Thursday, June 07, 2007

After taping last show, Barker offers to fill in as 'Price' host

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- After 35 years as host of "The Price Is Right," Bob Barker hung up his microphone for good this week. Or did he?

After taping his last show, the 83-year-old icon said Wednesday that he would happily return to the "Price" stage if a replacement host isn't found by the time the new season starts in the fall.

"They're having trouble finding someone to do the show," Barker told reporters during a post-show press conference. "And I've told members of the staff here that ... if they wanted me to do it for a few more months, I would do it.

"I don't want to walk out on CBS or the company if they're in that position because they've been too good to me."

FremantleMedia North America, which produces "The Price Is Right," did not respond to a call seeking comment Thursday.

Barker taped his last episode — his 6,586th — of the popular CBS game show Wednesday, retiring after five decades on national television. The episode is scheduled to air twice June 15: once at its usual time and again that evening.

The silver-haired host ended his record tenure by blowing kisses and working in the same low-key, genial fashion that made him one of daytime TV's biggest stars. He closed the show with his usual, "Help control the pet population, have your pets spayed or neutered. Goodbye everybody."

Once the cameras stopped rolling, he told the studio audience: "I thank you, thank you, thank you for inviting me into your home for more than 50 years. I'm truly grateful, and I hope that all of you have enjoyed your visit to `The Price Is Right.'"

Reruns of Barker-hosted shows will play throughout the summer.

A new host has yet to be named. Among those reportedly in the running are Todd Newton of the E! network, Mark Steines of "Entertainment Tonight," George Hamilton and John O'Hurley.


  1. Definately the end of an era. I grew up with Bob. I'm planning on watching it both times on the 15th.

  2. "The Price Is Right" was part of my morning routine for so long, it's hard to imagine changes like this. I knew he would have to retaire someday, but it's not something I was looking forward to.

    I guess when they recently dismantled the east entrance at Tanglewood, which was extremely TPiR-esque, it was proof that no matter how good something is, it can't and won't last forever...but it still sucks.

    I'll catch the nightime rerun :-)

  3. I don't know who Todd Newton and Mark Steines are, but I doubt that they (or George Hamilton and John O'Hurley) could fill Bob's shoes. Who could? The show may not last without him.

    I will miss Bob. Since I have Fridays off, I will be able to catch the morning broadcast. I wrote a post tonight that linked to an interesting article about why Bob is so popular. Check it out.

  4. That's a great article. It sums up a lot of what made the show so great :-)

    I can't see Mark Steines as the TPiR host. He's great on "Entertainment Tonight," but a bit wooden for a game show.

    I don't know the other guy.