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Friday, June 07, 2013

Let's Make A Deal

Let me tell you a funny story about this particular blog entry...only the story is not really funny to me.  In fact, it was downright frustrating.

I had a perfectly wonderful opening spiel typed up in the word processing document that I usually use to type out these blogs.  The problem was that I was watching a YouTube video at the same time, and for whatever reason, the anti-virus software that I currently use sometimes causes the computer to go screwy whenever I watch YouTube, and the computer system shut down while I was trying to save it.

When I tried to recover my document, all I got was a whole bunch of hashtags.

How annoying would it be to read an entire blog entry that was nothing but this?

##### ##### ##### ##### ##### #####

Pretty damn annoying, I would say.

So, as a result, I have had to retype the whole bloody thing while uttering a few choice profanities the entire time.  So, apologies to all of you for this entry being posted later than normal.  Believe me, the last thing that I wanted was to have to retype the same blog entry twice. 

I guess you could say that I ended up getting “zonked”.  Luckily, the blog topic that I have chosen for today seems to fit my predicament as the contestants who get zonked often feel as cheated, frustrated, and disappointed as I felt when I viewed my corrupted word file.

(Note to self:  Switch virus protection program, and begin saving an extra copy of my blog files in the actual blog itself.  Hold on a second while I copy this blog entry from the word file into my blog.)

Anyway, I'm going to do my best to try and remember everything that I had typed out before "Hashtag-gate".  

I guess I'll begin by asking you all a question.  Do you think that you could make hasty decisions on the fly if you were put into that situation?

I only ask this because it's relative to today's topic, but it also is a question that I am forced to ask myself every time I hop behind a register (because as all of you know from yesterday's post, cash training is a fairly new experience for me).

I will be the first one to admit that prior to going on cash, my decision making skills were not exactly the best.  I was far from being the most decisive person out there.  I waffled so much, it's a wonder that I wasn't cast in a commercial for Eggos!

But being put into a department where I have to do the occasional cash transaction has greatly helped me come to terms with making quick decisions in a really short time.  After all, I want to make sure that I know what I am doing, and secondly, customers do NOT like to wait in line for a very long time.  And, it's not as though I can just up and leave a cash register unattended while I go look for help.  Common sense should imply that you don't leave a register filled with money out in the open.

I will say that my decision making skills have somewhat improved since I began working on cash, but I still find myself second guessing myself at times.  My indecisiveness is probably one of my biggest flaws of my personality, but at least I can admit that.

Still though, there are some instances in which being indecisive can get you into serious trouble.  Like, suppose that you're on a game show, and you end up being the big winner of the whole shebang.  You then have to make one final decision.  If you choose wisely, then you will be able to win an entire truckload of heaping piles of cash and fabulous prizes.  But make the wrong choice, and you could end up walking away with nothing.

Worse than nothing.  You could end up with something absolutely useless, like a trip to a junkyard, or a banana peel, or a trip to a junkyard covered in banana peels!

All because you have to make a choice.

So, which one will it be?  Door #1?  Door #2?  Or, Door #3?

That's the question that many people have been asked for the last fifty years.  Today, we're going to be taking a look at the classic game show where the audience members dress up in Halloween costumes, and where getting zonked means more than getting plastered.

Ready to make a deal with "Let's Make a Deal"?  I bet you are.

These days, the show has been revived by CBS and is currently hosted by Wayne Brady (with assistance from Jonathan Mangum and Tiffany Coyne).  The show's revival is currently in its third season, and is slated to return for a fourth.

Of course, most people know that the show originated on December 30, 1963 on NBC (it later aired on ABC, making the game show one of the very few to be broadcast on three major networks).  The host that is most associated with Let's Make A Deal is the now 91-year-old Monty Hall (who has made guest appearances on the revival of the Wayne Brady hosted program), and Hall hosted the program off and on for roughly three decades.  Other hosts have included Bob Hilton in 1990 and Billy Bush in 2003.

Carol Merrill was also a huge part of the show, as she was the one who opened up the doors and modeled the prizes during Hall's tenure on the program.  And she too made a guest appearance on the revival of the show in 2013.

What was interesting about "Let's Make a Deal" was that when the show first debuted, the show was similar in format to the current version, but a lot less low key.  For one, did you know that when the show first debuted, the audience members did not wear costumes?  They just wore their standard dresses and business suits.  And, initially when the show first broadcast, it was not well received.  Critics of the show were harsh, calling the show "demeaning to the contestants and audience", and that it was nothing but "mindless" entertainment.

But by the time the show reached its first decade on the air (and the very fact that a game show could last a total of ten years on the air was quite good for that time period, keeping in mind that "Let's Make a Deal" pre-dated "Wheel of Fortune", which has been on the air for almost four decades), it was one of the toughest game shows to get audience tickets for!  The show once held the Guinness World Record for longest waiting list for tickets in the history of show business - reportedly audience members who wanted to request a ticket to see the show had to wait a minimum of TWO YEARS!!!

That's insane to me!

Oh, and the gimmick of wearing the costumes to show tapings?  It was born just a couple of weeks into the show's inaugural season.  One particular audience member had brought in a homemade sign that read the following.

Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
I came here,
To deal with you!!!

Apparently, the gimmick worked, as Monty Hall was immediately drawn to the sign and chose the contestant to make a deal.  And, this prompted other audience members to bring in signs of their own, hoping that their creativity would cause Monty Hall to pick them for the chance to win a prize.

This continued until one person decided to amp up the craziness by wearing a silly hat to the taping.  Again, the gimmick worked, and Monty Hall chose the contestant with the funny hat to play a game, which prompted others to do the same until it exploded into full-fledged costumes.  The more elaborate and zany the audience members dressed, the better the chance they had to get chosen to play the game.

And, just how was the game played?

Well, each episode would have several "deals" between the host and the lucky audience members chosen were referred to as "traders".  

Although all of these mini-games were all different in presentation or structure, many of them all work exactly the same way.  The most common game is that the contestant is offered a small cash prize (usually $500 in cash), or they are given a small present (a microwave oven, a small piece of jewelry, etc), and the host will offer to give them something else behind one of the three iconic doors, or a gift box that is wrapped up in a way that the contestant doesn't know what it is.

This is where the ability to make a split second decision comes into play.  Do you keep what you have knowing that it's a sure thing, or do you risk it all for the chance to get something better, keeping in mind that you might get one of these?

Now, of course, in some cases, the contestants might actually get to keep their "ZONK" prize...but obviously, there would be no way to give someone a living, breathing camel, elephant, or monkey to bring home.  So, in those cases, a consolation prize would be substituted in its place.

There were other games that people could play as well.  Some of them involved an element of luck or chance, as this clip from a recent show displayed.

All this would lead up to the "BIG DEAL".  The deal in which selecting the wrong door could net you great wealth, or set you back.

How the big deal works is that the contestant who won the most amount of cash and prizes during their mini-game would be asked if they wanted to trade it all for the chance to win the big deal.  If they said, no, the contestant with the next highest amount of accumulated prizes would get the chance, and so on.  But, if they said's what was at stake.

You had three doors (or curtains in the 2009 revamp) to choose from.  Behind two of the doors would be a wonderful prize of varying value, but contestants had to watch out because they could accidentally select a door where the prize was actually worth LESS than what they gave up to play the big deal.  

But if a player selected the right door, they could win BIG!  Have a look at a couple of big deal wins from both the Monty Hall version AND the Wayne Brady version.

Now you see why decision making is so important...especially on "Let's Make a Deal"!

Before I close the chapter on another blog entry (which I have had to type out TWICE today), I want to bring your attention to something called the "Quickie Deal".  These deals would always be played in the audience while the closing credits scrolled across the screen.  And, in almost all cases, the deal would have to do with something that the audience member would have to bring in or do in order to secure the deal.  These could include...

- Having two people dressed as grapes (where balloons were used as grapes) try to be the first one to pop all the balloons to win a cash prize.
- If you brought in a tube of pink lipstick, you could win cash.
- If you had a penny from 1991 in your change, you could win cash.

And, the best part about the current version is that if you have a Twitter account, you can get a preview of what the Quickie Deals are going to be on a future taping as they always post clues twenty-four hours prior to the tape date.  So, if you follow them on Twitter, you will never miss out on a deal again!

And, that's the blog on "Let's Make a Deal"!  I hope it was worth the wait!

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