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Alan Thicke

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Boomerology 101: Gangster Father

Posted: 11/30/11 08:43 AM ET

Previously On Boomerology: 'Baby Boomers are retiring... let's pass the torch so no one gets burned!'

There's an unemployment report telling us more kids than ever before are joining the family business. This was not a good career move for the Hussein Brothers or Gaddafi Junior but I have a 14 yr-old, as well as two grown sons from a previous litigation, and my line of work has appealed to him in spite of my exhortations to pursue a more reliable future in dentistry: 'Show biz can be fickle but gum disease is forever'.

One son is famous; one prefers to not be; and young Carter is watching both to see which path is most likely to get him a date with Demi Lovato.

Last week, in a discussion about dementia triggered by an all-out family alert to find my Crocs, the 9th-grader said, "I hope you don't go nuts too fast, Dad; I still have things I need to ask you."

My eyes welled up at that implied validation of my parenthood, thrilled to get Props for Pops, tantamount to a Lifetime Achievement Award from an adolescent male who some days would prefer living with Ozzie Osborne or Hugh Hefner, whose Crocs, reportedly, are always missing.

My eldest, Brennan, is an entrepreneur with businesses including a custom wedding dress firm he runs with his designer wife, Dolly, called 'Dolly Couture'. Brennan got no billing, consistent with his choice to live a low-key, off-the-radar life. Think 'Anti-Kardashian.'

And then there's my middle child, who's pretty famous musically so I'm not above exploiting him as I am now for purposes of this column.

When people ask if Robin Thicke is my son, I point out that if you have a name like Thicke or Vandenpoop, you are related to every other Thicke or Vandenpoop on the planet. Smarten up!

People also ask if he learned anything from me but there's no evidence of that because his kind of talent skips a generation.

As family businesses go, I started after college in a bar band called Jimmy Mack and the Rhythm Pigs and I wasn't even Jimmy, just a run-of-the-mill Rhythm Pig.

I would have been rejected by Hootie as a walk-on, third-string Blowfish.

I always believed a part of Elvis lives in me but sadly, it was the part that worshiped donuts, not the 'Hound Dog' part.

I never had any gold or platinum records, only a single that went linoleum.

I had an album even elevators wouldn't play.

Indeed, I was ahead of my time, singing rotten songs in a lousy voice to horny potheads long before Coldplay was doing it.

Overlooking that resume, Robin is occasionally proud of me, never more so than when Howard Stern asked Snoop Dogg to reveal the craziest guy he ever smoked weed with and the answer was 'Alan Thicke'. Robin was deluged with congratulatory calls about this unexpectedly cool Cannabis Caper. (Maybe Snoop meant I was simply at the same party but I couldn't burst the kid's Hip-Pop Gangsta Fatha Fantasy. I once tested positive for VANILLA.)

I'm delighted to report that my boy currently tops the Urban charts in a duet with Lil' Wayne, in spite of his regrettable heritage which branded him for life as the son of a White Canadian Sitcom Dad, aka 'Street Cred Death.'

In Canada, we had only rhythm OR blues -- take your pick, never both at once -- until 2011 A.D. ('After Drake'.)

Where I grew up, 'Urban' meant your town had an intersection.

As family businesses go, music is much sexier than sitcoms.

I had to spank Kirk Cameron for 7 years to meet women.

Robin has 4 bodyguards to keep away the same girls I used to pay guys to find. He sings a ballad, touches his pants, and all hell breaks loose.

My contribution to Robin's career? I exposed him to Notable Northern legends like Lightfoot, Bryan Adams, Alanis Morissette, Nelly Furtado, and Wayne Gretzky. (I know, he's not that musical but no Canadian list is ever complete without him.)

Ultimately, my gift was providing the security to 'Go For It.' I assured him he'd always have a roof over his head and a mid-size car to drive or at least borrow 'til he can find a real job and pay me back.

We're past that now. Mr. 'Lost Without You/Love After War' is a hit and those gangster Vandenpoops can suck it.