By christina fuoco-karasinski
Bob Eubanks brings game shows to life in traveling show
Bob Eubanks has been involved with rodeos, concert production and motivational speaking. But what he loves most is bringing the 90-minute Hollywood’s Greatest Game Shows to fans.
The interactive fun comes to Wild Horse Pass Hotel and Casino’s Ovations Live Showroom on Saturday, October 28.
“I have so much fun,” says Eubanks, the longtime host of The Newlywed Game. “It’s myself and two ladies on stage. It’s a very high-tech show. We use videos, and the scoring for The Not-So-Newlywed Game is up on a screen.
“It’s not just thrown together. There’s lots of music and lots of fun. I have more fun than anybody, I think.”
Hollywood’s Greatest Game Shows invites more than 40 audience members to the stage to play games similar to “Let’s Make a Deal,” “Card Sharks,” “Minute to Win It,” “Name that Tune” and “Family Feud.” Fans will have a shot to win $1 million.
“The show features nine different games,” he says. “It’s 90 minutes of hilarity. We use 42 contestants on stage. Nobody is chosen ahead of time, so everybody has an equal chance to be up there.
“At the end, someone will have the chance to win $1 million. We pray to God that they win it. We would love to have someone win it. I’ve had so many people tell me, ‘I didn’t make it on the stage, but I’ve had more fun than I’ve had in a long time.’”
Eubanks is synonymous with game shows. He says he isn’t the one who makes the programs successful.
“To me, a successful game show host is somebody who takes yourself out of the equation,” he says. “When I started The Newlywed Game, I would sit in the dressing room with four couples ready to bare their soul for a toaster.
“I would say, ‘OK, you guys, we’re going to go out there and have fun.’ I had nothing. I would sit with those couples before the show and ask them questions about their lives and their marriage. I was just a conduit between the audience and the couples.”
He adds that many hosts, and especially comedians, have a rough time when constants are funnier than them. Eubanks can make people talk, and that defines a successful game show host.
Born in Flint, Michigan, and raised in California, Eubanks is a bit of a renaissance man. He participated in rodeos, where he met his good friend, Valley automobile dealership mogul Tex Earnhardt.
“Tex Earnhardt is a very good friend of mine,” he says. “That’s no bull.”
During most of the 1960s, he produced concerts, including Merle Haggard at the Arizona State Fair, and Glen Campbell when “By the Time I Get to Phoenix” was a hit.
He booked The Beatles for multiple shows in Los Angeles in the 1960s. In honor of the 50th anniversary of the Fab Four’s North American circuit, he tours with Bob Eubanks Presents The Beatles, through which he shares memorabilia and memories.
“The only other concert promoter in Los Angeles turned them down,” he says. “He was used to paying $10,000 for Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald. The Beatles wanted $25,000. He said, ‘No way.’ I stepped forward, borrowed it on my house and presented The Beatles shows at the Hollywood Bowl in 1964 and 1965, and the 1966 show at Dodger Stadium.”
Besides bringing Hollywood’s Greatest Game Shows to fans, Eubanks works as a motivational speaker. He focuses on enhancing people skills, team building, relationships, ethnic diversity and the use of humor as a communication skill.
“I do a speech called It’s All About People,” Eubanks says. “It’s a very funny one-hour talk. I play outtakes of The Newlywed Game to make my point.”
He says he feels that Hollywood’s Greatest Game Shows is one of his greatest accomplishments. And he has no qualms about continuing to work.
“A friend of mine said, ‘If you rest, you rust,’” he recalls. “What I do is about as far away from work as you can possibly be and still earn a living. It’s just so much fun.”
“With Hollywood’s Greatest Game Shows, I get into town, the couples have a great time. Everybody on stage wins a prize. I’m rooting for them all the way. I would love for someone to win the $1 million. The odds are a heck of a lot better than the lottery. With the show, when you have different contestants, you have a different show every time. That’s what makes it fun.”