The original Youtube.
I've noticed that recently the average participants in public access have been getting older and older (aside from high school students from the school it's located in) as the younger generations transition to youtube.
People still do public access? I haven't been able to find much of any actual programming on it in going on a decade.
"The original Youtube"
So very true.
Public Access was for many years the bizarre little alley between local TV and basic cable. I've caught glimpses of things you people wouldn't believe...on PA tv around the country over the years, including:
- Some really crappy low-low-low budget half-hour movie about some criminal gang that's trying to get someone's money and a detective that is trying to hunt them down. It was like a crime drama made by people only barely familiar with the idea of the genre. It's soundtrack featured a lot of the music from the original Star Trek series but dutifully credited the music to Fred Steiner.
- A talk show hosted by some guy who seemed completely baked, performing on what, in retrospect looked like the Between Two Ferns set except much much cheaper, whose so called "big name talent" guests were obscure East European new-age musicians and the like.
- Another show where the host, a stringy haired man wearing a courdoroy suit jacket with leather elbow patches and a plaid bow tie with a plaid shirt, was interviewing an "honest to goodness" space alien. This space alien had assumed the form of a washed-out looking, sharp-featured blonde woman in order to learn about us, and was on public access TV to spread the word to we humans about how inspiring it was when you turned yourself into a ball of energy and shared yourself with other balls of energy, or something. And to prove her alien powers, she walked in front of a bluescreen and POOF! she was just a floating head! I wasn't sure if I missed a part where they explained this was some sort of thought exercise, or a joke, if they thought anyone was watching at all or maybe, just maybe, you know - drugs.
- A show consisting of nothing more than various still photos from a man's travels backed by music he
liked (mostly stuff like the Grateful Dead and Sons of Champlin)
- A belly dancing instructional show filmed on a set consisting of a single Japanese style screen and a fake-looking potted plant, instruction given by a very zaftig looking brunette woman who spoke in a cold, flat voice completely devoid of emotion.
- Some other talk show that cut to, without warning, explanation or segue, a guy sitting in a lawn chair, wearing only the skimpiest of swimsuit briefs, reading aloud passages from a large leather-bound Bible.
- A guy dressed up like the Devil, complete with red skin, ranting about religion, marijuana legalization (he was for it) and how UFOs were manifestations of the war between Heaven and Hell
- and various and sundry others.
I missed it, but when I was in college some friends of mine turned on public access and saw two identical twin brothers who graduated from our high school a few years before we did chasing each other around a shoddy talk show set completely naked.
I'm still trying to find any kind of footage of my one public access appearance (when I was 15 or 16 a friend of our drummer's parents had my band be her backup musicians for the public access halloween special that was going to rocket her to children's music superstardom; we dressed up as badly as possible and played Minor Thread songs on banjo, flute and accordion). I still have the accompanying cassingle of calypso songs about her cats she paid to take us into a studio to record, though, but I don't think it's anything worth uploading.
When I helped out at a local public access there were literally boxes full of youtube gold.
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