Is there anything more fun than a game show? Smart-aleck hosts, silly challenges and wisecracks galore—and if you’re lucky, there’s a homosexual contestant or celebrity dominating the game.
On Logo’s Gay for Play Game Show Starring RuPaul, you get all that plus sexy dancers.
In celebration of the show’s return on June 29, we’re counting down the 14 gayest moments in game show history.
Watch Gay for Play Game Show Starring RuPaul, starting June 29 at 9/8c on Logo.
Rip Taylor flips his wig
After Patty Duke botched a clue in this vintage episode of Super Password, Taylor stood up, ripped off his hairpiece, and waved it at the camera.
The only thing gayer would be if he threw a fistful of confetti in the air at the same time.
Charles Nelson Reilly takes over as host of Match Game
Reilly was the show’s resident queen, and his chemistry with BFF Brett Somers was explosive.
One day in 1977, Reilly chided a tired Gene Rayburn for not coming over to him, and Rayburn ended up making Reilly host the rest of the segment. Charles Nelson Reilly chatting with Zsa Zsa Gabor? Pure camp gold.
The Price is Right adds a male model
In 2012, after Drew Carey took over, The Price is Right welcomed its first male spokesmodel, Rob Wilson, who held the gig for two years.The Price is Right/CBS
Two years later, the show held a nationwide talent search for another man, and Australian model-actor James O’Halloran won a weeklong stint on the show.
Paul Lynde makes Hollywood Squares a gay old time
Long before sassy gay men were a staple of mainstream television, Lynde was queering up the small screen on Bewitched and Hollywood Squares, where he could fling gay innuendo in front of millions of Americans.
Once, when asked “Why do the Hells Angels wear leather?” he replied “Because chiffon wrinkles too easily.”
Lynde’s queer game-show legacy was upheld when Squares was rebooted by Jim J Bullock and Bruce Vilanch.
A Scrabble contestant flirts shamelessly with Chuck Woolery
After Woolery apologized for calling contestant Terry Ray’s name at the wrong time, Ray contestant replied, “Sometimes, Chuck, I call your name out, too—so it evens out. But you don’t give me the answer when I call!”
Ray went on to become a film and television producer, who wrote the 2002 short film Gaydar and the here! TV sitcom From Here on OUT.
Peter Paige’s tragedy (and triumph) on Pyramid
The Queer as Folk star appeared on the revived Pyramid, when Donny Osmond was host. It started out as sheer torture—with Paige stuck with a partner who knew NOTHING about Cher’s song catalog.
But he rebounded in the next round with a partner who successfully guessed the name of “the ugly sandals that lesbians wear.” (That’s Birkenstocks, not Crocs, FYI.)
A contestant totally queens out on The Price is Right
Drew Carey looked genuinely uncomfortable when Steven Raff raced the stage and hugged him, sobbing “Oh my God!” for a good three minutes. Of course he didn’t know Steven was going to ratchet the enthusiasm even higher when he got to spin the wheel.
Raff, who moved to L.A. just two days earlier, is now actually a game-show producer—you can follow him on Twitter at @gameshowboy.
A gay man tries to get a straight guy to climax on Japanese TVOrgasm Wars
On Orgasm Wars, gay men race against the clock to see who can bring a heterosexual to ecstasy first using only their mouths. (God bless Japanese game shows, #amiright?)
It’s essentially a 40-minute blow job contest with an oddly formal format, including bows, business cards and some courteous “trash talk.”
In the show’s most famous moment, bar owner Takuya, whose “conquests” number in the thousands, is certain he can make hetero porn star Ryou Sawai see stars, even with Sawai actively trying to stay… unenthusiastic.
Watch the NSFW-ish clip here
A contestant comes out on The Family Feud
On an 1970s episode of Australian Family Feud, host Tony Barber meant to ask a young man if he had a girlfriend, but it came out “boyfriend.” But when he asked the right question—”do you have a girlfriend?”—the contestant replied “No, I’m gay.”
Good for you, fella!
Of course, that moment narrowly beat out this Family Feud moment.
The Game Show Network airs an all-gay version of I’ve Got A Secret
Frank DeCaro, Suzanne Westenhoefer, Jermaine Taylor and Billy Bean acted as panelists who asked yes/no questions in order to discover a contestant’s secret. In the clip above, the surprise guest was none other than Martha Wash.
Louis Virtel snaps on Jeopardy!
Last May, the gay YouTuber channeled In Living Color’s “Men on Film” and gave a serious snap after successfully answering a question about Arthur Miller’s The Crucible.
The clip went viral, eventually landing in the hands of House Republicans, who used it to promote their Snapchat coverage of Obama’s State of the Union address.
Virtel was understandably incensed that the Evil Empire had co-opted his moment. “Hey, GOP! Your candidates are horrifying garbage who’ve done nothing for LGBT rights,” he tweeted. The reason people liked my snap was because it defied regressive, homophobic, scary-ass losers like you.”
Liberace appears on What’s My Line?
Even Elizabeth Taylor didn’t generate as much of a hubbub on Line as the flamboyant pianist did. After the roar of applause from the audience subsided, a blindfolded Paul Anka said to Liberace, “I gather you are female?”
Oh, Paul, if you only knew.
A straight couple introduces America to butt sex
In a legendary episode of 1970s The Newlywed Game, Bob Eubanks asked a new wife “Where is the weirdest place you’ve had the urge to make whoopie?”
Barely missing a beat, this classy lady declares “in the ass!” and heterosexual viewers were introduced to anal sex a generation before Dan Savage.
In 2009, the show actually welcomed its first same-sex couple: Star Trek star George Takei and his husband, Brad Altman, who actually won the game. The following year, Cameron and Garrett Jackson becameThe Newlywed Game’s first non-celebrity gay couple. (They won, too!)
Drag Race is an answer on Jeopardy!Jeopardy!
On an episode in March 2015, “RuPaul’s Drag Race” was the answer to a $200 question in the category “TV Abbreviations.”
Astonishingly, none of the contestants got it right!
Jeopardy has made a few nods to gay culture in recent years, including this shady clue from 2014: “One term for talking trash about someone is ’throwing’ this, like a big elm tree might do.”
Last January, the show asked, “Some opponents of same-sex marriage say, ’hey, gay folks, how about these? Wouldn’t these be good enough?'”
The $800 answer, was, of course, “civil unions.” (And, no, they would not.)
And though not official, the Gay Jeopardy! twitter feed is always good for a laugh.
Louis Virtel contributed to this feature
Watch Gay for Play, starting June 29, at 9/8c on Logo.