If you have tuned into Boise's cable access television station, TVCTV, any time during the last three years, chances are you have seen The Grambo Report. The brainchild of Boise State art professor Isaac Grambo, the show parodies some of America's most popular television shows, least proud moments and worst television commercials.
Grambo gained an interest for performance art while studying painting in college. He learned to transform himself into various raucous characters and batter his fellow classmates with exaggerated propaganda, just to see if he could. He discovered that not only could he morph into a pompous old man or a sleazy salesman, he could get a laugh out of it.
Once he finished with school, Grambo decided to experiment in televised media. Employed by TVCTV, he had all the necessary tools to broadcast himself. With the help of friend Kate Bowen, The Grambo Report was born.
The show has parodied such NBC hits as To Catch a Predator, the show in which police officers use MySpace.com and teen chat rooms to lure pedophiles to what they think are going to be sexual trysts, catching the whole thing on camera. In Grambo's version, "To Catch a Terrorist," unsuspecting terrorists are lured to a "meeting place" through a chat room by detective Kate Bowen, who poses as a "democracy hater," and are met instead by television host Isaac Grambo. He lambastes the bad guys with questions such as, "Are you, or are you not, a terrorist?" Throughout the interrogation, Grambo gradually loses his composure until flinging his suit jacket on the floor, he's red in the face from turning his attention to the wrong victim, in this case, Bowen. It's pretty funny, and pretty convincing.
Grambo says it's is his favorite episode.
"Any time I get to play a hard-nosed interrogator, I feel pretty much like a badass," he says. Grambo has taken the opportunity to impersonate and poke fun at many familiar television personalities, such as Jay Leno and Jon Stewart, but what could be his final on-air performance as a famous face will show this Thursday. Grambo and Bowen are airing the final episode of The Grambo Report because Bowen is heading off to graduate school.
Grambo says this will give him time to revisit his interest in painting. He is looking forward to the "self-reliant" aspect of two-dimensional work and not having to coordinate multiple people to go out in the studio and paint. He's not done with TVCTV though.
The final episode includes obscenely funny public service announcements for products no one wants to be caught purchasing and something he's dubbed the "Suckerpunch Ad."
Most of the PSAs from the finale, as well as episodes of The Grambo Report, are up on YouTube.com. The one episode that isn't available, though, is the final one. Grambo wants the show finale to be a surprise and won't post it online until after it airs. He won't say much about it except, "If you liked Lord of the Flies, Hamlet, Pee Wee's Big Adventure and Die Hard, then you'll love The Grambo Report: Episode 13. Everyone dies in the end."
The final episode of The Grambo Report airs Thursday, Feb. 21 at 9 p.m. on channel 11.