R.I.P. Rapid T. Rabbit

As I’ve repeatedly stated, video games are not my sole obsession; there’s also my fascination with wild wild (and weird) world of cable access. And one of my favorite personalities from around these parts remains Rapid T. Rabbit, the mass transit taking rabbit.

The above is Rapid taking a ride on the just operation 2nd Ave line, which was published in May 2017, not long after it opened. Yes, this footage is very recent, despite its quality.

I actually knew Rapid personally; we met years ago at the Museum of Moving Image’s celebration of NYC cable access, and a rather disappointing one at that. Not only was the survey offered by two the Brooklyn hipster curators incomplete, it was also fairly disrespectful. The one positive was the on stage gathering of assorted MNN luminaries, including a man in a large rabbit suit who after making cheesy jokes all night long, the kind that a kids entertainer would crack (to be fair; that’s precisely what Rapid T. Rabbit is), dropped all kinds of knowledge bombs.

After being impressed by the questions I posed during the Q&A, in which I managed to demonstrate a genuine and sincere interest in the subject (and wasn’t out to point and laugh, which is what the curators were seemingly only interested in), I earned his trust and phone numbers were exchanged.

I bring up the Museum of Moving Image’s so-called TV Party because it made me realize, if no one else is going to properly document New York City’s cable access lore, then I might have to do it myself. And Rapid was one of my very first, real deal connections; I still remember the day he called me out of the blue, to tell me that Steve Gruberg had just passed away.

We didn’t talk often, though I had big plans to eventually discuss things at length with him. After 30 Years of Garbage, the Garbage Pail Kids documentary that I was an associate producer had wrapped up (and which is now available via Amazon, iTunes, Google Play, and Vudu, FYI/BTW), there was talk among the producers of finally getting the ball rolling as it pertains to my envisioned NYC cable access doc. But you know how such things go. And until I can finally get underway officially, I really need to start gathering up as much footage as possible, especially since…

Rapid T. Rabbit’s real name is Richard Concepcion and he passed away on August 1 of this year. I only just found out (again, we didn’t talk much). To mark the occasion, I wanted to post the original footage of Rapid and his furry friends playing Super Mario Kart, the source from which the following images hail from….

… These pics are originally from my NYC cable access dedicated Tumblr, back when I used to capture the moment with my iPhone pointed directly at my old tube TV (and before the ultimately ill-fated decision to move towards video, specifically Vine), hence why they were already shared, when discussing CRT Souls.

Alas, I couldn’t find the footage online, though the clip above felt a bit more appropriate, as a proper introduction to Rapid T. Rabbi.

Though I do have additional clips to share! Like the following, which I isolated from a full length episode, in which Chuck E Cheese paid a visit to the studio (back when Rapid was just a puppet). Here we seem him attempting to play Donkey Kong for… you know, I think the Commodore 64? For reasons I’ll get to in a sec…

And here we have an entire episode, in which Rapid celebrates his birthday. Chuck makes another appearance, especially since this time we get to visit his normal digs, at a Pizza Time Theater in Jersey. I had attempted to isolate just the game playing footage once again, but there’s just too much, all over the place…

The last video I have is perhaps my favorite one, cuz it features online gaming circa 1986! Here we have Rapid playing video games with audience at home via PlayNET, which offered a variety of online services to C64 owners, and which would ultimately serve as the basis of America Online…

Am reminded of the “teledataspelet” segments on Bit för Bit

Anyhow, and once again, R.I.P. Rapid. And R.I.P. Richard.


Originally published at blog.attractmo.de.

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