On Monday, Let’s Make a Deal celebrates its 1001st episode with over $370,000 in prizes, including a surprise gift for every single audience member of $1,001. We talked to the crew about the big milestone and what fans can expect next.
In your nearly 1000 episodes, what’s the craziest moment you remember?
Jonathan Mangum (Announcer): One time, I put Splenda in my coffee, not sugar. That was sooooo crazy. Also everyone is insane, and there is no escape.
Tiffany Coyne (Model): There was a woman playing “Spell Me a Deal” who was so excited and nervous that she couldn’t stop talking to let Wayne offer her anything. When he was finally able to offer her $1000, she ended up jumping on him, hugging him with crazy excitement. After mouthing “help me” into the camera while hugging her, Wayne ran off-stage. I ended up finishing the deal with her while Wayne hid off-stage. She was definitely a crazy contestant but so much fun!
Mike Richards (Executive Producer): I still remember in the very first show, a couple won a really nice boat. I thought it was great that we brought the show back and were able to give away such amazing prizes. There was also a contestant who tried to teach Wayne yoga, and it devolved into a twerking session. This season, there was a contestant who was jilted by her fiancé. Wayne made up a whole song about how bad he had screwed up and that now she was winning prizes.
Has there ever been a zonk you (or a contestant) actually wanted?
Jonathan Mangum: Sometimes I see people looking at the giant chicken in an unnatural way.
Mike Richards: My kids really want the monster van. It is this terrifying van that has been cut open in the front with a giant tongue. I really want a bigger than life Wayne Brady bobblehead. Check that, I have the larger-than-life Wayne Brady
Tiffany Coyne: Yes, we have a giant couch that’s actually made out of a trampoline, and a remote control couch that you can drive around. Now that I’ve answered that question, I suddenly feel very lazy.
If you were a contestant, how would you play? Do you think you’d angle for bigger and bigger deals? And what would you dress up as?
Jonathan Mangum: No. I would stand there awkwardly, mouthing “help me” to the host. He, of course, would not help. And then I would gaze at the giant chicken in an unnatural way.
Tiffany Coyne: I think I would go for the unknown instead of the sure thing, which is usually cash. I would play it more risky unless I felt a zonk coming on. But I definitely wouldn’t give up a car to go for the Big Deal of the Day, which people sometimes do. I’d dress up as a cave woman.
Mike Richards: I would always go for the big money and car because if you get to play, it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity. That strategy means I would for sure get zonked. When we were developing the show before we started taping, we played out all of the deals, and I got zonked every time. I would dress as a corncob, obviously.
What surprises are in store as the show moves into its next phase?
Mike Richards: We will continue to be the funniest show on daytime! As far as surprises, we are currently trying to wrap our heads around something bigger than the Big Deal and even bigger than the Super Deal!
Don’t miss Let’s Make a Deal on Monday, May 4 on CBS (check your local listing for times).