I'll explain the headline later, but Professor Steve Beverly reports that longtime game show announcer Gene Wood has died of cancer at the age of 78.
He is perhaps best remembered for his years announcing "Family Feud" (1976-1994) as hosted by both Richard Dawson and the late Ray Combs. He has a raft of other credits in the game show field, everything from "The Price Is Right" (where he filled in for Johnny Olson after his death) to a succession of shows with Bert Convy, including "Super Password" and "Win, Lose Or Draw", where Gene once introduced a week's worth of shows from Hawaii with the slightly mispronounced "Alo-HUH!" Bert and Gene had a great working relationship that spilled over onto the screen.
Gene was also a clever, creative man. He wrote the script for the compilation feature "The World Of Abbott And Costello" and worked with Captain Kangaroo on scripts for that show's animated "Lariat Sam" segment, produced by Terrytoons. At breaks in taping of game shows, he'd pick kids out of the audience and rehearse them in re-enactments of old movies or corny melodramas, just for fun.
Gene's mischeviousness could also spill out on camera: when celebrating a milestone performance for host Jim Perry on the old NBC "Card Sharks", Gene came out on stage before Jim and produced a case of fine wine for him. The gag was for Gene to give away the bottles to those who he thought deserved to share in the success of the show, everyone from producers to hangers-on, until Wood was left with just an empty crate to give to Perry as he entered.
Gene Wood even graced this blog once:
That's Gene with Richard Dawson, holding up the official flag of Monmouth County, New Jersey, which served as the home base for all of the Mackey Brothers at various times (in fact, Robair still lives there).
Gene's last work as announcer was as a fill-in post VO on "The Price is Right" in 1998, during a Rod Roddy illness.
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