In 2013, TV Guide included The Price Is Right in its list of the greatest game shows of all time. From intellectuals who otherwise binge on shows like Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune to school students and old people. They regularly browse through channels to stop at anything interesting. The Price Is Right is a show that appeals to every age group and section of the society.
The show’s format is simple. Anyone who can guess the right price of common household items, such as a bottle of canned tomatoes, coffee drinks and shampoo bottles, takes home some easy cash. One may think that guessing the right price is easy. Ask the pricing managers and they’ll tell how difficult it is to pin down the right price of a product. If you are a fan of the show, you must have certainly dreamed of hearing the line: Come on down.
The Price is Right is one of the most popular shows around the world. Its 49-season-long run, the show has continuously bagged top ratings. The Price is Right was also the first show to break away from the normal quiz format. However, since its inception in 1956, the show has changed a lot. The Price Is Right is not what you think — in this video, we will tell you about how the show has changed over the years as well as many other interesting facts about this hugely popular show that prove that things aren’t always as they look.
The Price Is Right Debuted In 1956
Well, The Price Is Right debuted in 1956. During the 50s and 60s, viewers send in their guesses about the prices of various items through postcards. Those who guessed right won. In his book The Box: An Oral History of Television, Bob Stewart says the show would get so many postcards. They had to hire housewives in Queens to open and check each postcard.
Contestants have won all kinds of prizes in the show. However, in 1958, a man named Carl Slater struck it rich with his winnings. What did he win? A dining room set, a white Palomino horse, a suit of armour and a Scotland trip to get the armour. Amazing, isn’t it? Well, don’t be too surprised. Before, audience members have also won things like a submarine, an island in St. Lawrence Seaway and a Ferris wheel. We told you the show has changed a lot over the years and thankfully so.
Bob Barker has the distinction of being The Price Is Right host with the longest run. He hosted the show for 35 long years. However, he wasn’t The Price Is Right‘s first host. Bill Cullen, often also known as the Dean of Game shows, hosted The Price Is Right between 1956 and 1965. Believe it or not, Bill Cullen hosted a total of 23 games shows during his career.
A Catchy Theme Song
The Price Is Right has a very catchy theme song. Listen to it once and you can’t stop yourself from humming it all day. The song was created by Edward Woodley Kalehoff Jr., also known for creating many other hit theme songs. Those are Double Dare, Monday Night Football and PBS Newshour.
Winners have to sometimes wait for months before they can get their hands on their winnings. Why? The contestants are allowed to claim their prize only after the show has aired. Producers of the show once revealed that this is done to maintain excitement and thrill. In an interview, executive producer Mike Richards said that they do not give away prizes to maintain a sense of surprise in the community. According to Mike, if a contestant won a car, took it home and showed it to everyone in the neighbourhood. Even before the show has aired, chances are people won’t be interested in seeing the show anymore.
Are you surprised to know how much contestants have to wait to claim their winnings? Wait till we tell you about the taxes that the contestants have to pay on their winnings. You will never hear the show’s producers talking about the taxes as they are afraid any mention of the very topic will hamper the show’s ratings, but we will tell you all about it in just a short while. Meanwhile, if you are enjoying this video, do not forget to like and subscribe to our channel.
The Price Of Commodities
One may think that guessing the price of commodities is one of the easiest ways to win money. However, this is far from reality. Guessing the prices of things is very difficult, primarily because the prices of different things are different in different states. So, how do the producers of the show decide the prices of various commodities they feature on the show? Producer Richards revealed during an interview that to ensure there is price continuity, the makers of the show obtain the prices from a single retailer in California.
The fans of the show think that one has to wait for the line ‘Come on down’ to be said. Then, the show’s host is able to win big money. The reality is different. One audience member revealed that audiences have to wait for long hours in front of the studio’s gate before they are even allowed to enter. Once they finally get inside, the taping takes another few hours. So, if you want to win on The Price Is Right, make sure to have a lot of free time at your hands.
Audience members aren’t only required to spend hours waiting outside the studio, they are also made to clap a lot, especially during the commercials. An audience member revealed that to keep the momentum going, audience members are asked to keep clapping during the commercials. This audience member further revealed that by the time the taping ends, most audience members go back with aching arms and palms.
The “Come On Down” Catchphrase
Talking of the catchphrase ‘Come on down’, not many people know that the line ‘Come on Down’ wasn’t supposed to be a catchphrase. It was just another line in a script given to Bob Barker. However, it was the show’s announcer Johnny Olson who decided to deliver the line in an over-the-top manner. The audience reacted with equal fervour and excitement to his ‘Come on Down’ calls and the phrase stuck with the people. Today, it’s the first thing that people think of when they think of the show The Price is Right.
The show has been on for close to six decades and though many things have changed during this time, one thing about The Price Is Right has remained more or less constant — the show is still old-school and mostly features carnival-style games. In fact, one particular game called Freeze Frame is hand-operated by a man who hides behind the machine. On good days, this person operating the Freeze Frame is introduced to the audiences and when that happens, the operator makes a few extra bucks.
Not just the games on the show but also the set hasn’t changed since 1972. The first episode of the present-day version of the show was shot in CBS’ Television City in Los Angeles and the show continues to be taped at the same location till day. Prize producer Eric Mills once said in an interview that other than the prizes on the show, everything about the show has remained more or less the same.
The Show Host “Bob Barker”
Bob Barker hosted the show for 35 long years and is certainly the most popular The Price Is Right host. Thus, when in 2007, Drew Carrey replaced Bob Barker, producers were worried that the show would lose its loyal audience. Therefore, to keep up the excitement, the creators of the show decided to change the games a bit to making winning prizes easier. In a blog post, producer Roger Dobkowitz explained that he and the other producers realized that for the show to stay popular, it was very important to make people win, at least during the first few weeks. Thus, after Drew Carrey replaced Bob Barker, the show went over budget by $700,000 in the first few months.
When Drew Carrey replaced Bob Barker in 2007 everyone was worried that the new host won’t be able to live up to Bob’s stature. However, over time, Drew has turned the show’s loyal audiences in his favour. How? Well, among other things, his decision to give away $500 from his earnings to anyone who makes the perfect initial bid certainly helped him win audiences and viewers. In 2017, CBS revealed that Drew had by 2017 given away $187,000 from his salary as cash prizes.
Until 2012, The Price Is Right, like most other game shows, hired female models. These models would stand next to the prizes up for grabs on the show. However, in 2012, keeping up with the times, the show hired its very first male model. Rob Wilson was a Boston-based male model who got the job because he loved the show so much that he often faked sickness to stay home from school and watch The Price Is Right. Today, the show features many male models, with the most famous one being the current presenter James O’Halloran, who won a nationwide casting call to become the second permanent male model on The Price is Right.
Many believe that the winners on The Price Is Right do not have to pay any taxes and get to take home the prize as winnings. The truth is contestants do have to pay taxes and more often than not, these taxes turn out to be massive. One contestant once revealed that they won $57,000 in prizes and had to pay $20,000 in taxes. Similarly, another contestant revealed that the winners have to sign proper paperwork regarding the taxes they must pay on their winnings.
So, did you enjoy these facts about your favourite show? We bet you didn’t know at least a few of these facts. Is these anything we have missed that you would like us to add to this list? If yes, please leave a comment — we love hearing from you guys. Meanwhile, if you enjoyed this video, do not forget to like and subscribe to our channel and press the bell icon to stay updated on all our latest videos.