Paradise to Paradise: The Rap Reiplinger Story
Author: Leesa Clark Stone | Paperback
More than four decades after redefining comedy in Hawai‘i, Rap Reiplinger and his humor are still making people laugh. His iconic catch phrases are forever carved in the memory banks of fans old and new, whether they live in Hawai‘i or have migrated elsewhere. Finally, here is a biography by his widow, Leesa Clark Stone, sharing his life and legacy through her personal perspective.
Rap’s one-liners are comedic glue that bind people together and bridge generations whenever anyone takes a sip of wine and declares it, “Not too sweet, not too rancid, but jesss right!” That line and other “Rapisms” make folks laugh, and, whatever their differences, they find common ground in Rap‘s unique perspective on Hawai‘i’s ethnic melting pot.
These catch phrases are so ingrained in the lexicon and culture of Hawai‘i that many people who say them today do not even know where they originated. The source is the man whose story lies in the pages of this book.
The New Yorker Magazine called Rap, “Hawaii’s most popular comedian. . . in the tradition of Mort Sahl and Lenny Bruce.” Rap was the first in Hawai‘i to win an Emmy award, when his television show, Rap’s Hawaii earned the honor for Outstanding Achievement/Entertainment Special.
Rap’s groundbreaking work as one of the founding members of the theatrical comedy ensemble Booga Booga, and his solo material have indelibly stamped Rap’s name in the rich history of the Hawaiian Renaissance, a revolutionary cultural and artistic movement.
Author Bio: Leesa Clark Stone, is a journalist who previously worked at Honolulu ABC affiliate KITV. She is the widow of Rap Reiplinger and, through this book, provides an intimate look inside the life of one of Hawaiʻi’s best- loved entertainers. She combines her memories and insight with those of people who knew and were close to Rap. The result is a book full of never-heard-before anecdotes and stories that will make readers laugh, maybe cry, and, in the end, come away with a greater understanding of the complex man behind the laughs.
“It’s a great read! It is a compelling and funny story – a real look at the life and times of a comic genius. This book also perfectly captures the essence of that revolutionary time in our cultural history known as the Hawaiian Renaissance in a way that no book that I am aware of, has ever done before.” --ED KAʻAHEA, Founding member, comedy ensemble Booga Booga
“It's a fascinating read. Fun, many moments of keen reporting, tons of warmth, and a tsunami of riotous memories.” --WAYNE HARADA, Honolulu Star-Advertiser
“Rap created brilliant characters and perfect lines that became part of our shared culture in Hawaiʻi. My grandchildren use expressions that he created decades before they were born! Now Leesa’s book is available for them to learn where it all started...and for us to have a great time laughing and remembering how we were affected by that genius of a man. It’s well-written and much appreciated!” --MICHAEL W. PERRY, Perry & the Posse, KSSK Hawaii, iHeart Radio