Apparently, the time is right for Bob Barker to step down from his throne as the king of daytime TV. The long-time host of The Price is Right has taped his final episode, which is scheduled to air on June 15. Nobody can argue that Barker’s career isn’t impressive—50 years on TV, 35 years as the host of The Price is Right, the longest running television show in world history, 17 Emmy Awards (and he’s nominated for two more this year), need I say more?
But in addition to his amazing TV career, Barker has also been a long-time animal advocate. For years he has offered grants to spay and neuter clinics in all 50 states, he’s pushed all sorts of animal-friendly legislation including the current spay/neuter bill in California, since 2001
his foundation has given $8 million in grants to law schools to push along the field of animal law and of course, who can forget the way he’s ended his show every day for years on end: “Help control the pet population. Have your pet spayed or neutered.” He is the guardian of one dog and two rabbits—all rescues, of course—and his backyard has long been a safe haven for wildlife. He is also a long-time vegetarian, and the folks in our Communications department report that he’s doing surprisingly well in the World’s Sexiest Vegetarian Celebrity contest . . .
He was always busy working behind the scenes as well. While I was researching this entry, I ran across this Forbes article that explains how Barker was able to influence the show’s prizes and advertising over the years. Because he is a vegetarian, they don’t advertise meat products on the show, and at his request, they also stopped giving away fur coats as prizes. Snap!
Given the scope of his animal work over the years, I’m slightly ashamed to admit that being the sports junkie that I am, my fondest Bob Barker moment will always be him kicking Adam Sandler’s ass in the classic “The price is wrong, bitch” scene in Happy Gilmore.
Seriously though, I think this quote from MSNBC speaks volumes to what matters most to the man: “I think I would like to be remembered as a man who loved living things and did everything he could do to make it better for animals,” Barker said. “And when he had time, he did a lot of television shows, too.”
From all of us at PETA, cheers to you Bob Barker. Thank you for everything you’ve done throughout your career to help animals, and we can’t wait to see what’s next.