July 31, 2007

"RIPLEY'S BELIEVE IT OR NOT" INTRO

The first thing you saw was an impaled skull. Few television programs on Sunday night prime time have ever come close to such a feat, but that was the beauty of Ripley's Believe It or Not! I was ferociously anticipating this television show from the moment I saw its page in the 1982 Fall Preview issue of TV Guide. By that point I was already a huge fan of the chill-giving illustrated strip. The on-air incarnation arrived during the golden age of reality TV. The viewing week already held must-see productions like That's Incredible and Real People. Ripley's was the third prong in the televised pitchfork that prodded my youthful brain into strange, new places. To this nine-year-old the world was already limitless; these shows just proved my theory.

Anyway, all the Riplymainia on my recent Gatlinburg trip inspired me to look for the opening credits online...



Ah, soooo satisfying. I like how it kicks off with the eerie music and glowing ectoplasmic imagery before settling into the classier groove that plays over original Ripley drawings brought to life. That art on that pulpy backdrop offered a perfect hint of the bewilderment to come. Then Jack Palance kept the wonderment flowing throughout each episode. The show's oddities were discussed during recess the following day and the show's horrors usually waited to resurface in my mind late at night. Oops, I think I just re-invited the guy with the candle stuck in his head back into my nightmares.

4 comments:

Todd Franklin said...

Nice to see the intro again, as I too loved this show when I was a kid. I hope and pray that this will show up on DVD someday!

Shawn Robare said...

I love it when shows are "cast" appropriately, as Jack Palance was perfect for the narration and stuff. It certainly stopped working quite as well for me when Dean Cain took over the gig later on.

plcary said...

hmmmm.. holly palance.. i think i had a big crush on her. (hey i was 16 then) and i loved checkout out those ripley books from the library. you know the ones with the hand drawn black and white illustrations. can you still buy those?

Kirk D. said...

todd- you said it. The DVDs will be mine, you'd better believe it (or not).

shawn- no doubt, stories like those need to be told by creepy old guys not some westwood hunk.

plcary- I know those oh so well. I think that's how I got my first taste of Ripley. You inspired me to check ebay and there they were! Must...buy.