Video: “Wheel of Fortune” Pilot Hosted by Edd Byrnes
We don’t really focus on classics here but when something rare enough comes, it’s impossible to ignore it. We’ve been flooded with emails and comments regarding a very rare gem finally being released. The first ten minutes of the second of two pilots for Wheel of Fortune has been released. As many know Chuck Woolery was the original host of Wheel from 1975 to 1981. However, in this pilot, Edd Byrnes, an actor and television host, took the role. The game, for the most part, resembles what you see today and what you saw in the past. The only gigantic differences are the smaller dollar values on the wheel (look at the $25 space), a slightly different set, and the categories to the puzzles are much more specific. The game follows the shopping format that ran from 1975 to 1987 in syndication.
There have been many interesting rumors and stories passed down about this pilot. Stories include Edd Byrnes being slightly intoxicated while hosting, reciting the vowels repeatedly to remember them, and just generally messing up a few things which you can see in the clip. However, what’s interesting when watching is how little has realistically changed from the 70s to today. It’s still practically the same exact game (sans the shopping), just with a few cosmetic touchups. It goes to show what a durable and great format they came up with early on. What do you think?