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

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Complete series cast summary:
...  Himself - Host 11 episodes, 1989-1990
Dan Miller ...  Himself - Announcer 9 episodes, 1989-1990
Geoff Bolt ...  Himself 6 episodes, 1989
Franklin Ruehl ...  Himself / ... 5 episodes, 1989-1990
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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>

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

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Talk-Show

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9 January 1989 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Trivia

While CBS's public posture was still 100% backing Sajak, Rod Perth desperately needed a talk show name to replace him that would keep the rest of the CBS stations from joining the growing "Arsenio" juggernaut and compete against Johnny Carson and began to broach the idea of getting Jay Leno to jump to CBS. Perth knew of Jay's hobby to restore old motorcycles and in a sweet coincidence, that happened to be Perth's hobby as well. Perth got Jeff Sangansky, the president of CBS's entertainment division to write a $6,000 check for a Triumph motorcycle as a gift to Jay. Within a few weeks of the first of the year, Perth scheduled a lunch meeting with Jay's manager Helen Kushnick to offer a 3 year deal for Jay at about $6 million a year and he would start late night on CBS in September of 1990. However, Jay was more interested in the Tonight Show gig since what CBS was offering was late night gig that had been tattered by Pat Sajak's woeful performance. 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 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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