The end of my Price is Right obsession

tpirEver since I can remember, I’ve been addicted to The Price Is Right. My parents tell stories of me watching it religiously as a child. I memorized every single game and could tell you what they were going to play just by where they were standing. The first time I went to Los Angeles, I made it a goal to take a picture with Bob Barker’s star on the Walk of Fame.

It was on my bucket list to be on TPIR, and I actually had tickets twice, only to see the tapings get cancelled when Bob Barker fell ill. It may sound funny, but that shit hurt my soul. I was crushed. Not necessarily because I knew I was going to get called or anything like that. I just wanted to be part of something that I had been watching nearly all my life (plus, I knew I could win, especially if Any Number was involved).

As the years went on, I knew Bob Barker was going to eventually leave (or die) and that a replacement host would be found. Now, no one would ever be able to replace what Barker brought to TPIR – it was a magical confluence of warmth, humor, excitement and fear that made Barker the greatest game show host ever. I don’t think anyone was asking for a Barker clone as his replacement.

I don’t think anyone was asking for Drew Carey, either.

Look, I don’t have a vendetta against the guy, although I’ve never really seen what made him successful. But I do know that he’s absolutely wrong as the host of TPIR and has sucked all my joy out of watching the show. What used to be appointment viewing when I happened to be home during the day has turned into skipping the show altogether.

You may say, “Hey, Ell, get over it. The show is exactly the same as it’s been for the last 30 years.” And while that is true on the surface, most TPIR aficionados will tell you that it’s not, from the subtle musical changes to the overabundance of special-guest showcases (some dude from the Seattle Sounders was in the Showcase Showdown a few weeks ago).

But the biggest problem is Carey. His low-key, snide humor does not work for a program in which you are supposed to interact genuinely with people who are experiencing the thrill of a lifetime. Nothing exemplifies my point more than this clip from a recent Showcase:

WHAT THE HELL IS THAT?! I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone come close to getting the price right on the button (even the first lady’s bid is impressive), and Drew reacts like he just smelled a fart. That pretty much sealed the deal for me right there.

It’s kind of sad to stop watching something that I used to love, but to be honest, I haven’t missed it because of Carey and the producers. My only hope is that someone at the Game Show Network wises up and starts playing old TPIR shows, so I can get my Bob fix.

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~ by Elliott on June 30, 2009.

2 Responses to “The end of my Price is Right obsession”

  1. Awesome. I just happened to watch 30 seconds of TPIR not five minutes ago. My wife said something about how Drew Carey seems not to be having any fun. I told her I thought he was OK, but that the true authority on these matters, Elliott, was in no way happy with the new host. I even mentioned how much the changes to the game music needled you.

    Then I click on the machine to see this. Now that’s some timing right there…

  2. There aren’t reruns on Nick at Nite or something? I was a Price is Right addict, too. Bob Barker just oozes “genuine”. He was so dapper I even kind of had a little girl crush on him. And that warmth! And his voice. I bet he wore really strong aftershave, too. Mmm. (This is getting a little creepy even for me.)

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