Thursday, May 9, 2013

Classic TV: The Mike Douglas Show (1961)

When I was growing up, it was virtually appointment television to watch The Mike Douglas Show after school. Oh, sure, I'd miss part of the show due to dinner, as it aired right before the 6:00 news, but it was a little bit of "comfort food", if you will.

Douglas began his show as a local entity in Cleveland in 1961, then went national 2 years later, landing a deal with Group W (Westinghouse), which would remain in place for the next 17 years before changing syndicators for the final 2 seasons of the series.

The format was different. A guest-co-host would join Douglas for a full week (5 days), mostly to help with interviews. There would be the comedy & musical acts virtually every show, and it was a lot of fun. Douglas ended the series in 1982 after a grand total of 21 seasons, as the talk-variety show was slowly being phased out of daytime in favor of straight talk shows that would soon broach more controversial topics once considered taboo.

Following is a 1968 clip with Judy Garland, who is interviewed by Douglas before performing her signature song, "Over The Rainbow" (from "The Wizard of Oz"). Uploaded by AllAboutJudy, a Garland fan channel on YouTube:

A slogan used in the 70's certainly fit. "Mike Makes Your Day". Indeed, he did.

Rating: A.

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