Bob Barker Remembered as a 'Legend' and 'Master of the Game' in Heartfelt 'Price Is Right' Primetime Tribute

The late game show host died of natural causes in his home on Aug. 26

Jesse Grant/WireImage Bob Barker on
Jesse Grant/WireImage Bob Barker on 'The Price Is Right'

The Price Is Right honored the late Bob Barker with a special tribute episode hosted by his successor, Drew Carey.

On Thursday’s episode, the longest running daytime game show featured an hour of Barker’s greatest accomplishments, his love for his contestants, his animal advocacy and historic moments on the show.

“Most people remember Bob from the 35 years he spent hosting The Price Is Right," Carey, 65, began. "So it's easy to forget that for 18 years, he was a fixture in America's living rooms for Truth or Consequences, a radio host before that, and a naval aviator during World War II. We’ll also remember Bob for his tireless work on behalf of all animals from whales and elephants to the cats and dogs who reminded everybody at the end of the show to get spayed or neutered.”

He continued, “You know, I mentioned the word 'legend' earlier and how that word gets thrown around all too much these days. It couldn't be more appropriate when you think about Bob’s time on The Price Is Right."

courtesy CBS Bob Barker on 'The Price Is Right'
courtesy CBS Bob Barker on 'The Price Is Right'

Related: Remembering Bob Barker's Life in Photos

Adding that his skills were "second nature" and Barker was considered "the master of the game," Carey noted how he always made sure the contestants were "the real stars of the show."

"Today, we celebrate Bob's legacy with a look back at some of the incredible moments of his time here on The Price Is Right," he said with emotion. "This is for you, Bob.”

The special then shifted to a clip of Barker explaining how he started his illustrious career in television following his time as a war veteran. Later, viewers got to see footage of his first episode in 1972 when the game show was reintroduced to the American public as The New Price Is Right.

Courtesy CBS Bob Barker introduces 'Plinko' on 'The Price Is Right'
Courtesy CBS Bob Barker introduces 'Plinko' on 'The Price Is Right'

Related: Drew Carey Pays Tribute to Predecessor Bob Barker: 'I Will Carry His Memory in My Heart Forever'

It also highlighted some of the show's historic first moments, including Barker announcing the transition from 30 minute to one hour episodes, debuting a new wheel and introducing the game “Plinko" to audiences for the first time.

“Bob celebrated more milestones on the show than we can count," Carey said. "The thousands of episodes, becoming the longest running game show in television history, celebrating his 50 years in television and so many more."

Despite the various milestones he passed during his time on the show, the current Price Is Right host said Barker was the "most touched" when CBS announced they would be naming the soundstage "The Bob Barker Studio" in his honor.

A flashback of Lucy Johnson, the former SVP of daytime programming at CBS, bestowing the honor played. “In honor of your 26 years here at CBS and in celebration of your 5,000th episode of The Price Is Right, all of us at CBS would like to express our congratulations by officially renaming this historic stage the Bob Barker studio," she said.

Kevork Djansezian/AP/Shutterstock Bob Barker on 'The Price is Right'
Kevork Djansezian/AP/Shutterstock Bob Barker on 'The Price is Right'

Related: Bob Barker, 97, Reflects on 'The Price Is Right' as Season 50 Approaches: 'There Was Much to Love'

Over the years, various celebrities joined Barker on The Price Is Right, including Betty White, Chuck Norris, Burt Reynolds and Adam Sandler. On his dressing room door, the late host displayed a star that read "W.G.M.C" (world’s greatest master of ceremonies) to pay ode to all of his accomplishments celebrate the fact he was beloved by both fans and celebrities.

“Bob spent 35 years on The Price Is Right, and retired at the top of his game just like all legends should. But we hadn’t seen the last of him at the Bob Barker studio," Carey continued, introducing the sweet moments where Barker surprised fans beyond his retirement.

"Bob came back several times: once when he wrote his memoirs, once to celebrate his 90th birthday with us and then one final time for a very memorable April Fool's episode," he said. "And none of us were surprised that he never missed a beat.”

<p>Sonja Flemming/CBS via Getty</p> Bob Barker celebrates his 90th birthday on 'The Price Is Right'

Sonja Flemming/CBS via Getty

Bob Barker celebrates his 90th birthday on 'The Price Is Right'

Related: Adam Sandler, Rob Schneider and More Stars Pay Tribute to Bob Barker After His Death: 'An American Treasure'

A clip of Barker then played on screen where the television icon explained his decision to retire back in 2007.

“I've been asked why I've chosen to retire right now," he explained. "In December of last year, I became 83 years old and I want to retire while I'm still young. I feel humbled, really, I count my blessings to think this has happened to me. To have allowed me to come into their home for 15 years, I'm so grateful and I say so at every opportunity."

Speaking about his legacy, Carey said: “Bob had an incredible 50 year career in television, something that will never be duplicated again. Thanks to Bob, The Price Is Right became part of the American fabric, a multi-generational legacy of viewers who loved him along with the shared experience of watching the show with their grandparents, kids, or when they were home sick from school – a bond that lasts to this very day.”

Related: 'The Price Is' 'Right' Host Drew Carey Knew He 'Could Never Be Bob Barker and Didn't Want to Try'

Throughout his time on the game show, Carey revealed that Barker won "an astonishing 14 Emmy Awards for outstanding game show host."

"Bob will be remembered for his incredible talent and he’ll also be remembered for six now-very-famous words," he said as footage from Barker's very last episode began to roll onscreen.

"Now folks, I want to thank you very, very much for inviting me into your home for the last 50 years," Barker gushed as he signed off for the last time. "I am deeply grateful and please remember to help control the pet population, have your pets spayed or neutered.”

Carey concluded the the tribute to his predecessor with these final words: “On behalf of all people and animals everywhere. Thank you, Bob Barker."

Related: All About Bob Barker's Animal Activism — from Refusing Fur Prizes to Launching Nonprofit That Funds Spay/Neuter Clinics

In a press release shared with PEOPLE ahead of the special, Margot Wain, SVP of daytime programs for CBS, stated that the tribute aimed to “bring back great memories for generations of The Price Is Right fans who loved Bob, his humor, his ability to connect with contestants and his innate talent for making the most out of every moment.”

She continued, “Bob was one-of-a-kind; he’ll be remembered as an extraordinary host, a devoted animal activist, and, as he would put it, ‘a loyal friend and true.’ We’re so pleased to be able to salute his many accomplishments and honor his memory in this way.”

On Saturday Aug. 26, Barker's former publicist Roger Neal announced on behalf of Barker's girlfriend, Nancy Burnet, that the TV star died of natural causes in his longtime Hollywood Hills, California, home. He was 99.

“It is with profound sadness that we announce that the World’s Greatest MC who ever lived, Bob Barker, has left us," Neal said in a statement.

Mark Davis/Getty Bob Barker during his last taping of 'The Price Is Right'
Mark Davis/Getty Bob Barker during his last taping of 'The Price Is Right'

Related: Wheel of Fortune's Vanna White Credits Late Bob Barker with 'Introducing Me' to the 'Game Show World'

“I am so proud of the trailblazing work Barker, and I did together to expose the cruelty to animals in the entertainment industry and including working to improve the plight of abused and exploited animals in the United States and internationally," Burnet added in her own statement. "We were great friends over these 40 yrs. He will be missed.”

Barker served as the host of The Price Is Right for 35 years before announcing his retirement at the age of 87. Over the course of his career, he earned 14 daytime Emmy awards for outstanding game show host and received a lifetime achievement award at the 1999 Daytime Emmy Awards.

His final episode on the show was in 2007, at which point Carey took over as host.

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The Price Is Right airs weekdays on CBS (check local listings).

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