Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Clock Game Controller - Since 1972!

Saw this backstage today and it blew my mind. It's the control box for The Clock Game on TPIR. Serving obediently and without pay since 1972.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

The Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, KS

From A Course in Miracles: "When you meet anyone, remember it is a holy encounter. As you see him, you will see yourself. As you treat him, you will treat yourself. As you think of him, you will think of yourself. Never forget this, for in him you will find yourself or lose yourself."

Beautiful, huh? I thought of this while looking at a video from BoingBoing.net of members of the Westboro Baptist Church singing "God Hates The World". If you click on the link and watch it, I have to warn you that it's tough to sit through. At first, I laughed because it was so outrageous. I thought it had to be a sick joke. But then, when I realized how serious they were about their hatred I got more and more sad. And after it ended, my soul was in a puddle on the floor.

But then I remembered that passage from the Course and I just let it all go. I ended up feeling bad for them, actually, trapped in that way of thinking and unable to have any peace because of it. And unable to offer any peace to anyone who isn't as miserable as they are. God doesn't hate the world. They do.

Now I'm no saint. And if you end up reading enough of my blog posts and tweets you'll quickly see what a hypocrite I am for asking that we all love one another one day and screaming at a soccer player on TV on the other. But I don't hate the world. In fact, after watching that video I love the world even more. Any world that can take that kind of abuse and still let you live in it is okay by me.

I'm just starting to raise a 4 year old. And after I watched this video I recommitted myself to teaching him so much about love that it will never occur to him to join a group like the Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka. That's my answer to them. I can't hate them. Hate is what they're selling and I won't buy it. I can pray for them, though. I can hope that one day all of them will come to their senses and get help so they can get out from under that horrible psychic burden they're carrying around. And I can work to make the world a place where, in the future where my 4 year old will live, the idea of the Westboro Baptist Church never crosses anybody's mind.

Care to join me?

Saturday, June 27, 2009

My Big Celebrity Life

While all the cool celebrities are busy going to the hottest clubs in Haaalywood just so they can get on TMZ, your humble game show host is at home with his fiance playing Second Life and watching Fiddler On The Roof. They just finished Tevye’s Dream. Now they’re at the wedding singing Sunrise, Sunset. I think I’m going to cry. Why didn’t she marry the butcher? The poor, poor, butcher? Yes, dance promise breaker! Dance and be damned!

But, now we're so inspired by the dance number at the wedding that my fiance and I have decided that after we finally sign up for swing dancing lessons and then salsa lessons, we'll take Jewish line-dancing lessons. What's done is done! Five chickens!

Anyway... Second Life. People build the most amazing things there. Like this fantastically creative woman (man?) Pandora Wigglesworth. (Who knows what her/his real name is? Everyone is anonymous on Second Life including me). She has a store called Curio Obscura (above). It's this crazy steam punk Chitty Chitty Bang Bang place that's built on the back of a crab girl in a top hat.

Inside are things for sale that I would kill to have in real life: A propeller that fits in your mouth and allows you to fly, a clockwork body and brain, a robot pillow fight machine, a hand-held X-Ray machine and Anywhere Doors. Anywhere Doors let you just point to a wall and make a door that you can disappear through. Man, have I needed that only about a million times in my life.

Uh oh, Tevye just had the Tsar's dudes break up his daughter's wedding. Entr'acte, which is Jewish for "Intermission". Get him in trouble at the end of the first act. Get him out of trouble by the end of the second. That's the sit-com golden rule.

I have a friend who thinks being on Second Life makes me somehow less of a man because all I do is shop and look for cool places like Curio Obscura. He plays World Of Warcraft. As he said to me in an email, "I go on quests and kill monsters all day. What do you do, change your shirt?" Ooooh. Good burn. Yeah, you're more normal than I am.

Speaking of normal. I'm going to quit blogging now, put on my clockwork head and play some Zyngo. In Second Life. While eating Doritos and watching the world's greatest Jewish musical.

OMG... now the other dude wants to marry his daughter without permission! It's the same movie I just saw in the first half! Just like Sin City. The same story over and over and they call it a movie. Kee-rist.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Price Is Right, The Ride PICS! (Thanks Adam)

Adam Sandler (the TPIR producer and stage god, not the comedian and actor) got me these sample pics for our "Price Is Right, The Ride" project. Can't wait to have these available for every taping. :)

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Two Tweets are Better Than One

It occurred to me today, as my Appalachian Trail joke was flying around Twitter and points beyond, that if one's name is TPIRHost people might think the joke was a product of, and had the seal of approval of, family-friendly game show The Price Is Right. (Joke: My new term for sex: Hiking the Appalachian Trail. Inspired by the Gov. of S. Carolina claiming to be hiking the Appalachian Trail for 5 days while he was actually in Argentina having an affair, and probably thought of by a million comics at once but it made me and my friends laugh so I tweeted it.) Not a dirty joke. But it does have the s-e-x word in it, so...

Also, I'm linking to stories that agree with my own personal political views (which Price doesn't even have - everyone on the show voted for the same guy you liked), and soccer (which no one on Price even knows the rules to), and lots of other things not related to The Price Is Right at all (which no one on Price even thinks about). So I thought it better to get a new, different twitter name to avoid any confusion when posting non-Price Is Right stuff before I got too many followers. (Over 7,900 in less than a week! Whoo!)

From now on, @DrewFromTV for all my Drew Carey, the comedian tweets.

And, @TPIRHost for all my tweets about The Price Is Right.

Cheers! :)

Price Is Right, The Ride

If any of you have been seeing souvenir pics of TPIR posted around Facebook and MySpace lately, it's part of a new thing we've been working on for fans who wait in line to see our live tapings. We've code named the project "Price Is Right, The Ride", because the pics remind us of the kind you buy after you ride a roller coaster at an amusement park. It's all part of our desire to add something extra to the waiting-in-line-for-8-hours experience. (Waiting in the line can be half the fun of attending a taping, though, so don't let the long wait make you afraid to come. People have great conversations and meet new life-long friends in line all the time.)

We did it with the audiences for the two shows we taped this past Monday. We had a big green screen set up out in line, and people posed in front of it like they were spinning the wheel. Then they were able to go online and download a pic of themselves that looks like they were spinning the wheel on TPIR, along with a "Watch for me on The Price Is Right on September 21, 2009" message on the bottom. There was also a Cliff Hangers pic you could choose, and I think... a Plinko.

Anyway, Adam Sandler is hard at work on all of it, and there'll be an announcement when it's all done and ready for daily use. Stay tuned!

Anyone have a pic on their MySpace or Facebook that I could link to so people can see it? Didn't want to post anyone's pic without their permission...

Comments Back On - and are now Moderated

I couldn't figure out how to delete an already posted comment without turning the comments back on first. Didn't want the comment that caused me to turn them off in the first place to be displayed even for a second, so I just deleted the post. It was the one with the pics of all the models. Will try to re-post those sooner than later.

Meanwhile, I have the "moderate comments always" button on, so hopefully this won't happen again. Thanks everyone!

More posts coming soon. Have some Second Life stuff to share, plus soccer and Dan Harmon.


Tuesday, June 23, 2009


I'm sorry to say I had to turn off the comments section of my blog tonight. (And I've only posted a few times!) Someone called a former co-worker of mine who I loved a horrible bigoted name and I won't have it. I won't have that kind of thing spread around the world via me.

I'm very new at blogging and I'm learning how to use blogger on my own by intuition (and a couple of reference books I just bought two days ago). I don't know how to delete individual hateful comments (or if I even can) and I don't have time to moderate them all. I have a job and a 4 year old to play with at home. So until I can get someone else to moderate or figure out how to scrub away the stain, comments are off. Sorry.

What bugs me the most is that it was all spill-over from a TPIR "fan" site that seems, at first glance, to be chock full of people that are metaphorically out on the street with their pants down yelling at a telephone pole. It's not, totally. But like it always happens, a few people start screaming at telephone poles and next thing you know you can't hear yourself talk. And a couple of them were treating my blog like it was nothing more than another thread on their message board, and then the one guy went over what, over there probably isn't even a line, but over here is. I'm trying to have fun here and let fans in on what's happening on the show, okay? Not moderate your arguments. Seriously. You can hate what I do, hate the show, whatever. But let's be civil and have a reasoned discussion. I won't tolerate people pooping in my pool while I'm trying to splash around with my friends and get some sun.

I can't wait for PriceIsRight.com to start up in a couple of months, btw. It will solve so many communication problems. All fans will have a home there. New fans, old fans, critical fans, everyone. And I'll be on the message boards there constantly (along with everyone else on the production staff). We'll try to answer every question, deal with every conspiracy theory, and debunk or authenticate every rumor. And finally, fans will have a place to go and get first-hand news about the show, instead of unfounded speculation that ends up not being true from a guy who claims to know a guy who knows a guy. And we'll find a way to control the telephone pole screamers so the rest of us can enjoy our cocktails and chat. Sometimes we'll agree, sometimes we'll agree to disagree. But at least we'll be able to, at long last, discuss the show reasonably and intelligently.

Again, most of you are cooler than hell. I'm touched by the love I receive here. But that last dude... wow. Take it down the road, pal.

And this kerfuffle is just from one Price Is Right post! Wait until I start blogging about soccer. Hoo-wee. I'm going to need two moderators just for the guys from Toronto. :)

Comments back on when I get help moderating them or find my answer in my Blogger For Dummies book. :) Meanwhile... peace.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Christmas in June

I can't sleep, thinking about the taping of The Price Is Right tomorrow. We're taping the premier episode of the 38th Season of The Price Is Right. Starting my 3rd season. Airs in September.

You know, you can't see it unless you come to a taping, but everyone busts their asses on that show. Cameramen careen across the stage to save shots, stagehands sweat it out lugging these huge set pieces and prizes faster than they did yesterday, Kathy Greco flips me cards and dodges cameras, Adam points me to where I need to go while talking to the director while talking to cameramen and stagehands while talking to Doug who is talking to stagehands and cameramen... it's amazing to be in the middle of. And you can tell they do it not just for a paycheck, but because of the dignity and self-respect they get from doing a good job. I love working there, surrounded by that kind of hard work, day after day.

Rich Fields and the models actually vacationed with me this year. I spend all day sharing the camera with people that are so nice I want to go on trips with them. It's a place were everyone knows and likes each other. Above the line, below the line, stagehands, make-up, talent (Rich and the models), no talent (me)... That doesn't happen with too many shows.

Visited the set today and saw Mike Richards (the new Executive Producer). Couldn't help thinking of how we all were at the beginning of this past season and how we are now. We met right around this time a year ago after Roger Dobkowitz left the show. Roger worked at Price for 36 years. He taught me all the games and all the patter that came with the games. Now I'm meeting this guy Mike Richards at Bob's Big Boy in Burbank. I knew what he looked like because I had to look him up on IMDB because I'd never heard of him. He used to host Beauty and the Geek. I was late. He was on time. He's one of those guys who are always on time. Always moving. Always thinking. Always working. A real Ayn Rand loving go-getter. I was late.

His deal hadn't closed yet, and there was still a chance (I thought), that it wouldn't go through. And even after the deal went through, he wouldn't be able to start for 6 weeks or something like that. I had a press dinner that night where all they were going to ask me about was what was going to happen to the show now that Roger was gone after 36 years. I remember during those days I muttered a lot while I drove and didn't listen to the radio much because it distracted me from my muttering. I was living completely out of my body. We started talking about the show over our diner food. Small talk. Nothing major. How do you like hosting Price? You must be having fun. I auditioned for the show you know. Oh really. Ha ha. What was that like?

Finally, there was a moment when we both knew the small talk was over. I took a deep breath and said something like "Well look man, if you're going to do this show..." and then I laid out all my frustrations, talking with my hands and slumping a lot. When we were done with our lunch I had no idea what was going to happen with Mike Richards. Didn't know for sure that I would ever see him again. But everything I told him I loved and hated about the show, he loved and hated. Everything about the show that made me roll my eyes or shout with joy gave him the same feelings. We were already starting to complete each other's sentences. Still do. I love working with people like him. I can't believe the amazing luck-out they had in finding him.

This was quite a year on TPIR. The entire production staff was knee-deep in it all season. I think the production staff has had more meetings this year than at any time in the history of TPIR. And not just general, how's-it-going-and-what-are-you-up-to meetings. There were meetings and discussions about everything. There had to be. Everything moved at the speed of light this past season. I don't even look the same as I did when the season started. We show clips of the show before the tapings and I don't recognize the guy on the screen. It's been that kind of year. I don't recognize myself from the beginning of the season to the end.

The biggest change in the show this past season? The prizes. At the beginning of last season, the show used to average about 6 new prizes per taping week. It was possible, if one wanted, to watch the show for a while and memorize the price of almost every prize we offered. Now, we do just over 30 new prizes per week. We smoke any other show on television on prizes. Everyone on the staff is constantly pitching prizes, every single day. And we have a meeting once a week to do nothing but pitch prizes. The staff comes in with dream trips they'd love to go on, stuff they saw in a catalogue that they'd LOVE to have, well thought-out themed showcases... the prize department can barely keep up with all the prize ideas everyone comes up with. At the beginning of last season we'd give away say... a trip to Vegas. Stay at a "premium hotel" or some vague language like that. Nothing wrong with it. But since the prize meetings, they came up with one of my favorite trips ever: A Private Jet (!) to Vegas, a Skyloft Suite at the MGM (where only rich guys like me stay) including 24 hour butler service, tickets to KA, tickets to a show at Caesars, two expensive dinners and $5,ooo in cash. I was drooling over that showcase. I'd never lusted after a showcase before EVER. But since the staff has been working this way I've lusted after most of them. The staff picks GREAT prizes nowadays.

Tickets to the Final Four, golfing at St. Andrews, a day on a Private Yacht in the Bahamas (just a small part of the Bahamas trip we offered), a completely restored '65 Mustang... our prizes have been CRAZY GOOD lately. All because of these prize meetings. They even get all giggly while they're pitching, jumping in with suggestions to make the prizes instantly better. I brag to my friends about the prizes we give away.

So that's last season. Lots of meetings and great new prizes. Video instead of old paintings. Trips you'd kill for instead of grandfather clocks. Hondas. Our last Pontiac (a G-6). New producer. New director. Host re-born. And we were just setting the table. Tomorrow, we eat.

Call it the Year Of The Bungalow. And give everyone in it the credit they deserve.

Here It Comes!

From the Bob Barker Studio at CBS in Haaaalywood...

How disappointing to be a TV star and find yourself turning to free blogger software to get your word out. I even have a friend I've already paid to build a website for me, but it all seems like such a huge pain. This took me 5 minutes and I didn't have to call anyone for help. I might not ever change the background either. I've got a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, so I think I'm good in the "notice me" department. For now ;)

I just need a spot to blog, that's all. I could use the Price Is Right page at CBS.com, but then I'd get stuck writing about just The Price Is Right. Same for the available-just-a-few-short-months-from-now-we-promise-from-two-years-ago PriceIsRight.com. (Honestly. It was up for a while, now static, and... available soon! We're announcing it during the show we're taping Monday. Airs in September. So here's hoping.)

When PriceIsRight.com is up and running for real (it really is nothing much more than a placeholder now, not worth linking to) I'll copy my TPIR-related blogs to it. Promise. And, I'll answer questions on their "dynamic message board" and make use of all the other groovy doo-dads that they are supposed to be loading it down with. Don't know what all, since no one has heard from them since the meeting. (The guy who promised to keep me updated on the wiki even called me Bro, I think.)

But meanwhile, get your first-hand TPIR word here. I'm also a minority owner of the Seattle Sounders FC, a soccer team that plays in MLS, the top pro league in the United States. I'll blog about that. I host a once-a-month radio show on Little Steven's Underground Garage (Sirius 25 and XM 59). I'll blog about that. I work with the Reason Foundation on their video projects. I'll blog about that. And, I have the coolest, smartest, funniest friends in the world. I'll blog about them. Stand-up career, improv shows, all of it. Consider it blogged. (And tweeted, while I'm at it.)

And maybe one day, when I'm sick of plain old free blogger software and the basic templates that came with it, I'll call my friend and really go all Huffington Post/WorldNetDaily on everyone. But don't hold your breath.

Thanks for Coming On Down. :)