I despise COVID fist bumps as a substitute for handshakes and hugs. I always try to turn them into something normal. But, I actually saw a good one on Christmas Eve. For well over a year, network TV has been doing the politically correct thing. Talk show hosts sit far apart from guests or communicate via in-studio TV monitors. There is nothing approaching physical contact. Drew Carey on the Price is Right has been forced to comply with the nonsense even though his personal beliefs don’t line up with it. When he burst into prominence as a young comedian on the Johnny Carson Show, it was clear that the tough buzz-cut former Marine sergeant on stage didn’t possess the trendy personal politics that are expected of the Hollywood elite. He is a self-proclaimed libertarian and was a proud Ron Paul supporter and donor during Doctor Paul’s presidential campaign. He opposed Bush’s Iraq War and understands economics and price signals saying, “I believe the answers to all the problems we face as a society won’t come from Washington. They will come from us. So the way we decide to live our lives and our decisions about what we buy or don’t buy are much more important than who we vote for.”
I occasionally watch the Price is Right and I have been saddened that Drew Carey was forced for months to say “Wear a mask” in his closing statement in addition to the Bob Barker legacy, “Get your pets spayed or neutered.” A while back, Carey ditched “Wear a mask” and went back to just the traditional Barker “spayed or neutered” closing. It felt like some progress, but there was still no touching, hugging, or hand-shaking allowed between the stage crew (Drew and the models) and the contestants. The studio was rearranged to accommodate a much smaller crowd seated in little family / friend pods spaced apart from each other. Drew was required to dutifully point out a mark on stage where the squealing contestants were required to stop and plant their feet away from Drew. Previously, the Price is Right was known for massive physical displays of affection when contestants rushed on stage with contestants hugging Drew, lifting Drew off his feet, carrying him around, jumping on his back, kissing him, and of course shaking hands. Models would join in on the hugging and physical displays of affection especially when contestants won big prizes. But, that was the old days.
But, then something amazing happened on the Christmas Eve episode. A contestant was able to make it to the top tier of a very hard pricing game called “Pay the Rent,” thereby winning a whopping $100,000. Confetti fell from the ceiling and the audience, the crew, and the contestant went wild. During the whole COVID era, Drew has kept himself in check and has avoided all contact with contestants. But, this was the right moment. Drew and the contestant approached each other and did a glorious fist bump, one of the few I have approved of. I know that Drew has been looking for opportunities to shed the nonsense that has been imposed on him and this was a good start even though he will likely endure scoldings from network executives. Drew has enough prominence to be able to fight the monsters somewhat with a dose of reality. I was surprised that this prohibited touching wasn’t edited out since it was at the end of the segment. It is too bad that we have to be happy with small things like this. The ratchet effect of tyranny conditions us to accept a little bit of reclaimed freedom as significant. Oh well, it wasn’t much, but I thank you Drew Carey for being one of the few principled people in mainstream media that has dared to have a brain and speak some truth during your career and take some actions to advance individuals over Leviathan even at personal risk to your own career. Merry Christmas and a Happy Glorious New Year to you Drew and to all LRC readers!