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Game Show Hosts Who Verbally Attacked Contestants

Game shows have been an integral part of entertainment since the early days of
television and continue to remain so. And while game show hosts are often humorous and
lighthearted, even the most warm-hearted of hosts have had their patience tested from time to time and have displayed instances of losing their cool. Watch the full video to see some of the most memorable moments when game show hosts broke character and lashed out on

Bob Barker

Bob Barker is one of the most iconic and memorable game show hosts. He began his
television career in 1956, hosting Truth or Consequences, where he remained for 19 years. But
he is best known for serving 35 years as the host of The Price is Right. A true gameshow
veteran, Barker retired in 2007. It’s easy to imagine that after 50 years of hosting game shows,
he would be unfazed by any contestant reaction. But in 2006, an overly excited contestant
named Avonne, began jumping up and down after finding out she had won a car. A frail and
fearful Bob began slowly backing away. The contestant reached out her hands and started
coming towards Bob as he further backed away and began pleading, “Don’t attack me” and
“Don’t touch me.” Bob was clearly not vibing with her intense energy because he slowly
escaped behind the podiums and then proceeded to hide behind one the prize presenter
models, Rachel Reynolds, until he finally cut to commercial and Rachel accepted Avonne’s hug that Bob had feared.

Pat Sajak

Most of the time, Pat Sajak, the host of Wheel of Fortune, can pass as one of the most
jovial game show hosts. But he is no stranger to being fed up with contestants every now and
then. In November 2020, one of the contestants, Darin McBain, questioned the answer to one of the puzzles, even though he had solved it correctly. The category was “Words that start with Kitchen.” The contestant correctly answered “oven” but then mused, “Who calls it a ‘kitchen oven’?” A frustrated Pat responded by throwing his hand in the air and yelling, “You won! Don’t argue!” and “Ungrateful players! I’ve had it!” And while afterwards, he stated he was only teasing, he clearly felt bad enough to apologize later in the show. Another instance occurred during a special taping of the show in Hawaii. After one letter of the topic was revealed, a contestant guessed that the phrase was “riding a brown horse.” Pat sarcastically yelled, “That’s amazing! And it’s wrong!” But when the next contestant proceededto guess “Riding a white horse,” Pat shook his head and walked away. When he came back, he yelled, “Who said anything about a horse?” before composing himself and moving on.

Drew Carey

You might remember the 90s comedy star, Drew Carey, from his sitcom The Drew Carey
Show and improv show Whose Line is it Anyway? But since 2007, he’s been filling Bob Barker’s shoes as host of The Price is Right. It’s a role he has filled well with his comedic charm. But when a contestant couldn’t seem to stop talking over Carey, he finally let out an annoyed “shut up!” The contestant, who was still caught up in his own chatter and excitement, didn’t even seem to notice Carey’s indiscretion and the host moved on, calmly reminding the contestant to listen to the rules he was trying to explain.

Alex Trebek

After hosting 37 seasons of Jeopardy!, Alex Trebek might be one of the most beloved,
and most famously satirized game show hosts of all time. But it’s hard to forget about that one time that he made a kid cry, a moment CNN labeled as the “saddest moment in Jeopardy! history.” After Thomas Hurley III, an eighth grader competing during kids’ week, added in an extra T to “emancipation proclamation” in his final jeopardy answer, Trebek announced that the judges were not willing to accept the correct answer because he “misspelled it badly.” Later, at the end of the show, the kid can be seen with tears in his eyes, being comforted by his family. Hurley later told a local newspaper that he felt cheated and his mother felt Trebek had been smug in the way he handled the delivery of the news. After the clip went viral on social media, Trebek was heavily criticized over the incident. So much so that Jeopardy! released an official statement reassuring everyone that they had followed consistent rules and had been fair in their decision.

Gene Rayburn

For over two decades, Gene Rayburn hosted the classic game show The Match Game.
Like many of the classic game show hosts, Rayburn is often remembered as good-natured and cheerful. However, one of his most memorable moments was the time he got angry at a cue card man for not cueing the commercial break at the proper time. Rayburn walked off stage and ripped the cue card from the man’s hand and proceeded to beat him with it. Though the crowd laughed, the anger in Rayburn’s eyes was seemingly not a joke as he grabbed the man’s arm and yelled “Now will you remember to hold a sign up on time?” And this wasn’t the only time he had an on-air freakout. In 1977, he attacked a cameraman. Again, the crowd went wild with laughter, but you have to wonder: how much was he really joking?
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Tyra BanksTyra

Banks was known for being critical as the host and judge of America’s Next Top Model. In fact, she often pushed her contestants to the limits by over-critiquing them, sometimes with a flare for the dramatic. And no instance demonstrates this more than when in season four,
Tyra yelled at contestant Tiffany Richardson. She felt the aspiring model wasn’t displaying
enough emotion after being eliminated. In the now meme-able moment, Tyra yelled, “I was
rooting for you! We were all rooting for you! How dare you!” Thanks to the internet, Tyra’s
emotional and angry rant has now become one of the most memorable moments ever in reality TV.


As host of RuPaul’s Drag Race, RuPaul might not be as critical as Tyra, but he’s been
known to be hard on the drag queens when they deserve it. In season 7, he had what
Entertainment Tonight called “RuPaul’s Tyra Moment” when he lost his patience with the
contestants after a disappointing challenge. Many of the queens seemed under-prepared. After judgement, RuPaul addressed the contestants, saying he didn’t want to hear any excuses. When this prompted one of the contestants to make an excuse and claim they had no time to rehearse, RuPaul fired back in anger.

Natalia Kills and Willy Moon

Next Up: The husband and wife judges on X Factor New Zealand, Natalia Kills and Willy
Moon. Their judging quickly turned into bullying after Natasia let out an insulting critique of
contestant, Joe Irvine. She accused him of plagiarising her husband and said he was “cheesy,”
“disgusting,” and “a laughing stock.” And in case that wasn’t mean-spirited enough, her husband added, “I feel like you’re going to stitch someone’s skin to your face and then kill everyone in the audience.” The incident led the pair to be fired from the show.

TJ Lavin

On MTV’s reality show/game show mashup The Challenge, host TJ Lavin, a pro BMX
biker, was known for being a bit of a hothead at times. The show put contestants through
extreme challenges, so things could sometimes get a little intense. During one challenge,
contestant Syrus Yarbrough argued with Lavin about the rules of the game, setting Lavin off.
Lavin yelled at Yarbrough to stop arguing with him and Yarbrough got up in Lavin’s face. If they hadn’t been pulled apart by another contestant, someone might have ended up getting

Karan Kundra

This next incident happened on Roadies, an MTV INDIA production. When a contestant
auditioning to participate in the competition show mentioned he slapped his own sister one time, an angered Kundra walked right up to him and slapped him across the face. Though Kundrareceived some criticism on the internet for the assault, Kundra stood by his action, responding with the statement: “Be a man and slap such idiots and teach your sister to do the same.”

Esha the Goddess

For this next one, another one of India’s game shows are in question and another slap
happens to be the incident. In Dadagiri, contestants sign up to be bullied by hosts and actors
while they partake in mental challenges. But things weren’t supposed to get violent. So when
Esha “The Goddess,” slapped one of the contestants, the contestant was shocked and slapped
her back. Chaos followed as a group of crew workers pulled him off of her and assaulted him as he yelled, “How can she slap?” The episode never aired but the footage leaked and went viral.

Joe Rogan

If you’ve ever seen Fear Factor, you know it can get pretty intense sometimes, with
contestants often arguing with one another. Host Joe Rogan had to step in when he witnessed one of the contestants, Victoria, punching another contestant. Rogan called her out saying, “What are you doing? You can’t assault people!” When Victoria’s husband, Jonathan, who was also a contestant, tried to stand up for her by getting in Rogan’s face, Rogan grabbed his head to push him away. What ensued was a physical struggle that was broken up by another contestant. Rogan has since commented on the fight on his podcast The Joe Rogan Experience saying he was fearful Jonathan was going to punch him. He grabbed him by the head to avoid unnecessary violence. That wraps up the highlights from some of the most memorable times when game show hosts lost their cool. Who are some of your favorite game show hosts? Let us know in the comments below. And don’t forget to like and subscribe for more videos.

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