Let's Make a Deal Announcer Shares Secret to Being Funny

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Below is Chad Silber's interview with Let's Make a Deal announcer Jonathan Mangum.

What is your favorite part about this job?
"That it is five-and-a-half hours four days a week (laughs). It helps. I got two little kids at home. So it's great, I get to spend a lot of time with my kids. It's fun watching people get happy and changing people's lives. A new car could make a big difference to somebody. $10,000, $20,000 can literally change someone's life. So we get to have fun and everyone always has a great attitude when they come here."

What is it like working with Wayne Brady?
"I love working with Wayne. I've been working with him forever. So it's like going to work, seeing your best friend, making jokes with each other and then there's a game show that happens at the same time."

I was amazed by the amount of people it takes to make this show happen. People at home see the four of you but there are so many more people behind the scene.
"I have my six handlers and Wayne has his twelve assistants so it starts to add up (laughs). To make a big TV show there's all kinds of people; 125 people on the crew to make it happen."

One thing I like to ask people if they've never been to Nebraska is what they think it's like.
"Uh...snow, moonshine and drinking...pretty much. No I'm kidding."
And football!
"That's right, football! When I think about Nebraska I think about Alabama. (Mangum's hometown is Mobile, Alabama.) I know they're totally different, but it feels like the kind of place that would be relaxing and you could sit back and enjoy life. In California it's just very go go go all the time. So I love places like Lincoln where there's a pace of life that's just a little slower. It's not some tiny small town, but it's enough to enjoy yourself and also be relaxed. I wish I could live in a town like that."

If you weren't doing this and you had to pick something else, what would it be?
"Fortunately for me there's nothing else I can do, which is kind of what it takes to be in this business. If there's something else you can do you usually end up doing it out of frustration with Hollywood. And there's nothing else I can do so it worked out for me."

Do you have any other talents?
"I play some musical instruments for fun, but I'm not really good at 'em. I can throw a stick maybe 80 feet, if that's a talent-maybe in Nebraska, it is in Alabama. Stick toss, it's a big deal."

How do you get to be so funny?
"Uh, that's a good question. The way you get to be so funny is to be not funny ten million times. That's how you get to be funny, you have to suck at it...a lot. And then after 20 years, if you're not good at something after doing it for 20 years...don't...it's not time to do it anymore. Seriously, you have to fail to get good at something. Failure, I think, should be embraced more. The risk and the failure, because that's how you learn."

For people that don't watch your show, why should they?
"The show is just fun. It's fun and you get to see it's not just a game show where there's prizes and contestants. It's an entertainment show. There's comedy going on. Wayne is doing characters and he's improvising songs, and I'm doing a rap with him. And none of this is planned. It will just happen in the show, so it's like a little comedy show plus a game show in the afternoon-so...two shows in one."

I bet you guys are getting really excited to air the 50th anniversary show.
"We are we are. We have not been doing the show for 50 years, but the show's been on for 50 years. Monty Hall, the original host appears on that show, so it's great to have him back. And yeah, it's just been a fun ride. Our season five just got picked up so we'll be on your TV a lot longer."