That reminded me of a commentary on the Classic TV History blog, and you wonder what would have happened 41 years ago had he been given that chance. The drunkenness of Edd Byrnes when he hosted pilots of an NBC Daytime show that would replace the long-running Jeopardy! was highly inappropriate. Thankfully, he wasn't given the chance to do the show, but the host of the first pilot, which was considerably different than the show we now know, Chuck Woolery was, and lasted nearly seven years. The rest, as we know . . .
When the show was still a daytime show, NBC was trying to audition replacements for Pat Sajak in 1988. We know NBC went with a former Chargers player. But who was on the auditions list? You'd be surprised who was auditioned by Coca-Cola (then owned Merv Griffin Enterprises) and NBC:
*The "New" tag was used until the summer of 1973, the show's first season. The reference was made during the show's Season 44 Premiere Week, which featured throwback door designs shown on the giant monitor behind the audience except for the current decade, which used the new Season 44 pattern.