Michael J. Fox: Justin Bieber -- 'That was me!'

Michael J. Fox is back on TV with the new hit comedy “The Michael J. Fox Show,” but he tells Redbook magazine his kids still can’t fathom how popular he was the first time around with “Family Ties” and “Back to the Future.”

“It’s funny – every now and then my kids will talk about One Direction or Justin Bieber, and I say, “That was me!”  They have a hard time believing it.”

His diagnosis with Parkinson’s Disease derailed his career while he was in the middle of his second big TV hit, “Spin City,” but after first looking for solace at the bottom of a bottle, Fox says he is now almost annoyingly optimistic.

“I’m an incurable optimist.  It drives people nuts,” he said. “That came through my experience with Parkinson’s – it just made me enjoy life much more.”

Fox, now 52, says he’s not the same lucky who kid who nabbed the life-altering role of Alex P. Keaton 30 years ago. “You have to grow up to raise kids,” he said. “You have to wear shoes with leather soles.”

Meaning no more Converse All-Stars.