14 June 2007

The Price is Right, According to Bags

It may be a week late but Bags finally found some time on the P&B bus this morning to jot down his final thoughts on the demise of The Price is Right. Let her rip, Bags.


Last Friday, after 35 years, Bob Barker decided that he wasn’t going to “come on down” anymore and called it a career from The Price is Right. It got me thinking that there were so many things that were so awful and so great about this TV game show.

Bottom TPIR Items:

1) The feeling of being lobotomized. The games were so freakin mindless and insulting to your intelligence but even though you knew you were going to be deprived of an hour of your life, you somehow watched the full 60 minutes to see which contestant won the year’s supply of Turtlewax.
2) The audience was typically a genetic cesspool. How else could all of these people have the day off from work?
3) Stupid message on t-shirts. Inevitably they would always choose some braless wonder with huge rack in a shirt made for a toddler with some ironed on message, like “San Antonio loves Bob Barker,” in order to get up on stage.
4) Contestants winning the wrong gift. It always seemed like a sailor doing a 12-year tour would win a new car. You could almost see it appearing instantaneously on Ebay.
5) Plinko – A no-skills-required game that was probably stolen from the Marshfield Fair. Awful and annoying, much like Wally the Green Monster.
6) Roll it Granny. Watching some 112-year-old cripple not being able to spin the 700-pound wheel for one revolution in order to advance the showcase showdown.
7) Not handicap accessible. Everyone was running down to contestants row, jumping up and down and bear hugging Bob. I never once saw a wheelchair contestant.
8) The first showcase showdown. This was always some lame showcase full of ceramic Dalmatians and prizes you’d never want, (which was always deferred to the second winner to bid on first.) This should have been called the showcase shaft-down. The second showcase always had some ridiculous prize like a six-month European vacation and accompanying sports cars.

Top TPIR Items:

1) The TPIR drinking game. Like most collegians, we at Providence College routinely skipped our 11:00 – 12:00 classes to drink beers while watching TPIR. For example, if a new car was offered as a prize you had to slam the beer you were holding.
2) Barker’s Beauties. How else could the TPIR pimp out some sponsorships that nobody had any interest in? Easy, get some modeling agency rejects to saunter across the stage in tight outfits to lather up the crowd. Anytime there was a close up, (on the older shows anyway) most of the models looked like leathernecks with bad plastic surgeries.
3) Contestant selection. With the exception of the OJ Simpson and Michael Jackson jury selection, you’d never see people that dumb lined up in a row having to make a decision.
4) Cliff Hanger – The game where the yodeling hiker went up the mountain based on the over / under bid of the contestant. There is a great bit in a recent Family Guy episode about this.
5) Mean audience members. You could always see the laughing audience members intentionally yelling bad numbers to the idiot contestants that couldn’t correctly price something nominal like a box of Rice-a-Roni.
6) The one-dollar bid. This bid indicated to America that the other contestants were dumb shits and they have all over bid on said product.
7) Bob Barker. He always presented himself as royalty or an aristocrat, when in fact he was nothing more than a cheesy game show host that was being sued by most of the prior Barker’s Beauties. In reference to his signature sign-off line, ‘he should have been spayed or neutered.’ What a douche bag.
8) The feeling of being stuck in a time warp. Much like when I go to visit relatives in Western Massachusetts, TPIR had no intention of changing its existence. The set, clothing, scenery, and games were encapsulated in the 1970’s.

I’m sure there are important items I’m missing here, but I guess work has not allowed me to take a closer look at this American icon for the past 15 years. However, “Are You As Smart As A Fifth Grader” looks like it could be a possible replacement for TPIR.


Bob said...

To me, the most spine-chilling moment of any TPIR show was that massive, whole body YANK!! on the wheel by some 80 year old yenta from Rancho Cucamonga.

Did anyone else see the poor schlep leaning just ever so slighty into their yank and falling into the massive spinning wheel and getting absolutely pummelled into the floor by those handles?

Every time I saw that, I feared for someone's life.

Again, the medical psyche in me coming through, envisioning blood and guts.

But someone else MUST have seen that? No?

jal said...

I remember the woman being called from the audience with a tube top on who lost it completely on her way to contestants row. Classic.

wmd said...

The only times I'd see TPIR were on sick-days from school (These were few and far between as a sick-day in my house required evidence of coughed up blood or a missing body part and a 48 hour diet of saltines and flat ginger ale).

I just remember a game where the person would have to make a putt to win. Bobby B would say "Look, I'll show you how easy it is." He'd then smugly hit an 8-foot putt, which for the amount of times he's done it and with no pressure on him was no big deal. Then some poor stunad who's never even been miniature golfing and with the pressure of not winning a washer/dryer in front of the world would grab the club with arthritic claws, try to hide the whiz running down their high-waisted pants... and miss the putt. Back to Duluth for you Mabel.

lpd said...

I loved Plinko. Something about the sound of those Plinko chips was quite soothing.

They should install TPIR games at casino's. Drunk people would pay big money to lose at Plinko.

Who was the announcer for TPIR?

KJ said...

That would be Rod Roddy, LPD. He's dead a few years now. I don't know who took over for him, though.

WMD-I, too, only watched TPIR when home sick from school (which meant bleeding out the eyes and hallucinating with fever.) I couldn't bring myself to watch the show years later for that reason--it made me feel woozy.

sb said...

WMD - that was a great recount of the golf game. How come you and KJ only watched when home sick from school? Didn't you watch in the summer? The Brown boys daily summer ritual was to watch TPIR in the morning as the neighborhood slowly filed into our yard to begin the daily whiffle ball tournament. In fact my younger brother Bryan's nickname - B-Hill - was a variation from a common living room prize, BroyHill Rugs. Man that kid took some abuse.

KJ said...

BG-I can't believe I've known you almost 20 years and never knew that's how B-Hill's name originated. I KNOW how Booer came about but what about Yonnett. We must've had this conversation at some point over the years..am I losing it?

Also, I couldn't watch TPIR in summer because it always reminded me of being sick. Not to mention, the Mahoney kids were on Constitution Beach from 9 a.m. til 5 p.m. pretty much every day of the summer. Summering in EB.

jal said...

KJ - they do have price is right casino games. Wheel of Fortune too! They even have an Austin Powers slot machine that talks to you. Viva Las Vegas!!!

KJ said...

Just a few more reasons to schedule our long-awaited Vegas field trip.