The Price Is Right Announcer Reveals His 'Trick' Behind Telling Contestants To 'Come On Down!'

The Price is Right announcer George Gray
(Image credit: CBS)

The Price Is Right is one of the most iconic game shows in television history, and is still going strong in 2022. The show celebrated its 50th anniversary this year with special episodes as well as the “Come On Down Tour!” that took the show on the road for fans to get to play in their hometowns, with announcer George Gray on hand to make it official. Gray spoke with CinemaBlend about fans’ excitement and techniques for spinning the Wheel for the tour, and also revealed his own “trick” for what happens when he tells contestants to “Come on down!” during episode production. 

George Gray spoke with CinemaBlend during the “Come On Down Tour!” stop in Cleveland, Ohio in May. As a fan of the show, I asked something that I’ve always wondered: does he have a trick for pronouncing the contestants’ names correctly when telling them to come on down and play the game? Gray shared what happens on set that viewers don't see in the episodes that air on CBS: 

I do have a trick, and that is I destroy people's names. [laughs] I go out and say hi to the audience before we start the show, and I always tell them, 'I am going to ruin your name. I apologize to you and your family members. They don't tell me how to say your name. If your name is Ta-ra, or Tar-a – that [spelling] is the same exact name! And they don't tell me which way you say it.' So if I look at it on paper, I just flip a coin in my brain, and I don't know how it's mathematically possible, but I'm always wrong. Always. And that's first names – wait 'til I get a hold of your last name. If you've got like six vowels next to each other, good luck. I'll do the best I can. But I trainwreck everybody's name.

As it turns out, George Gray isn’t given the exact pronunciations of contestants’ names before he announces who gets to “Come on down!” in each episode, so he has to make his best guess. And according to the announcer, his best guess somehow “always” turns out to be wrong! 

Contestants are always all smiles when they run down to take the stage and try their best to impress host Drew Carey (who has made a bold prediction about the show’s future), so the whole Price Is Right experience is clearly a lot of fun. Gray also shared that the show does go the extra mile to make sure that the right contestants know when it’s their time to try their hand at the competition, saying:

This is a little inside baseball, because it's so loud in there too. So we don't want the wrong person to come on down, since that could be be quite embarrassing. It's a long walk back to your seat. So what we do is when I say somebody's name, as soon as I say that name, there's a page on stage that has a huge cue card and lifts it up with that person's name in huge pen written on it. So there's two ways to know if you're coming on down. And I always tell people, 'When you see your name on that card, you can pronounce it in your brain any way you want. You pronounce it the right way.' The contestants can keep those cards as souvenirs after.

So, no matter how George Gray pronounces the name, the show makes sure that contestants know when they have their turn to possibly win fabulous prizes. Whether or not they do leave with a brand new car to their name, or thousands more dollars than they came in with, or any of the other fun rewards, they get the souvenir of their name cards! All things considered, it’s easy to understand why The Price Is Right has managed to keep going for half a century, endure beyond the COVID production challenges, and hold on to personalities like George Gray and Drew Carey for so long. 

In fact, The Price Is Right has even expanded to primetime. While episodes still air daily on CBS, the network has occasionally aired special presentations during primetime to give the show an even larger platform, and people who can’t watch on weekday mornings the chance to watch and even play along from home. The Price Is Right is back in primetime on Wednesday, June 1 at 9 p.m. ET on CBS. Episodes air weekdays on CBS, so be sure to check your local listings for when to tune in. 

You can revisit plenty of past episodes of The Price Is Right with a Paramount+ subscription. For some more viewing options as the weather warms up after some of TV’s biggest shows have already aired their season finales, take a look at our 2022 TV premiere schedule

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. Resident of One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and Northeast Ohio. Will not time travel, but will sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation.