I’m at a loss for words. One of television’s greats has departed to the great big Plinko board in the sky. Honored to have met him, and he’s no doubt left an indelible mark on game show history and animal rights causes. He contributed the majority of his life to radio and television, inspiring countless broadcasters that grew up watching him on The Price is Right, as I did. In fact, I was fortunate enough to tell him in person in 2007... shortly before he retired from his 35 years hosting the world's longest-running game show.
Was he perfect behind the scenes? No, most likely not... but honestly, who in Hollywood is? Bob was always professional on camera and could not have been nicer to me when I heard those infamous words come out of Rich Field's mouth: "Come On Down!" when I went to one of Bob's final tapings of "The Price is Right" at CBS Television City, the show's longtime home until this year. When I met him, Bob was 83 years young and finally about to enter retirement. He had the careful grace of a grandfather who cares about all the kids in the neighborhood. A gentle smile, quick wit, and always in control. It was awesome to see the man in action. A man until then I had only seen on a little box in my living room.
I'm sure I'll have more to say about Mr. Barker's passing on my shows over the next few days, but until then, I'll leave you with this look back at a much-younger me living out a dream-come-true on CBS: