Merv Griffin Show - 40 of the Most Interesting People of Our Time

The Merv Griffin Show - 40 of the Most Interesting People of Our Time

Cast: Merv Griffin


Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Donald Liebenson
While creating both Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune would be enough for most resumes, and bank accounts, Merv Griffin remains best known as a TV talk-show host, one forever in the shadow of Johnny Carson's legend. This three-disc set, though, makes a fascinating case for reevaluating Griffin's on-air legacy, even if it means shaking the memory of Rick Moranis's devastatingly funny Merv send-up on SCTV. Griffin's ingratiating knack for putting his guests at ease strikes a pleasant contrast to today's interviewing styles and helps explain his ability to book tough-to-get guests. These include: Rose Kennedy, Grace Kelly, and Richard Burton (captured in what Griffin calls his "wonderful arrogance"). And you didn't see Martin Luther King Jr. take questions from the audience on The Tonight Show. Some of the most fascinating and entertaining interviews capture icons and superstars at the beginning or end of their careers. A near-unrecognizable, pre-counterculture George Carlin performs in a suit and tie in a 1965 appearance, as does Richard Pryor in a clip from 1966. Billy Crystal delivers an embryonic version of his classic "Ten Commandments" routine, as well as an impression of an aunt who would later be featured in his Tony Award-winning show, 700 Sundays. Jay Leno is asked about pet peeves, a bit that would evolve into "What's your beef?" Jerry Seinfeld is also seen in one of his earliest TV appearances, a debt he would later repay with the "Merv Griffin Show" episode of Seinfeld. Tom Cruise, fresh from Risky Business, is polite and soft-spoken (he calls Merv "Sir"). And how precious it is to spend some quality time in the presence of Orson Welles (who died two hours after this appearance with Merv), who talks expansively about Rita Hayworth and Marlene Dietrich; Jack Benny, who regales the audience with stories about his checkered movie career; and Walter Cronkite, who makes prescient observations about the direction of TV news. Though generally a softie, Griffin still posed the occasional tough question, as when he asked Richard Nixon in the run-up to the 1968 presidential campaign how he would battle the stigma of being "a loser." This Merv Griffin Show collection is a welcome companion to the box sets devoted to Jack Paar's, Johnny Carson's, and Dick Cavett's talk shows. By boiling out the blather and serving up the shows' best moments, these discs offer fascinating portraits of the personalities who shaped the 20th century.

Product Details

Release Date:
[Dolby Digital Stereo]

Special Features

Three discs are filled with five hours of interviews, culled from 5,500 shows and 25,000 guests that appeared on The Merv Griffin Show through the years. Guests interviewed on this set include:
Disc 1:
Ingrid Bergman
Richard Burton
Tom Cruise
John Wayne
Sophia Loren
Orson Welles
David Niven
Grace Kelly
Joan Collins
Sammy Davis Jr.
Janet Leigh
Lee Marvin
Jane Fonda
Tom Hanks
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Roy Rogers
Michael Caine
Christopher Reeve
Denzel Washington

Disc 2:
Jack Benny
George Carlin
Jerry Seinfeld
Jackie Mason
Phyllis Diller
Don Rickles
George Burns
Richard Pryor
Jay Leno
Carl Reiner
Totie Fields
Monti Rock III
Billy Crystal
Danny DeVito
Tony Danza
Clarence Nash (Voice of Donald Duck)

Disc 3:
Barbara Walters
Walter Cronkite
Rose F. Kennedy
Robert F. Kennedy
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with Harry Belafonte
President Gerald Ford
President Ronald Reagan
President Jimmy Carter
President Richard Nixon

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- The Merv Griffin Show, Disc 1: Greatest Hollywood Legends
1. Orson Welles [11:27]
1. Ingrid Bergman [12:59]
1. Richard Burton [16:42]
1. Sophia Loren [17:29]
1. Sammy David Jr. [10:26]
1. David Niven [10:22]
1. Tom Cruise [4:57]
1. Jane Fonda & Roger Vadim [9:46]
1. Denzel Washington [5:56]
1. Sir Laurence Olivier [18:17]
1. Michael Caine [14:45]
1. Joan Collins [9:04]
1. Tom Hanks [7:03]
1. Lee Marvin [10:14]
1. Janet Leigh [12:38]
1. Arnold Schwarzenegger [6:48]
1. Grace Kelly [6:23]
1. Chritopher Reeve [11:34]
1. John Wayne [18:53]
Disc #2 -- The Merv Griffin Show, Disc 2: Greatest Comedian
1. Jack Benny [34:32]
1. Don Rickles [27:53]
1. Jerry Seinfeld [12:46]
1. Jackie Mason [12:57]
1. Danny DeVito [8:23]
1. Carl Reiner [10:51]
1. George Carlin [8:12]
1. Jay Leno [7:14]
1. Richard Pryor [7:44]
1. Phyllis Diller [6:02]
1. Totie Fields [9:28]
1. George Burns [2:02]
1. Billy Crystal [3:09]
1. Tony Danza [10:48]
Disc #3 -- The Merv Griffin Show, Disc 3: Extraordinary Guests
1. Walter Cronkite [16:43]
1. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr [30:47]
1. Robert F Kennedy [8:44]
1. Richard Nixon [18:23]
1. Gerald R. Ford [13:30]
1. Jimmy Carter [22:47]
1. Ronald and Nancy Reagan [15:42]

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