Saturday, April 2, 2011


In the innocence of Spring 1963, months before fateful gunshots rang out in Dallas, forever changing America , an optimistic United States was reaching for the stars at Cape Canaveral.

The Kennedy White House was focused on the future, while confronting the challenges of the Civil Rights movement and growing concerns about the global spread of communism.

American families were enjoying an economic boom that brought unprecedented prosperity to the middle class. There was already a burgeoning generation of bargain-hunting, Baby-Boomers.

Then, a major television network and a genial , engaging, Canadian game show host were prepared to offer the women who comprised television's daytime audience the deals of a lifetime.

NBC-TV was looking to develop a new concept in an age-old, video genre, the game show. Entertainer and entrepreneur Monty Hall, with partner/producer Stefan Hatos, developed a program that gave studio audience members the chance to bargain for big-ticket goods, or to get Zonked and walk away with a bizarre consolation prize.

By the end of each show, the top winners traded their prizez for what was behind one of the 3 colorful doors during THE BIG DEAL OF THE DAY. They were at Monty's mercy and could drive away with a brand new car, or go home with a year's supply of M&M's.

Here from the BLUELOBSTER YOU TUBE site ,and the GAME SHOW NETWORK, is the 1963 pilot episode of LET'S MAKE A DEAL STARRING MONTY HALL.

Shot at the Peacock Network's Burbank studios, alot of what you see in this episode grew to be bedrock of the long running show, which was on the NBC daytime schedule for over a decade before moving to ABC-TV. Many iterations of the format, including one produced for NBC with Billy Bush as host, have come and gone.

The latest, and most successful, revival/re-boot of the fast-paced game appears on CBS Daytime and is hosted by Wayne Brady.

In the pilot, Hall was supported by legendary announcer Wendell Niles, who was later replaced by Jay Stewart. Music , as was the way in the nascent years of network television,was provided by a lone organist, the prolific Ivan Ditmars.Both Niles and Ditmars were veterans of Bob Barker's venerable TRUTH OR CONSEQUENCES, on NBC-TV. The enduring and instantly identifiable theme was written by Sheldon Allman. The pilot, like much of the series, was directed by Joe Behar.

Of course, model Carol Merill achieved iconic, pop culture status on LET'S MAKE A DEAL, blazing a path for Vanna White, Barker's Beauties and others to follow, who would coyly caress a Dodge Caravan or a Coleman Grill.

You'll notice that , in the pilot, potential traders and dealers came to the show in street clothes. Early in the series run, audience members started to arrive at the studio dressed in outlandish costumes and make-up, all designed to attract the attention of , as the announcer said every day,"TV's top trader, America's big dealer, Monty Hall!!!"






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