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Monday, October 20, 2014

TPiRetro: 12 February 1981 (Tribute to Ox Baker)

In memory of one of the all-time great characters in the history of professional wrestling, Douglas "Ox" Baker, who passed away this morning at the age of 80, here's a full accounting of his appearance as a contestant on The Price is Right during Season 9, in February of 1981.

Episode #
3994D
Airdate
12 February 1981
VTR
Unavailable
First Four
Donna, Rosalie, Valerie, Harriet
Lineup
Random
Models
The Usual Suspects—Holly, Dian, and Janice
Captions
"Hour Power" (×4)
Bob Enters
Door #2

Yes, even back in the "golden age" of the CBS show, sometimes we couldn't keep the order straight!


1. AMFL Sunfish sailboat (HH)
(w/bonus: Pepsodent toothpaste)
Donna
Rosalie
Harriet
Valerie
625
650
900
651


$1095


I have no idea what the value was of the Pepsodent gift package was, so I won't be including it in the final total.

We kick things off with Range Game:
Wrought-iron & hardwood bakers' rack (JP)

...with a Range that starts at $4,600. That's a lot for 1981.
Based on the WHACK she gave that button, Bob wouldn't want to be a kid in her class (Harriet's a schoolteacher). All told, however, her haul in this segment of $5,910 wouldn't be out of place today, albeit on the low end of the scale, and this episode aired over thirty-three years ago... that should tell you something, no?

Ah, the days when we'd go to commercial after the first game...

And here he is, folks, the man of the hour, the big Ox himself. He's introduced by his real name, but with those eyebrows and that unruly crop of facial hair it can only be one guy. Livin' the gimmick, man, livin' the gimmick—right down to the "BIG, MEAN & UGLY" T-shirt. ("That's so people'll like me," he quips.)

Bob isn't quite sure what to make of this guy. "Douglas," he says, "I sure hope you're in a good mood today." When Ox tells Bob what he does for a living,
it leads to this exchange:

Bob: "You've probably thrown
countless guys outta the ring."
Ox: "Ooh, I beat 'em up. [beat] Especially if I don't win!"
[Audience laughs its approval; Bob does his classic hand-to-temple take]
Bob: "...Ox... if you don't win... I want you to pick up the producer and throw him
clear through the wall, okay?"

(Note: This was, of course, many years before Bob
himself became the producer...)
2. Hamilton Regulator wall clock (JP?)
Donna
Rosalie
Douglas Ox
Valerie
150
400
215
495
SUICIDE

$350


...Obviously, the bidding rules of thumb were a bit different in 1981, but at the time $200 seemed the absolute lower limit for IUFBs.

"Now the best two lookin' men in the world are on this stage, right now!" quips Ox as he taxes his position. "You took the words right out of my mouth, Ox," replies Bob, with all the enthusiasm of someone mentally making out his last will and testament.

And Ox gets to play a game that from a 2014 perspective is a retired one, Poker Game:
  • Atlanta Franklin cast-iron fireplace (DP)
  • Tappan self-cleaning convection range (DP)
  • Aaron Brothers Art Marts white wicker desk & chair (HH)
  • Morse Electro Pilot tower stereo system w/turntable (HH)

Before we get started, Bob mentions that when he was in college, he worked a concession stand at the Shrine Mosque in Springfield, MO, when they had wrestling shows. It's also a place where Ox has wrestled many times. "Maybe I saw you there when I was younger," says Ox. ^^;;;

Because Poker Game is long-gone, here's a brief rules refresher: All four prizes have three digits in their prices. The player, Ox in this case, must select two of them, the prices of which are then revealed and the digits in those prices are used to build a poker hand. He must then decide whether to keep this hand for himself, or pass it to the House and build his hand from the remaining two prices. Best hand wins.

There are no straights or flushes in Poker Game. The possible hands, in descending order, are: Five of a kind, four of a kind, full house, three of a kind, two pair, one pair, and high card. The best possible hand would be 99999; the worst, 01234 (again, no straights in this game).

(Janice brings out the price display—Bob: "Now keep your mind on the game here, Ox!")
Fireplace
1. Range
Desk
2. Stereo

$990

$670

The lowest unpaired digit of the six is dropped, leaving us with...

Two pair
9
9
0
0
7
PLAYER

It's not a cut-and-dried call, but my gut would tell me to pass this to the House. Even a 9-high two pair isn't enough to stand pat on.

Apparently, Ox agrees with my gut, because passing is exactly what he does here. Now let's see if that was the right thing to do...

Fireplace
Range
Desk
Stereo
$400
$990
$400
$670

Four 0s
0
0
0
0
4
PLAYER
HOUSE
9
9
0
0
7
Two pair
WIN!

Best Possible Hand: Ox got it!

Bob: "Ox won, and am I glad!" [wipes his brow]

Never bet against a wrestler in a card game. You will lose. Every time. XD

3. Krementz 18K gold & diamond (.2 ct) ring (HH)
Donna
Rosalie
Lucille
Valerie
850
1000
650
700

$1100



Hole in One:
1981 Chevrolet Camfast van (std, power steering, power brakes, AC, aux tank, CC, power window, heavy-duty shocks, CA emission; $14,132, DP)

Putting for a $14K van in 1981 is roughly the equivalent of doing so for a BMW or Audi today. This is big-league stuff here.

Reminder: In this era, it really is Hole in One. The "...or Two" second chance didn't come along for another five or so years.

I actually kinda miss the longer, non-stacked GP table for this game...

  • Crayola markers (8)
  • Jolly Time popcorn
  • Johnson Complete furniture polish
  • Campbell's vegetable soup
  • Perfect Nails nail coating
  • Enhance instant hair conditioner

(Janice and Holly do the flag thing)
Popcorn
Soup
Markers
Coating
Wax
Conditioner
35¢
65¢
$2.22
$3.75
$1.89


Janice got a bit too excited and revealed the wax price a bit too early, stopping Bob's buildup of suspense. Still, a fourth-line putt isn't bad at all...

Bob's Inspiration Putt:
Juuuuuust a bit to the right. (This was back when Bob actually didn't always sink that putt; indeed, he laments that he's only made seven out of his last ten IPs.)

Rosalie's Putt:
Pulled to the left, plus it wasn't strong enough... and since this is before 1986, that's her only shot at it.
HEARTBREAKER LOSS

Today, you'd think a putt from the fourth line is almost a gimmie. It isn't, however, and all the more so back in this era.

Coming out of the break, Bob notes that Ox paid him a compliment, saying that was the only putt he's ever seen Bob miss. "Maybe that means you don't watch the show as often as you should," retorts the WGMC.
Showcase Showdown #1

Rosalie
80
.80

TIE
Ox
5
35
.40

$2,810
Harriet
80
.80

TIE
Showcase Showdown #1

Rosalie
95
WIN
Harriet
50

$5,910

And alas, so ends the journey of Ox Baker on The Price is Right. But let's keep going and see how the rest of this day did fall into place...

4. Coleman camping equipment (HH)
Donna
Aurelia
Lucille
Valerie
500
1
750
400



$429

Barker's Bargain Bar, the Bargain Game in all its original 1981 glory:
  1. Trip to Manhattan, NY (6n, Hotel Lexington; DP)
  2. Trip to Honolulu, HI (Western Airlines, Pacific Beach Hotel, JP)

New York
►►►
Hawaii
$808
Bargain price
$1518
$1808
ARP
$2018
$1000
Difference
$500
LOSS

The Distance Rule in action. It doesn't always work with this game, but sometimes it does. And this is the result.

Ah, the days when we'd hear "Stay tuned for more Pricing Games and the fabulous Showcases, coming up on the second half of The Price is Right!" at the bottom of the hour...

Johnny O gets on camera for this next Come On Down, who apparently can't decide if he came 3,000 or 4,000 miles to be on the show; he told Bob one thing during an earlier commercial break and another thing now. "I miscalculated," he says. "You're exaggerating your problems," opines Bob...
5. Carello (sp?) bar globe (DP)
Donna
Aurelia
Lucille
Reginald
525
700
250
375
$560




Ten Chances, spelled without Arabic numerals back now:
  1. Norelco Dial-a-Brew coffeemaker (HH)
  2. Speed Queen washer & dryer (HH)
  3. 1981 Mazda GLC hatchback (4c, FWD, AT, AM/FM mono radio, AC; JP)

Holly + appliances = LOOK OUT! She makes it through unscathed, however.


Coffeemaker
9 0 5

1
59
9 0 5

2
50
$50
WIN

This is still the early days of the Zero Rule, so I won't get too upset if it's violated.

Bob calls for a replacement marker, as this one's clearly had it.


Wash. Dryer
2 9 4 0


Oops File: Bob wants Donna to use "four of those three numbers" in her bid. That... would be something to see. Amazingly, nobody catches the mistake.

3
940
2 9 4 0

4
920
$920
WIN

Reminder: In the four-digit era, there were still five digits to choose from for the car. The same rule applied as for the lesser prizes: Use (n-1) of the (n) digits to make your bid.

Good news; they found a new Marks-a-Lot for Donna to use for the car.

Car
0 3 6 2 7

5
7620
0 3 6 2 7


Here, director Marc Breslow demonstrates a shot I kinda wish they'd bring back now; while Donna's writing, we see a split-screen with the car on top and the bid below.

6
6730
0 3 6 2 7

7
6320
0 3 6 2 7

8
7360
0 3 6 2 7

9
6720
$6720
WIN!

Very well-played, especially for the time!



6. Gibson portable dishwasher (DP)
(w/bonus: Electrasol dishwasher detergent)
(I love that word, "portable." As if you can take a dishwasher with you camping... well, you can, if it's mounted in a trailer...)
Sara
Aurelia
Lucille
Reginald
629
475
350
500

$480



Back to the Giant Price Tag, so Aurelia can assault our intrepid host Samoan-style and rub his belly for luck! (Bob: "I don't know exactly what you have in mind, Aurelia...")

Oh, yeah, she also gets to play Secret "X":
├ćolian Cabaret player piano ($3,510; JP)

Notably, Bob points out the squares in this game are now yellow; they used to be white. This must've been a very recent set change, then, assuming this wasn't its first appearance in its new (now current) livery. The border around the board, however, is white instead of the red we now have.

Sign O' the Times: Aurelian sees this game emerge from the GPT and immediately moans "This is a hard one." In truth it's not that bad at all, as we know now, though it's still possible to screw yourself if you decide to place any of your Xs in the center line.

Free X:

?

X
?


?


...And you're about to see why it only hurts yourself to do that. >_< Even Bob mildly reproves Aurelia for that decision; "You could've done better than that!"

(Holly with the small stuff)
  • Selection of Mary Kay cosmetics
  • Spartus LED alarm clock (quite the novelty item back then)

That first one's an eyebrow-raiser. Given Mary Kay's noted usage of animal testing, you would've thought that would put their stuff right up there with furs and bearskin rugs as part of Bob's GSN embargo. (Of course, maybe it did and this was one of those very rare episodes that slipped through GSN's filter. In which case we're fortunate it did, because that means we got to see Ox Baker on the show, but it's still a very curious thing.)

Rather cooler color scheme on the SP platforms in '81, IMO:
Cosmetics
$56
$69


$56
NO

Not that it matters. The only way she can win is if the X is in the center, so in a strange sort of way she can actually afford to miss one.

Clock
$40
$28
$28
WIPEOUT



One, yes... but obviously not two.

Just for the record...


X

X
X


X


...oddly enough, she could have won this. The SPs, however, spelled her doom. 8^/

Showcase Showdown #2

Valerie
35
40
.75

$429

Aurelia
85
.85

HERE WE
Donna
85
.85

GO AGAIN
Spin-Off

Aurelia
15

$480
Donna
*35
WIN

This was also right around when Bob started playing up the BOOs for a misspin.

Showcases: Donna (true) top winner, Rosalie runner-up.

Reminder: The DSW window at this point was "less than $100." A $100 difference would not be a DSW.

1. Classic Splendido Showcase of Mediocrity...OR IS IT???
  • Bales Furniture bedroom set (Animan Designers bedspread, Sag-Gard Biopedic K; HH)
  • 1981 Pontiac Phoenix coupe (body-side mouldings, bumper guard, custom ext grp, tinted glass, door edge guards, sport mirrors, windshield antenna, custom wheel covers, luxury trim grp; JP)
Donna bids $7,500.

2. Jan the Babysitter
Alas, poor Janice... having to put up with two rowdy and rambunctious toddlers (who look suspiciously like her fellow models)... all she can do is try to appease their tantrums with some handy-dandy prizes, including:
  • Jukebox from an uncertain manufacturer (Wurlitzer?)
  • Muntz 50" projection TV
  • Kelvinator frost-free refrigerator
  • Kit Road Ranger 19' travel trailer
Rosalie bids $26,000 and apparently time-warped to today.

Considering the typical Showcase of 1981 was somewhere between $8,000 and $12,000, you can't blame Bob for being incredulous...

Moment of Truth
1. Rosalie
Trailer
2. Donna
Car
Bid
26000
7500
ARP
$11,413
$10,879
Result
14587
3379

$1,100
Donna wins!
$19,129

That $19K win would translate to over fifty grand in today's dollars. Not bad at all!

It's not 1983 yet, so Bob isn't doing the spay-and-neuter signoff. We do, however, get a full credit crawl.

LEADER BOARD: Episode #3944D
Donna
$19,129
Harriet

$5,910
Ox

$2,810
Rosalie

$1,100
Aurelia


$480
Valerie


$429
Offered
$62,823
Won
$29,858
Pct.
47.53%
Bonus
Avg.
$4,976
Median
$1,955


And that's the way it was, February 12, 1981. Hope everyone enjoyed this little trip down memory lane, my (very) little tribute to the memory of Ox Baker.

We return to Season 43 tomorrow...

1 comment:

  1. I can't believe I'm just now pointing this out, but according to Golden Road.net, Bob accidentally counted Harriet's first spin even though it didn't go all the way around!

    ReplyDelete