Darren McGavin, a notable TV and film actor died this weekend at age 83. McGavin played the crusty and oblivious father in A Christmas Story ("You'll shoot your eye out.") and was Mike Hammer on TV. To me and many my age, though, McGavin is best known as Kolchak: The Night Stalker.
I never missed The Night Stalker, even though the show scared the hell out of me. At the time it seemed edgy and dark; now, sadly, it comes across in reruns as camp. When I've seen the show as an adult I realize one of the best things about it was the character's ability to solve what appeared to be an overwhelming challenge, even though he was frightened and insecure about his ability to do so. Kolchak got through the problem on intellectual curiosity, and a determination that existed only because no one else believed his claim that a supernatural dilemma existed. The show inspired Cris Carter to create The X-Files, and a generation of kids to think about something other than what our parents told us to think about.
Rest in peace, Mr. McGavin. I hope since Saturday you've solved the greatest mystery of all.