Time will tell exactly how much host Bob Barker has had to do with the longest running game show in TV history, but it would be fair to say a lot. Barker will retire this month after 35 years of hosting and chatting with guests intent on winning Showcase Showdowns on The Price is Right.
Bob’s final original daytime episode will air at 11 a.m. June 15 on CBS. That episode will be rebroadcast the same evening at 8 p.m., leading into the airing of The 34th Annual Daytime Entertainment Emmy Awards at 9 p.m.
All of us can remember watching Barker’s show when we were growing up, especially on those sick days home from school when all the good stuff (game shows) was on in the mornings. Before the age of Tivo and DVRs, that left only napping as a diversion after lunch since that’s when all those boring soap operas aired.
This show had some redeeming value (although not much) because it revolved around math. So I never felt as guilty letting my sons watch the show when they were home sick, even if the camera did dwell a lot on Barker’s assistants.
With 50 years of show biz under his belt, I still think Barker’s best performance ever was playing himself as a tough golfer in the film, Happy Gilmore. Barker gets into a fistfight with Adam Sandler’s character, Happy, and wins. It’s a classic.
The show must go on, they say, even without the long standing host. Several names have been bandied about as possible replacements for Barker. Leading the pack currently is Mart Steines of Entertainment Tonight, closely followed by suntanned George Hamilton and Mario Lopez, who grew up on Saved by the Bell.
Other possible contenders are:
- John O’Hurley (Mr. Peterman from Seinfeld and the host of Family “Good Answer!!!” Feud)
- The Early Show’s Dave Price
- Ed McMahon
- Jeff Probst of Survivor
- Todd Newton of Vegas’s Price is Right
- Paige Davis of Trading Spaces.
- Rosie “I am fighting with everybody” O’Donnell.
According to several TV websites, some of these potential replacements have been given the opportunity to make an audition tape. These tapes are being viewed by test audiences to see who will be the next best TV host.
Bob’s replacement probably won’t be announced until after he records his final show. So that gives us at lest two weeks to have some fun and vote for these potential hosts OR come up with some better ones (i.e. even more ridiculous then Ed McMahon). I’m thinking Tony Shalhoub (the obsessive-compulsive police detective Mr. Monk)? Vice President Dick Cheney? Tony Soprano? Or… what’s your choice?
Please send your votes to firstname.lastname@example.org. I will use them in the next issue while we wait with baited breath for the Big Announcement.
By Teresa K. Flatley