‘The Price Is Right’ Host Drew Carey Opens Up on 50th Anniversary, Why Show is Still Popular

by Joe Rutland

For Outsiders who are game-show fans, then tuning into “The Price Is Right” has been a lifelong endeavor for at least 50 years.

Why mention its time on CBS? Well, Outsiders, the TV game show that made “Plinko” and “Come on down!” part of the American landscape just celebrated the big 5-0. It’s getting a chance to celebrate with an hour-long TV special on Thursday night. Fans can tune in or set their DVR for 9 p.m. Eastern, 8 p.m. Central.

Drew Carey, who took over hosting duties after longtime host Bob Barker retired, has some thoughts on why this show remains popular.

“It’s regular people [playing], that’s why,” he said in an interview with TV Insider. “And the viewers are regular people who get to see people they can relate to having a fun day and hopefully winning prizes they wish they could win.

“Even [prizes] you think aren’t so glamorous, like a new kitchen. I mean, I would like a new kitchen!” Carey said.

‘The Price Is Right’ Started Out As Half-Hour Game Show on CBS Back In 1972

“The Price Is Right” actually started out as a half-hour broadcast on CBS on Sept. 4, 1972. For Thursday night’s anniversary show, Carey offered some inside headlines.

“We have a brand-new game that’s really fun called Back to ’72,” Carey said. “We have prizes that we had on the show in 1972 when it was still just a half hour, and the contestants have to give us the price within a certain range of the 1972 price.”

Carey is in his 15th year of hosting the game show. Some Outsiders will remember him from his stand-up comedy days. He also had a successful sitcom on ABC called, what else, “The Drew Carey Show.”

Viewers Tuning In For Anniversary Show Can Expect To See Bob Barker in Highlights

As for “The Price Is Right 50th Anniversary Special,” expect to see Barker in a number of flashback highlights.

“He’s always been nice to me,” Carey said of Barker. “I really am so grateful. I started hosting a No. 1 show thanks to him.”

Viewers who tune in also can expect some high-end prizes and outtakes on their TV screens.

Only Barker and Carey have been regular hosts during the long-running daytime version. Barker took over hosting the nighttime version from Dennis James in 1977. That version ended in 1980, but another nightly version started in 1980 with Tom Kennedy as host.

Barker had previous game-show hosting experience thanks to “Truth or Consequenes” on TV.

Still, ask anyone old enough to remember “The Price Is Right” from its early days on CBS and they’ll recall Barker.

It’s OK, Outsiders. Time to show your game-show knowledge to family and friends.