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Remembering a Favorite… - March 14

I would be absolutely remiss if I didn’t spend this column remembering someone who, for many in my generation, is someone we know – if not by name, then by what he did.

He was the host of “Press Your Luck.” He is Peter Tomarken. And he was killed Monday morning in a plane crash off the coast of Santa Monica, California.

Why do I need to talk about him in this column? Because we come from the same hometown. It’s a small town in the northeast where a lot of families laid roots and never left. As far as I can tell, over time the Tomarken family did leave…and Peter David Tomarken became famous because of it.

Beyond sharing a hometown, I won’t claim that I know anything first-hand about Mr. Tomarken. But let me share some things I have learned over the years through various biographies. Peter’s career was in advertising before game shows…but went on to host five game show series, including most recently “Paranoia” on the FOX Family Channel. His most recent game show appearance was as part of the “Big Bucks” special on GSN, and part of an episode of “Whammy!” on GSN.

Two links on Wikipedia are chilling regarding the plane crash. One shows the plane’s path…the other the plane’s altitude. If for some reason, you want to see them, click on this link:

My thoughts and prayers are with Tomarken’s son and twin daughters, the entire family, and those in my hometown who remember the family.

As I write this on Monday night, it just seems inappropriate to do the other regular features of this column (“Idol Thoughts” and “Game Show Alphabet”). So we’ll bring them back next week.

Don’t forget to go to this web address to see my American Idol Scorecard: (NEW ADDRESS!!)

Jason Elliott will press his luck one more time for old time's sake. E-mail him at


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