The accolades for Peter Kelly come from both sides of the aisle, "He is an extremely loyal friend, somebody you can always rely on," commented former Vice President Al Gore. CNN's Mary Matalin called him "One of the world's best great guys of all time." See why in a new CPTV documentary that presents a bipartisan toast and affectionate roast for a man former Republican party chairman Frank Fahrenkopf simply acknowledges as, "...a great american."
The documentary begins with CNN's Ed Rollins noting that he and CNN's Mary Matalin were chosen as emcees because no democrat wanted the job and continues as a romp through the life and times of Hartford's Peter Kelly.
The documentary premiered Sunday, October 24 at 10:30 p.m. on Connecticut Public Television (CPTV). Additionally, this documentary is the first CPBN original production to be broadcast in HD on the web. Watch it online now, by clicking on the "Watch in HD" tab above.
With segments taped on June 8, 2010 at Hartford’s Connecticut Convention Center and emceed by CNN’s Mary Matalin and Ed Rollins, the 30-minute documentary features video tributes to Kelly from former President Jimmy Carter; former Vice President Al Gore; United States Senators Christopher Dodd and Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut, Richard Lugar of Indiana and Mark Warner of Virginia; Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi; Majority Leader of the U.S. House of Representatives Steny Hoyer; Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro; former Republican and Democratic National Committee Chairmen Frank Fahrenkopf and Charles Manatt, respectively; and former Hartford Courant Washington Bureau Chief David Lightman.
Sam Hockaday and Julia Kwon, both graduates from the Media Lab, were hired to produce The Last Bipartisan. Interviews and research were conducted by interns Jessie Sawyer and Anna Nalitov. Open animation was created by Ross Mortensen, based on an original caricature by Ed Valtman, former Hartford Courant political cartoonist. Picture animation was created by Hockaday and Chris Lawhorn. Many other Media Lab interns made significant contributions, including Tyler Varsell, Stephanie Pelletier, Megan Vann and Nicole Walton from the University of Hartford, David Huck and Julia Ballek from the University of Connecticut, Megan Clark from Bryn Mawr, Hillary Malin from Eastern Connecticut State University, Chris Mathews from Springfield College and Katherine Amershadian from Mitchell College.
The CPBN Media Lab instructs and trains undergraduate and post-graduate students on journalism and video/web production. The executive producer of the documentary is CPBN manager of online content Paul Pfeffer. “It was a very rich educational experience,” Pfeffer recognized, “First because of the opportunity to learn history from the people who made it, to the challenge of capturing those stories and presenting them faithfully and accurately..... This project tested the abilities of a very talented group of young content producers.”
The documentary was shot on location in Connecticut, New York and Washington D.C. Additional footage was captured during the tribute held in Peter's honor at the Hartford Convention Center on June 8, 2010.
Production note: The prerecorded singing in the documentary was really prerecorded. The songs come from a Georgetown Chimes album recorded over 50 years ago. And yes, that is Peter singing the lead vocal.