“Nick Dimengo, come on down, you’re the next contestant on The Price is Right!”
For as long as I can remember, I dreamt of hearing those exact words, as it’s always been a goal—not dream—of mine to be one of the people who go nuts and does something to thoroughly embarrass themselves after hearing their name called for a fucking TV show. And after making a trip to L.A. last week with one of my best friends, I came so close to actually doing it—so here’s how it went down.
After waking up at 4:30 in the morning and catching a flight to L.A. from Seattle, my body and mind hated me, but, like 300 other hopeful contestants, I was determined to keep a fucking smile on my face and try and feed off of the energy from everyone in line. Little did I know that I’d have to do it for almost six hours, no joke.
It started with my buddy and I rolling up LF as all hell—low functioning for those who aren’t familiar—and, unknowingly, cutting everyone by hopping into the front of the waiting line outside of the studio around 11:30 in the morning, confidently declaring that, “the competition just arrived” after hopping out of our Uber.
From then on, we made friends with those around us, smiled awkwardly for cameras, waited around for hours and auditioned for producers on the spot to try and become one of the lucky to go home a winner.
In-between it all, we starved ourselves because, of course, we were too dumb enough to remember to take cash out to buy food. So here we are, running on fumes, looking haggard as shit and vying for a spot on the longtime game show.
As beat as we were, it’s honestly one of the most incredible things I’ve ever been around, with people making homemade t-shirts to grab the attention of producers and trying their best to stay upbeat throughout the hours of waiting. It’s like an adults only amusement park on crack, too, with not one person ever complaining about the longevity of standing around from about noon to 4:30 in the afternoon.
Breaking us up into 10 groups of 25 people each, the interview with a producer is about as short as it’d be trying to hit on a supermodel in a bar, with each person getting one question each like “where are you from?” and “what is it you do?” with the best and most unique answers the ones that help separate the audience from contestants.
When it got to me, I just had to do something stupid. After all, this is The Price is Right, guys, I only get one chance and about 20 seconds to impress.
With the producer asking me what I did for a living, I looked him straight in the eye and told him the most bold face lie I could think of, “I’m actually the starting center for the L.A. Lakers. It’s been a tough year, man.” Probably not the reply the dude expected from a 5’8″ white kid.
The guy laughed, was sort of thrown off-guard and actually dropped to his knees to pretend as if he was shorter than me. My buddy turned to me afterwards and said, “Dude, you’ve got it. No joke, you’re getting called down.”
Another couple of hours went by, with us wasting time by talking hockey with the Canadian visitors behind us in line and talking to about everyone around us to show the producers that, you know, we’re the cool and funny guys today. After all, they’re ALWAYS watching—especially since they take cell phones from everyone, making people interact with one another.
Finally making it into the studio, it’s about as close to a Vegas casino as you could imagine, with bright lights, insane colors and the air conditioning pumping through the entire place to make sure everyone stays as cool as they can while screaming for the next hour.
Upon entering, my buddy and I get told that we’re sitting front row. And when I say that, I mean as front row as you could imagine, getting seats No. 1 and No. 2 on the aisle right behind the contestants. No joke, we’re on TV the entire fucking time.
The atmosphere was insane, with everyone standing up as host Drew Carey made his way onto the stage, with all of us yelling and hopelessly awaiting that moment when their name gets called to come down.
Sadly, it didn’t happen for my buddy or I, but that doesn’t mean we didn’t have a memorable interaction with Drew Carey.
As you might expect, the show is taped, not actually live, meaning Carey has free time to walk around, tell some jokes and talk with the crowd—which, for us, meant a direct convo with him since we were so close.
Wearing dumbass shirts that read, “Born and raised in Cleveland,” Drew came to us and started joking about what we both do for a living, where we were born and raised and how I need to write a piece about my experience on the show for BroBible. So this one’s for you, Drew.
With cameras focusing on us throughout the show, we may not have gotten to “come on down,” but we came about as close as anyone could to getting the chance to—even if it meant wasting an entire day standing in line.
For those wondering, the episode airs June 23rd, so set your DVRs and get ready to make fun of the way-too-enthusiastic 30-something bros who spent $35 each on custom t-shirts.