Monty Hall

Game Show Host


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About
About this interview

In his over three-hour Archive interview, Monty Hall (1921-2017) reminisces about his early career in radio in Winnipeg and Toronto, and his subsequent move to New York. He describes his work on early television shows The Sky's The Limit, Bingo-at-Home, Video Village, and Your First Impression. Hall discusses his brief stint as host of Twenty-One and the Quiz Show scandals that rocked the industry. He details his producing partnership with Stefan Hatos, co-creator of the hit game show Let's Make a Deal, and speaks of his appearances on numerous television tributes for celebrity entertainers. Hall also talks about his time as the Honorary Mayor of Hollywood, and explains the importance of philanthropy. Fred Wostbrock conducted the interview in Beverly Hills, CA on February 15, 2002.

"When we did our first show, people showed up in business suits and dresses, nice looking people in the studio audience. By about the second week or so, a woman showed up with a sign. One side said, 'roses are red, violets are blue, I came here to deal with you' I stopped, read the poem, and picked her. The next week, everybody had a sign. Then somebody else had a funny hat, then came costumes...."

Highlights
Monty Hall on how the concept of contestants in costumes on Let's Make a Deal
03:22
Monty Hall on changing his last name
00:39
Monty Hall on lessons learned from Jack Benny
01:38
Monty Hall on how he got through college
04:09
Monty Hall on how he'd like to be remembered
00:32
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On his childhood and early influences; on wanting to be a broadcaster or impressionist as a youngster; on his favorite books and radio programs; on the generous man who put him through college; on serving in the Canadiian Officers Training Corps
On working at CKRC radio in Winnipeg, Canada; on CHUM radio in Toronto; on changing his name; on "The Auctioneer" - the forerunner to Let's Make a Deal; on radio programs in which he starred; on meeting his wife, Marilyn

Chapter 2

On forming Monty Hall productions; on the radio show, "Who Am I?"; on getting into television; on moving to New York and writing a telegram to Pat Weaver to try to get a job
On December 7, 1955 - a momentous day in his career; on the short-lived Sky's the Limit; on hosting televised Bingo, on hosting Keep Talking; on briefly hosting Twenty-One and the subsequent quiz show scandals that emerged

Chapter 3

On the impact of the quiz show scandals on game shows; on hosting a television talk show, Byline with Monty Hall; on Video Village and First Impressions
On co-creating Let's Make a Deal with Steve Hatos 
On trying to sell Let's Make a Deal; on the first taping of Let's Make a Deal and quitting smoking

Chapter 4

On the budget of Let's Make a Deal; on re-negotiating his contract and moving from NBC to ABC
On the cast, crew and format of Let's Make a Deal; on the diversity of Let's Make a Deal contestants; on the concept of contestants in costumes
On being the host of Let's Make a Deal; on the benefits of producing and hosting Let's Make a Deal

Chapter 5

On the great and "zonk"prizes on Let's Make a Deal; on the production schedule of Let's Make a Deal; on the atmosphere on the set of Let's Make a Deal; on the catchphrases from Let's Make a Deal; on the Monty Hall Paradox - math problem
On Let's Make a Deal moving to ABC; on wanting to host a talk show; on appearing on That Girl, The Odd Couple and The Dean Martin Show

Chapter 6

On why Let's Make a Deal went off the air; on the new version of Let's Make a Deal and finding the new host
On getting a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame; on writing a book; on becoming Honorary Mayor of Hollywood; on hosting television specias through the Variety Club on CBS ; on his charity work

Chapter 7

On touring with the musical High Button Shoes; on the TV movie, The Courage and the Passion; on lessons from Jack Benny; on his charity work
On reflecting on his life; on celebrity and giving back; on the highlight of his career; on his mentor; on how he'd like to be remembered
On photographs of shows on which he's worked - Cowboy Theater, Your First Impression, Let's Make a Deal, Split Second, The Odd Couple, That Girl
Shows

Cowboy Theatre

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Monty Hall on hosting Cowboy Theatre and Monitor
01:08

First Impressions

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Monty Hall on selling the show First Impressions to NBC
05:37

Hollywood Squares, The

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Monty Hall on scripted jokes on Hollywood Squares
00:28

Keep Talking

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Monty Hall on hosting Keep Talking
01:00

Let's Make a Deal

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Monty Hall on co-creating Let's Make a Deal with Steve Hatos
12:57
Monty Hall on the diversity of Let's Make a Deal contestants
01:39
On the budget, cast, crew and format of Let's Make a Deal
13:46
Monty Hall on how the concept of contestants in costumes on Let's Make a Deal
03:21
Monty Hall on the great and zonk prizes on Let's Make a Deal
04:34
Monty Hall on the production schedule of Let's Make a Deal
08:22
Monty Hall on why Let's Make a Deal went off the air
04:23
Monty Hall on Dick Clark getting Let's Make a Deal back on the air
05:57

Odd Couple, The (1970-75)

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Monty Hall on appearing on The Odd Couple
00:26

Twenty One

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Monty Hall on briefly hosting Twenty-One and the subsequent quiz show scandals that emerged
04:33

Video Village

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Monty Hall on hosting the game show Video Village in New York and following the show to California
04:32
Topics

Minorities

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Monty Hall on the diversity of Let's Make a Deal contestants
01:58

Pop Culture

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Monty Hall on how the concept of contestants in costumes on Let's Make a Deal
03:22

Quiz Show Scandals

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Monty Hall on briefly hosting Twenty-One and the subsequent quiz show scandals that emerged
04:33
Monty Hall on the impact of the quiz show scandals on game shows
03:23
Genres

Game Shows

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Monty Hall on briefly hosting Twenty-One and the subsequent quiz show scandals that emerged
04:33
Monty Hall on the impact of the quiz show scandals on game shows
03:23
Monty Hall on co-creating Let's Make a Deal with Steve Hatos
12:57
On the budget, cast, crew and format of Let's Make a Deal; on the diversity of Let's Make a Deal contestants and costumed contestants
19:37
Monty Hall on the great and zonk prizes on Let's Make a Deal
04:34
Monty Hall on the production schedule of Let's Make a Deal
08:22
Monty Hall on Dick Clark getting Let's Make a Deal back on the air
05:57
People

Roone Arledge

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Monty Hall on Roone Arledge wanting him to be the sports announcer for the Wembley Cup (soccer championship)
00:40

Jack Barry

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Monty Hall on briefly hosting Twenty-One and the subsequent quiz show scandals that emerged
04:33

Jack Benny

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Monty Hall on lessons learned from Jack Benny
01:38

Les Brown

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Monty Hall on Les Brown's book describing how NBC lost millions because Let's Make a Deal moved to ABC
00:34

Johnny Carson

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Monty Hall on Johnny Carson potentially leaving The Tonight Show
02:41

Dick Clark

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Monty Hall on Dick Clark getting Let's Make a Deal back on the air
03:29

Bill Cullen

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Monty Hall on other MCs and hosts he admired
00:44

Richard Dawson

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Richard Dawson on hosting Masquerade Party
00:47

Michael Eisner

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Monty Hall on Michael Eisner ordering the tear down of the Let's Make a Deal set
02:03

Albert Freedman

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Monty Hall on briefly hosting Twenty-One and the subsequent quiz show scandals that emerged
04:33

Mark Goodson

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Monty Hall on Bob Stewart and Mark Goodson and selling the show First Impressions to NBC
01:43

Stefan Hatos

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Monty Hall on Let's Make a Deal co-host Steve Hatos training the ABC crew do to the show
01:30

Elton H. Rule

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Monty Hall on re-negotiating his contract for Let's Make a Deal
09:01

David Sarnoff

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Monty Hall on re-negotiating his contract for Let's Make a Deal
08:45

Herbert S. Schlosser

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Monty Hall on re-negotiating his contract for Let's Make a Deal
01:42

Fred Silverman

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Monty Hall on re-negotiating his contract for Let's Make a Deal
00:40

Herbert Stempel

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Monty Hall on briefly hosting Twenty-One and the subsequent quiz show scandals that emerged
04:33

McLean Stevenson

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Monty Hall on the difficulties of working with McLean Stevenson
03:56

Bob Stewart

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Monty Hall on Bob Stewart and Mark Goodson and selling the show First Impressions to NBC
01:43

Grant Tinker

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Monty Hall on Johnny Carson potentially leaving The Tonight Show
02:41

Mike Wallace

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Monty Hall on loving Mike Wallace's interview style
00:48

Sylvester L. Weaver

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Monty Hall on writing a telegram to Pat Weaver to try to get a job in New York
04:28

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