Ghost Sites of the Web

Web 1.0 history, forgotten web celebrities, old web sites, commentary, and news by Steve Baldwin. Published erratically since 1996.

August 16, 2008

In Memory of Cal Chamberlain, AKA "Judge Cal," a Bona Fide Internet Video Pioneer

Updated 8/16/2008: We were very sad to read of the death of Judge Cal, AKA Cal Chamberlain, in today's New York Times.

Judge Cal only lived to age 40, but he led a full life and he left much behind in cyberspace by which he will be remembered. You can get a taste of his sensibilities by browsing his still active Flickr area, but the best way to experience what he brought to the Net is to watch his pre-Youtube videos made under contract to These videos were long offline, but have migrated to Youtube and can be enjoyed there.

Tonight there will be a gathering to remember Cal, a bona fide Internet pioneer, at the Theater for the New City.

(Original Article, posted to Ghost Sites on 7/26/2007):
=JUDGECAL'S= "High Weirdness" Returns to CyberSpace

Back in 2001, Netslaves' Bill Lessard wrote an article called "More Vintage Stupidity: =JUDGECAL'S= "High Weirdness" which discussed one of's more infamous video series, calling it "a program that could be best described as Wayne's World meets the early 90s East Village on the way to having holes drilled in your skull."

While the links embedded in Bill's old article have drifted with time, I am pleased to note that several demo reels of =JUDGECAL'S= "High Weirdness" have made their way to YouTube. These are reels intended to sell this property to the major networks. Unfortunately, the networks passed on the series, setting back Josh Harris' master plan of becoming "bigger than CBS" by at least a hundred years.

These ancient videos, recorded in 1999 are instructive documents for all who seek to understand Web 1.0. Taped in's multi-floor loft at the corner of West Broadway and Houston Street, they more accurately capture the zeitgeist of mid-1990's Silicon Valley than any scholarly documentary created by any university New Media Studies Department, providing primary source material for all who seek to understand New York's New Media Industry in its heyday (1995-2000).

Additionally, these important documents provide future historians with an indelible portrait of the sensibilities, morays, modes of speech and style preferences of that group of Americans known to demographers as "Generation X" as it bravely faced the New Millennium.

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