Remember the first time you heard “Come on down!” on TV? That would be 1972 when “The Price Is Right” premiered on CBS.
That game show started its amazing run on this day in 1972. Show announcer Johnny Olson was heard to say that phrase after calling all four contests down to Contestants Row.
When all of them were called, Olsen would say, “You are the first four contestants on ‘The Price Is Right.’ Now here is the star of ‘The Price Is Right,’ Bob Barker.” If you caught this 1972 premiere, then you would see a youthful Barker walk out and take his usual microphone.
‘The Price Is Right’ Had Bob Barker as Host For 35 Years
Barker had already established himself as a popular game show host. He hosted “Truth or Consequences” from 1956 into the 1970s.
But Barker started hosting this show, produced by legendary TV producers Mark Goodson and Bill Todman. It would make him a household name across the United States.
You’ve seen him deal with out-of-control contestants spinning “The Big Wheel” for a chance at the “Showcase Showdown.” Obviously, many have also seen Barker barely survive those playing “Plinko” or other games.
“The Price Is Right” also presented a number of female prize presenters known as “Barker’s Beauties” at one time. They included Anitra Ford, Janice Pennington, Kathleen Bradley, Dian Parkinson, and Holly Halstrom. Parkinson and Halstrom, though, would file lawsuits against Barker and the show over their working conditions and other things.
Drew Carey Took Over For Barker as Host Back in 2007
Barker stayed with the show until June 6, 2007, when he taped his final episode. Comedian Drew Carey, the star of a popular ABC show, gets tapped to replace the longtime host. It was not a job that Carey took lightly because he also was a fan of the game show.
Now Barker has returned three times to the show. He has been an animal rights activist for many years. Fans always would hear him say, “This is Bob Barker reminding you to help control the pet population. Have your pet spayed or neutered.” And “The Price Is Right” producers let their host say it at the end of each episode.
The game show not only has given many people an opportunity to win big prizes. It also has become a source of comfort and companionship for viewers. Sadly, Olson and fellow announcer Rod Roddy died while on the show. Rich Fields followed Roddy, and now George Gray is that show’s main announcer.
“The Price Is Right” will celebrate its 50th anniversary on CBS.