CAMEO — What’s Behind Monty Hall?



Monty Hall

MARK DAVIDSON

In November, Monty Hall taped the 50th anniversary show of Let’s Make a Deal, an occasion he calls “amazing, because I am only 41 years old.”

Hall, who is actually 41 plus 50 years old, jokes consistently through conversations. Some of his humor comes from his Canadian heritage; some comes from hosting a game show where contestants sometimes won a “zonk” (i.e., a goat instead of a car) and where people came dressed in crazy costumes to attract attention and be selected as a contestant.

The show even earned Hall a place in the world of mathematical probabilities, with a highly discussed paradox called the Monty Hall Problem.

Cathedral City honored its celebrity part-time resident by naming after him the street just east of City Hall. “A street is very nice, but I wanted them to change City Hall to Monty Hall,” he quips.

Local residents have seen Hall plenty of times besides on television. He has played in benefit golf tournaments, emceed telethons and fundraising dinners, and chaired Variety Clubs International. On Jan. 20, Indian Wells Rotary Club honors him in a tribute starring Jack Jones, Norm Crosby, and other entertainers.

Let’s Make a Deal was so ingrained in 1960s and ’70s culture that some films have used it to reflect those times in films. Why did it resonate so much?
No one had ever done a show in the audience; usually you had a stage. It was a show of gambling, risking, getting something less by going for an unknown.

Could you predict what deals people would make?
I think I became an amateur psychologist by seeing what choices they made. I learned what motivated them to make a deal. I learned that women were bigger gamblers than men on the show.

Would you make a good game show contestant?
I was a contestant on a show in 1946 called Treasure Trail in Winnipeg where they gave away silver dollars, and they asked me a question I could not answer for $10: What is a Scotsman’s favorite food on holidays? Haggis. I felt so humiliated.

You still own Let’s Make a Deal, so why is Wayne Brady hosting it instead of you?
I am too old to be running to the studio every day. I stopped doing it in 1991. I go to the studio once a month and give them all kinds of notes that they pay no attention to. But I don’t mind. Everybody wants to reinvent the wheel. Wayne is excellent.

You and your wife (of 65 years) Marilyn have a home in Beverly Hills, had one home in Malibu, and bought homes here for relatives. Why did you need your own home here?
An executive at Warner Bros. invited us to Mexico to stay in the Warner home. The day before, the trip was canceled because he had appendicitis. I said, “We’ve carved up this week. Let’s go to our place in Malibu.” Marilyn said she’d loaned the house to a recently divorced friend. I said, “OK, we’ll stay with dad and mother.” But other family members were staying there. We didn’t have a place to go. So we bought another house: this one.

What was your golf handicap, and do you still play when you come to the desert?
My best handicap was 12. I even played in tournaments that didn’t have celebrities attached them. I golfed until I broke my hip 10 years ago. Now it’s movies and dinners.

Comments to this website are moderated by staff. While all comments are welcome, we encourage all to be polite and please do use this system for advertising or business promotions. Any complaint towards a business or service should be directed directly to that business and not posted here. If anyone has a complaint that a comment is defamatory, please contact me at tmay@palmspringslife.com and I will take appropriate action promptly. Thank You

Add your comment:
Palm Springs Life

Related Articles

Palm Springs Horoscope - September 2014

Libras have been challenged over the past year to define a balance in many areas of their life. Neither manipulation nor polite nudging is working.

McCallum Theatre Presents Palm Desert International Dance Festival

On the heels of a successful first venture, the McCallum Theatre is presenting its second annual Palm Desert International Dance Festival, Nov. 6-15.

Dann Foley: Desert Landscape Can Be Lush, Colorful

Palm Springs designer Dann Foley, who recently appeared on "American Dream Builders", shares tips and trends on what's hot in interior design in a monthly column.

What to Do Labor Day Weekend in Greater Palm Springs

Labor Day Weekend marks the symbolic close to summer, but it's also a long weekend filled with music, food, and a host of activities in Greater Palm Springs.

Explore Palm Springs: Sportsman's Headquarters

In addition to owning Sportsman's Headquarters and its Palm Springs rifle range, Harry Mann and his wife Ruby were quite the hunters.

Promotions + Contests

90 Days of Summer Romantic Palm Springs Getaway 2014

90 Days of Summer Romantic Palm Springs Getaway 2014

Experience the beauty, romance and excitement of the Palm Springs area when you enter to be the lucky winner of this romantic couple’s getaway
90 DAYS OF SUMMER Instagram Contest 2014

90 DAYS OF SUMMER Instagram Contest 2014

Win a fabulous Palm Springs weekend!

Win a fabulous Palm Springs weekend!

Each month, a first place winner will be selected to win a fabulous Palm Springs weekend!And, each month, three additional runners up will be selected to win a wonderful Palm Springs area Dining certificate!
2013/14 Best of the Best

2013/14 Best of the Best

Palm Springs Life’s annual Best of the Best. Readers tell us who their choice is for the “Best of the Best” of the Coachella Valley in over 40 categories.
Cartoon Caption Contest

Cartoon Caption Contest

Each month, we provide a vintage 1950’s cartoon illustrated by Alice Rovinsky. You are invited to submit a caption or vote for your favorite caption.
Enter to Win A Celebrate Dance Experience!

Enter to Win A Celebrate Dance Experience!

Enter just once for a chance to win tickets to one of the second annual Palm Desert International Dance Festival performances.