Last Saturday, I wrote about Carl Kasell's retirement from NPR's Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me!. Today, when I listened to the show, I was immensely pleased- one of my all time favorite journalists, Bill Kurtis, has taken on the role of announcer.
I primarily know Bill Kurtis from his classic A&E true crime/police procedural shows, Investigative Reports, American Justice and Cold Case Files. It seems that all of the forensics/police procedural dramas on network television build on the foundation laid by Mr Kurtis' excellent A&E series. As an aside, I have to note how far from grace A&E has fallen, with idiotic fake-swampbillies like the Robinson clan (or should I say klan?) being featured instead of fine journalists like Mr Kurtis. The other titan of A&E was City Confidential frontman and beloved actor Paul Winfield, who passed away in 2004.
I used to work with a woman who was also an American Justice fan, and she thought that Bill Kurtis was a fine-looking older gent. Yeah, there are Bill Kurtis fetishists out there. Every so often, we'd joke about Bill Kurtis, mimicking his onscreen mannerisms while we were conversing (yeah, there were some big nerds in that office). Bill's shows were compelling television, and he, with his perfect anchorman's voice, was a great host. Picking out an episode of Cold Case Files at random, I am amazed at how compelling the show remains years later:
Mr Kurtis also has a great sense of humor, as this self-effacing clip shows:
I could not have hoped for a better replacement for Carl Kasell than Bill Kurtis. Already, he fits into his announcer's role comfortably... this week's show was a nice surprise.