Friday, August 11, 2006

Mike Douglas Passes On

It's a name very few of our younger readers will remember.

Mike Douglas was truly a television pioneer, and he started his road to nationwide stardom right here in Cleveland. The Cleveland Plain Dealer's Michael Heaton reports that Douglas has died in a Florida hospital at the age of 81.

Your Primary Editorial Voice(tm) is just old enough to remember the last TV years of the syndicated "Mike Douglas Show".

But long before that, in 1961, then-KYW/3 lured him to town hoping to knock off WEWS/5's popular "One O'Clock Club" with Dorothy Fuldheim and Bill "Smoochie" Gordon...two names that also live in local broadcast legend.

A year after its debut, then-KYW then-parent company Group W syndicated Douglas, and the host then powered to top national daytime ratings and iconic status. If someone was a big name in their chosen field, they appeared on The Mike Douglas Show. It was as simple as that.

Douglas was also known for his singing talent, which set his show apart from other contemporaries like Dick Cavett and Merv Griffin.

Unfortunately, Douglas didn't stay around here very long. The show moved to Philadelphia the year after it went national - and for that matter, the KYW calls ended up there, too. "The Mike Douglas Show" eventually moved to star-studded Los Angeles.

Douglas put together some 4-thousand plus shows before retiring...


Anonymous said...

I remember the show when WCLQ/61 carried it in the early 1980's. Aside from Channels 3 and 61, did the show appear on any other Cleveland station during its 21 year run?

Anonymous said...

Nice commentary about Mike Douglas. One thing tho -- Merv Griffin also was a singer. He often opened his show with a song. He began as a singer in San Francisco. You probably have heard his best-known song, "I've Got A Lovely Bunch of Coconuts" (no kidding).

And, I believe Merv wrote the scores for Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy.

Ohio Media Watch said...

Oh, yes, that is true.

We do remember Merv singing. (As we recall, he ran in afternoons in the 1970's. We want to say he was on WEWS/5, but the memory is not what it used to be.)

But we don't recall Dick Cavett as a crooner. That would have been funny.


Anonymous said...

OMW you are right Merv was on WEWS AFTER Dinah Shores program in the day before Oprah and Live On 5 or back then The Afternoon Exchange with Fred & Wilma(Griffith/Smith)

Anonymous said...

From what I hear, Merv and Mike weren't exactly the best of friends. When Merv passes, an era will have truly ended. Mike Douglas was the king of housewife-TV talk. He'll be missed!

El Kabong said...

If I could have found a copy of "The Men in My Little Girl's Life," I would have played it this weekend.

(Sheesh, it's not even on the Time-Life "Easy Listening Gold" collection, and I'm almost embarrassed to admit I own that.)

By the way, that song was a #6 national hit - in 1966!

Anonymous said...

Mike Young played The Men In My Little Girls Life on his Noon-1pm Show on WHK,right after The Irish Hour on Sunday(yesterday). The album or cd(excuse me)is on collectables label check the internet for collectables oldies.