There’s only a passing reference to it on his official NFL trading card — the time when Al Michaels was broadcasting games for the Hawaiian Islanders, the Triple-A affiliate of the San Diego Padres, as well as football and basketball games for the University of Hawaii in the late ’60s and early ’70s.
Yet, it was an important time in his life 40 years ago, named Hawaii’s “Sportscaster of the Year” at one point, which may have launched him to bigger and better things in the sports TV business.
As he was recalling the other day on Colin Cowherd’s ESPN radio show, Michaels actually took advantage of his Hawaii days to take a tiny detour into the TV drama world when he made a cameo as “attorney David Bronstein” in an episode of “Hawaii Five-0” (it’s on IMDB.com, linked here), the episode entitled “Run, Johnny, Run” that also included a young Christopher Walken.
We had to probe deeper into this.
“I got the gig because the Hawaii Five-0 folks were filling some cameo roles with people who were on television in Hawaii at that time, and I think I got paid something like a hundred bucks,” Michaels told us in an email. “I told Colin that I recently got a residual check for 87 cents.
“Yes, it was during the period I was broadcasting Islander games. And every couple of months someone will stop me and say, ‘Hey, was that you on ‘Hawaii Five-0’?
“I had about seven lines that got edited down to two when the show aired. Never got an Emmy nomination, though.”
Nor for his work in “Who’s The Boss,” “Life Goes On,” “Coach,” “Spin City,” “Two Guys, A Girl and A Pizza Place,” or the HBO series “Arli$$” (where he played the cousin of title character Arliss Michaels, played by Robert Wuhl)).
No Oscars, either, for his voice-over work in “Homeward Bound II: Lost in San Francisco” (in the role of a dog named Sparky Michaels) nor for his appearances as himself in the acclaimed “BASEketball” or the lesser known “Jerry Maguire” and “Miracle.” One can keep dreaming.