“The Threee Geniuses: The Re-Death of Psychedelia” is postmodern psychedelic deconstructionist public access TV insanity

By on February 27, 2018

Now streaming on Night Flight Plus is The Threee Geniuses: The Re-Death of Psychedelia, a 2009 compendium of some of the psychedlicized parts of a Hollywood public access TV show once described in the alternative-minded L.A. Weekly as the most challenging and inventive structuralist video art of the new millennium,” and the most intentionally psychedelic show on cable TV.”

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Through a major loophole in a left coast cable company’s public access policy, or so we’re told, the show’s creators were allowed to go into Media One’s studios and stage the ultimate televised freak-out.

The resulting “The Three Geniuses” produced on U-matic ¾-inch videotape what pretty much amounts to Pepto Bismol-colored video vomitus of freely unencumbered artistic expression.

We also think The Threee Geniuses should come with a label warning — “May possibly cause seizures” — as we’ve heard that many non-epileptic viewers have gone into epileptic convulsions while watching the film (we’ve also heard at least one epileptic was cured by watching it too).

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“The Threee Geniuses” is a pure product of the real Hollywood, CA, one with apparently no actual discernible plot, nor is there any intentional action of any kind taking place.

The show was simply “conceived and produced simultaneously” — meaning it was written, acted, shot, sound-mixed and edited on-the-fly in “real-time,” becoming a largely inaccessible-to-the-masses public access experience.

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“The Threee Geniuses” could make you feel like what might happen mid-way through watching Dumbo‘s “pink elephants on parade” after licking the parotoid glands on the warty back of an Australian cane toad.

Or, you know, once the LSD kicks in.

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Read more about The Threee Geniuses: The Re-Death of Psychedelia below.

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The “Threee Geniuses” public access TV show was produced and directed by Dan Kapelovitz, who actually shares “writing credits” with Jon Shere and Tim “Mr. X” Wilson, the two other geniuses behind this public access insanity.

Doug Harvey, writing for L.A. Weekly, also called Kapelovitz and his cohorts “postmodern psychedelic deconstructionists,” and auteurs of the last frontier of American free expression.

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Dan Kapelovitz from Public Access Hollywood (2004)

Here’s part of his bio that we found over on IMDB:

“Dan Kapelovitz grew up on the mean streets of unincorporated Arapahoe County in Colorado. He studied film at Wesleyan University, where his thesis film The Bastard Son of a Virgin Whore won the Frank Capra Award for Best Comedy. From 1996 to 2006, Kapelovitz produced nearly two hundred episodes of the highly influential experimental TV shows ‘Threee Geniuses’ and ‘Kapelovision’ while working numerous odd jobs, such as grocery delivery boy, human test subject, and Features Editor of Hustler Magazine.”

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In an interview with L.A. Weekly‘s Lina Lecaro in 2009 for the DVD release of Threee Geniuses, Kapelowitz said his public access show was created in 1996 after first being inspired by two others: Francine’s variety show, and David Hart’s puppet show.

Kapelovitz says he and the other two geniuses had “no concept of what we were going to do, nor did we even have a name for the show until a second before airtime when the technician needed a name to type into the character generator.”

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Giddle from Public Access Hollywood (2004)

Kapelovitz and many members of his maniacal menagerie of would-be and should-be stars — including the lovely Giddle Partridge, who also gets behind the camera on occasion too — had previously been featured, at considerable glorious length, in filmmaker William Peragine’s excellent 2004 documentary film Public Access Hollywood.

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Among the true Hollywood stars you can see in Peragine’s documentary are Francine Dancer, a homeless handicapped bikini-wearing go-go dancer who hosted her own public access variety TV show, and the amazing David Nkrumah Unger Liebe Hart, who — along with Chip the Black Boy, his possessed ventriloquist’s dummy — teaches kids watching at home about Christian Science, the dangers of drugs, and UFOs.

“The Threee Geniuses” also featured late Gidget Gein, the Goddess Bunny, the Bunny Boy, Karen Centerfold, Imaginary Bear, Bear, and Zolar X… or “basically almost all of the most intense people in Hollywood have been on the show at one time or another,” as Kapelovitz told L.A. Weekly in 2009.

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Kitten Sparkles, a.k.a. Don Bolles of the Germs, 45 Grave and lots of other bands, was featured occasionally and also ran sound. He appears herein as “the pyschedelic monster.”

Peter “Sleazy” Christopherson of Throbbing Gristle, Alex Haacke of Einsturzende Neubauten, Howie Pyro, Ariel Pink and many other musicians have been guests on the TV show as well.

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Kapelovitz says the show’s biggest breakout Hollywood star was Stangelyne, a hulking transvestite bodybuilder:

“He was an extremely glamorous transvestite bodybuilder with Tourette’s Syndrome. The L.A. Weekly once described him as a cross between the Terminator and Marilyn Monroe. I even wrote an article about him for Bizarre Magazine, which they loved and they ran, and then months later, accused me of making up the whole thing. That’s how mind blowing Stan was. Unfortunately, he was murdered in a bizarre love triangle.”

You can read what Kapelovitz wrote about Stangelyn (Stan Wright) here.

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If Andy Dick’s mind was blown — the occasional show special guest claims on the DVD cover that The Threee Geniuses is the most twisted, perverse and insane TV show I’ve ever seen” — then you know it must have had something really fuckin’ great. Let us know what you think.

Watch The Threee Geniuses: The Re-Death of Psychedelia — which joins our small-but-growing public access TV lineup, which also includes TV Party and The Scott & Gary Show — on Night Flight Plus!

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About Bryan Thomas

Bryan Thomas has been a freelancing writer/critic for All Music Guide, and a contributor to Launch, Music Connection, Big Takeover and numerous other publications and entertainment websites, blogs and zines, most of them long gone. He's written more than sixty sets of liner notes. He’s also worked for over twenty years at mostly reissue record labels -- prior to that he worked in bookstores and record stores, going all the way back to the original vinyl daze. He lives in the Miracle Mile neighborhood of Los Angeles, CA.