Further to my post about bucket lists a few weeks ago, I just thought I would share one with you that has been on my list for some time, but fate has been stepping in the way of it coming to fruition…My wish is to appear on The Price is Right.
As Bob Barker would have said back in the day, I was a “loyal friend and true” as I have been watching the Price is Right since a class mate mentioned it to me in 1973. I started watching and was instantly hooked.
I am a Price is Right nerd, through and through, and will happily admit it. I credit the Price is Right for teaching me how to count up to 9,999 before grade 4, thanks to the car prices! The ones that raised the bar on my ability to count were the Cadillacs, Lincolns and Thunderbirds on the night time Price is Right (hosted by Dennis James in 1973-74). I miss those days when those full-size cards would pretty much fill out an entire showcase door… they were a thing of beauty!
I was such a Price is Right nerd at a very young age, I built my own miniature TPIR set out of cardboard, complete with turntable and “the big doors” (manually operated though). I would cut pictures out of catalogues and use my Matchbox cars as the prizes. I would also make miniature versions of the prize boards, of course, as they introduced new games. In retrospect, I feel bad for terrorizing my babysitters because there was not a night you would babysit me, and NOT be forced to play the Price is Right! (My sincere apologies to Wendy, Mark and Grant!)
Today, on an evening when there might be nothing on TV, if I have finished watching all the Price is Right episodes on my PVR, I will turn to Youtube and watch “vintage” episodes. I can easily fill an evening with Price is Right and time will fly by!
I even have a playlist of some of the “vintage” Price is Right background music I have collected from around the web over the years… yes, I have even listened to this playlist while running or taking the bus to work. I am a proud Price is Right nerd!
In 2006, for my final exam in Swedish class, I hosted a Price is Right grocery game entirely in Swedish, complete with music cues, game board, real grocery items (from the IKEA grocery store) and Swedish CDs as prizes… I got an A for the assignment!
Recently, I have noticed that the show has been flashing on the bottom of the screen the Twitter hashtag “#mybucketlist”. Clearly, I do not seem to be the only one who has dreamt of TPIR!
The fact is that I have already tried to make that dream come true in 2003 when my family took a trip to Las Vegas. In my mind, it was time to add to the itinerary a same-day trip from Las Vegas to Los Angeles and try to make it to the show. I sent away for my advance tickets, I booked the first flight out of Las Vegas into Los Angeles, grabbed a cab, and arrived at the studio a little after 8:00 am. The line-up was a little unbelievable, so I asked a security guard where the end of the line was. He said that they already had enough people in line for both tapings that day, including 100 people on stand-by, so it was really not in the cards for that day.
I was crushed! My heart sank! I ended up walking around Hollywood, completely bummed out, holding back the tears and the lump in my throat, waiting for my afternoon flight back to Vegas. I did manage to make the best of it and walked up and down Hollywood Boulevard, checking out the Hollywood Walk of Fame and Grauman’s Chinese Theatre so it wasn’t a complete loss. Upon my return to Vegas, my family did their best to console me.
I did manage to make up for it, a few years later, when I attended “The Price is Right Live” at Bally’s Hotel, again, in Las Vegas. It was a really great experience to see a slightly scaled down version of the show, and I was delighted to meet the host Todd Newton and announcer Randy West afterwards, both of whom I knew well from other game shows over the years, and whom I regarded as outstanding in their respective fields, so it was indeed an honour.
Here we are in 2014 and I am still a loyal friend and true. I think Drew Carey is definitely solid in carrying the torch as host, George Gray is doing a fabulous job as TPIR’s announcer, the new complement of models is excellent. I also think the cosmetic changes they made to the set were a bright facelift that benefited the overall esthetic.
While my original dream was to be a contestant on the Price is Right, given my history in staging play versions of The Price is Right, I think I would be more comfortable on the production side (for a day) rather than take the opportunity to be a contestant away from someone who really needs a new washer/dryer or money for college tuition.
Now that Rob Wilson has fearlessly blazed the trail for the male model on TPIR, that would definitely be a cool entry for #mybucketlist, male model for a day. It’s time to put my “relentless cheerfulness” (as my colleague Terry puts it) and the money my mother invested in my orthodontic work to good use. That would be very cool. Either way, the fact is, with my 50th birthday in the works for 2015, and a potential trip to California in the works to commemorate the event, a day behind-the-scenes at my all-time favourite show, would be an unforgettable dream come true and the accomplishment of a major bucket list item.