Tag Archives: Wayne Brady

Wayne Brady: No Desire to See ‘Let’s Make a Deal’ Go On and On

Wayne Brady

Wayne Brady has no desire for his hosting assignment on ‘Let’s Make a Deal’ to go on for years.

‘To be honest,’ says Wayne — who also emceed the game show ‘Don’t Forget the Lyrics!’ but earlier turned down the chance to host ‘The Price is Right’ and ‘Are You Smarter Than a 5thGrader?’ — ‘I have no desire to turn into the king of game shows. I consider myself an actor foremost, and a writer and singer, and I still tour and do Broadway shows.’

‘Let’s Make a Deal,’ he says, has proven to be more of a strain than he imagined it would be, but then, he says, ‘Everything always turns out to be harder then I expect it to be. Whenever I tell myself, ‘Oh, I can do this in my sleep,’ it turns out to be more difficult than I imagined.’

Wayne can see a sitcom in his future, ‘But only if it’s funny — and most of that genre aren’t funny nowadays. The standouts are ‘Modern Family,’ ‘ 30 Rock,’ ‘How I Met Your Mother.’ Besides that, forget it.’

‘Let’s Make a Deal’ Strains Brady to the Point of Being Under Doctor’s Care

Wayne Brady CBS Photo

‘Let’s Make a Deal’ has proven to be a major strain for Wayne Brady.

‘Having 300 people yelling your name is harder vocally and physically than I ever imagined,’ says the actor, singer, comedian and game show emcee.

‘Trying to be heard in front of hundreds of screaming people is more difficult than one could realize.’

He adds, ‘There’s nothing more draining then having a whole room of people wanting to be picked. Everyone is there to have fun, but by the end of the day it’s about money and that almost always brings on desperation in some people.’

He continues, ‘Some people are there to have a blast, others because it’s their last chance and they may be there to win money for mortgage payments. They might get mad at me for picking the wrong door. It’s an amazing study in humanity.’

Brady says that compared to ‘Let’s Make a Deal,’ the ‘Don’t Forget the
Lyrics’ show he hosted was a cinch.

‘With ‘Lyrics,’ we could crank out five shows a day. ‘Let’s Make a Deal’ is a bigger, more elaborate show and takes a lot longer to shoot.’

‘Deal’ has put such a strain on Wayne that he is under a doctor’s supervision and there are times when he is on ordered vocal rest. He has no idea how much longer the ordeal will continue.

‘I am the host — they don’t tell me anything,’ he reveals. ‘All I know is that we’re shooting for the next five weeks, and then I don’t know when or if we’re coming back. We haven’t gotten a pickup order yet.’

THE BIG SCREEN SCENE: With Timothy Olyphant’s first-rate ‘Justified’ series launching this week, producer Graham Yost had blue rubber WWED bracelets sent out to members of the press. The letters stand for ‘What Would Elmore Do?’ as in author Elmore Leonard, on whose work the show is based. Yost says the writers are so enamored of Leonard’s style, WWED is their mantra while penning scripts.

Elmore Leonard

Filmmaker Charlie Matthau is another of Hollywood’s vast legion of Leonard devotees — and the man who aims to bring Leonard’s ‘Freaky Deaky’ before the cameras this summer after a long and winding journey through development hell. He calls ‘Freaky Deaky’ ‘my passion project — Elmore Leonard’s favorite and best novel. For years I’ve been tracking it. Quentin Tarantino optioned it after ‘Pulp Fiction,” Matthau recounts. ‘He developed a script but didn’t write it. Then we got very lucky because Quentin decided to do ‘Rum Punch’ instead. That turned into ‘Jackie Brown,’ so he did let the option go on ‘Freaky Deaky.’ Then John Malkovich got hold of it, so again I thought I would never get it. But John is involved in so many different projects, a couple of years went by and the option lapsed.’

Matthau, whose work includes the critically-admired ‘Grass Harp’ and ‘Mrs. Lambert Remembers Love,’ was just about ready to camp out on Leonard’s doorstep at that point. ‘About the time Elmore was about to turn 90, he was hearing from yours truly at least once a month, nagging him for the rights. I think partially to get rid of me, he gave it to me.’

Matthau (son of the late Walter Matthau) has since turned his persevering ways toward financing and has come a long way in that regard, he tells us. Also, he has a lineup of actors who’ve expressed a desire to be involved. Again, that Leonard cachet is a powerful lure in Hollywood. He’d especially like Chris Tucker. ‘It’s almost like Elmore was channeling him when he wrote this in 1988. If you went to God and said, ‘Create a script for Chris Tucker that is perfect for him,’ this is what He’d come up with.’

Or at least, what Elmore Leonard came up with.

FROM THE INSIDE LOOKING OUT: Standup comedian Jim Norton, who’s a sidekick on the Opie and Anthony radio show, gets to meet famous people everyday, but he tells us he still gets star struck when meeting some of the greats.  ‘I completely do.  I am a boob,’ says Norton with a laugh.  ‘KISS were at Sirius doing something else and I know Gene [Simmons] because I roasted him and Paul [Stanley] recognized me because he knows my act. Gene was just being casual with me because we’ve spoken quite a few times, and even though I know those guys know me, I literally couldn’t talk. I’m just a blithering idiot around people I admire,’ he admits.  ‘But that’s the fun part of the job.  It’s just great to be able to sit down and talk to my heroes.’

MULTI-MEDIA STARS: Looks like juggling time for Lucy Liu, who is busy with her Broadway role in ‘God of Carnage’ — and is also set to play Andrea in ‘East Fifth Bliss,’ which goes into production mid-April starring ‘Dexter’s’ Michael C. Hall. ‘Bliss’ was originally expected to go before the cameras last fall. The indie black comedy has Hall playing a 35-year-old man who gets romantically involved with a former classmate’s 18-year-old daughter.

And feature filmmaker Brett Ratner’s thinking small screen right now; he’s about to shoot the pilot for ‘Chaos,’ his Fox TV drama starring Freddy Rodriguez with Tim Blake Nelson on board. Casting notices have it that the show deals with rogue CIA operatives ‘who combat bureaucratic gridlock, rampant incompetence and political infighting.’ Obviously, it’s a fantasy, folks.

With reports by Emily-Fortune Feimster

‘Loser’ finale like graduation to trainer Bob

Bob Harper

Bob Harper

“The Biggest Loser” has its Season 7 live finale tonight (11/12) – which, for trainer Bob Harper, is a little like graduation time.


“I feel like a school teacher, living vicariously with my students as they go on in life,” says the popular fitness expert.  Harper, in fact, does stay in touch with quite a few of his former “Biggest Loser” contestants, “through emails, Facebook, text messaging.  Certain people strike a heartstring,” he says.


Viewers of the hit NBC show probably won’t be surprised to know that among the alumni who keep trainer Bob apprised of their doings are Mark and Jay Kruger, Roger Shultz and Dan Evans – guys from Season 5.  


Then there are those who don’t.  Case in point:  This season’s Joelle Gwynn, who got into on-camera battles with Bob on more than one occasion and wound up estranged from Carla Triplett, the Best Friend with whom she entered the weight loss competition.


He’s surprised himself by his “yelling and screaming at Joelle this season.  There are times you just get your buttons pressed,” he says with a sigh. 


Then there is the occasional unwelcome news that a former contestant has packed on the pounds again.  “I understand why people gain weight,” says Bob.  “I try to tell people, ‘It’s a lifestyle change — you have to manage it for the rest of your life.  You can’t go back to your old ways.’  But some do.” 


Compared to many weight loss regimens, he notes, “The Biggest Loser” has “a really good success rate, about 50-50” of those who manage to keep off the pounds and those who gain back.   He cites such “Biggest Loser” successes as Ali Vincent, the Season 5 winner, who is now the spokesperson for 24 Hour Fitness gyms, Bill Germanakos from Season 4, “who does public speaking,” and Dan Evans  The latter, “has a music career going now, he’s done a great job.”


PUTTING IN THE GOOD WORD:  Charlie Sheen has been staying on the straight and narrow both on and off screen of late, but Emmanuelle Vaugier, who plays his ex-fiancé on “Two and a Half Men,” tells us she’s coming back to make things interesting. 


It certainly must involve some drama, considering his character is engaged. 


“I’m back to stir the pot!  I seem to get brought back on the show for that reason quite a bit, but I have no complaints.  I’m perfectly happy to go stir the pot,” says Vaugier of her May 18 episode on the popular CBS series.  Working with Sheen is a treat, claims the actress, who insists he’s a lot different from his past party boy reputation.  “He’s a sweetheart.  He’s nothing like the persona people have of him.” 


Fans will see Vaugier’s more serious side as she reprises her role on Thursday’s (5/14) finale of “CSI: NY.”  “I’ve been on the show for three years now as a recurring character.  The season finale is coming up and it’s a very action packed episode with lots of twists and turns.  That was a lot of fun to shoot,” she says of playing Detective Jennifer Angell.  “It’s very different from what I’m used to doing because with this show, the less you do the better.  To them, murder is not a big deal, whereas you and I would be like, ‘Oh my God, someone’s been murdered!’  It’s so cool, though.  I’ve been able to work with guns, chase people down, and do some of my own stunts.” 


When asked if we can see more of her next year, she responds, “We will have to wait and see what they muster up next season.  I have some ideas but I’m not at liberty to say what they might be doing.”  


INSIDE INSIGHT: Wayne Brady has made a living doing improv, and while he has become quite skilled at it, he admits he gets nervous every time he goes out on stage.  “I get nervous all the time.  If I didn’t, I would be in trouble,” says Brady who is currently starring in his own show in Las Vegas.  “If you don’t get nervous then you’re probably not at the top of your game because nerves keep things heightened and it keeps you on your toes while you’re always trying to find that punch line.  They’re actually a good part of the job.” 


NEW MEDIA MAN:  “My Boys” star Reid Scott tells us he’s not just a pretty face on camera.  He’s about to also be a pretty face behind the scenes as he’s set to direct a series of webisodes this summer.  “Directing is what I started off doing.  I went to Syracuse and combined directing and theatre into one.  I’ve always loved acting and it’s been good to me so that’s been my focus,” he notes.  “I’m going to direct a web series for crackle.com called ‘The Prick.’  I’m not sure when that’s going to launch, but I’m excited about delving into it.  It’s easier branch out now that I’m at a position where I have kind of a regular schedule.  I know when I have time off so I can plan around that.”


With reports by Emily-Fortune Feimster