Top five Public Access TV moments

Denver Open Media is celebrating its fourth anniversary tonight. It's a unique organization in that their public access TV station does not get much of anything from the city of Denver. The government, in partnership with Comcast, provides the equipment, and the rest is more or less done by members. Yet they still manage a pretty high quality product, especially when you consider the acid-trip underbelly that is public access generally. By way of contrast, we present the five most absurd Public Access clips out there on the Internet.

Public Access is a sort of predecessor to the Internet in that it used to be one of the rare opportunities for the general populace to demonstrate the unpolished crazy hidden just below the surface. Below is the greatest hits of what has made the leap into Youtube.

5. John Daker Can Not Sing Of the many people singing badly on public access TV, Mr. Daker rises above/below the rest. He starts in at fifty seconds singing "a song that's very popular these days, and it's 'Christ the lord is risen today,' and he's gonna do Amore too, OK?" It's the eyebrow raises that slay us.

4. Ain't no call screeners on public access The issue at hand on this talk show is "Should New Yorkers Have Handguns?" And, as it turns out, the general population thinks the answer is "Fuck you." There are lots of prank call public access clips, but this one is the best because of the endurance of the host. He just plays it straight the whole time, and even pretends to be optimistic about the discussion at the close of the clip.

3. Colored Puppets We assume this was well-intentioned, but what happens here is that a bunch of ethnic groups, never designated by more than the color of their skin, sing a Jesus-love-me song with unfortunate backing music: Tribal chants for the "Red" people, pentatonic scales and flutes for the "yellow" people, faux hip-hop for the "Black" people, country for the "White" people. Jesus loves all the world's stereotypes.

2. Penis Power vs. Vagina Power Lost in the shuffle of this now-famous, insanely sexual public access talk show is that the host is actually making some good points about relationships when she's not talking about sex like it's a plumbing job. Unfortunately, that's what she spends the lion's share of this clip doing. We'll spare you the pull quotes, but feel free to watch above. This should probably go without saying, but if you happen to follow this back to Youtube you will find plenty of idiots mocking her dialect, and that has absolutely nothing to do with the clip's inclusion on this list.

1. Let's paint, exercise, make a blended drink, interview a burlesque dancer and take your calls ALL AT THE SAME TIME So, this guy clearly does four lines of blow right before this show, right? One of the many flaws in this premise: If you jog on a treadmill, you will be out of breath, and that will make it exceedingly difficult to run a talk show. We have no real objection to the painting (other than that, obviously, it's terrible) but it also seems like a bad idea to use a knife while on a treadmill. As for the burlesque dancer? That's exactly the thing that pushes this into the realm of surrealism, where public access makes its name.

KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Kiernan Maletsky is a former Westword intern.
Contact: Kiernan Maletsky

Latest Stories