Alec Baldwin has a new game show gig in the works. The former 30 Rock star will be the new host and executive producer of a revamped version of the ’70s game show Match Game, according to Vulture.
Baldwin will team up with ABC for 10 one-hour episodes of Match Game 2016, which will be part of a primetime summertime game show block on the network. ABC’s “Sunday Fun & Games” kicks off June 26, and in addition to Alec Baldwin’s show, the network will bring back Celebrity Family Feud and The $100,000 Pyramid, hosted by Steve Harvey and Michael Strahan, respectively.
Alec Baldwin seems like an unlikely host for the iconic game show, which was most famously hosted by Gene Rayburn from 1962 to 1982. But Baldwin is doing it for a good cause. Alec announced that he will donate his appearance fee to arts-related organizations through the Hilaria and Alec Baldwin Foundation.
In its heyday, the celebrity-filled Match Game panel included regulars like Charles Nelson Reilly, Brett Somers, Fannie Flagg, and Richard Dawson, who all answered fill-in-the-blank questions and dished double entendres that were considered way risqué back in the day. Many of the questions featured regular “characters” like “Dumb Dora” and “Dumb Donald.” The show was such a success on daytime TV that a weekly syndicated primetime version, Match Game PM, aired in the late 1970s. Indeed, Alec Baldwin has some big shoes to fill.
There is no word yet on who will be cast for the new version of the celebrity panel, but Alec Baldwin’s incarnation of Match Game will tape in New York City, where he lives. The 2016 reboot also marks the show’s first return to the Big Apple, where it was originally taped, since the 1960s.
While this will be Alec Baldwin’s first attempt at hosting a game show, the actor did host his own MSNBC talk show, Up Late with Alec Baldwin, in 2013. In addition, Baldwin has hosted Saturday Night Live a record 16 times since 1990, more than any other celebrity, according to Entertainment Weekly.
While it remains to be seen if Baldwin can match Gene Rayburn in the hosting department, he does have a funny Match Game connection on his resume. In 2000, Alec played longtime Match Game panelist Charles Nelson Reilly in a hilarious Saturday Night Live spoof of Inside the Actors Studio.
News of Alec Baldwin’s Match Game revival comes as his ex-wife Kim Basinger digs up a story from the couple’s past. In an interview with Net-a-Porter’s The Edit, Basinger said she regrets one of her film choices because it led her to Baldwin, with whom she ultimately had a tumultuous relationship with.
“There were times I could have chosen [my movies] better,” Basinger said. “I did this film, The Marrying Man, where I met my eventual [now-ex] husband, Alec Baldwin, but I was teeter-tottering because I had also been offered Sleeping with the Enemy. Isn’t it funny that I turned down Sleeping with the Enemy and then I went on to sleep with the enemy!”
Baldwin and Basinger were married from 1993 to 2002 and they went through a very public and very nasty divorce and custody battle over their daughter, Ireland, but all seems fine now.
“[Alec and I are] cool now, though,” Kim said. “Life goes on.”
Alec Baldwin’s revival of Match Game premieres June 26 on ABC. Take a look at the video below for a classic clip from the ’70s version, which features a then-unknown Kirstie Alley as a contestant.
[Photo by Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images]