Ash vs Evil Dead star and B-movie icon Bruce Campbell has been tapped to host a new incarnation of the Ripley's Believe It or Not! TV show in 2019. Now 60-years-old - but not necessarily looking his age - Campbell's decades-long career in films and TV is of course inextricably linked with director Sam Raimi. It was Campbell's appearances as Ash Williams in Raimi's Evil Dead trilogy that made the actor a household name, at least when it comes to fans of horror. Campbell also played Autolycus in Raimi-produced TV shows Hercules and Xena, and has made cameos in many other Raimi projects, including the original Spider-Man trilogy.
In recent years, Campbell occupied his time starring in two popular TV shows. From 2007-2013, Campbell played retired spy Sam Axe on USA's Burn Notice, and from 2015-2018, Campbell returned to his signature role of Ash Williams for Starz's Ash vs Evil Dead. During this time, Campbell also continued regularly acting in B-movies, and making guest appearances on shows like Psych, The Librarians, and Fargo.
Now, the official Twitter account for the Ripley's Believe It or Not! brand revealed today that Campbell's next TV assignment will be to host a new incarnation of the Ripley's Believe It or Not! TV show in 2019. Campbell then confirmed the news with a response tweet. The new show will air on The Travel Channel, although it's unclear when exactly it will premiere. The Ripley's Believe It or Not! multimedia franchise has existed since 1918, and focuses on unusual and amazing events, as well as people with unusual, amazing, or in some cases even unsettling physical abilities or traits.
Ripley's Believe It or Not! began life as a newspaper feature, and would later be adapted for radio, TV, books, and comics. The company also operates multiple museum attractions that people can visit to see strange artifacts and historical mementos in person. The original Ripley's TV show was hosted by founder Robert Ripley in 1949, although he passed away before the end of season 1. Oscar-winning actor Jack Palance hosted a revived version from 1982-1986 on ABC, and another revival aired on TBS from 2000-2003, hosted by former Superman actor Dean Cain. A film version of Ripley's Believe It or Not!, looking at the eventful life of Robert Ripley, has been languishing in development hell since 2004, with Johnny Depp and Jim Carrey both being attached to star at different points. The project has seen no recent movement.
With his status as a beloved star of genre films and TV shows, Campbell seems like a perfect fit to take over as the onscreen face of Ripley's Believe It or Not!. One wonders why Campbell hasn't received more hosting gigs over the years, as the actor's charisma and laid-back charm should make him a natural when it comes to the duties of emceeing an event or show. Sadly, one assumes he won't be hosting while wearing his chainsaw hand, or waving around his boomstick.