After more than 40 years on television, the venerable TV game show “The Price is Right” is on the road.
“The Price is Right Live!” coming Tuesday night to Davenport’s Adler Theatre, will bring all of the lights, sounds and especially the winnings of the television version.
There’s no Drew Carey or Bob Barker on the road, but there is Todd Newton. Newton, the winner of a Daytime Emmy Award for hosting “Family Game Night” on the cable channel The Hub, is the emcee.
Newton, a 42-year-old St. Louis native, answered a few questions from Go&Do in advance of the “Price” stop in the Quad-Cities:
Q: So, aside from not having cameras and crew members all over the place, how similar will this be to a “Price is Right” taping?
A: Very much so. I tell people all the time that the similarities between the TV show and the stage version are endless and the differences are few. The audience will get to experience all of the energy and excitement they’ve loved for over 40 years on TV. We have your favorite pricing games, the Big Wheel and classic set pieces. You won’t be disappointed!
Q: The pool of people picked for the TV show gets selected while they’re standing in line. How are the traveling version’s players picked?
A: Our contestants are chosen completely at random so that everyone — no matter where you’re seated or how far you drove to get to the theater — everyone has the exact same chance of getting called down to Contestant’s Row.
Q: Which individual games get the biggest response on the road?
A: Well, I’d never let the cat out of the bag and spill what games we may play when we’re there with you all, but I can tell you that if you love Plinko, then this will be a very exciting night for you. The Big Wheel also gets a huge response.
Q: You were one of several finalists for the job that went to Drew Carey. How big was the disappointment when you didn’t get picked, and does doing the live shows pacify a lot of that?
A: I do not believe in disappointment or regret. No one should ever live looking out the rearview mirror. That’s not what life is about. Everything happens for a reason, and I have been beyond fortunate to earn a living doing what I love doing on television for over 20 years.
Being a game show host, whether on television or live on stage, is the only true form of “reality” entertainment there is. I cherish the opportunity to share winning moments with contestants. I live for it.
This live stage show gives me the opportunity to meet fellow game show fans all over the country and perform over 200 times per year. Who could ask for more than that?
Q: Besides being on the road with “Price,” what do you have in the works?
A: We have a lot of wonderful stops ahead on the “Price Live!” tour. I’ll be delivering my keynote presentations in Europe later in the year, and my book, “Life in the Bonus Round: A Game Show Host’s Road to Success & Fulfillment,” is doing well. I’m having a great time!
Q: I don’t remember “game show host” as an option on career day. How did you get there and was there any sort of stigma or negative stereotypes of the job to overcome? And what are your future plans?
A: When I was growing up in St. Louis, I remember watching Bob Barker, Johnny Carson and Dick Clark on TV and thinking, “That’s what I want to do!” I started in radio and moved to Hollywood in 1995 to work on E! Entertainment Television. It was there that I got to host just about every type of show.
When I hosted my first game show in 1999, “Hollywood Showdown,” I immediately felt right at home and knew that’s what I was meant to do. Bob was kind enough to take me under his wing and teach me how to do it correctly and with respect to the genre.
Regarding future plans, we have a lot of wonderful stops ahead on the “Price Live!” tour. I’ll be delivering my keynote presentations in Europe later in the year, and my book, “Life in the Bonus Round: A Game Show Host’s Road to Success & Fulfillment,” is doing well.
I’m having a great time!