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The Merv Griffin Show was an Americanmarker television talk show, starring Merv Griffin. The series ran from October 1, 1962 to March 29, 1963 on NBC, September 20, 1965 to September 26, 1969 in first-run syndication, from August 18, 1969 to February 11, 1972 at 11:30 PM ET weeknights on CBS and again in first-run syndication from February 11, 1972 to September 5, 1986.

Series history

In 1965, Griffin launched a syndicated version of his talk show for the "Group W" division of Westinghouse Broadcasting. The Merv Griffin Show aired in multiple time slots throughout North America (many stations ran it in the daytime, some broadcast it opposite Johnny Carson's The Tonight Show, and it was carried for many years in prime time on WNEWmarker in New York). Stations had the option of carrying either a 60-minute or a 90-minute version. Merv's announcer-sidekick was the veteran British character actor Arthur Treacher, who had been his mentor. Treacher would introduce Griffin with the phrase: "...and now, here's the dear boy himself, Meeeer-vin!" after reading off the list of guests for that evening's show. After Treacher left the show, Griffin would do the announcing himself, and walk on stage with the phrase: "And now..., here I come!"

Overview

A typical show would begin with a short introduction by Griffin, during which he would sometimes sing a song. Various celebrity guests would follow, conversing with Griffin. Generally the show originated in Los Angelesmarker, but Griffin often taped in Las Vegasmarker. In addition, from 1969 to 1970 the show was located at the Cort Theatre in New York Citymarker and would return to the Big Apple in the 1970s and 80s for special shows in the Vivian Beaumont Theatermarker at Lincoln Centermarker. One set of popular and regularly returning artists were Motown's premier girl-group, The Supremes who made guest appearances in 1971, 1975 and 1976, with a rotating line up in each show.

From the 1970s to the early 1980s, the show was taped at Caesars Palacemarker. Over the 25 years, Griffin interviewed 25,000 guests.

The Merv Griffin Show was originally produced by Griffin's own made company, Merv Griffin Productions. It later became Merv Griffin Enterprises in September of 1984 (at the end of this show, the theme for MGE was a bombastic, jazzy like horn theme that was only seen on the Merv Griffin Show), and produced the final two seasons. Sony Pictures Television now handles the TV rights to the series, while Griffin's other company Merv Griffin Entertainment owns the series.

Griffin's longtime bandleader was Mort Lindsey.

In popular culture

Seinfeld spoofed the show in Season 9, Episode 6, “The Merv Griffin Show,” in which Cosmo Kramer pretends that he hosts his own talk show using discarded material from the Merv show.

Andy Kaufman's appearance on the show was edited into the 1999 biopic Man on the Moon, with Griffin being played by character actor Mike Villani. The movie claims that all guests of the show receive an autographed photograph of Dicker and Dicker of Beverly Hills (furriers known for their fur coats, mainly as prizes on game shows), coupons, and Turtle Wax.

Awards and nominations

Year Result Award Category Recipient Episode
1971 Nominated Golden Globe Award Best TV Actor - Musical/Comedy Merv Griffin
1970 Nominated Emmy Award Outstanding Achievement in Music Direction of a Variety, Musical or Dramatic Program Mort Lindsey Episode from Las Vegas featuring Chuck Connors, Joey Heatherton, Buddy Greco and Jack E. Leonard
1971 Nominated Emmy Award Outstanding Achievement in Music Direction of a Variety, Musical or Dramatic Program Mort Lindsey For episode "Big Band Salute" (Part 1 and 2)
1976 Nominated Emmy Award Outstanding Individual Achievement in Daytime Programming Richard W. Wilson For episode with Tony Bennett, Peggy Lee, and Fred Astaire
1974 Nominated Daytime Emmy Awards Best Individual Director for a Talk, Service or Variety Program Ron Appling For episode with Clint Eastwood, Forrest Tucker and Stanley Myron Handleman
Nominated Daytime Emmy Awards Best Host or Hostess in a Talk, Service, or Variety Series Merv Griffin
Won Daytime Emmy Awards Outstanding Talk, Service or Variety Series Bob Murphy
Won Daytime Emmy Awards Best Writing for a Talk, Service or Variety Program Tony Garafalo, Bob Murphy, Merv Griffin For episode with Billie Jean King, Mark Spitz, Hank Aaron, and Johnny Unitas
Won Daytime Emmy Awards Best Individual Director for a Talk, Service or Variety Program Dick Carson For episode with Rosemary Clooney, Helen O'Connell, Fran Warren, and Kay Starr
1975 Won Daytime Emmy Awards Outstanding Individual Director for a Daytime Variety Program Dick Carson For episode with Robert Goulet, Louis Prima, and Shecky Greene
1976 Nominated Daytime Emmy Awards Outstanding Host or Hostess in a Talk, Service or Variety Series Merv Griffin
1977 Nominated Daytime Emmy Awards Outstanding Individual Director for a Daytime Variety Program Dick Carson For episode "Merv Griffin in Israel"
Nominated Daytime Emmy Awards Outstanding Host or Hostess in a Talk, Service or Variety Series Merv Griffin
Won Daytime Emmy Awards Outstanding Talk, Service or Variety Series Bob Murphy
1978 Nominated Daytime Emmy Awards Outstanding Talk, Service or Variety Series Bob Murphy
1981 Won Daytime Emmy Awards Outstanding Variety Series Peter Barsocchini
1982 Won Daytime Emmy Awards Outstanding Host or Hostess in a Variety Series Merv Griffin
1983 Won Daytime Emmy Awards Outstanding Variety Series Peter Barsocchini
Won Daytime Emmy Awards Outstanding Individual Direction for a Variety Show Dick Carson
1984 Won Daytime Emmy Awards Outstanding Variety Series Bob Murphy and Peter Barsocchini
Won Daytime Emmy Awards Outstanding Host or Hostess in a Variety Series Merv Griffin
1985 Won Daytime Emmy Awards Outstanding Directing in a Talk/Service Show Dick Carson


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