Bob Barker has called his last Showcase Showdown.
Barker ended his 35-year run hosting “The Price Is Right” Wednesday afternoon at CBS Television City in Los Angeles in the same manner that has made him a TV icon: greeting frenzied contestants, giving away cars and making everyone who makes it up on stage feel like a celebrity.
After whipping the crowd into a frenzy before the 2:30 p.m. taping, announcer Rich Fields introduced Barker to his faithful devotees, most of whom had been waiting for days and had slept overnight on Fairfax Avenue for a chance to witness the show in person.
The six games played were longtime “Price” staples, including Grocery Game – in which taping had to be stopped because of a prop malfunction — Lucky Seven, Range Game, Any Number and, of course, fan favorite Plinko. Nearly all the nine contestants chosen to participate in the last show were in utter delirium upon making to Contestant’s Row. One fell down in route.
The last contestant to make it on stage before the Showcase Showdown had waited for five days in line.
During the first bid, where a bigscreen TV was the prize up for grabs, an image of a young Barker hosting “Price” felt like an appropriate homage to the gameshow icon, for which Stage 33 is named in his honor.
As the show came to end, Barker signed off by saying, “I want to thank you very much for inviting me into your homes for the past 50 years. I’m deeply grateful.” And as he normally ends each show, he reminded viewers to get their pets spayed and neutered.
The final show will be aired on CBS in both its normal daytime slot and in primetime on June 15.