Spike the Wonder Dog is back.
Northeast Philly native Bill Boggs, who has had a long career in the entertainment field, published The Adventures of Spike the Wonder Dog in 2020.
Spike was Boggs’ English bull terrier who was a staple of Southern Exposure, a syndicated TV show based in High Point, North Carolina hosted by Boggs. Sadly, Spike was killed by a speeding car.
Boggs ultimately left Southern Exposure to host a daily TV show in New York.
Years later, he wrote a book – The Adventures of Spike the Wonder Dog – that centered on how things would have turned out if Spike lived and went with his owner Bud to New York.
Now, fans of the English bull terrier can catch up on his latest exploits in Spike Unleashed, The Wonder Dog Returns.
Post Hill Press published the book on July 18, and there was advance praise from the likes of Hall of Fame broadcaster Bob Costas, actress Lucie Arnaz and actor/comedian Joe Piscopo.
“It gives the book a little bit of stature,” Boggs said of the celebrity praise, during a phone interview from his home in East Hampton, Long Island.
Boggs splits his time living in East Hampton, Manhattan and Palm Beach, Florida. His son, Trevor, lives in Canada.
Boggs grew up on Walker Street in the Tacony/Mayfair area and attended Disston Elementary School and Abraham Lincoln High School (class of January 1959), where he was involved in drama and student government and learned the art of public speaking.
“I loved Lincoln. Lincoln formed me,” said Boggs, who was inducted into the school’s Hall of Fame.
Boggs, who was inducted into the Northeast Philadelphia Hall of Fame in 2016, gets back to his native city for dental appointments and to visit his cousins.
“I will never lose touch with Philadelphia,” he said.
Boggs, a Penn grad, has also written a novel and a self-help book. Among his many jobs in the entertainment industry are host of TimeOut on Channel 3, executive producer of the Morton Downey Jr. Show and correspondent on My Generation, on PBS.
The latest Spike book (as told to Bill Boggs) is 376 pages and includes illustrations by Jacob Below. Boggs is promoting it on social media, will do an author talk at the East Hampton Library on Saturday and has an upcoming stop at Molloy University on Long Island.
Boggs describes the book as a satire filled with humor and social commentary. It’s not a memoir but contains elements of his life.
“The book is designed to make you laugh,” he said. “There are loads of funny characters in the book.”
A heroic deed leads Spike to be on Saturday Night Live and in a movie with Kate McKinnon, Jim Carrey, Tim Allen, Lucie Arnaz and Prince Harry that films in Palm Beach, Florida. He gets to meet Nancy Pelosi, and Howard Stern dubs him the “Canine King of All Media.”
The book has a few Philly references – the Eagles winning the Super Bowl, Chickie’s & Pete’s and Sylvester Stallone, a former Lincoln student.
“There are a lot of celebrities in the book,” Boggs said.
In the book, Bud (Spike’s owner) wants to buy the High Point, North Carolina TV station where he and his pet host Southern Exposure.
They live in New York for a while (there’s a chapter titled The City That Never Sweeps) and in East Hampton, where Spike is called on to perform another heroic deed involving his old nemesis, Ike “I Got Money” Piles.
Will Spike get the best of Piles again?
If Boggs has his way, we haven’t heard the last from Bud, Spike and his girlfriend, Daisy. He’s written more than 600 pages on Spike and will be pitching a streaming cartoon series starring the dog.
On a related note, Boggs is eager to see how the R-rated comedy Strays fares when it hits movie theaters on Aug. 18. Will Ferrell and Jamie Foxx voice a Border Terrier and Boston Terrier in the film.
“I’m hoping this genre of raunchy dog stories catches on,” Boggs said. ••
For more information or to buy the book, visit spikethewonderdog.com and click “Order Now,” go to Amazon.com, follow Real Bill Boggs on Instagram or subscribe for free to BillBoggsTV on YouTube. A portion of book sales will go to animal rescue organizations.