Mark Walberg is recognized everywhere as the affable host of the ever popular Antiques Roadshow, a gig he has held since 2006. “People are always coming up to me in airports, supermarkets, wherever, and saying, ‘My grandpa just died and left me this watch. What do you think?’ And I have to tell them: ‘I’m a TV guy, not an antique guy,’” he says.
But since 1990, Walberg has also hosted almost a dozen other TV shows, including The Big Date (1996-1998) and The Moment of Truth (2008-2009). “I love working on game shows,” says Walberg. “Who wouldn’t want to have a job where you play games and then you get to make people happy by giving them prizes and money? I’ve had so many people hug me in tears. It’s not a bad way to make a living.”
That’s why he enjoys hosting The Price Is Right Live!, which will be at the Mid-Hudson Civic Center in Poughkeepsie on April 7, and at the Palace Theatre in Albany on April 10. “I try to give people as close to the TV experience as I can,” he says. And does he conduct his show like the legendary Bob Barker, who famously hosted the The Price is Right for a whopping 35 years? Or is he more like funnyman Drew Carey, who has now been at the helm since 2007? “I’d say that I give an experience that is closer to Bob Barker,” he says.
The show does not follow the exact same format as on TV. “We play several pricing games and we do our version of a showcase,” says Walberg. “The prizes are not quite as big as they’d be on TV, but we do try to get many people involved.”
Walberg, who lives in California with his wife, actress Robbi Morgan Walberg. (“She was actually the first person to be killed in the original Friday the 13th movie,” he says) admits that his career is “a happy accident.” He also admits that he is often accidentally confused with that other Mark Wahlberg. “That’s why I add my middle initial in all of my TV credits,” he says. “I always tell the audiences, ‘Be clear which Mark Walberg you are getting. I may not be the one you were expecting, but I’m the one that is going to give.’”
The Price is Right Live!
April 7 at 7:30 p.m. $37.50-$75.50. Mid-Hudson Civic Center. 14 Civic Center Plaza, Poughkeepsie. 845-454-5800; www.midhudsonciviccenter.com
April 10 at 7:30 p.m. $32.75-$82.75. The Palace Theatre. 19 Clinton Ave., Albany, 518-465-3334; www.palacealbany.com