Saturday, April 9, 2011

Eat your heart out Howie Mandel

So, I wasn’t entirely shocked when I learned that there’s an Albanian Big Brother and a Dancing with the Stars Albania. (Nic….DWTS-A season is just beginning. I’ll keep you posted!) But the one that threw me was….Deal, or No Deal. Except, here in Shqiperia, its called Kutia Fundit. Hmmm… the error of my ways is suggesting that the name is the only exception.

There is one very obvious similarity…the premium ingredient for the perfect Deal or No Deal recipe. And that is the very necessary ,over-cheesed, over-scripted and over-comfortable with improve host! And while Mr. Kelli Demi isn’t as schnazzy a dresser as our Howie and doesn’t have the Mr. Clean glimmer of a BBC* dome, he is one HELL of a smooth criminal! I’m telling you…this guy could sell Ocean Front Property in Arizona. (Can I get a rebel yell? Kudos Mr. Straight.) Now, I rarely understand more than 2 words of every sentence, I can tell you that Demi’s posturing among the contestants is epic. He nearly dances with delight when he gets to sneak peek into the selected “briefcase” before revealing to them if they’ve made a colossal mistake. (that is…a more colossal mistake than agreeing to be on the show.) I thoroughly enjoy the piss-poor poker faces of the contestants who clearly want to rip out his tonsils as he drones on and on about the possible crushed dreams that come with revealing their choice.

So I mentioned “briefcases.” Here in Albania, we like to keep things simple... these TV producers know how to work on a budget! (a lesson some of our syndicates might consider.) Instead of the steel cases you are used to, imagine instead a cardboard box. Hey…don’t judge! They are printed cardboard boxes, not just your everyday old brown corrugated shipping/moving boxes. These things are pale blue and may have some design. Its hard to tell on our televisor. These boxes don’t need a latch and key….oh no! Rather in Shqiperia, we seal ours with a length of twine. The anticipation as they untie that twine is maddening!

And the mysterious “banker” in our cheesed-out US version is no where to be found. In Albania, our banker is just some regular guy sitting at a computer on a theatre balcony. I’m pretty sure he’s using Quickbooks to make his deal offers and although he’s given a microphone, he mostly just yells down to the stage.

What I love is that despite all the differences, it only took me about 15 seconds to say, “Hey! This is Deal or No Deal” the first time my family turned the channel to Kutia Fundit. OK….so after all that…I just referenced my translation dictionary and Kutia Fundit actually means, The Last Box. Of course it does. Life just keeps getting better!

Peace and Love

*BBC=Bald by Choice….which many of you know has always been a head-turner for yours truly. BBC is much better than BBN, Bald by Nature. I mean really…if the writing is on the wall, take action into your own hands and give yourself a pre-emptive buzz!


  1. Brings a smile to my face every time I read this. Keep 'em comin! Maybe if the PC can't figure out what to do with you, you can teach blogging 101. There must be a need right?
    Oh, and BTW I'm working in a coffee shop and "she's a brick" just came on. Abortion songs for karaoke....classic.

  2. i wonder if you can buy the season and send to me!!!