Bob Barker

July 31, 2007

I'm going to miss the shit out of Bob Barker.

This probably isn't the first place that you've heard about the retirement of the King of Game Show Hosts, but I would be remiss if I didn't address it. I have always been first to admit my admiration of The Price is Right, which extended to making class schedule choices based on my ability to catch the show during a lunch break.

From earliest childhood, I knew Barker as a classy and professional game show host. Over the years, I also learned that he (at the age of 103) was sleeping with his models, and that he could kick ass in a goofball comedy. But the pricing games continued with comedy and grace as Bob's hair turned white and his hearing got worse. More often than not, the bidding includes a scene like this:

"I'll bid twenty-one hundred Bob!"
"Twenty-three hundred"
The person operating the colored amount screens in front of the contestants puts up 2100. Bob may or may not notice, but he will correct himself if he does.

In the early 2000's I took a trip to Los Angeles. This is one of the only photos that I took of myself at the Hollywood walk of fame.

Anyway, Bob's last new episode aired June 15. A million unspayed and unneutered pets wept.

You also know that they picked Drew Carey to replace Bob Barker. I'm not super excited about that choice, but I'll give the guy a chance. I thought that Dan Patrick was the choice when he quit ESPN, but alas, it wasn't to be. I would have also liked to see Bob Eubanks or Wink Martindale, or one of those old guys from when they actually had game shows on during the day.

There is some recent precedent for stand up comedian turned star of bad sitcom turned game show host (Bob Saget, that guy with the "You might be a redneck" jokes whose name escapes me right now). Their shows aren't too bad.

But they aren't The Price is Right either.

While they're making changes, I hope they don't go too overboard with changes to the set. There's no need for a complete overhaul like The Tonight Show did for Jay Leno. Come to think of it, there was no need for that complete overhaul either.

I do hope they'll up some of the hard-coded dollar amounts. You know what the prize is if you spin exactly one dollar in the showcase showdown? You got it -- $1000. I'm sure that was a huge deal in 1964, but now, ehhh. Also, I think you still have to be within $200 of your showcase in order to win both showcase packages. That's like a 0.25% margin of error now. Again, when the showcase packages were a few thousand, a $200 buffer was fair. Now, it will never happen unless someone cheats.

If you've bothered reading this far, but you're still looking for a way to kill some more time, check for descriptions and pictures of every single pricing game that they've ever played.