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An open letter to Dr. Phil

In this week's Everything King, Wendy gets real with Dr. Phil McGraw
(via Shutterstock)

This is an open letter to Dr. Phil.

I have loved you ever since you used to appear on the Oprah Winfrey Show as an occasional guest as star of Tell It Like It Is day.

I went to see you speak live in Toronto once and thought you were a rock star.

I have all of your books. 

I love the show Bull, which is based on your career, pre-talk show.

I say all of that to say it pains me to take a page out of your book and ask: What the hell are you thinking?

Your show has slowly become about two levels above the Jerry Springer Show

So far, there have been no flying chairs, but we have had a few guests storm off the stage in the middle of the show.  There has certainly been rough language (bleeped, of course) and while I don’t recall any DNA tests done to reveal who the daddy really is – there has been a lot of drug tests revealed. 

Every other show we get the secret results of a lie detector test sealed in a big, mysterious looking envelope. It seems less than authentic.

I have spent way too much time trying to figure out why the program has gone so downhill.

My best guess is that there are so few people out there with just “regular” problems that you can’t find enough interesting guests?

Some of these folks are so clueless you have taken to making a graphic on the big screen screaming Common Sense Alert!

Dr. Phil, you can’t possibly think that even you can assist these people. If they aren’t enabling helicopter parents babying their listless adult children who live in the basement then you are trying to talk sense into obnoxious teenagers who spend their lives taking drugs and selfies.

There have been times that even you shake your head and roll your eyes at the idiocy of it all.

To quote you to you: “They just don’t get it!”

I understand it must be hard to find intriguing guests who will resonate with your viewers, but surely there are some. I know the world is in a tailspin, but please try to find some decent hard-working people who need help and will accept it.

While I’m at it...

Please stop with the mid-program infomercials about your new podcast. I know it doesn’t cost to subscribe, but it just seems so self-serving because that is exactly what it is.

As a fan, I have always loved the fact that your wife, Robin, has been to every single one of your show tapings for 17 seasons.  That is devotion! I also am one of those who love that you take her hand after each show and walk out together. 

Here comes the but... but, I cannot stand it when the show is cut short so she can do a plug and a giveaway of her cosmetics and skin-care line. It is so tacky. Put it on your website, if you must, but keep the product promotion off the actual show.

You are brilliant. You can deliver a message with the best of them.

I implore you, Dr. Phil, to remember your own Philisms.

“It don’t matter how flat you make a pancake, it always has two sides.”

“That dog won’t hunt.”

“Does it say stupid on my forehead?”

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

“How's that working for ya?”

I will answer that one.

 At the moment, the downward trajectory of your show’s standards is not working for me. 

I implore you and your producers to raise the standards.

This could be a changing day.


About the Author: Wendy King

Wendy King writes about all kinds of things from nutrition to the job search from cats to clowns — anything and everything — from the ridiculous to the sublime. Watch for Wendy's column weekly.
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