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The Five Spot: Wayne Brady, Host/Executive Producer, ‘Game of Talents’

Wayne Brady
(Image credit: Michael Becker/Fox)

Game of Talents, a variety series that showcases the hidden talents of mystery performers, premieres on Fox Wednesday, March 10. It follows the season five premiere of The Masked Singer, and is hosted by Wayne Brady, who won season two of Masked Singer. 

On Game of Talents, contestants guess the talent of the performer — say, comedy, dancing or fire-throwing — before they perform. Produced by Fremantle, the show offers more than $200,000 in prize money each episode. “Can the contestants spot the fire dancer from the spider wrangler or the gospel singer from the contortionist?” said Fox. “Can you??”

Brady, who also hosts daytime’s Let’s Make a Deal, shared his thoughts on Game of Talents. “If [viewers] want a good time and want to escape and want to cheer some people on and see some ridiculous yet awesome acts, tune in,” Brady said. He spoke with MCN senior content producer Michael Malone.

What drew you to Game of Talents? Fremantle said they had a property that was part talent show and part game show, and they wanted my take on the talent piece. Helming Let’s Make a Deal for them for 12 seasons, I think they trust my taste and the fact that I know what I’m doing as a host. I’m a big fan of talent — I like to push people to the forefront. So it seemed like a really great fit. 

Game of Talents

Wayne Brady looks forward to giving contestants a chance to change their circumstances on Game of Talents. (Image credit: Michael Becker/Fox )

Who do you consider an influence among game show hosts? I never set out to be a game show host, so I don’t have an influence — I just do what I do. In my book, a great host is someone good at being a version of themselves instead of putting on the this-is-my-host persona. That rings very false to me. That’s why, even in the beginning, I was [hesitant] to even accept the job because I didn’t want to step into the Guy Smiley/game show host pattern. 

Any hosts you watch where you say, they’re doing a great job? Like all of America and the world, Alex Trebek. Alex, God bless him, was the standard in terms of what he brought to that position and the respect he had. I always felt that Alex Trebek knew all the answers; I always thought he didn’t even need to look at the card. He just filled you with ease. I think that’s the best thing about a host. 

BONUS FIVE

TV shows on your watch list? Buried by the Bernards (Netflix), WandaVision (Disney Plus) and 90-Day Fiancé (TLC).

All-time top TV show? I love smart comedies, shows like Brooklyn Nine-Nine, The Good Place and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.

Favorite app? Music Notes because it lets me carry around sheet music in a simple way and TikTok because it is such a great way to discover a lot of talent.

Books on your nightstand? Time Siege by Wesley Chu, A Blade So Black by L.L. McKinney, King Maker by Maurice Broaddus.

What’s a recent memorable meal? Thanksgiving dinner at my house. We were able to get my family in one place and cook together, but also just reflect and give thanks that during this pandemic we are all OK and safe.

What makes Game of Talents right for 2021? It’s a day and age when people need to feel good about what they’re viewing. You can turn on the TV and news channels or any social media channels to hear the bad news and see the horrible crap happening. But to be able to see people win money, which is what I enjoy doing on Deal.
On Game of Talents, we give people the opportunity to change their circumstance for a second and that’s a beautiful thing.
We give talent a chance to show themselves off and that’s another beautiful thing. Talent should be rewarded and should be high-fived. 

What’s your hidden talent? The ability to not cook well is my superpower. Don’t get me wrong: I can cook, for a bachelor. If there was one thing my mom made sure I could do before I left her house, it was, you will be able to cook for yourself. I can cook eggs. I can cook steak and eggs. I’m very good at peanut butter and jelly sandwiches — I’m super-adept at that.