Art James: 1929-2004

If you’re younger that me, you probably only knew him as that guy who hosted Truth Or Date in the movie Mallrats. If you’re as old or older than me, you knew him for much more — mainly his work in game shows.

Art James served as a host or announcer on shows fans are familiar with. He served as announcer on Tic Tac Dough, Concentration and even on ESPN’s NFL Trivia Game.

As a host, he emceed the memorable quizzer The Who, What Or Where Game (if you saw The Challengers with Dick Clark in the early ’90s, that show was based on “the 3 W’s”) and Say When!, all with a hilarious incident with that darn jar of Peter Pan peanut butter (the bottom of said jar fell out…much to Art’s dismay…oh, and it was all on live TV, too!).

Sadly for this great talent, he didn’t have many hits as a host. It wasn’t his fault. He was just assigned shows with weak formats. Blank Check comes to mind — reportedly he called it Blank Mind. Then there was Catch Phrase — which had an interesting puzzle concept but appeared to be too much ahead of its time. And then there was The Magnificent Marble Machine — a game show centered around a pinball machine. (If you’ve ever seen The China Syndrome and wondered what was that big pinball game, it was MMM.)

Art, thanks for the memories. You will be missed.

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