As most know by now entertainer turned TV mogul turned real-estate tycoon Merv Griffin took his Fianl Taxi this week at the age 82. Merv Griffin won ten Daytime Emmy Awards and was nominated for another 22! He received a Lifetime Achievement Awards at the 2005 Daytime Emmy Awards. Merv Griffin began his career as a singer. As the singer for The Freddy Martin Band, Mr. Griffin scored a huge hit with the 1949 novelty song “I’ve Got a Lovely Bunch of Coconuts.”
It was in television that Merv Griffin left his mark on the industry. His talk show “The Merv Griffin Show” ran in several incarnations between 1962 and 1986. It was during this time that I remember many a summer in the 70’s watching his show through the porch screen while stringing green beans or peeling corn. It was a show my mother enjoyed watching except when that scantly clad Charo would be his guest.
Millions of TV fans are endebted to Merv Griffin for creating the hit game shows “Jeopardy” and “Wheel of Fortune.” The shows brought Mr. Griffin a real fortune when Coca-Cola and Sony bought him out for $250,000,000.00 in 1986. Mr. Griffin then expanded his business interests into hotels and resorts. Merv Griffin appeared in a few films including “By the Light of the Silvery Moon” “Phantom of the Rue Morgue” “Slapstick,” and my favorite appearance of him… when he played with Steve Martin in “The Man With Two Brains.”