Phil Donahue as come and gone. Nope, not dead yet, just fully retired. I recall first hearing about him when we visited friends in Dayton, OH. OH. OH. (round on the ends HI in the middle) I can still hear my Mother’s friend saying to my mother: “Cassie, you just have to watch this TV program.”
It was Phil Donahue.
He was a radical! Wildly liberal and he let it show! He actually engaged the audience in the discussion! But he was in Dayton, Ohio, how would he ever get guests? Somehow he did.
The first guest on The Phil Donahue Show was Madalyn O’Hair, in November of 1967, the same week in the show featured footage of a woman giving birth, a phone-in vote on the morality of an anatomically correct male doll, and a funeral director extolling the workings of his craft.
Not bad for a first week.
For 29 years Phil Donahue dominate daytime television.
And then it was over. A few appearances here and there, a shot at a short-lived cable talker, and the 73 year old Donahue is now nada.
Did I ever think I would get to see an man’s entire career pass before my very eyes? Never.