[[quoteright:300:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Lets_Make_A_Deal_3048.gif]]
[[caption-width-right:300:"Whatever is behind this Curtain is yours. [[TakeAThirdOption I'll buy it back from you for $400.]]"]]
->''"I gotta deal for '''you!'''"''
-->'''Monty Hall''', suddenly turning around to his next contestant.

Monty Hall was the producer and host ("TV's Big Dealer") of this long-running trading GameShow, which is best known for the zany costumes worn by audience members. Many of them also carried hand-lettered signs.

The show originally ran on Creator/{{NBC}} daytime and primetime from 1963-68 before {{Channel Hop}}ping to Creator/{{ABC}}, where it lasted until 1976. {{Syndicat|ion}}ed runs aired from 1971-77, 1980-81 (taped in Canada), and 1984-86 (as ''The All-New Let's Make A Deal''). The show went back to NBC from 1990-91 with Bob Hilton hosting, but after miserable ratings, Hall unsuccessfully came back. Another revival in 2003, '''again''' on NBC with Billy Bush at the helm, lasted three episodes; this version is deprecated by most of the fandom, and a 2006 one-off for ''Gameshow Marathon'' (hosted by Ricki Lake) didn't help matters. The current incarnation, begun in late 2009, replaced ''GuidingLight'' on Creator/{{CBS}}. This version is an hour long and hosted by Wayne Brady; while nobody can take the place of TV's Big Dealer, the Brady version has been pretty well-received. Hall even returned as a guest for a week and gave his blessing.

Everyone in the StudioAudience brought something to trade for a prize. In the most basic deals, Hall chose one or two people at random and showed them a prize, with assistance from model Carol Merrill and announcer Jay Stewart. The contestant(s) then had to decide whether to take the known prize or go for a different prize, which was hidden. The hidden prize could be something good, like a new car or a room full of furniture, or it could be a {{Zonk}}. While most deals were a (sometimes elaborate) variant of this, some deals involved pricing various household goods, usually with a car on the line. Even then, Monty would stop the game before revealing whether the final choice was correct and offer the contestant a [[MysteryBox hidden prize]] to stop the game there.

At the end of the show, contestants who won the prizes with the highest cash value could trade away their winnings to play for the Big Deal of the Day, a prize package behind one of three numbered doors, generally worth around $9,000. The two other doors contained prize packages that, while containing less than the Big Deal, were generally worth more than what the contestants traded away. During the end credits, Hall went through the audience again, offering money for random items that the audience members might have brought.

This show is the basis for a probability puzzle known as the "MontyHallProblem", and the style of [[TabletopGames role-playing campaign]] derisively known as the "MontyHaul dungeon" (sic).
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!!GameShow Tropes in use:
* BonusRound: The Big Deal, though it requires a prospective dealer giving up their previous deal to play. Two people were required to play until the current run, where it has been decreased to one person.
** In the 1975-76 season and for two week periods in the Brady era, the [[DoubleUnlock Super Deal]] was added after the Big Deal. The risk was that whoever won the Big Deal could trade it in for one of three doors (Hall) or envelopes (Brady). One contained a large sum of cash ($20,000 originally, now $50,000) and also returned the Big Deal to that contestant.
** The two others contained small cash prizes that changed over time: the 1970s version (in an era where the Big Deal generally hovered between $8,000-$10,000), it started out as $1,000 and $2,000 before changing to two $2,000 and finally $2,000 and an amount ranging between that and $10,000. The current version (in an era where the Big Deal generally hovers between $20,000-$40,000) uses the original consolations, clearly done to be cheap.
* CarriedByTheHost: Why it's called "The MontyHallProblem", not "The ''Let's Make A Deal'' Problem".
* ConsolationPrize: On the Wayne Brady version, Wayne may sometimes give a contestant who got a {{Zonk}} a small amount of money (usually $100) as consolation, although Wayne may make the contestant do something to earn it, such as dancing or singing. This was also present in the Hall eras, but typically not on-air (after each show, those who got a Zonk were instead offered some cash or a nice prize; several actually kept their Zonks, which Hatos-Hall had to honor).
* HomeGame: Several, including an electronic version which Hall himself promoted. There was also a 900-number game in the late 1980s that was advertised by Monty in an infomercial that featured clips of classic deals made on the show.
* LetsJustSeeWhatWouldHaveHappened: In certain games, after a contestant decides to take a sure-thing buyout, the host will continue the game, often asking the contestant a question along the lines of what they would have done next had they continued — the idea being whether the contestant made a good decision to quit.
* LosingHorns: Type B when a {{Zonk}} is revealed, from 1976 onward (except in 1990, when a [[StockSoundEffects stock foghorn]] was usually heard instead).
* MysteryBox: Used for hidden prizes either on stage or on a tray brought to the host and contestant by the announcer. Sometimes, the mystery prize was behind a curtain or billboard.
** In Brady's version, it might be a card in an envelope.
* Personnel:
** TheAnnouncer: Wendell Niles announced the first {{pilot}} and the first season of the original run. His role was taken over by Jay Stewart, who announced from 1964-77. His successors were Chuck Chandler (1980-81), Creator/BrianCummings (1984-85), Dean Goss (1985-86), Dean Miuccio (1990-91), Vance [=DeGeneres=] (2003), Rich Fields (2006), and Jonathan Mangum (2009-present).
*** ''Deal'' has probably asked more of its announcers than any other game in history. Not only did Niles and his successors (minus Rich) have to read the copy, but also lug TV trays with relevant props down crowded staircases and sometimes act in skits related to the prizes. Unfortunately, it also resulted in Stewart getting chronic, intractable back pain later in life...which, when coupled with the death of his daughter Jamie in 1981, led to his suicide in 1989. Mangum, because of his improv experience, often winds up in improv games with Brady by way of giving clues to contestants.
** GameShowHost: Co-creator Monty Hall was the first and most famous, with Dennis James and Geoff Edwards subbing for him. Following in his steps were Bob Hilton, Billy Bush, and Wayne Brady. And Ricki Lake.
** LovelyAssistant: Carol Merrill on the first version, and other models on later versions.
** StudioAudience: Where the contestants came from, dressed as they were.
* RetiredGameShowElement: The 1984-86 version featured a "Door #4" element (yes, a Door #4 was actually featured at one point) that would pop up at random times throughout each episode and pick an audience member via a number system to make a deal with Monty (see the entry for more info). This neat little mini-game was axed from the show when the 1990 revival premiered.
* {{Whammy}}: In certain games, a {{Zonk}} symbol – or depending on the game, Jonathan Magnum's face – acts more like this.
* {{Zonk}}: TropeNamer, aka the booby prizes. [[IThoughtYouMeant No, not]] ''[[{{Fanservice}} those]]'' [[GagBoobs booby]] [[{{Fanservice}} prizes]]…
** But even then, a contestant winning a zonk doesn't mean he necessarily has lost. On multiple occasions through the years, the "zonk" is a coverup for a legitimate prize -- such as the time "garbage cans for every day of the week" had one of them containing a fur coat worth $5,000 … or a junked washer and dryer, with dirty, holey blue jeans seeing the model rummage through the pockets to see if her "little boy" (usually the announcer) left something inside … and he always did, often thousands of dollars in cash (or a check for said amount), tickets for a trip or the keys to a new car! Other times, what appears to be a "zonk" (often presented in a comedic skit) is actually a prize worth several thousand dollars, such as a half-scale antique pie wagon that was worth $3,300, said prize's value revealed only after the contestant was approached to go for the big deal and agreed.
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!!This show provides examples of:
* AffectionateParody: Many.
** ''Series/SanfordAndSon'': The 1975 episode "Masquerade Party" has Fred and his cronies dressing in costumes and appearing on a ''Deal''-type show, "Wheel and Deal". The host's name is Harry Monty (John Barbour), and trading deals are very similar to the real show.
** ''Theatre/TheOddCouple'': Felix and Oscar learn that ''Deal'' is taping a series of shows in New York and dress as a mule to get on the show. The two win, but since Oscar knows Monty (they were college roommates), Monty takes the money back, telling the audience it will be donated to an orphanage.
** ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'': In the episode "Homer Goes to College", series villain Mr. Burns, the elderly owner of Springfield Nuclear Power Plant, offers Nuclear Regulatory Commission inspectors a ''Deal''-type offer bribe to escape sanctions for dire violations (most notably, employing dangerously underqualified employees; ''viz.'', Homer).
** ''Film/{{UHF}}'': During the game show ''Wheel of Fish'', a contestant is offered the chance to trade their fish for the contents of a mystery box. They didn't even bother putting a {{Zonk}} in that box.
* AllOrNothing: The point of several games, although the contestant was often allowed to back out at defined points and keep what had been accumulated, lest they risk it for the whole lot. The most famous application is "Beat the Dealer," where the winner of a progressive-elimination game can elect to play the host for a large prize package by drawing a higher-ranked card than the host.
* AscendedExtra: In January or early February 1972, Creator/MarkGoodson just happened to be watching the show on a day that Dennis James was filling in. Guess who got tapped to host the nighttime ''Price'', even though hardly anything of the ''New'' format had been cemented?
* AudienceParticipation: The host chooses contestants from the front section of the audience known as the "Trading Floor". Apparently in Brady's case, ''anyone'' in the audience is eligible, and occasionally on his version deals are made with the '''entire''' audience participating.
* BigRedButton: Used to take the money in the "Cash or Clunkers" deal on the current version.
* {{Catchphrase}}: "Who wants to make a deal?"
** "It's a(n) ''(unappealing item)''!"
** "You could have won a ''(good item)''!"
* {{Crossover}}: [[ThePriceIsRight Drew Carey]] appeared on the Brady version to make a deal with a contestant. Amusingly, Drew came out to the 1972 rendition of the ''Price'' theme, not the 2007 arrangement.
* ADayInTheLimelight: On a 1986 episode, Dean Goss hosted two deals as part of an experiment. He later confirmed that this was because Monty wanted to retire but also keep the show going, so he was testing Goss' abilities as a host. Had it been renewed, Monty would've walked out first on the season premiere to pass the torch.
* DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything: On the 2/15/13 episode, a wife was dressed as an electrical outlet, while her husband was a plug with prongs just below his waist.
* DoubleUnlock: Whenever the Super Deal was offered; you had to win the Big Deal to qualify for the Super Deal, then risk your Big Deal if you wanted to go for the extra money.
* EarlyInstallmentWeirdness: The early seasons were far more sedate and none of the contestants wore flashy costumes — that didn't start until a contestant brought a sign to make Hall notice her, which then snowballed into contestants wearing costumes to get his attention. Also, Wendell Niles was the announcer in the first season instead of Jay Stewart.
* EverythingsWorseWithBees: The [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9eioTyHj_28 Honeycomb Purse and Wallet]] Zonk. Uhh, yeah. Self-explanatory
* ExactWords: A "compact Cadillac"; it's been through a crusher.
* ForeignRemake: The Latin American ''Trato Hecho''.
* GenreBlindness: It is utterly ''amazing'' how absolutely nobody has figured out that, to clean the board on "Strike a Match" (and thus usually win one of the largest prize pools the show has to offer, often rivaling the ''Big Deal''), all one has to do is memorize where the Zonks are.
* GuestHost: Dennis James and Geoff Edwards both filled in for Monty on separate occasions, the latter on both the original series and ''All-New''.
** Dean Goss guest-hosted a couple deals on ''All-New'' as a sort of trial run. According to WordOfGod, Goss hosted these deals because Monty wanted to pass the torch on to him should the show be renewed for a third season (it wasn't).
** When Monty replaced Bob Hilton on the 1990s version, the mentions of "guest host" may sound like an excuse (he hosted right through to the finale) but were actually true at the time — Hall planned to begin doing on-air auditions before eventually picking one to do the show full-time. NBC had other ideas.
* HighDefinition: Inverted until 2014; somehow it was the only CBS daytime program still in ''standard definition''.
* HisAndHers: Some of the {{Zonk}}s, especially bathtubs and junked cars. And according to Monty Hall, one of ABC's attempts to increase ratings late in that run was offering his-and-hers ''Cadillacs''. Didn't work.
* JustForPun: Quite a Zonks have been, including:
** Laundered money (giant bills hanging on a clothes line)
** A lemon car (It's shaped like a lemon)
** Key Lime Pie. [[ShapedLikeItself It has a bunch of keys in it.]]
* JustInTime: The biggest complaint about the Brady version's Big Deal (aside from only one person playing it) was that the doors were ''always'' revealed in numerical order, leading to fake suspense and things like "We hope the Big Deal is ''not'' behind Door #1." which are missing the point. Thankfully, this was partially dropped — Brady always reveals the unpicked prize that ''wasn't'' the Big Deal first. Lately, the practice is to go ahead and reveal the prize the contestant picked second, whether it's the Big Deal or not.
** That said, Monty Hall was a master of suspense, often convincing traders to back out of a potential lucrative deal in games where only one correct answer – or at times, multiple correct answers) – was/were possible by demonstrating one of the possible solutions, which may or may not be the right answer, and offering them a sure thing by adding a warning such as, "That may have been the key that fits the lock. There may be other keys that fit the lock to that safe and will win you that trip, car, etc. Whataya think? A $1,000 sure thing, or go for it all?" After which, he may continue to build suspense or the contestant makes a decision, after which Monty will play the LetsJustSeeWhatWouldHaveHappened card.
* KitchenSinkIncluded: The Big Deal in the current version might be behind the door that got opened PLUS what was behind the other two doors before it...meaning ''Everything On Stage'' was the contestant's if they chose the door with the flatscreen that said "Everything In The Big Deal."
** This format has also been seen in earlier, Monty Hall-hosted versions as well (including one of earliest shows of the 1984 version).
* LeaveTheCameraRunning: Following the Big Deal, Monty would make quickie deals with the audience over the end credits, and sometimes even after.
** This was also done on the current version, but changed when the quickie deals were almost entirely cut out of each episode (including the '''official''' credits on the CBS.com upload) in favor of the Fremantle logo animation and generic-credits-while-CBS-pimps-other-shows. The pacing was altered to dedicate the last five minutes to quickie deals, and Wayne signs off as soon as the credits begin.
* LongRunners: The original series was in production from 1963-77.
* LuckBasedMission: About half of the show revolves around this. The other half involves being GenreSavvy enough to recognize SchmuckBait.
* ManEatingPlant: Occasionally seen as a Zonk on the Brady version. Once, a running gag featured Man Eating Plant seeds, followed by a baby plant, a teenager plant and finally, a full grown adult plant.
* MilestoneCelebration: The show celebrated its 50th Anniversary (albeit months ahead of the actual anniversary on 12/30/13) with a two-week stretch between 2/18-3/3/13 with deals integrating elements from the 1963-1977 run, the return of the $50,000 Super Deal, and the March 1, 2013 show featured a deal done by Monty Hall and Carol Merrill (from the original ABC/1970s syndicated run).
* MinigameGame: Countless variations of the basic trade template are employed, but there have been other minigames too. Some were knowledge based (such as picking which grocery item was worth a certain amount or pricing grocery and other items within announced limits, guessing a product by the year it was introduced, etc.), but the majority are luck based contests (such as "Monty's Cash Register," which asked contestants to press up to a certain number of unmarked cash register keys to earn cash for a grand prize.) The luck-based games became a bit more elaborate in the Brady version.
* MontyHallProblem: TropeNamer, sort of.
** The most common example is a contestant shown a grand prize (such as a car) and three keys, only one of which unlocks the door and winning the prize. After the contestant makes his/her pick, the host will show one of the non-working keys before offering a either a sure-thing buyout (cash, cars or both), an opportunity to swap his/her current key for the other, or (rarely) both. Once the trader makes a final decision, the key in his/her possession is tried (with fanfare for a win and the correct key revealed upon a loss; in either event, the non-working key is demonstrated to confirm that it was a a dud key). With this execution, the contestant is led to believe that his or her odds of winning have improved to 1-in-2 (as one of the dud keys removed and only two possibilities remain), when the actually have not -- they've remained 1-in-3 all along.
** The fact of the matter is when the "3 doors" scenario presented itself Mr. Hall [[http://www.nytimes.com/1991/07/21/us/behind-monty-hall-s-doors-puzzle-debate-and-answer.html?pagewanted=all rarely, if ever, offered the chance to switch]], [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c1BSkquWkDo usually offering to buy back the chosen door/curtain instead]], as per the caption above.
** Sometimes comes up in the 2009 revival. A game called "Three of a Kind" involves the contestants selecting a three of a kind for a selection of six, with two matching sets of three. When revealing the cards, two of the three selected cards are revealed, which always match. At this point, the host offers a sure-thing prize. If the contestant declines, the host then reveals one (or possibly) two of the non-selected, non-matching cards, offering an increased "sure thing" buyout before revealing the final cards and determining if the contestant had won. As with other MontyHallProblem games, the offers are made regardless of whether the contestant found a matching set of three cards, and if properly executed the contestant is led to believe that improved (or worsened) odds resulted as the host reveals the non-matching cards.
* MythologyGag: Certain CBS promos have, in the past, referred to the current version as ''The All-New Let's Make a Deal''.
* NegatedMomentOfAwesome: One contestant playing The Great Escape game managed to get the correct key to open the protective box containing the car key at the last possible moment, which would have gotten her a car. However, the producers ruled that because the contestant didn't get the key into the padlock fully when the timer ran out, the victory didn't count, which robbed the contestant of a new car. Brady stated how much the situation sucked and gave the contestant $100 for her efforts, but it won't ever fix what went wrong.
* ObviousBeta: The May 25, 1963 pilot. No costumes, a Zonk in the Big Deal, and a ''really'' sexist sales pitch preceding the show.
-->'''Monty Hall''' (''sitting by himself in the middle of the contestant area as the camera zooms in from a wide shot''): This is television's only trading floor, where every day the individuals who control the finances of America — the women, of course — come to make deals. And what's more exciting to a woman than trading or swapping or looking for a bargain? It's suspense every second as men and women bring in their old white elephants and try to deal ''me'' out of big cash or big gifts. Well, do you have a leaky umbrella you'd like to get rid of? You know, I may pay you $500 for it. Or if you're a clever trader and know when to stop, you could drive home in a brand-new automobile. On this trading floor we'll buy, sell, or trade everything and anything from Aardvarks to Zithers. There are ''millions'' of deals to be made, and we'll make them ''every day'' on ''Let's Make A Deal''. Watch, we'll show you how it works!
* ObviousRulePatch: The Car Pong game on the Brady version was extremely difficult to win at because only one space was marked for the car and the rest of the board were dead spaces. The game was slightly altered later on by having the dead spaces changed into money spaces so if a contestant got a ball in those areas, they could at least win something.
* OpeningNarration: "These people, dressed as they are, come from all over the United States to make deals. Here in the marketplace of America, ''[[TitleScream Let's! Make! A Deal!]]''"
* PiggyBank: In the 1984-86 run, the Big Deal had "Monty's Piggy Bank" as well as "Monty's Cookie Jar" and the "''LMAD'' Claim Check". If any of these three was behind the doors, the prize was cash ranging from a few hundred (if shown first), $2,000-$4,000 (if shown second), and in a few rare instances '''was''' the Big Deal (if it was below $10,000).
** The SpiritualSuccessor in Wayne's version was the "''LMAD'' Vault", which was the Big Deal at least twice. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ih0fAiMuV54 Here's one instance.]]
** The Facebook version has a game called "Piggy Bank" where you have a ring of piggy banks you must smash to meet a cash target. Some also have Zonks, but you're allowed three life preservers to keep playing; a fourth Zonk ends the game and leaves you without cash. There is a "Double" in a piggy bank that can double the cash in the next bank, or could give you two Zonks for the finding of one. (If you're low or out of life preservers, or running out of time, you can "cash out" and take the money you're won up to that point.)
* PornStache: Both Brian Cummings and Dean Goss sported these.
* ProductDisplacement: They seemed to make a [[StealthPun big deal]] on the Brady version about covering up brand names, sports logos, and the like on contestants' costumes...but averted it with some of the "damaged goods" Zonks (a smashed Mitsubishi TV, a pile of defaced Eveready batteries, and a wrecked Pontiac Trans Sport minivan ''with the badging intact'' come to mind). Exactly ''what'' are they trying to say?
* ProductPlacement: During the Monty Hall era, prizes were sometimes hidden behind what were basically billboards (or literal giant boxes) for a sponsor's product
* RealSongThemeTune: The 1980-81 version used several songs by [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MFSB MFSB]], the group best known for the ''Series/SoulTrain'' theme.
* RearrangeTheSong: The theme of the 1980-81 version started out with a re-recording of [[EarWorm the original theme tune]] before going into a whole new melody, as did the 1984-86 theme. The theme to [[FollowTheLeader every revival since]] (including the current one) seem to take after the '84 theme.
* RunningGag: In the Brady version, one of the games that pops up occasionally is a lotto-like scratch off game where the contestant can win something if he or she matches a pair of symbols; two cars gets a car, two Wayne Bradys gets a few thousand dollars, two Tiffanys gets a slightly lesser cash prize, and matching two Jonathans gets the lowest cash prize in an odd amount, like $79.95, to which Jonathan always acts offended that he is considered a low tier prize.
* SchmuckBait: Chock full of it, especially in the Wayne Brady version.
** Italian lira were always good for this in the original, as Monty would frequently offer the cash equivalent of several hundred thousand lira in a recurring foreign currency deal, which would inevitably amount to two or three hundred bucks.
* ShoutOut: When looking at a pixelated image during a deal, Brady asks if it's ''{{VideoGame/Doom}}'' or ''{{Quake}}''.
* ThatCameOutWrong: After seeing a female contestant dressed as a baby and holding a baby bottle, Monty offered her $100 if she would "show another nipple". He meant the rubber kind.
* TimedMission: A game called "The Great Escape" gave the contestant 15 seconds to find the key that unlocks a Plexiglas box containing the keys to a car; unlocking the box won the car. The contestant was also given $1,500 cash, and could buy extra time (at $100 a second) before the game began. There were 20 keys on the board, which was a few yards away from the box, and the contestant could try only one key at a time, but was allowed to make as many trips to the board as time allowed.
** The show later converted the "Car Pong" game (which had been limited to a fixed number of attempts at, well, beer pong for a car) to a timed game.
* ViewersAreMorons: Possible reason why {{Zonk}} prizes are physically labeled as such in the 2009 version.
** And beginning with the 4th season, the Big Box is actually LABELED "Big Box" because apparently you can't figure out it's the big box otherwise.
* VivaLasVegas: The final season of the original run (1976–77) was taped at the Las Vegas Hilton, and most of Brady's first season (2009–10) was taped at the Tropicana.
* WrongGenreSavvy: Virtually everyone who has ever played "Strike a Match". Contestants tend to try and memorize matching pairs while the board is revealed, blissfully unaware that all they really have to do is memorize where the Zonks are and simply avoid picking them. Made even more apparent a couple of times when Wayne straight-up asks the contestant, "Did you remember where the Zonks are?" to which the contest invariably admits they didn't.
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