Who Was the Original Host of ‘The Price Is Right?’

by Keeli Parkey

For countless fans of daytime television, “The Price is Right” is essential viewing. Whether you were watching it while you were missing school because you were sick, or just enjoying a day away from work, the show was there to entertain you.

And, the key figure to the success of the show for many fans was host Bob Barker. Barker is as synonymous to “The Price is Right” as Pat Sajak is to “Wheel of Fortune” and Alex Trebek was to “Jeopardy!”

However, did you know that Barker was not the first person to host the game show? It seems difficult to imagine, but that is the case.

According to Wikipedia.com, the host of “The Price is Right” when it debuted in 1956 was a man named Bill Cullen. IMDb.com has reported that Cullen worked on the show until 1965.

The Wikipedia.com article states that “The Price is Right” as hosted by Bill Cullen aired during the daytime hours beginning on Nov. 26, 1956. The show was very popular. That popularity led to a version of the show that was made to air during the primetime hours each week.

Interestingly, “The Price is Right” was able to sail above the scandals that brought down so many game shows of its day. Many other shows were brought down by accusations that producers were given answers to the contestants.

Interestingly, it was this issue that helped inspire the question-answer format of “Jeopardy!”

Turns out that television producer Merv Griffin was worried that he couldn’t develop a new game show because of the game show scandals. However, Griffin’s wife offered a solution to his troubles. “Jeopardy!” champion Ken Jennings shared details of how this played out in a 2014 article.

Bob Barker Takes Over as Show’s Host in 1972

It took seven more years before Bob Barker became the host of “The Price is Right.” According to IMDB.com, Barker began his decades-long tenure as host of the show during 1972. He had an unforgettable run as the show’s host. He was the man who drew audiences in until he retired from the show in 2007.

Bill Cullen laid the groundwork for the show’s success. Bob Barker carried that torch. And, host Drew Carey is keeping the tradition alive.

Bob Barker Shared Unique Message at the End of ‘The Price is Right’ Episodes

While watching “The Price is Right” when Bob Barker was hosting, you could expect several things. He was charming, of course, and he made contestants feel comfortable. But, one of the things he is most remembered for is his unique sign-off message at the end of each episode.

The message delivered by Barker had to do with how humans should care for their animals. His message was as follows: “This is Bob Barker reminding you to help control the pet population — have your pets spayed or neutered.”