The quirky, unpredicted, amusing, and heartwarming meteoric rise of Dr. Drew

Articles such as this, where Dr. Drew Pinsky is a lauded medical celebrity, are a quirky lineage of “Way Back In My Day” and “Who Could’ve Predicted This?”

Dr. Drew: We have to treat mental illness to fix homelessness

I remember when Dr. Drew, a surgeon, was invited onto the radio show Love Line hosted by Jim “The Poorman” Trenton on KROQ 106.7 FM out of Pasadena, California. This was in the mid-80s and Love Line was worth staying up until midnight on Sunday and risking detention for passing out asleep during chemistry and setting the lab ablaze through unmonitored exothermic faux pas easily avoided had I remained awake. Totally worth it.

Love Line had mainly teens calling in to talk about their romantic struggles.

  • Guy thinks I’m ugly and it’s breaking my heart.
  • Do I masturbate in the locker room too much (always “yes”)?
  • My boyfriend found out I’m dating his dad’s mother’s uncle.

Poorman and whoever he had guesting – usually band members – had fun with the callers, essentially a real time tongue in cheek Dear Abby.

The show grew in popularity and callers began bringing up topics like pregnancy, STDs, birth control, etc. The show started becoming a venue to get medical information and (limited) advice. Poorman and friends couldn’t field these topics, so KROQ brought in Dr. Drew.

Love Line hosted by Poorman on KROQ 106.7 FM in the mid-80s … this is where Dr. Drew got his start as a medical guru media celebrity.

It’s a quirky lineage from the 80s to here and now, so articles like this where Dr. Drew is revered as a social-medical advisory icon are tempered by my high school Sunday night ritual of listening to Love Line on my clock radio until midnight. It’s amusing and heartwarming seeing Dr. Drew as a trusted and influential voice of medical advocacy, thinking back on his humble beginnings as a surgeon brought on to a Sunday late night radio show to answer teen questions about crabs.

Epilogue: Truth. I did set the chemistry lab aflame falling asleep after listening to Love Line the night before. The statute of limitatons is long past so I’m golden talking about this freely. In the immortal words of MC Hammer:

“Where did all my money go?”


“Can’t touch this.”

Reprinted with kind permission of
Steve’s Thoughtcrimes.

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