The Grambo Report, a mock newscast created by Boisean Isaac Grambo, airs on public access television on Wednesday nights. This Wednesday night, however, fans of the popular half-hour show can watch Grambo himself film the next episode live at the Visual Arts Collective in Boise.
Grambo scheduled the filming of four live episodes that will air in the near future on Boise’s TVTV, and he filmed his first live show on Friday.
Grambo invited a live audience to watch, laugh and applaud (without cue signs) for free. “The live energy gets Mr. Grambo excited,” said Kate Bowen co-creator and the other star of the Grambo Report.
Friday’s show included a live “newscast” about the Ebola virus with anchor Isaac Grambo interspersed with filmed “on-location” segments with reporters Isaac Grambo and Kate Bowen and live interviews with health expert Kate Bowen.
Even though it is cable access, which usually doesn’t include commercials in the shows, the Grambo Report has commercials starting Bowen and Grambo for conspicuously named Lincoln brand products (Lincoln Mobile, Lincoln brand soda, etc.). Lincoln, as it happens, is the name of Grambo’s brother.
At Friday’s performance, the audience’s was impressed with the show, judging by the turn out and all the hoots and laughter. This is also indicative of Grambo’s growing success and popularity – just do a search for Grambo on YouTube if you don’t believe me.
Grambo, who received his Masters degree in performance art and communications from Boise State University last May, created the Grambo Report as part of his degree program, and because he has a natural aptitude and hankering to scrutinize and critique American news and culture.
Though the idea of the Grambo Report might sound a lot like Comedy Central’s popular Colbert Report, Grambo’s show is kind of different. For one, you don’t need cable to watch it, and for two, it’s mostly drawn from Idaho news.
The Grambo Report has been in production for well over a year already, but the idea for it germinated long before that, when Grambo was working for TVTV. He had access to a medium that he could use to express his examinations of politics and society to the public.
Grambo crafted skits for the show and started piecing them together for a half hour of humor but he hit a snag right off the bat: None of his friends wanted to be on his show. Instead of giving up, Grambo had a new idea. “I thought it would be funny to have me be all the people on the show,” he says. “It says something about the homogeny of TV news. You are given all the same information in all the same ways.”
It also says something about artistic arrogance. “You have to have a certain amount of this ‘look at me’ attitude,” Grambo says. “There is definitely that in me. As much as I want to deny that, I think I am pretty important.”
Grambo doesn’t try to hide it either. At his live show he even had his assistant roll out a red carpet. But it’s all part of the act. “I can play with that!” he says. “Because I’ve never seen anyone more arrogant than news anchors!”
Rotating on air now are several episodes of the Grambo Report, including the mock of The Tonight Show, the local news episode (“There’s a kid with a beard in the recess scene. It’s great!”), and the “They’re All Coming to Get You” episode, of which Grambo is proudest. “Satirically it is the tightest one,” he says. “It takes the fear, tells you to be afraid of something and it gets more absurd, right down to telling you to contact the station if you see suspicious weather.”
There is also the retrospective that Grambo wrote after he saw the three-hour special on the life of newsman Peter Jennings. “This is the man that made news. He was more important than life,” he says. “So it is all about me talking about how great I am.”
Go see how great Grambo really is on Wednesday at the VAC in downtown Boise at 7:30. He’ll also be there the two Wednesdays after that. And he’ll have framed signed pictures of himself for purchase too.