Nineteen members of The Collegian staff traveled to Hollywood yesterday for a taping of the CBS’ daytime hit, “The Price Is Right.”
After a three-hour drive to Hollywood and more than five hours of waiting in line, I can honestly say that it was an once-in-a-lifetime experience and worthwhile.
“The Price Is Right” is an hour-long game show that airs every weekday at 11 a.m. The most well-known host was Bob Barker, the second host since the show’s debut in 1972. Despite popular belief, Dennis James was the first host of “The Price Is Right” until 1979. Since 2007, comedian Drew Carey has hosted the show.
The Collegian staff had to report to the CBS Studio at noon and the show didn’t tape until 4 p.m. A sea of people wearing red “The Price Is Right” T-shirts, homemade T-shirts and uncanny attire filled several rows outside the studio.
CBS Studio employees handed us a green card with a number and an area to write down our personal information. Everyone had to line up in numerical order, I was number 156.
I sat next to a couple and their friends for more than five hours. The husband, an active member of the military, was number 155. We chatted about the games on the show, what we would do if our names got called and all that small-talk jazz.
After sitting in a row and playing charades with my colleagues and the couple next to me, 12 of us went in front of the show’s director and introduced ourselves.
I was the last one in line. The rest of my 18 colleagues were next. They watched and laughed as I told the director, “I’m an editor for an university newspaper and I’m aspiring to be the next Barbara Walters.” I also thought about busting out my old high school cheerleading skills by doing a high-kick or a turn.
But I stopped myself from the possible embarrassment.
The 11 strangers and I then walked by an In-N-Out truck, for employees only, and dropped off every electronic device we had. This included cell phones, with a camera or not, digital voice recorders, cameras and even nail filers.
We sat more and watched previous shows of “The Price Is Right” on TV screens above us. Once 4 p.m. finally rolled around, everyone went inside the infamous studio.
Catchy and high-beat music blasted as the 19 of us entered and danced our way to our seats.
George Gray, the current announcer for “The Price Is Right,” popped out from behind the curtain first. His radio-television perfect voice is the No. 1 voice that contestants want to hear while inside the studio. He started off by telling us the rules and when to applaud, or actually when to just look at the lit-up applaud signs above us.
Drew Carey came out and showered the crowd with his hilarious jokes. He came down the aisles and talked to selective people in the audience. One of the few people he talked to directly was our news editor Dana and her fiancé.
Nine contestants are called down, by complete and utter surprise, to the “contestant’s row.” More than 400 people filled the studio, hoping to hear their name and “come on down!”
Two employees held name cards on the stage to visually give audience members a chance to see their name, if they couldn’t hear Gray over the microphone.
Despite the overwhelming excitement among the audience, it was easy to hear the names being called because everyone was waiting patiently for the next lucky contestant to be called.
People in the audience were cheering, screaming, clapping and crying. I’m surprised no one fell down the stairs or kissed Carey. I would have if I had the opportunity.
To my pleasant surprise, the man I sat next to, for what seemed to be an eternity, was called down to the front within the first few minutes of the show. Yeah, he walked away with more than $22,000! I felt proud and excited to have sat next to him and his family.
Four contestants are on the row at one time. Each person bids on retail values on an item, the contestant with the closest price without going over gets on stage for a chance of winning a prize. Once one person bids and gets on stage, a new name is called from the audience.
If you watch the show, you know the rest and if you don’t watch the show, then go watch it. “The Price Is Right” taping that we visited will air Monday, March 28 on CBS. If you don’t want to wake up at 11 a.m., then TiVo it. You’ll see me jumping out of my seat and making a fool out of myself, but it’s worth it.