By Gary Chapman
A few weeks ago, I wrote an article about “World Wide Magazine”, a long-running show on St. Louis area public access that ran from 1986-2001 ran by the enigmatic Pete Parisi. I had the pleasure to sit down with Tim Kniest, who played “Stinky” on the show from 1986 to 1992.
Kniest joined the show because he saw an outdoor performance with his wife by Pete during a shoot at Tower Grove Park when they moved back to the St. Louis area. They liked his performance so they got in contact with him and asked to be on the show. They became the characters of “Stinky” and “Miss Cathy”, with Cathy doing a lot of the behind the scene stuff for WWM.
Kniest described Pete as “funny” and knew how to use music and that to enhance the humor and the tone of the show. He remarked that he would have ideas and call them up, they would meet at his house and discuss the shoot. They would then do the bit. The show was planned with the ideas but not during the shoot, where what happened was done on the fly.
Kniest remarked that they left the show due to the fact that they felt they had run their course, and how Pete’s personal life had to enter the show. After they left, the more famous characters like Black Jesus and the Mad Russian entered the program. He did give praise for Parisi for how he reported on the flood of ‘93, with him going into West Alton, which was ravished by the flood, and interviewing the residents while maintaining an unusually serious demeanor.
He liked being on the show and remarked that the show showed a side of St. Louis that wasn’t usually shown on TV and the Post-Dispatch. He liked being with Parisi, and was sad when he passed away in 2003 due to complications with diabetes. He reported on events with the VP Fair, where they got kicked out for not having a press pass. He also went and tried to film at the NRA Convention and they were kicked out again for no press pass, and they asked “Where can I get one?” That is PEP and World Wide Magazine in a nutshell.
https://youtu.be/C4LdU06HLR0 (Link for the highlights of the ‘87 VP Fair)
https://youtu.be/zjMz_xnVPko (Flood of 93)
Featured image by Maria Martinez Nogueda