The Many Guest Hosts of “Millionaire”; Who Were Your Favorites? Thumbnail

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 StarsAmerica’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.

*Al Roker
*Dave Price
*Leeza Gibbons
*Samantha Harris
*Shaun Robinson
*Tim Gunn
*D.L. Hughley

Regis Philbin also guest hosted, but we all know how he does.

Photos and videos courtesy Valleycrest Productions Ltd.

Alex Davis

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has written 3437 articles on BuzzerBlog.

Alex Davis is an award winning writer and producer based out of Pittsburgh, PA, who works out of New York, Los Angeles, and London. Alex is the head writer and editor for BuzzerBlog and is the president and head of development of 5Hole Productions, specializing in unscripted formats for television and internet play.

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19 responses to "The Many Guest Hosts of “Millionaire”; Who Were Your Favorites?"

  • ScottNotSteve says:

    Bergeron wouild be a great pick, if he’s willing, but they might consider Pat Kiernan, who is based in New York and who nearly got the Regis and Kathy gig. He is a celebrated trivia host as well, and has done WSOPopCulture and Grand Slam.

    • Glenn says:

      also was the ONLY thing (despite all but being UNCREDITED as HOST!) good about the WB’s disasterous Weakest Link knockoff Studio 7. That train wreck was awful but I thought a Star was born in Kiernan. I still say he may be so dry he’d be better for Jeopardy but I agree he should be considered.

  • Megatron says:

    Honestly, Regis is the best choice, assuming he is willing to return. Regis could do for “Millionaire” what Steve Harvey did for “Family Feud.” His return would make headlines, and his antics would draw in viewers and be the perfect fodder for YouTube videos. Even after all these years, the show is still remembered as his because of the cultural impact he made while hosting it. Every non-game show fan I know still refers to Regis as the host of “Millionaire,” even though Meredith has been hosting for years. Regis’ return would excite a lot of people, myself included, and Disney would be foolish not to at least extend him an offer.

    • HomerJay says:

      His return on Super Millionaire drew headlines. Ratings, a bit less so. But beyond that, Harvey brought to Feud a new take, a new dynamic. Regis is a retread of sorts. And while his shtick worked in primetime, it was a decde ago, and times change.

      I’d be more inclined to draw potential parallels to the I’ll-advised return of Dawson to Feud. Sometimes, you really can’t or shouldn’t, turn back the clock.

    • Scott says:

      Everyone also looked forward to Regis’ return in 2009 for Millionaire’s 10th anniversary, but he wasn’t prepared for the clock format.

      If Regis returns, I don’t think it would be as bad as Dawson’s return in 1994. There were several factors as to why Dawson’s return didn’t work out as planned. First, he wasn’t kissing the ladies anymore, which was his trademark style up till that point. Second, the show was far too long in an hour-long format. And third, the Bullseye round felt like a wasted addition. If they had kept the same format as Dawson’s original run, in a 30-minute format, then it would’ve done much better.

      Still, all things considered, get Regis back here. Regis is Millionaire, just as Chuck Woolery is Greed. When I think of Millionaire, I think of Regis — not Meredith.

      • HomerJay says:

        I think we stretch too much for the “if only” pieces. If only there were no clock. If only there were no bankroll. Shouldn’t a fairly talented host be able to adapt to tweaks? (Pat Sajak certainly has, to name one.)

        Recreating exactly what was appeals to the nostalgia crowd, but overlooks that there’s a reason things stopped working in the first place. We can quibble over this show’s time slot or that shlw’s new theme song or what have you, but it’s more the exception than the rule that evolution and updating is how you stay competitive. (Allowing that sooner or later, the end is inevitable.)

  • Matt says:

    Even though that Regis is retired, I go with Tom Bergeron as my choice.

  • Collin says:

    I would love to see Tom Bergeron take over; he’s got the energy and has shown a perfect blend of humor and class in his other shows. Even though he’s not been a guest host in the past, I hope Marc Summers is considered as well; I feel he would do a great job also (unless he’s on the waiting list to replace Alex Trebek).

  • GSNFan says:

    Regis and Sherri Shepherd have my vote for people not on that list.

    For anybody on that list, Cat Deeley. She won’t cost too much probably. She has SYTYCD and a few other projects, but nothing to keep her too busy.

    With the idea of Regis hosting WWTBAMillionaire again, it would be a challenge for him, and they’d probably change the format back to sitting in chairs and asking the questions.

  • Alex says:

    Tim Vincent? You mean, the British guy, Tim Vincent? What has he done since leaving Blue Peter in ’94?

  • Shon says:

    I sort of want to see Drew Carey take a shot at hosting. He did such a good job with Power of 10 that I know he’d kick ass at hosting Millionaire. Speaking of Wayne Brady would be a interesting choice too as I would like to see how his hosting style would change for a more serious game show.

  • Glenn says:

    Forget the CBS Guys, no way is that happening.

    Cat Deeley was interesting. She may be good…but may not. Will say she was annoying as hell on 20q but that was a poor show.

    Bergeron is a natural but I prefer him in the Hot Seat format…ditto Regis…and personally I’d rather have Bergeron, who reminds me of a younger Regis.

    I’m sorry but Sherri Shepperd ruined NG and would be way too offbeat for Millionaire, it wouldn’t be taken seriously. I don’t see what people see in her at all.

  • CouponBoy says:

    I think Cat Deeley and Samantha Harris are the best candidates. They both have that Meredith-like persona and are both very lively.

  • grinch says:

    2 more people thatt guest hosted Millionaire a few years ago that were not included on your guest host list- :
    John Henson and Steve Harvey.Steve Harvey did it shortly before he became the host of Family Feud.

  • Lee Hubbard says:

    D L Hugley did a good job as guest host. He should the new host:)

  • J.C. says:

    @grinch John Henson? As in the comedic half of the 2 Johns in Wipeout?

    An offbeat choice here I know, but I’d actually go for Maury Povich. Ever since I saw him in Twenty-One, I’ve wanted to see him host another game show. The show itself might not have been the greatest, but he was an excellent host I felt.

    By the way, just curious, but did anyone else feel nostalgic when the $100-$1000 music and the ATA music played in the Bergeron clip?

  • Marc Power says:

    like most fanboys I would love to see Tom bergeron host the show, but I don’t think it’ll happen, he’s already too busy with DWTS and AFV. he had to turn down TPIR becuase of that, so I can’t see him taking the job. I will say he seemed the most comfortable out of all the guest hosts.

    2nd choice would be Cat Deeley, I’ll admit after watching her first show, she seemed stiff but loosened up quickly.

    as far as the hosts mentioned above my opinions:

    Al Roker: decent. but needs to loosen up a little.
    Dave Price: decent
    Leeza Gibbons: she had the same problem Lynn Swann had when he did TTTT, just too syrupy and it looks unnatural.
    Samantha Harris: She did better than i thought she would, but she too seemed a little syrupy and unnatural and when she’s chit-chatting with the contestant, she has a bad habit of cutting them off and talking over them, that’s a big no-no.
    Shaun Robinson: I don’t actually have any major issues with Shaun I thought she did a good job.
    Tim Gunn: STIFF as posterboard! and seemed like he was lost for words at times.
    D.L. Hughley: stiff at times, you can tell when he’s reading a teleprompter, but otherwise decent job.

  • Marjorie says:

    Can’t stand to watch millionaire with Cedric. He spends too much time talking and not enough questions or guests get through.

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