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article imageOp-Ed: Backstage at 'Let's Make A Deal' taping with Wayne Brady Special

By Jay David Murphy     Sep 22, 2009 in Entertainment
The TV show "Let's Make A Deal" is making a comeback and it will star Wayne Brady. Digital Journalist Jay David Murphy was at the seventh taping in Las Vegas, and came away with $200 in prize winnings. Here's my account.
Let's Make A Deal is coming back to television from CBS starting Oct. 5. This time, it is coming from Las Vegas at its new home at the Tropicana Hotel and Casino on the Las Vegas Strip.
The new host is Wayne Brady, Emmy award-winning comedian and improvisational genius. Brady has another regular gig as headlining entertainer at The Venetian where he appears every Thursday to Monday at 9:00 p.m.
Brady is now the new Monty Hall and the host of Let's Make A Deal, and he brings his quick wit and charming personality to revive the show that began in 1964. The program is well known for focusing on audience members dressed in crazy costumes. Because of Brady's commitment to The Venetian, CBS decided to bring its viewers the all new Let's Make A Deal from Las Vegas, choosing the classic property the Tropicana as its new home.
Living and reporting from Las Vegas, I decided to stop in and do a story from the perspective of a participant.
It all started with an email from a website called ShowTicket4Locals where daily I get comps and special deals from shows all over the city because of my local status. The email included a free pass to Let's Make A Deal. After printing the email and calling in my reservation for the 3:30 p.m. taping, I was off to the Tropicana to get there early and get in line.
Once in line, I got my number 67 and began my hour-and-half wait to get in the studio where the taping of the new show was going to take place. By pure chance, I took a photo of one of the big winners of the day. As a comp audience member I was eligible to be a chosen contestant.
In an interesting twist, it turned out I came a day early, as Tuesday is press day. Being there ahead of the press, the venue wouldn't let me wear my camera, take my mic or bring in my laptop to report as a Digital Journalist. So I entered as myself, Jay, for the seventh taped show.
People costume at Let s Make A Deal
People costume at 'Let's Make A Deal' at the Tropicana on Las Vegas Boulevard.
Jay David Murphy
At the show, people came in crazy and fantastic costumes; one couple came dressed as cave people (politically correct); two women came dressed in brown, carrying sticks and called themselves sticks-in-the-mud; there was a bad Santa; a pair-of-dice; lots of masks with feathers; a couple of cowboys; a person dressed as Cleopatra; and a lot of older women in flowered moo-moos. There was also a large part of the audience who were paid to be there in costume from a local Las Vegas talent agency.
The show was run by 3 Doors Productions out of Burbank, CA. and the Executive Producer was Mike Richard.
I spoke with him just a moment after the show but he was not able to make any comments without the permission of CBS.
The all-new set is very different and wonderfully updated from the old show; there is still door number one, two, and three. They still bring out the big stage box, and they have covered the box on a stand in the audience. Wayne Brady has a pocket full of cash. There is even a tall beautiful brunette to revel the curtains.
Brady has an announcer side-kick who, more than once during the taping, was referred to as a Dogie Houser look-alike.
Wayne Brady
Wayne Brady poster outside the entrance to the Tropicana.
Jay David Murphy
The biggest goof came when Brady had his side-kick revel the contents of a box to three contestants, when he should not have let them see what was in it before he made the deal. This caused quite a bit of talking with producers, but it was all taken in lightly. After some very funny inside jokes, they reset the contents of the box.
One young women named Melissa dressed as a sexy police woman. Melissa got on early and ended up doing four segments through the show, and in the end gave up everything and won what was behind door No. 1 (a new Mini worth more than $16,000). She did not go for the big trade of the day which was worth more than $19,000.
A woman who had about $2,000 in prizes did go for the big trade at the end of the show and took door No. 2, winning a trip to Tahoe and Antigua along with $5,000 cash.
At the end of the show Wayne Brady did the traditional quickie cash and to my surprise, I ended up winning. I won $200 for having a coin (a penny) made before 1980 (it was a 1964 penny). Ironically, the year that Let's Make A Deal premiered for the first time on television.
I had a chance to sit center audience and was seated next to a mother who brought her 25-year-old daughter for her birthday. She had a sign that asked for Brady to give her a birthday kiss. During a break, he sang her happy birthday, gave her a kiss, and signed her card. Let my just say that sitting right there and watching Brady do this just a few feet away, affirmed my opinion Brady is a class act.
After the show was over, I was escorted back stage where I had to hand over the $200 coin I won. All winners were told to fill out paperwork so a check for the winnings could mailed to us within 90 days. It had something to do with the taxes.
I spoke briefly with Melissa Bowers who won the car. She was on a girl trip to Vegas with her mom from Albuquerque New Mexico as part a volunteer bible ministry. "Oh my gosh I am so excited. I will use the car in my ministry work," she told me.
The whole experience lasted five hours and I was released back into the casino with a Tropicana players card with $10 in free play on it, which I quickly turned into $6 cash.
After all was done, I can honestly say it was a great experience being an audience member and I think that CBS will have another game show revival hit on its hand with Wayne Brady starring in the all new Let's Make a Deal from its new home at the Tropicana on Las Vegas Boulevard.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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