Happy Retirement, Bob Barker!

"Have your pets spayed or neutered."
I haven't watched The Price is Right since I was little, but with the upcoming retirement of Bob Barker, whose show tapes at the CBS studio two miles west of us, I decided to record Monday's show. The opening super says "35 Years" and the announcer is now a young fella named Rich Fields. (It appears Johnny Olson died back in 1985.)

As before, the audience goes wild. Those asked to Come on Down jump like crazy and ignore Bob as they turn to the audience for hints. But the contestants are noticeably diverse now — a woman in uniform, a South Asian man with poor English, a 250-pound girl with a Hispanic last name, a 200-pound black woman, a fit Hispanic guy, two white women... And they have a really pretty black hostess! There was a time when...

But why are the prizes still the same dollar amounts? $500 if someone on Contestants' Row guesses an item's exact price. $1000 if you get a total of one dollar spinning the big wheel.

They've still got Cliffhangers, where the mountain climber moves a distance for every dollar you're away from the actual price, but most of the games are mind-numbingly dull.

Thankfully, Bob Barker has very few senior moments. (Compare to you-know-who with the Alzheimer's.) They're celebrating his fifty years in show business. What a perfect time to retire while he's still lucid. He could still do something like Happy Gilmore.

Bob Barker
- host of The Price is Right for 35 years (since 1972)

The Price is Right
- the longest-running game show in television history

CBS SPECIALS / TV SCHEDULE

Wednesday, May 16 (8/7 C)
The Price is Right Million Dollar Spectacular
Bob Barker's final appearance in prime time hosting TPIR
contestants get the chance to spin the wheel for $1 million

Thursday, May 17 (8/7 C)
Bob Barker: A Celebration of 50 Years on Television
his reminiscences about his TV career and his 35 years on TPIR plus highlights from some classic games on the show