Game shows are experiencing a crazy renaissance. Not only are tons of game shows launching with innovative new concepts, but many of the old classics our parents and grandparents used to watch are making their way back to the small screen, too. And in many cases, it’s well-known actors who are heading up the shows, serving as comical, entertaining, and enthusiastic hosts.
Should celebrities really be game show hosts? Of course many have successfully made that transition, like Drew Carey who took over for Bob Barker on The Price is Right, Steve Harvey, who has reinvigorated Family Feud, Howie Mandel, who put Deal Or No Deal on the map, and Wayne Brady who has introduced Let’s Make a Deal to a whole new generation.
But these aren’t the only celebrities you know from music and acting who have decided to argue their acting and/or music gigs with eager and excited contestants to win money, trips, and material items. In some cases, these hosts even have Academy Awards or multiple Grammys.
With that said, here are 10 celebrities you probably didn’t even know are hosting game shows.
10 Rob Lowe (Mental Samurai)
In this competition series, which Lowe both hosts and produces, contestants are flipped around in the air by a large robot arm referred to as Ava as they quickly answer knowledge-based questions in different categories, racing against the clock.
Described as an “obstacle course for the mind,” contestants flex their intellect as they are tested on things like memory, historical facts, putting things in chronological order, and more. Lowe, meanwhile, chats with them as they go through the course, providing encouragement and entertaining viewers with his ongoing commentary and facial expressions.
He is, of course, better known, however, as a veteran actor, having appeared in countless movies and TV series over the last four decades, most notably series' like Parks and Recreation and The West Wing and in films like St. Elmo's Fire during his time as part of the '80s Brat Pack of young actors.
9 Joel McHale (Card Sharks)
Card Sharks, which originally aired in the late ‘70s, was recently resurrected with comedian and actor Joel McHale as host. In the game, a pair of players face off against one another as they try to predict cards that will be flipped on the board, and if they will be higher or lower than the previous ones.
Card Sharks has been brought back to air many times over the last 40 years, with previous hosts including Jim Perry, Bob Eubanks, Bill Rafferty, Tom Green, Pat Bullard, and Ricki Lake. McHale, meanwhile, is best known as a comedic actor, serving as long-time host of The Soup, and as part of the ensemble cast in Community.
8 Sherri Shepherd (Best Ever Trivia Show)
Previously known for serving as a co-host on the daytime talk show The View, and appearances in series' like 30 Rock and Less Than Perfect, Shepherd hosts this new trivia show which sees three contestants face off against a trio of trivia experts, like Jeopardy’s Ken Jennings.
In the final round, the winning player goes head-to-head with the expert who has the highest score. If the final player is able to answer at least one more multiple choice question right than the expert, the person wins $10,000 and the chance to come back and win up to $30,000.
Shepherd is not new to hosting game shows: from 2010-2013, she hosted The Newlywed Game.
7 Elizabeth Banks (Press Your Luck)
No whammies! Remember that game from the ‘80s, where contestants passionately cried out for “no whammies” as they watched the game board light up, hoping that it would not land on a whammy instead of a prize? It has now been revived, with Banks as the host.
Known for her roles in movies like The Hunger Games and Pitch Perfect, as well as the voice of Lucy/Wyldstyle in The Lego Movie and The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part, this is her first game show hosting gig. But Banks will continue to act, next set to appear in the action comedy film Charlie’s Angels this November, which she also produced, wrote, and starred in.
6 Jamie Foxx (Beat Shazam)
Even an Academy Award isn’t stopping A-list actors from jumping aboard this new trend and opting to host game shows. Foxx, who got his start in comedy and has since racked up an impressive resume that includes Academy Award-winning roles like Ray Charles in the biographical film Ray, and Grammy-winning albums and songs.
Today, he hosts and executive produces this musical competition show, where, as the name implies, contestants must try to identify songs before the popular music-identifying app can. Naturally, he injects his signature humor and charm into his role as host.
5 Alec Baldwin (Match Game)
Originally debuting in the ‘60s, this popular game show that features a celebrity panel, was revived for yet another time in 2017, and the fourth season began in June 2019.
As with the original, inappropriate responses are often “bleeped” out in a humorous way, like using a slide whistle sound effect. And as with the original, the host serves as an important part of the series, with his commentary with players and celebrity panelists being integral to the flow of each episode. Not surprisingly, Baldwin is a natural in this role.
4 Snoop Dogg (The Joker’s Wild)
Ready to air its second season, this game show, which originally aired in the early ‘70s and was created by Jack Barry, sees contestants answer questions delivered through a contraption that looks like a slot machine. If they get the joker, as the show’s titles implies, it’s wild and you can select any category.
In addition to hosting since 2017, first on TBS then TNT, Snoop Dogg, who is best known for his long-running and successful music career, also serves as co-executive producer with Michael Strahan.
3 Jane Lynch (Hollywood Game Night)
Running for six seasons now, this popular game show brings together celebrities with contestants who play in a casual “game night” setting, seated in couches opposite one another as they act out or give clues to their teammates in hope they will guess the right answers.
Lynch, known for her roles in TV series like Glee and movies like Wreck-It Ralph and Ralph Breaks the Internet, has hosted since the beginning and has been recognized for her performance with three Emmy Award nominations, two of which she won, for Outstanding Host for a Reality or Reality-Competition Program.
2 Ellen DeGeneres (Ellen’s Game of Games)
In this hilarious game show, which has been renewed for its third season, contestants are put through a number of physical challenges that could see them do everything from musical chairs to getting bonked in the head or sprayed in the face with goo.
DeGeneres serves as host, asking the questions and controlling the buttons that will send a contestant spiraling downward into the abyss if they lose, or rocketing into the air if they get the final question wrong. She is, of course, best known for her long-running daytime talk show The Ellen DeGeneres Show, which continues to air.
1 Andy Cohen (Love Connection)
Another revived series, Cohen hosted two seasons of the dating show which tries to match together singles with one another. Chuck Woolery was the original host in 1983 through to 1994, followed by Pat Bullard from 1998-1999. The revived version ran for two seasons in 2017 and 2018.
Cohen is no stranger to hosting, having hosted and executive produced his own late night talk show Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen, and his own pop culture channel on SiriusXM Radio. But he’s best known as executive producer of the Real Housewives franchise.