Richard Dawson reported dead
” Ben, don’t you understand? Americans love television. They wean their kids on it. Listen. They love game shows, they love wrestling, they love sports and violence. So what do we do? We give ’em *what they want*! We’re number one, Ben, that’s all that counts, believe me.”
–Damon Killian (Richard Dawson)
The Running Man
screenplay by Steven E. de Souza
based on The Running Man by Stephen King (writing as Richard Bachman)
Richard Dawson‘s brilliant turn as the ultimate game show host in The Running Man cemented the actor’s geek status.
Dawson’s long-running beloved gig as the host of The Family Feud informed the performance for the audience, but this was no mere self-mockery.
Of course, many of us also remember Richard Dawson as Newkirk on Hogan’s Heroes.
Dawson had this odd quality…cynical and fun at the same time. That was clear in his regular appearances on The Match Game: while his work could be described as mischievous, there was also always a sense of being judgmental. That worked, though: Richard Dawson wasn’t judging me as an individual, but had a meta sense of how ridiculous it all was.
Other geek roles include an episode of the original The Outer Limits, Fantasy Island, Mr. Terrific, and the feature Munster, Go Home.
Good-bye, Richard Dawson! The world is a little more oblivious (and not as much fun) without you.
This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the The Measured Circle blog.