Network: NBC, ABC
Episodes: unknown (half-hour)
TV show dates: December 30, 1963 — July 9, 1976
Series status: Cancelled/ended
Performers include: Monty Hall, Carol Merrill, Wendell Niles, and Jay Stewart.
TV show description:
This long-running game show is hosted by Monty Hall. He picks the contestants at random from the audience and makes them deals that cannot be refused. Initially, Hall chose who would compete in advance and contestants would arrive in suits and dresses. That all changed when an audience member wore a costume to get his attention. From that point on, those desperate to win a prize would dress as crazy as their imaginations could conjure.
Some deals are made when Hall awards cash to audience members for having certain items with them or even if their driver’s license or a serial number on their money contains a certain digit. The bigger deals Hall offers to audience members are either games of skill or pure chance. Some include Monty awarding a contestant with a concealed prize and then allowing them the opportunity to trade it for another that was hidden behind a curtain or inside of a box. If they make the right choice, they win a more valuable prize. If they make a poor choice, they walk away with a “zonk.”
Zonks could be any number of items but some include a giant rocking chair, a Holstein cow, 25 pounds of cottage cheese, a mule, or a T-shirt that reads, “I was ZONKED by Monty Hall!” But zonk or no zonk, Hall’s deals are often a risk worth taking.