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Vegetarian Good Guy Bob Barker retires!

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  • rojony57
    Veteran TV host Bob Barker plans to retire from The Price Is Right in June after 35 years as emcee of America s longest-running game show and five decades on
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 1, 2006
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      Veteran TV host Bob Barker plans to retire from "The Price Is Right"
      in June after 35 years as emcee of America's longest-running game
      show and five decades on network television, CBS said on Tuesday.

      Barker, 82, who launched his national television career in December
      1956 as host of another long-running game show, NBC's popular "Truth
      or Consequences," said he was ready to take a break from the hectic
      pace of taping five shows a week.

      "One of the reasons for my retirement is it is really a demanding
      schedule for me at my age," Barker told Reuters, adding that he
      wanted to devote more time to charitable work.

      The tall, lanky entertainer, who grew up on a South Dakota Indian
      reservation where his mother taught school, got his start in radio
      and also emceed the Miss USA and Miss Universe Pageants for 21 years.

      An avid animal rights activist, Barker resigned from the national
      pageant circuit in 1988 because producers of those shows refused to
      remove fur coats from the prize packages.

      But the Emmy-winning star is most closely associated with "The Price
      Is Right," which he has hosted since the program began its current
      run on CBS in 1972. He is estimated to have awarded more than $200
      million in prizes during his career.

      Now in its 35th consecutive season, "The Price Is Right" long ago
      surpassed "What's My Line," which aired for 18 years, as the longest-
      running game show on U.S. television.

      The show currently airs two half-hour editions weekdays and ranks as
      the second- and third-most watched broadcasts on daytime television.
      The later edition averages more than 5.5 million viewers a day,
      according to Nielsen Media Research.

      Show contestants, beckoned to the stage when the announcer
      calls "Come on down!," compete for prizes by coming as close as they
      can to guessing the actual value of those prizes without going over.

      Barker said his affable, easy-going style in handling players whose
      exuberance at times borders on hysteria was a skill that came
      naturally to him but improved with experience. He credited the
      contestants with keeping the show fresh.

      "That game is different with each contestant's personality, and that
      is what has made it interesting for me," he said. "Working with
      unrehearsed contestants, creating spontaneous entertainment, that's
      what I've done for all these years, and I've enjoyed it."

      He said the most memorable moment on the show was when a young female
      contestant's tube top slipped when she jumped up and down with
      excitement, exposing both breasts.

      Barker, one of TV's first game show hosts to let his hair turn
      naturally gray-white, broke the late Johnny Carson's record for
      continuous performances on the same network show in April 2002.
      Carson retired in 1992 after more than 29 years as host of NBC's "The
      Tonight Show."

      CBS spokesman Chris Ender said "The Price Is Right" will continue
      after Barker leaves, "but it's premature to discuss any transition
      plans right now. Our focus now will be giving Bob a proper send-off."

      He became a vegetarian in 1979 when he started to promote animal
      rights after being named the national spokesman for "Be Kind to
      Animals Week" which culminated in May 1980. He also forbids any fur
      prizes and animal-tested products and/or prizes from being on The
      Price Is Right and also does not allow the rerunning of past episodes
      where those products were offered on the show (except the original
      Bill Cullen-hosted version, which Barker had no involvement with).
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