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YMMV / The Morton Downey Jr. Show

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  • Equal-Opportunity Offender: Many parodies of Morton Downey Jr. appear to emphasize their perceptions of him as an aggressive, hardcore right-wing conservative 'Murica spokesman. But Downey's confrontations were with individuals from all over the political spectrum, not just "pablum puking liberals". He would just as soon punch a klansman as we would a draft dodger.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: Downey's trademark habit of blowing smoke into his guests' faces (to applause from the audience) looks a lot less amusing when you realize he died from lung cancer, and became a staunch anti-smoking advocate in his later years.
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  • Harsher in Hindsight: The July 4, 1988 episode had Congressman Ron Paul (who had previously worked as a physician and at the time was running as the Libertarian party candidate for President) telling Downey that cigarettes were highly dangerous and toxic, only to be ridiculed by Downey for his remarks. Less than a decade later, Downey developed lung cancer and had to have a lung and part of his windpipe removed.
  • Opinion Myopia: Despite being called a debate show it was never one in the first place. Every episode was basically the host inviting people who opposed his own views, but never discussing them. Downey already had his preconceived opinion ready and just scolded, insulted, yelled at everyone disagreeing with him. The audience itself was always full with people supporting one particular opinion, namely Downey's own, so he could act cocky and self assured, because he knew they would never turn against him. Downey even twisted what his opponents were saying so that urban legends about the topics remained intact.

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  • Second Season Downfall: The novelty of the show wearing off, advertisers abandoning the program, a poorly-done publicity stunt, WWOR-TV changing its timeslot (the station where the show taped- think about that) and direct competition with late-night television caused the show to be canceled by the end of its second season.


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