''The Price Is Right'''s Bob Barker -- The quintessential game show host talks about his 28 years on TV

By EW Staff
Updated June 16, 2000 at 04:00 AM EDT
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After 28 years and 14 Emmy awards, Bob Barker was ready to give his final answer this year — that is, until producers of The Price Is Right promised to ”make me an offer I couldn’t refuse. They did.” In honor of his new one-year contract (and his recent Emmy win over Regis Philbin), we asked Barker, 76, to come on down and answer a few stupid questions.

What’s up with the skinny microphone?
We hold it in front of contestants’ faces as they speak, and [since it’s thin] we can see their looks of horror or joy. If I came on without it, people wouldn’t recognize me.

In your expert opinion, where’s the best spot to drop the Plinko chip?
I would place it in the middle.

Has anyone ever gotten the price of a showcase exactly right?
One time, both contestants came within $100 of the actual retail price. Only one won, of course, but here was the other contestant, who was less than $100 away, and she lost. She cut her wrists in the parking lot [laughs].

Did you ever refuse to kiss a female guest?
I’ve never refused a female, and I’ve even accepted a few from males. One was a U.S. marshal — I was afraid to turn him down. The other was a huge football player. He said, ”Bob, I’m going to kiss you.” I said, ”Yes, you are.”

Who’d win a tan-off, you or George Hamilton?
I think George is using an artificial tanning product that he sells, while mine is still the real McCoy.

How annoying was it to have strangers say to you, ”The price is wrong, bitch!” after Happy Gilmore?
Young people often want me to deliver that line. I explain to them that I was acting on the highest level and I would never talk that way in private.

Would you ever consider going by the nickname Bob ”Carnival” Barker?

Just between us, don’t you think Who Wants to Be a Millionaire is a game for sissies?
I think that Millionaire and all others pale in significance when the drama of bidding on floor wax is on the screen. Of course, I’m prejudiced.

You. Regis. Cage match. Who wins?
It would be hopeless for Regis. I have studied karate for seven or eight years with Chuck Norris. My body is a deadly weapon. At least, it’s killing me.

The Price Is Right

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