A Canadian game show called Just Like Mom aired from 1980-1985. Fergie Olver [whose name I kept misspelling, which is now fixed] and his wife Catherine Swing co-hosted the show for 4 of those years. Mr. Olver seemed to have a little obsession with affection, and a viewer caught on to that trend and edited the video you’ll see below. This is what it can look like when an adult is showing inappropriate sexual attention to a child.

I’m neither a psychologist nor expert on these issues, but I’d like to share my interpretations and thoughts about what’s going on here:

The Mothers

Why don’t the mothers do anything about Olver’s behavior? They’re sitting right next to their daughters who are being pressured into giving out kisses to a middle aged man. I think they hold back out of embarrassment or fear. If they say something, it’s on television in front of an audience that wants lighthearted entertainment. The producers and director would be angry for the disruption. They’d draw attention to themselves. Maybe it’s not a big deal, they might think. This is just funny and non-threatening.

  • Can someone who was the age of those children or older tell me what affection with strangers or family friends was like back then? Was it more socially acceptable?

The Audience

Is it nervous laughter we hear in the background, or is it truly amused chortles? It bothers me to hear little snippets of cheering when a girl finally gives in to the pressure.

The Host

Fergie Olver uses a light, playful tone of voice when talking to the girls. He showers them with compliments and asks about their personal life–even the dating practices of one girl. He uses his body to get very close, covering their personal space with his arm around the back of the chair and his head stooped low to make eye contact. He moves closer and tricks the girls into bringing their faces up before stealing a peck on the cheek or even the lips.

When a girl refuses or acts nervous, Olver either goes for the kiss anyway and ignores their feelings, or he tries to persuade them; he even tells Alison (0:46) with a whisper in her ear that if she gives him a kiss, she’ll win the show. When she refuses, he warns her of the consequences.  What do we call coersion of a sexual nature? That’s right kids: sexual harrassment.

What. A. Fucking. Skeezebag. I wonder what Olver’s wife thought of his sexual miscunduct on the show? What was he like in private when the cameras weren’t rolling?

The Kids

Who’s my favorite kid? Alison (0:46) who says clearly that she does not give out hugs and kisses freely and that no she will not give him one even when he asks repeatedly. Alison’s mom calls him a “dirty old man” after he tries to bribe Alison. That’s the one piece of honest observation we get to see in this video, and I don’t feel that anythiing is amusing or wrong about her saying what everyone should have been thinking.

The girls’ body language should say enough: We see two of the girls physically move away from Olver when he goes in for the kiss. They’re startled, frightened, and uncomfortable. That is called unwanted sexual touching.

How did this douchebag get away with such flagrant behavior? Have we simply grown more aware of the dangers of that sort of attention than we were back then? What do you think of these clips?

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53 thoughts on “Game Show Host Kisses Young Girls”

Veritas · April 15, 2010 at 10:02 pm

Well, it’s not appropriate, that’s for sure.

I think that a lot of people expect there to be a certain level of a congeniality when you deal with a game show and the like. There was one of the hosts of Family Feud who was much the same as this, except the girls were obviously older. And there’s nothing wrong with sharing a hug and a kiss on television when you have permission to do so.

Therein lies the rub. Nobody came to these girls beforehand and said, “Hey, girls, the audience likes to see X. Are you comfortable with this?” Obviously the guy just assumes the girls will be comfortable with his invasive creepiness, and he resorted so quickly to bribery in order to get that kiss he wanted. It’s scary and sick. I’m glad his show was cancelled a long time ago, and I wonder if this sort of behaviour would be tolerated today.
.-= Veritas’s last blog ..Collectivization of culture in the West =-.

    Godless Girl · April 15, 2010 at 10:14 pm

    Oh yeah, that host Richard Dawson. Always smooching the hotties on Family Feud! If they were asked permission ahead of time, as adults, that’s fine with me.

Amber, theAmberShow · April 15, 2010 at 10:04 pm

Do you know how DEAD someone would be if they did this to my daughter? Dead. There’s no amount of fame or money that makes this worth putting up with.

    Godless Girl · April 15, 2010 at 10:35 pm

    You know, if I were in that same situation, I probably wouldn’t have done anything either… like the mothers who just sat there watching.
    1) It was expected or accepted on the show.
    2) I’d be caught off guard enough to not know what to say or do. By the time I thought of something, it’d be over.
    3) I am ‘programmed’ to stay quiet and avoid conflict and embarrassment and i can’t act against those instincts without more thought and time.

    But that’s me. Of course I think that it’s wrong and gross, but I would probably be doing the same as those other moms.

      mohagany · April 17, 2010 at 3:43 pm

      then bitch you stupid thats your daughter and she obviously feels uncomfortable fuck embarrassment he woulda been a fucked up man….well maybe thats me…your supposed to protect your child at all costs…you clearly dnt need any children if you would let this shit fly…what else would you le fly!! SMH

        anonymous · April 17, 2010 at 7:52 pm

        Maybe you’re more spontaneous than the OP would be by nature, and that’s fine. But such a mother would not be a bad one by any means not reacting that way.

        What you’re saying is your way of reacting is the better, without accounting for individual differences. That doesn’t give any weight to your arguments, not counting the blatant defamations that you are making.

        Talk about right and wrong… :S

          Violet · October 15, 2010 at 3:28 am

          How can the mothers be “caught off guard”? Don’t you think they would watch a show they were going to BE on before they actually sign up for it? Duh.

        Realist · January 17, 2012 at 6:05 pm

        Certain truths do serve as constants in social conduct. As I collected from the woman above’s statement, it would not surprise me if many other mothers underreacted given the situation. Moreover, you are dumb. You have an evident disregard for other people’s utterances and you conduct yourself like a complete twit.

      Kellie · January 9, 2016 at 9:02 pm

      Maybe you should make a plan now when you see injustices happening. It is NOT enough to just sit there and say that you aren’t quick witted enough to react.

      Scour your mind now, and institute a plan where you can stand up to people who are taking advantage of others.

      Practice a scenario and figure something out. ..because if you would have just dat there, you might as well give your child to a molester.

      You basically said that you would let this fool kiss your child, knowing it was wrong and uncomfortable, you also agreed that you would go along with it because it was acceptable and blamed it on being “programmed” to keep quiet.

      You are just as guilty.

Good Reason News · April 15, 2010 at 10:08 pm

To be fair, and I know this is kind of a stretch, but it could be the case that this show, which looks like it started airing a few years after Family Feud became a U.S. success, may be modeling itself after Richard Dawson’s calling card of kissing all the ladies. Maybe, in an experiment gone horribly wrong, some wackadoo Canadian television executive thought that that was one of the key’s to Dawson’s success with Feud so he forced his host to kiss contestants and (maybe in an attempt to up the cuteness ante) asked him to kiss little girls. Maybe this host tossed and turned at night about how stupid and invasive what he was being forced to do was. Maybe he got in trouble with some maniacal executive if he didn’t get that kiss, so he’d push really hard for it. Just saying, I hate to call someone a perv without real evidence. Especially when only a real delusional egomaniac would try to get away with that sort of thing on television. They usually creep to deep dark corners like roaches or priests (excuse me for repeating myself).
.-= Good Reason News’s last blog ..loohoo:stonerparty:kevin smith it is, I promise.Oh, man,… =-.

    Godless Girl · April 15, 2010 at 10:19 pm

    Okay, I’ll grant the possibilities that may have made this man a fine person who was misguided or told to do something that failed or whatever the case may have been.

    Even if it was a failed experiment or an order from an executive, this is pervy behavior and absolutely inappropriate. Whoever thought up the idea is gross and didn’t care what invasive physical affection would do to a child.

    mohagany · April 17, 2010 at 3:47 pm

    ok even if that was the case….if you look at him…he clearly looks like hes enjoying kissing the little girls…nd even when the mother kissed him he looked like ewwww why the hell did she just kiss me…nd then hes pretty old im sure he has daughters at home nd wuldnt want a man kissing her…..maybe he does it to them who knows…but anyways if he felt it wasnt right then he could have simply left the show!! thats really disturbing VERY actually!! this man gets no excuses!!

Hmmmm · April 15, 2010 at 10:33 pm

I think it’s very interesting that in the current little hullaballoo about this, everybody – and I mean everybody – IMMEDIATELY jumps to the “perv” angle.
Is asking what exactly this says about your mindset an inappropriate question?

It would also be really cool if you could manage to spell the guy’s name correctly.

    Godless Girl · April 16, 2010 at 1:31 am

    Doh! I didn’t even notice the missing “i”. Thanks for letting me know.

    I don’t know how to answer your comment about my “mindset”. What would you like, a personal history to illustrate why I find touching like this inappropriate? An ashamed admission that I’m a sex fiend so my thoughts on the behaviors shown in this video are really my overactive imagination? I’m really not sure what you’re aiming for.

Stephen Moore · April 16, 2010 at 1:10 am

Good Reason News:

I hate to call someone a perv without real evidence. Especially when only a real delusional egomaniac would try to get away with that sort of thing on television. They usually creep to deep dark corners like roaches or priests (excuse me for repeating myself).

I agree that jumping to the conclusion that Oliver is a perv without convincing and conclusive evidence is inappropriate. However, the claim that they, by whom I presume you mean people who sexually assault children, usually creep to deep dark corners is a stereotype that causes a great deal of harm. That harm is the belief that this type of behaviour (sexual predation) only occurs in a certain context. It doesn’t. People that commit such assaults will use whatever situation they find themselves in to their advantage.

Take the incidents in the above video, for example. Because it is so hard to believe that someone would be so brazen Oliver could be using that disbelief as his cover for the harassment and assaults. It must be innocent and meant only in good fun, the viewer thinks, precisely because it is not the dirty old man scurrying in the dark corners luring children: it’s right out there in the open for all to see.
.-= Stephen Moore’s last blog ..Critiquing the RCC is reminiscent of Anti-Semitism? =-.

Hmmmm · April 16, 2010 at 8:49 am

@8 – I’m not “aiming” for anything. I’m merely pointing out that this is another example of the general public – not just you, you’re one of many out there piling on this guy at the moment – being utterly fixated on things that are just so horrible and vile that….that…. – why, they’re just SO horrible and vile that they. Just. Can’t. Stop. Talking. Or. Thinking. About. It.

Look at the comment above this one. He doesn’t seem to be down with the fact that this guy is being called something without evidence. However, he then goes on to explain why he might very well be what he’s being accused of anyway.

Let me make this clear : Am I saying this guy does not appear to be slightly questionable and creepy? Absolutely not. He definitely does. However, anybody that thinks that everybody immediately getting their panties into a royal wad over it – by extension extolling how absolutely non-creepy they are – is, if anything, even more disturbing that whatever you think you might be seeing with this guy.

    Stephen Moore · April 17, 2010 at 9:54 pm

    You’ve misread my comment, Hmmmm.

    First, I agreed with you that accusing someone without evidence, or based on flimsy evidence, is inappropriate. So yes, I am down with the fact that this guy is being called something without evidence.

    Second, you have missed the intent of the ‘expanation’. It is a hypothetical, using the video that is the topic of this conversation as the basis of the hypothetical. The purpose of the hypothetical is to refute your claim of how the perv operates; you made a claim, I countered it. I’m not saying Olver is a sexual predator.

Hmmmm · April 16, 2010 at 8:52 am

Sorry – changed gears in that sentence – delete the phrase “anybody that thinks that” and that will make a little more sense.

Roof Woofer · April 16, 2010 at 2:49 pm

Yeah, “perv” might be a little strong, but “jerk” probably fits just fine.

I think the video’s a good example, GG, of stuff that we’re more aware of now. In those days, it would have been unthinkable to most people that an adult might be sexually interested in young girls, so lots of stuff stayed out-of-sight/out-of-mind. It’s better now that kids are better protected — it’s too bad that general suspiciousness has to be the way the protection has to happen. /throws up hands
.-= Roof Woofer’s last blog ..RoofWoofer: ROFL at this example of what can happen when science meets human beings. http://wondermark.com/614/ Another hope dashed. =-.

okfine · April 17, 2010 at 3:17 pm

Um yeah. wow. That behavior was clearly inappropriate, intimidating, and coercive. Your analysis was right on target, Godless. A feminist analysis of the cultural conditions conductive to this type of abuse would be interesting.

I don’t know where the hell you commentors are coming from on this. hmmm, pointing out ridiculously clear harrassment of young girls does not make one dirty-minded, or whatever dumb bs you are insinuating there. No convincing or conclusive evidence? Watch the fing video! Stealing kisses from strange little kids, what we watched him doing, is wrong, and yes, perverted (PERIOD).

Roofwoofer said, “In those days, it would have been unthinkable to most people that an adult might be sexually interested in young girls”. It was the mid 80s dude. Get a grip. The accepted age for sexual activity has generally gone UP throughout history. Half of the fing backwards world still marries (or sells) girls as young teens. There has been no major game change between 85 and today. Wasn’t the mid-80s right about the time the pope was covering for molestor priests?

mohagany · April 17, 2010 at 3:52 pm

fuck ALL these comments….hes a fuckin perv nd the mothers are dumbass bitches!! really because these little girls are clearly uncomfortable and even when they dont want to kiss him he still trys….now if that aint some creepy pervish shit!! you ppl need to wake the fuck up…would you allow a man to do this type of thing to your daughters?!? i think not….or maybe you guys would its saddening because your supposed to protect your kids and if you dont who will?!? SMFH!!!

    anonymous · April 17, 2010 at 7:55 pm

    Sorry people, our “idiot net” is malfunctioning at the moment.

      The Pear of Anguish · April 17, 2010 at 8:09 pm

      I thought the proper term for “idiot net” was “internet”.

The Pear of Anguish · April 17, 2010 at 8:07 pm

This man reeks of creep. Whether he’s a paedophile or not is unknown, but I don’t like his body language. It just brings out defensive instincts. I’m kind of paranoid, though, so I don’t entirely trust my evaluation of the situation.

Don’t you hate it when you’re reading a good line of comments, and unreadable garble springs up? Just sayin’.

    ZenMonkey · April 18, 2010 at 5:05 am

    This, exactly. I can’t tell from this 3-minute clip what to label the guy, but I felt very physically uncomfortable watching him with those girls. Diving for the lips each time like that…ugh. The girls mostly look like deer in the headlights; it’s hard not to empathize with them.

    I agree with those saying that we don’t know what went on behind the scenes, but it sure comes off squicky.
    .-= ZenMonkey’s last blog ..Weekend sendoff: Spring break =-.

Matt · April 17, 2010 at 8:07 pm

“Alison’s mom calls him a “dirty old man” after he tries to bribe Alison”

It wasn’t Alison’s mom – it was the female co-host that called him that.

    Godless Girl · April 18, 2010 at 1:44 am

    Was it? I’ll have to re-watch that part again… his female co-host was his wife, btw.

    Violet · October 15, 2010 at 3:30 am

    How do you know for sure/ I’m not saying you’re wrong, I’m just curious.

Eric Haas · April 19, 2010 at 11:55 pm

Unfortunately, the video has been removed.
.-= Eric Haas’s last blog ..Eastern Bluebird =-.

Ketsy · April 21, 2010 at 11:50 am

I used to watch that when it was on TV when I was a kid (on Canadian TV), I did not see the creepy factor. There were boys on it too. Now in Retrospect…. EWWW and someone needs to check out that dude.
His wife was co-host.It was like the newlywed game but with kids and their moms. But yeah, in the 70s, it never looked that creepy. I remember as I kid I wanted to be on the show, because at the end, the kids had to cook something for the mothers to eat, then the mom had to figure out which gross thing she tasted was made by her kid. It was actually funny.
Something about the 70s, I don’t know, there was no internet, Porn was not as explicit even, and yes there were pedophiles of course but it was a more innocent era, and I think it was seen as funny to ask kids about “are you married” or ” do you have a boyfriend”. There was this whole show called “Kids say the darndest things” or something at the same time, later copied by Bill Cosby it was thought to be funny to treat kids like little adults in that way, this was before any kiddie pageant stuff you know? It was a different time. I do think this one guy is creepy and he makes me uncomfortable, and clearly he was out of line with the mouth kissing and the leaning in and the whispering and forced stuff. That should have been his clue to back the hell off. But I think the mom’s thought it was cute or funny, and they signed up for it, TV was a new fad, and being on it was a thrill for people. They didn’t think about it like it was real. They thought it was like acting.
I think it was part of his job really, to greet and chat up the kids, girls and boys, but obviously he didn’t kiss up the boys. He did ask them about dates and stuff too though. I just think that there are a lot of things in retrospect we will think “What the hell were we thinking?”.
Think of “John & Kate Plus 8”, those kids are going to be a mess, how about all these little Pageant girls with fake teeth and hair, that is going to scar them, I am certain. We just don’t see it till after, sometimes decades later.

aa · April 22, 2010 at 6:41 pm

thanks for sharing this video, the original video was removed from Youtube.

Very Creppy. Dirty old man …

Bob · April 26, 2010 at 12:11 am

To say this video is disturbing would be a gross understatement. I’ve seen a lot to freaky videos, but this takes the cake. Even 25-30 years ago, this would NOT be normal for someone to do that to a child on national television. Just look at the way he conducts himself. He’s obviously a letch who has an abnormal desire for little girls. Can it be any more obvious? Look at the way he talks to them, and how he gets aggressive when he’s denied a kiss. This would have raised eyebrows even back in the 1950’s!

Steven · April 26, 2010 at 12:23 am

This was all an act. He wasn’t a pedophile, even though you would get that impression by looking at the video. He has two daughters, and they were around the ages of the girls he had on the show. To this day, they defend him and say that he only acted that way on the show because it was a gimmick, and he wasn’t that way off set ever.

Eclectic Infidel · May 26, 2010 at 3:51 pm

I watched the vid. It does seem to be a gimmick, but the behavior is creepy and at the very least, this “gimmick” should have been disclosed to the parents of these young girls prior to signing on to the show.

If I had been a father, I would not have found that sort of behavior acceptable. It’s that classic attitude that men have a right to touch women when they feel like it. It’s fucked up and he deserves to be called out on it.
.-= Eclectic Infidel’s last blog ..Laura Bush Being Honest =-.

Car Games · June 24, 2010 at 1:20 am

Yeah, “perv” might be a little strong, but “jerk” probably fits just fine.

trlkly · August 19, 2010 at 12:13 am

I think it’s perfectly valid to call the guy a perv. We never know how the real person is–we’re always judging the character as presented onscreen. And the host character was definitely acting pervy–that’s why the kids instinctively avoided letting him do it. Had it really been just acceptable with the times, the kids would not have been so squicked out.

joe · August 21, 2010 at 8:56 pm

Where is this guy today? No matter, I’ll find him.

Greg · September 29, 2010 at 6:14 am

Well, Steven, if this was part of the gimmick of the show, why would someone call him a Dirty Old Man during the show, you’d think the contestants would be informed before hand. Also, to add on that, what if the mother truly didn’t say “Dirty Old Man”, and it indeed was his wife, the co-host? You’d think she’d be more understanding than anyone about this if this indeed was a gimmick the show made him do. But she doesn’t seem so…

In most cases, I believe the wife during this time would have a better sense of the truth than the children themselves, especially if they were the same age as these kids here.

Do you really think Johnny Carson would act like this if he were given this ‘gimmick’ to follow? Do you honestly think he would pursue a denied kiss just to ensure that he was ‘greeting and chatting’ with kids because that’s what the gimmick told? If he were given this gimmick of being friendly w/ kids, do you think it is acceptable and not fuckin weird that he interpreted this into finding a way to kiss girls, even when their body language and replies shouts of uncomfortable nervousness. That ALONE should be a sign that he is NOT doing his job right because it is going against the gimmick itself of being friendly with kids. Can we stop putting frosting on the cake when it is SO damn obvious? I’m sorry for the rudeness but some of the defenses are downright ridiculous. Until someone can show me the gimmick literally said “find ways to KISS girls and PURSUE it throughout the show”, then I will ASSUME he is the perv that he is portrayed to be in this video. Anything less is enough to make him out a perv, for going about it like that on NATIONAL television. Don’t people(ESPECIALLY HOSTS and NEWS ANCHORS) try to put their best faces on t.v.? I wonder how his face would be off television. I’m done.

    Greg · September 29, 2010 at 6:51 am

    To add onto this, as I felt my previous post jumped to conclusions without really backing up why I feel so confident about this.

    NOTHING in his body language suggests ANY regret of what he is doing, and I read from it ENJOYMENT and PERSISTENCE, and HONEST DISAPPOINTMENT when denied, that is what I read. If an exec did happen to give this the go as the game’s gimmick to compete with Dawson, then the man filling the role is doing a DAMN good job on this. But let’s be real… How far fetched does that sound? You’d think the wife would be a LITTLE bit more understanding if this was part of the job. You’d think she would give him more time to get that kiss rather than cutting him off and getting back to the game.

    I am ALL up for formal debates, but I really don’t think this deserves one. I think this draws the line as nothing reads fake and NO ONE is enjoying but himself. Not the crowd. Not the parents. Not the wife. AND CERTAINLY NOT THE KID.

OGRastamon · October 26, 2010 at 5:09 pm

Our response to this video is really 20/20 hindsight. Pre-pedo scare this would have just come off like an uncle stealing kisses from his shy nieces. Does he have an ulterior motive? Possibly, but it’s also possible that he’s just a product of a time when personal space wasn’t as valued and showing affection to children wasn’t as feared.

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