West Allis - Before he left for a California trip, Chris Giblin told his friends that not only would he attend a taping of the television game show "Let's Make a Deal" but that he would appear as a contestant.
The West Allis man's positive outlook was put to the test as he waited - dressed as a cuckoo clock - almost to the end of the taping. And then …. .
"I'll take the clock over there," said show host Wayne Brady.
Giblin was ecstatic over the opportunity to actually participate on the show he has loved since he was a kid - back in the days of host Monty Hall.
But by the time he joined the host from his second-row seat during the January taping, he noticed something unsettling. "It's funny, your whole mind goes blank," Giblin said.
Well, not completely. He did manage to win $1,500 on the show, which aired April 25.
Making the right deal
Giblin's big moment came when he had to choose what was behind a big box or behind one of four CDs mounted on a juke box on the stage.
Brady and his co-host had already sung a song to Giblin to give him a clue to what was behind the box and he said he almost went for it. The song seemed to hint that the prize behind the box had something to do with transportation. A car, maybe?
He was heading for the prize behind the box but at the last instant, he did a U-turn and took one of the CDs. He couldn't even say why, it was just a feeling.
The CD was whipped off the juke box to reveal his winnings of $1,500.
Sure he was jubilant, "but then I thought, let's see what's behind the box now," he said.
The box was pulled away and there before him was somebody dressed in a gorilla suit dancing to rap music. He had indeed made the right deal.
Dealing with the fun, too
Even if he hadn't, it was fun just being at the show, he said. Surrounded by so much costumed creativity, he felt an air of energy and camaraderie.
"There's not a single unhappy person in that room," he said.
In fact, he even traded phone numbers with a California couple dressed as a table. When Giblin visits friends in California again, he intends to drop by.
Though he fondly remembers Monty Hall as emcee, Giblin said Brady fills Monty's shoes comfortably.
"He's as much fun, if not more so, in person," Giblin said.
Tickets to the shows are free and available online. Giblin's advice to those who want to get picked: be happy and enthusiastic in the pre-show interview and when Brady is looking for contestants, jump, wave and holler. Also have a creative costume.
Giblin said he thought of the slogan "Time to make a deal" and then devised the cuckoo clock costume. The slogan was mounted around the outside of the clock face.
In real life, Giblin has owned Christopher John's Handyman Services LLC for eight years. He also is going to MATC so he can eventually open his own heating and air-conditioning business.
Still, for the moment, he has the TV bug. Now he wants to try his luck on "The Price is Right."
"I want to spin the wheel," he said with a good-humored laugh.
- Jane Ford-Stewart