The Hosts of 'Hollywood Squares'

This Long-Running Game Show Is a TV Icon

"Hollywood Squares" is one of those iconic game shows that just about everyone has seen or at least knows about, and the host you remember depends on which generation you belong to. Whether you grew up watching the Peter Marshall version or have fond memories of Tom Bergeron helming this long-running game show, the format remained largely the same throughout the show's various runs.

While there have been some spin-offs such as "Hip Hop Squares" on MTV, this list focuses on the straight-up, original format and its various hosts. In reverse chronological order, here are the hosts of this iconic game show. 

Tom Bergeron

Tom Bergeron
Tom Bergeron. Getty Images Entertainment

Tom Bergeron is one of the best-known hosts working today. From "America's Funniest Videos" to "Dancing With the Stars," Bergeron is an excellent host who knows how to bring the funny.

He hosted "Hollywood Squares" from 1998 through 2004, and his version of the show was extremely popular. The center square was occupied by Whoopi Goldberg, and regular celebrities included Bruce Villanch, Gilbert Gottfried, Caroline Rhea, Jeffrey Tambor and Kathy Griffin. This version included numerous theme weeks, tournament and fun episodes.

John Davidson

Dubbed "The New Hollywood Squares," this version was hosted by John Davidson (who had appeared in an earlier version of the show as a celebrity guest).

This incarnation of the game ran from 1986 through 1989. Regular panelists included Joan Rivers, Shadoe Stevens, and Jim J. Bullock. Davidson used to sing many of the musical clues, and when the show was canceled, he and the celebrities sang a rousing rendition of "Happy Trails" to close out the final episode.

Jon Bauman

Jon Bauman, better known as Bowzer from the television series of the same name and 1950s-style rock band Sha-Na-Na, hosted the "Hollywood Squares" half of the "Match Game/Hollywood Squares Hour," which aired for one season in 1983-84.

"The Match Game" half of the show was hosted by Gene Rayburn (of course), and the two would act as celebrity panelists on the other's show. Bauman was a fun game show host, and this combination proved popular with fans -- even if the ratings didn't support keeping it going.

Peter Marshall

Peter Marshall is to ​"Hollywood Squares" what Richard Dawson is to ​"Family Feud" or Bob Barker to "The Price Is Right." That is to say, the show moves on with other hosts, but the original remains the defining personality and the one most identified with the game.

While Bert Parks and Sandy Baron both filmed pilots of ​"Hollywood Squares," it was Marshall who actually ended up hosting when the show debuted in 1966. He immediately made it his own, and audiences loved his banter with contestants and celebrities.

The celebrities who appeared on the show were a widely varied group; it included stars like Rich Little, Rose Marie, Florence Henderson, Buddy Hackett, Vincent Price, Charo, Sandy Duncan and Jonathan Winters.

The original version of the show ran on daytime NBC until 1980, when it went into syndication (still hosted by Marshall) for one more season. In 1981, "Hollywood Squares" went off the air for the first time.

Always Ready for a Remake

Hollywood Squares is one of those shows that seems to pop up as a suggestion for a remake every now and then. Even with different themed versions, the original format is one that almost everyone is familiar with, and could make a real comeback with the right host and cast of celebrities. While other shows get made over and brought back, a revamp of the original HS format would always be welcome.