Pet PeevesTV & Showbiz

To Tie or Not to Tie: the Game Show Question

When it comes to game shows, I’m pretty old school. Not that this is a bad thing, mind you, because I grew up watching the best of the genre, produced by big names like Goodson-Todman, Barry & Enright, and Bob Stewart, just to name a few.

In the 1970s, a game show wasn’t really a game show without brightly-colored sets that featured shag carpet — usually orange, red or green — and thousands of chase lights, punctuated by win bells, loud buzzers and Moog-generated theme music.  Consider the heyday of The Price is Right, Match Game, or The $25,000 Pyramid.

Nowadays, most game shows don’t seem to remember the tackiness of the seventies, which is sad because that glitz has been replaced with “armageddon”-style dark lighting with sweeping motion lights and music that sounds like the bomb is moments away from flattening your town.

Over at a discussion board to which I belong that focuses on The Price is Right, a recent discussion concerned current host Drew Carey’s neckwear. Or more specifically, the occasional lack thereof. A poll popped up asking whether people thought it looked better for Carey to wear a tie or go without.

I know what some of you are thinking: “Really? People actually care about this kind of stuff?” But you must understand that we’re talking about people who take obsession to new heights with regard to that show. There are a handful that seem to act as though they’d lose sleep if they didn’t know the exact date on which the last playing of the pricing game Plinko happened, or how many times both contestants in the showcase round went over. (I’m happy to tell you that I couldn’t give you the answer to either of those critical questions if there were a gun at my head.)

There’s that, and the fact the show is about to be in summer reruns (if it isn’t already, I don’t keep track anymore), so there’s less to talk about at the moment.

In any case, while the majority of people who voted prefer that Carey actually wear a tie, some point out that ditching a tie could just be a case of “keeping pace with the times.”

Did I mention that I’m pretty old school on such things? Yeah, I thought so.

Personally, I don’t see what the big deal is about not wanting to wear a tie. It looks professional. It looks more professional than not wearing one.

Others make the same case the other way, claiming that Carey is more “in his comfort zone” if he’s not wearing a tie, and wonder what the big deal is about whether he wears one.

(Of course, there’s something of a double standard at play in that rationale: I pointed out that if a tie truly is “no big deal,” that’s also an argument against the notion that wearing one shouldn’t knock an emcee out of his comfort zone.  I added that we’re talking about a tie, not a truss.)

Around the office, I haven’t worn a tie in years. But then I’m not on the air.  If I were, I’d wear one. Casual Sundays at various churches has become a trend that stretches to every day of the week.

Check out a tape of an early episode of The Price is Right and even the men in the audience wore coats and ties. It looked more like a church service than a game show audience. Nowadays, people act like they think they should look like they were just fired out of a cannon.

Times change. Priorities in fashion change. I get that.

But I still think Carey should wear a tie.

Your Turn:

Do you prefer that hosts wear ties? Do you think it looks less professional to go open-collared, or do you even notice?


  1. I consider ties the male version of 4″ heels, without the lasting negative affects. I don’t care one way or another if guys wear them, though in certain areas, they are de rigeur (attorneys in courtrooms, for instance). Do I care if a game show host wears a tie? Nope. And I think the fact that in the 70s the *audience* was wearing ties is the key; Bob Barker was dressing the way his audience dressed. Pretty sure you won’t see a tie in evidence in the audience these days, so why should Drew (have to) wear one?

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Patrick is a Christian with more than 29 years experience in professional writing, producing and marketing. His professional background also includes social media, reporting for broadcast television and the web, directing, videography and photography. He enjoys getting to know people over coffee and spending time with his dog.