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The Low-Rent Appeal of 'Stairway to Stardom'

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The Low-Rent Appeal of 'Stairway to Stardom'

Pop Culture

The Low-Rent Appeal of 'Stairway to Stardom'

The Low-Rent Appeal of 'Stairway to Stardom'

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/5425419/5425420" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Wayne Rubin performs his stand-up comedy routine in a 1983 broadcast of Stairway to Stardom. SharpeWorld.com hide caption

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SharpeWorld.com

Back in the 1980s, a public-access television channel in New York City aired Stairway to Stardom, an amateur talent show many see as a low-rent precursor to American Idol.

Thanks to the dedication of a few die-hard fans, Stairway has now become an Internet cult hit. One of the program's devotees, Mitch Friedman, shares his thoughts about why this ultra-low budget talent show has such long-lasting appeal.