Entertainment & Arts

US talk show pioneer Joe Franklin dies

Joe Franklin Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Joe Franklin said he never missed a show in 43 years on air

US TV talk show pioneer Joe Franklin, whose New York-based programme ran for 43 years, has died at the age of 88.

He said he interviewed 300,000 guests in 21,445 shows from 1950 to 1993.

He is credited by some as having invented the talk show format. His guests over the years included Bing Crosby, Marilyn Monroe and Madonna.

Franklin played himself in films like Manhattan and Ghostbusters but said he only became a star when Billy Crystal parodied him on Saturday Night Live.

His programme began in 1950 on WJZ, which later became WABC, before it moved to WOR-TV, later WWOR-TV.

The host was listed in the Guinness Book of World Records for having the world's longest-running talk show show and he claimed not to have missed an episode in 43 years.

He was also proud of having given early exposure to stars like Barbra Streisand, Eddie Murphy, Bette Midler, Al Pacino, Woody Allen and Bruce Springsteen.

They shared space with lesser-known and more off-the-wall guests. He described his line-ups as being combinations of "the greats, the near-greats, the ingrates, the has-beens and the never-weres".

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