Video Digest: November 3, 2006

TV gems and TV zirconium: Bob Barker says goodbye, the players of Card Sharks say 69, Emilio Estefez translates Altman, and your boy Diddy orders a royal Whopper.

For one long and most likely lonely semester, a good friend of mine became addicted to The Price Is Right. He videotaped episodes, and sometimes skipped law class to catch the Showcase Showdown. Our phone calls were known to swerve off into dissections of certain contests—Plinko, the Mountain Climber—and heated debates about opening-bid strategy and the moral implications of betting $1. Before this strange season, The Price Is Right had merely been the show that came on after $25,000 Pyramid, and before The Young and the Restless. Now, it seemed to sum up America in some meaningful way. It was a show that rewarded its contestants for being consumers. Its backbone, its raison d’etre, was product placement. And oh my God, how I wanted to spin that Big Wheel. I still ache for it. The next time someone asks me what I’m taking to a desert island, that’s what I’m telling them: I’m taking the Big Wheel.

And so the news comes this week that Bob Barker is leaving The Price Is Right. It’s hard to imagine anyone could replace him, though I’m sure there’s a Dancing With the Stars contestant who’d love to try. He’s been hosting this show for 35 years. Here’s his first appearance in 1972.

This clip, and many more amazing TPIR moments, are courtesy of the goldmine that is Doesn’t it just warm your heart—or, at the very least, make you want to get your pet spayed or neutered?

My favorite game show to analyze is Card Sharks. Honestly, I could go on about this all day. Instead, why don’t we just enjoy a clip, which really says everything for me.

The trailer for Emilio Estevez’s Bobby hit theaters last month, and it looks like someone’s been studying their Nashville. There’s a real Altman vibe to this film, and I’m just not referring to the fact that the cast list reads like a charity benefit. In case you don’t know the long, treacherous road that precedes this film’s release, you may enjoy this Esquire piece. Personally, I’m ready for the Emilio Estevez comeback. How else am I going to get any play out of this Repo Man costume?

I’m not sure there’s a long, treacherous journey preceding Diddy’s new role as Burger King spokesman, but if there were a story like that, it would go better on a sesame seed bun. Here is my favorite Diddy quote since he claimed that ProActiv “moisturizes his situation” in an infomercial last year: “I’m here to announce to y’all that Burger King has crowned me king of music and fashion.” And you know, Burger King is the tastemaker.

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