Drew Carey Insists ‘Price is Right’ Did Not Snub Barker

Bob Barker (inset) was not on hand as host Drew Carey and contestant Dazettia Ligons-Murray yukked it up on "The Price is Right" (Photos: CBS, Getty)

UPDATED: “Price is Right” host Drew Carey says the CBS game show didn’t snub his predecessor, Bob Barker. TMZ.com caught up with Carey and asked him for his reaction to Barker’s complaints earlier this week that he was not invited to take part in the show’s special 40th anniversary episode that aired this past Monday. Barker hosted the show for 35 of those 40 seasons. “It wasn’t because of animosity or anything like that,” Carey told TMZ. “Nobody has anything against him … It just didn’t occur to anybody to invite him personally to be on the show because it was a salute to contestants.” Indeed, the entire studio audience was made up of past contestants, some of whom got to play once again for big prizes.

PREVIOUSLY: Game-show legend Bob Barker is apparently feeling snubbed by his old show, “The Price is Right,” when it came time to celebrate the show’s 40th anniversary on CBS on Tuesday (Sept. 4).

He says he wasn’t invited to participate in the special episode marking the four-decade milestone that was taped earlier this summer.

“I don’t know why I wasn’t asked to take part in some way,” Barker, 88, is quoted as saying in an interview posted here on TVGuide.com.

In the interview, he was critical of his old show’s commitment to animal rights — a long-time interest of his. As most people know, Barker is an animal-rights advocate whose activism was a part of every “Price is Right” episode he hosted — ending each show with an admonishment to viewers that they spay and neuter their pets. He hosted the show for 35 of its 40 seasons on CBS — from 1972 to 2007.

“I am ashamed of the show,” he told TV Guide, “and surprised at their complete disregard for the welfare of animals. Were I still there, a prize to attend the Calgary Stampede would never have been considered. We never did anything that condoned animal cruelty. Apparently, things have changed.”

According to the TV Guide story, the Calgary (Canada) Stampede is an annual event that is “notorious for its many horse deaths.”

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“The Price is Right” marked its 40th anniversary on CBS Tuesday with a special episode whose studio audience was made up entirely of past contestants, including some who last participated in the show’s various games in the 1970s.

The show marked the 40th anniversary of the premiere of “The Price is Right” on CBS in September 1972 — but Tuesday’s show marked the start of its 41st season.

CBS declined to comment on what Barker said, but a source noted that this special episode — with its former contestants wrangled from all over the country for a show that included six games, two spins of the show’s famous wheel, and then the elaborate showcase round — did run over its allotted time and had to be edited down to an hour. Which means: A minute or two with Bob Barker would not have been possible. “The Price is Right,” of course, originates from a studio that was renamed The Bob Barker Studio when he retired.

And the studio’s name is announced at the beginning of every episode of the show, including the anniversary show on Tuesday. In addition, Barker was seen in brief clips from past shows.

Airing weekdays at 11 a.m./10c on CBS, “The Price is Right” has been hosted by Drew Carey since fall 2007.

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