The Time I Met My Idol, Bob Barker, on the Set of ‘The Price is Right’
Have you ever had a celebrity that meant so much to you? Someone you admired, looked up to, and wanted to be like? I think we all have at least one, and sadly, the one I idolized the most passed away recently at the age of 99.
Bob Barker, was a legend in television for not only hosting The Price is Right for 35 years, but hosting Truth or Consequences for 20 years. The world has lost a television icon that cannot be replaced.
Luckily, I was fortunate enough to have met my celebrity idol in 1999 when I went to see The Price is Right in person, and it was an experience that I will never forget.
I'm a Bob Barker and The Price is Right superfan. I had every home edition of The Price is Right that was ever made as a kid, and I would make the other kids on my street be the contestants while I was Bob. I still have all those games. This is just half of them, with another three stored safely away.
I even have Plinko.
I've hosted a local charity version of The Price is Right in Livermore Falls and Oxford Hills.
When Danny Cashman of The Nite Show needed someone to play the role of Bob Barker when a kid who was as much of a fan of the show as I was came on his show, I was quick to take the trip to Bangor.
You don't get much more superfan than that. Or do you?
It wasn't until 1999 that I finally flew to Los Angeles to see a taping of The Price is Right, something I had wanted to do all those years. I was such a Price geek that I ran a website that recapped every episode of the show the day it aired. That site eventually morphed into the biggest Price is Right fan site, golden-road.net, named after one of the show's pricing games.
It was because of that site that I met a guy by the name of Marc Green who happened to be going to the show for the same taping I was.
Marc knew the producer of the show, Roger Dobkowitz, and was able to get us second-row seats in the audience! It was a fantastic experience. That's me in the green checkered shirt. You can watch it on YouTube.
After the show was over, Roger invited us backstage to see the inner workings of the show. As we approached a dressing room, he said "Just a second," and knocked on the door. Out walked Bob Barker to say hello to us. Here I was standing in front of the man who felt like a family member to me with as much time as I spent watching him on TV.
He shook my hand and was extremely generous to take the time to say hello. I honestly can't even remember what I said at the time. Sadly, there are no photos. This was 1999 and smartphones weren't a thing, but disposable cameras were, which of course was back in my hotel.
When I heard that Bob had passed, it hit me hard. I've been pretty public on the morning show about how much this man meant to me. Even though I only him met once in my life, I felt like I had known him for all my life.
Bob had a sign that someone put on his dressing room door that he kept there for years with the initials W.G.M.C. They stood for the "World's Greatest Emcee." It's a well-deserved title. Bob was the best of the best. The Price is Right has never and will never be the same without him.