Watching an era ‘Come on Down’
When I was about 7, I had a horrible stomach flu and was granted a reprieve from the drudgery that was public elementary school.
As I lay there in bed, trying to recall when I had eaten carrots, these campy lights engulfed the edges of the television while the camera scanned legions of screaming audience members wearing brightly colored shirts.
I remember thinking that if this and soap operas are all that’s on during the day, maybe school wasn’t such a bad option. However, being that I thought I was going to die and unable to find the remote, “The Price is Right” was what I was going to watch.
It took just one game and I was hooked.
Every sick day, every summer break, every opportunity possible to watch all the way through high school, I did. While it lost some of its appeal in college, if I was awake and scanning channels and landed on the “Price is Right,” there was no need to keep flipping.
For me, it was laughing at people who got it wrong( $1.99 for nuts, seriously?), feeling good for the marine or college student who won the new car and secretly hoping ” just a tiny bit ” that the elderly lady would get stuck in the giant wheel when she tried to spin it (It doesn’t count if she doesn’t go all the way around).
Yet part of the reason for the show’s appeal had to be Bob Barker, who for the last three decades has been dragging that microphone cord across the stage. At some point every one of us asked why they didn’t just get him a wireless mic, but it became part of the showmanship.
When the show debuted, the total cost of the showcase showdown won was $2,307. Yesterday, after 35 years, Bob Barker filmed his last episode of the “Price is Right.” The episode will air later this month in its regular time slot.
No more Bob putting for a hole-in-one, blowing it and hitting the magic button to make it a hole-in-two. No more watching the Plinko chip bounce so close to the $10,000 slot only to end up with a $1. No more dramatic pause before he pulls out the card with the actual retail price and makes someone’s dream come true.
I remember my freshman year in college, I had a slight cough and decided to kill it with tequila, which didn’t work and I skipped class. The previous nights bender proved worth it when, while watching the “Price is Right” and wondering when I had eaten corn, I witnessed something amazing.
Everybody won. All six games and the double-win during the showcase showdown.
“Oh my god, that’s freakin’ incredible, There’s no way that’s ever happened! We gotta celebrate, where’s the tequila?”
In actuality, it happened 72 times in 35 years. There were also 71 shows where nobody won, everybody was sent packing.
Shut down like a British guy at a toothpaste commercial audition.
It will be weird the next time I turn on the television just after 10 a.m. and see someone else getting kissed on the cheek. How gross would that have to be, not only for Bob but for the sixth contestant who slobbered on him. Do they not realize they just secondhand kissed up to five complete strangers?
Barker said in a recent interview he has to go in every three months to get lesions removed from his face, which he says are pre-cancerous. I think they are actually some mutant venereal disease that has spawned from all those wet kisses.
“Yeah, doctor said I got a bad case of Barkitis from those girls and I gotta use this cream for two weeks.”
“The Price is Right” just won’t be the same. It was hard enough when Rod Roddy died, it just felt weird to hear someone else say “Come on Down.”
I think it’s best if they just end the show. Break down the stage, tell the beauties to pack up their swimsuits and turn out the twinkling lights that for so many years made being sick suck just a little less.
Got a “Price is Right” memory? Tell me about it.