can you believe ‘80s heartthrob (and hey, he still sets some hearts thumping) Tom Selleck was passed over twice on The Dating Game?
6. Speaking of The Dating Game, Steve Martin was a contestant in 1968 when he was working as a writer for the Smothers Brothers. Unlike Tom Selleck, he won - and check out that hair!
7. Before 99 was her go-to number on Get Smart, Barbara Feldon liked 64... The $64,000 Question, that is, where she took home the grand prize for her knowledge of Shakespeare in 1957.
8. Oscar Nunez, AKA Oscar Martinez on The Office, appeared on Match Game in 1998. He lost.
9. OK, OK, one more Dating Game: the incomparable Andy Kaufman.
10. If you happened to see a familiar face on Jeopardy! today, that’s because our own Ethan Trex was making good use of his vast trivia knowledge by holding his own against Alex Trebek. And we’re sure he’s going to be (even more) famous someday. Spoiler alert: Ethan came in second.