Public Access Religious Horror
Public access TV may be a dying “art”. It used to be that when a company wanted to get the cable-TV franchise for a city, the city would insist on getting their own channel out of the deal. Very often, the rules allowed any city resident to put their own TV show onto that channel.
The heyday of public access TV shows was probably the 1970s and 1980s. You never knew what sort of weird or wonderful show you might stumble across as you’re flipping the channels in those days. (Most shows were weird. Some were wonderful. I even put on a few shows myself back then—and they were awesome!).
These channels still exist on many cable systems, but many people get their TV from satellite providers. That means less exposure for the local eccentrics. Also, with the advent of YouTube, I think a lot of these people have gravitated to the internet (What? Strange things on the internet?!). Sadly, the locally-produced quirk-o-vision is falling by the wayside.
But take heart! Some of it still exists! Take, for instance, David Hart. Apparently this guy is well known in the Los Angeles area as a local oddball, and he has made a few appearances on mainstream TV. However, he is most famous for his public-access TV program, the Junior Christian Science Bible Lesson Show. The program is best summarized in this video clip from some sort of BBC program about weird Americans or weird TV:
[Note: I’m having trouble embedding this video, but I want to get this article posted. For now, you’ll have to go to the Wimp website to see the video (highly recommended!). I’ll try to re-embed this video tonight. (If you know how to do this, please let me know.)]
If you want to see the actual show, you can see it on (where else?) YouTube. I’ve embedded it here, but I couldn’t watch more than a couple of minutes of it.