Let me tell you something about Matt Scott, fellow meteorologist at the TV station. He LOVES game shows. Matt is obsessed. That’s why it was no surprise when he asked me, last week, if I’d like to go to Foxwoods to see The Price Is Right Live tonight.
TPIR Live is an offshoot of the TV show. There’s a version playing semi-permanently in Las Vegas and another show which travels. That’s the one that was here tonight.
If he had his druthers, Matt would be hosting a game show right now. Seriously, now, as you’re reading this. Of course he’d have to fight me for it. Hell, I even offered to host a game show in Singapore (an offer that was not accepted, much to my dismay).
Frustration aside, we both thought this might be fun and it was.
The live version was hosted at the Fox Theater at Foxwoods, which seats around 1,400. We got our tickets and signed in around 5:00 PM.
Yes, you sign in. Someone really does take a Sharpie and put your name on a sticky price tag. Yes, I wore mine. Matt wore his too.
We had split for dinner (Steakhouse – excellent) and returned to the theater a little before the 7:00 PM show time. The place was packed. Up front, ushers were leading the crowd in a cross between calisthenics and cheerleading.
The Price Is Right is a show dependent on the collective power of its studio audience. This group would be primed.
At 7:00 PM the announcer came out, continuing the warm-up and keeping the audience up. Clips of Bob Barker and the long running° Price Is Right showed on large screens.
A few minutes later came ‘the’ music. You know it. You can hum it. Edd Kalehoff’s timeless theme music was blasting through the theater.
And then, they came on down!
Finally, an introduction for the host, and Roger Lodge appeared. Thin and of medium height, he was wearing a dark suit and carrying a stick microphone.
It wasn’t Bob Barker, but no one minded. Lodge hosted Blind Date in syndication, so he was a reasonably known commodity. He was their celebrity host and they embraced him.
The actual show lasted over an hour and a half. Each pricing game had a new set of four contestants. Lots of people won $25 in free slot play, which was doled out like sand at the beach.
As for the larger prizes, I’m really not sure how much was given away. An excited woman won $525 on PLINKO. I wanted to yell at her when she dropped one puck from the far edge of the game.
Oh yeah, PLINKO was there as was the big wheel and that Astroturf putting green. The set, somewhat worn from travel, was a dead ringer for the on-air set (which also looks a little tired when seen live).
The show ended with the Showcase Showdown in which both contestants overbid (one by over $25,000)! Neither won the 4-day Carnival Cruise nor the Honda FIT (a car I’d never heard of before tonight). Still, the audience left happy.
It’s probably time to say nice things about Roger Lodge, and I will. He did an excellent job as the host. It’s a job that’s significantly more difficult than it looks.
You’re not only hosting, you’re the guest wrangler – trying to make sure the contestants are entertaining.
Matt had arranged for us to see the backstage area. The producer, Chris, was ready to take us when Roger appeared to join us. He could not have been nicer.
I wouldn’t have been surprised to run into jerk! This is a position that could easily attract an ass, especially after a long run on-the-road.
He was friendly and talkative and obviously proud of his body of work. I always thought he was very funny on Blind Date. He was very good at this too.
We said our goodbyes and Matt and I headed to the car.
As some sort of wannabe intellectual, I should look down my nose at tonight’s adventure. I can’t. I had a genuinely fun time. And, I spent the evening in a room with well over a thousand other people who can say the same thing.
° – Long running, yes. Original, no! Price was on NBC when I was a kid, hosted by Bill Cullen.