Thursday, October 15, 2015
Once upon a talk show
But Pat Sajak, who you may know from the big wheel thingie, really did get a talk show on CBS in January, 1989. It lasted for fifteen tumultuous, mostly low-rated months. The big problem was a guy named Johnny Carson, just entering the homestretch of his nearly thirty-year run.
But Sajak himself was probably too low-key and vanilla to prosper in the late night wars. The same aw-shucks persona that has served him so well on Wheel of Fortune made the talker look and sound snoozy.
Splitsider has posted an entertaining look at Pat's misbegotten effort. Maybe the oddest note in the story is the comment about "Sajak's average of 3 million" viewers. Hey, Fallon gets about that many viewers, and he looks like he'll be on forever. Just shows how the TV audience has splintered. Back in the day, Carson easily doubled that three million figure.
The story is packed with funny anecdotes and other yummy trivia that might make for a good Jeopardy category...if anybody could remember the show.