Interview: Todd Newton, host of THE PRICE IS RIGHT LIVE! at The Hershey Theatre

America's favorite game show lands in Hershey

By: Apr. 09, 2024
Interview: Todd Newton, host of THE PRICE IS RIGHT LIVE! at The Hershey Theatre
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Interview: Todd Newton, host of THE PRICE IS RIGHT LIVE! at The Hershey Theatre

Broadway World had the pleasure of recently talking with Todd Newton.  Mr. Newton is an accomplished author, social media creator, and master of ceremonies.  He is coming to the Hershey Theater on April 16 as host of The Price is Right Live! After reading the interview, we encourage you to “come on down” and experience the fun.

BWW: You were fortunate enough to be mentored by the great Bob Barker.  What kind of advice did he give you about the qualities of a good game show host?

TN: I'm super fortunate to have been able to learn from someone who I consider to be the best that will ever do this. I think he really wanted to drive home the fact that the game is always about the contestant. Every contestant has a story. Every contestant has a reason why they're there. Every contestant feels differently about the Price is Right.

I think what I gained from that was the importance of playing the game through the eyes of the contestant. I guess I'm really lucky in the sense that I get to do this every night in great theaters all across America, but for the contestant, it's a once in a lifetime experience. When I play the game through their eyes (you know seeing Plinko for the first time or seeing the Big Wheel for the first time), it is something they've watched on television for decades.

It's a lot like when you have children, and all of a sudden Christmas is really exciting again, and the Holidays are something to really look forward to.

BWW: Other than Bob or yourself, who is your favorite game show host and why?

TN: I love both Gene Rayburn and Richard Dawson. I really enjoy watching those guys even to this day on Game Show Network or Buzzr. You know when you're watching those two that this is exactly what they are like the other 23 1/2 hours out of the day. I think that's why Match Game was so successful with the original version. You could tell that Gene Rayburn and Richard Dawson and Charles Nelson Riley liked each other and probably went out and had a drink together after taping.

 I think that authenticity is what always appealed to me most about this profession.  Even before I knew what a host was, I knew I wanted to be on television. I knew I wanted to be on a stage, but I never wanted to act and I could never sing. I was never one for telling jokes. I just wanted to be myself or maybe a slightly exaggerated version of myself and those guys have perfected that.  

BWW: The current version of The Price is Right has been on the air for over fifty years. What do you think makes it so iconic and so successful?

TN: Well, I think it's the fact that it's so many different games in one.  You know, I'm a huge Jeopardy fan. I'm a huge Wheel of Fortune fan, but with Price,  number one- it's a 60 minute show as opposed to 1/2 hour show and number two-you're seeing game after game after game. You never know what game is gonna be on when you come back from commercial, or you never know what's going to be behind that door! Plus, you meet so many different contestants in an episode, whereas with Wheel or Jeopardy you only meet three contestants. Maybe you pick a favorite, maybe you root for one (maybe you don't).

But with Price is Right there are over 100 different pricing games that could appear at anytime and I think that gets us talking back to our televisions. Not knowing what game is next or not knowing who is going to “come on down" next that builds suspense and drama and anticipation that keeps us coming back day after day after day.

BWW: If you were a contestant on The Price is Right, which game do you think you’d have the best chance at winning and why?

 TN: I would most like to play Golden Road because you're up there experiencing it for the longest amount of time. I don't know if that would be my best game though, because when I play along on television I don't normally win.

 You know, I'm pretty good at Cliffhangers. There’s only three items and I've got a pretty good shot, besides who doesn't love the yodeling?

I am not the best Plinko player, but it is my favorite game to host during the live show. I'm sure its because it gets so many people worked up, you know? I mean, now I know what it's like to be in the band Lynyrd Skynyrd and play those opening notes of “Free Bird” because it's gotta be the same reaction when they see that Plinko board rolling out.

BWW: What can the audience expect at The Price is Right-Live Show?

TN: They can expect a couple of things. Number one-they can expect pure authenticity. We are created by the same people that produced the television show. We are bringing America's favorite game show across the country and delivering on all of your expectations-same music, same set pieces, same prizes. Cars, trips, piles of cash, kitchen appliances-they will all be there!

Some people ask me “do I get to keep the prizes or is this, you know, a play that we just watch?” My answer is always, no this is not a play. There's nothing scripted here, this is the real deal and the prizes go home with you!

The best part is that all contestants are chosen at random from the people that register prior to the show, whether it's through the e-mail that you receive or whether you scan the QR code at the theater the night of the show.   We have randomizing software that spits out the names moments before the show begins so it doesn't matter where you're seated in the theater. It doesn't matter how long you've had your tickets, doesn't matter who you know- everybody is on a level playing field.

Also, we call more people down to contestants row than they do on television because we're not limited to one hour.  No commercial breaks so you know there's never a dull moment. I think that's what people can expect just nonstop Price is Right game show magic from the moment the curtain comes up to the moment you get back out to your car and drive home.

Tickets and more information about the show can be found at the theatre website.


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