Comedian-actor is back as host of game’s new CNBC version
Q: Since you’re now doing a fresh tour of duty with it, what do you think is the special quality of “Deal or No Deal”?
A: I think other shows that you watch try to emulate us. I feel like when I watch (those shows), people are “produced” to be excited, to act dramatic. This show is real. This show taught me about humanity. What was interesting is that when the show was as big as it was in 2005 to 2009, there were articles written (about it) in financial magazines, in psychology magazines, in college dissertations.
This is, without any specific game play or skill, a real study in humanity. CNBC is about business. CNBC is about, “How can I better my life? How can I watch this network, get some information, and take something away?” Nothing is going to teach you that like the examples that we set in every episode of this.
Q: You’ve done so much in your career, what do you consider to be the biggest steps that ultimately led you to “Deal or No Deal” – and, for that matter, “America’s Got Talent”?
A: I started out as a stand-up comic, and I got HBO specials, and I did really good as a comic. And then, and for whatever reason they thought I was right, they put me on “St. Elsewhere.” And for six years, I spent time on probably one of the greatest dramatic series in anybody’s lifetime. At that time, before there was social media, I would get mail every week saying, “I have a bet with my husband that Fiscus (Mandel’s ‘St. Elsewhere’ character) is not the same as that goofball that puts a rubber glove on his head.” So those two audiences never melded.
Then I did Saturday-morning cartoons, and I was on “Bobby’s World.” And young mothers would come up to me and say, “The guy that does the voice is the guy from ‘St. Elsewhere.’ I think you’re from ‘St. Elsewhere.’” And then as a comic, which I continued to do throughout everything else I was doing, I got offered in 2005 a game show (which was “Deal or No Deal”).
Jay Bobbin has decades of experience covering the television and movie businesses, winning Tribune Media Services’ Crown Jewel Award in 2008 for his performance in the company. Over those many years of interviewing and writing, he has spoken with everyone from Robert De Niro and John Travolta to Paul McCartney and Tony Bennett … from Meryl Streep and Julie Andrews to Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood.