Sad to hear of the passing of Bob Barker, the daytime television icon, who died Saturday at 99.
It was a long, great life and many of the tributes so far have dwelled, understandably, on his 35 years hosting “The Price is Right” and all of his efforts in animal rights.
But at our house growing up, he would forever be remembered presiding over the mayhem of “Truth or Consequences” from 1956 to 1975. The show was a kind of truth or dare in which audience members almost always had to do the consequence because they couldn’t answer some sort of impossible riddle or trick question before Beulah the Buzzer sounded.
Ralph Edwards began it on radio in 1940, taking it to TV a decade later. But it really took off when the smooth but sometimes sly Barker took over hosting in 1956.
Embarrassment and laughs usually resulted in the bits, but there were also times when people were reunited with loved ones by surprise while doing some elaborate skit.
Barker carried much of this charm with him to “The Price is Right,” but to me, it always seemed a follow-up to his grand work.
I got a chance to visit “The Price is Right” studio in Los Angeles in 2012, on a visit organized for the TV Critics press tour. Affixed with big pricetag/nametags, we were whisked inside the gaily colored curtains, sparkles and flashing lights of “The Price is Right” set, as if stepping back to the 1950s.