TV Club: The Price Is Right: Season 43, episode 118

“Here it comes!” cries George Gray, the announcer of The Price Is Right, as America’s daily ritual of psychedelic consumerism kicks off for the 118th installment of its 43rd year. The show is so embedded in our televisual consciousness—a majority of Americans have never lived in a world without Price—that Gray’s three-word greeting is the only introduction required. (He does, however, elaborate.)

Price is the official show of playing hooky. Its frivolity and late-morning time slot have made it a proud symbol of irresponsibility for sick schoolkids and hungover clock-punchers alike. If you’re watching The Price Is Right, you don’t plan to get anything important done today. The frenzy of the opening minute, with newly minted contestants exploding out of their seats as the camera whips across the crowd, is designed to make you feel okay about that. “Here it comes” is the Pavlovian …

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