Before Drew Carey, before Wayne Brady, before Pat Sajak, even before Alex Trebek, there was a game show host who towered above them all—Bob Barker—and not just because he stands over six feet tall. . .but that probably helps in a crowded room.
Barker, born in Darrington, Washington, (right next door to Oso, Washington, and the mud slide) on December 13, 1923. He graduated from Drury College (now Drury University) summa cum laude, with a degree in economics.
But before you say “Fannie, Bob Barker does not qualify as a funny name,” let’s play a little Truth or Consequences.
The truth, according to Dictionary.com, “barker: a person who stands before a theater, carnival sideshow, or the like, calling out its attractions to passers-by.” The consequence, a man who ruled the daytime television airwaves as a game show host from 1950 to 2007. He is only the second television personality to have ever hosted a game show longer than anyone else in the business, behind Mike Wallace of 60 Minutes fame.
If that wasn’t enough, he has been named twice by the Guinness Book of World records as television’s “Most Durable Performer,” (3,524 shows), and “Most Generous Host in Television History” (donating more than $55 million in prizes on the various shows he’s hosted).
But he didn’t stop there, he continues to make appearances on screens both large and small—and that donation number has now reached in excess of $200 million.
Who could forget the scene where he beats up Adam Sandler in Happy Gilmore? (Since we’re trying to keep a family rating here: language alert, if you choose to watch.)
The man does have a black belt in karate. And he did study under Chuck Norris, yes, that Chuck Norris.
Of course, Bob already received a nod from this venerable institution when esteemed fellow blogger, Mark, mentioned him in his outing about Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, renamed for the show originally hosted by Ralph Edwards. Barker later hosted from 1950 to 1974.
He and Edwards would meet every year—nine days after Barker’s birthday—for lunch at 12:05 p.m. to celebrate the day Edwards informed Barker he became the host of Truth or Consequences. That is until Edwards death in 2005.
So does it really surprise anyone that he should kick butt as a host for a show called The Price is Right?