"I don't think you can train someone to be a game show host. it's a certain trait that either you have or you don't. Are hosts born or are they made? I think they're born."
About This Interview
In his two-and-a-half hour Archive interview, Harry Friedman recalls his early life in Omaha, Nebraska, where his father was the first television repairman in town and Johnny Carson was the local television star. He describes his early career path and how he came to be a writer on The Hollywood Squares in the 1970s. He talks about producing the late '80s version of the show that featured Joan Rivers as the center square. Friedman speaks in great detail about his long association with the game shows Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy!, which he began producing in the mid-'90s. For Wheel of Fortune he talks about changes made to the game play through the years, such as the addition of the "Jackpot Round" and the "Mystery Round" as well as the "Wheel Watchers Club." For Jeopardy!, he recounts the winning streak of Ken Jennings. He also outlines what make Pat Sajak, Vanna White, and Alex Trebek successful on-screen personalities. Karen Herman conducted the interview on October 10, 2007 on the Sony Pictures Studios lot in Culver City, California.