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.
Jean-Marc Rocher <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Make a break for ... The Pat Sajak Show
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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
Referenced in The Golden Girls: Blind Date