It appears as if CBS has found their successor to Bob Barker, who retired at the end of last season. Comedian Drew Carey has emerged as the top choice to host the long running game show. Other names that had been tossed around were Rosie O'Donnell, Joey Fatone, Mark Steines (Entertainment Tonight), and Todd Newton (host of the show in Las Vegas). However, it was Carey that has risen to the top of the pile.
The Price is Right is a television institution, and a lot of care needs to be taken when choosing the next host, at least in my mind. When I was a young one, I used to love sitting in front of the televsion set at 11:00 AM, just waiting to hear those famous words: "Come on down! You're the next contestant on the Price is Right!" Watching the four contestants selected from the audience bid on prizes in the hopes of getting onstage to play Plinko, or Hole in One (or Two!), the Shell Game, or any other number of pricing related games. It was a highlight of my young day, and while my interest in game shows has waned in this reality show soaked age, my enjoyment of the Price is Right has never waned.
A good deal of my enjoyment of the show was derived from Bob Barker, a fantastic personality, a great voice, and just controlling that stage. The man had a charisma that has not been matched by any of the other game show hosts I have watched. It was sad to hear that he had chosen to retire, but after 35 years on the show, I can completely understand his desire to step back from the spotlight. It has to be draining doing so many shows over such a long period of time.
Anyway, with the star, and most likely biggest draw, of the show leaving, it was time to think of another host. Frankly, I kind of hoped that they went with a nobody, or a little known personality. When Rosie's name came up, I immediately said to myself that if she was the ultimate choice, I would never watch the show again. I do not like her, and she is way to much of a controversial lightning rod to work well as the host of the show. Then reports came out that she was offered the job, but was insisting on it being moved from LA to either Miami or New York, where she has homes. Then it went on to say how the producers didn't want her because she was only going to "gay it up," with talk of redoing the set, adding confetti, and Broadway hunks (whatever all that means). I tend to doubt most of these reports, and Rosie has even said that she wasn't offered the job. Then Joey Fatone's name was mentioned, and although I do not have quite as much of an aversion to him, he doesn't strike me as being anywhere near right for this gig.
With those big names out of the way, it appeared it was down to Mark Steines, who is one of the hosts of Entertainment Tonight, and Todd Newton, who hosts The Price is Right in Las Vegas. Okay, this was sounding a little better. I don't really know anything about Steines, so I cannot comment on his worthiness. Likewise for Newton, but hosting the show in Vegas seems like a pretty good selling point. In the end, none of these names mattered.
Drew Carey, who rose to fame on the sitcom bearing his name (The Drew Carey Show), has been the man tapped to step into some pretty big shoes. He has some hosting experience, having headed up the US version of Whose Line is it Anyway?, as well as the upcoming summer game show Power of Ten. He has a good persona that I think will fit well into the long running game show. When I first heard his name associated with the show, I couldn't help but give a little smile, as I thought, "Yeah, he could do it."
Carey confirmed his appointment during an interview with Late Show host David Letterman. Bob Barker is also said to be "cool" with Carey slipping into his shows. I just hope that he continues to use that skinny microphone!