Most new game shows turn to celebrities for hosting duties these days, not wanting to take a risk on an unknown name. It's extremely rare to find a star who became famous for hosting a game show now. In light of this, here are twelve celebrities that I think would do a bang-up job at the helm of a new game.
1. George Clooney
May as well start off big, right? George Clooney has it all - he's attractive, well spoken, intelligent, and he has a certain old-school charm about him that would translate well to a game show. He also has a great sense of humor, and the ability to think on his feet. Another thing to consider: Clooney's father Nick hosted The Money Maze back in 1975, and his aunt Rosemary Clooney was a frequent panelist on several game shows, including What's My Line? and Password. Seems that game shows are in the Clooney blood.
2. Martin Short
Martin Short has done so much with his career - he's done almost every kind of comedy you can imagine, he's an actor, he's hosted a talk show - it's time to add "game show host" to his impressive resume. Short can be hysterically funny, and his improv skills could come in handy on a game show. Above all, however, he seems to have respect for everyone he works with and comes in contact with. He'd be great dealing with contestants. Added bonus: Short's SNL character Ed Grimley could finally rub professional shoulders with his idol, Pat Sajak, I must say.
3. Mike Rowe
Mike Rowe is the host of the docu-reality show Dirty Jobs, and he narrates several other programs for the Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, Syfy, and even ABC news. His history of hosting extends back to the early 90s, when he worked for QVC. With his on-screen charisma, dry sense of humor, and instantly recognizable voice, you'd think he'd have been tapped to host a game show by now. Mark my words: it's only a matter of time.
4. Ellen DeGeneres
Ellen DeGeneres is an obvious choice for this list. She's funny, warm, engaging, and knows how to interact with people from all walks of life. She's also extremely upbeat and positive. If you've ever tuned in to her daytime talk show, you know she's a huge game show fan and runs all kinds of games for her audience and guests. DeGeneres would make an outstanding game show host for almost any kind of game, from a quiz show to a crazy Nickelodeon slime-fest. Added bonus: DeGeneres gets so many A-list celebs on her talk show, she'd likely have the same kind of pull for a celebrity-based panel game show.
5. Wil Wheaton
Wil Wheaton is best known for two of his acting gigs: the role of Wesley Crusher on Star Trek: The Next Generation, and Gordie in the movie Stand by Me. Wheaton has kept himself in the public eye, but these days he's been getting attention for his writing. He's not afraid to share his opinions and be himself, and he's surprisingly humble and appreciative of his fans. Wheaton would be the perfect choice for a new science-based quizzer, maybe for the Discovery Channel or its spin-off, The Hub.
6. Erica Hill
Erica Hill is a news anchor who currently works for CBS on The Early Show. She's also done plenty of reporting for CNN, including acting as a correspondent for the show Anderson Cooper 360. During these segments, Hill had the opportunity to show more of her fun side, sharing video clips and internet oddities with Cooper. Hill is very well-spoken, has a great smile, and knows how to engage an audience. Erica Hill should follow in the footsteps of Meredith Vieira, and make the move to a quiz show.
7. Craig Ferguson
Craig Ferguson would be right at home as the host of almost any type of game show. He's quick-witted and very intelligent, and his people skills are undeniably strong. Ferguson was one of the best and brightest celebrity contestants on Million Dollar Password, which didn't come as much of a surprise to viewers. If CBS wants to keep hiring Drew Carey's friends and colleagues for their daytime game shows, Craig Ferguson is the crown jewel that they should be courting.
8. Kari Byron
If you're not a MythBusters fan, the name Kari Byron may not mean much to you. Byron is a member of the MythBusters Build Team, and she has gained a huge (mostly male) following as a result. She's definitely cute, but she also has a great sense of adventure and enthusiasm that quickly becomes contagious. Her "geek" appeal might be best suited to a science- or math-based game show, but she'd be equally at home hosting any game show for kids or families.
9. Randy Couture
Okay, stick with me on this one. Randy Couture is of course best known as a mixed martial artist, and his fighting record speaks for itself. He's also dabbled in acting, taking roles in both television shows and movies. Couture is a smart man, and can adapt his attitude and personality to fit whatever situation he finds himself in. He's an unusual choice for this list, but I think he'd do well as a niche game show host, maybe for some kind of quizzer on ESPN or even Spike.
10. Greg Grunberg
Greg Grunberg, who plays detective Matt Parkman on the NBC drama Heroes, has a variety of ongoing projects in addition to his acting work. He's part of the Band from TV, co-creator of the iPhone app Yowza, and does extensive charity work for the Pediatric Epilepsy Project in Los Angeles. He's mentioned on Twitter that he'd be interested in hosting a game show, and I think he'd be great in that role. He's very personable and positive, and makes himself accessible to fans in a way that many actors just aren't able to.
11. Chrissie Hynde
Chrissie Hynde, frontwoman for the popular band The Pretenders, may seem like an odd choice. Consider, however, the fact that niche game shows are becoming more and more popular again on specialty channels like MTV and VH1. A music-based game show, like Name That Tune or Rock & Roll Jeopardy would be a great vehicle for Hynde to host. She's well-connected in the music world, and has a great breadth of knowledge and experience. Hynde is also intelligent, and she's known for speaking her mind in interviews. She'd add a gritty, down-to-earth personality to the genre.
12. Jackie Chan
Jackie Chan is one of the most lovable and hard-working actors you'll ever see. He's a serious martial artist as well as a gifted comedic actor, and this combination is tough to beat (literally and figuratively!). Chan could certainly handle any type of children's game show, though I'd love to see him host something physical like Hole in the Wall, only, you know, better.