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Thursday, March 29, 2012

Dr. Phil

Dr. Phil

I am a reality TV fan.  I am not proud of this, but it is what it is.  I almost never miss Dr. Phil’s daily dose of reality.  I don’t know whether to hate him or like him. 

Dr. Phil is to psychology what Howard Cosell was to sports broadcasting (giyp) the more annoying he is, the more you are entertained.   You should not judge Dr. Phil on his abilities as a counselor; he is an entertainer.  I do find him entertaining.

Part of what makes Dr. Phil entertaining and appear so smart is he always chooses “patients” who are so obviously screwed-up that a diagnosis is easy.  The prognosis is always so grim that Dr. Phil cannot be held accountable for his inability to cure the problem. 

We never find out what happened to Dr. Phil’s guests unless they manage a miracle turnaround (not often).   Mostly Dr. Phil beats up on his guests to the delight of his audience and then provides the “Best Resources available” (insert plug here) and sends them on their way.

Dr. Phil’s downhome country style helps him to connect to “common folk.”  His comments and advice are predictable:

“You can’t change what you don’t acknowledge.”

“No matter how thin you make a pancake, there are always two sides.”

“This is not my first rodeo.”

“How is that working for you?”

Typically Dr. Phil’s “patient” (target) will make a series of outrageous statements to which Dr. Phil, Mr. Tell-it-like-it-is, will proclaim with exasperation “You have got to be kidding!”

Cut to Mrs. Dr. Phil, mouth wide open in shock and shaking her head in disbelief.   Mrs. Dr. Phil is in the audience at every show.  Her job is to nod in agreement at her husband’s self-effacing country humor, look aghast at guest’s audacity, and walk off the show arm in arm with Dr. Phil in a show of love and obedience.

One of my favorite parts of the Dr. Phil show is when he brings on his “Lie Detector Dude.”  This guy is so serious looking he could set my meter to “Lie” no matter how truthful my answer.  I have yet to see anyone take this guy’s test that did not answer “deceitfully.”
Scary Lie Detector Dude 

Here is a Dr. Phil show in a nutshell:

My guest today is a 14 year old young lady whose mother writes to me, “Dr. Phil, please help me, I just can’t control my drug addicted alcoholic teenage daughter Molly.”

“Well Molly how do you feel about what your mother wrote?”

“I don’t know.”

“Do you have a drug and alcohol problem?”


“Well your mom says you have been to the hospital 18 times for drug and alcohol overdoses.  Is that true?”

“Yes, but I can stop if I want.”

Close-up on Mrs. Dr. Phil - jaw agape.

“Are you kidding me?  You have a serious drug and alcohol problem that if you don’t change YOU ARE GOING TO DIE.  This is not my first rodeo, and you cannot change what you don’t acknowledge. (A rare Dr. Phil three clichés in one paragraph.)  Do you want to die?”


Clap clap clap clap clap.

“How do you pay for your alcohol and drugs?”

“I sell my body to old rich dudes.”

Close-up on Mrs. Dr. Phil - jaw agape.

“How is that working for you?”

“Not too good, I guess,”

“Listen, I don’t care how thin you make a pancake it still has two sides.”

“What does that mean Dr. Phil?”

“Ah…nothing really, I just like to say that.”

“Oh…well I do like pancakes.”

“Never mind the pancakes, if I offer the best resources to help you, ‘The Smithin’s Center for F’ed up Kids’ will you accept their help?”

“I don’t know.”

“These people are the best in the world at what they do.  Without their help YOU WILL DIE.  Will you take their help?


Clap clap clap clap clap!

“We’ll be right back.”

Next on CBS, Judge Judy.


  1. "Veddy interesting" she said rolling her 'r's' and stroking her chin (gratelful not to find any whiskers -- yet...)!

  2. I enjoy watching Dr. Phil too. I always wonder why I never see a update show.

    Dan the Mountain Man

  3. I never saw the show...doesn't appear that i missed anything.

  4. Ah, this makes me laugh! I've seen his show many times, and you have it so right on! I was actually out in the audience once. My mother dragged me with her, lol. She's a huge fan of Dr. Phil. The show was very staged. We were told when to clap, when to ahhhh and when to ohhhhh. And at the end of the it all, we all just got up and went home. I'd much rather sit in Oprah's audience, where during the show she points to us and yells, "And...YOU get a car! And YOU get a car! And YOU get a car!....."