Thursday, July 7, 2011

Phil Shepardson 1935 - 2011

If you're saying "Phil who?" you're probably not the only one. Even most hardcore game show fans are probably saying that. Still, he has died at age 76, and I feel like I ought to report on it.

From the show's premiere in 1961 to his departure in 1991, Phil was the host of As Schools Match Wits, a local high school quiz bowl show in Springfield, Massachusetts. Contrary to what some reports of his death are saying, he was not the show's creator - that was Leonard J. Collamore, who was also the question writer until his departure in 1983. From 1983 to 1991, however, Phil was indeed the host and question writer.

I don't claim to have grown up watching As Schools Match Wits - I'm from Boston, not Springfield. Still, there is something endearing about the whole local high school quiz bowl show thing. As Schools Match Wits continues to this day (the current host is Beth Ward), and has a competition each year against Boston's High School Quiz Show, a show I still feel terrible about what I said about it on this blog. Since I wrote that post, the show has found a new host in Billy Costa, who is a massive improvement over Dhaya Lakshminarayanan.

Moving to a very different sort of kids game show, some more information has come out about the upcoming kids version of Fort Boyard. The show will be on CITV in Britain and Disney XD in America, and the hosts will be Laura Hamilton and Geno Segers.

Next week - It's Worth What!


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