This year, Bob Barker’s birthday presents include a return to his longtime television home.
The iconic game show host turns 90 on Thursday, Dec. 12, the day he’ll be seen again on the CBS game show “The Price Is Right.” Barker’s reappearance will be a highlight of a full week of celebrating him on the program, with current host Drew Carey also presenting a daily segment on a concern long advocated by animal rights activist Barker: pet adoption.
“It went very well,” the ever-genial Barker tells Zap2it of his birthday show, which was taped last month. “It was heartwarming to even be there. The people were so nice, from [executive producer] Mike Richards right on down … and certainly including Drew. He has always, always been very nice.
“There are people there with whom I had worked, and it was great to be reunited with them,” notes Barker, who hosted “The Price Is Right” from 1972 to 2007. “Others who had left the show, but were still at CBS, came down to see me. They have a new head of daytime, Angelica McDaniel, and she came down to see me. I could go on and on; they couldn’t have made it a nicer day for me.”
Those hoping to “come on down” and play various pricing games made the occasion memorable for Barker, too. “The audience was very receptive. I got a standing ovation, and I told them it warmed the cockles of my heart. I miss that applause.”
Barker adds with a chuckle that he’s solved that last problem: “When I walk into the room now, my housekeeper applauds. And if I go outside and he’s there, the gardener applauds.”
Despite his good humor, also famous from his lengthy run presiding over “Truth or Consequences,” Barker — whose 19 Daytime Emmy Awards include one for lifetime achievement — admits returning to “The Price Is Right” was quite emotional for him.
“I had a lump in my throat early on, and tears in my eyes. As I told them, as I grow older, I cry much easier. On the other hand, as I grow older, I have more to cry about.”