Drew Carey, who took over the show after Barker's retirement, showered his predecessor with praises for his on-screen persona and the relentless work he did for countless people over the years.
Bob Barker's name is synonymous with 'The Price is Right', a show that he made legendary with his hosting for more than 3 decades. It was no surprise when the game show announced that they would honor Barker in their upcoming episode, after his recent demise. But, nobody expected how emotional the ride would turn out to be with callbacks to his charm, affability, lovely heart, and activism. Drew Carey, who took over the show after Barker's retirement, showered his predecessor with praises not only for his on-screen persona but also for the relentless work he did for countless people over the years. The show ensured that there was no dry eye left in the room playing back some iconic moments featuring the departed soul.
Thursday's episode recalled some of Barker's greatest achievements and put the spotlight on the love he had for the contestants and the way he advocated for animals. Carey began the episode by saying, “Most people remember Bob from the 35 years he spent hosting The Price Is Right. So it's easy to forget that for 18 years, he was a fixture in America's living rooms for Truth or Consequences, a radio host before that, and a naval aviator during World War II. We’ll also remember Bob for his tireless work on behalf of all animals from whales and elephants to cats and dogs. He reminded everybody at the end of the show to get the animals spayed or neutered.”
Carey further added that Barker was a legend in the truest sense of that term. He believes that nowadays the term gets thrown lightly but if there was someone who embodied what it meant to be a true legend, it was Barker, especially with his work on The Price Is Right. The host went on to appreciate the skills Barker used to make the show what it is, and how all his little quirks and relatability made him "the master of the game." He was always confident when it came to his capability and therefore never deterred from making the contestants the "center of attention", making them "the real stars of the show."
Carey continued, "Today, we celebrate Bob's legacy with a look back at some of the incredible moments of his time here on The Price Is Right. This is for you, Bob”. The show then shifted to some memorable moments Barker had throughout his illustrious career on television. It started with Barker explaining how he entered the entertainment industry after his stint as a war veteran then turned nostalgic by showcasing footage of the very first episode he hosted of 'The New Price Is Right'. Some of his historic moments like announcing the transition from 30 to 60-minute episodes, debuting a new wheel, and introducing the game “Plinko" to audiences for the first time were also covered in the tribute.
Carey himself narrated some of Barker's milestones on the show like, "The thousands of episodes, becoming the longest-running game show in television history, celebrating his 50 years in television and so many more." In the current host's opinion in spite of so many milestones the achievement that in his opinion was the closest to Barker's heart was the CBS' honoring him by renaming the soundstage of the gameshow to "The Bob Barker Studio."
The host reflected how Barker even after retiring held a special place in his heart for the show and the fans. "Bob came back several times: once when he wrote his memoirs, once to celebrate his 90th birthday with us and then one final time for a very memorable April Fool's episode," he said. "And none of us were surprised that he never missed a beat.” The clip show ended with Barker signing off for the last time, "Now folks, I want to thank you very, very much for inviting me into your home for the last 50 years. I am deeply grateful and please remember to help control the pet population, and have your pets spayed or neutered.”
The host's death was announced by Barker's former publicist Roger Neal on behalf of Barker's girlfriend, Nancy Burnet. Burnet shared her feelings in a separate statement by saying, “I am so proud of the trailblazing work Barker, and I did together to expose the cruelty to animals in the entertainment industry including working to improve the plight of abused and exploited animals in the United States and internationally."