‘The Price is Right’ celebrates its 50th season | Way of life


If you remember the price of a 30-ounce jar of mayonnaise, what an Armani handbag is for, and how much to pay for an iPhone 12, there really is only one place to shine – “The price is just”.

The longest-running game show in television history celebrates its 50th season this month and offers viewers a chance, as always, to ‘go down’ to win by guessing the correct retail price for various items.

Some rival game shows reward their competitors for their esoteric knowledge, others for their physique. With some shows, contestants need luck, a friend to call, strategy, or an ability to cook or sing. On “The Price is Right”, the value of things is itself valued.

“This show is about the amount of a can of creamed corn. This is what is great. Because you’re just scratching or you’re Martha Stewart, you’ve probably bought a can of creamed corn, ”said George Gray, the show’s announcer since 2011.

“The price is right” is a remarkably solid thing, surviving the retirement of beloved host Bob Barker in 2007, a renewal of models – sometimes acrimonious – the introduction of male models in 2012 and even foiling. COVID-19.

It evolved subtly, with sturdy grandfather clocks as prizes replaced by electronic gadgets. HDTV monitors make exotic trips to shop windows these days, and the packages themselves have become more experiential, with scuba gear or golf clubs added to packages to Belize or Scotland, respectively.

“We have really been able to keep up with the new pricing trend and what people want today. But it’s still the same game show – you still have to know the price of that laptop or that iPhone, ”said Rachel Reynolds, a model from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, who joined the show in 2003.

Competitors are mostly ordinary people, caregivers or home renovators or bookstore managers. “Good luck, man,” current host Drew Carey will say. Or, “Let’s see those great prizes out there, Heather.” They are delighted to be there. One of them recently wore a partially dazzled t-shirt that read, “Drew let’s party like it’s $ 19.99.”

The dozens of games – from Double Price to Five Price Tags and Plinko – test recipe-friendly prices for things like a 12-ounce can of corned beef, a pair of stainless steel patio heaters, and a six-night stay at Philadelphia with a Cheesy Steak Tour. The show is so sweet that even contestants who arrive on stage but can’t play a prize game walk away with a consolation prize of $ 300.

A two-hour prime-time special on September 30 will feature a look back at the top winners, new releases and a tribute to Barker.

“The Price is Right” debuted on NBC in 1956, with Bill Cullen as the host and comprised of four people bidding on items. The show was canceled in 1965, but the current version was relaunched in 1972 on CBS, with Barker as the host. He influenced a nation with his signature tips for getting spayed or neutered pets. Carey kept this slogan in his honor.

Since 1972, producers say more than $ 300 million in cash and prizes has been handed out. Over 2 million spectators have watched a recording during these years and 68,000 of them have become candidates. Over 8,400 cars were donated.

Reynolds, who married and had a child during her tenure, calls the show her “second family.” Her daughter has made several appearances and her husband has appeared on “The Price is Right” for wedding shows. But it started with a baptism of fire.

She was about six months into modeling awards when she was asked to drive a Ford Mustang on the set. He was at a standstill when the machinists brought him into view and his job was to “wave, smile and hit the breaks.” She pressed the clutch instead.

By the time she realized her mistake, the muscle car was drifting into the background, finally nudging door 3. “I was like, ‘Oh, I’m getting fired’,” she recalls. But Barker was courteous and didn’t skip a beat – and neither did she.

She credits the show with making the Barker-Carey transition seamless as well (something “Jeopardy!” Didn’t go well this year). Barker had unperturbed royal elegance, but Carey has his Cleveland blue collar wit and cuteness.

Gray said he was always encouraged by the candidates cheering each other on, even if they had just lost.

“If you’re the Red Sox, you’re not cheering on the Yankees,” he said. “But when someone else plays for you, you encourage them.”

“I love that ‘The Price is Right’ is always a positive show,” he said. “Everyone is participating and wants everyone to win. I think that’s really always a positive point in people’s day.

About Anne Wurtsbach

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