"Let's Make a Deal" turns 50!

Written by Maria Sciullo on .

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When we were very, very young, we had one of those rickety backyard pools that were big enough for maybe two or three kids and held three bathtubs' worth of water.

The water level seemed, at the time, about four or five inches deep. The greatest danger was trying to move around too quickly, which guaranteed a pratfall. 

So I remember the pool, and the pratfalls, but there was one other thing I always associated with that swimming pool -- the television game show, "Let's Make a Deal." In the summer, my three siblings and I would have lunch, and then, true to the convention of the day, have to wait an hour before going into the pool (did I mention it was only a few inches of water?)

Watching Monty Hall bamboozle a bunch of folks dressed like parking meters or fried eggs was a wonderful distraction. The lovely Carol Merrill was always on hand to elegantly point out Doors No. 1, 2 and 3, and that Lady or the Tiger aura of what was behind the doors -- a new automobile? A rusted old bicycle? -- prompted us and our friends to create our own versions.

So it was with unexpected delight that I came across Monty and Carol this morning while flipping channels. The current host, Wayne Brady, had just introduced Hall, asking he try his hand at deal-making with a woman wearing an ice cream cone costume.

Monty gave the lady a small roll of currency and offered to let her trade it for what was behind Door No. 1. The woman declined, then shrieked when she saw the shiny new car. So he tried again with Door No. 2. Again, no deal. Again, a new car. 

Third time: no charm. The woman turned down the deal and there was yet another new car. So she wound up with $2,000 cash in the bankroll. Nice, but it's no new car. After 50 years, some things never change. So it was with Merrill, who looked fantastic. 

"Let's Make a Deal" has not appeared to have change that much. When you stop to consider what a pop culture rarity it is, let's hope in 50 years' time people are still dressing as toasters, and having a ball doing it.



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