The Surprising Number Of Kisses Bob Barker Received While Hosting The Price Is Right

There are game shows and then there is "The Price is Right." The show is the longest-running game show in history (via CBS) with the second longest-running host — Bob Barker hosted for 35 years — beat by only Pat Sajak of Wheel of Fortune, who has hosted for 40 years (via Today). More notable than Barker's tenure as host is the number of kisses he received from contestants. There's just something about a man with a microphone to make people want to lay one on you. When you find out just how many kisses he received during his time on the show, you will truly be blown away.

Okay, we know what you're thinking; who would plant one on a stranger at a game show? But you have to take into consideration that it was a simpler time when Barker hosted "The Price is Right." There was no COVID to worry about and the crowd was at max capacity. The now 98-year-old held the main stage from 1972 to 2007, according to Suggest, and was known for, well, having contestants fall in love with him.

People made shirts with his face on it and often gave him a smooch as soon as they hit the stage. If you think Barker's net worth is impressive, think again. The number of kisses he got on set is even more so. 

Bob Barker received approximately 22,000 kisses on Prince is Right

Let's set the scene. The year is 2000 and you've just bet $1 and won on the showcase and you are now called down to the stage to play for a new car. What's the first thing you do? Well, a lot of people would tell you to kiss Bob Barker on the cheek. In fact, over 20,000 people would likely tell you that. According to BestLife, Barker received around 22,000 kisses during his time on the show. 

If you think that number is high, you'll be blown away to hear what another source says. According to Barker, he thinks the number of kisses is much higher than that. "I would say, including yesterday, I probably have had 932,403 kisses," Barker told the Los Angeles Times in 2006. "There's no doubt in my mind that I have been kissed more than anyone in television. Particularly on the right cheek. I've had a minimum on the left cheek. My contestants are always on my right."

No matter what the number is, that's a whole lot of kisses. 

The kisses could've been key to the show's success

As any longtime watcher of "The Price Is Right" would tell you, the kisses quickly became an iconic part of the show. In fact, there's a possibility that it could be why the show did so well in the first place. It turns out that there's a reason that Bob Barker looked like he was having such a good time on the show. According to Healthline, kissing releases serotonin, oxytocin, and dopamine which "lowers cortisol levels so you feel more relaxed, making for a good time all around." The smooches could have quite literally carried Barker the 35 years to retirement.

The kisses could have had an effect on the viewers as well. "Neuroscience would say there's these little chemical signals in our brain that fire when we see someone kiss," Sheril Kirshenbaum, the author of "The Science of Kissing: What Our Lips Are Telling Us" tells Yahoo!. "That almost makes us feel as if we're somehow engaged in the behavior itself. So if we're watching someone we know what that might feel like, even if we're not experiencing it."

So if you thought you just liked the show for the Plinko, think again.