After Pat's other show, "Wheel of Fortune" (1975) enjoyed a surge of popularity in the late 80's, he decided to try his hand at hosting a late-night talk show. The format was similar to "The Tonight Show" (1962), consisting of comedy monologues, celebrity guests and musical numbers. Although many well-known celebrities appeared on his show, in the end, Sajak was unable to compete with Johnny Carson and David Letterman. Written by
Jean-Marc Rocher <email@example.com>
Don't go to bed until you turn him on.
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Did You Know?
When he first complained about Sajak, Rod Perth had been the general manager of WBBM, the station CBS owned in Chicago. As soon as Sajak's ratings started their inexorable nosedive, Lucy Salhany, the head of Paramount Television, had called Perth in Chicago, telling him he had 24 hours to buy into the suddenly scalding-hot The Arsenio Hall Show
(1989). WBBM had strong ties to Paramount, and Salhany was respecting those ties giving Perth first crack at Arsenio Hall
in the Chicago market. Perth jumped at the chance, putting Arsenio on the air immediately after Sajak. Having a station that CBS owned snap up Hall only gave the restless CBS affiliates more reason to sign on for Arsenio themselves. But most of them used Hall to replace Sajak. By December 1989, more than fifty CBS stations made the switch, dooming Sajak even as they crowned Arsenio as the first truly viable challenger to The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson
(1962). See more
Referenced in The Golden Girls: Blind Date