I'll Be Right Back: Memories of TV's Greatest Talk Show

I'll Be Right Back: Memories of TV's Greatest Talk Show

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by Mike Douglas, Thomas Kelly, Michael Heaton
     
 

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In 1961, when Mike Douglas decided to interrupt his less-than-spectacular singing career to host a 90-minute, live, local Cleveland TV talk show -- for the princely sum of $400 a week -- no one could have anticipated how widely popular he would be. Within two years his program was available in almost every home in the United States and Douglas was the undisputed

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Overview

In 1961, when Mike Douglas decided to interrupt his less-than-spectacular singing career to host a 90-minute, live, local Cleveland TV talk show -- for the princely sum of $400 a week -- no one could have anticipated how widely popular he would be. Within two years his program was available in almost every home in the United States and Douglas was the undisputed king of daytime TV.

Now Mike Douglas looks back at a lifetime of interviews with actors, comics, singers, politicians, and sports figures. With his inimitable breezy, short-take style, Douglas shares delicious anecdotes about the entertaining personalities who made his shows so memorable and so much fun: Barbra Streisand, Malcolm X, Fred Astaire, Mother Teresa, Milton Berle, John Wayne, Judy Garland, Groucho Marx, Jimmy Hoffa, Bette Davis, John Lennon and Yoko Ono, Joan Crawford, Jay Leno, Jerry Lewis, and many more. Nostalgic and fun, I'll Be Right Back will delight Douglas's legions of longtime fans -- as well as the millions of new viewers who are discovering the show thanks to the recent reruns of "The Mike Douglas Show" on VH1.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Nationally syndicated within two years of its debut in 1961, singer Mike Douglas's 90-minute daily talk show became an entertainment phenomenon by booking contrasting personalities on the same show, including such offbeat musical duos as Arlo Guthrie and Florence Henderson. In 1967, The Mike Douglas Show was the first syndicated talk show to win an Emmy, and Douglas became the first TV star to earn a million dollars a year. Unwittingly pinpointing this book's central flaw, Douglas comments, "I could fill this chapter with just the names of quality musical talents who graced our stage and still not have room for half of them." Since more than 30,000 guests were booked on his show over more than 20 years, including then-unknowns Jay Leno, Billy Crystal, Barbra Streisand and Bill Cosby, it's easy to see why. Marlon Brando and Red Skelton each receive three pages, while Milton Berle, Judy Garland, Jonathan Winters, Ted Kennedy and many others garner a page or less (for those squeezed out, each chapter opens with a lengthy list of names). Writing in a glib, showbiz style, Douglas shuffles memories like unruly cue cards, often without any transitions. One of the most insightful and substantive chapters dissects and critiques more than two dozen current talk shows. Oddly, this "autobiography" devotes no more than 12 pages to Douglas's childhood, his navy life and his pre-1961 radio, TV and recording careers. 3-city author tour; 25-city radio satellite tour. (Dec.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
It's no surprise that Rosie O'Donnell wrote the introduction to this memoir; her current talk show closely resembles The Mike Douglas Show, the late afternoon talk/variety TV show that ran from 1966 to 1981. In fact, it could be her on-air homages to Douglas that account for a renewed interest in him. This second memoir (he wrote Mike Douglas, My Story in 1978) is actually more of a compilation of reminiscences and anecdotes than an autobiography, but it is a fun bit of nostalgia that baby boomers will enjoy. Who could forget the odd week when John Lennon and Yoko Ono cohosted? Douglas gives readers the inside scoop on events such as how he got Judy Garland to sing "Over the Rainbow" when he had been warned not to ask her. Everyone from Malcolm X to Sonny and Cher guested or cohosted, and Douglas tells all in his breezy, enthusiastic way. He ends the book with a brief recap of his life (in case you missed the first book) and a bit about what he's doing now (enjoying his wife and grandkids and occasionally appearing on O'Donnell's or The Tonight Show). A fun, fast read that will appeal to public library patrons. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 8/99.]--Rosellen Brewer, Monterey Cty. Free Libs., Salinas, CA Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780684854373
Publisher:
Simon & Schuster
Publication date:
12/02/1999
Pages:
320
Product dimensions:
6.45(w) x 9.67(h) x 1.21(d)

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I'll Be Right Back: Memories of TV's Greatest Talk Show 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Easy and enjoyable reading. The stories of Mike's guests brought back alot of memories. I found the stories from behind the scenes very interesting.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book should be getting more attention. It has a history of past and present talk shows that are fun to remember. Mike is a true gentleman in every way.