Bob Barker vs. Samoan Women, Howie Mandel and Lawsuits
January 18, 2007 8:58 PM
“On ‘Price is Right’ I get a helluva lot more applause than that,' says Bob Barker as he walks out on stage.
Barker is here to talk about his retirement this summer after 35 years on the air. He successfully coaxes more applause from the critics, who historically do not applaud for panelists. Since many panelists are offended by a silent room, network reps in the back typically try to compensate by applauding and laughing extra hard.
But 83-year-old Barker, a self-described “old fashioned guy doing an old fashioned show,' doesn’t need any help. Some of his anecdotes are a little corny, the way stories your grandfather tells at dinner are corny, but the critics love him. He beams energy and confidence, taking command of the crowd.
On a few key subjects:
-- On “Deal or No Deal:' “I watched ‘Deal or No Deal’ just long enough to see what it was. I’m surprised [it’s popular]. It’s the same thing time after time after time. But I didn’t think ‘Survivor’ could work either.'
-- On his scariest contestant: “I’ve had so many it would be hard to choose one. I once had a Samoan woman pick me up as if I was a child and throw me around. And I thought that would never happen again. Another year, another Samoan came down to contestant’s row and she picked me up and threw me around. And another year goes by. And a third Samoan woman came down, and I made her swear she wouldn’t pick me up. Then she won a car and she picked me up higher than any of them. I don’t know what it is with me and Samoans.'
-- On the wrongful termination and sexual harassment lawsuits that “Price Is Right' has settled out of court: “I didn’t choose to settle any of them out of court. But various companies owning the show have chosen to settle. I wanted to go to court, and people of positions of responsibility wanted to go to court. Because they were frivolous lawsuits. They were distortions, exaggerations or outright falsehoods. But it’s good business to settle, it’s less expensive.'