"When I started this show, it was a revelation to all of us how much dysfunction there was in people's lives. I grew up with Leave It to Beaver and Andy Griffith. I thought everybody's family life was like that, even though I knew mine was not. Well this show, and our guests, began to paint a different picture and allowed us to drop the veil on all the pretense and do exactly what we envisioned in that first show: to let people know that you are not alone.
"One of the most poignant moments I remember was in one of the first shows we did about alcoholism. We moved in with a family for a week. The mother felt her husband had a drinking problem, and it was destroying the family. What moved me the most was this moment in that show where the mother's being consoled by her 3-year-old daughter. That, to me, was the real picture of what alcoholism does to a family. And that was just the beginning. People started coming on this show saying things they couldn't say to their own family members. Little by little, we started to release the shame."