The totally obnoxious, bonkers world of public access tv

From the 70’s onward there’s probably been some local cable access show in your area that at some point or another has aired some, well, let’s just say out of the ordinary programming.
In the 80’s, our area had a show called “Pajama Party”, hosted by a hyperactive local restaurateur (wierd - no “n” in that word!) who got in arguments with the majority of his guests. There was also a phone-in part where half the callers were just flippin him off.
There’s the classic Great Satan at Large (down in Phoenix area, I believe. Early 90’s)
I would KILL to somehow view the again an astoundingly brain-numbing montage of public access train wrecks, lovingly edited by the amazing Jeff Krulik. (dude behind “Heavy Metal Parking Lot” and “Niel Diamond Parking Lot”, which, in themselves, are two docs worthy of their own thread).

Most of the public access programming in my area is church services, and there’s also the output of a videotape club, the local roller derby, as well as Louis Farrakhan


a pro-marijuana program that proudly announces that it’s in its 20th year. They pretty much cycle the same 5 programs or so over and over again.

Now that we have You Tube, etc. there’s a lot less “need” for public access programming.

[QUOTE=nearwildheaven;19164033 …there’s a lot less “need” for public access programming. [/QUOTE]

Indeed - today they’re much less independent-run, which greatly shortens their leash.
No way could “Pajama Party” get aired these days.
You could say this is more of a nostalgia thing, like the examples I gave.

My area has always had educational access TV instead (that’s one of the options the FCC gives). It’s a lot more boring than anything you’ve described. 99% of it is just a loop of slides showing rules and news. Every once in a while they run a recording of a school event like a Christmas program or a graduation.

My favorite was Rob and Bill’s Talk Show on Cablevision Public Access in Raleigh. They would do hamburger and french fry reviews, and review chinese take-outs. (Bonus if they deliver!)

They had developed enough of a following that the local NBC affiliate gave them a time slot after Saturday Night Live.

Rob and Bill
What a thrill
Rob and Bill’s
Talkity-Talk Shooooow.

I’ve seen a pillow being fluffed by a pair of hands, and I think it was actually called ‘The Fluffer’. For half an hour, the hands stroked, fluffed, massaged, and smoothed a pillow.

I worked in public access back in the 70s and was on the board of the local public access station (which I think still operates). I produced a couple of shows – comedy one-offs in the format of Monty Python (though obviously nowhere near as good). They were funny enough, but too much work to do more than once or twice.

In Portland we had the late, great Jim Spagg-Nudist Extraordinaire. On the public access music scene, we had Pontifex VonHummer.
Here is an example of his music,and an episode of The VonHummer Hour(actually a half hour).

I get Dish Network now, so I don’t think there are any public access stations that I get anymore.

But what I do remember from my childhood in Houston was that various immigrant groups would occasionally get all nationalistic and produce some really odd nationalistic videos with a mish-mash of stock footage of military stuff, real footage of military stuff, and sketchy low-rent graphics, and overlay the whole thing with bombastic or inspiring music. I remember a really weird Iranian one that had the “Superman” theme playing over footage of the busted-ass Iranian military, and then having some dude rant in Farsi at the end.

We got Iranian, Vietnamese, and I think maybe an African nation or two in there.

I remember Rob and Bill! Their hamburger reviews were called grease of the week:
Grease… don’t be a geek
It’s the grease… of the week

I also remember cleaning out my grandfather’s house after he died and finding stacks of VCR tapes of a public access show he recorded from New York City (I think) in the 70s called Ugly George, where the guy would go around and ask random women to flash him to get on television. He was pretty successful based on the amount of shows Grandpa recorded.

This must have been the late 1970s, if he had a VCR. I’m guessing that the show also aired between midnight and 6am?

thanks, dudes

buncha youtube goodness, evidently, for these dingbats. (er I mean enlightened souls)

couldn’t locate any Rob and Bill, but I have enough family viewing of the first two to keep me and my live resin consumption ok for a bit.

I just Googled Jim Spagg. I’m glad I missed his show. RIP anyway.

A few years ago, I was in Madison, Wisconsin on vacation, and while channel-surfing, I hit the public access channel right when a man put a pyramid of 20 cheapo hot dogs on a grill, and the program consisted of them burning to charcoal. Only in Madison, I guess!

I found a couple of Rob and Bill clips. I’ve not had a chance to watch them yet. I suspect they (like most things viewed late at night) won’t be nearly as good sober.

I’m sure a lot of New Yorkers remember Channel J. Public access tv with nudity!