The Michigan Daily - Weekend etc. - Thursday, Febuary 3, 1994 - 3
Forget Ft. Lauderdale
ker can rest easy - no animals were harmed making this paper.
3y JASON CARROLL
"Jason Carroll, come on down.
You're the next contestant on 'The
?rice is Right!"'
I wanted to hear Rod Roddy say
,hat phrase ever since I was 10, so last
War when I visited the Los Angeles
area over Spring Break I decided to
attend a taping of "The Price is Right."
never realized what an entertaining
Masco it would be.
My roommate Aaron and I donned
our Michigan shirts, jumped into the
:ar and headed for CBS Television
City in the hope of gaining seats to the
noon taping of the show. We ordered
our tickets a month in advance, but a
.icket doesn't guarantee entrance un-
tess you wait at the studio to reserve
When we pulled into the lot at
7:30 a.m. I was amazed that virtually
pvery spot had already been taken. I
found a spot way in the back hoping
:his would be an indication of more
luck to follow.
When I approached the studio, I
noticed two lines that wrapped around
two sides of the gigantic building. A
studio page (an intern) informed us
that the noon taping was already filled,
but if we stayed we could reserve a
spot for the 2 p.m. show.
I quickly sat down in the reserva-
tion area to hold my seat. This area,
open to the outdoors, was lined with
multiple rows of bleachers for the
prospective contestants to sit on while
they waited. Everyone was encour-
aged to stay seated so they didn't lose
their space. If you had to use the
bathroom you could be gone no longer
than 10 minutes. Little did I know
then that this would be my home for
the next four hours (I knew the three
years of sitting on the bleachers at
Michigan Stadium would go to good
use some day). A few minutes later,
all the seats filled and the 2 p.m. show
was sold out.
An hour later, the pages passed
out registration cards. Basically, you
had to declare you were over 18, state
you haven't been on a game show in
the last couple of years, and write down
your social security number in case
you were selected as one of the "cho-
Attached to the registration card
was a number that you would be iden-
tified by when you were interviewed
by the producers. I was happy to be
known by a number once again, since
I had been away from the University
for three days and was becoming ac-
customed to my name. My number
In the next couple of hours I be-
came extremely bored, so I did what
anyone would do - I scoped out the
Sitting on the bench behind me
was this young guy in a lame blue
sports coat. This aspiring actor from
L.A. spent over20minutes schmoozing
with two single women. He thought
that if he could get on the show he
would get discovered. Today would be
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his 36th attempt at stardom.
I shifted my focus to an older couple
sittingdirectly in frontof me. Raymond
and his wife were from the Midwest
and visiting theirdaughter in L.A. They
both watched the show everyday and
were looking forward to meeting Bob
During a quick jaunt to the rest
room, I popped in the CBS Studio
Store. Here you could pick up any-
thing from coffee mugs to key chains
with the show's logo. You could even
get sweatshirts from your favorite
CBS soaps. I didn't make a purchase
because I was coming close to ex-
ceeding the 10 minute break limit.
At I1 a.m. everyone's attention
switched to the studio monitors which
were broadcasting an episode of "The
Price is Right." Many people in the
crowd shouted prices very close to
the actual retail price. The crowd was
becoming unruly and we weren't even
in the studio yet. I
We were allowed to leave the lot
at noon to eat lunch, but we had to be
back by 1 p.m. sharp in order to regain
our positions in line.
When we returned I got my yel-
low name tag and filed into the bleach-
ers where the contestants for the noon
show were previously seated.
The crowd became restless around
1:30. Shouts of "let us in" filled the air
as some people in the end of my row
tried to start the wave. Contestants
began to chant Raymond's name after
he performed a little dance.
At 1:45 emotions flared as the
pages came out to let us into the
studio. We were given postcards em-
blazoned with Bob Barker's mug to
mail home to our loved ones. A mail-
box was provided by CBS and they
paid the postage (what big spenders).
Before we entered the building,
the producers asked each contestant a
few questions to gauge their person-
ality (yes, the producers actually pick
the contestants!). They seemed inter-
ested in the fact that Aaron was study-
ing nuclear engineering, but then again
they were interested when another
contestant'ideclared his occupation
was "weight lifter.'
Finally, after waiting over six
hours, we were let in the studio. Rod
(wearing one of his trademarked se-
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quined outfits) warmed up the audi-
ence with a few cheesy jokes and then
informed us how we should react in
certain situations. For example, if you
were chosen to "come on down" you
probably wouldn't hear your name
because the audience becomes so loud.
To alleviate this problem, a produc-
tion assistant holds up a cue card with
the contestant's name on it.
Rod took his spot in the audience;
I held my breath as the show began.
That familiar music blasted through
the studio and the audience began to
scream. Rod belted out inaudible
names so I kept my eyes glued on the
I saw Raymond's name and the
audience went wild. Then, I looked
up and saw Aaron's name. He didn't
even notice until I elbowed him in the
ribs. He jumped over the other people
in our aisle and took a space in contes-
When all four contestants were
chosen, Bob came out to a standing
ovation and began the first game. In
between games, the cameras stopped
and Bob answered a few questions
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asked Bob if he wanted to take a ride
to Palm Springs with them on a Harley.
He politely declined. Another woman
told Bob how her mother overcame
an illness by watching the show (now
I was becoming sick).
When the cameras started to roll
Raymond got on stage and played
"Safe Crackers." He won a TV and
Finally, Aaron got on stage by
correctly guessing the price of a tele-
scope. He knew the price because we
saw the item on an episode about a
week ago. When Aaron ran up on
stage, the camera zoomed in on me. I
had my one second of fame, and to
this day no one will let me forget the
awful expression I had on my face.
Aaron took advice from the audi-
ence and won a hot tub when he
played "Cliffhanger." Unfortunately,
he didn't make it into the Showcase
After the show, I waited for Aaron
to fill out some tax forms. He was told
that the prizes would arrive at his
home in a few months.
I didn't get to fulfill my dream, but
I had a great time anyway. After all,
most people don't get to achieve their
dreams. As a matter of fact, I bet there
is an actor in L.A. wearing a blue lam6
,sports coat looking for a job.
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