Monday, June 18, 2007

Bob Barker's Run Ends

Last Friday was Bob Barker's final episode as the host of The Price Is Right. It is definitely an end to an era. I read where fans waited in line for weeks just to get the chance to "come on down" during Bob's last show.

Although I hadn't watched TPIR on a regular basis since the Reagan administration, I had to check out Bob's farewell (you know me, I am a sucker for TV history). It was cool to see the audience give him a lengthy standing ovation when he came out.

I was surprised that the show still works as well as it does! I'm not sure if they featured them because it was Bob's final show, but the episode included such classic TPIR standbys as The Range Game, The Grocery Game, and perhaps my favorite... Plinko! Just as I did way back when, I found myself playing armchair contestant (Dude, you went last... why didn't you outbid the highest bidder by $1?, Aw come on lady... a box of Snore Stop and two bottles of Dial Liquid Soap won't put you between $20-$21!).

When not playing armchair contestant, I made a few observations:

1. The 3 women who made up Barker's Beauties (who were fine as hell by the way) probably were all younger than 30. You may be saying to yourself (or out loud), "So what?". However, think about this: Holly Hallstrom, Dian Parkinson, and Kathleen Bradley were all in their 40s when they departed TPIR. Hell, Janice Pennington was almost 60 when she was shown the door! It just shows you how our culture has changed.

2. With the exception of Bob's closing remarks thanking the viewers for allowing him into their homes, it was pretty much business as usual. No cake, no glowing sign or anything like that. However, there was a audience member who kept throwing confetti when an audience member got called to Contestant's Row.

3. Bob Barker was one of the all-time great game show hosts. When somebody has been around as long as Bob has, it's easy to take them for granted... I know I did. Also, it had never occurred to me until the final show that he had the perfect last name for a host of TPIR.

Some of the names that have come up as possible successors for Bob Barker include Todd Newton, George Hamilton, Mario Lopez, and John O' Hurley. Out of those four, I think that Newton and O' Hurley would be good choices. Apparently, Bob Barker endorsed Rosie O'Donnell as his replacement. However, I don't think the former "Queen of Nice" could revamp her image and host a show like TPIR.

Who would you like to see take over the skinny mike as Bob Barker's replacement?


Angela said...

As a lifetime fan of TPIR I can tell you that yes, those games have been playing this whole time. They have mixed in some old ones too, but the originals are still my favorite. The only game they didn't play Friday that is one of my favorites is the yodel game - the name escapes me.

AND, the one blond Barker Beauty looks like she has had a LOT of plastic surgery and botox, putting her above 30 in my opinion. I wonder how she sleeps with that constant smile on her face???? How does she express anger???

I am so sad that Bob has retired, though. I loved the show more than him, but I don't think it will ever be the same, or last for that long without him.

I think Ellen DeGeneres would be a great host, second only to me of course.

Malcolm: said...

Hello Angela... Cliff Hangers is the name of the game you are referring to (the yodel game). You might be right about the one Barker Beauty... she's probably in the 35 age range. If I didn't erase the DVD, I'll take another look.

Good call on Ellen D. being a great host. Somebody else who I think would make a good replacement is Wayne Brady.

If you became the host, do you think you could handle the excited contestants trying to mob you? They would probably also have to bring in male models instead. How about this for their nickname: Angela's Adonises.

Angela said...

Oh yes, that's it, Cliff Hangers. I'm not working right now so my mind is a bit mushy.

Wayne Brady would be great - I love him!

I can't imagine contestants trying to mob me, so I don't think that would be a problem. I do like the idea of having male about Angela's Angels???

Taj said...

The days when I skipped school (yes, I was one of those kids) my favorite thing to do was watch TPIR!

As I aged, I stopped watching but it held fond memories for me! Had my first kiss in front of Bob!

I could see Ellen or O'Hurley but not Rosie or Lopez.

BTW, you were recommended by Chaos. Glad you were! I'm an idiot savant of pop culture. Well, it sounds much better than junky!

BookMama said...

I love the Price is Right! I remember watching it with my mom as a kid in the 70s. I never watched it much as an adult (that whole full-time job thing kinda gets in the way) but I did rediscover it both times I went on maternity leave. I don't buy big-ticket items often, but I DO grocery shop every week and I totally rock at those games.

I love the suggestion of Ellen DeGeneres as host. Here are my comments on the others who are in the running:

George Hamilton: Oh, please! No way.
Mario Lopez: Too young.
Todd Newton: No idea who he is.
John O'Hurley: My favorite of these four.
Rosie O'Donnell: I've always liked her, but I really don't think she's right for this show. I think she'd turn off half the audience right away, and she's too opinionated for this benign show. I mean, Bob Barker was an activist, but who could argue with "Remember to have your pet spayed or neutered"??

Malcolm: said...

Hi Taj: thanks for stopping by on Chaos' recommendation, I am glad you are enjoying the blog! Skipping school to watch TPIR... I'd say that was time well spent. Me and my friends all had an adult at our respective houses during school hours so we weren't as lucky.

Hello Book Mama:

Todd Newton used to host "Coming Attractions" on the E! Channel. He also hosted the game shows "Hollywood Showdown" and "Whammy! The All New Press Your Luck". I didn't realize it until tonight, but he also hosts live-on-stage and DVD versions of TPIR. If you are interested, here is the link to his website:

To everyone: TPIR definitely brings back fond childhood memories for alot of us. During summer vacations, I remember watching TPIR along w/ other game shows like Card Sharks, Family Feud, and Password Plus before I would head back outside to play baseball, trade bubblegum cards, go bike riding, or whatever else I was into at the time.

With the popularity of game shows, I am surprised that there aren't more current ones on the daytime lineup. I guess it's more lucrative to launch court shows, how-to programs, and chatfests. Besides TPIR, the only first-run game show that I can think of that is currently running in daytime is the Meredith Viera version of WWTBAM.

pjazzypar said...

Hold up, George Hamilton is as old as Bob Barker! If I had to vote I would definitely chose O'Hurley. He looks like the kind of guy the viewing audience would invite into their homes. By the way, who watches this show anyway? I, like you have not seen the show in years. I do have very fond memories of BoB even before TPIR. Many moons ago I before I started elementary School I use to watch "Truth or Consequences" with my grandmother. The young Bob was quite stunning actually and the show has the distinction of having a town in New Mexico named after it.

Malcolm said...

I am guessing that the core audience for TPIR is college students and stay-at-home moms. I know this used to be the case. I wish that GSN would bring back Truth or Consequences. I have a vague recollection of watching it in the early to mid 70s.

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