Stolen car. Muskogee Okies. Expensive microphone. Here’s the local story of “Price is Right” ahead of BOK’s live broadcast | Television
Easy fix: The car owner says she’s going to participate in “The Price is Right” and win a replacement. And then she does just that.
It sounds like something out of Ripley’s Believe It or Not, but it’s more of a local “The Price is Right” lore.
The stage show “The Price is Right Live” arrives at the BOK Center on Tuesday, March 15. For tickets, go to bokcenter.com. Eligible participants will have the chance to play games made famous by the nation’s most popular and longest-running daytime game show.
In honor of the occasion, let’s scour the archives for a selection of stories from “The Price is Right” past, starting with the one mentioned above.
Lose one, win oneOn January 21, 1993, a man pointed a gun at Carolyn Murdock’s teenage daughter and stole the family’s 1992 Pontiac Bonneville from an apartment complex south of Tulsa.
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“I knew the insurance would eventually cover the car,” Murdock told Tulsa World. “But, ironically, I told everyone I was going to do ‘Price Is Right’ and win another one.”
Murdock attended a taping of the show, her name was called, and she won a Plymouth Sundance in 1993.
“It’s a strange feeling,” she said. “I absolutely entered ‘The Price Is Right’ with the intention of winning a car.”
The stolen car (only damage: puncture) was found the day after the game show triumph.
In 1994, longtime viewer of Broken Arrow’s “The Price is Right” Connie Towry celebrated her birthday by attending a taping of the game show.
Before the show, the producers meet with the ticket holders to choose the people who will be able to “come down”.
“I was so nervous I couldn’t even speak,” she said. “And my voice was cracking and it was grating and I said, ‘My name is Connie Towry, I live in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. I have five children. Today is my birthday and I can’t believe I’m here.
Magic words? Towry won $10,000 in cash and a brass and glass tea cart.
“I kept the tea cart for years and then finally got rid of it,” Towry said this week. “The $10,000, we took our five kids and my mom to Disney World. It was a wonderful trip.
Lisa Beckham, a resident of the Westport area near Keystone Lake, once described herself to Tulsa World as the “go-to girl” for Ugly John’s Custom Boats and RVs.
Add this to the description: Showcase champion.
Beckham won cash and prizes worth over $47,000 at a taping in 2005.
“I’m driving my new Explorer, which was delivered by Beverly Hills Ford,” Beckham said. “I needed a new fridge and I have a room downstairs for my pool table and surround sound. So I didn’t win anything that I didn’t want.
In a Tulsa World story about the experience, Beckham credited her friend Patti Wagner for getting her a ticket to the game show.
Loretta and Kenneth Self were residents of Broken Arrow when they visited their son and daughter-in-law in California in 2014. Because they had a Muskogee connection, they wore “Okie From Muskogee” shirts when they were attending a recording of “The Price is Right”.
Loretta was selected to perform, and during a commercial break, host Drew Carey featured Merle Haggard’s song “Okie From Muskogee”. The audience sang along, according to John Ferguson’s story of the trip.
Loretta won a dining set and other items worth over $9,000.
Gwar and peace
Carey became the host of “The Price is Right” in 2007. He replaced Bob Barker, a beloved and legendary game show host. People had strong opinions when Barker announced he was retiring.
In 2007, Broken Arrow’s Ruby Gilliland submitted this letter to the editor: “I’m a senior citizen and I’ve watched ‘The Price is Right’ forever. I can’t believe how stupid CBS is for believing that Rosie can host “The Price is Right”. I like the series but, for my part, I will certainly not watch Rosie in any show.
O’Donnell showed interest in the gig before Carey was cast. Why so much venom for Rosie? Prior to a 2007 Gwar gig at Cain’s Ballroom, frontman Dave Brockie digressed and explained that he didn’t want O’Donnell on the game show. “Bob Barker is so (expletive) cool,” said Brockie, who died in 2014. “The man will never die. He has been the same age for 30 or 40 years.
After Barker handed the microphone over to Carey, George H. Allen of Tulsa wrote a letter to the editor expressing his displeasure with the change. Carey initially turned down the position, but hiring managers reviewed him and convinced him he was the right candidate.
Barker, who hosted for 35 years, was not the original host. Bill Cullen hosted when “The Price is Right” debuted in 1956 with a different format. The show was resurrected in 1972 with Barker as ringmaster.
From ORU to Paris
Rebekkah Brittan was a student at Oral Roberts University when she hit the game show jackpot in 1999. She visited her parents in California over Christmas vacation and attended a taping with friends. Before taping, his band members were given a final dose of instructions, including rushing to the contestant row as quickly as possible.
“They told us things like ‘don’t be stupid on TV’ or ‘if you kiss Bob Barker, don’t stick your tongue out at him’,” she said.
Brittan took the stage and didn’t kiss Barker, period. She won crystal stemware worth over $1.00 and a trip for two to Paris.
A microphone Barker used on the show from 1992 to 2002 drew a winning bid of $19,919.08 in 2007.
A Tulsa World story said Marc Green, an Owasso man who founded “The Price is Right” fan site. www.golden-road.net, served as an advisor for the auction. Green suggested to the seller that the microphone would cost more if packaged with its electrical cord and a handwritten letter of authenticity from Barker.
Green’s love of the game show led to the creation of his online fan site in the late 1990s. Initially visited by friends and family, the still active site has proliferated.
“I think our website is really the only one that’s embraced by the show’s producers,” Green said in 2007. “If it wasn’t, they wouldn’t have me back at broadcast two or three times a year or have me sell this microphone.
Aaron Forst of Owasso rode a motorcycle in California to be a contender in 2008. He left with more than two wheels. He won a Chrysler PT Cruiser.
“I actually sold the car shortly after I got it,” Forst said this week. “I’m a hot rod and motorcycle guy. A PT Cruiser wasn’t exactly a girl-lover for a 25-year-old man.
The Owasso Reporter wrote about Forst last year when he shared footage from his “The Price is Right” appearance on YouTube in honor of the show’s 50th anniversary.
“If there’s ever been one thing you can watch on TV over the last 50 years and be happy about it, it’s ‘The Price Is Right,'” Forst told the newspaper. “No one has ever watched this show without having fun or enjoying it; it’s everyone who supports everyone and wants everyone to win.