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Series Fun Facts
- A relatively unknown (at that time) Rush Limbaugh guest hosted on 30 March 1990 and was so controversial the audience had to be removed for the final segment of the show.
- While CBS's public posture was still 100% backing Sajak, Rod Perth desperately needed a talk show name to replace him that would keep the rest of the CBS stations from joining the growing…
[show]While CBS's public posture was still 100% backing Sajak, Rod Perth desperately needed a talk show name to replace him that would keep the rest of the CBS stations from joining the growing "Arsenio" juggernaut and compete against Johnny Carson and began to broach the idea of getting Jay Leno to jump to CBS. Perth knew of Jay's hobby to restore old motorcycles and in a sweet coincidence, that happened to be Perth's hobby as well. Perth got Jeff Sangansky, the president of CBS's entertainment division to write a $6,000 check for a Triumph motorcycle as a gift to Jay. Within a few weeks of the first of the year, Perth scheduled a lunch meeting with Jay's manager Helen Kushnick to offer a 3 year deal for Jay at about $6 million a year and he would start late night on CBS in September of 1990. However, Jay was more interested in the Tonight Show gig since what CBS was offering was late night gig that had been tattered by Pat Sajak's woeful performance.
- When he first complained about Sajak, Rod Perth had been the general manager of WBBM, the station CBS owned in Chicago. As soon as Sajak's ratings started their inexorable nosedive, Lucy…
[show]When he first complained about Sajak, Rod Perth had been the general manager of WBBM, the station CBS owned in Chicago. As soon as Sajak's ratings started their inexorable nosedive, Lucy Salhany, the head of Paramount Television, had called Perth in Chicago, telling him he had 24 hours to buy into the suddenly scalding-hot The Arsenio Hall Show. WBBM had strong ties to Paramount, and Salhany was respecting those ties giving Perth first crack at Arsenio Hall in the Chicago market. Perth jumped at the chance, putting Arsenio on the air immediately after Sajak. Having a station that CBS owned snap up Hall only gave the restless CBS affiliates more reason to sign on for Arsenio themselves. But most of them used Hall to replace Sajak. By December 1989, more than fifty CBS stations made the switch, dooming Sajak even as they coronated Arsenio as the first truly viable challenger to The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson.