Game shows are a popular pastime for thousands of people. One classic show is The Price is Right, which is where fans will hear the iconic phrase, “Come on down!”
Anyone can participate for the chance to win phenomenal prizes like a new car or a vacation.
For many years, celebrity host Bob Barker called contestants down to play the game. He has long since been retired, but some fans may be surprised to learn how old he was when he stepped down as the host.
Bob Barker started hosting in 1972
The Price is Right originally aired in the 1950s, but CBS rebooted it in September 1972. Barker joined the show as the host, replacing Bill Cullen. He was 48 years old at the time and has had a pretty long career on the show. He was the host of the show for a grand total of 35 years.
The Price is Right soon became the highest-rated daytime show and is one of the longest-running series in the country. It has been airing uninterrupted for over 45 years, with Barker at the helm for most of its run. The show is still airing new episodes under a new host.
Barker would host the show for over 6,700 episodes. This feat earned him the Guinness World Record for most episodes hosted. Though, Alex Trebek broke the record in 2014.
The host of Jeopardy! had completed his 6,829th episode when he earned the new world record. Still, doing thousands of episodes is no easy task, which shows Barker’s dedication to the show.
Bob Barker retired from ‘The Price is Right’
For 35 years, viewers knew Barker as the host of The Price is Right. However, all things must come to an end. Not only did he finish his time on the show, but he ended his 50-year career on television. He was 83 years old when he retired.
Barker had a pretty good run before his retirement. According to IMDb, he received the Guinness World Record for “Most Generous Host in Television History” for giving away $55 million in prizes. Later that amount would get bumped up to $200 million.
Barker won 11 Emmys due to his performance as a game show host. In 1999, he won the Lifetime Achievement Award. On the show’s 5,000th episode, CBS dedicated a stage to Barker, which they named the Bob Barker Studio.
In June 2007, Barker passed the torch over to Drew Carey. Many fans may recognize Carey from his time on Whose Line Is It Anyway? that aired in the late 90s. The comedian mentioned in an interview that he planned to keep The Price is Right the longest-running show in the United States.
What is Bob Barker doing now?
According to The Things, life after TV has been quite an adjustment for Barker. He reported that he has trouble remembering the day or week. Not to mention, he admitted to missing the people that he worked with. However, he does not regret his retirement.
Barker is still a passionate animal-right activist at the age of 96. He always has been an activist. Just before retirement, he donated around $1 million to Georgetown University’s law school for the study of animal rights. Barker has been spending plenty of time at home recently and continues to aid causes using his earnings.
He wrote a memoir a couple of years after retiring titled Priceless Memories. The memoir details his time on The Price is Right and his personal life. For Barker’s 90th birthday, he got invited back to the show in celebration. Overall, Barker remained out of the spotlight over the past few years.
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