Love Experts, The

Another in the endless series of game shows hosted by Bill Cullen, The Love Experts was an awkward attempt to combine a game show with a talk/advice show. In each episode, three contestants would appear — one after the other — to talk about their romantic problems and to seek advice from that day’s panel of four celebrities. The expertise was a little dicey. Even assuming you’d want to talk about your love life on national TV, would you want counsel from Joanne Worley? Soupy Sales? Elaine Joyce? Nipsey Russell? Peter Lawford? At least some of those people should have been seeking advice instead of giving it.

As you can see from the above ticket, even David Letterman was one of the alleged experts. This was from a brief period when Mr. Letterman was making the rounds of game shows, usually acting like he didn’t want to be there, wherever he was. I suspect his advice to the lovelorn, even if he didn’t express it on the air, was to not seek advice from people like himself.

Producer Bob Stewart had previously taped and been unable to sell a pilot of this show hosted by Jack Cassidy…and hey, there’s a guy who didn’t have a single problem in his love life. When Cullen was brought in, he was doing double-shifts, simultaneously hosting The $25,000 Pyramid, also produced by Stewart. Bill did his best to keep the proceedings moving, and the show actually lasted a whole year in syndication (September of ’78 through September of ’79) though it didn’t air in many of the major markets. The “game” part came at the end when the celebs would vote to award a big prize to the person who had the most interesting story, which generally meant the most pathetic one. My main recollection of the program is that the romantic problems that the contestants offered up sounded phony and contrived. If they weren’t fabricated by the show’s producers, they were probably phonied up by the contestants hoping to win the big prize.