Drew Carey took over hosting The Price Is Right in 2007, but the iconic daytime game show will always be synonymous with its legendary longtime host Bob Barker.
Barker died at age 99 on Aug. 26 after a battle with Alzheimer’s disease, and when ET joined Carey on the Price Is Right set — where he and Jeff Probst were busy filming a special Survivor-themed episode — he couldn’t help but pay tribute to Barker’s legacy.
“He was so good at this,” Carey raved. “He was so good at relating to people and getting them to be relaxed and be themselves. You watch his demeanor and his attitude. He never seemed stressed.”
While Carey said he sometimes struggles to live up to that laid-back legacy, he learned a lot from watching Barker serve as the Price Is Right host from 1972-2007.
“I’ve learned to relax while I’m onstage and not be so uptight about what’s going on,” he shared. “I just have to own the show and make it like my living room, because he was so comfortable in front of a camera.”
The Price Is Right recently moved production from the Bob Barker Studio at CBS Television City to a new studio in Glendale, California, however, Carey said fans of the show will barely notice the change. And, he added, it’s not the studio that keeps viewers coming back day after day.
“It’s the contestants, absolutely,” he noted. “People want to see regular people like them losing their minds on TV and having their best day. The viewing audience almost always see somebody they can relate to in some kind of way… It’s just average people having the best day of their lives. That’s the secret sauce of the whole show.”
For the Survivor-themed episode, production “jungled up” the whole Price Is Right stage. Contestants wore colorful buffs just like their favorite castaways, trips were given away to exotic locations, and Probst was even on hand to snuff out the torches of eliminated competitors.
“That was kind of tough to watch,” Carey admitted. “Honestly I felt bad.”
However, the comedian said he enjoyed working alongside the longtime Survivor host, as he and Probst are both part of the CBS television family.
“He’s always great,” Carey shared. “It’s so nice to see somebody like him who, like, knows how to have fun at his job and really appreciates it. We both know how lucky we are.”
So, how does Carey think he would fare if he was one of Probst’s competitors on Survivor?
“I think I would do pretty good,” he admitted. “Everybody trusts me… I’ve been playing board games my whole life against competition like my brother and his friends — and I was the youngest. I’m, like, ready to go when it comes to, you know, hiding my intentions to beat people.”
The special Survivor-themed episode of The Price Is Right airs Oct. 2 on CBS. Season 45 of Survivor premieres Sept. 27 at 8 p.m. PT/ET on CBS.