Longtime ‘Worth Is Proper’ host Bob Barker dies at 99

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Barker started internet hosting The Worth is Proper when Richard Nixon was within the White Home. He was on the present for 35 years earlier than retiring in 2007. (Story aired on All Issues Thought of on Aug. 26, 2023.)

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A MARTÍNEZ, HOST:

Sport present host Bob Barker has died on the age of 99. Barker, whose profession spanned greater than eight a long time, was greatest often called the longtime host of “The Worth Is Proper” on CBS. NPR’s Amy Nicole Blaszyk has this remembrance.

(SOUNDBITE OF SHEILA COLE’S “THE PRICE IS RIGHT THEME”)

AMY NICOLE BLASZYK, BYLINE: Bob Barker began internet hosting “The Worth Is Proper” again when Richard Nixon was within the White Home. Thirty years later, the 80-something host of the longest-running recreation present in historical past nonetheless taped 5 reveals every week. He advised NPR in 2005 he dreaded his final day at work.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED NPR BROADCAST)

BOB BARKER: I do not know the way I’ll react once I know that I am not going to stand up within the morning and go into the studio and do a present, and it is arduous to stroll away from it. It is simply arduous to stroll away from it, so I do not. I stroll to it each day.

BLASZYK: Born in 1923, Barker grew up on the Rosebud Indian Reservation in South Dakota, the place his mom was a schoolteacher.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED NPR BROADCAST)

BARKER: I needed to pitch for the St. Louis Cardinals. That was my dream. And the one factor that prevented it was a complete lack of expertise.

BLASZYK: As an alternative, Barker pitched in with the World Battle II effort. He served as a Navy fighter pilot, though by no means noticed fight. After the warfare, he returned to complete school and took a job internet hosting a radio present in Los Angeles that ultimately launched his profession. His subsequent job, which lasted for 18 years, was on TV, internet hosting…

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, “TRUTH OR CONSEQUENCES”)

BARKER: Fact…

(SOUNDBITE OF HORN)

BARKER: …Or penalties.

BLASZYK: Bob Barker’s time internet hosting “Fact Or Penalties” is twice the typical lifetime for many TV stars. And for him, that was only a warmup. It was Barker’s position on “The Worth Is Proper” that cemented his fame. From 1972 on, his face was a well-known presence within the residing rooms of everybody from little outdated girls to youngsters dwelling sick from faculty. Barker even had a following amongst school college students who claimed to set class schedules across the present. A bunch of scholars on the College of Virginia based the Disciples of Bob Barker. They made a pilgrimage to the present’s taping in Los Angeles.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, “THE PRICE IS RIGHT”)

BARKER: And they’re Disciples of Bob Barker. Now, I’ve Matthew. Is Mark, Luke, John – are you on the market?

(LAUGHTER)

BLASZYK: The present’s easy format, individuals making an attempt to guess the worth of widespread family merchandise from Windex to washing machines, appealed to followers, and the present did not change a lot over 4 a long time. Neither did the host, besides as soon as, when Barker stopped dyeing his hair. Seemingly in a single day, he went from darkish hair to white.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED NPR BROADCAST)

BARKER: The viewers simply gasped, and I received a card from a person within the Midwest. He stated, Bob, you need to have had one hell of an evening.

BLASZYK: As a pop icon, Barker landed cameo appearances on TV reveals like “Futurama” and “Household Man” and some film roles. He performed himself within the 1996 film “Completely satisfied Gilmore.” And in a single scene, Barker, a karate black belt in actual life, teaches star Adam Sandler a memorable lesson in manners.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, “HAPPY GILMORE”)

ADAM SANDLER: (As Completely satisfied Gilmore) You want that, outdated man? You need a piece of me?

BARKER: (As himself) I do not need a piece of you. I need the entire thing.

(SOUNDBITE OF PUNCHING)

BARKER: They have been speaking about making “Completely satisfied Gilmore 2.” And Adam’s physician stated that he did not assume Adam may take one other beating like I gave him.

BLASZYK: Barker used his fame for one more nice ardour – selling animal rights. In 1988, after 21 years internet hosting the Miss USA and Miss Universe pageants, Barker resigned when producers refused to remove fur coats from prize packages. He established and endowed a basis funding spaying and neutering providers throughout the U.S. And lately, Barker donated massive sums to varied legislation faculties to advertise the examine of animal rights. Every day, he ended “The Worth Is Proper” with the identical phrases.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, “THE PRICE IS RIGHT”)

BARKER: Bob Barker, reminding you to assist management the pet inhabitants. Have your pet spayed or neutered.

BLASZYK: Barker earned greater than a dozen Emmys and was twice named TV’s most sturdy performer by Guinness World Data. The St. Louis Cardinals by no means knew what they missed.

Amy Nicole Blaszyk, NPR Information.

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NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by an NPR contractor. This textual content is probably not in its ultimate type and could also be up to date or revised sooner or later. Accuracy and availability could range. The authoritative document of NPR’s programming is the audio document.

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