doogie howser md

Remembering 1980s TV Hit “Doogie Howser, MD”

80's Film And TV Sep 18, 2021 No Comments

Doogie Howser, MD was a show that aired in the last year of the 1980s (1989) and ran for four seasons until it was canceled in 1993 on the channel ABC. During its runtime, it had about 97 episodes. The show also starred popular actor Neil Patrick Harris in the starring role.


Doogie Howser was a medical drama show that aired in the 80s. The show follows Doogie Howser (Neil Patrick Harris’s character), a teenager who deals with regular problems that youth face while also being a licensed physician for a program. In the first episode, Doogie assists a person who was injured in a car accident.

Other than being a medical drama show, the show also tackles serious subjects that happen in real life like racism, sexism, violence, homophobia, among other issues.

Who Stars In Doogie Howser?

The star of the show is Doogie Howser himself, who was played by the popular Neil Patrick Harris who became a huge star in other movies, tv shows, and other things in entertainment. Besides Neil Patrick Harris, there are other actors/actresses who played a huge role in the show. Doogie Howser’s parents, Katherine and David, were played by Belinda Montgomery and James Sikking respectively.

Max Casella played Vinnie Delpino, who was Doogie’s best friend, and Lisa Dean Ryan who played Wanda Plenn who was Doogie’s girlfriend are also major characters in the show. Minor characters include Dr. Ron Welch (played by Rif Hutton), Robyn Lively (played by Michele Faber), and Dr. Bob Rickett (played by Barry Livingston).

Doogie Howser, MD Cast

Why Was It A Popular Show In The 1980s?

One of the reasons this show was popular was that it was one of the first shows that kicked off Neil Patrick Harris’s career as an actor. In this show, he is a young teen that deals with common issues among youth (which is another reason this show is popular). After Doogie Howser, Neil Patrick Harris starred in other movies and tv shows.

Some of these TV shows and movies include Starship Trooper, Gone Girl, How I Met Your Mother, A Series of Unfortunate Events, among others. In Starship Trooper, he played Carl Jenkins. In Gone Girl (a movie that is based on the 2012 crime novel by Gillian Flynn), he played Desi Collings, the former boyfriend of one of the main characters.

In How I Met Your Mother, he played Barney Stinson, a wealthy playboy. In A Series Of Unfortunate Events (based on the children’s book series by Lemony Snicket), he plays Count Olaf, the relative of the two main characters.

Neil Patrick Harris As “Barney Stinson”

This is one reason why the show was popular. Another reason this show was popular was that it tackled issues that people deal with in real life. One in particular during the 1980s was the rise of AIDS, an STD that affects both men and women alike.

Other issues that are still ongoing are racism, sexism, homophobia, etc. It also dealt with issues that teens face. These are two reasons why the show was one of the most popular shows of the 1980s.


On IMDB, the show has a 6.5 out of 10-star rating. On other review sites, Metacritic gave it an average rating and on Rotten Tomatoes, it was given a 60%. The show also won several awards which include the people’s choice award, primetime Emmy award, among others.

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