The Price Is Right Wasn't The First Game Show Bob Barker Hosted

Even though it's been years since he retired from his hosting duties, Bob Barker remains synonymous with the popular game show "The Price is Right." The legendary host, who has been touted as "Mr. Television Game Show," helmed the program for 35 years, filming a staggering 6,726 episodes throughout his three-decade tenure on the show.

Throughout those years of being the face of "Price," not once did Barker even think of quitting. The game show icon genuinely enjoyed his job, and he said it was because no two games are the same. "That game is different with each contestant's personality, and that is what has made it interesting for me," he told Reuters. "Working with unrehearsed contestants, creating spontaneous entertainment, that's what I've done for all these years, and I've enjoyed it." He also shared with the Los Angeles Times that part of his appeal as a host was that he was, well, a silver fox. "I was prematurely gray," he noted. "I guess it could be that technology at that time was not what it is today, but I didn't look good. It looked like I had no hair at my temples, so they suggested I tint it." One day, he decided to leave his hair be, and the ratings reportedly soared.

Of course, apart from Barker's enthusiasm for the show and his gray locks, another reason why he lasted 35 years was that he was legitimately a stellar host. As it turns out, he was already a game-show veteran before he was tapped to host "Price," having helmed a different program for almost two decades.

Bob Barker hosted Truth or Consequences for 18 years

Before Bob Barker invited audiences to "come on down" on "The Price is Right," he first subjected game show contestants to face the "consequences" for failing to answer questions with speed by making them perform wacky stunts. In case you didn't know, Barker hosted the game show "Truth or Consequences" for nearly two decades, making it the program that initially catapulted him into fame.

He achieved great strides while hosting the program from 1956 to 1975, including popularizing videotaping episodes and scoring a Guinness World Record. In his tribute to the Television Academy Hall of Fame, Barker recalled how desperately he wanted to land the gig before it was given to him. "I lost about five to ten pounds [waiting for that decision]," he shared. "I really wanted that show... I had done some local television, but not much, and I had done radio on a regional network. But I had never done a national show. All the wonderful things that have happened to me, it all began with that telephone call."

And while he is associated more with his work on "Price," he looks back at his time on "Truth or Consequences" fondly. "I had thirty-five great years on 'The Price Is Right,' but 'Truth or Consequences' will always hold a special place in my heart for many reasons," he wrote in his memoir, "Priceless Memories" (via Today). "It was my first national television job; I had the opportunity to work with one of my heroes, Ralph Edwards; and Dorothy Jo and I began to enjoy more financial security."

Why did Bob Barker retire from hosting?

Bob Barker probably would have hosted "The Price is Right" for as long as humanly possible, but the truth is that he didn't want to overstay his welcome. His body also struggled to keep up with the demands of the job, considering how he was already in his 80s when he handed the mic to Drew Carey. "One of the reasons for my retirement is it is really a demanding schedule for me at my age," he shared with Reuters.

He also told Deseret News that he wanted to go out with a bang while the show still garnered interest from audiences across the country. "It's not just that I want to retire while I'm young. It marks the 50th anniversary of my time on television. Half a century. And it marks the 35th year of 'The Price is Right,'" he noted. "We're way up there in the ratings, right on top. And we have people lined up, sleeping out there on the sidewalk, to see our show."

Oh, and aside from mingling with people from different walks of life, Barker also loved that he got to advocate for animals on the show. "I had the pleasure of working with a dedicated and talented cast and crew for 35 great years," he told People on "Price's" 50th anniversary. "Particularly close to my heart was the ability our vast popularity gave me to remind our entire audience daily about the importance of spaying and neutering your pets."