These are the top reasons I have had a lifelong love affair with this classic, long-living CBS game show that has dominated daytime TV for decades:
1. The sound effects
I’ve always been a bit of a sound effects nerd – or maybe more than a bit. I love cool sounds, and there are plenty to go around on this show. From the upbeat dings when contestants win an item up for bids or one of the showcases, to the infamous loser horn when guessing a wrong price, I can’t get enough of these sounds. Most sounds have also remained the same for the entire duration of the show.
2. The music
The “come on down” intro music really gets me pumped. But when those horns start playing that theme music every American should know by heart, it really hits home for me. I loved the originalversion of the theme (Bob Barker era), and I might even like the updated jive-y version since 2007 a bit better. Despite its stuck-in-your-head-all-day reputation, I do enjoy the mountain climber music in the “Cliff Hangers” game as well.
3. The host(s)
I absolutely adored Bob Barker when he was the host. Despite all the claims against him from the models, he walked on water in my eyes. Perhaps it’s the fact that I’m an ‘80s baby – and that Bob was always like a grandpa figure to me – that I loved watching him so much. I truly admired his longevity as the host of a nationwide television show. I really think he could’ve continued hosting for a few more years, and I was in awe to see him – at 91 – host one game for the April Fool’s episode earlier this year.
As for Drew Carey, he has grown on me tremendously. He had a rough start gaining his footing as host, and he’s been criticized for not being overly excited when contestants win big. However, he has gotten so much better. I am very grateful he remains the host, and I hope he’ll be on for more than a fraction of Bob’s 35-year tenure.
4. The contestants
Reality television did not officially launch its genre with Survivor in 2000. It all started in 1972 when The Price Is Right debuted with Bob Barker. The contestants on this show truly make it a joy to watch. You see all ages – from college freshmen to some 99-year-old contestants I’ve seen take the stage. You also see all personalities. I can’t get enough of screaming, excited, crazy, host-lifting contestants who’ve waited for years to bid $1 or spin the big wheel. I also adore the clever shirts and attire that seem to pop up on almost every episode.
5. The prizes
The phrase “A new car!” has been ingrained in my head ever since I can remember. While cars are the most popular prizes, the trips to hot spots around the world can be fascinating as well. Additionally, I always like seeing the innovative kitchen appliances and creative food items that appear in some of the games. You certainly have to laugh when a guy wins a female-specific prize – or vice versa.
6. The games
Maybe I’m not the sharpest tack in the box, but some of the games on this show are confusing to me. By the time a game is played, I sometimes ask myself, “What just happened?” Fortunately, most of the games are easy to follow and fun to watch. I especially like “Plinko,” “Hole in One,” “Cliff Hangers,” and “One Away” – the game where the contestant asks the famous “sound effects lady” how many numbers he or she has correct in the price of a car. Of Course, “Golden Road” can also be quite dramatic.
7. The big wheel
The sound of that big wheel spinning is music to my ears. It’s always so much fun to see when a contestant gets so close to earning $1 on the wheel – or getting a score that is just enough to win the “Showcase Showdown.” Nothing is better than seeing someone win $1,000 and then get to spin for a boatload of cash.
8. The longevity
I’m a history buff at heart. I love watching classic game shows like Match Game or What’s My Line? before I jump onto Wikipedia to see when these episodes aired – and if anyone on these shows is still kicking. The same goes for my historic fascination of The Price Is Right. While it had a 9-year original run in the 1950s and ’60s with Bill Cullen, Its current incarnation is by far the longest-running game show in American TV history. It’s been on so long that four or five generations in a family have been able to watch it. So much changes in our world on a regular basis, especially with technology these days. But when there’s a constant in your life like this game show, it just makes you feel good to tune into a program that you’ve watched your entire life while enduring the ups and downs that we all experience. If this show ever goes away, I honestly don’t know how difficult it’ll be for me to take it. CBS at 11 a.m. would never, ever be the same.