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Clown nightmares haunt public access show

Jesse Nelson's public access show, "Scazz-Rik-Tobin," is a mix of surreal characters and locations, a rarity in the public access television world.
By Biz Bledsoe
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Thursday April 24, 2003

Clowns are scary ¸ just ask the main character of a new public access show who suffers from a reccurring clown dream.

As weird as that sounds, wait 'till you hear the show's name: "Scazz-Rik-Tobin." That's actually what the scary dream clown says to the unnamed narrator of the show. Unfortunately, the narrator can never remember what the clown says, and encounters action-packed adventures while trying to figure it out.

That's the plot of "Scazz-Rik-Tobin," a 45-minute show on Access Tucson that started in January and premieres a new episode every month. The show utilizes the help of numerous UA students who lend their time and skills to make every episode. That includes the local bands that play in the middle of every episode, the local artists whose work helps create sets and writers, actors and other interns.

"If anyone wants experience in animation, playing music, making art, working the equipment, we're always looking for people to intern on the show," said Jesse Nelson, who plays the character Jace.

Check This . . .

"Scazz-Rik-Tobin" airs Saturdays at 1 p.m. and Tuesdays at 10 p.m. on Access Tucson, Channel 72. For details about interning on the show, call Jesse Nelson at 742-1806 or

Nelson also writes, edits, directs and produces the show with his wife. And he's a published author.

"Some of the characters in "Scazz-Rik-Tobin" are similar types to some of the things I've had in my books," Nelson said.

The characters are as varied and strange as the show's name. There are seven main characters, including Sara, a temp worker who gets some pretty far-out job assignments. Terri is a biochemist and artist who is desperate to build a fully functioning human head; Kendle is a road-kill cleanup worker; and Marcus wears only black, packs heat and keeps his job a secret.

All the actors are volunteers, since the show has no budget. The show is also limited to a set number of episodes, after which Nelson hopes to move on and make an independent film in 2004. The episodes rerun twice a week until the next month's installment is aired.

Nelson draws comparisons between "Scazz-Rik-Tobin" and some of TV's most bizarre series.

"I say Twin Peaks, because both shows have communities with a bunch of odd characters," Nelson said. "I also say ╬The Young Ones,' which was a comedy show in the '80s, to describe the surreal comedy and the different bands in every episode, which we do. There's also the late '60s show ╬The Prisoner.'"

One of "Scazz-Rik-Tobin"'s goals, besides outlandish comedy, drama and action, is to give local artists, musicians and writers exposure.

"Two episodes were partly filmed in my studio, and I was able to display some of my paintings and work on the design aspects of those scenes," said Sarah Hardesty, a UA graduate student in painting. Her art was shown along with that of another UA student.

"My main purpose was to help (the show) because I know it's basically a no-budget production," Hardesty said. "One of their goals is to involve as many parts of the community as they can, which I think is really cool. It's great to get my work out there, but that's just a side note."

Sharlene Miragliotta is a UA business senior and plays Sara, the temp worker on "Scazz-Rik-Tobin."

"I try to apply some of the business things I'm learning to help the show, like business promotions and marketing ideas," Miragliotta said.

The show's target audience, as the press release says, is "Generation X, Y and Z."

"I think our audience is college-aged people, maybe people all the way up to their 40s," Miragliotta said. "The fact that there's a music video in the

middle of it and that we use local bands appeals to college kids. It also has a younger cast, and we have cool camera techniques. It's just not your typical show."

Part of what makes "Scazz-Rik-Tobin" fun for a college crowd is the action.

"Half our actors also work at Pinnacle Peak as stunt men, so we have some really cool action sequences," Nelson said. "There's people falling off roofs, gun play, exciting things like that. We might be one of the few shows on Access Tucson with action and different field locations."

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