Bob Barker thinks successor Drew Carey is doing “a fine job” as host of “The Price Is Right,” but he also believes game shows in general aren’t what they used to be.
The Emmy-winning daytime-TV legend will be seen again on the weekday CBS program Thursday, Dec. 12 — the day he turns 90. It’s part of a week of episodes celebrating the milestone and also highlighting a mission famously advocated by animal-rights crusader Barker: pet adoption.
The birthday episode was taped recently, and Barker confirms his return to the “Price” set was emotional. However, he also tells Zap2it of the genre, “Some of the shows that they have brought on, and that have disappeared, haven’t really been game shows. Though they call them that.”
Barker cites such current hosts as Carey, Wayne Brady (CBS’ “Let’s Make a Deal”), Steve Harvey (the syndicated “Family Feud”) and Cedric the Entertainer (“Who Wants to Be a Millionaire,” also syndicated) as game-runners “who do the type of thing I did. I made a living making other people funny.”
That was first evident when Barker — who presided over “Price” from 1972 to 2007 — hosted another long-running game, “Truth or Consequences.” He says that show and “The Price Is Right” were “just right for me. I liked to interact and have fun with contestants, and to do interviews that really established their personality and sense of humor. There aren’t many shows that do that anymore.”
Barker notes that when his TV fame was on the rise in the 1950s, Art Linkletter took a similar approach to hosting “House Party,” as did Jack Bailey with “Queen for a Day.” He reflects that they “had years of experience, then they got national shows and they were so good. I listened to them. I grew up in a different period.”