Stand Up for St. Louis!

Oct 19, 2006 at 1:51 pm
"Whaddya mean, 'What's my favorite thing about Hitler?'"

Back in the 1980s and 90s, World Wide Magazine was Must See TV for the stoner set. The public-access show, the brainchild of loudmouth cab driver Pete Parisi, was a weekly hourlong love letter to south St. Louis. Across the city on Friday nights, the smell of bong hits filled the air as Parisi and his band of collaborators -- including Black Jesus, Vladimir "The Mad Russian" Noskov and (best of all) Vanessa Vargo, the ever-adorable Granite City hoosierette with a song in her heart and air in her head -- created low-budget vignettes, skits and man-on-the-street interviews.

When Parisi died in 2002, St. Louis lost one of its most lovable and outrageous ambassadors. Thanks to the bounty of You Tube, however, a few skits have found their way online. One features Noskov heckling then-presidential candidate Pat Buchanan at a rally ("What's your favorite thing about Hitler?"), another is an ode to brain sandwiches. But for the best representation of the WWM aesthetic, check out this video:

-- Randall Roberts