Carnie Wilson hosts new ‘Newlywed Game’

By Rick Bentley

Newlyweds, we asked one new game show host the following question: How old were you when you got your first kiss?

What do you think Carnie Wilson, the host of the new version of “The Newlywed Game,” would say?

If you guessed 5 years old, then give yourself points.

Wilson, 40, says that early kiss, coupled with being the daughter of Beach Boy Brian Wilson, gave her a worldliness early in life. So when she watched the original version of “The Newlywed Game,” hosted by Bob Eubanks, there was little that got past her.

“I knew what ‘whoopee’ meant. I understood when the wives got giddy or embarrassed. I loved it when the couples would get the right answer and kiss,” Wilson says in a telephone interview just before the launch of her new Game Show Network program.

The game show debuted April 6 and airs weekdays at 6 p.m. on the cable channel.

This version of “The Newlywed Game” is not that different from the original. Each half of a married couple is asked a series of questions that often can be a little risqu . If the other half of the couple can answer the questions the same way, they win points. The couple with the most points wins the game.

Wilson will be quizzing the couples. She was able to do this for the first batch of shows while 51‚Ñ2 months pregnant with her second child and battling a sinus infection. It was a marathon task: The first 40 shows were filmed over an 11-day period.

This is the first game-show hosting duty for Wilson. She made the adjustment by calling on everything she has learned while performing in front of huge crowds as part of Wilson Phillips, as the host of her own daytime talk show and as a participant in a few television shows and reality programs.

It didn’t hurt she came to the new job as a longtime fan of the genre.

“If I could be on any game show, it would be ‘The Price Is Right.’ Or ‘Family Feud.’ I love ‘The Pyramid,’” Wilson says enthusiastically, as if she is trying to get picked as a contestant.

She brags that if she and husband Rob Bonfiglio were to be on “The Newlywed Game” today, they would “kick butt.” (Sure they would — they have been married for nine years.)

But Wilson says she could never see her husband agreeing to be put in such a revealing situation.

“He would just be mortified. He is so shy. I am just the opposite,” Wilson says.

The original “Newlywed Game” often featured verbal sparring matches by newlyweds who were not quite in synch. Wilson says the new version, just like the old, is designed to be “good-natured fun” and not the cause of marital problems. That’s why she agreed to host the show. But she promises there also will be some shocking moments.

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