Wayne Brady hosts new “Let’s Make a Deal”

By Jeff Pfeiffer

dealLike his fellow Who’s Line Is It Anyway? alumnus Drew Carey, who took over the hosting gig for The Price Is Right, comedian Wayne Brady will be hosting the reincarnation of a legendary game show. Brady takes the reins of a new one-hour revamp of the classic Let’s Make a Deal, which will air in daytime on CBS beginning Oct. 5 (filling in the space for the departing drama Guiding Light.)

Looking at clips from a rough pilot, it appears all the familiar elements are there — guessing what’s behind curtains, audience members dressed in costumes, the host offering people some cash if they can produce something unusual on the spot. Original host Monty Hall is involved as a consultant, and at a recent Television Critics Association (TCA) tour panel he said that his main job will be behind the scenes, “walking with a big whip.”

“Don’t say ‘whip’ when a brother’s sitting right next to you,” joked Brady, who was next to Hall on the panel, to much laughter.

The nature of the show — no game board, with the host/audience interaction as the main focus — should lend itself well to Brady’s quick improv talents. And Hall’s philosophy on the show — “the script’s [in your head]” — is one Brady also subscribes to.

“I think I’m one of the only guys on TV who can pull this off, because of my skill set,” he said. Brady was asked some awkwardly worded questions about whether he should feel some responsibility being one of the few black hosts of a major network game show in TV history. One question basically implied that he should be the one to know whether he is actually the first African American to host such a show because he himself is black.

“Yes, because of the meetings when the African Americans meet,” he joked, then added, “My responsibility is just to be funny.”

Regarding that humor, he is also well aware of the nature of the show and its audience, and the fact that it’s in daytime. So while he still fields questions from his fans about whether he’ll have “to choke a bitch,” (referencing an infamous skit from Chappelle’s Show) he says this new show is not going to feature him walking out and shouting, “Hey, bitches, you want to make a deal?” or something of that nature.

Let’s Make a Deal will be shot in Las Vegas, where Brady also performs a live show. It looks like fun, and hopefully is a precursor to bringing back more game shows to daytime television.


© 2009 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Credit: Cliff Lipson