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So Long, Bob - June 22

As much as I'd like to cover more of this summer's crop of 'reality shows,' the big story has been Bob Barker's last show as host of The Price is Right. I want to get this done as fast as possible, so buckle up and here we go.

Good riddance to bad rubbish.

Whew. I feel much better. As much as people would like me to line up to kiss Bob's feet at the Temple of Barker, I won't do it. That he managed to win the Emmy for Best Game Show Host tells me that the contest is nothing more than a collective shoulder patting party displayed on live television, and certainly not awarded based on merit. (If there's any justice in the world, Ben Bailey should have won it, but that's for another time.)

Having the luxury of being able to compare his performance in the last five (or even ten) years to his performance early on, it's easy to see a marked decline. He has misheard bids, only to be rescued by the person listening to the Contestant's Row microphones. He has bumbled the rules of games, costing at least one person a new car because he failed to explain the intricacies of Card Game—specifically that an Ace doesn't end the game, the player is allowed to continue drawing cards, but I'm sure there are more. He has allowed people to cheat while onstage, and to collect their prize. When a game goes wrong, instead of having that game reconstructed and played again, he throws up his hands and shouts "You win the prize!" because it's easier to do.

I'm not privy to the details of his backstage doings, so I'm leaving that, as well as his personal life, out of this and focusing on his onstage performance. If Bob had retired ten years ago, he'd be among the great hosts of all time. Unfortunately, he stuck with the gig too long, and it has severely lowered the overall quality of his work.

Travis Eberle doesn't need a patch over his eye; but you knew that. Toss him a message in a bottle at traviseberle@gmail.com if you want to try and find his booty.

 

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