Daytime TV viewers see Drew Carey’s famous face every day on their screens on The Price Is Right, but the iconic TV star isn’t the first to appear on the hit game show. Before Drew, the Emmy Award-winning program was emceed by the legendary Bob Barker.
Bob hosted the current version of the game show from the time it premiered in 1972 until his retirement in 2007. When Bob called it quits, he had starred on 6,586 episodes of The Price Is Right over 35 years.
To find a new host, CBS flipped through their Rolodex of potential TV personalities — Rosie O’Donnell was interested in the position too — before landing on Drew. The Whose Line Is It Anyway? alum announced the news on The Late Show With David Letterman that July.
“I’m the new host of The Price Is Right,” he told host David Letterman. “I realize what a big responsibility this is. It’s only a game show, but it’s the longest-running game show in American television, and I plan to keep it that way.”
Even though Drew was looking forward to the big opportunity, he revealed he didn’t exactly jump at the thought at first. “[CBS] approached me right after the pilot for Power of 10 and I said, ‘No,’” he recalled. “Then they called me a month later … I met with them and stuff, and we’ve been negotiating ever since. It’s [now] a done deal.”
Fans were obviously heartbroken over Bob’s exit, but even the former Truth or Consequences host was optimistic about having Drew as the new star of the show. “I’m cool with it,” Bob told the Associated Press of CBS’s casting choice.
Though Bob said he wasn’t too familiar with Drew’s work, he still had kind words for his successor. “I understand he ad-libs very well and that he has a very nice, friendly way of working, and I think both of those would be helpful to him on The Price Is Right,” he shared.
Now that it’s been over 13 years since Drew took over Bob’s illustrious gig, fans can’t believe how quickly time has passed. Both men are still the only two people to have hosted the current daytime edition of The Price Is Right, though emcees Dennis James and Tom Kennedy hosted nighttime shows in the ‘70s and ‘80s.
Scroll through the gallery below to learn more about Bob and Drew!
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