Recently I wrote an article on Al Lewis, Grandpa Munster, in tribute to his passing, and in that article I mentioned having recently spotted Al Lewis in the Night Strangler, the sequel to the original TV movie of The Night Stalker, starring Darren McGavin—not realizing that within just a few weeks ol’ McGavin would reunite with Al Lewis—and all the other greats of his generation who had successfully made the journey forward.

On February 25, 2006, Darren McGavin, one of the hardest working men in show business, died from natural causes. However, for the Pop Culture Generation, we best know McGavin as the man who dared to investigate the unnatural, or the supernatural, and we can only hope that his investigations continue into the hereafter.

McGavin’s show, The Night Stalker, was a really neat series for many reasons, but the foremost pleasure existed in Darren’s portrayal of investigative reporter Carl Kolchak. He created a sense of verisimilitude for the show by playing Kolchak in a believable down to earth and realistic manner. We believed in Kolchak as the reporter, and therefore, we were willing to believe in the show’s wacky fun premise of meeting up with a monster every week.

Formula, yes. Fun, for sure.

But as Chris Carter has informed us--without the Night Stalker we would never have had the enjoyment of seeing the show Kolchak inspired: The X-Files.

I’m glad Darren was still here to see his super fun show The Night Stalker make its debut onto DVD. Darren McGavin and his beautiful wife Kathie Browne were two of the most dedicated actors in the business and they never ignored their fans. They know we’re watching!

But did you know Darren McGavin was also the first man to portray Mickey Spillane’s Mike Hammer on TV (1958-1960)!

How cool is that?

Let’s get that out on DVD!

Also of note—while you’re searching for McGavin as Mike Hammer and picking up the Night Stalker set—check out Darren’s performance as Frank Sinatra’s drug dealer in the Man With the Golden Arm.

A+ stuff from an A+ kind of a guy.

The truth is out there, Darren, but thanks for being one of the first honest men to lead the way with integrity, an open mind, a crucifix, and a wooden stake.

Peace always,

Bradley Mason Hamlin
March 4, 2006

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