But the bully had demons that he just couldn’t escape. His father was one of the most famous singers of the 1930’s – he even made the cover of Time Magazine – and Jr. apparently tried his whole life to escape out of the stifling shadow of his dad. It drove him to extremism.
Jr. took a show that originally aired on WWOR-TV channel 9 in the NYC-metro area and got it syndicated nationally in less than a year. But by the fall of 1989, it all came crumbling down like the Berlin Wall.
There actually is a shortage of TV talk shows compared to the era of Downey. And none of them light up the screen the way he did. We don’t necessarily need another inflammatory show like his, but we could use a few quality shows that explores issues and leads to new ideas and spurs action.
We got to high-five Downey as he took to the stage with an entrance reserved normally for Rock stars. Having watched the show, I knew to expect the unexpected. That’s what people liked – that every show was sure to get viewers riled up. But like a bright star, he burned out. And yet, a distant glow remains, reminding us of the mighty mouth that once roared.