The producers promoted it as the television show that’s also a cocktail party, but Glenn O’Brien’s TV Party, a live weekly New York public access program that ran from 1978-82, was better described by Parliament Funkadelic leader George Clinton as "anarchy Howdy Doody guerrilla TV." The soon-to-be released documentary TV Party is a must-have for anyone interested in the swamp of punk, new wave and graffiti that was New York in the late ’70s and early ’80s.
The 91-minute documentary by Danny Vinik includes interviews with host O’Brien and regulars, as well as lengthy footage from the show, featuring the guests who came to sit and chill or stir shit up: Jean-Michel Basquiat, David Byrne, Debbie Harry, Mick Jones, Robert Mapplethorpe and Fab Five Freddy just to name barely a few. Other highlights: slipshod camera work, lots of pot-smoking, musical horsing around and make-out sessions, outrageous outsider performers frolicking in boleros and tights, and regularly abusive callers-in who can’t believe what they are seeing and are ready to beat up the "fags" in charge, but just can’t seem to stop watching.
Rebecca Mazzei is Metro Times arts editor. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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