Museum of Television & Radio Merv Griffin

Bettina Cirone

 At the Museum of Television & Radio’s annual gala honoring Merv Griffin, May 27, 2005, many celebrities were asked about Peter Jennings who just returned to work off camera.  Everyone spoke lovingly about him and said that he was working from home every day and spoke with his colleagues by phone on a daily basis since his lung cancer was discovered.  Each well-wisher that emailed Jennings regarding his recovery got a personal answer from him.:

 Throughout the evening the following comments were overheard to and about Merv Griffin:

 Barbara Walters to Merv Griffin:  “Merv has interviewed over 38,000 people on his television show.  I could only think of what you would have done with Paris Hilton.  You conduct your interviews like a psychiatrist. You truly are a legend.”

  Liz Smith:  “Merv ‘s the only one that told Donald Trump ‘You’re fired!’ and got away with it.”

 “I made my television debut on the Merv Griffin Show ” Tony Danza

 “In  preparation for his interviews, he even tried to get his subjects drunk. So they would be completely relaxed, of course”  

 “I have known Merv a long time.  Even before I was Henry Kissinger.  Having done over 38,000 interviews, Merv got through 20 years of shows without offending anyone. 

He may be the only living person who out-maneuvered Donald Trump.

He made over a billion dollars, and I have never managed to do even a fraction of that.”

 Henry Kissinger.


Throughout the evening, the Museum showed clips of Merv’s interviews.  One showed Ronald Reagan telling Merv after his assassination attempt that his life after that was all due to Him (up there), Nancy Reagan telephoned to thank him and reminisce.

 Also seen there were Hollywood and TV legends as Arlene Dahl with husband, award winning fragrance packaging designer and Joyce Randolph of the Jackie Gleason show..

The food was not the usual rubber chicken, but delicious beef tournedos, a delicious smoked salmon and cream appetizer, Coppola wines and a wonderful sweet chocolate mousse dessert laced with fresh blueberries and raspberries in a bittersweet chocolate square and topping.

 Merv Griffin on Bernadette Peters who sang:  “You’ll Never Know Just How Much I Love You”:  I don’t know how you do it, but I requested that song because when you sang it on my show there was a tiny tear that ran down your cheek as though on cue and I saw that same tear on your cheek tonight….She is remarkable.”

 “I have decided tonight to will my body to the Museum (of TV and radio).  They can find a suitable hook and hang it up there like in an anatomy class…. By this time tomorrow I will be in Ireland, enjoying the land where my ancestors were in jail.” – Merv Griffin




Photos by Bettina Cirone