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Passing

May 8, 2012

So Adam Yauch, MCA of the Beastie Boys, dies. I’m sure he didn’t die just to make me feel old and mortal, but there you are. I was feeling pretty old and mortal anyhow, but it’s a crying shame.

The guy who created the Price Is Right also died. Not Bob Barker, the lecherous host, but the guy who actually came up with the show. His name (but see addendum below) was Bob Stewart and he was 91. So I can’t really blame him for my mortality. Here’s the story:

As Mr. Stewart himself put it, in an interview for the Archive of American Television: “Once you cause somebody at home to talk to the set aloud, even by himself or herself, then you’ve got a good game show. You want them to say, ‘It’s number 2! It’s number 2! It’s number 2!’ before the moment of truth comes out.”

Mr. Stewart was standing in front of a store window in Manhattan in 1955, listening to people wonder what a piece of furniture costs, when the idea for “The Price Is Right” popped into his head, he told Mr. Wostbrock.

In that show, which is still on the air for an hour each weekday on CBS, four contestants try to guess the price of an item — a boat, a refrigerator, the cost of house cleaning for a year. The contestant who comes the closest without exceeding the actual price wins.

I liked the Price Is Right (I say “liked” because I choose to ignore that it’s still on the air). It was no Match Game, but what is?

Anyhow, this is the addendum about Bob Stewart’s name for which you have been waiting with bated breath:

Bob Stewart was born Isidore Steinberg on Aug. 27, 1920, in Brooklyn to Jewish immigrants from Russia. He changed his name in the 1950s after being rejected for a television job because, he believed, the employer was anti-Semitic.

Way to fight the power, dude. But I’m sure Isidore was a huge Beasties fan.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. JCo permalink
    May 10, 2012 10:46 pm

    And now, RIP Vidal Sassoon. Proud inventor of the sophisticated “five point” boyishly short haircut for women, which was called a “pixie” when my mother subjected me to it in 1968. And to me most notably, the architect of the Dorothy Hamill Wedge.

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