Barker's birthday bash and return to The Price Is Right will air on CBS at 11 a.m. on Dec. 12. Credit: Sonja Flemming/CBS via Getty Images

Come on down! Bob Barker graciously bowed out from The Price Is Right six years ago, but the former game show host is returning to the hit series on Thursday, Dec. 12 -- to celebrate his 90th birthday!

Barker hosted the beloved show from 1972 to 2007, and passed the torch on to his successor, comedian Drew Carey. Since his departure, the TV personality, who turns 90 on Dec. 12, has only appeared on the hit series once: In 2009, he promoted his autobiography before the studio audience.

On this coming Thursday's episode, Carey surprises the crowd with Barker's return -- as seen in a clip posted by TVGuide.com. Judging from the audience's reaction which includes a full-out chant of "bark bark bark," fans were certainly pleased to see him on stage again. Meanwhile, a beaming Barker reacted by blowing a kiss at the studio crowd.

The longtime animal rights activist's appearance not only celebrates his birthday milestone, but also coincides with Pet Adoption Week. As current host Carey reminded fans, the former show host always signed off after every episode of the game show with the phrase, "Have your pets spayed or neutered."

Barker's birthday bash and return to The Price Is Right will air on CBS on Dec. 12.