Bob Barker, the host of The Price is Right, a show which epitomised American consumerism, passed away on August 26. While older generations would be familiar with him in his TV show avatar, he is instantly recognisable to a newer generation as Barney Stinson’s “father”. Well, till Barney Stinson found his real father.
Spoilers for How I Met Your Mother ahead.
The story goes that Barney Stinson (played memorably by Neil Patrick Harris) was a single kid who never met his dad. Whenever the insouciant child, who would grow up to be a serial womaniser, asked his mother about his father, she’s lie. Fed up, Loretta (Barney’s mother) points to the TV and tells him that Bob Barker is his father.
This piece of information inspires Barney Stinson to train and go on The Price is Right. In Season 2 of the show, Barney turns up on The Price of Right where he wins all the prizes down and was about to tell Bob Barker that he was his son before deciding not to.
Later on, Barney and the gang discover that a pastor named Sam Gibbs is James’ (Barney’s gay black half-brother) father which convinces Barney that is half black. In the end, Loretta tells Barney that Sam isn’t his father.
Barney would get over his abandonment issues when he meets his real father Jerome Whittaker, a man he thought was his uncle. He accidentally finds out when the Met Museum notes that a nine-year-old Barney had knocked down the giant blue whale’s skeleton.
After Marshall’s father’s death, Barney is ready to face his biological father but is deeply disappointed that he had become a suburb dad instead of a scotch-swigging womaniser like him. In later seasons, he even tries to set up Jerome with his mother again only to realise that his mother had gotten back with James’ father Sam Gibbs.
Who was Bob Barker?
Bob Barker, the enduring, dapper game show host who became a household name over a half century of hosting “Truth or Consequences” and “The Price Is Right,” has died. He was 99.
Barker was working in radio in 1956 when producer Ralph Edwards invited him to audition as the new host of “Truth or Consequences,” a game show in which audience members had to do wacky stunts — the “consequence” — if they failed to answer a question — the “truth,” which was always the silly punchline to a riddle no one was ever meant to furnish. (Q: What did one eye say to another? A: Just between us, something smells.)
In a 1996 interview with The Associated Press, Barker recalled receiving the news that he had been hired: “I know exactly where I was, I know exactly how I felt: I hung up the phone and said to my wife, ‘Dorothy Jo, I got it!'”
Barker stayed with “Truth or Consequences” for 18 years — including several years in a syndicated version.
Meanwhile, he began hosting a resurrected version of “The Price Is Right” on CBS in 1972. (The original host in the 1950s and ’60s was Bill Cullen.) It would become TV’s longest-running game show and the last on a broadcast network of what in TV’s early days had numbered dozens.
“I have grown old in your service,” the silver-haired, perennially tanned Barker joked on a prime-time television retrospective in the mid-’90s.
As a TV personality, Barker retained a touch of the old school — for instance, no wireless microphone for him. Like the mic itself, the mic cord served him well as a prop, insouciantly flicked and finessed.
His career longevity, he said, was the result of being content. “I had the opportunity to do this type of show and I discovered I enjoyed it … People who do something that they thoroughly enjoy and they started doing it when they’re very young, I don’t think they want to stop.”
Barker also spent 20 years as host of the Miss USA Pageant and the Miss Universe Pageant. A longtime animal rights activist who daily urged his viewers to “have your pets spayed or neutered” and successfully lobbied to ban fur coats as prizes on “The Price Is Right,” he quit the Miss USA Pageant in 1987 in protest over the presentation of fur coats to the winners.
With inputs from agencies