The Merv Griffin Show

Neil appeared on the Merv Griffin show, a syndicated talk show. This show may not have been seen in all areas on the same day. It was shown in the morning on a Washington, DC, channel and in the afternoon on a Baltimore, MD, channel. And the Washington channel only showed the first hour of this hour and a half long show. Because I was in school during the day, I was fortunate that we could pick up the Baltimore channel, and I was also fortunate that the show I got to see was the longer one.

Although Neil had written several hit songs by the time he did this show, he did not sing any of them. Perhaps because of the feeling that a lot of middle-aged housewives would be watching, instead of teenage fans, he sang two middle-of-the-road standards – “Stranger In Paradise” and “Jenny Rebecca”. (The latter song was done in the last half hour, which may not have been seen in all markets.)

The highlight of this appearance, though, was Neil trying to teach Merv how to fence. It was not a well-known fact at the time that Neil had been a fencer on teams at his high school and college, so this was a new aspect of his life for me to learn about.

Merv Griffin is also famous for running some casinos in Atlantic City and the Bahamas (and maybe elsewhere). Plus, he developed several game shows for T.V., including “Jeopardy!”

— Regina Litman

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