QUIZMASTER: THE LIFE AND TIMES AND FUN AND GAMES OF BILL CULLEN (paperback)
Question: What do Bob Barker, Dick Clark, Pat Sajak, and Alex Trebek have in common?
Answer: Bill Cullen hosted more game shows than all of them combined. And all of them have referred to Bill as the best game show host of all time.
Quizmaster: The Life & Times & Fun & Games of Bill Cullen is the remarkable story of a “a kid with polio” who became a mechanic, truck driver, photographer, pilot, disc jockey, and the finest master of ceremonies that a game show could ever have.
On the game show Quick as a Flash in 1949, host Bill Cullen was assisted for some of the questions by actress Mercedes McCambridge. In 1973, McCambridge supplied the voice for a child in what horror movie?
On an episode of the game show Catch Me If You Can in 1948, host Bill Cullen welcomed a contestant who was unemployed and seeking work as an actor. That night, he won a gas range. The following year, that actor made his film debut, playing a painter in The Lady Takes a Sailor. His final film role, in 2000, was playing elderly Hardy Greaves in The Legend of Bagger Vance. Who was that actor?
The long-running game show I've Got a Secret was created and produced by a comedy writer who later became a star in his own right with a wildly popular series of albums featuring his parodies of popular songs. Who was he?
In 1956, The Price is Right premiered with host Bill Cullen. Bill got the job after an actor-comic said no. In 1961, that actor's legendary sitcom made its debut on CBS. Who said no to The Price is Right?
DICK VAN DYKE
About the Author
ADAM NEDEFF grew up in Vienna, West Virginia, and spent his childhood infinitely more interested in late night comedy & game shows than afternoon cartoons. As a teenager, he began collecting game show memorabilia as a hobby, frantically gathering 8x10 glossies of hosts, board game adaptations, videos and DVDs of classic game shows. He was even commissioned to produce a game show for Marshall University at the State Fair of West Virginia. He majored in radio & television at Marshall and by the time he graduated, he had already served as announcer for two locally-produced game shows.
He spent a few years toiling as a disc jockey before moving to Los Angeles to see if he could make a career out of his childhood obsessions. He has worked as a freelance comedy writer and appeared as a contestant on three game shows: Catch-21, Trivial Pursuit: America Plays, and Who's Still Standing? He's experienced the world of game shows from the other side of the camera as well, having worked briefly behind-the-scenes for Wheel of Fortune and The Price is Right. With a team of kindred spirits, he helped started a small business, Home Game Enterprizes, which specializes in recreating and producing live game shows for conventions, restaurants, private parties and corporate functions.
Though encouraged by teachers who told him he had “a passion and a flair” for writing, it took years for Adam to finally start writing about the subjects that he knew best. Encouragement came from an unlikely source: late night star Conan O'Brien. Adam was holding down a day job for a wax museum when his bosses surprised him with the news that Conan O'Brien was filming a comedy skit in the museum, and the museum staff had nominated Adam to appear in the skit with him. Off-camera, Adam and Conan struck up a conversation, and Adam walked away with the encouragement he needed to finally start writing. Adam began writing books about game show history, starting with Quizmaster, a comprehensive biography of beloved game show host Bill Cullen, and This Day in Game Show History, a four-volume set chronicling 365 milestones in the history of his favorite genre.