Michael D has gone to the dogs

Dr. Michael D. Forcier

If you lived in the Lowcountry 20 years ago, you might remember Michael D, a voice on the radio that either made you mad or made you laugh so hard you wet your pants.

During those delicious days of raucous morning radio, Michael D was on a roll, jumping from Q-107 to 95-SX to 98 Rock during a 10-year career that earned him a reputation that ranged from funny to obnoxious.

"When I first came to Charleston, I was told I could do whatever I wanted to do on the air," he said in a recent interview. "So I did."

That included calling people up on the phone early in the morning. People like congressmen. Members of the European Ryder Cup team. He didn't care. He was living the life. He was Michael D.

That persona seemed a long way from the 51-year-old guy I visited earlier this week who was giving an injection to a tiny Maltese dog named Max.

Michael D the shock jock, you see, went on to become Dr. Michael D. Forcier, a mild-mannered veterinarian in Mount Pleasant.

Wake-up calls

Born and raised in Apple Valley, Minn., Forcier said he got in some typical teenage trouble before going to a broadcast school and landing his first radio job in Lemon, S.D.

"The radio station was a trailer in front of a petrified forest," he said as he treated people's pets at Animal Medical Center on Houston Northcutt Boulevard. "That first winter we had a blizzard so bad they had to air-drop food to the town."

From there he went to stations in Green Bay, Wis., and Fort Collins, Colo., before coming to WKQB in St. George in 1986.

"It was morning radio," he said. "I would find a topic and badger people to death about it. I'd either make them laugh or (tick) them off. I kind of operated beyond the rules."

His trademark "wake-up calls" drew an audience that made him one of the top DJs in the market during a time when the Lowcountry was listening.

"Hurricane Hugo really made the show," he said.

Radio is a drug

His career peaked in the mid-90s. By the time he was doing his thing on 98 Rock FM, the gig was growing old.

"Radio is a drug," he said of his decision to leave radio at the age of 34. "I finally got tired of it and walked out."

Married with children, Forcier moved to Columbia where he graduated from USC with a degree in biology. He was accepted into vet school in his home state of Minnesota, and four years later returned to the Lowcountry as Michael D. Forcier, DVM.

Ironically, his office today is next door to a radio station.

"Occasionally I walk over there and chat with the DJs," he said. "But the business has changed a lot."

And what would he do if a shock jock called his house at 6 a.m. wanting to badger him about something?

"I'd hang up the phone," he said with a laugh.