'Let's Make a Deal' host Monty Hall dead at 96

Report: “Let's Make a Deal” host Monty Hall passes away at 96

Let's Make a Deal is infamously known for the insane costumes audience members wore to get Monty's attention.

Monty Hall died Saturday, his daughter said. He was you, sitting there at home, clucking your tongue at the lengths to which people would go, the extent to which they would abase themselves, just to get picked to compete on a dumb game show.

Born Monty Halparin in Winnipeg, Manitoba, in Canada, Hall grew up during the Depression. He starred in school plays, and in college musicals. He later moved to Toronto and then New York City, where he became a regular contributor on NBC Radio.

"Let's Make a Deal" game show had become a Television staple, it was first aired in 1963 on NBC as a daytime show. In the show, items were hidden from display until a trade (deal) was made with the trader. In 2009, it was revived with new host Wayne Brady on CBS.

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A coy Hall would make an initial offer to the contestant, say to purchase a man's hat for $50. If she chose the wrong door, the audience would exult. His late wife, Marilyn, who was also his distant cousin, was a producer. The show, which was an instant success, featured audience members wearing insane costumes to get Hall's attention and getting to choose mystery prizes behind closed doors.

The game show's contestants were chosen amongst the studio audience - wearing fancy dresses of clowns, cartoons and animals in order to draw host's attention towards them.

When a People magazine interviewer suggested in 1996 that "Let's Make a Deal" would be his epitaph, Hall replied, with a wince: "You put that on my tombstone, and I'll kill you".

Another daughter, Joanna Gleason, is a longtime Broadway and television actress.

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