Forced to Be a Father: Jay Thomas

Successful Reunion

Dr. Phil welcomes two-time Emmy winner Jay Thomas to the show, and asks him, "What did you think when you got the first phone call? It was from the biological mom, right?"

"I didn't want to hear about it," Jay says. "I said, ‘We gave the kid up. I hope he had a nice life.'"


The woman calling was his ex-girlfriend, and he thought the young man claiming to be their son was trying to scam him. Not until Jay spoke with the man, known as J.T., directly, did he determine that he was in fact, his son. As they spoke, Jay learned that the boy he placed for adoption long ago had a great life. At first, Jay expressed he had no interest in furthering a relationship with J.T., but J.T. said he didn't want anything from him. In speaking with his son, Jay discovered that the boy grew up in Los Angeles and lived in view of a billboard displaying an oversized image of Jay.

[AD]Jay invited J.T. to attend a comedy show he was performing. There, Jay's friend, who was sitting next to J.T. during the show, observed that the father and son have similar personalities, and reported that to Jay backstage.


Despite his initial hesitation, Jay says, "We met that night, and within two weeks, he was housesitting. He was with my family. I have two boys. It just worked out great for us," Jay says.

J.T. joins Dr. Phil and his father on stage, and Dr. Phil asks him, "What did you think when you met him?"

"Oh, my God. I'm going to be bald," J.T. jokes.

"Worse things can happen," Dr. Phil joshes. He asks J.T., "Were you scared when you met him? Were you nervous?"

"I was, but I was also kind of thrilled. I've always been very curious where I came from," J.T. says. "I have two great parents. I was nervous what my parents would feel and my brother back at home, but yeah, it was very exciting."

Dr. Phil notes that there are many similarities between father and son. "I find it so interesting that you're living in an apartment in [Los Angeles] and there's an 80-foot picture of your biological dad across the street, and you don't know it's him," Dr. Phil says.

J.T. says there were other coincidences as well. He had been working at a record store that Jay visited, and when he attended a recent movie premiere in the hopes his music demo would be heard, Jay was the event's emcee.


[AD]"It's been pretty exciting," J.T. says.


"At this point, you're clearly glad that you got the phone call," Dr. Phil says to Jay.

"Well, if he had been a nut, I wouldn't have hung around him," Jay jokes. "I have more in common with [J.T.] than I do with my two boys now. They see me every day and they don't find me so silly and interesting. J.T. and I find each other very interesting. We like ourselves too. When I met him, I said, ‘It's fun to meet somebody who gets me.'"

Jay Thomas can be heard on Sirius Satellite Radio.