Old School Americana & Nostalgia


Bigfoot: How the Legendary Cryptid Was a Classic TV Star

Bigfoot: How the Legendary Cryptid Was a Classic TV Star

Bigfoot, the elusive and mysterious cryptid, has been captivating the American public’s imagination for generations. The 70s made the Sasquatch a household name with films like The Legend of Boggy Creek and shows such as In Search of… The hairy hominid was a hot commodity, and classic TV cashed in on the craze.

In a memorable episode of The Six Million Dollar Man, titled “The Secret of Bigfoot,” Col. Steve Austin faces off against the legendary creature. This two-part episode showcases an epic showdown between Austin and Bigfoot, portrayed by the renowned wrestler Andre the Giant. As one of the show’s most famous stories, the encounter provides a rare opportunity for a full-on, slow-motion slugfest between Austin and his bionic enhancements and the formidable Bigfoot.

The fight takes a shocking turn when Austin tears off the creature’s arm, only to reveal that the furry behemoth is a robot. Turns out, the Sasquatch is a reconnaissance droid sent by an alien race to observe humanity. This version of Bigfoot proved so popular, that they brought him back for a The Six Million Dollar Man and Bionic Woman crossover episode. He even managed to get an action figure!

Naturally, one would anticipate the meddling kids of Mystery Inc. encountering the Sasquatch at some point, and that moment arrived in 1972 during The New Scooby-Doo Movies. In the episode titled “The Ghost of Bigfoot,” the Scooby gang’s vacation at the MacKinac Lodge is abruptly interrupted by the presence of the Bigfoot spirit. With the assistance of bellhops Laurel & Hardy, they successfully unravel the mystery and solve the case. The sasquatch in this episode seems a lot like his abominable snowman cousin.

Bigfoot Also Had Friendlier Classic TV Appearances

In the 70s series The Krofft Supershow, there was a segment called “Bigfoot and Wildboy”. Unsurprisingly, it showcased a character named Bigfoot (played by Ray Young). In this story, the local ranger station is aware of Bigfoot’s existence. Unlike the previous entries, Bigfoot is a hero here, adopting a young child (Wildboy) and rearing him as his own.

The dynamic duo bravely faced extraterrestrials, ruthless hunters, ancient Egyptian pharaohs, and deranged scientists. Perhaps capitalizing on the popularity of The Six Million Dollar Man, this monster hero also sported electronic sound effects when he performed a feat of strength. It really makes no sense, but is still pretty cool.

The Secrets of Isis is a superhero TV series produced by Filmation from 1975 to 1977. The show follows Andrea Thomas, an ordinary schoolteacher who transforms into the powerful Egyptian goddess, Isis, to overcome extraordinary challenges.

In the episode titled “Bigfoot,” a high school field trip takes an unexpected turn when two students catch sight of a colossal, enigmatic figure lurking in the mountains. Intrigued by the possibility that it could be Bigfoot, one of them, named Lee, proposes rallying a group to embark on a hunt the following day. In the mountains, Lee meets Richard, a hermit with a gentle nature and a long beard. Despite Isis’s invitation, Richard, who believes he is monstrous, is too afraid to leave the mountains and return to civilization.

The 90s’ Had Its Own Sasquatch Sitcom

Not to be outdone, the ’80s and ’90s had the most friendly bigfoot around. Harry and the Hendersons is a sitcom based on the 1987 film of the same name. The show, produced by Amblin Entertainment for Universal Television, aired in syndication from January 13, 1991, to June 18, 1993.

With a total of 72 half-hour episodes, the series follows a family that adopts a Bigfoot named Harry. Kevin Peter Hall returned from the film to portray Harry, the large, hairy, apelike character in the show. After Hall’s passing in 1991, Dawan Scott and later Brian Steele took over the role of Harry. Steele assumed the role starting from the 1992-1993 season, after previously doubling for Harry in 1992.