Sunday, July 17, 2022

Deals Through the Years

Started off the morning with breakfast and a hot, sunny day. I did manage to get to work just in time, which is about the only exciting thing that happened all morning. We're in the middle of a traditionally slow month and are well between major holidays. We were off and on steady all morning, and never more than slightly busy, even during the morning rush hour. The teen girl who came in for me was even on time. 

Went straight home after work. Changed, had a snack, then worked on writing and editing Blank in Wonderland for a while. Dolly (Reed Martin) the unicorn in particular finds Brett fascinating. She thought humans were "fabulous monsters." Brett admits she thought the same about unicorns. Dolly tells her she'll believe in Brett, if Brett will believe in her. 

Headed out for a birthday party and dinner around 5. Came back up much later after a shower. Finished the night on YouTube, running episodes of Let's Make a Deal. Monty Hall finally got the show on NBC in a subdued pilot in 1963. No costumes, but everything else - the wacky animal Zonks, the quirky pricing games - were there from the start. The costumes apparently came in a few years later, as more people fought for Hall's attention.

Very little of the game changed over the years, other than the addition of people in wacky costumes. Monty wanted it to run in prime time as well as in the day. NBC said no, so he moved the show to ABC in 1968 when they were more willing to syndicate it. The ABC version ended in 1976; the original syndicated show ran from 1971 through 1977. 

Deal would turn up in syndication at least three more times. Monty moved it to his native Canada in 1980, but the company that made it went bankrupt within a year. He did a little better back in the US with another syndicated version that ran from 1984 to 1986. This is the version I'm most familiar with, and the one most likely to turn up today, including on Buzzr. 

Hall retired after The All-New Let's Make a Deal ended. Deal was revived again in syndication in 1990, filmed at what was then the Disney-MGM Studios. Bob Hilton was the original host; when he proved to be a little too dull, Hall was brought back. Two more short-lived revivals, in 1996 (as Big Deal) and 2003, only ran for three episodes each and are so rare, I can't seem to find them anywhere. 

Deal finally hit the jackpot on CBS in 2009 in an expanded hour format with comedian Wayne Brady hosting. It was such a hit (and paired so well with the other big CBS daytime game show The Price Is Right), it still runs on CBS in the mornings before Price to this day. The episode I chose takes us full-circle. Brady celebrates the franchise's 50th anniversary by not only bringing back Monty and original model Carol Merrill, but letting Monty take over for a prize game...and showing that, even in his late 80's, he still had the right stuff to make women dressed as ice cream cones very happy. 

Celebrate big deals through the years with these classic episodes! (The tape for the 1980 Canadian episode is barely watchable, but it's one of only two episodes of that series to have turned up in the US.)

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