You want to really know where to go to spot Bigfoot or Sasquatch or the Yeti? I’ll tell you where you can mind this mythical creature no matter what you call him. You ready? It’s not the Pacific Northwest. It’s not the Himalayas. Where is Bigfoot waiting to be found? Television. Specifically, your favorite TV series. Just be aware that Sasquatch may not necessarily be what you expect to find.
Here Come the Brides
It is worth remembering that Bigfoot was for most of the existence of America a regional legend. Therefore it is not really surprising that one of the first TV shows to ever mention Bigfoot would be “Here Come the Brides” which is set in Sasquatch’s back yard. More surprising is intelligently the legend of Bigfoot is handled by this often goofy little series. When a man arrives in town with stories of being attacked by Bigfoot, the residents are about equally split between non-believers, agnostics and true believers. The real focus of this television reference to Sasquatch centered on testing that belief. Is the hairy beast real? Is he just a figment of fearful imaginations. Is the old hermit who lives in a cave somehow connected to the legends? You’ll have to track it down to get the fascinating answer.
Who knew that Bigfoot was actually a fat bald guy with a love of pork chops? One of the earliest classic episodes of “The Simpsons” occurred in the very first season of the show and revolved around Our Favorite Family getting stranded on a camping trip. The womenfolk and menfolk get separate and through a series of bizarre events that could only occur to Homer Simpson, he winds up getting stung by bees, covered in mud and mistaken for Bigfoot. Soon enough, the tabloids, scientists and just about everybody else descend upon the great outdoors to hunt for Sasquatch. Classic.
The Six Million Dollar Man
The legend of Bigfoot really didn’t spread from a mostly regional obsession into a national craze until the late 1960s and early 1970s. One of the first TV shows to exploit the explosion of interest in Sasquatch was “The Six Million Dollar Man.” Since this action series centered on the advancement of technology, it was not nearly enough for Bigfoot to be some kind of missing animal link. No, the Bigfoot on “The Six Million Dollar Man” turned out to still be one of the most strangely creative takes on the legend ever aired on TV. Bigfoot, it turns out, is an android built by aliens. I’m not kidding. The role of Bigfoot on “The Six Million Dollar Man” was originated by Andre the Giant, by the way, though most people tend to remember Ted Cassidy.
Mystery writer Rick Castle has a penchant for jumping to the least logical conclusion when he is busy helping the NYPD solve murders. He has fingered vampires, zombies and ghosts as suspects and in the episode “The Fast and the Furriest” he is ready to pin the murder on none other than Bigfoot. Of course, since this is at heart a realistic murder mystery series–as much as it can be–the Bigfoot theory soon gives way to an investigation into big game hunting and animal research. But before that, “Castle” manages to Mulder and Scully a subject of legendary mystery that–oddly–the real deal never did. And, no, that “Jersey Devil” episode doesn’t count.