Editor's Note: Fans are saying goodbye to TV legend Bob Barker, whose final show is set to air on June 15. FNC's own Jamie Colby got the opportunity to meet this game show icon — click on the video below to view her interview!
It was an opportunity I couldn’t refuse. Sure, I don’t stay home all day watching game shows, but there’s no one in America who hasn’t had a sick day and not checked out game show icon Bob Barker giving away all those prizes!
I flew to Los Angeles and sat down with Bob just shy of his departure from the CBS show he’s hosted for an incredible 35 years. Five years ago, Bob beat Johnny Carson’s record for longest running host of a show. Bob’s had a 50-year run on TV. Before he took over The Price is Right in 1972, he hosted Truth or Consequences.
Bob was charming. Bob was tan. And it turns out, like you, Bob is a FOX Fan! We all have stories about how we got into the TV biz, but I especially enjoyed hearing about how Bob got his first job. On an interview for a radio gig, Bob wore his military flight uniform; he trained as a navy pilot and is proud to have had flight training in his early life. The radio station general manager was an aviation enthusiast. Bob found this out and spent his entire interview talking planes. He got the job, and the rest, as they say, is history.
When we sat down for the interview on the set of The Price is Right, Bob shared stories about his love for his late wife Dorothy Jo. As many of you may already know, they were high school sweethearts and Dorothy Jo was a producer for Bob. Together, they set the goal of getting Bob a national TV show. “She said that was what I did best. Not that I was good but of everything she’d seen, that’s what I did best,” Bob explained.
Bob and Dorothy Jo dedicated much of their time to protecting animals — Bob says that’s where he’ll devote most of his time after his TV retirement next month. His foundation, named for his late mother and Dorothy Jo, gets the word out on the importance of controlling our pet population. Who hasn’t heard him say those words, “Have your pet spayed or neutered.” He ends every show with it and wants to do all he can.
When we arrived at the CBS lot to see a taping of one of the final Price is Right shows, audience members had been lined up overnight. Many slept in the street getting to Los Angeles however they could. Most wore funny T-shirts saying things like “I’m a nurse. My next job? Taking care of Bob after he retires”. Folks will do just about anything to get on stage with Bob.
These devoted fans sure get worked up when they get the chance to go on the show and play Plinko! “People don’t realize I’ve had a very dangerous job all these years,” Bob tells me. “I can’t get insurance!” Bob’s been lifted up, thrown down, stepped on … you name it.
It was a once in a lifetime opportunity to meet Bob and hear what it’s like to leave a job you love so much after all those years. Bob clearly feels blessed to have had the chance to be adored by so many fans. “Not many 83 year olds know when they get up in the morning before the day is over they will get a standing ovation,” he tells me. “I told my housekeeper Mercedes that when I’m home all day, whenever I come into the room, she’s to drop whatever she is doing, stand up and applaud.” And if she doesn’t, I ask; “Well, it’s sure been nice having her around all these years, but she’d have to go,” he jokes.
Bob is kidding of course. He’s had enough applause to last a lifetime. As he leaves this stage he won’t leave us. In fact, at 83-years-old, he confides he’s dating again. “You’ve been dumped?” I ask after hearing that he’d been dating a fellow animal rights activist for years. “Yes, I’ve been dumped,” he says. I suggest Internet dating, but Bob tells me he doesn’t know how to use a computer! “No,” he says, he’s going to be hitting the singles bars!
Bob, you will have no problem. Even after you put down the mic on The Price is Right the ladies would still line up hug you! Bon voyage Bob and thanks for the memories.
• Click over to watch Jamie's interview with Bob!
• Keep your Troop Shoutouts coming to Jamie@foxnews.com
• Read the shout outs to the troops
• FOX Fan celebrates the Month of the Military Child!
Jamie Colby joined FOX News Channel (FNC) in July 2003 and currently serves as a news correspondent and anchor of "FOX News Live," Sat.- Sun 2 -3 p.m. ET. She anchored coverage of the passing of Pope John Paul II and the election of Pope Benedict XVI from Rome. You can read her complete bio here.