Rudy Panucci On Pop Culture

RFC 64: The Real Production Notes

Radio Free Charleston 64 is online now, but then, you probably knew that. And, if you’re particularly astute, you may have noticed that the production notes posted here yesterday were part of an elaborate April Fool’s Day joke. In fact, our sixty-fourth episode does not feature Paul McCartney, Peter Buck, or Pixar. It’s part 3 of last year’s Halloween extravaganza, “Radio Free Charleston Horror Theatre”.

Count Rudolph returns as your host and this time the show emanates entirely from LiveMix Studio. Our musical guests are Whistlepunk and Mark Beckner and Alan Young of Hitchcock Circus, with Stephen Beckner. The animation is a golden oldie by Frank Panucci. Our cast of zombies includes Liz McCormick, Melanie Larch, and Brian Young, with a special performance by Alan Young as hyp-mo-tized zombie chow.

We recorded Whistlepunk (Spencer Elliott, Dan Jordan, and Brian Young) at LiveMix in February. Stripped back down to a power trio, this band (the first-ever musical guests on the Radio Free Charleston web show) is back in full fighting trim. They electrified the party-goers at LiveMix as you can see in the video for the song “Lost”, which was briefly heard in the end credits of Radio Free Charleston’s Halloween 2007 show.

Among the partying dancers in the video you’ll see Julie McMillian, Anne-Marie Elliott, and Whistlepunk’s former lead singer, Karen Allen (appearing on RFC for the third week in a row). In addition to being a killer performance, this is a great example of the magical vibe that can only be experienced at a LiveMix Studio party. The place was jumpin’ that night, and we got tons of great material to use on RFC.

Our animation this time is “TIMROD”, a film created by Frank Panucci back in the early, early days of CGI animation. This cartoon was created using two Trigonometry Calculators wired to an Etch-A-Sketch, powered by a Russet potato. Actually, Frank did this on a primitive Amiga computer, which had less computing power than many cell phones have today. We were lucky that Frank managed to stumble across this lost classic on an old VHS cassette.


Our next musical guests, who close out the show, are old friends of Radio Free Charleston, dating back to the radio version almost two decades ago. Stephen and Mark Beckner were half of Go Van Gogh and Alan Young was in a variety of bands and is also the longtime brother of RFC Big Shot, Brian Young. Mark and Alan are currently based in Nashville and are both in the band Hitchcock Circus (coincidentally, Hitchcock Circus will be performing as a full band at LiveMix Studio on May 30). Stephen Beckner can be seen popping up all over Radio Free Charleston, most recently in Episode 63, just last week.

As a special treat for this Halloween/April Fool’s Day episode, Mark re-worked the song “Ballet Dancer,” from his old band, The Tunesmiths, into “Zombie Dancer.” Mark and Stephen were also good sports, participating in the “sketch” while I introduced their song.Alan was even more of a trouper, allowing himself to become zombie food in the animation introduction. That sequence also features camera work by none other than Stephen Beckner. If there’s one thing we know at Radio Free Charleston, it’s how to overwork and exploit our volunteer talent.

Speaking of overworked and exploited volunteer talent, we must once again praise our crew of zombies, Radio Free Charleston Big Shots Melanie Larch and Brian Young reprise their roles from last October as does the ultra-talented Capitol High student Liz McCormick, who does double-duty as “Suzie” the RFC script girl. Liz will be performing in “The Thistledown Faeries: A Polar Adventure” at the Cultural Center this Friday night.

Sadly, a last minute scheduling conflict prevented Radio Free Charleston’s Official Barista, Chelsea Cook, from reprising her role as Celeste, the Zombie Supermodel (who eats people’s brains and makes herself throw up). We did find a creative way to explain her absence. We were also unable to connect with Charleston’s master of underground cinema, Scott Elkins, who we had planned to include in this episode. You can also check out Scott and Chelsea’s creation, Kitty Killton, right here. Since we have unused material written for Chelsea and Scott, don’t be surprised if there’s a Part 4 of Radio Free Charleston Horror Theatre.Maybe we’ll do it for the 4th of July.There you go. That’s the true story of Episode 64 of Radio Free Charleston. We feel really sorry for anyone who clicked over to watch Radio Free Charleston expecting Paul McCartney and Peter Buck and Pixar. We’re not apologizing. We just feel really sorry for you.


  1. Elvis Capone

    Lar lar pants on far. I thought the little robot guy was Paul McCartney until you said different. Now I feel like a befuddled chump. A “befump”, if you will.

  2. Steve Beckner

    I didn’t even notice Mark had his hood up the whole time.

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