Come on down, Bob Barker! The legendary former host of The Price Is Right will return to the show next week for a pre-taped appearance to celebrate his 90th birthday, which takes place on Dec. 12. The Barker birthday celebration will actually air on the day of his birthday, while CBS will celebrate the special occasion with a week of Price Is Right shows that include on-air pet adoptions. The show's Twitter account confirmed his appearance yesterday.
Barker also hosted the game show Truth Or Consequences from 1956–1974, but is best known for hosting the CBS revival of The Price is Right from 1972–2007. His enthusiastic personality led to a swarm of wild contestants who kissed him after winning prizes, while his infamous fight scene with Adam Sandler in the 1996 movie Happy Gilmore led to him expanding his fan base to rowdy college students that began attending Price is Right tapings.
Since retiring, he has continued his work as an animal-rights activist. He was famous for closing each Price is Right show by urging viewers to "help control the pet population, have your pets spayed or neutered." In honor of his upcoming 90th birthday celebration, check out his 7 greatest career moments.
1. Price Is Right Debut
Barker began hosting CBS' revival of The Price is Right on Sept. 4, 1972. Although the show was originally hosted by Bill Cullen since 1956, Barker became synonymous with the show almost immediately.
Plinko made its debut in 1983 and the game that Barker helped create is undoubtedly the most popular in the show's history. It still remains part of the franchise more than 30 years later. Last month, the show celebrated 30 years of Plinko by having contestants play it during all six pricing games.
3. Going Gray
Most aging television personalities reached for the bottle of hair dye until Barker came along. On October 15, 1987, he revealed that he would allow his hair to turn gray. Fellow game show personalities like Family Feud host Richard Dawson and Jeopardy host Alex Trebek began doing the same thing.
4. Happy Gilmore
In what is widely considered the best scene in any Adam Sandler film, he and Barker had an epic fight on the golf course during the 1996 film Happy Gilmore. After Barker knocked Sandler out, he yelled, "Now you've had enough, b*tch!"
5. Executive Producer
Barker took over the role of executive producer on The Price Is Right in 1988 and immediately made several changes. He instituted a prohibition on foreign cars and animal-based products, launched several prime-time specials including The Price is Right $1,000,000 Spectacular, and created several new pricing games that have remained on the show to this day.
6. 35-Year Anniversary
The Price is Right celebrated 35 consecutive years on the air in 2006, making it the longest-running game show of all time in North America and sixth-longest running TV show ever.
After a 50-year career in television, Barker taped his final episode on June 6, 2007. "It's been a lot of fun," he said to The Early Show. "It's tough leaving this show because it has been a hit from day one. We've had 35 years never worrying about ratings, always right up on top."