Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Alan Thicke Talks 'Growing Pains' and Reno Pains on 'Unusually Thicke'

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Alan Thicke Talks 'Growing Pains' and Reno Pains on 'Unusually Thicke'

Article excerpt

Alan Thicke on reno pains and 'Growing Pains'

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TORONTO - Alan Thicke has been through many growing pains.

These days they're over his house, as it undergoes renovations on the second season of his reality/sitcom hybrid "Unusually Thicke," premiering Thursday with back-to-back episodes at 10pm ET/PT on HGTV Canada.

Thirty years ago, they pertained to his life and career.

That's when Thicke took on the role of the patriarch on the sitcom "Growing Pains," which hits its 30th anniversary on Sept. 24 and came "at a very fortuitous time" for both him and co-star Joanna Kerns, he said.

"The show came along after we had both been cancelled from a previous series," Thicke recalled recently from his home near Santa Barbara, Calif.

"Mine was very public and humiliating. It was the 'Thicke of the Night' debacle, which was a pretty horrible talk show that I did down here, which lasted a full year and in retrospect did the kind of ratings that -- if they happened now in this fractured late-night environment -- I'd probably have a building named after me.

"But back then it was just me and Johnny Carson and he kicked my ass."

Meanwhile, he and Kerns were also going through divorces and "were suddenly single parents."

"So we had a lot of chemistry and bonding from the beginning, and I will always be grateful for that show to have come along," said Thicke, 68.

"I could've been driving the Zamboni for the Maple Leafs now if that hadn't saved my life. People ask, 'Do you try to get away from that image or away from the association with that show?' and the answer is 'no.'"

Thicke said he and his castmates -- who also included Kirk Cameron, Tracey Gold and Jeremy Miller -- "were genuinely a close and loving family" who never missed each other's birthday parties or special occasions.

They also relished in guest spots by up-and-comers including Hilary Swank, Matthew Perry and Leonardo DiCaprio, who played a homeless boy taken in by the Seaver family. …

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