Come on down! You could be the next contestant on “The Price is Right!”
“The Price is Right: Live!” is on tour and coming to MGM National Harbor this Saturday at 2 p.m.
“We can’t wait to get back to the MGM,” host Todd Newton told WTOP. “This will be our third time. It’s such a beautiful property and it’s special to me. I’ve got a lot of family in the D.C.-Alexandria area, so I get to play a lot of catch-up when I’m there and get a lot of nephew brownie points.”
The TV game show launched in 1956, revamped in 1972 and inspired a special touring spinoff 2003.
“Twenty years ago, the great Bob Barker created this live touring show for people who wouldn’t have a chance to go to Hollywood to play on the TV game show; he wanted to bring Hollywood to them,” Newton said. “The show started out in a small theater in Reno, Nevada. … A couple weeks turned into a couple months, we went to Las Vegas, now we tour across North America.”
Contestants can expect to play one of over 90 pricing games, including ‘Cliffhanger’ and ‘Plinko.’ It all builds to spinning the big wheel and the showcase showdown.
“It’s an actual game show where contestants are selected randomly out of the audience,” Newton said. “You get called down to Contestants Row. We bring out an item for bid, a margarita maker or a set of luggage. Whoever comes closest to the actual retail price without going over joins me on stage. We call four new people down after every game so more people have a chance to win.”
Contestants can win prizes ranging from cash and cars to vacations, appliances and more. The goal is to recreate special childhood memories of watching the game show.
“We realize ‘The Price is Right’ has meant so much to so many people over the years,” Newton said. “We all think back to those sick days from school or work where that music would come on, ‘Da da da da,’ it just creates a little nostalgia. We have all the lights, we have all the music. We’re produced by the same people who produced the television show. … Authenticity is No. 1.”
How does he compare to hosts Bob Barker and Drew Carey?
“I’m very fortunate because I was mentored by Bob,” Newton said. “That’s similar to learning how to shoot free throws from Michael Jordan. … Bob was very kind and very generous with his time, experience and expertise. Bob is who I grew up watching. Drew does a heck of a job, he’s now in his 13th year. … I wanted to bring (Bob’s) elegance and sophistication to my hosting.”
If Barker was his mentor, could he take Happy Gilmore in a fist fight?
“There’s no question,” Newton said. “I throw such a mean roundhouse. I mean, come on. Bob was throwing those little jabs. I think I would have just gone for the haymaker and called it a day.”
What better way to wrap the interview than with Bob’s famous epilogue.
“On behalf of Bob Barker, this is Todd Newton reminding you to help control the pet population in your hometown,” Newton said. “Have your pets spayed or neutered.”