Kids and old people have a number of things in common: They both sh*t their pants on the regular, and they typically don’t censor themselves when telling you exactly what’s on their mind. Maybe that’s why when People asked former The Price Is Right host Bob Barker to share his favorite part about making the show, his answer was pretty forthright: “The first thing that pops to mind is… the money, of course!” Barker, of course, claimed to be joking (maybe). And went on to note that:
“All kidding aside, there was much to love. I had the pleasure of working with a dedicated and talented cast and crew for 35 great years. Particularly close to my heart was the ability our vast popularity gave me to remind our entire audience daily about the importance of spaying and neutering your pets.”
Barker is helping to celebrate the game show’s 50th season, which kicks off in September. As the show’s longtime and most iconic host, he helped contestants spin that aptly named “Big Wheel” from September 1972 to June 2007. But the 97-year-old is also one of the world’s best-known animal advocates, and began using his daily sign-off as a way to share the importance of animal population control all the way back in 1979—long before pet adoption via animals shelters became the norm. In fact, Barker is often credited as the person who helped normalize the practice of spaying and neutering our pets.
According to Rare Magazine, when Barker first uttered that iconic call to action, only about 10 percent of America’s pets were ever spayed or neutered. Today, those numbers have jumped to 73 percent of dogs and 86 percent of cats.
And you thought his greatest contribution was introducing the world to Plinko!