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 "... See full summary »
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1990   1989   Unknown  
Nominated for 1 Primetime Emmy. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete series cast summary:
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Dan Miller ...
 Himself - Announcer (9 episodes, 1989-1990)
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Franklin Ruehl ...
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Lee Horsley ...
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Tom Scott ...
 Himself - Band Leader (4 episodes, 1989)
Dennis Wolfberg ...
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 Herself - Guest (3 episodes, 1989)
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Pam Stone ...
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Ron Luciano ...
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Jason D. Williams ...
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 Themselves (2 episodes, 1989)
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Anne Bloom ...
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Henry Cho ...
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Rick Dees ...
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Dion DiMucci ...
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Don Drysdale ...
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Bob Greene ...
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Fred Greenlee ...
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Peter Gross ...
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Freddie Jackson ...
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Steve Kelly ...
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Denny McLain ...
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Bruce McNall ...
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Jeffrey Osborne ...
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Valery Pappas ...
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Billy Joe Royal ...
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Barry Steiger ...
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Joseph Wapner ...
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 Herself (2 episodes, 1989)
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Storyline

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 <rocher@fiberbit.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

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Make a break for ... The Pat Sajak Show See more »

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Release Date:

9 January 1989 (USA)  »

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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 coronated Arsenio as the first truly viable challenger to The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson (1962). See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Golden Girls: Blind Date (1989) See more »

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User Reviews

The D.O.G. Watch!
9 November 2005 | by (New York, NY) – See all my reviews

"...From Television City In Hollywood!" I got to see a taping of this program in person, during its 90 minute format.

You have to keep in mind that CBS had no real toehold in the "late night" wars at that time, that Johnny Carson was still King, but there were hints that the reign was soon to end: Arsenio Hall was barking and starting to change the style and format of the talk show and that David Letterman was on NBC following Carson, and gaining a lot of attention.

Pat Sajak, always very personable with the contestants on "Wheel Of Fortune," tried his hand at interviewing. Where he only had to actually converse with the players on "Wheel" for roughly thirty seconds, here, he had to quiz well known celebrities for minutes at a time and actually "chat." I don't think he was prepared for such a task.

As if that wasn't bad enough, he did something really shocking: he attempted comedy! In fact, I'm surprised that David Letterman didn't sue Sajak and the show for what they did, which was all but swipe Dave's style and delivery, making Sajak a Letterman impressionist on a nightly basis. The title of this summary was the name of one of their running bits, where Sajak would point out what the daytime talk shows were discussing: Donahue, Oprah and Geraldo: hence the D.O.G. Watch. And yeah, the bit was about as funny as reading that was.

The whole program was an unfortunate error for everyone involved. Other victims were the show's band leader, famed Jazz saxophonist Tom Scott, who also penned the program's theme music (Scott was also designated this role for the disastrous Chevy Chase talk show, so maybe he's got a streak of bad luck when it comes to this), and Dan Miller (II), the program's "Gary Owens" style announcer, who was also saddled with various sketches like running for "Mayor of Television City," another inspired, yet bankrupt (if I can borrow a "Wheel" word) of humor skit. Cleverly, he has managed to keep this program's resume notation off of his IMDb page!

There was one bright spot in all of this, though it was a personal one. According to Pat's official website, he met and fell in love with his wife while working on the show. At least that made it worth the trouble for them!

The show was pared back to an hour from its original 90 minutes, and the host left before his name was removed from the title, eventually to be sent to Talk Show Purgatory.

Luckily, Sajak was able to retrieve his game show gig, where he has comfortably and successfully been to this day, though, in 2003, he did take a stab at another interview style show for Fox News, thankfully without any attempts at monologues or "desk humor."


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