20 November 2009

You can keep your Oprah...

...the king of daytime talk for me will always be Phil Donahue. Most just remember the bad years at the end with his wearing dresses and the things that led him to try to compete with Jerry Springer, Morton Downey Jr., etc..., but in his heyday there were few better interviewers and moderators anywhere on television. Part of the problem was he had outpaced and outgrown his audience but refused to allow everyone (including himself) to see what that might mean for his program. And so he'd put on a dress! One of the best episodes I ever saw of his show must've been in the early-to-mid 80s when his entire audience was comprised of sex therapists who were in Chicago for a convention. It wasn't tawdry or sleazy; it was 60 minutes of smart talk about an important subject. And he married THAT GIRL!!!


  1. He married that girl after leaving his wife and was it 12 children? Free to be You and Me? Steven Allen, now there was a host!

  2. As my 11/2 post mentioning Steve Allen can attest I'm a huge fan of his...a wonderful host, entertainer, and indeed Renaissance man (songwriter, novelist, essayist, etc, but not much of an interviewer, per se.

    I wonder if Phil ever had Steve on his show?