The Wet Spot: The evolution of dating shows
|Photo by Robras|
Television icon Chuck Woolery, formerly of the smash dating show Love Connection.
Now, if you're under the age of 30, chances are you may not know who C-Dub is and what he's all about (that is, of course, unless you're a 27-year-old dude who was raised on TV in the eighties). Love Connection is, by all accounts, the OG of reality dating shows.
Long before Ray J was given a weekly television audience for him to smack his lips in front of, before Tila Tequila was getting paid to make out with a bunch of
attention whores classy young people and before Bret Michaels was given the green light to bone a bunch of strippers on TV, Chuck Woolery was making matches for young people and making love to the camera.
So what made CW such a sweet dating show host? Was it his well-kept hair? His quick wit? The fact that he was pumped full of more prescription painkillers than my entire mom's side of the family on Thanksgiving (see you next week!)?
Nope; it was all about his catchphrase.
"We'll be back in two and two." - Chuck Woolery
Having the right catchphrase is crucial to being a successful dating show host. Something awesome like, "We'll be back in two and two," is both mysterious and sexy. Today's dating shows always end with some corny, forced lines like, "Your tour ends here" or "You are mandated to stay a minimum of 50 yards away from the plaintiff at all times, Mr. Strait."
Real dating show hosts know that you need to make people feel excited to keep watching the show, and more importantly, themselves.
That's the other thing about being a dating show host. As much as the show is "supposed" to be about the contestants, it's really just a chance for the host to spotlight themselves and how awesome they are. Take a look at Chuck. Even though he was supposed to be the middle-man for potential hook-ups, he managed to spend the whole show dropping one-liners, mugging for the camera and hitting on every single female that came through (seriously. Every. Single. One).
Sure, some dating show hosts have tried not to be the center of attention on their respective television shows, instead focusing on things like "contestants" and "hosting." Guys like Chris Hardwick. What's that? You've never heard of Chris Hardwick? What about Jenny McCarthy? Have you ever heard of her? Exactly my point.
(Author's note: Go ahead. Wikipedia Chris Hardwick real quick. I'll still be here when you get back. Because I love you.)
The bottom line is this: Dating shows have fallen from grace since the 80's and I for one am sick of it. I've had enough of Real and Chance. Enough of New York. And definitely enough of you, Antonio Sabato Jr. (that's a lie. I could never have enough of Antonio. No one can). I think I need to get in there and take back dating shows for the good of the world and for the legacy of Chuck Woolery. And I will.
Come join me TONIGHT at Sneaky Pete's (where dreams come true) in downtown Minneapolis at 7:30 as I host a night of turbo-sexy love connecting. Interested in becoming a contestant? Email me at email@example.com and I'll hook you up. And by "hook you up," I mean "force you into a pushup contest with me on stage. Females not excluded.