Game shows used to flood the dial of my TV back in the 1980s and '90s. And that was when my TV could only pick up eight channels, three depending on the weather.
Back then, almost everything from daytime fare to the occasional prime time bit of airtime starred game show hosts. Their purpose on television was solely to wear smart suits, make sure their teeth reached the optimum level of whiteness and keep the game moving but entertaining.
Now that game shows are making a slow but steady return to television, it seems the traditional role of "host" has turned away from the traditional "game" emcee like Chuck Woolery, Wink Martindale, Bob Barker and Art Fleming and more towards lively hosting personalities from other walks of entertainment life like Drew Carey, Wayne Brady, Howie Mandel and Guy Fieri. Does this mean that the role of the traditional TV game show has gone to that great big "Curtain No. 2" in the sky?
No one will replace Bob Barker as host of The Price is Right. Not the statement you probably had in mind when you read the title of this post, but it is undeniably true. With 35 years and tens of thousands of episodes under his belt, Barker and TPIR became a single entity. And, at least in the short term, his successor would always be compared to Bob, no matter who was chosen to host the mother of all daytime game shows. Heck, the Pope could have been chosen to host and people would say 'Yea, the Pontiff is good, but he isn't Bob.'
With that out of the way I can say that Drew Carey is the right man to take the microphone as host of The Price is Right.
Seriously. Mario Lopez is supposedly one of the three finalists in the running to take over for Bob Barker when he retires from the long-running CBS game show later this year. The other two finalists? Elisabeth Hasselbeck and Donald Trump.
OK, I'm kidding about those last two names. But would they be more of a ridiculous choice than Dancing with the Stars star Lopez? What do producers see in him that they say, "you know, he might be a good replacement for Bob?"
There's an interesting little blurb on The Price is Right website which questions earlier reports that CBS weatherman Dave Price has been selected to replace Bob Barker when he retires at the end of the season. Here it is, straight from the site:
All fans of The Price Is Right, here is your chance to attend a taping on a Thursday as two non-air shows of Price will be taped on Thursday, January 25 at 12:15pm with John O'Hurley and Todd Newton and at 4:45pm with The Young and the Restless' Doug Davidson.
Hmm. Certainly sounds like an audition to me, particularly for Newton and Davidson, who have hosted other versions of TPIR. Todd has been hosting stage versions of Price Las Vegas and Atlantic City, while Doug hosted the short-lived, nighttime, syndicated version of the show back in 1994-95. O'Hurley may be there due to his recent hosting duties on Family Feud. So, if you live in the Los Angeles area you may want to stop by . . . you could be watching a try-out for the next host of The Price is Right. More information on tickets can be found at the show's website.
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