Why I LOVE Reality Police Shows & Sheriff John Bunnell

John Bunnell

We’ve got an absolute plethora of reality police shows on our screens at moment, such as Send In The Dogs and Car Crime UK, and as entertaining as our home grown police shows are, they’re not nearly as good as the American ones.

My absolute favourites are the ones which feature the silver haired ex-Sheriff John Bunnell whose gung-ho all American attitude makes his narration of COPS and World’s Wildest Police Chases just so dang entertaining. He generally opens the shows with the same line…

“Hi, I’m Sheriff John Bunnell. In the next thirty minutes, you’ll witness some of the world’s worst drivers, and world’s wildest police chases.”

He’s also presented similar shows such as, Train Wrecks and many other police related specials, including, World’s Scariest Police Stings, and World’s Craziest Police Chases. He also appeared on Americas Most Wanted for six years.

The man has an encyclopaedic store of clichés, puns and classic one liners, and he delivers them in a manner that Uncle Sam himself might have done. For instance, he says things like, “This man decided to rob a bank, but now he’ll learn, crime just doesn’t pay.”

Other classics include, “These teenage junkies were looking for a nicotine fix… but their smoking proved harmful to everyone’s health.”

Brilliant. Here are a few more of Bunnell’s great lines…

“This crazed madman used a cell phone while trying to escape the LAPD, but the only phone he’ll be using from now on in, is the one at the state pen.”

“Whenever you’re in a high-speed chase, it’s going to be dangerous, but when you’re involved in a high speed chase going 100 MPH down the wrong way of the highway, then it’s really dangerous.”

“This idiot went the wrong way down a one way street; the cops gave him a one way ticket… straight to jail!”

“In this case, it was out of the frying pan and into the jail cell.”

And finally, “When the devil comes down to Georgia, he brings a fast car, a bad attitude, and a bag of dope.”

Let’s take a look at the legend that is Sheriff John Bunnell in corny narrative action…

I honestly think his hair was the blueprint for the Lego men’s hair and did you ever see such straight white teeth? They even rival Simon Cowell’s, as does his Tango-esque fake tan. Epic stuff.

Here’s another clip when John’s narrating the action as cops corner another criminal…

The man is a legend! However, I was surprised to discover he was only a Sheriff for six months, but he’s retained the title, mostly to add gravitas to his presenting roles. He does have a long career in the police force though; Bunnell first joined the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office in 1969 and in the following 25 years, he worked his way through the ranks to become Chief Deputy.

Then, when Sheriff Robert G. Skipper retired in 1994, he appointed Bunnell as his replacement. Sheriff Bunnell took the oath of office on November 30th, 1994 and stayed in the job until May of 1995.

He then went on to his TV career and as well as presenting dozens of police shows, he’s also had roles in a couple of films, one of which was Bad Santa. Here’s a clip of him in action in the film… but be warned, this clip contains some swearing. Yes, the silver fox Bunnell does in fact swear when it’s needed.

I could watch him all day, just because he adds a level of cheesiness that you just don’t get here in the UK. Can you imagine for instance Alistair Stewart narrating Police, Camera, Action with quite the same aplomb? No, nor can I.

If you want to learn more about Sheriff John Bunnell, or just find out what he’s up to, you can join his Facebook site here or check him out on Myspace, here.


Lynn is an editor and writer here at Unreality TV and is trained psychotherapist and the author of two books. She's addicted to soaps, period drama and reality TV shows such as X Factor, I'm A Celeb and Big Brother.