Ken Boxer Live presents Paul Petersen as its next guest. An actor, singer, novelist, activist—and former Mouseketeer— Petersen is widely remembered for his character Jeff Stone in the 1958 through 1966 television series The Donna Reed Show, a show that resonated well with the mores of late 50’s-early ’60’s American culture.
It, along with similarly themed shows like Father Knows Best, Ozzie and Harriet, and My Three Sons, solidly depicted what was then viewed as the ideal American family life: a father who worked to support his family, a mother who raised her adorable children, and dutifully obedient kids who knew without question that Father truly does know best. Our national collective memory still views that period—usually nostalgically, but always incorrectly—through that lens.
During various episodes, Petersen had many opportunities to showcase his singing talents, which placed him on the early ’60s pop charts with hits such as “She Can’t Find Her Keys,” “Lollipops and Roses”, and “My Dad,” which you can view with the YouTube link nearby.
After The Donna Reed Show ended in 1966, and finding himself haplessly and indelibly typecast as the all-American, clean-cut teen, Petersen found himself lost and abandoned, a teen-crooning relic out-of-step with the growing influence of the counterculture then taking hold of American youth. His singing and acting career waned. Making a wise, albeit forced, choice, he enrolled at college to begin a writing career, ultimately penning 16 very successful books.
“The Donna Reed Show”
Later in life, reflecting back on the special troubles child actors, such as he, endured after fame had vanished, Petersen created “A Minor Consideration,” an outreach program to protect the interests (emotional, financial, and legal) of former child stars.
For more biographical information about Paul Petersen, please visit his IMDb page.
Ken and Tai welcome Paul Petersen to the Ken Boxer Live set. Please join us for an exciting interview.
We have limited seating available for audience members. If you would like complimentary tickets to our in-studio broadcast at the TVSB studios in Santa Barbara, please click here. This show tapes on Monday, January 11th. Audience members generally arrive by 6:30 pm and take their seats at 6:45 pm.
(This episode first airs Thursday, 01/14/2016, 10:00 PM, on TVSB-17, and is replayed numerous times throughout the following 14 days. You will find a complete schedule of times here. Additionally, a YouTube link to this episode, available about 24 hours before original airtime, will display immediately below.)