In the last installment of A DYCK IN HOLLYWOOD, we had set up camp on a heavily littered, rat infested sidewalk outside the CBS studios to attend a taping of The Price Is Right two days later. To pass the time, I ridiculed passers-by and ate greasy overpriced fast food. On Monday morning, I was branded with a name tag and interviewed by a gay guy. Oh yeah, and I got to visit a public toilet that's in the same general area as the one Bob Barker uses.

After a grueling day-long audition process, we were finally allowed into the studio. Studio 33. The Bob Barker Studio. A studio steeped in history. The studio that was once home to All in the Family, The Carol Burnett Show, Match Game '73, Match Game '74, Match Game '75, Match Game '76, Match Game '77, Match Game '78, Match Game '79, Match Game PM, and just plain Match Game. I had traveled 3,000 miles and slept on the street for two nights just to be here.

What a fucking shithole.

To say the studio is small would be an understatement. The entire room was no larger than a tool shed. We entered from the rear of the audience area, which is adorned with tacky red, blue, and green curtains. There are approximately one rows of seats, with each row containing approximately one chairs. Somehow 325 people would have to fit in this space. And hanging on the wall behind us was a giant makeshift sign, apparently made of cardboard, with the number "$1,000,000" printed on it. I'm guessing that construction of the sign cost about 1/1,000,000th of that amount.

Next I turned my attention to the stage, which is actually an inverted milk crate. Upon the stage were the familiar Price is Right doors and the turntable area. The doors appeared to be made of paper mache, and the turntable was a block of cheese. (That explained the rats foraging outside the studio.) The whole thing was a caricature of itself, like a PlaySkool model of what is shown on TV. What the hell did they do with the real set??!

We took our seats in the center section of the second row. Best fucking seats in the house. Actually, the only seats in the house that offer an unobstructed view of the Tonka Toy set. The left side of the audience is blocked by the turntable cheese contraption. The right side of the audience can't see door #3 at all because it's at a 90 degree angle. Brilliant stage design. A section of our row was taped off for "VIPs." I don't know about you, but to me, nothing says "VIP" like a strip of masking tape stretched across your chair.

A few moments went by, and announcer Johnny Olson emerged from behind a curtain. He started whipping the audience into a frenzy by yelling such clever things as "WELCOME" and "TO" and "THE PRICE IS RIGHT." Then he got into the rules, which I shall list below:
  • Make sure your name tag is visible at all times.
  • Do not leave the studio during taping for any reason.
  • State your bids clearly and promptly.
  • Should you win a prize, jump up and down at least three times.
  • Do not stare directly at Mr. Barker.
  • Do not touch Mr. Barker or his microphone.
  • Do not expose yourself to Barker's Beauties.
  • No cell phones, cameras, pacemakers, or artificial limbs are permitted in the studio.
Now that the audience was sufficiently warmed up, Johnny took his position behind his magic podium, the lights came up, and the famous Price is Right theme started booming through the studio speakers. Just then, something happened so shocking, so unbelievably stunning, you simply will not believe it. And I'll tell you what that was.....on the next installment of A DYCK IN HOLLYWOOD! Stay tuned!!!


Manola Blablablanik said...

OMG, what if you had to poo during the show?

Beth said...

you're killin me here!!!

Scary Monster said...

That couldn't be Jonny Olsen. He's dead. They replaced him with one of them Disney animatronic robots that they got from another set.

Mighty Dyckerson said...

Manola - They have a bucket at the end of each aisle. Actual retail price: $.99

Beth - Have you checked the children?

Monster - Oh wait. Did I mention this story took place 24 years ago?

Sornie said...

Despite the fact that The Price Is Right studio sounds more like a shoebox diorama, I'd still walk down a busy street naked to get the chance to win a year's supply of an obscure brand of expired salad dressing -- and I HATE salads.

andy said...

You didn't really go anywhere, did you?

an aside, however, if I know you at all, then whatever happened next most certainly involved you, one Donald Henley, a shoehorn, and a midget. And a whole lotta free-thinkin'. Right?

tfg said...

Has it really been 24 years since you started telling this story? I'll buy that.

Mighty Dyckerson said...

Sornie - If it's outdated food items you desire, look no further than my refrigerator. So come on over to my place and dance naked for me.

Andy - Get outta my head, dude!

TFG - Sorry, you overbid. But we do have some lovely parting gifts for you.

Gucci Muse said...

I am quite shocked that the Mighty D was not a VIP.

~ Stacy ~ said...

They shoulda consulted your expertise when building the set. It would've been da bomb then.