Sunday, August 11, 2013

Happy Birthday Mike Douglas

I met Mike Douglas in 1997 in Philly when he was in town to have his star enshrined on the Walk Of Fame on Broad Street. He was also doing a signing for his new CD, "A Rare Treasure Of Memorable Music", including an updated version of the cheesy "The Men In My Little Girl's Life". My mom's birthday was coming up, so I slipped out of work and went over to get a signed CD.

What struck me about him was (were?) a few things: how Irish he looked (I had only seen him on a B&W TV), his firm handshake, and his charisma, how he just fucking exuded likability. It was easy to see why his show was so popular, despite its weird but interesting format.

When it was my turn, he stood up and shook my hand. I told him the CD was for my mom - who like just about everyone who was home at the time - watched his show every day. My brother and I watched it too. It was our afternoon ritual of waiting for Dad to get home from work so we could eat dinner.

I told him it was for her birthday. He asked her name, and I told him "Lucille". Without missing a beat, he replied "That was my first girlfriend's name", which was probably bullshit but hey, that's the kind of thing you say when you're a professional talker.

He signed my CD, I congratulated him on his Walk Of Fame honor, and I was on my way.

Mom had specifically said that year she did not want any gifts for her birthday, but this was a once in a lifetime thing so I did it anyway. She liked it.

Mike Douglas also has the rare distinction of having his "Bachmann Birthday" the same as his birth birthday. He died on his 81st birthday in 2006.

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