Wayne Brady is hosting the new version of “Let’s Make a Deal” when it returns to TV in the fall. It should easily assume the mantle of the preferred daytime game show for hungover unemployed people because Drew Carey continues to be an abortion on “The Price is Right.” But it’s also significant because Brady would be one of the few black game show hosts ever. Nobody seems to know who the first one was, because, exactly, they’re game shows and nobody cares.
Q: We were scratching our heads and trying to think who was the first African-American to do a network game show? We came up with Bill Cosby and maybe Whoopi Goldberg, but you would probably know that better than anybody.
A: Yes, because of the meetings where the African-Americans … what the hell? Why would I know that better?
Because you’re the black guy we’re talking to right now! That makes you the spokesman of the race!
The room erupted with laughter. Then there was a bit of an awkward pause. Then Brady continued.
“I consider myself very fortunate since I started doing [“Whose Line Is It Anyway”] in 1999. I’ve been part of a few firsts. And I don’t know if I’m the first because you’re right. The great thing about Fremantle and CBS reaching out to me, I think, speaks volumes to what I’ve been saying my entire career. Yes, I think it’s great to be one of the only African Americans, I think, a network would consider bankable and can reach out and do this. But it’s not about color or anything.
‘I think that I’m one of the only guys on TV that can pull off this particular show because of the skill set. The fact that I happen to be a 21-year-old black man makes it even better in the sense that other kids sitting at home can see me doing that job and go, ‘I can either be president or I can be the host of a game show.’ God bless America.”
This show is going to debut right around the time The Princess and the Frog opens, which marks the first black Disney princess movie, so I guess it’s good that we can knock out two pointless race-related cultural milestones at once. Obviously, more diversity in high profile media jobs is a very, very good thing, but I think I’ll sit out this session of patting ourselves on the back for being post-racial America.