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Trick or treat? The best/worst ‘Thriller’ dance routine will give you nightmares forever
05:00 am


Michael Jackson
Stairway to Stardom

Here’s a Halloween treat for our readers. Or maybe a trick?

It all depends on your tolerance for inept dance moves and tacky ‘80s public access production values.

Stairway to Stardom was a New York City public access variety show that aired from 1979 to the early 1990s. Many of the guests had questionable talent and clips from the show were circulating even pre-Internet among VHS tape-traders looking for the next weirdest thing. The appeal of many of the show’s “stars” had more to do with the effects of schadenfreude rather than distinguishable talent. The show’s producers were gloriously non-discerning.

The advent of YouTube has brought a lot of gems from Stairway to Stardom to light. Personally I’ll always recommend Lucille Cataldo’s “Hairdresser” and Precious Taft’s dramatic monologue, but today we’re going to take a look at Lola Perazzo who does an unbelievably stiff, awkward, herky-jerky interpretive dance to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” in a tragically ill-fitting body-suit—capped off with a classic “is it over yet?” finale.
Continues after the jump…

Posted by Christopher Bickel | Leave a comment
A (very) dramatic reading from cable access television, 1983


“He was the love of the hutch embodied…”

Vintage early 1980s cable access tee-vee at its very finest. No liquids when you watch this golden oldie, ‘kay? (Take my advice or you’ll be investing in a new keyboard soon…)

From the Freakapedia entry:

Aspiring actress Precious Taft appeared on Stairway to Stardom performing a monologue from a play called The Gingham Dog. The best part is the dramatic ending, where Precious (playing the part of Gloria) avows to bash her child’s head against the “goddamned radiator.” She then dramatically drops the microphone and the host creepily tells her how beautiful her performance was.


Thank you, Jesse Merlin!

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
‘Stairway to Stardom’: The Forgotten Joys of Public Access TV

Before America’s Got Talent, there was Stairway to Stardom, a public access talent show, broadcast in New York during the late 1970s and 1980s. Shot in what looks like someone’s basement, or the rehearsal room for a David Lynch film, Stairway to Stardom offered the young, the old, and even the deluded a chance to achieve the success their ambition suggested was theirs. Clips of this wonderfully bizarre series have popped up on YouTube over the years, and reveal what fans of Stairway to Stardom have known for years - that this camp, fun and rather charming show is still well ahead of Simon Cowell’s smug, corporate juggernaut.

Horowitz and Spector sing “Something’s Rotten in Translyvania”, 1988

Stairway to Stardom - Opening Titles 1984
More joys from ‘Stairway to Stardom’, after the jump…
With thanks to Fernando Caetano

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment