The “Monty Hall Problem” is not a situation that the late game show host got himself into and was forced to extricate himself from. Instead, it’s actually a brain teaser, taking the form of a probability puzzle, which in itself was inspired by Monty’s 1960s and ’70s game show TV sensation, Let’s Make a Deal, which he hosted from 1963 to 1976.
So, do you want the money or do you want to trade it for what’s behind door number three? That is the sort of problem that the Let’s Make a Deal contestants had to deal with as Monty engaged not only the studio audience, but millions of television viewers. And while today’s viewers are engaged in the Wayne Brady-hosted version of the show, Monty’s original was huge. To take us back to those days and to help paint a portrait of what Monty Hall was like both in front of and behind the camera, Closer Weekly‘s Classic TV & Film podcast turns to Adam Nedeff, who is not only a game show expert, but has worked on shows like The Price is Right, Wheel of Fortune and Double Dare, has written numerous books on the subject of game shows and is currently writing the authorized biography of Monty Hall.
“Monty bore the brunt of a lot of criticism during his career, because Let’s Make a Deal was such a different beast in the world of game shows,” Adam says during the podcast. “And it was easy for a critic to point and scoff at it, because you had these people screaming and jumping up and down and they were wearing Halloween costumes no matter what time of year you were watching the show. And it wasn’t a game show where you had to answer a particularly tough question. It wasn’t a game show where you had to demonstrate any kind of skill. It was, ‘Do you want the box or do you want what’s behind the curtain?’ And based on the fact that if you chose the curtain instead of the box, you got $5,000 cash or you got a new car, people were just dismayed by the fact, ‘Oh my God, this is a show?”
Indeed it was and you can learn all about it and Monty Hall by listening to the podcast above.