The Many Guest Hosts of “Millionaire”; Who Were Your Favorites?
The news that Meredith Vieira is leaving Who Wants to be a Millionaire after eleven seasons started the obvious reaction and question: who is going to replace her? Show representatives are saying that Millionaire will be back next year so they’re on the hunt, and with the season starting to tape in August they don’t have an overwhelming amount of time to find someone, publicize him or her, and get ready for the 12th season. Meredith was a beloved host and replacing her is going to be hard. However, over the years, the show has had several guest hosts.
The guest hosts included celebrated television hosts, stunt casted celebrities, news presenters like Meredith, comedians, and many others. There was never any indication if any of the guest hosts could end up as Meredith’s replacement, but they have effectively screen tested over a dozen people. Most have tackled the classic format but a few have tried Super Mix. Did any of the guest hosts do anything for you? We thought we’d share some of our favorites. We’ve also got a list with links to clips of guest hosts we could find. Look back and see if any of them stand out as the next host of Millionaire to you. This is not meant to be a rumor of any of these people being eyed for the role. We don’t know yet. It’s just us going through the list and choosing our favorites.
*Tom Bergeron: In 2007 popular television host Tom Bergeron filled in for Meredith for a week. Tom is a veteran presenter, having helmed Dancing With the Stars, America’s Funniest Home Videos, and Hollywood Squares. He’s been doing this for a long time so it made sense he’d be so good. Unlike most others he jumped into it from day one and didn’t require any big adjustments. He knew how to keep it light and fun but got down to business for big money. He’s in ABC’s wheelhouse which is a plus. Not only that but daytime television and Dancing With the Stars audiences are practically the same s he’d be known. It’s something to consider.
*Cat Deeley: 2009 saw So You Think You Can Dance and 20Q (GSN) host Cat Deeley take over the host’s chair. Cat surprised me the most. I’ve never seen her Fox dancing game show so I had no idea how she’d be. However, she quickly got into the gear of Millionaire. Like Tom she was fun, personable, and knew when to be serious. She also channeled British Millionaire host Chris Tarrant repeatedly (which makes sense; that’s her home country). We’ve never really seen a host have dramatic pauses for $300. Rumors were floating around in 2008 that she was being eyed as a Meredith replacement but nothing came of that then. Maybe this time it will. She adjusted quickly and I think she’d thrive not being constricted to the chair. I can see the show sticking with a female host and Cat would be a good choice.
Who were your favorites? Here’s a list of others. Click the links to watch videos of them. There were others like Tim Vincent, Sherri Shepherd, and others we couldn’t find videos for.
Regis Philbin also guest hosted, but we all know how he does.
Photos and videos courtesy Valleycrest Productions Ltd.