Such a pleasure each year around this time, to turn on KCTS and see the J.P. Patches retrospective…why all that’s missing are the MAOAM ads.
Most of you probably have no idea what I’m talking about.
But as I was telling a young friend just recently, back in the mad old bad old days, we used to have rather a lot of local childrens’ programming on public access TV. Of course Vancouver was too small a town at that time for such stuff — but Seattle wasn’t, and Seattle had J.P. Patches.
I could not possibly explain it to you…unless in your town, you had one of your own, of these idiosyncratic, homegrown, underfunded kiddie-shows. A cramped studio and barely-sane staff of technicians and performers, very plainly just making stuff up out of nothing, and laughing their asses off while they were doing it. Mr. Rogers this was not, nor was it anything that in anybody’s wildest dreams could become a national sensation — J.P. Patches was a show about a clown who lived in a junkyard, that incorporated long and boring weather reports.
No…no, see, I knew I couldn’t explain it.
Anarchy, is what it really was. Total anarchy and madness.
So if you’re old enough to have had a J.P. Patches of your own, whatever it was…well, what was it?
And…what would be a good way of describing it, to someone who’d never seen it?