The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator


“Let’s Make A Deal” with Wayne Brady’s Bunch
Photo by Marisa Valdez

Cable TV. For many, an early parent before the existence of streaming services. But what if you didn’t have cable TV growing up but still wanted to enjoy it? 

I used to go through YouTube growing up looking for shows and movies to watch. I was able to find shows such as “Kid Nation” or movies such as “Penelope,” but my favorite show I ever found was “Let’s Make a Deal.”

For those unfamiliar, “Let’s Make a Deal” is a reality game show where epically charismatic host, Wayne Brady, will have audience members play games and make tough decisions to win mysterious prizes. But watch out since some prizes are prank prizes called Zonks. 

I have no idea how they came up with that name, and some of those prizes are so strange, they could have come out of a middle schooler sketchbook. These prizes include a corn dog on the cob, a gorilla skateboarding, shoes made of meat and a giant coach. 

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Despite the possibility of getting zonked, the risk is worth it for some of their fabulous prizes. These prizes include appliances, technology, trips, cars and more. As a kid, I was extremely apt at guessing which curtains or boxes had good prizes in them. 

However, after revisiting the show recently, I think I just watched the same episodes over and over and convinced myself I was watching the episodes for the first time. Brady is assisted in giving these prizes out by Jonathan Mangum, Tiffany Coyne and Cat Gray. 

Mangum cracks jokes with Brady, Coyne displays the prizes while looking absolutely stunning and Gray plays the keyboard. Besides Brady, Coyne is the best person on the show and I will fight anyone who disagrees. 

Mangum is fun too but often ends up being the butt of Brady’s jokes. And as far as Gray goes, I forgot he was a part of the show until I rewatched it. The show’s original host was Monty Hall with the first episode of the show premiering on Dec. 30, 1963. 

In my opinion, the first episode of the show was the best. Don’t get me wrong, the episodes from the 2010s with Brady are some of the most fun programming I saw as a child but they can also be very overwhelming. 

The newer episodes are chock full of sound effects, colorful lights and loud costumes that always wear me out after a few episodes. The first episode, though, is almost eerily quiet. There are no over-the-top jokes and even the audience is incredibly subdued. 

Even the zonks are fairly tame with prank prizes such as a covered wagon, four lambs, and a stick of bologna. The whole episode is very calming. The first time I ever watched it was on a six-hour bus ride with my parents which I was extremely anxious about. 

I hadn’t gotten very much sleep the night before and thought I wouldn’t be able to relax enough to get some rest. However after I watched the episode, I felt very relaxed and was able to sleep for the rest of the ride. 

The calm association is probably the biggest reason why I have a nostalgic connection with the show. You can find the pilot episode on YouTube.

Curtin can be reached at [email protected].


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About the Contributors
Liz Curtin
Liz Curtin, Freelance Writer
Liz Curtin is a second-year journalism student and this is her third semester at The Spectator. Her favorite movie is “The Eternals" and in her spare time she likes to question her existence.
Marisa Valdez
Marisa Valdez, Graphic Designer
Marisa Valdez is a second-year graphic design and multimedia communication student. This is her first semester on the Spectator team. She is active in the University Honors Program and UWEC InterVarsity. Additionally, she is employed at UW-Eau Claire's Learning Technology Services (LTS) as well as Printing Services. When she's not engaged in academic-related activities, she loves to crochet, watch movies, talk with close friends, hammock, hike, practice yoga, dance or read!

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