Morton Downey Jr. The Pit Bull of Talk-Show Hosts

Morton Downey Jr. tells off his guests -- and his audience

He bounds into the studio with a flurry of high-fives for his raucous fans. Once the show is under way, he paces the stage hungrily, a cigarette dangling from his knuckles and venom dripping from his toothy grin. Liberals are "Pablum pukers"; the current presidential candidates are "baboons." Guests or audience members who rile him are fair game for ripostes like "Don't be a smartass with me, punk," or an escort out the door. He ignites the crowd -- mostly young males who appear to be bused in from the stands of some local sports arena -- into bursts of cheering,...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!