A legendary television personality is getting his due with a new DVD box set and a Paley Center tribute tonight.
Merv Griffin’s “charm, wit and intelligence made the talk-show host one of the masters of the genre,” the Los Angeles Times writes, and now episodes of “The Merv Griffin Show” are coming out in a 12-disc DVD set.
The show ran from 1962-86, on various syndication and network outlets. Griffin, who was also a Broadway performer, big band singer, actor and entrepreneur, created TV shows including “Jeopardy!” and “Wheel of Fortune.” He died in 2007 at age 82.
In one 1966 episode included in the box set, “Griffin is unflappable when sex symbol Jayne Mansfield arrives onstage with her four children — including 2-year-old Mariska Hargitay, now of ‘Law & Order: SVU’ fame — and their family dogs, which proceed to bite one another,” the Times article notes.
Some episodes were tracked down at the Nixon Presidential Library & Museum; the show “was one of the programs Nixon taped to see what his friends and enemies were saying about him,” the Times writes. Some of the 5,000-plus shows are likely lost forever, however.
You may or may not already know that Griffin wrote a famous piece of TV theme music. Here it is: