Memories of Mike Douglas
Hear Mike sing from the album Mike Douglas Sings It All: Philadelphia
I can't say that I hadn't thought about Mike Douglas for a while; In fact, last weekend I had seen his album the "The Men in My Little Girl's Life" at an antique store with the ridiculous price tag of $4.00 on it. The owner of the booth must have thought that it had just the right kitsch quota for his all-in-one all-white plastic stereo 8-track/record player that he was selling for $350.00, because he had it propped up beside it. I remember thinking, "I haven't thought about Mike Douglas for a while, wonder what he is up to."
Hearing about his death made me sad just because, like Johnny Carson, he was so ingrained in my psyche as something that would just always be there. I mainly remember him from the 70's, 3:30 in the afternoon, Channel 5. It was such a stay at home Mom's show; Quiet, with a non-threatening man, who spoke softly to celebrities. If describing a memory of The Mike Douglas Show it would be colored by the setting of a winter sun; My memories of Mike Douglas all are about trying to do homework by the light of the black and white TV set.
My clearest memory of the Mike Douglas Show was one where the guests were Mason Reese, and Harry Chapin. For those who know remember Mason Reese, he was a five year old kid who acted like an pompous asshole adult. He was known for promoting Underwood Deviled Ham spread. Like Rodney Alan Rippey, he was another fixture of the variety/talk show scene for a while and then just 'poof' disappeared. (I shutter to think what's happened to the poor guy.) Well during this show Mason Reese came out of his 'I'm a grown-up in a child's body' character when Mike started to introduce Harry Chapin and his song "Cat's in the Cradle". Mason cried: "He's going to sing 'that cat' song. "I don't want to hear 'that cat' song!" He was hysterical, throwing a tantrum. Mike and Harry assured him that he was going to sing a different song and not 'that cat' song, trying to calm him down. Then they went to a commercial. When they got back from the break, Mike came back and said "Now here is Harry Chapin"... Who of course began to sing, "Cats in the Cradle". From off-stage you could hear Mason Reese screaming: "You lied to me, you lied to me!" Now that's great television!
A Prayer for Mike
Some other Mike clips:
Mike Makes Judy sing Over the Rainbow
Mike talks with Frank Zappa, Jimmy JJ Walker and Kenny Rogers about music and drugs.