So sad. Many of us grew up with the fun of that show, especially with how the audience members dressed up in costumes in order to get chosen for the game. For those of us who had the TV as a ‘babysitter’ Monty Hall was always funny and nice. I can’t believe he was 96! Another reminder of how quickly time goes by. He had a good run, now may he RIP. Thanks Monty!
Monty Hall, best known as the co-creator and host of the game show “Let’s Make a Deal,” died Saturday. He was 96.
Hall’s daughter Sharon said her father died of heart failure at his home in Beverly Hills, Calif.
“Let’s Make a Deal” debuted as a daytime show on NBC in 1963 and became a TV staple. Through the next four decades, it also aired in prime time, in syndication and, in two brief outings, with hosts other than Hall at the helm.
An episode of “The Odd Couple” featured Felix Unger (Tony Randall) and Oscar Madison (Jack Klugman) as bickering guests on Hall’s program.
Contestants were chosen from the studio audience — outlandishly dressed as animals, clowns or cartoon characters to attract the host’s attention — and would start the game by trading an item of their own for a prize. After that, it was matter of swapping the prize in hand for others hidden behind doors, curtains or in boxes, presided over by the leggy, smiling Carol Merrill.
The query “Do you want Door No. 1, No. 2 or No. 3?” became a popular catch phrase, and the chance of winning a new car a matter of primal urgency. Prizes could be a car or a mink coat or a worthless item dubbed a “zonk.”
The energetic, quick-thinking Hall, a sight himself with his sideburns and colorful sports coats, was deemed the perfect host in Alex McNeil’s reference book, “Total Television.”
“Monty kept the show moving while he treated the outrageously garbed and occasionally greedy contestants courteously; it is hard to imagine anyone else but Hall working the trading area as smoothly,” McNeil wrote.
For Hall, the interaction was easy.
“I’m a people person,” he said on the PBS documentary series “Pioneers of Television.” “And so I don’t care if they jump on me, and I don’t care if they yell and they fainted — those are my people.”