Documentary on Temperamental TV Host Morton Downey Jr. To Air: 'He Was the Mouth That Roared'
Morton Downey, Jr. became known as "The Mouth That Roared" - and in an incident some say sparked his downfall, he once famously roared at INSIDE EDITION.
The former talk show host is the subject of a documentary Évocateur which is airing on CNN on Thursday night. It was first released in theaters in 2013.
Bill Boggs, the former executive producer of Downey’s show, told INSIDE EDITION: “It was a high point in my life, I loved working with Morton, but it was not easy."
For a time in the late 80's, Downey was the hottest thing on television but his fall was as fast as his rise - and many people say it was brought on by INSIDE EDITION.
"His ultimate undoing was by this show," Boggs said.
Downey was the subject of an INSIDE EDITION investigation when former correspondent Matt Meagher confronted him in the street.
Meagher recently spoke to INSIDE EDITION about the encounter.
“Long before Morton Downey, Jr. was a talk show host and an overnight TV sensation, he was a con man," he said.
"We found out that he had scammed a number of elderly people out of their life savings by selling them interest in goldmines that were extinct. We went after him. We wanted to get some answers. We wrote that we wanted to do an interview and he ignored us."
Meagher had tough questions for Downey and when he tried to get answers outside his studio, the TV host went ballistic.
Meagher recounted the incident: "The veins were popping out of his forehead. He also had a strong oder of alcohol and it was early afternoon. We later found out he had a fifth of vodka before he taped the show then."
Bill Boggs told us executives saw the wild incident. They had had enough.
"That was the straw that broke that camel's back. That INSIDE EDITON thing. They simply said, 'We don't want to support this show,' " he said.
After his show, Downey disappeared from the national scene. He died of lung cancer in 2001, the result of a four-pack-a-day habit.
But he'll always be remembered for his no holds barred style of TV.
Meagher said: "For months, a year, people had watched him go crazy on his TV show and they probably thought it was a little bit of an act. What they saw when we tried to interview him was not an act. They saw a crazy person."
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