Tom Bergeron recently shared a retro photo from his days as host of the television game show Hollywood Squares to Instagram. In the post, he honored his long friendship with Ellen DeGeneres, just days after she won an honorary Golden Globe award for her contributions to the world of comedy.
Tom — who currently hosts ABC’s Dancing with the Stars and just recently wrapped his 28th season of hosting the reality dance competition series — has had a long career in television hosting. Before joining as co-host of Dancing with the Stars, he hosted Hollywood Squares — a version of tic tac toe where contestants score cash prizes by agreeing or disagreeing with the answer given by celebrities who were positioned on the game board. The contestants’ goal was to try to win tic tac toe by getting three Xs or Os in a row.
According to the caption accompanying Tom’s throwback, watching The 77th Annual Golden Globes Awards brought back fond memories of the game show for him, particularly when the awards show focused on Henry Winkler and on Ellen’s speech. Both Henry and Ellen appeared as celebrity panelists on Hollywood Squares when Tom hosted the show.
He helmed the series from 1998-2004 for over 1,000 episodes, as written in his IMDb profile. Ellen appeared as the center square on the show from 2002-2003, for a total of 40 episodes.
Arsenio Hall, Roma Downey, Martin Mull, Carol Channing, and Doris Roberts were all also visible in the retro shot Tom posted to Instagram, with the host sitting next to Ellen in the center. He looks almost exactly the same, although his hair has gone a bit more gray nowadays.
Fans were thrilled with the throwback pic and took to the comments section to discuss the amazing amount of talent in the image.
“I love Carol Channing and Doris Roberts. We were blessed with their wonderful talent,” one fan wrote of the two well-known television and stage actresses.
“One of the great things about getting old is the pleasure of a picture like that and a lovely memory. Love you Tom,” commented a second follower.
“I loved Hollywood Squares!!! I wish you’d bring it back!! Such a fun show,” a third fan requested.
Hollywood Squares was a staple of nighttime game show television. It began its initial run in 1966 on NBC, where nine celebrities all had a chance to sit together to try and work as a group to generate winnings for contestants.
The show’s original host was Peter Marshall. He was followed by Jon “Bowzer” Bauman from the singing group Sha Na Na, then actor John Davidson. Tom then took over as host until the show went off the air in 2004.