Rap Reiplinger: Hawaii's Comic Genius

Although he has been gone for nearly thirty years, his influence on Hawaii comedy is as powerful as ever. During his all-too-brief lifetime, he created a body of work that has earned him a place in the pantheon of Hawaii's most gifted artists. The countless characters and routines he created were as universal as they were unique to Hawaii. His lightning-fast wit and creativity has earned Kawika "Rap" Reiplinger the moniker Hawaii's Comic Genius.

But this man of many masks was even more intriguing than the characters he created.  Now, for the first time, Hawaii audiences will get a chance to know the man behind the clown, in the one-hour television special Rap: Hawaii's Comic Genius.  Through newly-discovered home movies; excerpts from his classic albums and the Emmy-award-winning Rap's Hawaii; and interviews with family and friends, Rap: Hawaii's Comic Genius paints an intimate portrait of the comic that the public has never seen before.

From making a splash in the local theatre scene; and co-founding the groundbreaking Booga Booga comedy group, the special charts Rap's path to becoming Hawaii's most inventive comedian.  In the process, viewers will meet a man who is very different from his public persona: introspective, serious, extremely dedicated to his craft, and generous to a fault.  They will also learn about the demons that plagued him; his short-lived romance and marriage; and the newly-found spirituality he experienced before his death in 1984 of an apparent drug overdose.

The special wil air twice on-air:
• SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 13, 7:00-8:00pm on KHNL