This morning, it happened. The Price is Right was aired on television and it wasn’t Bob Barker yielding the tiny microphone, asking old ladies if they needed help with the big wheel. Instead, when Rich Fields did his opening blurb (I miss Rod Roddy), he said, “And the star of The Price is Right… Drew Carey!”
Needless to say, it was quite the surreal experience for me. I have been watching The Price is Right for as long as I can remember, and we’re talking about going back to when I still wore diapers. My grandma, who spoke very little English, referred to the show as “100”, simply because of that big wheel where you tried to get a dollar. I know all there is to know about Plinko, Blank Check (a.k.a. Check Game), Cliff Hangers, Safe Crackers, and Hole in One (or Two!). It was Bob Barker that made the show so successful and that’s why he was the host for 35 years. That’s longer than I’ve been alive!
Watching the hour-long game show this morning, it didn’t feel right. We all know that Drew Carey will never be able to fully replace Bob Barker in our hearts, so I had to approach the show with an open mind. That said, it still felt very weird, uncomfortable, and… well… different. Drew Carey was clearly nervous, looking very stiff and regurgitating the same phrases on several occasions. When asking for bids from contestants row, he referred to each competitor by name and then asked each of them, “How you doing?” For the two pricing games that involved a car, he asked where they were from and then said that maybe they could drive back in a brand new… Yeah, you can probably figure out where that was going.
They changed the set for the 36th season of The Price is Right. It still has the kitchy atmosphere of the 1970s, but the color scheme has more purples to it and the logo is now missing the “35 years” part that was brought on last year. It’s still decidedly The Price is Right, but die-hard fans will recognize the changes right away.
On the bright side, Drew Carey’s new career as the host of The Price is Right started on a very high note: it was a perfect show. There were winners on all six pricing games and even when it came to Showcase Showdown (where they spin the wheel), both instances resulted in a $1,000 of bonus money. Whether this was set up or legitimate is anyone’s guess.
I don’t know if I’ll continue to follow The Price is Right religiously like I had in the past. Drew Carey needs to loosen up and he needs to improve his exchanges with the contestants. Honestly, Drew looked like an amateur on his freshman effort and he shouldn’t have, considering that he’s had quite a bit of television (and improv) experience.