TNT's MonsterVision was a fairly formative element of my cinematic education.
Where my older Midwestern cousins had Svengoolie and New York brothers grew up with E. Nick Witty, Joe Bob Briggs was the man who kept my enthusiasm pumping with his "Drive-In Totals" every week, telling me just how much murder, mayhem and (edited out) nudity the night's title had to offer. Along with the West Coast Video at the bottom of the hill from my house, Briggs was helping me appreciate trashy VHS classics such as Return of the Living Dead and The Return of Swamp Thing. When Briggs (a/k/a John Bloom) showed up in Martin Scorsese's Casino (as Las Vegas slot shitkicker Don Ward), I about lost my goddamn mind. Here was my redneck mentor, being berated by Robert De Niro! How cool is that?
Being an obsessive completist, I quickly found out - via the public library - that MonsterVision was really an extension of Joe Bob's Drive-In Theater, a television show he'd envisioned for The Movie Channel (which itself was a spin on his one man variety routine "An Evening With Joe Bob Briggs"). The Dallas cowboy's TMC staple became the cable network's highest rated series for over a decade, and Briggs wrote a series of hilarious, insightful critical companion books - such as Joe Bob Goes To the Drive-In and Joe Bob Goes Back to the Drive-In - that were mind-blowers for a Philly teen who desired to digest every piece of weirdo cinema he could get his hands on.
Since they're also consummate horror scholars, the folks at Shudder are putting Joe Bob's hilarious genre analysis back to the airwaves, as he'll be hosting a 24-hour horror marathon this June. The news dropped via Briggs' Facebook page, which says:
“Joe Bob’s coming back to TV. He’s gonna be hosting a 24 HOUR MOVIE MARATHON on Shudder. That’s right, 24 hours of Joe Bob’s intros, outros, and OF COURSE the drive-in totals. It’ll start on a Friday in June, although we don’t know which Friday yet.”
Sweet. Other sites - such as Bloody Disgusting - have confirmed that Briggs is going to be bringing an array of special guests and fan favorites (such as the lovely Mail Girl) along for the ride on the streaming service's live-feed. What will Joe Bob be showing in June? Well, we can pretty much count on a wide array of sleaze (as Shudder's archive is quite deep), but we'll just have to wait and see.
For those unfortunate souls who have no fucking idea what I'm talking about, watch this clip and then start counting the days to this random Friday in June, when we'll all gather 'round the TV to geek out over this hillbilly's appreciation of blood and guts together.