The 5 Weirdest Game Show Contestants Ever


I'm still reeling from Jeopardy! champ Roger Craig's nonchalant domination and record-setting victory last night, even if I'm a little disappointed in his ho-hum demeanor. The best game show moments happen thanks to competitors with zany personality quirks, or at least some darting pupils. In tribute to the freaky fun of this wonderful genre, let us revisit the five weirdest contestants in game show history.

5. Scrabble's Terry Ray

Chuck Woolery is the Steve McQueen of game show hosts, a pillar of smooth machismo with a topaz complexion, and that's why beloved Scrabble champ Terry Ray's witty (and proudly gay!) retorts to him worked so well on the '80s show. In the first clip here, we're introduced to Terry's unpredictable nature, and in the second, we watch him throw some transparent innuendo Chuck's way, rendering the unflappable emcee speechless. Terry was cool enough for good one-liners, but he was weird enough to remain a wild card. He should be your hero.

4. Who Wants to be a Millionaire's Kevin Smith

Kevin Smith didn't act erratically per se, but everything else about his victory on the Meredith Vieira edition of Millionaire read as kooky: his biblical beard, his recollection of Regis Philbin's errors, his utter nonreaction to winning a giant hunk of change, and most of all, my eerie suspicion that he is a serious genius. Watch him as he struts off -- no, wait, sits quietly -- after earning a fortune.

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  • Dimo says:

    Watching these clips, I can't help but feel the thrill of being home, sick from school, juxtaposed with the torture of being held captive in my grandparents' living room.

  • Stilted says:

    Hahaha! The funniest, most honest comment I've ever read on any comment board. A true truism.

  • Dimo says:

    Thanks! You don't know how much I appreciate it.

  • casting couch says:

    Dr. Zaius Wants to be a Millionaire at #4?

  • The Cantankerist says:

    4. Who Wants To Be A Millionaire's "Kevin James" is actually, according to the clip, "Kevin Smith".
    Insert your own Kevin James/Kevin Smith punchline.

  • Daddy Long Stroke says:

    Maybe you are one of the top 5 biggest douchebag journalists too?

  • Dennison Uy says:

    This really cracked me up. Some really crazy people there.

  • I would like to see this

  • LA says:

    I think Kevin Smith was in shock when he won the million dollars. His muttering about Regis and the host's reaction was amusing.

  • GB says:

    I remember when contestants win the big money on Reege's version, a lot of them seemed pretty non-chalant too, compared to people you see win a Chevy Aveo on "The Price is Right". The first winner, John Carpenter (the IRS guy) threw his hands up as if the audience was supposed to bow to him. Then again, at that time that really had never been done before so maybe he was justified. 🙂

  • Jeopardy! Fan says:

    The coolest thing about Roger Craig's Jeopardy appearance wasn't in that record-setting game; it was in his debut game. It was a close contest, he had about $12,000, and he bet it all on a Periodic Table symbol question that was at the bottom of the column. I've never seen that sort of reaction from Alex Trebek: he did a flabbergasted double-take, not believing that a contestant had that sort of chutzpah. I assumed Roger had the Periodic Table memorized (he's a biochemist, so it's certainly his area of expertise), but it was still an awesome moment. People under-bet on the Daily Doubles way too much.

  • T says:

    If you look at the beginning of that particular episode for Kevin Smith, he walked to the hot seat with a cane. That's why he did not get up for his win.

  • danger_jones says:

    How do you stalk a game show? Like, lay down in the tall grass by the stream it drinks from and pounce? Or what?

  • Louis Virtel says:

    He'd show up on set! Circling the Vanna and everything!

  • Joseph Gray says:

    Dimo, you rock! That is some funny scat!

  • Philip Zamora says:

    Kevin Smith on Millionaire wasn't kooky at all. I saw him as polite and respectful and dignified... sure, his appearance was strange but when you get to that age I'm sure that it just doesn't matter that much to you.