Tonight, CBS will celebrate the 60th broadcast anniversary of Let’s Make a Deal with a primetime special.
The 9 p.m. episode will offer up over $600,000 in prizes, including a guaranteed $60,000 cash prize and a chance to win an Aston Martin valued at over $300,000. It will also pay tribute to its original stars – host and creator Monty Hall and model Carol Merrill.
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On top of all that, this season marks Wayne Brady’s 15th anniversary of hosting the show. Here, the multi-hyphenate performer — who is currently in San Francisco where’s he performing The Wiz through mid-February — talks about celebrating the milestone, how long he expects to keep making those deals, and what’s the latest on his Hulu reality show Wayne Brady: The Family Remix.
DEADLINE After 15 years, what keeps it so fresh for you?
WAYNE BRADY Anyone who watches the show knows that it’s not the same. The only thing that is the same are the deals and the game. But the show itself, I always say it’s like the best parts of a game show, variety show and of an improv show. Sometimes it’s a talent show. It all depends on the day. You don’t know what you’re getting. That, in itself, is built into the DNA of our version of the show. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be doing it 15 seasons later.
DEADLINE What are you most giddy about people seeing in the primetime special?
BRADY We do the thing that people like. We give away huge amounts of money. We give away these big luxury cars. It’s also sprinkled with the entertainment factor because it’s the nighttime. You also want to be entertained and have that little splash of show biz. What I think is great about the primetime version is we bring the people that love the show with us, but the primetime version is also a chance for people that don’t watch it. So they get to see a completely different thing that they are new to.
DEADLINE What would Monty Hall say about your tenure?
BRADY Monty loved our version of the show. I remember when Monty asked me to do the show and I said no a few times because doing a game show was not in my mind. I’m an actor and I think of game show hosts of guys with long microphones and bad jackets. And making dad jokes. And Monty said, ‘oh, I don’t want you to do that. I want you to do what you do.’ It was the coolest pat on the back when he would come to the set and sit in his director’s chair and laugh. So I think if I had to say anything to Monty, even after years of knowing him, I would just say, thank you for believing in me and letting me be me. That is the highest compliment that one performer can pay another.
DEADLINE Can you see yourself doing the Bob Barker thing? Can you see yourself going the distance?
BRADY I’m going the distance with my career. Being a game show host isn’t my career. I would love to go the distance with Let’s Make a Deal. I would love to go the distance with a Broadway show or a sitcom. I feel that I was put on this earth to do everything that I can.
DEADLINE What’s going on with your reality show for Hulu?
BRADY It’s in the can. We’re putting the finishing touches on it right now. It’s called Wayne Brady: The Family Remix, and it is the coolest feeling to be able to work on a project like this with my family. It’s basically about my version of family, which is my ex-wife, who’s also my business partner. We have our production company together and we have our daughter who’s just turning 21. And then ex-wife’s partner, Jason, is an integral part of our family. Jason works with our company. Together, the two of them have a beautiful child named Sundance. So this is what family is, it’s unorthodox. People will get a chance to see what makes us tick. I’m an insanely private person, but I’ve decided to share pieces of my life now because I also think that it’s time to make new normals that don’t just settle for the old paradigms in your job or home life.
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