Pat Clark

Clark: When Dr. Phil says marry, couple jump

Ceres couple Amber Eyerly and Rich Utz were married on an episode of 'Dr. Phil' that airs Friday, April 24. At right is show host Dr. Phil McGraw. (Craig Mathew / Mathew Imaging)
Ceres couple Amber Eyerly and Rich Utz were married on an episode of 'Dr. Phil' that airs Friday, April 24. At right is show host Dr. Phil McGraw. (Craig Mathew / Mathew Imaging)

If you're a fan of the "Dr. Phil" show, or simply a fan of local folks and weddings, tune into Dr. Phil McGraw's show this afternoon to see Ceres couple Amber Eyerly and Rich Utz.

The couple appear on today's show in an attempt to cure Rich of his commitment issues — as in commitment to marriage after six years and two children together.

Dr. Phil, being, you know, the "doctor" and all, apparently had the cure.

According to Amber, the couple's appearance on the popular daytime talk show came about completely without intention. While watching "Dr. Phil" one afternoon, Amber heard something unrelated to the subject of marriage that sent her to his Web site. While scrolling the site, she answered a couple of questions — just for fun, she said — including one asking if she knew anyone with a commitment phobia.

"Oh, yeah, did I," she said, adding that she and Rich often laughed and joked about the fact that they were dragging their feet on marriage.

Something about the two and their story that made its way into Amber's answers caught the attention of the show's producers, she said. They called her and invited the couple on air to talk commitment — or lack thereof.

Through the process of preparing for the show, speaking to the couple and their family members, the producers also prepared a surprise wedding.

"It turned out to be a lot of fun," Amber said of the ambush ceremony. "We wouldn't have changed it. We knew eventually we'd get married. It was just that hurdle of the comfort zone."

"It was so much fun," she added of the wedding, taped at the show's studios on March 25.

Producers provided the couple — who have four children, two together and one each from previous marriages, ranging in age from 2 to 20 — with a wedding band, pictures and a five-day paid trip to Hawaii for a honeymoon. They plan to go in the fall.

"It happened really fast," Amber said of the big on-air surprise. "He (Dr. Phil) kind of pinned Rich down. He asked, 'What is it you need?' "

Rich said he guessed he just needed a push, Amber related.

Dr. Phil was more than happy — and prepared — to give him one.

And the rest, as they say, was matrimony.

The show is scheduled to air today at 3 p.m. on Channel 13 and again at 7 p.m. on Channel 31.


Elsewhere around the Scene: OK, so these Local Natives aren't really local natives, but you still might want to check out the Silver Lake-based band at the Queen Bean on Monday night. Local Natives brings its percussion-driven indie music to a free show at the downtown Modesto coffeehouse beginning at 8 p.m.

New York blues guitarist Steve Johnson and Those BOBtones return to the region Saturday with Mike Hammar as special guest. The artists play The Partisan, 432 W. Main St., Merced, from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. Cover is $5.

Mark May 1 on your calendar for an Art Walk and Music Festival at the Behavioral Health and Recovery Services center, 800 Scenic Drive, Modesto, to end mental health stigma and kick off May's Mental Health Month. Live music, tours of the Consumer & Family Employment & Empowerment Center and art and information booths will be available 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Today is the deadline to reserve a display or information booth at the event. To do so, call John Black at 525-7368.

The fourth annual Taste of Turlock festival is Saturday from 1 to 5 p.m. in Historic Downtown Turlock. Art, music and a special centennial year theme highlight the event, while Turlock restaurants offer food, wine and other beverages. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased at and these Turlock businesses: Main Street Antiques, Lily's Emporium, Hawaiian Reflections, Vintage Lounge, Richard & Chambers and Center Street Grill. For more, call 634-6459.

Reach Scene editor Pat Clark at