Bob Barker, Come on Down!Dresden Shumaker
This December, Bob Barker, legendary game show host of The Price Is Right, turns 90 years old. Yes, 90! CBS is dedicating an entire week (December 9 – December 13) to celebrate the former king of Showcase Showdowns. Every episode airing during the week will feature pet adoptions. (As we all know, at the end of every show Bob urged us to: “Help control the pet population. Have your pets spayed or neutered.”)
On an episode that will air on Bob’s actual birthday, he will surprise the audience with an appearance and, according to USA Today, present a showcase to a contestant.
Executive producer Mike Richards shared with TV Guide, “We’ve had Bob on just one other time since Drew Carey took over the show. It was when Bob’s book, Priceless Memories, came out and it was a priceless moment for fans. I was looking for the perfect reason to bring Bob back again, and this TV legend turning 90 is the perfect reason.”
When I was a kid I used to watch The Price is Right with my grandmother. We never watched an entire episode, so I didn’t even know that Showcase Showdowns existed for years. We only watched the show for the amount of time that it took us to snap green beans for supper. If we had a large bowl of beans, we watched more; smaller bowl and I was lucky if we made it to Plinko.
In the late ’80s Bob let his hair go white — rumor is he had to get studio approval to do so! Suddenly he had more of my grandmother’s respect. Not that she didn’t enjoy the show before he went silver, but I felt a shift. We went from merely watching the show to being fans of Bob.
Being a fan of The Price is Right served me well in college, since one of the first people I met — who would later become my son’s godfather — was an enormous fan of the game show. Liking the show was hip. Many college kids watched it and had favorite games. (I am, and always will be, a die-hard fan of the mountain climber game.)
When they started replacing Barker’s beauties with new models, things started to fade for me. When Bob retired from the show in 2007, I actually would have been fine if they retired the entire show. He WAS the show. I have seen several episodes with new host and comic Drew Carey, and while I think he is an outstanding performer, I have never really fallen for him as a host. It could just be a generational thing.
I can not wait to see Bob make his brief return this December.
Watch Aaron Paul from Breaking Bad on The Price Is Right!
Image Credit: PR Photo
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