Come On Down: The Next Generation Of Game Show Hosts
Who can possibly replace Bob Barker as host of The Price Is Right?
Relax. There are so many ways to go with this.
Barker only just announced his retirement, but it's already rumored in the New York Daily News that Dave Price, the weatherman for CBS' The Early Show, will get the TPIR hosting job on top of his existing job.
If that happens, it's history repeating itself. Wheel of Fortune's Pat Sajak (another possible candidate for TPIR) was a happy talking weatherguy at KNBC-TV in Los Angeles when game show producer (and former game & talk show host) Merv Griffin discovered Sajak.
Game show hosts come from all over the place. Local TV, radio, comedy clubs. Disgraced former members of Congress. Who would have thought Howie Mandel could, in any way, shape or form, be of any use to NBC? Right now, hosting Deal or No Deal, he's the one thing they have that seems to be working.
Here's my off-the-top-of-my-head picks of names you've probably heard of to replace Barker at The Price Is Right:
Rikki Lake. She's auditioned for the job, in a sense, in a summer replacement game show medley that ran on CBS prime time a few months ago. And she did pretty well.
Chuck Woolery. Here's an old-school experienced-hand-at-game-shows pick. Probably too old to get the gig (he's 66) although he's still working and his experience (Wheel of Fortune, Love Connection, Lingo, Greed) makes him a safe, high recognition-factor pick.
Paula Poundstone. Damned funny, perfect attitude and sense of humor for game shows. A bout with alcoholism that led to felony child endangerment charges is history. Veteran panelist of a To Tell The Truth revival in 2000 and the ongoing radio game show Wait Wait Don't Tell Me.
Tim Allen. Just because he does the occasional Disney movie, he is not too big a star. At 51 I think he'd be smart to get on this train and ride it for a good 20 years or so. (Allen's former co-star on Home Improvement, Richard Karn, has done a decent job hosting a Family Feud revival, but I don't think he quite makes the "A" list for game show hosts.)
Donny Osmond. He did a revival of Pyramid a couple years back - pretty well. He turns 49 this year, got a lot of game show years left in him.
But who needs a name? A relative no-name like a Dave Price has as much chance as someone with a name to make a successful run at this. Just ask Pat Sajak.