Monty Hall became a TV icon as host of 4,500 episodes of “Let’s Make a Deal,” one of the most loved, best known and goofiest of all game shows.
Each day, audience members dressed in the most embarrassing garb of their own making in hopes of being selected to make a big deal with Hall.
“We never asked (the audience) to put on any costumes,” Hall recalled. “People were sitting there in business clothes, but then a woman came with a sign asking me to pick her. Then someone wore a funny hat and then you had Phyllis Diller look-alikes. It grew and grew. But we never selected a contestant by what they wore. It would have been a costume competition.”
“Let's Make a Deal” premiered with Hall as host in December 1963, in the NBC daytime lineup. It ran until 1968, moved to ABC and continued there until 1976. It also was syndicated in 1980 and 1984.
“In 4,500 shows, a lot of strange things happened,” Hall said. “An elephant once was behind one of the doors and (model) Carol Merrill was holding it by a rope. As the door opened, it got nervous and broke away from the rope and thundered down the loading platform and ran into Prospect Avenue.”
Hall died Sept. 30, 2017, of heart failure at his home in Beverly Hills. He was 96.