Hawaiian comedian Rap Reiplinger may have only lived to see his 33rd year, but his witty comedy still lives on to this day, especially in his native tropical state. Born James Kawika Piimauna "Rap" Reiplinger on July 16, 1950, he discovered comedy via such influential artists as Red Skelton, Sid Caesar and Ernie Kovacs, among others. His imaginative TV specials, commercials, and comedy recordings of the late '70s (1978's Poi Dog, plus the 1979 pair Do I Dare Disturb the Universe and Crab Dreams) have resulted in several catch phrases still used in Hawaii to this day, among them "Russell, you get pen?," "How come I come, I stay you go?," and perhaps his best-known one, "Not too sweet, not too rancid, but just right!"
Reiplinger also helped create Hawaii's top comedy ensemble, Booga Booga, in 1974, which included such notables as James Grant Benton, and Ed Ka'ahea. Reiplinger's popularity continued to rise, as he began performing throughout the United States to enthusiastic audiences (including 'The Aladdin' in Las Vegas, 'Catch a Rising Star' in New York, and at 'The Improv' in Los Angeles), and received an Emmy Award in 1982 for his TV special 'Rap's Hawaii,' which he both wrote and starred in, and took home a bronze medal from the International Film and Television Festival of New York for "Most Outstanding Television Production." Since his cocaine-related death in January of 1984, Reiplinger's work has inspired countless Hawaiian writers, comedians, radio personalities, and actors. A decade after his death, several best-of compilations were issued, introducing the comedian to a whole new generation of admirers -- 1993's The Best of Rap and 1996's The Best of Rap Too. ~ Greg Prato