C.J. Wallis has created a smart, fun documentary in Perfect Bid: The Contestant Who Knew Too Much .
Superfan Theodore (Ted) Slauson and contestant Terry Kniess arced toward destiny to meet on game show The Price is Right and make history. Wallis interviews Slauson and host Bob Barker and shows clips of a discussion between Kevin Pollak and Drew Carey who took over hosting duties when Barker retired.
“…at a taping of the same episode as Terry Kniess when the unthinkable happened…”
I am constantly amazed at the time and energy poured into obsessions that seem like banalities to most people. Slauson’s dedication to The Price is Right is impressive, possibly a little scary. He was a Price Is Right fan for decades.
Early on he noticed that they repeated prizes and the price didn’t change. He had always had an affinity for numbers far above average. Once he saw the pattern of repeating prices he tracked them in a spreadsheet and wrote software versions of the game using his database to test himself. He upgraded the software as technology advanced, from rudimentary DOS versions to Windows versions later on. He has 30+ years of price data stored and memorized.
When his family moved to California Ted was able to attend numerous tapings, making it on as a contestant in 1992. His mastery of the prices was well known to the show and he was called out many times on the air by Barker. Helping contestants from the audience is encouraged as part of the show so Ted was welcome.
In 2008 with Drew Carey as host Ted was at a taping of the same episode as Terry Kniess when the unthinkable happened, leading to a scandal and accusations of cheating.
“Even if you’re not a game show fan, this film is fascinating…”
The interview with Bob Barker is a special treat. In his 90’s now, he seems a genteel soul, formal and polite, very friendly. His highest praise is to name someone “a good friend and true.” By comparison Drew Carey comes off as an unrefined dick.
Even if you’re not a game show fan this film is fascinating. Give that wheel a spin.
Perfect Bid: The Contestant Who Knew Too Much (2017). Written and directed by C.J. Wallis. Starring Theodore Slauson, Bob Barker, Roger Dobkowitz, Kevin Pollak.
8 out of 10