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Where to Draw the Line
May 26

Last week, Joseph Doulson slipped through the ranks of the 300-plus hopefuls who queue up at Beverly and Fairfax for their chance to be one of the nine contestants on an episode of The Price is Right. Whatever Stan looks for in his contestants, Joseph managed to hide his real intent long enough to get a spot at the top of the show.

Once on the show, Joseph unraveled his plan. He had no desire to actually play the game; if one of his bids won the round, I'm sure he would be happy, but Joseph was more intent on capering and bidding things ending in -69 and -420. The capper of the day was his $2 million bid for a kitchen island.

The madness ended after the sixth one-bid, and sanity once again took hold of the world. Joseph made the rounds on, which is worth more to him than the various parting gifts that the three also-rans receive.

Within hours, the discussion threads and comments were off and running. The reaction was almost universally negative. Joseph's act was uncovered, and many complained that the spot in Contestant's Row would have been better served by someone who wanted to play the game for real.

Throughout all of that, one known contrarian seemed to be enjoying the proceedings, and I suspect he cheered with every bid of $420. His basic thesis was that we were all taking the show far too seriously, and any reaction at all was an overreaction.

I know there are some people out there who do put too much energy into their fandom. I try to keep it as a hobby and nothing more. But to say that we should just let Joseph do his thing without saying anything is silly. After all, that's the point of my soapbox here. I admit it: I get into game shows. I cheer for bonus round wins, wince at bad answers and missed opportunities, the same as I do for my local sports teams.

Good game shows draw out that sort of reaction, good or bad. To deny people of that full experience is wrong on every level.

Travis Eberle can be reached at, whether you like it or not.