Happy Birthday Alan Thicke: Remembering the Late ‘Growing Pains’ Star’s Best TV Moments

by Joe Rutland
(Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic/Getty Images

Alan Thicke is remembered from ABC’s sitcom “Growing Pains.” But Thicke, who would have turned 73 on Monday, did more than play a TV dad.

We’ll take a little time and look back on some of Thicke’s moments on TV. It might surprise you to know that Thicke, who died in 2016, had quite a career as a songwriter.

He wrote the theme songs to “Diff’rent Strokes” and “The Facts of Life,” both NBC sitcom hits. In addition, he also wrote game-song themes including “The Joker’s Wild,” “Celebrity Sweepstakes,” and the original theme song for “Wheel of Fortune.”

Thicke also is the father of singer Robin Thicke. He was married three times and had three children from those marriages.

Enough of all that, though. It’s time to look back upon Alan Thicke and his time on “Growing Pains” with Joanna Kerns, Kirk Cameron, Tracey Gold, Jeremy Miller, Ashley Johnson, and Leonardo DiCaprio.

Yes, that Leonardo DiCaprio.

Alan Thicke Loved Part Of ‘Growing Pains’ Creative Plans

Obviouisly, Alan Thicke was a man who seemed to ooze a lot of creativity. Whether it was music or even writing itself, Thicke wanted to be producing some type of work for listeners or viewers to see.

Thicke gets a chance to talk about his favorite moment from his years on “Growing Pains.” He references a couple of them during this interview with CNN’s Erin Burnett.

13-Year-Old Robin Thicke Appears On Dad’s TV Show

It’s not clear who got Robin Thicke a spot on “Growing Pains,” but he did show up on Dad’s sitcom.

During the show’s sixth season, Ben (Jeremy Milker) wants to manage a rap group and asks Dad for his help. A demo video is even done of the rap group. In this scene from “Growing Pains,” Ben and Jason watch the rap group Ben’s calling the “Fresh Kidz” perform.

Look closely and you will find a 13-year-old Robin Thicke make an appearance on your screen.

Alan Thicke Puts In His Own Style Of Impressions

One thing Thicke worked on doing as part of “Growing Pains” is to get the laughs. He knew a bit about this as he was hired by the legendary writer and producer Norman Lear to be a writer for his show “Fernwood 2-Night.”

Thicke, though, takes it to another level in this clip. He’s talking to his wife Maggie (Joanna Kerns), telling her that therapists (he plays a psychiatrist on the show) can only hear a certain number of emotional triggers before they flip out.

Apparently, Maggie hits the limit and off Thicke goes into some twitches and twerks.

Jason Seaver Embarrasses Son On TV, Leads To Discussion

Finally, let’s take a look at longer scene from “Growing Pains.” This gets to the heart of the show itself.

Jason Seaver (Thicke) takes his son Mike (Kirk Cameron) to a concert. As they are walking down the stairs to leave the arena, Mike gets stopped by a TV reporter and is asked what he thought about the show.

Meanwhile, Jason decides it’s time to ham it up a bit. This did not please Mike at all and he shared his displeasure with his father.

A long period of silence takes place between father and son before Dad, using his professional and parental skills, tries snapping the cold spell.

It’s one of the moments that kept “Growing Pains” fans coming back for more between 1985 and 1992. Thicke offers both humor and a TV father’s lesson in this scene.

“Growing Pains” fans can catch replays of the show in syndication. They can still enjoy the adventures of the Seaver family.

As they do, they can remember the humor and wit Alan Thicke brought to his role as Jason Seaver.

Thicke provided so much of himself in “Growing Pains” and other creative endeavors. His moments on TV screens with this bunch of actors will not be forgotten anytime soon. Happy birthday, Alan Thicke.