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Merv Griffin Dead at 82

I really liked Merv Griffin. I used to watch his talk show as a kid and have watched his game shows all my life. The man was brilliant and made incredible contributions to the world of entertainment. He will be missed.

Merv Griffin, the entertainer turned impresario who parlayed his "Jeopardy" and "Wheel of Fortune" game shows into a multimillion- dollar empire, has died. He was 82.

Griffin died of prostate cancer, according to a statement from his the family that was released by Marcia Newberger, spokeswoman for The Griffin Group/Merv Griffin Entertainment.

From his beginning as a $100-a-week San Francisco radio singer, Griffin moved on as vocalist for Freddy Martin's band, sometime film actor in films and TV game and talk show host. His "The Merv Griffin Show" lasted more than 20 years, and Griffin's said his capacity to listen contributed to his success.

"If the host is sitting there thinking about his next joke, he isn't listening," Griffin reasoned in a recent interview.

Read the whole article, which goes into his various business ventures. He led an interesting life and definitely lived it to the fullest.


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Comments (7)

Final Jeopardy.... (Below threshold)
yo:

Final Jeopardy.

Rest in Peace, Merv.<... (Below threshold)

Rest in Peace, Merv.

It should be noted that Griffin started his talk show as one of the many who attempted to compete with Johnny Carson's Tonight Show. He fared no better than the others who tried, but he was smart enough to adjust his format and take the show to an afternoon time slot where he wouldn't have to compete with Carson, and he thrived there.

I believe he actually invented the whole "Wheel of Fortune" game himself. His "Jeopardy" had been a successful daytime game show that burned out - as most do - after a long run, and Griffin resurrected it, gave the format a face lift and hired the then-younger Alex Trebeck as the host, and moved it to the evening time slot which had been recently (at the time) reassigned for local programming, along with "Wheel."

What Griffin figured out early was that local stations didn't have the resources to fill an extra hour of programming with anything their audiences wanted to see, so syndicated shows would become a gold mine. He made substantially more from the syndicated versions of both shows than from their original network incarnations.

As you said, "Brilliant."

Merv Griffin brought some g... (Below threshold)

Merv Griffin brought some great fun entertainment to America. His game shows have been very durable with only WHO WANTS TO BE A MILLIONAIRE, DEAL OR NO DEAL and THE PRICE IS RIGHT as strong competitors.

I liked ole Merv. Plus whe... (Below threshold)
Jo:

I liked ole Merv. Plus when that lying sack of crap Showtime movie about the Reagans came out a few years back, he was one of the first to protest because he loved Nancy & Ron. He, like the rest of the country, knew Reagan was an awesome man.

Anyone who loves Ronnie moves up mega notches in my book.

Rest in Peace, Merv.

I always thought it was int... (Below threshold)
Mike:

I always thought it was interesting that both Merv and his biggest competitor in the afternoon talk show market, Mike Douglas, were both big band singers -- Griffin was with Freddy Martin's orchestra, and Mike Douglas sang with Kay Kayser.

(If you do nothing else today, visit the Mike Douglas Show website, click on the "media" link, and watch the clip of 2 year old Tiger Woods.)

He also created JEPORDY ah ... (Below threshold)
spurwing plover:

He also created JEPORDY ah DOUBLE JEPORDY and FINAL JEOPORDY

It's hard to believe that a... (Below threshold)
Palmateer:

It's hard to believe that a guy who handled hundreds of millions of dollars in his time couldn't escape an avoidable and even curable disease as prostate cancer.




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