Friday, 8 June, 2007 4:55 PM
Bob Barker Retires After 50 Years
IN THE AUDIENCE:
The inside story you won't find anywhere else
BY JASON RZUCIDLO / AMERICAJR.com
Television City in Hollywood, California. "The Price is Right"
is taped inside Studio 33, which was renamed the Bob Barker Studio.
-- Bob Barker. Just about everyone in America recognizes
the name of the popular game show host; from the taxi driver to
the bagel shop owner to the flight attendant to the regular guy
on the street. Mr. Barker retired from hosting “The Price
Is Right” after taping his final episode on June 6, 2007.
I was lucky to be chosen
as an audience member to go on the top-rated CBS game show. I was
on the episode that was taped on Monday, June 4th and will be aired
on Tuesday, June 12th. It was Bob Barker’s fourth to last
show ever. Here’s my inside account that you won’t be
able to find anywhere else:
I arrived in Los Angeles
at around 10:30 p.m. on Sunday. My flight from Detroit to LA took
about 4 1/2 hours. It was very long, but well worth it. I knew that
the trip was going to be the experience of a lifetime.
Upon arrival, I took
a van to the Motel 6 I was planning on staying at. The driver told
me I should cancel my reservations and go directly to Bob Barker.
He said people were lining up around the perimeter of the studio.
By the time I was waited on at Motel 6, it was after 11 p.m. so
I decided to cancel my reservation. I asked for a taxi and was taken
directly to the CBS studios, home of “The Price Is Right.”
I got there at around
11:30 p.m. The taxi driver and I were both surprised at the amount
of people that were already waiting in line for Monday’s taping,
which would be held at 1:15 p.m. People were lined up in tents,
sleeping bags, chairs and anything else they could find to sleep
Contestants of the show
are chosen directly from the audience. Possible audience members
were sleeping on the streets of LA just to get the chance of a lifetime.
If chosen to “Come on Down,” contestants could win a
new car, cash prizes, trips or various other gifts.
The first person in line
for the Monday taping was a young girl who was waiting since Friday
evening. She waited over 72 hours to see Bob Barker and get her
chance on national television.
People were wearing t-shirts
from their colleges and universities or custom t-shirts that they
made specifically for the show. Many of them featured pictures of
Bob Barker on the front or text going across the front. The shirt
I wore featured an autographed photo of Bob Barker on the front
and text “I’ve Waited 20 Years for This” on the
Priority numbers were
issued to the first 325 people in line for the episode. What’s
unique about this show is the fact that some of the people in line
didn’t even have a ticket. They decided to spend the night
on the streets anyway. Their hope was to be chosen as a “stand-by”
After priority numbers
were issued, possible audience members were asked to return at 7
a.m. At that time, people with priority numbers were allowed to
enter the audience holding area. This is an area with five rows
of benches were folks can get to know each other and mingle. There
was also a store where you can purchase memorabilia from “Price”
and other shows on the CBS network. A small snack bar is also available
for those who were hungry.
After lining up according
to priority number and some other preliminary activities, audience
members went through an interview with producers. This is how the
contestants are chosen. Audience members are given 15 seconds to
impress the producers. Nobody knows who is chosen until the announcer,
Rich Fields, says their name during the show. The producers know,
but it is kept secret.
Next, everyone was taken
into Studio 33, which was renamed the Bob Barker Studio, home of
“The Price Is Right.” The studio is a lot smaller than
it looks on TV. It was exciting to be on the set of America’s
top-rated game show. Barker has been hosting the show for the last
35 years and has won 17 Emmys including the Lifetime Achievement
The announcer was the
first to come on stage and greet the crowd. He went over some rules
about the show and the audience was cheering. Everyone was jumping
up and down, clapping and yelling “BOB…BOB…BOB”
The audience was filled
with mostly college students, along with some adults and senior
citizens. Many of the audience members came to the show in groups
from the same college, same family or friends.
The show began at around
1:15 p.m. The opening of the show was shown on the TV screens above.
It was time for Bob Barker to make his entrance. The doors opened
and the legendary TV icon walked straight through, grabbed his thin
microphone and walked toward contestants row.
The audience immediately
got up and cheered, clapped and shouted “BOB…BOB…BOB.”
Mr. Barker appreciated the welcome, said thank you and told everyone
to sit down.
During commercial breaks
or set changes, Barker would take questions from the audience. Someone
asked Barker what he would do after retiring. Bob answered, “I’m
going to start body building. I would like to become governor of
California.” Everyone in the audience clapped.
Another audience member
asked about Mr. Barker’s microphone. The one he uses is a
lot thinner than most microphones used by talk show hosts or reporters.
Bob answered, “It makes me look thinner. The real reason is
we want to see the expression on the contestant’s face.”
An individual asked how
Mr. Barker knew Chuck Norris. Bob replied that he worked out with
the actor for eight years while hosting “Truth or Consequences.”
Barker learned how to do karate while training with Norris.
Another person in the
audience had a question about the motion picture “Happy Gilmore.”
In the movie, Barker appears and punches out Adam Sandler after
he makes some rude comments about the “Price Is Right.”
The audience member wanted Bob to repeat his famous line in the
movie. Mr. Barker said it on the set. It was not repeated during
the taping of the show.
Bob is just as real in
person as he is on TV. He is a very nice man. I was very happy to
be a part of the show for the first time in my life. I was proud
to see the legendary game show host doing what he loves, hosting
“The Price Is Right.” Mr. Barker really feeds off the
audience. If the audience is pumped, he will have a smile on his
Bob Barker was born on
December 12, 1923. His first job on television was host of the “Truth
or Consequences” game show from 1956 to 1974. He was also
a panelist on “Match Game” from 1975 to 1982.
Mr. Barker starred on
“Family Feud,” “The Nanny,” “Hollywood
Squares,” “Martial Law,” “Yes, Dear,”
“The Wayne Brady Show,” “Family Guy,” “How
I Met Your Mother,” among many more.
The legendary game show
host also made regular appearances on “Entertainment Tonight,”
“The Late Show With David Letterman,” “The Late
Late Show with Craig Ferguson” and also substituted has a
guest host on “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson”
Barker is best known
for his role as host of “The Price Is Right.” He also
served as Executive Producer of the top-rated game show. It has
been on the air for the last 35 years and has taped more than 5,000
episodes with him as the host.
Bob Barker – We
will always remember your smile and positive attitude. Congratulations
on your 35 Years as host of “The Price Is Right” and
Your 50 Years on Television. We Love You!
I end this article with
a quote that you may recognize. Keep in mind that Barker is a vegetarian
and an animal activist. At the end of each episode, after revealing
the actual prices of the showcases, he would say:
“Help Control The
Pet Population, Have Your Pets Spayed Or Neutered.”
BY JASON RZUCIDLO / AMERICAJR.com
Barker's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.