Monday, October 09, 2006

Monstervision and Joe Bob

Once upon a time, before it "Knew Drama," TNT was the shit. Any network that willingly shows Red Sonja, The Beastmaster, or Gymkata with any sort of regularity deserves heaps and heaps of accolade. TNT used to broadcast all three religiously. Unfortunately, after a major format overhaul a few years back, it make the jump to legitimacy and stopped showing cult cable favorites altogether.

For me, the most devastating casualty of the format change was Monstervision. Whereas USA Up(!) All Night was critical in establishing my transfixion with the B Movie, Monstervision transformed my affinity for Drive In Horror into a full blown love affair. From the Godzillas to Ghoulies, Harryhausen to Phantasm, and zombies galore... Monstervision provided me my first significant exposure.

However, because so many classics are so readily these days, the real loss of MV's demise was that of Joe Bob Briggs on television. Prior hosts of Monstervision included Penn & Teller and Bob Denver, but Joe Bob manned the helm for the final four or five years, and really made the show. Before that, he had a long run hosting a similar show on TMC, but I never really got to see him until he was on TNT. He instantly became one of my heroes, for sure.

Other than a few outstanding DVD commentaries (add I Spit On Your Grave to your queues NOW), I haven't seen/heard anything from him for awhile now, but his website is still up an kicking. Interestingly enough, he was on The Daily Show for the first couple years after it premiered, and eventually had plans to spin off a new show called the Joe Bob Report, spoofing - you guessed it - O'Reilly. No idea if Colbert's track was only a coincidence or not.

Anyway here's Joe Bob (as John Bloom, his real name) doing his Daily Report segment, Godstuff:

And as a special bonus... for those of you familiar with one of Joe Bob's favorite euphemisms, "aardvarking," it's The Aardvarking List!

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