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The Price is Right Returns Tomorrow Night, Sans Audience

It will be quite a site tomorrow night, when The Price is Right returns from its coronavirus shutdown for a primetime special but without it’s rambunctious crowd. How will contestants know the prices of cars and lawn mowers, when to bid one dollar, or whether or not to spin again with 50 cents without the advice of 300 strangers? That all remains to be seen, but credit to the producers and staff of The Price is Right for their willingness to accept this challenge head on.

On Jeopardy! all the producers had to do was move the furniture around. On Wheel of Fortune they’ve just asked the contestants to stand an extra few steps apart behind the wheel. The Price is Right has been on for nearly fifty years, and Drew Carey has been host for the last 13 years. It would have been relatively easy for them to ride this out in reruns. But they recognize that in times of trouble and uncertainty, America needs The Price is Right.

People will come, Drew. They’ll come to Hollywood for reasons they can’t even fathom. They’ll turn up at the Bob Barker Studio not knowing for sure why they’re doing it. They’ll arrive at the big doors as innocent as children, longing for the past.

They’ll walk out into the studio; sit in shirtsleeves on a perfect morning. They’ll find they have seats somewhere behind Contestants Row, seats they saw when they watched with their grandmother as children and cheered contestants. And they’ll watch the games and it’ll be as if they dipped themselves in magic waters. The memories will be so thick they’ll have to brush them away from their faces.

People will come Drew. The one constant through all the years, Drew, has been The Price is Right. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt and erased again. But The Price is Right has marked the time. This stage, these games: it’s a part of our past, Drew. It reminds us of all that once was good and that could be again. Oh…people will come Drew. People will most definitely come.

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