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On this special edition of THE INTERVUE, we are here at the Celebration of Service to America Awards at Anthem in Washington DC, honoring the best in television and radio stations commitment to their communities. And our first interview is with the man of the honor!

He received the Service to America Leadership Award during the Celebration of Service to America Award. The award, NABLF’s highest individual citation, is presented in recognition of honorees’ charitable work and public service.

A five-time Emmy Award winner, he has performed on “The Masked Singer,” “Dancing With The Stars” and “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” and starred in television series such as “Black Lightning,” “The Good Fight,” “American Gigolo” and “How I Met Your Mother,” as well as served as a voice actor on numerous animated series. Between 2001 and 2004, Brady hosted the award-winning “The Wayne Brady Show” and currently hosts “Let’s Make a Deal” since its revival in 2009.

Let us welcome, one of our favorite interviews, the one & only Wayne Brady!

Now before we start, Happy belated birthday!

Thank you very much, Geminis in the house.

How did you celebrate it?

Celebrate it, I had a couple of meetings that they were for a couple of projects that I’m producing. So I got some work out the way. I hit my knees. I said, “God, thank you, for me, even reaching 51 Because my dad passed away at 45.” So I outlived him. “Thank you so much for me still being gainfully employed in an industry where things can go up and smoke like that. Thank you for letting me create. And thank you for having this beautiful family.” And then I went to dinner, I was able to bring my mother in town and I had dinner with my mama. It was a great day!

How does it feel to earn the Leadership Award for 2023?

I still don’t understand. To be honest, I still don’t get it. Because I didn’t know that I was doing anything. And maybe that’s the best way? Absolutely. Because I didn’t know. So, when I got the email, and they said, we’d like to give you this award. And my immediate thing was Oh, thanks. But we’re for. And so, when I’m told it’s because of the work that they’ve seen me do. I go oh, which just goes to show you. You don’t know. You don’t know who’s watching you. And you don’t know when you’re moving? You don’t know who’s watching you move. So, it’s best to move with the best of intentions.

Absolutely. You’re one of the finest game show hosts I have ever seen especially as an African American. You’re getting ready to celebrate your 15th season with “Let’s Make a Deal”. Do we have any milestone celebrations coming up for your fifteenth anniversary as host?

I think that’s the biggest one. We made it to 15 years. Yes. Some folks have never seen past season two of a show. I think the secret to the show is it’s simple. Love, we are our show was built on love. We love everybody. You all show up dressed as whatever you want to come dressed as. And we let you play, and we give you money. We laugh we make stuff up; we make songs up.

It’s an hour of joy in a place that can sometimes be joyless. So that’s the biggest milestone. And I think for this season, we have our primetime specials are giving away tons of money. And we’re reaching out to people on social media. We’re trying to get people to come and play with us live. So that’s the milestone.

Last question. You’ve done it all, your game shows, improv, “Dancing with the Stars”. What is the secret to your success? And what would you what advice would you give to people who want to be just like the next Wayne Brady?

First, I’d say be the first you. That’s because you can’t win being Wayne Brady just like I can’t win. When I compare myself to other cats. I can’t win. So first off, know your strengths. And secondly, don’t let anybody tell you “What’s cool”. You know, I learned that as a kid, as his little blerd kid who loved to read sci-fi and Shakespeare and make songs up and write things and do what? Maybe that wasn’t the coolest at the time. But I guarantee you some of the dudes that I grew up with their lives in turn out quite like this because I stuck to my guns. So, I’m just saying stick to your because only you know, you know what I mean? So that’s the secret.

Catch Wayne Brady for his 15th season of Let’s Make a Deal, returning this fall to CBS! And he’ll play the title role of The Wiz when it lands on Broadway in spring 2024!

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