Years before Alan Thicke became a beloved TV dad, the actor hosted a talk show filmed in the studio that is now home to Global BC.
The versatile performer, who died Tuesday at the age of 69, hosted an afternoon talk show that aired across Canada from 1980 to 1983.
Thicke said the homegrown entertainment industry at the time was underdeveloped and he consistently championed Canadian talent.
“When I was doing my talk show in Canada in Vancouver years ago, we had to beg, borrow and steal to get anybody in town,” he told The Canadian Press in 2013. “There was no production in town. There were no movies being made in Vancouver. We got (big guests) up because we threw great parties.”
Retired Global BC technician Rob Hood worked on the show for three years and remembers seeing performers who would go on to become stars.
“We had some great comedic people doing his show – Robin Williams, Jerry Seinfeld. It was a lot of fun doing the show,” he said.
“His son Robin Thicke was running around here as a toddler.”
From the archives: Alan Thicke to film show at BCTV
After a successful run in Canada, Thicke took a run at the U.S. market taking on the man dubbed the King of Late Night, Johnny Carson. “Thicke of the Night” was a syndicated talk, music and comedy show meant to go head-to-head against NBC’s “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson.”
It premiered in September 1983 with great fanfare, boasting an innovative format and regulars including Richard Belzer, Arsenio Hall, Gilbert Gottfried and Fred Willard. But all too quickly, it was evident Carson wasn’t going to be dethroned, and the ambitious “Thicke” disappeared into the night after one season.
The actor’s career rebounded quickly when he was cast in the popular comedy “Growing Pains.” He starred in the father role until 1992.
For the next two decades, Thicke starred in dozens of movie and television roles. He was inducted into the Canadian Hall of Fame in 2013.
Earlier this month, Thicke was honoured with a Canadian Icon Award at the Whistler Film Festival.
One of the final messages on Thicke’s Twitter account was a thank-you to festival organizers.
Carleen Donovan, who is a publicist for Thicke’s son – singer Robin Thicke – said the actor died from a heart attack on Tuesday in Los Angeles. She had no further details.
– With files from The Associated Press and The Canadian Press
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