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The Brice Kennedy Show Returns

There is something that I love about public access television. Maybe it's the can-do spirit or the insanity of most shows; a quick keyword search at YouTube will quickly show you what I'm talking about. All in all maybe it's just their fresh lemon scent. Whatever the reason, the kind of programming found on public access has a certain element that no large international multi-billion corporation can possess in their grubby sweaty hands. 

Sadly, public access shows have become a dying breed, a mere step away from extinction, thanks in large part to the net, because why take your show on the airwaves when itself is staring at its demise, especially when you can go online for free and make a fool of yourself and be seen the world over? A idea which can turn very lucrative to some.

Therefore its important, in a quasi-historical sense, to track down these shows and show them to future generations of kids what life was like before YouTube, Metube, Shetube, Hetube, Wetube. 

The Brice Kennedy Show is a great example of what I am jawing about; created by cult film actor, filmmaker, and comedian Brice Kennedy, around 2000 with the inception of the show starting in 1999. The inspiration came in some part by the Tom Green Show which was aired on MTV during that same year. Tom Green and his insane show was part David Letterman and part Candid Camera and it gave Kennedy the desire to create a show that was just as comically absurd and would be born out of the Kennedy's described twisted random psyche within his hometown of Morgantown, West Virginia and various indoor studio sets serving as his backdrops.

Grabbing his family's VHS camera and with the help of his friends he started to write and improv his own sketches, vignettes, and on the street pranks where he bring his nonsensical humor to complete strangers at locations such as Walmart, Food Lion, and a fast food drive-through. Even his own mother became victim of one of his pranks with hilarious results.

Brice Kennedy would then use the footage he shot and would later wrap a talk-show format around it with himself acting as the host and a co-host who would change throughout the show's run to the point that it becomes almost a running gag.

After all of the hard work that went into the creation of the show there was a problem, there was no public access channels in Morgantown, So after a bit of sleight-of-hand and a few white lies here and there, Kennedy was able to tape his first show in October 2000 at Pittsburgh PCTV Channel 21's studios. Yet other challenges and acting opportunities came into play and he was unable to debut the show until two-years later. This would be a pattern that was often repeated when he tried to air his show back in in Morgantown along with gaps in between the taping and airing of later episodes. Yet not wanting to waste anytime Kennedy continued to tape his described “man on the street” pranks that would eventually find their way into the series.

In total six episodes were created including a Andy Kauffman inspired Christmas special which showcased Santa Claus laughing andho-ho-hoing for a full straight thirty minutes. Another episode, a personal fave of mine, is a showcase of b-movie underground cinema in which he had the Polonia Brothers, Mark and John Polonia (Feeders, HalloweeNight, Splatter Beach), on his show to discuss their long career of filmmaking. John McBride (Cannibal Campout, Feeders, Woodchipper Massacre) who is also friends with the Polonia Brothers makes an appearance as well in that episode.

Recently, Brice Kennedy has re-edited and remastered the video tapes that were used to record the show and plans on releasing them on DVD alongside the new media route by uploading them to YouTube for the world to see. The show itself is rough around the edges, as one would expect, yet there is some great comedic gold in each episode.

The thing I admired most from the episodes, I was fortunate to see, was that the pranks that he pulled were not mean spirited in anyway. They were just often weird with the same aforementioned Andy Kauffman vibe running throughout. At no time did they make me cringe for fear of what would happen next to Kennedy or the victims he would pull his pranks upon. The skits and improv segments, a mix-bag of laughs and strangeness, were just as funny and more. I dug it all.

I had a great time watching the show and know that many will find it just as comedic as I did. So go and check it out today and find more info about the show over at Kennedy's official site


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