As a Page for NBC in the “Big ‘80s,” I worked a great many game shows that were taped at the Burbank studios during that era. SuperPassword, The New Let’s Make A Deal, Scrabble, and Wheel of Fortune. Next to Jeopardy and The Price is Right (on CBS), Wheel Of Fortune remains one of the most popular, long-lasting game shows to air on any network, broadcast, cable, syndicated or otherwise. Like Jeopardy, Wheel of Fortune was created by talk show icon, and media mogul Merv Griffin.
Just a little history of the Wheel:
The original host Fortune was Chuck Woolery, who would later host the multi-complicated behind-the-scenes Scrabble for NBC (and the syndicated and original Love Connection). There was a period when Woolery’s Wheel went on hiatus, and then returned without Woolery, who was replaced by Pat Sajak and Vanna White.
That’s the Wheel I worked — the one hosted by Pat and Vanna, both of whom I recall as sweet, affable and amiable. Vanna, in particular, was particularly down to earth and never once displayed any form of arrogance or a holier-than-thou attitude. In fact, she went out of her way to be nice to people, especially the NBC Pages. From what I can remember, she made sure to recall the names of as many Pages as possible — including mine….
Writer/producer Herbie J Pilato is the host of the TV talk show THEN AGAIN WITH HERBIE J PILATO, now streaming on Amazon Prime and the author of several pop-culture/media tie-in books. He has been part of TVWriter™ for over 20 years and is Contributing Editor Emeritus. Learn more about Herbie J HERE