Still, she helped to bust stereotypes about female hosts on both sides of the pond.Jim Lange, the first host of the popular game show "The Dating Game," has died at his home in Mill Valley, Calif. He died Tuesday morning after suffering a heart attack, his wife Nancy told The Associated Press Wednesday.The show’s format: a young man or woman questions three members of the opposite sex, hidden from her view, to determine which one would be the best date. ” a teenage Michael Jackson asked one of his potential dates on a 1972 episode of the show. “We’d go out to dinner, and then I’d go over to your house.” Lange was born on Aug. Paul, Minn., where as a young man he discovered a passion for local radio.
"They wanted the boy to do sports and the girl to do the dances and stuff that was going on in the Twin Cities -- very sexist -- and play music once a week." He hosted that show for two years before attending the University of Minnesota and doing a three-year stint in the Marines, according to the Bay Area Radio Museum.
His big break on network TV came in 1962 when he was made an announcer and sidekick on "The Tennessee Ernie Ford Show." Later, after "The Dating Game" brought him national recognition, he also hosted the game shows "Hollywood Connection," "$100,000 Name That Tune" and "The New Newlywed Game." Lang also worked as a disc jockey for decades in Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area, and upon his retirement from broadcasting in 2005, he was the morning DJ for KABL-FM, which specializes in playing classics from the Big Band era to the 1970s.
When you think about all of the game show hosts out there, past and present, not a lot of women come to mind.
For some reason, networks seem to prefer male hosts for their game shows.
Meredith Vieira stepped in to fill those rather large shoes, and proved without a doubt that women can successfully host serious quiz shows.