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The Mike Douglas Show was an Americanmarker daytime television talk show hosted by Mike Douglas that aired in syndication from 1961 to 1982.

Format and production

The Mike Douglas Show studio at KYW-TV in Philadelphia
The Philadelphia "Mike Douglas Show" lobby-entrance
A former big band singer, Douglas moved to television in the 1950s. The Mike Douglas Show started December 11, 1961 in Clevelandmarker as a local show on Westinghouse's KYW-TVmarker (now WKYC-TV), it proved popular and, in July 1963, was syndicated by Westinghouse to all five of its owned-and-operated stations. By 1967 the show was available in 171 markets and seen by an audience of six million viewers a day.

The program featured light banter with guests and musical performances. Instead of an opening comedic monologue (as was the case with The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, for example), Douglas, given his vocalist background, would begin each show by singing a popular song for the audience. Each week would have a different co-host who would appear every day with Douglas. The program was initially aired live on KYW-TV but, after Zsa Zsa Gabor in 1965 called Morey Amsterdam a "son of a bitch," the program then aired on a one-day tape-delay basis. This allowed for the editing-out of any objectionable material. Live broadcasts (with a seven-second delay) were attempted only on a few special occasions thereafter, such as when the Philadelphia Flyers won the Stanley Cup.

In August 1965, the show moved from Cleveland to Philadelphiamarker to a small basement studio located in the KYW-TVmarker building at 1619 Walnut Street (see photos on right). This studio held 140 seats. In July 1972, the show moved to a new studio in the newly constructed KYW-TV studios at 5th and Market Streets in Philadelphia. That studio ("Studio A") was the first and only studio especially constructed for the program. While the overall new studio was larger, it accommodated only 120 seats. The original musical director in Philadelphiamarker was Ellie Frankel. In 1967, Joe Harnell, an accomplished musician, composer, and band leader took the position of musical director. Harnell continued as musical director through 1973. Joe Harnell was followed by musical director Frank Hunter and the show ended with musical director Joe Massimino.

During much of its time on the air, it remained strong in ratings, consistently finishing among the most popular daytime television shows nearly every season. Douglas took the success lightly. He made a surprise visit to the set of Match Game in 1976, a competing show which managed to score higher ratings than Douglas' program during the mid-1970s, in order to congratulate host Gene Rayburn on making the game show the #1 daytime TV show.

The show's run spanned 21 years and more than 6,000 episodes. In 1978, production of the show moved to Los Angelesmarker, where it remained until the end of the show's run in 1982.


The show featured the first television appearance of Tiger Woods who showed off his swing for Bob Hope and James Stewart at the age of 2. Others who appeared on the show include Malcolm X, Jerry Rubin, Fred Astaire, Judy Garland, Bette Davis, Gene Kelly, Gene Tierney, Lucille Ball, Moe Howard of theThe Three Stooges, Ted Knight, Totie Fields, John Travolta, Louis Armstrong, Minnie Riperton, The Supremes, Gloria Parker with her Musical Glasses, Jay Leno, Joan Crawford, Angela Davis, Mason Reese, Muhammad Ali and many others.

Musical performers

 [The Four Aces]

Guest co-hosts

There was a different co-host every week on the show during its entire run. Among the most notable:

Many people have tried to take credit for producing the episodes with John Lennon and Yoko Ono, but the real producer at the time of the episodes was Michael A. Krauss, who also came up with the idea to book John and Yoko.


Year Award Result Category Recipient
1967 Emmy Award Won Program and Individual Achievements in Daytime Programming - Individuals Mike Douglas
1977 Outstanding Individual Director for a Daytime Variety Program Don Roy King
(For episode "Mike in Hollywood with Ray Charles and Michel Legrand")
1978 Outstanding Individual Achievement in Daytime Programming David M. Clark
1981 Individual Achievement in Any Area of Creative Technical Crafts - Costume Designer Dayton Anderson
(For episode on February 9, 1981)

External links

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