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come on down...the end of the price is right$$$

Posted by Brad Schelden, June 7, 2007 09:15pm | Post a Comment
Like a lot of people, I grew up watching the game shows. I really did love them. More than soap operas. Even more than the Joan Rivers show and Oprah. There was just something about them that got me so excited. The thrill of winning and living through the contestants was really exciting. These were all real people winning real money. The Price is Right was one of my favorites. Along with Password, The Match Game, 10,000 Pyramid and Family Feud. What really made these shows so great was the host. I absolutely looked forward to when these shows were on TV. It made being home sick a lot better knowing that the game shows would be on. Every chance I got I would be watching them. Bob Barker was the Price is Right. It is the longest running game show and he is longest running game show host. It is actually only the longest running game show in english. The fabulous spanish language variety game show, Sabado Gigante, has actually been on a bit longer.  The Price is Right actually premiered way back in 1956. But it was not until 1972 that Bob Barker was brought in and the show became what we all know as the Price is Right. Next Friday, June 15th is Bob Barker's last day on the Price is Right. The Era of the great game show had pretty much ended years ago. Although Jeopardy and The Wheel of Fortune continue on, the old classic game show no longer really exists. Bob Barker and The Price is Right is really the last to go.

Shows like Password and The Match Game were great because they had the celebrity guest stars. So it was the regular person competing against the other regular person. The celebrities were just helping them out. The shows were hilarious because of the celebrities. The everyday people were not really the focus of the shows. However, The Price Is Right were all about the everyday person. You could find every kind of person on that show. It was not just good looking 20 something professionals like the other shows. You had everyone from jock college guys to sassy old grandmothers. This is what made the show so great. Everybody had to buy things and compare prices. So really, anybody could play the show. The show was so exciting because of the way it was set up. You had a huge audience who were all excited. Because anybody from the audience could be competing that day. Nothing was predetermined. And those contestants were so excited! They seemed to be just as excited to meet Bob Barker as they were excited to possibly win a new kitchen set. Or a new Car!!! Always the most exciting prize.

Like most shows, there was a very important announcer. The announcer sort of brought the whole show together and got the studio audience excited. Johnny Olson was the announcer from 1972-1985. He was replaced by Rod Roddy in 1986. Rod Roddy is probably the host most are familiar with. I was personally a little obsessed with Rod Roddy. He passed away in 2003. There was also the very important Bob Barker Beauties. There was always 3 or 4 models showing off the prizes. One of my babysitters would watch the show with me and always pretend to be one of the models. I would usually be one of the contestants. But sometimes I would get to be Bob Barker.

But it was really all about the showcase showdown. This was the grand finale when the 2 winners of the first and second part of the show were set to bid against each other for the big showcase package. They all got to spin the big wheel to see who would make it to the end. I was seriously so excited as a kid to see what would be in the showcase. They were fantastic trips and awesome home furnishings. Always exciting. But there was also always one better than the other.

There were many different games that you might play on the way to showcase showdown. Everyone had their favorite. But you never knew what game you were gonna play until you were on the stage. And of course there is a great website with a list and very detailed description of every game ever played on the show.  There were over 80 games played on the show. One of my favorite games was "Cliff Hangers" with the little yodeling man that went up the mountain. Safe Crackers was always exciting too because you got to open up a safe.
The Price is Right became one of the most popular shows on television and still is to this day. I sure am gonna miss Bob Barker. I will miss his little speech about spaying or neutering your pet. I'm gonna miss his interaction with each and every contestant. He was the perfect host. The show will go on. But it will never be as good. Rosie O'Donnell might be the new host or possibly George Hamilton. But there is only one Bob Barker.