This is my 3rd time on The Price is Right, yet each experience hss been so unique. On November 18th, Brian, JeNae and myself arrived in Los Angeles, and did some general sightseeing, but November 19th would be the true big day for us. We had some difficulty finding Hollywood Blvd, ending up deep west LA, which you do NOT want to be, as it's mostly condemned buildings. Luckilly, we did find our way to the Walk of Fame and ate at the Hamburger Hamlet... great stuff! We stayed at a hotel about 15 minutes from CBS, the Econo Lodge. Unfortunately, a $60 dollar a day rate got us a room that's barely worth $30... dingy orange pink carpets, ugly bedding and curtains, and a TV that hasn't seen the light of day since Carter was president.
Brian and JeNae at CBS
We arrived at CBS 4am on my birthday, November 19th. We were pleased to be numbers 39-41 in line and 2 hours went by fast enough, as there were 3 college aged girls next to us whose brother was in Iraq. I entertained them with favorite memories of TPIR and at 6am, or tickets were numbered, and we returned to the hotel until it was time to return to CBS.
Here we are in line at the Bob Barker Prominade
Again, it was time to sit on those uncomfy metal benches, but there was plenty going on to keep our minds off of it. Many wore "We Miss Rod" shirts and at least a few others were also celebrating birthdays. One man in particular caught our attention right away. An elderly man named Salvatore, wearing a green jacket and a white beret, showed energy of a 20 year old, as he ran up and down the prominade waving his arms, and getting everyone excited in the process. It was obvious everyone loved him. We predicted he might make it on the show... and we were RIGHT! More on Salvatore when the show airs. After a long awaited interview with Phil, we were soon in Studio 33.
We take our seats, and a familiar voice rings on the loud speaker... it's RANDY WEST! I had met Randy 2 years ago, but now I had the honor of seeing him do what he does best... warm up an audience. You have to see it to believe it. The dancing, running up and down the aisles to wild music, telling jokes, and interacting with members of the audience. It was POWERFUL. Randy has learned from the best, and I felt the spirit of Johnny Olsen in the studio. He even read the slate in a funny manner as Johnny used to do. Fremantle, if you are reading this, you'd be making a VERY wise move giving Randy West the job PERMANENTLY. Randy loves what he's doing, and looks like he's having tons of fun.
During one commercial break, an audience member asked Bob if she could hug Jeff. (He's the cue card guy) Bob said "He's working! He can't hug you! You're sexually harassing a man on the job!" Another woman asked Bob for a hug, and Bob politely declined, requesting a nearby college man give her one instead. Birthday wishes were also given to Bob, followed by the audience singing Happy Birthday. Bob also routinely asks the audience to "ooh" and "aah", and asks random audience members to demonstrate. One audience member gave a weird chant. Bob liked it and asked her to repeat it a couple times. Plenty also happened ON camera too, but more comments on that when the show airs JANUARY 12th! At the end of the show, Randy did what they call "pick ups", where he redoes some copies for various reasons. He did a pick up for Ziti's Crack Cream, and I nearly burst out laughing. I'm glad I didn't mess up your pick up Randy! Randy also signed shirts and ladies hugged him. It's rather obvious Randy already has fans, and Rod and Johnny's podium is in very good hands.
Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name!
That's right! It's the set of Cheers! The museum actually rents the set for parties that wish to use the bar for real. I'm sure it's not cheap!
Will the real Matt Kaiser please step forward?
Here I am at NORM'S seat!