‘Ripley’s Believe It or Not’ – Why Bruce Campbell resurrected classic series

‘Ripley’s’ comes to Travel Channel

Bruce Campbell, host and executive producer of ‘Ripley’s Believe It or Not,’ premiering Sunday on Travel Channel

Q: What interested you in doing a reboot of “Ripley’s”?

A: It’s Ripley’s. It hasn’t been around in a while and yet it seems like it’s always there, so this will be the third incarnation of the show, I think. It was Jack Palance, Dean Cain, so I’m following in their hefty footsteps. Here’s the deal: The world is not getting any more amazing or extraordinary … so it’s time to bring it up to speed. And we’re really just getting current to everything that has happened that’s been ridiculous. There’s a lot of ridiculous people out there and we’re documenting every single one.

Q: The internet and YouTube no doubt makes finding these people easier, no?

A: It’s a little easier, yeah, because you can go to people who already have some form of internet infrastructure already set up. They have cameras, they have drones, they have internet followers so it’s a very logical step to say, “Hey, we’re Ripley, we’d love to show your stuff.” And in some cases, we’re using people who have either YouTube followers or Instagram, who have several million followers. So in some cases, we’re highlighting people who are already popular. But in some cases, we will actually do a great service to people who are either looking for it or might benefit from it.

Q: So in one way, this is a series that was begging to be remade just because there’s so much out there?

A: The amount of stories, yeah, just because of that. It’s kind of a perfect TV show because there is a bottomless supply of people who do kind of over-the-top stuff. They are our writers. They write the stories for us. We just document it. … We’re not capturing freaks. We’re celebrating triumphs, really, over adversity. Either self-imposed adversity or overcoming natural adversity.

George Dickie

George Dickie

George Dickie has been a features writer for Gracenote/Tribune Media Services since 1989, when “Hee-Haw” was still on the air and George “Goober” Lindsay was his first interview. His early interviews ranged from Jim Henson and Dick Van Dyke to Phil Collins and the Dixie Chicks.

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