June 7, 2007

Salute To Bob Barker

Hard to believe, but the day game show fans have dreaded for so long has arrived. Bob Barker taped his last episode of "The Price Is Right" yesterday and, man, are we going to miss him. The last thirty-five years have just flown by, eh? Let's take a look at just some of the fun we've shared with Bob.

To get things started, here's a nice tribute from the Game Show Network when Bob was named the number one game show host of all-time:

And here's a best of compilation of "The Price Is Right" clips:

How did it all begin on TPIR? Glad you asked, 'cause here's a great clip of Bob's first appearance back in 1972. What a difference from the rollicking crowds we're used to today! And how odd to hear Johnny Olson say "Stand up!" instead of the more familiar "Come on down!" Apparently he started that tradition with the third show.

One of the more famous bloopers where the gal loses her halter top. Love Bob's comment, "You don't love me *that* much!"

He also appeared on other popular game shows of the day. Witness these clips from "Match Game '78" where Bob and Gene Rayburn have a little fun. Includes the late, great Charles Nelson Reilly:

Here are some later clips I can't embed, so you'll have to click on the links to watch the full show. From 1992, Barker's Beauties and the cast of "The Young and the Restless" duke it out on Ray Combs' "Family Feud":

Clip One
Clip Two
Clip Three
Clip Four

And here's an example of why people loved him so much. The ease with which he handles this new arrival on contestants row is just a joy to behold. Meet Angelo:

Another historic day on the show, this is from 1987, the first day Bob showed up au natural (his hair, that is!):

A more recent appearance on David Letterman's show, here he is doing his own Top Ten:

And here's his delightful shot on Ellen Degeneres' talk show taped this year:

The show had many imitators around the world, but I stumbled across a pretty entertaining version from the UK called "Bruce's Price is Right", starring Bruce Forsyth. The show ran from 1995-2002, and it was a half-hour long. These are full episodes from 1999.

I like the way the contestants row is on the same level as Bruce, making it much easier to shake their hands and interact with them. And I also like the added touch of having their names light up along with their bids.

Includes a much smaller, very different version of Plinko and an extremely different version of the Final Showcase (it came down to one person). Also, Bruce's Beauties included a man, Simon, who is not much of a beauty, IMHO. His main job seemed to be opening the doors on the cars and looking inside! Other games: Side By Side, 3 Strikes, Cliffhanger, and one called Joker. Is that one on the US version? Anyway, settle in and enjoy:

I saved the best for last:

Adam Sandler appeared on the recent 50th anniversary of Bob's career and read his poem, "Ode To Bob Barker." The full special is posted at the end of this post. Includes the famous fight scene from "Happy Gilmore":

Bob was more than just a game show host, he was also an animal rights activist long before it became fashionable. I'm sure his simple sign off about controlling the pet population by spaying and neutering your pet got through to more people than any media campaign could have done. Here's a brief interview that covers this side of his life:

And here's the short report that appeared on the CBS News with Katie Couric last night about the final taping:

I used to love watching Bob when I was home from school sick. Propping up the sofa cushions and yelling my bids at the TV. What will today's sick kids watch, fer Pete's sake? Re-runs of Springer? *shudder*

Bob, we hardly knew ya. Enjoy your retirement and golf your little heart out, you deserve it! To wrap things up, enjoy this wonderful special, "Bob Barker: A Celebration of 50 Years on Television" in all its glory:

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