Sunday, August 2, 2009

Online Pick of the Week (7/31): The Nighttime Price Is Right

The pick this week goes to a little something called The Nighttime Price Is Right. In case some of you were not aware, yes, before Drew came along there were other hosts of Price, not just Bill Cullen in the late ‘50’s and early ‘60’s, but there were a couple in the 1970’s and 80’s even!

And in regards to those nighttime hosts, I really thought Tom Kennedy (who hosted from 1985-86) did the best job. I think he did so, despite him saying otherwise. I think he even did better than Bob Barker. It’s an interesting thing for me, as until about 5 years ago, I had not seen anyone else besides Bob Barker host a 1972+ version of the show that modeled the CBS era. I was impressed with Tom right off the bat. He had a really good time hosting, a great rapport with the contestants, and had the right amount of energy. This was also the first time I had ever seen Tom host anything and knowing that he did so well on this show made me confident that I’d like him in anything else.

I’m so-so about Dennis James, who hosted from 1972-77. When the show first started in 1972, judging from his 6th episode, he was great, did well with the show and the contestants too. And after listening to the 1973-75 episodes at J-Shea’s site, he did well here too. So he got off to a good start. However, after seeing a couple episodes from later in the run, things had changed and he seemed as though he were on auto-pilot. I wonder what could have happened.

As for one newer version that did not model the CBS format much, I really did not care for the Doug Davidson’s version in 1994. Didn’t like it when I was 8 years old and I don’t like it today in seeing episodes of it now.

The clip chosen is a segment featuring the game Switcheroo, in which something pretty rare happens! I won’t spoil it if you have not seen it yet. Switcheroo on The Nighttime Price Is Right with Tom Kennedy, my online pick of the week!

1 comment:

Daniel said...

The Dennis James version hasn't been rerun, and the audio-only clips (such as the Millionaire's Showcase) plus the two clips shown in Game Show Moments Gone Bananas are very tantalizing bits that can't be shown in full because of whiny old Bob Barker.

If the Dennis James era was ever officially released on DVD in any manner (season-by-season, best-of, all fur-less episodes), I would find some way to snatch it up. (This includes the daytime episodes he did in 1974 -- season-by-season, they would be extras in Season 3.)

As for Dennis being on auto-pilot in his last two years, I have to respectfully disagree; he was at his best during his last season, and the five games introduced in the nighttime rotation in September 1976 (Cliff Hangers, Danger Price, Dice Game, Hurdles, and Three Strikes) are all classics and (except for Hurdles) were played on both the Kennedy and Davidson runs.

And besides that, Dennis' first outing with Cliff Hangers was pretty bad, as Stan Blits recalled in his book -- Dennis called the mountain climber "Fritz", and after the game was lost yelled "There goes Fritz!"...which sent Janice backstage in tears for the rest of the taping.

At the end of his final season, Dennis only had 17 games in his rotation. I assume this was increased substantially once Bob took over for Season 6.