Written and Complied by Michael Bode and Cameron McCaffrey
Nickname: "The Griffin"
Logo: Against a black background, inside a box with a sky blue border, we see a very detailed drawing of a griffin (a Greek mythological creature with the wings, head and forelegs of an eagle, and the body, hind legs, and tail of a lion) behind a chain-link fence. Below that, in a white italic font , we see the text "MERV GRIFFIN ENTERPRISES," and under that, one of the following:
- 1984-1986, 1991-1992: No byline
- 1987: A unit of Coca-Cola Television (in red, with "Coca-Cola" in its signature font)
- Late 1987-1991: A unit of Columbia Pictures Entertainment (in the 1976-92 Columbia Pictures font)
Sometimes, the logo is animated with the griffin blinking its eyes, other times it's just a still picture.
Variation 1: "Wheel of Fortune" often used a custom variation of this logo. The background was yellow-orange instead of the normal black, and the text, which consisted of the company name, Coca-Cola or CPE byline, and a Califon Inc. copyright notice, was in a Peignot font (as seen on the 1971 Viacom logo and the MTM logo).
Variation 2: There is a variation of this logo where instead of the still white italic text appearing, it is animated. Inside the text, a light blue "chrome" color moves inside it.
Cheesy Factor: The light
blue "chrome color" variation for the text looks very
cheap and dated.
FX: The griffin blinking its eyes
Music: No music of its own, just the closing theme of the show. This logo and the King World logo following it were accompanied by the following announcements:
- "Jeopardy!" (Johnny Gilbert): "This is Johnny Gilbert speaking. 'Jeopardy!' is a production of Merv Griffin Enterprises and is distributed by King World." (Johnny Gilbert)
- "Wheel of Fortune" (Charlie O'Donnell): "'Wheel of Fortune' is produced by Merv Griffin Enterprises and is distributed by King World."
- The logos were not accompanied by announcer spiels on "Super Jeopardy!" or "Monopoly."
- Late 1992 episodes of "Jeopardy!" and "Wheel" show this logo with the spiels that are more commonly heard with the next logo (see below).
Availability: Surprisingly, Sony preserves MGE logos, so this can be found on Game Show Network's reruns of "Jeopardy!" and "Wheel of Fortune" episodes of this time. However, the announcer spiels on those shows are ruined because Sony removes the King World logo and instead shows the Boxes of Boredom with Charlie O'Donnell saying "Columbia TriStar Television" (this is especially bad on "Jeopardy!").
Scare Factor: None for the still white text version without the griffin blinking its eyes, Low for the still white text version with the griffin blinking its eyes, and Median for the version with the "chrome text," because the design could scare some people, especially when viewed in a dark area.
Nickname: "Cloud BG Griffin," "Sony Griffin," "'90s Griffin," etc.
Logo: Against the same cloud background as the then-current Columbia Pictures Television logo, we see a gold-colored griffin on a pedestal (appears to be a statue). Underneath the griffin, in the same font used in the CPT logo of the time, is the phrase "MERV GRIFFIN ENTERPRISES," and under that, the byline "a SONY PICTURES ENTERTAINMENT company." This logo was always followed by a graphic with the show's title card and copyright information.
FX: None, this is a still logo
Music: The closing theme for the show ("Jeopardy!" or "Wheel of Fortune") would fade out as this logo appeared and the show's announcer (Johhnny Gilbert on the former, Charlie O'Donnell on the latter) identified the company. A drumroll would play while the title card/copyright info graphic was shown, followed by the then-current King World logo with its music AND the announcement "Distributed by King World." Here are the announcements used:
- "Jeopardy!" (Johnny Gilbert): "This is Johnny Gilbert speaking. 'Jeopardy!' is a production of Merv Griffin Enterprises.'"
- "Wheel of Fortune" (Charlie O'Donnell): "Merv Griffin Enterprises produces... [copyright screen appears/drumroll starts] Wheel of Fortune!"
Availability: Uncommon, can still be seen on Game Show Network's reruns of "Jeopardy!" and "Wheel of Fortune" episodes from this period. (It also recently showed up at the end of a "Late Night with David Letterman" episode with Merv Griffin as a guest.)
Scare Factor: None
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