The Yodely guy suicides

exercises in bad Cliffhangers playing

Compilation Induction

Cliffhangers is a game that ever since its debut in 1976 has captured the imagination of all of the Price Is Right watchers.  Almost everybody who watches it at least feels for the Mountain Climber going up the mountain and doesn't want him falling to his gruesome death off of a 25 step peak.  Over the years we have had the gamut ran on this game.  We have had near perfection in this game, we have had close calls in this game, and every time it's still as exciting as the first time it was made.  Not to mention, the background music it has is one of the most memorable in the show's history, when the climber goes up the mountain.

An interesting note is that the climber doesn't really have a set name.  Most notably, the climber has gone by Hans, which was used by The New Price Is Right host, Doug Davidson, and most recently Drew Carey when he started his run as host.  Other names he has gone by is Yodel Man and most commonly now, Yodely Guy.  One of the rarer names he was called was from Dennis James's run as the host of the 70s syndicated Nighttime Price Is Right was Fritz.  During that time he used that name, he didn't know of Janice Pennington's second husband, Fritz Stammberger who had perished in what was a Mountain climbing accident shortly before the debut of the game on air.  What made it worse is that when the game was lost and James yelled, "There Goes Fritz!", Janice couldn't compose herself and went backstage and cried for the rest of the show.

With that history out of the way, the game has been played well, but there are times where the games have been blown in such spectacular fashion that it has to be seen.  So, let's take a look at some of the horrible playings of this game starting with the 21st anniversary show and this guy.

His name is Clint.  A good ol' fashioned guy, who seems to be enjoying retired life.  This guy was only $4 off from a perfect bid in contestant's row, so he should have a good shot at this game.  Now, let's take a look at his first item...

...a Gitano Watch.  I might not be a fashion expert or fluent in Italian, but, after seeing the clothing from there, Gitano probably translates to cheap.  Clint, however sees an italian name and decides to bid....

....$2,500.

To his credit, he heard the boos and groans and quickly changed his mind and his bid.  However it changed to something still wonky in $350.  Bob, who knew that Clint didn't have an inclination that Gitano was cheap, decided to roll with it.  Bob knew that Clint was going to fail, so what does he do?

He invites Clint to sit down on the rocks below the mountain climber to relax before he officially lost the game.  Clint knew after that he made a gigantic error, but he took it in stride.  So they waited until....

the climber fell to his demise.

Bob then was ready to get up and tell Clint he missed it by $325.  Clint, said that he played it "too bad."  At least he took his loss in stride. 

And that's the thing about this game.  Taking the loss in stride.  A lot of people know how to do that, and that's what makes the show fun.  Everyone is there to have a good time and enjoy themselves.  If everyone was really serious, then it wouldn't be fun to watch.

As the years wore on, the scandals and lawsuits piled up and in Bob Barker's last few years, it seemed to people that he was phoning it in quite a bit.  Most of the time when something happened, he'd call it an "Historic Moment".  One of those times where he made up said "Historic Moment" was on Valentines Day in 2005 with this player.

Her name is Amanda.  She looks like a younger version of Paige Davis, but then again Paige Davis is always looking quite young.  She's your atypical female contestant in 2005: Young, Perky and just happy to be there.  She wins her way up to the stage and gets ready to play Cliffhangers.  Her first prize is this...

Electric Toothbrush for kids.  Now, if it's the first prize, you have to think it's not that expensive.  Plus, electric toothbrushes would be around 20-30 dollars, even for some of the better ones at that time.  So, she says the toothbrush is....

"Ninety Dollars"...to the dismay of the crowd.  So normally the mountain climber starts to go up and we see that she experiences two main feelings of knowing she messed up.

Nervousness....

....and disappointment when the climber fell to his demise.  After it was revealed she missed it by 72 dollars. Bob asks if this happened before.

After it was announced it was done only once by the staff, Bob said that in the 33 year history of this show, it's the 2nd time it happened, and wishes Amanda congratulations.

Anyways, This makes the third Barker Cliffhangers Epic Failure, disproving Barker and the staff.  But although Bob Barker only had 3 on his run in 35 years.  What's more notable is that Drew Carey has had almost the same amount of epic failures in just 3 1/2 years of his tenure.  Even more notable is that on the Doug Davidson New Price Is Right, he had 1 epic failure in the 120 or so episodes he did for that version, so he has the worst ratio.  I would do the Doug Davidson one, but I can't find it anywhere anymore.  But back to Drew Carey for the moment.  Although his hosting early on made quite a few uber-fanboys quite unhappy, he's grown to be a very capable host, wanting every contestant to win and have a good time.  One of those people is our next failure.

Her name is Debra.  She seems like your typical young Cleveland Mom, I mean it says it on her shirt.  Not only that, she's got herself the Drew Carey Glasses that she spent about $10 or so at the CBS Gift Shop, along with unsold copies of Viva Laughlin DVDs and the Survivor and Big Brother board games.  She won her way up on stage and now faces the first item in her Cliffhangers expedition....

....A Cassette Shaped Tote Bag.  At least the smaller prizes have a personality now.  Now, seeing how it's a novelty bag, it should only be worth about $20.  I mean for the first item, it'd be a safe bet, because at most, that's what those types of things would cost, and if you're wrong, you're more than likely only going to be off by $5 and in extreme situations $10.  So, what does Momma Debra say?

"$41 Drew."

Well, maybe she did need those glasses after all.  Or at the very least has dyslexic bidding.  So when the yodely guy went up the mountain, she had some choice words.

"Look how fast that guy is moving...I never bought a tote bag.  How the heck was I supposed to know."  But then...

Well, that happened.  Prompting a hilarious WHAT!? from Drew, before the reveal of the price of $15 for the tote bag.  At least she still had a good time with the entire thing and seemed like she enjoyed herself after her failure. 

After Drew took over from Bob, a lot of new features and ideas came flowing through for the show, including having special guest musicians demonstrate instruments as prizes, or having staff members play the instruments during the descriptions.  What also happened is that we have gotten special shows for Valentines Day and Mothers day, having two players as teams involved with contestants row and pricing games instead of just having 4 regular people down there.  Some great moments happened when there was a team involved, but since this is a whole induction featuring crappy Cliffhangers playings, here's our last one from Mothers Day 2009.

We have Mother Maily and her daughter Kimberly who just got into contestants row and got out quick after the last team gave them a 2 dollar cushion and got burned by it.  They showed off her T-shirts, and Mother Maily decided to write something on the very bottom of the back of the shirt, so she shook her "groove thing" to Drew to draw attention to it.  They see their first item of the day...

A small Ice Cream Maker.  It looks like a $20 Ice Cream maker to me, seeing how small it is, probably enough to make a pint or so of the good stuff.  Kimberly tells her mom $35, but since it's Mothers day, and she is in charge, she bids...

"$45 Drew."

Ouch.  Even for a small, cheap looking Ice Cream Maker, that's a bit high.  So the Yodely Guy goes up the mountain in a pretty quick rate.

That prompts Maily to tell the climber to STOP!, STOP!  Drew starts dancing...

But when he sees the Climber go above $15, he starts waiving the mountain climber to stop as well.  But like most everything else in this induction....

He just slaps his forehead....

and watches Yodely Guy fall off the the mountain.  The price was $17, so although the daughter was off by a lot, at least she would have had a shot. 

So that ends this compilation of horrible playings of Cliffhangers.  And as a note to all future players of this game...Please don't fail and make the climber fall off the cliff.  If you don't do it for yourself....

.....please do it for his family who loves nothing more to see him home in one piece.