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Does Wayne Brady have to choke a critic? The Let's Make a Deal panel - TCA Report

by Joel Keller, posted Aug 3rd 2009 6:54PM
Wayne Brady on the new Let's Make a DealOnce the panel for the new Let's Make a Deal was announced, you knew that at some point someone was going to ask Wayne Brady if he was going to have to choke a bitch.

That line, from the hilarious Chappelle's Show bit where Brady made fun of his squeaky-clean image, came up halfway through, when a critic asked Brady the question, "submitted from one of our readers on Twitter." I wonder if that reader was one of us critics, who all burned up the Twitterverse with the line as soon as we heard Brady would be here today.

Brady, who can improvise a song on the spot, just sat there in semi-silence. "That was a great choice of question," he said sarcastically. He isn't running from the bit, he said, and he's heard ten-year-olds try to say the line back at him at airports. But he's promoting a daytime, family-oriented show and just wanted people to talk about that.

"When I did the daytime (talk) show, I got sick of people saying 'Wayne was safe,'"he said about doing the Chappelle bit. But doing it was a mistake on his part, because it's better when "I'm just me."

Brady did a better job of fielding some weirdly uncomfortable questions during the session. When a reporter said "you'd know better than anybody" when she asked if Wayne was the first African-American host of a network game show, he said "Yes (I would), because of the meetings..." He later came back to that theme when he joked that he was the "African-American guiding light of television."

When I asked Brady if he thinks he'll need to hold back in order to let the contestants shine, he cited his improv training, where giving your partner room to shine makes both of you better, as a good skill set for this job. If he tries to be funny, he said, then the show isn't going to work.

The venerable Monty Hall was also on the panel, along with executive producer Mike Richards. Hall is billed as a "creative consultant," but I think of him more as "ridiculously astute businessman." For instance, he explained that on the old LMAD, the auto makers who gave the show cars for prizes expected that the cost would be amortized by "a certain number of mentions during the show."

The updated version of LMAD will shoot in Las Vegas, and according to Hall, it's not because the crowds there are livelier or more prone to dress in costumes. "The hotel that hosts the show will take care of all the below-the-line costs," he said. Three hotels are in the bidding, but they haven't made an agreement with one yet. They better finalize it soon, as the show is supposed to settle into the spot vacated by Guiding Light on October 5.

Why is this version going to work, when a version with Billy Bush that aired a few years back tanked so bad? Because, according to Hall, "It was a matter of finding the right people. The right fit is Fremantle, Mike and Wayne." Hall told a few of us in the post-panel scrum that the NBC version was a "disaster," and they "scared" Bush by bringing him in only a few days before shooting, giving him little time to get used to the format. This version has already shot a rough pilot, and Brady will have more time to get ready before shooting starts.

So, Brady is ready. Monty Hall is ready. Are we ready? Not sure. I was never a big LMAD fan as a kid, but you never know... paired with Brady's old Whose Line is It Anyway? buddy Drew Carey and The Price is Right, it might just work.

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Joel-you phrased it perfectly. I read the sarcasm...some people aren't as quick on the uptake-lol

August 03 2009 at 10:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

He wouldn't be the first African-American daytime network game show host. There were four before him: Adam Wade(Musical CHairs CBS 1975), Nipsey Russell(Your NUmber's Up NBC 1985), Lynn Swann(To Tell the Truth NBC 1990-91), and Ahmad Rashad(Caesar's Challenge 1993-94 NBC). THis LMAD revival will be the first new network game show on daytime television since Caesar's CHallenge premiered 16 years ago(ran June 1993-January 1994)

August 03 2009 at 8:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to zachhoran's comment
Joel Keller

Zach, Wayne didn't confirm he was the first African-American host, he was cracking on the reporter saying "You should know better than anyone" if he was. Someone on Twitter mistook his crack for something serious, too. Thought I phrased it better here.

August 03 2009 at 8:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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