Monday, October 26, 2009

Friendly Encounters

This is another in a series of meetings of my friends and celebs.

When you have gold presented to you, the best thing to do is to sit back and let it shine. With that being written, I will sit back and re-introduce you to the Evil Zebra, who will tell the tale of his 'Friendly Encounter' with Mike Douglas.

It all started back in Philly in the 70's...
Mike used to film his show out of KYW TV-3 Studios on Independence Square in Philly.
Mike cousin Richie Rome (a musician best known for his disco group back then, the Ritchie Family) was one of Mike's Musical Directors on the show. I got to attend numerous tapings over the years (and that's in fact where I FIRST met Paul Lynde).
In the late 70's he moved his show out to Hollywood. I thought his last taping in Philly, which was awesome (I still have the tshirt he gave to everyone that day), might be the last time I ever saw Mike...BUT I WAS WRONG.
In 1980 our Phillies were in the World Series and a good friend and I were always looking for a fast way to make "EZ" bucks back then. We decided to take a shot that they would win, so we invested in a boatload of tshirts.
The rest is history. We were at the game when they won and SOLD out of our shirts.
We decided to use the money to take a trip out west and surprise Dana Plato for her birthday (Nov. 1980).
We packed some tshirts for Dana, Gary Coleman and Todd Bridges and took a few extras with us. I was sitting in Dana's dressing room and flipping through the closed circuit tv that showed all of the shows being filmed that day at KTTV in Hollywood...and what do I see...The MIKE DOUGLAS SHOW!!! I'm like OMG it's MIKE!
Dana's mom said to me, "You know Mike?" I said that I sure do and she said he is filming right next door.
So, I grabbed a tshirt (Mike was a big Phillies fan) and headed to his studio, went into the control room and saw his producer, who I knew from Philly, Woody Frazier...He said this was too good, that the Phillies had just won the World Series and there was already a tshirt for Mike. What he had me do next was historical.
As Mike was interviewing Susan Anton live (on tape), they had me go down in the back of the audience and yell "Hey MIKE, your PHILLIES are WORLD CHAMPS!"
He stopped and looked into the crowd as I was walking down the aisle to hand him the tshirt. His face was priceless. He stopped taping for a few minutes and explained to his audience who I was and where I was from. He took the shirt back to his chair and went on with the show.
Got to meet him for a little bit after his taping and that's about it for my Mike Douglas Friendly Encounter...LOL!

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