ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
Will the Price ever be Right again?
By Daniel Noble
In my humble opinion, the success of The Price is Right is due in no small part to three magic ingredients: The Sleaze, The Cheese and The Goofball. And, on Oct. 28, the goofball died. In any other life, he might have been a crazy uncle, a used car dealer or even an MIT student, but in this wacky, mixed-up world we live in, he was a big, bright, shining star.
The Price is Right exists as its own mythical entity, separate from everything else in the universe; there is no passing of time and every day is 1972. Amidst all this flashing pastel enchantment, Rod Roddy fit in perfectly. He was the jovially flamboyant announcer, whose many chins shimmied as he broadcast the names of those lucky members of the audience who would make it to Middle American heaven on any given day. Aside from Tommy Tune, he was one of the few men who could wear a rhinestone-encrusted sports coat and make it strangely appropriate for any occasion.
The Price is Right is as much a comment on the North American obsession with material goods as any recent reality show, except on this program, it's OK to be one-hundred pounds overweight and be blessed with a name like Tawny. It may not have been Snoop Dogg's party on a Saturday night, but for many, this silly little game show was about as much fun as their life ever got, with the exception of an exceptionally rowdy Tupperware party.
He may not have been a geritol love god like Bob Barker, but Roddy surely was one of the few people who could have said "Come on Down" to a beautiful lady, without getting slapped in the face. Every time a delightfully frumpy middle-aged woman guesses the price of a new car, we'll be thinking about you Rod Roddy, playing that big game of Plinko in the sky.
Robert Ray Roddy passed away at the age of 66, suffering from colon and breast cancer. After spending 17 years as the booming voice on The Price is Right, he will be sorely missed.