The Eat More Carp Show
A television program produced with the help of a small collective of friends in the latter part of the 80's and very early 90's. Produced long before the days of YouTube and the Internet, The E=MC Show provided a mash up of feature films, music, comedic sketches, and various cameos from a number of unwitting participants from the world's media culture, threaded together into an onslaught of meaningful meaninglessness. It aimed at creating some kind of a humorous, even absurdist way of helping to absorb the convoluted state of civilization, particularly as how it's filtered through the modes of modern media. It would touch on themes as diverse as authoritarian politics, religious inconsistencies, and mass media fads, everything from salmon flavored soda pop to useless repetitive physical movements (a phenomenon known as "slorb").
“This is public access TV at its best.”
- Mike Gunderloy; Factsheet Five
The Eat More Carp Show was the initial foray into community access television by producer Andy Valeri, becoming a staple of the television counterculture in the Miami Valley and beyond for a number of years. Hosted by Admiral Ackbar (who serves as supreme commander of an intergalactic battlefleet when not making cheap grabs at fame through this low-budget show), the show featured an array of his mutant colleagues, often presenting works from the Big Beef film and video vaults, along with guest features from filmmakers and diverse musical acts from across the country. With Big Beef's increasing involvement in music production and distribution, the program series eventually moved more into producing and documenting various live musical performances.
Flyers for the program would be distributed anywhere and everywhere, circulated like any band or fanzine at the time. They would be distributed via not only all of your standard locations such as record stores, clubs and coffee shops, but often cryptically in places like grocery stores, on telephone poles, around college campuses, and on various bulletin boards throughout the community. If it's true that "confusion is the first step to wisdom," then E=MC was a DIY attempt at taking more than just a few steps towards it, but some giant leaps as best we could as well.
The program originally aired throughout the greater Dayton area on the Miami Valley Cable Council and Dayton Access Television's community channels. It eventually attained distribution and circulation to various channels around the country, everywhere from New York to New Mexico, from Michigan to California.
The Eat Carp Show Show
"This is public access TV at its best: things that could never, ever be shown on a commercial channel, not because of their offensiveness, but because of their strangeness. The basic show format is relatively simple: video cutups and homemade films are mixed with soundbites from all over (Radio Moscow to classic TV), and intercut with live footage.....public service announcements and inspirational messages fill the gaps between the films and the live stuff. The whole is blatantly confusing, non-commercial, and occasionaly enlightening."
- MIKE GUNDERLOY; FACTSHEET FIVE
"Where else can you see shorts like, The Adventures of Esther Slorb, a homemade film featuring a plethora of syncopated human robotic movements put to silly music? How about, Apronman Meets the Star Patrol from Planet X, where three space aliens crash-land on Earth and wreak havoc on stupid humans, destroy whole cities (in an animated sequence) and only one man can stop them . . . a wimpish super-hero-wannabe wearing an apron. More silliness. Don't miss the Dragnet/Naked City-inspired Drag Queen, or the bunch of comedic public service announcements.
Take shorts offered by viewers, clips from music performances from the '60s, some music by Cage and The Electric Ferrets, some stock newsreel footage and extras who also wear masks, then throw it all in the editing blender and set to puree.
The result: The Monkees without a budget!
Stuff you are guaranteed unlikely to find anywhere else in the universe…"
- VIDEO IMPLOSION
"This is what public cable television is supposed to be. Very strange and no point to be made whatsoever. Pure fun. Home movies, live bands, fish masks... this video has it all.....odd and off the wall...Dayton's strangest show. There are plenty of flashes of cryptic old freaky fellows spewing on about hellfire and other such twisted Christian flavor, performances by bands and skits by the ever lovable fish-headed host. This is Monty Python for the next century."
- MUTANT RENEGADE ZINE
"Andy Valeri is no ordinary television producer and The Eat More Carp Show is no ordinary television show.....The program features Valeri and his compatriot's college films, old television programs and submissions from other video artists. "Whatever comes to mind", said Valeri.....
The show offers opportunities to potential video producers who want to do more than just cover local parades. As Valeri puts it, the show is a "big democracy wall on video. Just splatter whatever you want on it," he said. The Eat More Carp Show ran on many different access stations credited to "Big Beef Productions," a long-running joke of Valeri and his friends. To this day, all of Valeri's films, television shows and music productions carry the "Big Beef" name.
- THE WRIGHT STATE GUARDIAN
"I remember happening upon this show on Dayton cable television when I'd get to spend time at my grandparent's house back in the late 80's. I remember some weird shit from that show. Well, it's just as odd now. There's a certain feel of naive soul-barred, stream-of-consciousness in much of this. It visually does what Skinny Puppy did with their music; surreal sampled universe (doesn't that sound pretentious?). There's a lot of TV preachers spliced in to ironic effect."
- CORE KILL ZINE
"The music features included are lower end of the food chain productions which could give most live performance shows a run for their money. If I were a band and I were on tour, I'd try to get a date in Dayton just for the chance of Big Beef capturing me live. The camera, sound and cuts are real pro; and they shoot bands of very different styles. The performers range from Dayton to Los Angeles, including The Raging Mantras, The Electric Ferrets, The Tommyknockers and Bob Daggitt (who is the closest thing to Tiny Tim I've seen in ages).
- FACTSHEET FIVE
“You have no idea of the tremendous impact that The Eat More Carp Show made on my friends and I. We were very young kids [and] randomly stumbled across this on a public access channel while peaking... non-stop uncontrollable laughter ensued. We still quote lines to this day! Thank you for uploading this! I can't find my VHS recording!!!!"