On the latest episode of the podcast, I express some ambivalence about James Coburn as host of Darkroom. I just don't think he's quite right for the role. I don't want to just throw that out there with some alternative possibilities, so here is my list of people who would have been available in 1982 and might have made interesting "faces of the show":
Vincent Price: No brainer if they could get him.
Jack Palance: He didn't debut on Ripley's Believe It or Not until 1982, so this show could have nabbed him first!
Bob Cummings: He was active in dinner theater around this time, and while hardly an icon of the macabre, he DID play a photographer on TV years before!
Leonard Nimoy: Nimoy can do it all! In Search Of ended its on-air run in March 1982, so maybe Leonard would have been available to do Darkroom in time for its November 1981 premiere.
James Garner: Well, it would freak a lot of people out to see the Polaroid pitchman in this kind of role. Especially the people from Polaroid.
Elvira: Cassandra Peterson's horror hostess character was developed (sorry) in 1981, so the time frame would be right.
Howard Cosell: Sounds weird? Maybe, but Cosell could make everything he was involved with better. Don't believe it? Just ask him.
Ted McGinley: Just think, a mere several years before joining The Love Boat as the ship's photographer, McGinley could have run with the photography gimmick and established a different narrative: The guy who brings fresh energy to shows that need a boost and helps lengthen their runs.
Bette Davis/Joan Crawford: Imagine the two legends perpetuating their long feud by trying to outdo each other in alternating host segments on Darkroom. The fact that Crawford died 4 years earlier only adds to the spectacle.
Ed McMahon: I would do anything to get him on the podcast again and into the 5-Timers Club.