Rest In Peace
Mike Douglas passed away today - on his 81st birthday. Mike was an icon for me, growing up in Philadelphia through the 1970s. When I was 5 my parents seperated and my mother remarried by the time I was 7 ... as an only child I grew up with TV as my guide. Both my mother and her new husband worked all the time to keep things afloat ... and Mike became a surrogate uncle to me ... every afternoon he would introduce me to a world that was almost within my reach. All I had to do was grow up.
From 1961 until 1978, Mike's shows were recorded at the KYW studios at 5th and Market Sts in Philly and one of my first memories of being in Center City was being in Mike's studio audience. It was an incredible experience that helped me realize who I was to become as an adult.
Although I only met Mike once - and it was a quarter-century ago - he meant a lot to me and I'm sad to see him pass on.
To get a true scope of just how important The Mike Douglas Show was to both Philadelphia and America - visit this site and just remember that any guest appearance listed as 1978 or older happened right here in Philly. Mike put this city on the map in the 1970s and I'm sure there are many citizens that are just as sad to see him gone.
And - if you want a real campy look at Mike in action, watch this clip from June of 1974, when he welcomes a new rock group to his set - and has no idea how to handle the lead singer, Gene Simmons of KISS! I remember watching this show - it was just two weeks before my 11th birthday and after seeing them perform all I wanted was the KISS album for my birthday!!