Bob Barker was one of the best to ever do it when it comes to hosting game shows, as he led The Price Is Right for 35 years before retiring in 2007. Those were some pretty big shoes that Drew Carey was tasked with filling, and 17 years after he first began leading excited contestants through games of guessing the actual retail price of selected items, the comedian got real about how nervous he was to follow Barker. In fact, it seems one of his big fears was the show getting canceled and him being responsible for its downfall.
Drew Carey has said he learned a lot from the iconic game show host, and those lessons have contributed to him remaining the host of The Price Is Right for the past 17 years, but that doesn’t change the fact that stepping in for Bob Barker was a daunting task. On Who’s Talking To Chris Wallace? On MAX, the host asked Carey if he was intimidated to inherit the series from “the Babe Ruth of game shows,” to which Carey replied:
Yes, I was, my attitude was I didn't want to screw it up. Like don't let the show be canceled with me. Like don't screw it up, right. And so whatever they told me to stand or whatever, they told me to say I just said it, I stood there. I didn't want to mess it up. So, I had a little bit of confidence that I could do it. But I also knew I had to respect everything that went on and all the traditions because you know, you have to.
One of those traditions was continuing to remind people to help control the pet population by having their pets spayed and neutered — a cause that was close to animal rights advocate Bob Barker’s heart. Drew Carey continues to end The Price Is Right episodes with that signoff.
Taking over for Bob Barker — who died August 26, 2023, at the age of 99 — wasn’t just about Drew Carey honoring his predecessor, though, and it seems Barker knew that. Chris Wallace asked if Barker gave Carey any advice at the time, which led to this exchange:
CAREY: Yes, he gave me the best advice. He said uh, ‘Don't try to copy me. Just do your own show.’ And my joke is I don't know if it was a threat or a...
WALLACE: Whether he was trying to sabotage you?
CAREY: But that was the best advice. Like he knew that you couldn't get up and, and...
WALLACE: Be Bob Barker.
CAREY: Yeah, you have to do your own show. And then if they like it, they liked it, or they don't. And I just want, I was just hoping people would accept me.
I love to think that Bob Barker was actually threatening Drew Carey to not copy him, but now, nearly two decades into Carey’s reign on the show, hopefully he can rest assured that fans have, indeed, embraced him. For having been concerned about the show being canceled, Carey definitely seems as confident as ever in The Price Is Right’s longevity, saying he could see the show lasting for 100 years, and that he’s humbled to be a part of its legacy.
Drew Carey’s full conversation with Chris Wallace can be streamed with a Max subscription, and you can see the host on syndicated episodes of The Price Is Right on weekday mornings on CBS (check local listings) or with a Paramount+ subscription. The Price Is Right at Night airs at 8 p.m. ET Wednesdays on CBS. See what other premieres are headed our way soon by checking out our 2024 TV schedule.