By Susan King Los Angeles Times
After doing more than 4,000 episodes over the past half-century of his iconic daytime game show “Let’s Make a Deal,” Monty Hall is finally getting an Emmy Award.
“TV’s Big Dealer” is receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 40th Daytime Entertainment Emmy Awards airing Sunday on Turner Broadcasting’s HLN.
His wife of 65 years, Marilyn Hall, beat him to the podium nearly 30 years ago, winning an Emmy as a producer of the 1985 CBS TV movie “Do You Remember Love?”
“I’m going to place the Emmy on a shelf next to my wife’s Emmy and maybe one day we’ll have little Emmys,” Monty Hall said.
Hall is a few months shy of his 92nd birthday, not that he shows it. He announced with great pride that he still does the New York Times crossword puzzle — “in ink” — every day. And he still has his hand in the current incarnation of “Let’s Make a Deal,” which airs weekdays on CBS with Wayne Brady as host.
He’s an owner of the series and a consultant, plus he’s made several appearances with Brady on the series, including the recent 50th anniversary show.
In fact, Hall says he’s hosted “Let’s Make a Deal” every decade since it began on NBC in late 1963.
The concept for “Let’s Make a Deal,” which was created and produced by Hall and Stefan Hatos, was inspired by “The Lady, or the Tiger,” Frank R. Stockton’s short story about a person who has to make a choice between two curtain-draped tents: behind one is a tiger, the other a lady.
Hall and Hatos got rid of the tiger, expanded the choices to three curtains and introduced the word “zonk.”
Over the past 50 years, thousands of contestants have gotten zonked after choosing the wrong curtain or box. Instead of winning money, furniture, cars or a trip, they ended up with such gag gifts as barnyard animals and broken-down cars.
There was no plan for contestants to dress up in wacky outfits to get Hall’s attention. “They came to the show in the first week in suits and dresses,” he said.
“The second week, a woman, noting I am picking people at random, came with a sign that says ‘Roses are red, violets are blue. I came here to deal with you.’ I read the sign and I picked her.
The next week everybody had a sign. Then the next week, came the Phyllis Diller look-alikes and it grew and grew.”
The Daytime Emmys will begin at 5 p.m. Sunday on HLN.