Bluffton Packet

Bob Eubanks to host game show at Sun City Hilton Head

We laughed when a newly married man had no clue on the date of his mother-in-law's birthday, when a bride didn't know what toppings her husband liked on his ice cream sundae, and -- most of all -- when blushing couples were asked about "makin' whoopee."

Today, more than 40 years after Bob Eubanks asked the first silly questions on "The Newlywed Game," the dynamic game show host still is entertaining us. But the contestants on his latest game show shed that "newlyweds" label ages ago.

Eubanks' latest endeavor, "The Not-So Newlywed Game," will come to Sun City Hilton Head for two shows on Sunday, and people outside the retirement community are invited to attend.

The shows will start with a talk by Eubanks, who began his career on the game show in 1966. A re-creation of the TV game show, using four local couples, will follow. Couples who are interested in participating in the shows can sign up early at Sun City, or volunteer at the beginning of the event. Eubanks will draw contestants' names, and gifts will be given to the participating couples, including a grand prize to the winning couples.

"The show is such a classic format," the 73-year-old Eubanks said by telephone, his familiar deep voice bringing back memories. "I have so much fun with it. It was the first reality program. . . 'The Newlywed Game' and 'The Dating Game.' "

Eubanks first took the game show on the road in the 1970s and played at about 300 shopping centers during a five-year span. About five years ago, he went back on tour and added a motivational talk to the show. Eubanks said he does about 40 shows a year, crisscrossing the country from his home in California.

His talk touches on relationships, the importance of first impressions, maintaining people skills and today's society in general.

"I use outtakes of 'The Newlywed Game.' It's a very funny deal," Eubanks said. "It works for everybody, it's amazing."

Eubanks is the host most associated with "The Newlywed Game," although there have been others, including comedian Paul Rodriguez, who hosted the show in the 1980s. Several "Newlywed" revivals and specials also were created over the years. Many included Eubanks, giving him the distinction of hosting the same series over more than four decades.

"I didn't think it would last 13 weeks. I'd never seen a game show before. I didn't know what I was doing," Eubanks said.

But it didn't take him long to catch on, as well as become associated with the phrase "makin' whoopee." Eubanks continues to stands by his principles that certain phrases are not appropriate for the kitchen table ... or the bedroom.

"I refused to use the term 'making love' because you'd have to explain it to your children." Eubanks said. "I don't think you should have to explain what 'making love' means. I just won't do it."