This is the first, and probably only, installment in a “series” detailing hosting changes of game shows I’ve watched for over a decade. It will focus on The Price is Right and recently-announced new host Drew Carey.


(picture from nndb.com)

As I’ve said before, The Price is Right is an institution for me, and Bob Barker is very near irreplaceable. However, the show just has too much of a following to discontinue, even though the man more responsible than anyone else for winning it such a following, bob Barker, has retired. Therefore, the show was faced with the most critical decision it’s ever had to make: who replaces the legend? As was recently revealed by the replacement himself while appearing on The Late Show with David Letterman, the choice has been made, and the choice was TV veteran Drew Carey.

Honestly, this feels so similar to the series on NFL coaching changes I just completed that I chose to retain the same format, even though this won’t be a series. In both cases you’re replacing a guy who used to be in a top position with new blood, sometimes hoping for similar results to the last guy (as in this case and with the Steelers), and in other cases hoping for a complete reversal (i.e., the Raiders). Either way, it’s interesting to watch.

Carey has a shot to succeed. He knows what it’s like being the main guy in front of the camera, since he starred in his own show for many years. He also has hosting experience, on the American version of Whose Line is it Anyway? and the new Power of Ten. Being a libertarian, he is naturally inclined to accept people acting like idiots on camera, as it is their right to do so. In addition, he seems like a pretty genial, personable guy who will be able to make contestants feel at ease, which is more than anything else what could make or break his Price is Right stint.

There is only one thing he MUST NOT do, and that is try to be Bob Barker. If he does that, he’s finished before he starts. He has to try to bring his own style; doing that won’t kill the show. It is and always has been centered around the contestants and games anyway, so if he lets them stand out, he should be fine. He may need a while to find a comfort zone, but he deserves a chance. Honestly, my saying this is the first sign to me that this show can succeed without Barker – as big a Barker guy as I am, I’m just as big on the show in general. More than anything, I’d like to see it succeed and continue on. As long as Carey is content being his own man, he can get the job done. Replacing a legend will be easier the less like the legend he tries to be.

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