Bob Barker returned to The Price is Right set for the first time in eight years, and the 91-year-old television legend looked right at home.
Barker surprised contestants for the show’s April Fools’ Day episode, with contestants coming down to see Barker rather than host Drew Carey. Barker stepped back into the duties he served for 35 years, taking contestants through price-guessing games with the chance to win big prizes.
This is not the first time Bob Barker returned to The Price is Right. In 2013, he returned to celebrate his 90th birthday, which sent the unsuspecting crowd into a frenzy. Barker’s return coincided with pet adoption week on the show, a cause that has been near and dear to his heart as shown by his sign-off phrase, “Help control the pet population. Have your pets spayed or neutered.”
It seemed at once as if Bob Barker might never return to the show. There appeared to be a rift just a few years after he left in 2007, as he wasn’t invited back for the show’s 40th anniversary special.
Bob also said he was ashamed of the show for giving away prizes that he felt endangered animals.
“I don’t know why I wasn’t asked to take part in some way… But I do know I am ashamed of the show and surprised at their complete disregard for the welfare of animals,” he said. “Were I still there, a prize to attend the Calgary Stampede would never have been considered. We never did anything that condoned animal cruelty. Apparently, things have changed.
“They previously gave away tickets to SeaWorld in Florida where the mistreatment of dolphins and whales is just unacceptable… When that happened, I phoned various producers and [personnel] at the show and left messages but nobody would return my calls. So when the Calgary Stampede prize came up I didn’t bother calling anyone there. I just went to the press and lashed out at the show every chance I could. And I let everyone in Canada know how I felt.”
But the show wanted to mend bridges and reached out to Barker with the idea of coming back for his birthday as a way to get back in his good graces.
“I was looking for the perfect reason to bring Bob back again, and this TV legend turning 90 is the perfect reason,” executive producer Mike Richards told TV Guide.
On this week’s return to The Price is Right, Bob Barker hosted the classic game “Lucky Seven,” then handed over hosting duties back to Drew Carey.
[Image via EW.com]