Mike hanging out with Starbuck of "Moonlight Feels Right" fame...
I got some crappy news today. Someone told me that the Mike Douglas Show is off the air. Douglas had a syndicated daytime talk show that debuted in 1961. Pop culture wise, for me Douglas didn't get cracking until the late '60s. His peak was perhaps all of the '70s.
By the '70s the Mike Douglas Show was kitschy fare with celebrities in their natural habitat in various states of consciousness. The program has been typified by the week John Lennon and Yoko Ono hosted in 1972. Around the same era Sly Stone made a glassy eyed stint his whole week as co-host. Besides the rock stars, the show also was a place to see Totie Fields, Stan Kahn, as well as pretty much every famous and semi-famous stars of the time.
Of course thinking about Mike Douglas we have to address the obvious. Mike wasn't excatly a ball of fire. In fact, you'd be hard-pressed to find a more bland entertainer. Oddly enough, it worked for him like it worked for no one else. There is also another problem. Don't let Mike sing--you'll be begging to hear Vic Damone.
By the late '70s, the ratings began to decline. Some might remember when Westinghouse gave Mike the bum's rush for a rising talk show talent John Davidson. I'll say it, it was an unjustified firing and gross miscalculation. Due to the glut of subsequent programs that tried to adopt the Douglas paradigm; the original article has only grown in esteem.
Other stuff: Although some of his shows are availible on tapes and DVD's, Douglas has been mum about the actual underground location that houses those miles of shows.
Update: Kimberly Shaw has found that location and has sent it all sky high...