In the late '80s, Morton Downey Jr. was more notorious than genuinely famous for his riotous talk show The Morton Downey Jr. Show (1988-1989). On the short-lived series, Downey was abusive, rude, and caustic to guests and audience members, whom he would occasionally egg on to violence by playing devil's advocate. Despite the controversy he generated on the air, the show was not terribly popular. After its demise, Downey appeared in a couple films, like Meet Wally Sparks (1997), as himself. As an actor he appeared in television movies such as Thanksgiving Day (1989) and in features like Silencer (1992). His father, Morton Downey, was a popular singer/actor and early television performer.