LOSING HORN BLOWS FOR BARKER
We’ve got an exciting obituary for you today for The Price is Right emcee Bob Barker! Grim Reaper, come on down!
With the looming retirement of Pat Sajak, active US game show hosts who weren’t really known for anything outside of hosting game shows are on the precipice of TV history (Ken Jennings, famous as the greatest Jeopardy! contestant before taking up the host’s podium, comes closest). Bob Barker came from a generation bursting at the seams with such celebs – Alan Ludden, Monty Hall, Wink Martindale, Bob Eubanks, Ralph Edwards. It was Edwards who gave Barker, then a local radio personality, his lucky break hosting Truth or Consequences in the late 50s. A programme situated around contestants performing goofy stunts if they fail to answer unanswerable questions, Barker introduced a “Barker’s Box” segment he is now returning to.
He kept with the gig for 20 years before coming on down to price-gauging fest The Price is Right. Barker’s genial personality (he made a point never to rib a contestant) and the eternal relevancy of how much a car costs kept The Price is Right a popular grandparent/home-from-school pleaser, and he proved to be the most enduring game show host of his generation with 18 Emmys under his belt. His 35 years hosting the same game show was a then-record only exceeded by Alex Trebek and Pat Sajak since. His celebrity was even big enough in the US that he made a lot of guest appearances elsewhere that even gave him some vague UK familiarity without actually hosting anything in the UK: WWE, The Nanny, Futurama, SpongeBob, and beating the shit out of Adam Sandler in Happy Gilmore. In some cosmic serendipity, one of Price’s producers after Barker left was a completely different Adam Sandler.
So he was the dog’s bollocks with hosting game shows, and also made a name for himself asking you to de-bollock your dog. And even died on International Dog Day. His animal rights activism was arguably as well known as his hosting Price, with him donating millions to protect vulnerable species and ending a 20-year stint hosting Miss USA due to the usage of fur coats. After he retired from Price in 2007 and gave way to Drew Carey, he still remained in the public eye through his animal rights activism, talk show spots, and the occasional guest return to Price.
Barker was in robust health into his early 90s, then started falling a lot and all-but-vanished from the public eye. An interview with his girlfriend for his 99th birthday indicated he was actually doing decently for his age and had a fighting chance to make the century, but instead he came close to 100 without going over. Since 2019 enough teams have punched a bunch of Barker picks to attain him a Drop 40 spot, and 57 teams win the grand prize this year, especially I Like to Cease Beside the Seaside who takes fifth place in a competition that’s still close.
This is Bob Barker reminding you to help control the pet population – have your pets spayed or neutered!
12 December 1923 – 26 August 2023, aged 99
57 TEAMS (💀💀💀💀💀 + 40 = 8 POINTS, 🃏 (x8) 16 POINTS)