Paul Wilson: Rapp Star ‘Tour of Kansas City’ Viral Video

Screen shot 2013-07-24 at 5.49.01 PMOver the weekend I came across the video Tour of Kansas City and immediately shared it with friends and posted it on my Facebook page…

It was the single most creative thing I’d come across in some time, especially when you consider that it was something produced by one of us and for us here in KC. In case you’ve been living under a rock, here’s the link.

It opens with self-appointed tour director, Emerson Rapp stopping two “tourists” – a young-looking couple with a child – on 39th Street across the street from D’Bronx. Rapp, clad in a black leather jacket and white tee (the kind that might keep him from getting into Power and Light District “where the douche bags go”) asks if they’d like to see the real Kansas City?

The couple look at each other, shrug, then nod yes. Neither seem very moved by Rapp’s offer, but despite their disinterest Rapp says, “Let’s Fucking DO THIS!”

Whereupon the video rapidly takes us to multiple KC BBQ joints, one after another, and after about the 5th “This is where we get barbeque” Rapp says, “We like a lot of barbecue.”

rapp stadiums

Where the losers live

Rapp stands in front of LIVESTRONG – I mean Sporting Kansas City stadium – saying, “This is where a sports team wins.” Then in the next scene, with the Chiefs and Royals stadiums in the background, he says, “This is where our team loses.”

“Which one?” the dude asks. “Doesn’t matter,” Rapp says dryly.

In one of the funnier snippets, they drive down a city street and Rapp tells his passengers, “This is Troost.”

“We gonna stop?” the dude asks. “No,” Rapp says forebodingly.

P&L whores

KC’s home for douchbags and whores

“This is where you see horses,” Rapp says by Kemper Arena. “This is where you see whores…and douchbags,” he says by a Power & Light District sign.

“This is where you see relics from a time past,” he says in front of Liberty Memorial. “This is also where you see relics from a time past,” he says in front of the Kansas City Star printing pavilion.

Rapp Star

Yesterday’s news

I liked the video so much I looked over the credits and tracked down Rapp, the star, and Drew Martin, the man behind the camera and head cheese at MadCap Studios. Both were delightful and shared their thoughts about the shoot and the unexpected level of attention its gotten – well over 130,000 YouTube views to date.

Martin said one of the most unusual things about this video was the time spent on location. He’s used to setting up, getting things just right, being in the groove for 3-5 hours and shooting for maybe two of those hours.

“This was very, very different.” Martin says.

The entire video was shot in a day and a half. It involved 15-20 minutes in the car going to the next location, parking, unloading equipment, setting up, doing 5-10 takes of the single line in roughly two minutes, then tearing down and heading on to the next location.

Where you go to find boobs and lose money

Where you go to find boobs and lose money

Martin loves what he does and his excitement over this video is impossible to miss.

Next I then reached out to Emerson Rapp.

For those of you not familiar with Rapp, he’s the brains behind the Bottoms Up sketch comedy troupe and what an interesting guy. He’s a degreed Industrial Engineer which I found amusing as he doesn’t fit the stereotype of someone who’d leave a successful career at Honeywell to do…wait for it…sketch comedy.

Rapp seems totally blown away by the video’s success, his opening words to me were, “Hey, I’m just the guy who wrote it and showed up!” I couldn’t believe his level of humility and I assured him I was happy to know that’s all he contributed. You know,  just writing it and showing up.

Screen shot 2013-07-24 at 6.10.01 PMI asked if this was all pretty much impromptu, “No, man, I suck at improv, there are way too many people doing it well here in town. That’s not me!”

His only intent in making the video was to do something to help promote the Kansas City Fringe Festival and said he would have been elated with 600-1000 views of the video.

Interesting aside, I’ll bet 90% of its viewers knowing nothing about the Fringe Fest but are loving the video.

I asked both Rapp and Martin the obvious question: “Do you guys have to have a sequel in mind?” To which they quickly said they have no intention of parodying themselves with a BBQ Part II.

“There’s no need to beat a dead horse,” Rapp says.

He’s more likely going to focus on a sketch comedy video next.

Rapp has more Fringe Fest shows this week, all at Westport Coffee Shop.

One is Thursday at 9:00pm, the other at 10:30pm Saturday. 

I’ll be there Saturday. Stop by and enjoy this unusual KC talent and say hello to your Well Coiffed Scribe.

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13 Responses to Paul Wilson: Rapp Star ‘Tour of Kansas City’ Viral Video

  1. paulwilsonkc says:

    I need to correct myself, Drew runs Madcapp Studios, not MadCap Productions! My apologies, Mr. Martin.

  2. Superfatdummy says:

    Nice story

  3. Sargent Shriver Stedenko says:

    You just got called the “undisputed king of KC blogging” on TKC comments to the usual Glazer nostalgia yarn.

    I stirred the pot a little too but I can’t resist poking him with a stick…

    • paulwilsonkc says:

      Thanks for the link as I don’t even read over there unless someone emails me something from there they think I just have to see.
      Flattering, but wrong on more than just a few points.
      One, it was likely posted by someone else, like you, or another KCC fan who likes poking the bear with a stick, and face it, who doesn’t find that fun?
      And, second, since I could not be more a novice at this, it’s hardly true just on face value….I’m no more than 40 stories into what some have done for decades!
      I’m tired or I’d go on….but there are plenty more reasons.
      Thanks for sharing.

    • mike says:

      I have to admit that I actually agree with what Glaze wrote in that article.

      • paulwilsonkc says:

        Haven’t read it Mike, so I have no idea.

        • mike says:

          He sometimes isn’t that bad when he writes an article about something other than himself.

      • the dude says:

        Wah, I’m Glazer and I’m getting old and creepier and nobody is coming to my yuk yuk shack because of the twatter and the face space.

  4. chuck says:

    Loved the You Tube video.

    Very cool.


  5. Orphan of the Road says:

    Follow up, Dive Bars of Kansas City. Or former dive bars/speakeasy-type.

    There is a Missouri one which might bring a chuckle.

    It went to one of Clint Eastwood’s contacts, former Northeast High School graduate and classmate. Worked on numerous projects together.

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