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August 31, 2015

Game Show Marathon: The Price is Right (Premiere)

by Richard Keller, posted May 31st 2006 10:18PM

Rikki Lake, Kathy Najimy and Brande Roderick on Game Show Marathon(S01E01) When you think of game shows that Hollywood stars play in to win money for their charities, you think of shows like Who Wants to be a Millionaire or Family Feud. You normally don't think of a show like The Price is Right as a platform for this type of event. In fact, as TPIR afficionados Joel Keller and Bob Sassone would probably attest to, The Price is Right should only be played by college students, senior citizens, and women who fall out of their halter tops. The reason? Well, let me get to that later.

In the meantime, let me pontificate a bit on the premiere of CBS's Game Show Marathon. I found it to be an interesting experiment. Here's how it works: six celebrities compete in a series of classic game shows to win one million dollars for their charity. Four semi-finalists are selected, then they play until two remain. The two finalists appear with their families on an episode of Family Feud (complete with classic sets) to vie for the million dollars.

I wouldn't have picked Rikki Lake as the host of the program, but she did show a lot of spirit in hosting The Price is Right episode of the show. Heck, many people have tried but failed to match the success that Bob Barker has had for over 30 years as TPIR's host. Hopefully she'll loosen up a bit more as the show progresses. I have a feeling she'll do a bit better in the Let's Make a Deal segment, which airs on Thursday.

I also wouldn't have chosen TPIR as the game to start the series with, despite is popularity and long network run. If you'd like to know the reason jump ahead by clicking the link.


The reason is that celebrities, even those like Paige Davis (Trading Spaces) and Tim Meadows (Saturday Night Live) whose prestige has dimmed a bit, have no concept of pricing in the real world. I'm fairly sure you wouldn't see Paige or former N'sync member Lance Bass at the local Acme, Albertson's or Alpha-Beta picking up a bottle of detergent. However, the college students, senior citizens, and women who fall out of their halter tops all shop at those stores, or their equivalents, and they have a sense of what items cost when they 'Come on Down' to be the next contestant on TPIR.

That's actually another reason why TPIR should not have been used as the premiere of Game Show Marathon: you win things. If you are trying to win money for your charity why the heck would you start off with a game show that makes you bid on products that the celebrities can't take with them anyway. Granted, cell phone user's could win the contents of the Showcase Showdown by answering a trivia question via text messaging, but they won nothing when Kathy Najimy played Hole in One, Paige Davis played the ever-popular Plinko and Brandie Roderick (Baywatch) played the Race Game. I just didn't understand the concept.

While I am being critical of the first episode I am going to stick around and see what happens. I did see a number of other celebrities in the crowd during this first show (Adam Carolla, George Foreman, Betty White) that may or may not appear in this round of game shows, so I'd like to see what happens. I'm also curious how they are going to work the shows like Match Game and Beat the Clock. So watch with me and we'll see how it goes.

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I thought that Wednesday's Price Is Right was far better than the lousy Let's Make A Deal version on the Game Show Marathon series. Ricki Lake was better on Price than Deal. While I think that nobody can do Price better than Bob Barker, Ricki did a good job as host. Haven't seen her on TV in 2 1/2 years since her daytime talk show of 11 years. They didn't even announce that "The Ricki Lake Show" was cancelled back in 2004, so no one even noticed. I thought that Kathy Najimy really goofed on the showcase, by going over on 2 cars! Kind of went excessive and bloated on her bid. The lady on Baywatch did very well, bidding a modest bid without going over on her showcase. And Adam Carolla's camera shots were so funny--he was so sure that he was going to get picked to come on down. But he left--maybe he left the set for good! Would have wanted to see regular contestants on it, but they didn't want that college student effect that's so common on the daytime show now. The celebrities they chose seem to play it safe with the bids, not very chancey. As for the comments on $4500 for a grandfather clock or $2600 for a hanging chair, these are some very expensive items that they show! It's not 1980 anymore when showcases used to be $5500-6000! Even the living rooms/ dining rooms from Hooker Furniture in Virginia and Broyhill of North Carolina are $6500 to $7000 now. But back to Price Is Right, I think that CBS saw Deal or No Deal's massive success on NBC and decided to one up on them with this show. But today's breed of game shows focus on winning money than prizes like cars, trips, boats, etc.--they're trying to get away from the '70s campy style of game shows. Such as winning up to a million dollars or so. I think that this show came about 5 years too late, because everybody's more into Deal and Millionnaire. People remember these classic shows, and they're still fun, but it's hard to see them compete in an Internet crazy world. This Game Show Marathon might have modest success but become short lived. They sure put a lot of money on that massive stage set, my goodness, because it's big!

June 02 2006 at 1:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Adam Carolla has talked about this several times on his morning show. First off, he said he appeared on the "Match Game" episode. I believe he also said Betty White was on it with him but I don't remember that for sure.

Second, he said the producers told him and some other celebrities to sit in the audience for Price is Right and act bored and upset. He said his acting is better than he thought since he heard from several people about his "bad attitude" in the audience. :)

June 02 2006 at 9:46 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

If you noticed the hole in one golf game was played incorrectly it is so posed to be hole in one or two they didn't allow the cotestant to putt again and i agree ricki lake should not host price is right rich fields did an awsome job though

June 02 2006 at 12:32 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

My husband thought it sounded like a great premise so we gave it a shot. A half hour into the show and I started to feel my soul hurt. We gave up and watched one of our Deadwood (RIP) dvds and felt much better.

Where to begin? Ricki Lake was horrible; she tried but she doesn't have the warmth or spontaniety (sp?) to pull off the role of a game show host. The celebrities were awful. I agree with the others who called out Kathy Najimy as the worst. Her line about "I'm not the one who does the grocery shopping in my house" prompted me to shout, "Yeah, your maid does!" Her reaction after she missed the golf shot was, "I was pretty close, though, wasn't I?" Like she was saying, I know I just lost a lot of money for my charity (empowering women? WTF?) but look how good I almost did on that golf shot! I also agree that the celebrities didn't give a damn whether they won since it wasn't for them. Just awful. I felt a little bit of myself die just watching it.

Also, I agree with Joel Keller upthread about the distribution of the prizes. I said the same thing to my husband when they pulled back the curtains on Kathy Najimy's car. I was like, so who gets the car, the charity? Do they have to sell it or something to get the money? It was pretty confusing and they didn't explain it right at all.

June 01 2006 at 4:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

You can enter for free online, on CBS's website, as with almost every other text-message-based contest.

June 01 2006 at 3:12 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Anyone who thinks Adam Carolla's leaving the show wasn't planned: I've got a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you.

Also, it's Ricki Lake - not Rikki.

June 01 2006 at 12:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

And that stupid hanging chair was over $2600? Are you kidding me?

June 01 2006 at 9:26 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I agree with everyone else, it stunk. Lacked energy and genuine interest.

Even Adam Corolla saw it was a bomb and walked out (while conveniently on camera.)

BTW: Whou would pay 4500 bucks for a grandfather clock???

June 01 2006 at 9:25 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Marion Kuebler

Bob Barker IS The Price Is Right....watching without Bob hosting the show would be like taking a bath in cold water using a scrub brush. No way. We love him....even drove all the way to California from upstate NY to be part of the audience .... I also gave him a shirt with his picture and the wheel with Barker's Beauties on the back. Bob Barker is IT.....

June 01 2006 at 9:23 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Totally right, it was not the same without Bob Barker. Even though the show is/was doomed from the start, they could have atleast salvaged this by getting as many as the original hosts as possible. (And get Chuck Woolery for those hosts who are no longer with us, right?)

With that, Ricki Lake was just not right for this job. Yes, she is actually looking really good losing all that weight (good for her!), but she just didn't fit right. Neither did some of those celebrities. Kathy Najimy was an embarrassment. She had no clue how to price anything and then she botched a very makeable put, and seemed satisfied that she came "close." What?!?!

I'll be passing on future episodes of this series.

June 01 2006 at 9:22 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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