Malcolm Bondon has had one of the most fun years imaginable since he won last year's TV Land Ultimate Fan Search game show to earn the title of "TV's Ultimate Fan."
In fact, before he passes the baton to Lonesome Paul Goebel in November, Bondon will air a two-episode segment of the rarely-seen since originally-aired M Squad, Lee Marvin's classic police series which serves as much of the fodder for the Leslie Nielsen Police Squad movies .
Bondon also served as head judge for the three-week 2000 Ultimate Fan Search tournament. However, his game show days are not over. In part two of an interview with Game Show Convention Center, Malcolm discusses his upcoming appearance as the central character on the new To Tell the Truth and offers advice to future challengers on Ultimate Fan Search.
GSCC: You talked about your favorite shows and a few surprises in the TV Land library in choosing episodes for your Friday afternoon hour.
MB: There were several of them. When I was given the list of shows available in TV Land's library, there were a few omissions in regards to start/expiration dates of certain shows. Most shows in the binder had their own individual pages. At the bottom of most of these pages, there would be a notice specifying that the show could not be picked before/after a certain date. Usually if there was no notice on the page, that meant I was free to choose it throughout my reign. This wasn't always the case. As a result, I missed out on some shows. These include: Roll Out, Movin' On, The Five Mrs. Buchanans, The Reporter, Slattery's People, and Here We Go Again. Some of the shows I would have done, but TV Land didn't have, were: The Mothers In Law, South Central, Eerie Indiana, The Richard Pryor Show, and Burns & Allen.
GSCC: Since you were the first champ and this game looks as if it may be setting in for a long run, even if it's just an annual event show, what would you advise a potential contestant to do in preparation?
MB: I would tell them TV knowledge isn't the only thing a contestant requires. Producers also look for people with outgoing, fun personalities. I would also tell them to avoid the temptation of boning up on shows they don't know that well. I feel
by cramming, you just fill your head up with info that might not even be a part of the game.
Speed is the most important skill after knowledge. Also, if they are using the plunger-style buzzer, it helps to
"hover." That means keeping your hands right on the buzzer instead of next to it.
GSCC: What led to your being selected for To Tell the Truth?
MB: One of the producers of TTTT saw me when I appeared on Fox News Channel's Fox & Friends last October with Melissa Gilbert.
GSCC: Tell us about the segment itself. A lot of viewers who fondly remember the past versions of To Tell the Truth are very curious about how true it will be to the original.
MB: Taping my segment was an awesome experience for me! The celebrity panelists for my show were Meshach Taylor, Cathy Ladman, Dave Coulier, and Hunter Tylo. John O'Hurley (J. Peterman of Seinfeld) is the host. I think
the producers have done a good job of finding interesting people from all over to appear on the show. Some of the ones who taped their segments the same day as me included: a woman whose horse lives in
her house, a man who started a "handyman for hire business," and a woman who runs an online lingerie business for plus-sized women. I won't give anything away but viewers are in for a surprise when they see my segment!
GSCC: We've heard mixed views on this from this year's contestants but what's your take on whether Ultimate Fan Search should expand to a weekly show on, say, Sunday nights as fresh programming for the weekends.
MB: I would love to see it turn into a weekly show. I think it would prove to be very successful. There is neither a shortage of TV trivia or TV buffs ready to test their knowledge.
GSCC: That includes me. You've given me the motivation, Malcolm. Along the line of game shows, I have to ask a question I've posed to many people in recent weeks: what's your take on the new "game operas," as we refer to them, Survivor and Big Brother?
MB: I prefer the traditional game shows myself. I tuned into Survivor a couple of times. Neither time did I watch the entire show. I just wanted to see who was being voted off that week. I also watched BB just to see who was the first person banished from the house. No matter what
you thought of him, I felt Will/Mega (William Collins) was the most interesting person in the house. I doubt if any of the onslaught of reality-based game shows will stick around for long. Networks mistakenly think just because one show becomes a hit, we want to
see five others just like it.
GSCC: So now that you've passed on the title to Lonesome Paul Goebel and have only until the end of October as host of the Ultimate Fan Hour, what's ahead for Malcolm Bondon?
MB: I plan on trying my luck doing commercials, voiceovers, CD-ROMs, etc. Over the next couple of weeks I will start my search for a talent agent. I also hope to someday finish a book I have been writing. It will be a book of TV lists (TV shows that have been turned into board games, performers who sang the theme to their own series, actors who played Elvis on TV, etc.).
GSCC: And I'll be the first in line to buy it. Thanks a lot and much good luck, Malcolm.
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