5 high-rolling facts about Vega$

By: H&I Staff    Posted: October 21, 2022, 2:10PM

Airing in 1978, Vega$ follows the story of private eye Dan Tanna as he investigates cases on the Las Vegas strip. Here are 5 facts about the show that we bet you didn't know!


The show helped start a tv boom in Las Vegas

While some shows had been filmed in and around Las Vegas before, Vega$ was one that had a big impact on TV production in the state. According to the Las Vegas Review Journal the show, with its many shots of characters patrolling the Strip and various casinos, would help start "overlapping television booms that would bring Las Vegas to the world and help bring the world to Las Vegas."


Alex Trebek guest-starred in an episode before Jeopardy

Alex Trebek was a national treasure, there's no doubt about it. Hosting Jeopardy from its revival in 1984 until his passing in 2020, Trebek was a fixture in the primetime quiz show scene for more than 30 years. Before his big break in Jeopardy, Trebek would guest-star in an episode of Vega$. Titled "The Games Girls Play", Trebek would play Arthur Martin, a man whose wife tries to blackmail a senator who ends up getting caught and seriously hurt.


Heather Menzies, who was Robert Ulrich's wife, was a star in her own right

It's always fun to see a husband and wife duo acting together on TV. Menzies would appear on three episodes of Vega$, most famously playing another private detective Charlotte Henderson, helping Tanna solve a case where other detectives were being mudered. Menzies would also star in other shows including Logan's Run and actually got her start playing Louisa Von Trapp in The Sound of Music.


Tanna had some really cool gadgets

Dan Tanna certainly had style, but he also had some pretty cool gadgets too. Being one of Vegas' premiere private eyes, Tanna was able to afford some pretty cool stuff. His apartment was actually a converted prop warehouse, which allowed him to park his car inside, and he had an answering machine that would pick up the phone itself rather than using a tape. Of course, his coolest gadget was his 1957 Ford Thunderbird convertible, which had a phone installed, letting Tanna take calls on the road.


Many celebrities got the chance to guest star

You'd think that having two big stars like Menzies and Trebek would be enough, but you would be wrong. Vega$ has a star-studded guest list of actors, musicians and Vegas entertainers. Some standouts include Batman '66 alums Cesar Romero and Victor Buono, George Takei, and Mr. Las Vegas himself, Wayne Newton.