Patrick Wayne- Game Show Host: Tic Tac Dough (1990-1991)
It’s not easy being a game show host. It’s probably one of the hardest jobs in television. You have to keep track of all the rules and the nuances of the game, make sure you know what you’re doing up there under the bright lights, and not to mention look like you genuinely care about the show and not give off the presence of being a complete phony. Some people fail at these things that makes a game show host good. For instance, William Shatner came off as melodramatic and looked like he was ill at ease on Show Me The Money, Rolf Benirschke didn’t know all of the rules to Wheel of Fortune, thus creating the memorable moment of him looking blankly at the camera telling people “I don’t know what to do next.” Sure these two hosts were bad, but they looked like Pat Finn compared to Patrick Wayne.
Patrick Wayne is probably more well known as The Duke’s son. Yup, Patrick Wayne is John Wayne’s flesh and blood. And like his father, Patrick Wayne was a fine actor. He got his start as a young lad in unaccredited roles in Rio Grange and The Sun Shines Bright. Eventually as he got older, he became a fixture in westerns in both the movies and Television, most notably in Have Gun, Will Travel and The Rounders. As the 70s rolled on, he continued to make frequent appearances in movies and television in guest spots, eventually becoming the host of his own variety show in 1980 called The Monte Carlo Show.
Although the show didn’t last that long, he was decent enough as host. After The Monte Carlo Show got axed, he continued to do movies and guest spots on television, especially in the hit 1988 film, Young Guns. Then 1990 came around and it was announced that Dan Enright was bringing back the classic show, Tic Tac Dough. After trying out a few hosts, Enright settled on Patrick Wayne. Then the first show came through the airwaves, and all the hopes that people had for the revival completely went down the drain. It all started when Patrick Wayne said these words; “Thank you and welcome to our show, Tic Tac is Back! We’ve made several changes and I know you’re gonna like them.” He tossed it to Larry Van Nuys, a decent enough announcer who’s known for doing FM Radio in Los Angeles, and after the contestant introductions, hopes sank even lower.
He seemed to be very stiff and very unmotivated in the banter he’d have between contestants, sometimes he wouldn’t even talk to the contestants and just say, “Are you ready to play the game?” in a very fake excited voice. And when he would talk to the contestants, it was very painful to watch. Sometimes, you’d just cringe at the questions and the banter that would go on. It gets even worse from there as Patrick would in the most monotonous voice you could think of, read off the categories and the rules. Then once the game began we get treated to the most overexhubrated “Is Right” in the history of game shows.
Patrick Wayne would continue to go on in this manner until that pivotal moment in the game where we’d either have someone go for a block or a win. He’d become very excited telling someone, in a very joyous voice, “YOU BLOCK!” The game went on and when that pivotal moment came, he launched the most mockworthy statement in game show history. “YOUUUUUUUUUU WIIIIIIIIIIINNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN!” When he said that, the writing was on the wall. We thought his hosting couldn’t be worse. Well, when we got to the bonus game, we found out that it got much, much worse.
At the bonus game, he’d start off by telling the people there’s a dragon and a dragon slayer on the board, usually quipping that the dragon is a “Bad Dude” and the dragon slayer is a “Good Dude”. I guess Patrick was trying to reach out to the younger crowd by saying dude and the like. What also doesn’t help is that he spent around 2 minutes describing the rules to the bonus game when a more competent host could have spent only 30 seconds doing that. It’s like what Marc Summers said in an interview, “As a host, you have to explain semi-complicated things within 30 seconds, otherwise people are going to change the channel.” Well, people did change the channel after the first episode.
Now most people would have considered it “First Show Jitters” and that he’d get better as time wore on. Well, those people were dead wrong. Patrick Wayne stayed the same throughout the show’s run. Still being monotonous, still being hyper after someone makes a successful block or wins the game, still taking 2 minutes to explain the bonus game. It was this type of hosting that got him the distinction for being one of the main killers of the show. Not to mention, him being completely blasted by Bill Pullman in a sketch on a 1991 episode of Saturday Night Live. He is widely considered to be the worst game show host in television history. While that might be somewhat of an exaggeration, it’s not farfetched.
Yes, it’s still not known to this date why he was tapped to host this show. Maybe he had that name of “Wayne” that got him the gig, or maybe he had a really good pilot taping that we’ve never seen before and that he was really good there. I’m wondering who was to blame for him becoming a game show host and thinking he’d make a great one. Well, we’d have to go all the way back to 1982 to find out the answer to that one. The one game show host that thought he’d make a great one was…
Yup, Jim Lange thought he’d make a great host. Well, looks like he was dead wrong on that aspect. But that’s enough bashing Jim.
After the disaster that was Patrick Wayne’s game show hosting career, he decided to go back to what he knows best; acting. Although his career never fully recovered from the debacle that was TTD 90, he still managed to get roles in various TV shows and movies. He doesn’t like to talk about the show, so I’m guessing he is genuinely embarrassed about it. Well, let’s just say that makes millions of us.
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