Joe Dirt

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Joe Dirt
Joe dirt.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Dennie Gordon
Produced by Robert Simonds
Ira Shuman
Jack Giarraputo
Adam Sandler
Written by David Spade
Fred Wolf
Starring David Spade
Brittany Daniel
Dennis Miller
Adam Beach
Christopher Walken
Jaime Pressly
Kid Rock
Music by Michael Lloyd
Dave Matthews
Waddy Wachtel
Cinematography John R. Leonetti
Editing by Peck Prior
Studio Happy Madison Productions
Robert Simonds Productions
Distributed by Columbia Pictures
Release dates
  • April 11, 2001 (2001-04-11)
Running time 91 minutes[1]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $17.7 million[2]
Box office $30,987,695[2]

Joe Dirt is a 2001 American adventure comedy film starring David Spade, Dennis Miller, Christopher Walken, Brian Thompson, Brittany Daniel, Jaime Pressly, Erik Per Sullivan, and Kid Rock. The film was written by Spade and Fred Wolf and produced by Robert Simonds.[3]


Joe Dirt works as a custodian at a Los Angeles radio station and lives in a boiler room in the basement of the facility. When a producer at the station discovers Joe getting bullied in the hallway, the producer finds Joe's natural white trash demeanor too extravagant to be believed, and insists he be brought into the studio to talk live on the air with famous disc jockey named Zander Kelly. Joe tells his life story, beginning with him being inadvertently left behind by his parents at the Grand Canyon when he was eight years old. After growing up in a series of bizarre foster homes, Joe finds himself living in the outskirts of the village of Silvertown where he pursues a love interest, Brandy. The local bully, Robby, also has a crush on Brandy.

After an odd twist of events leads to the death of Brandy's beloved dog, Charlie, Joe feels the need to seek out his parents. The search leads Joe on a series of adventures, meeting colorful characters like Kicking Wing, the Native American fireworks salesman, and Charlene, the owner of a gator farm. All the while, he lives by working odd jobs ranging from oil drilling to advertising. Parodying the lotion scene from The Silence of the Lambs, Joe narrowly escapes death when captured by Buffalo Bob, who supposedly knew Joe's parents and took pictures of them. He then ends up in New Orleans after discovering an address indicating his old house. Upon arriving in New Orleans, Joe works as a high school janitor/handyman with a former mobster in the Witness Protection Program, Clem Doore. During Joe's story, Zander and the listening audience are initially amused at Joe's expense, with his optimistic outlook on life and good-natured self deprecation winning over both Zander and the audience. Eventually, Joe lands his janitorial job at the Los Angeles radio station where he recounts how, after discovering his old house vacant and his parents having moved sometime ago, he decided to give up the search and return to Silvertown to be with Brandy. When he got there, Robby informed him that Brandy found Joe's parents, but instructed Robby not to tell Joe. Robby produced a note from Brandy to prove it. Hearing this, Zander insists on getting Brandy on the phone to find out why she did this. Brandy admits to writing the note to Robby. She did it because she wanted to tell Joe in person, but never had the opportunity. Brandy goes on to tell Joe that his parents were killed the day they were at the Grand Canyon and pleads with Joe to come back to Silvertown. Upset at the news, however, Joe remains to stay in Los Angeles.

Joe is unaware that recounting his story on the radio has made him an overnight media sensation. An appearance on TRL with Carson Daly results in a phone call from a woman claiming to be Joe's mother. Joe goes to meet her, but is disappointed to discover that his parents are really just using Joe's publicity to help sell her homemade clown figurines, and that they intentionally abandoned him at the Grand Canyon. Angry and sad, he destroys the clown figurines and storms out, cutting his ties with his parents. Depressed, Joe goes to a bridge to commit suicide, but Brandy appears and says that she had told Joe his parents were dead just to protect him when she found out what horrible people they were; she then insists that he come home with her since he "was home all along." A policeman on horseback lassos Joe's legs with bungee jumping cord to stop him from jumping, in the process inadvertently causing Joe to fall off the bridge. The bungee cord saves Joe from the fall, but bouncing back upward, he hits his head on the underside of the bridge and is knocked unconscious.

Joe wakes up in Brandy's house surrounded by Brandy and his other friends he has met on his journey - Kicking Wing (who has now operated several successful firework stands), Clem (now named Gert B. Frobe), and Charlene (who is engaged to Doore). Joe gets a new hairstyle following his check out from the hospital. Brandy pays the impound lot to get Joe's Hemi back and she has a new dog, who is the offspring of Charlie. Just as they get ready to drive away, Robby suddenly drives by and taunts Joe, saying that no one wants him around in Silvertown, no matter how famous he is. Clem comes to Joe's defense and threatens Robby as Charlene taunts Robby's car. At that point, they all realize that they are like a family to Joe. With his new family, Joe rides off, leaving a frustrated Robby in the dust; his car now damaged by the rocks Joe's car deflected from the ground. While driving away, Zander plays a song for Joe on the radio as fireworks go off in the sky (with special thanks to Kicking Wing).



According to the commentary, Bryce Canyon subbed for the Grand Canyon scenes in Joe's flashbacks.



Box office[edit]

Joe Dirt opened at #4 in the domestic box office with $8,016,008[4] and went on to gross $27,087,695 domestically and $3,900,000 overseas for a worldwide total of $30,987,695; from an estimated $17.7 million budget, this can be considered a moderate success.[2]


The film's critical reception has been generally negative. The film has an average rating of 3 out of 10 with an 11% fresh rating at Rotten Tomatoes, with the consensus stating, "If you fall within the target audience of Joe Dirt, you may find it funny. Otherwise, the jokes will seem like a tired retread."[5] Despite reviews, Joe Dirt recouped its $17.7 million budget at the box office, and grossed over $27 million domestically.

Ebert and Roeper both gave the film a thumbs down. Richard Roeper called the comedy for being predictable and strained, and said that the radio station storyline was "absurd". Roger Ebert agreed, but praised Spade for taking on a different role than he is normally associated with, and added that Spade's performance was convincing, despite the film's other shortcomings.[6] That being said, Ebert would go on to include Joe Dirt as one of his most hated films of all time under the category of "alleged comedies" and going on to state, "What movies, including Joe Dirt, often do not understand is that the act of being buried in crap is not in and of itself funny."[7]

The second verse of "Weird Al" Yankovic's "Close but No Cigar" from his album Straight Outta Lynwood contains the lyrics "I thought after all these years of searching around, I'd found my soulmate finally/But one day I found out she actually owned a copy of Joe Dirt on DVD."

TV series[edit]

In early 2010, Spade worked on a pilot with TBS for an animated series based on the film.[8]


  1. ^ "JOE DIRT (12)". Columbia Pictures. British Board of Film Classification. March 27, 2001. Retrieved October 11, 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c "Joe Dirt (2001)". Box Office Mojo. Internet Movie Database. Retrieved October 11, 2013. 
  3. ^ Dirt's character was loosely based on Spade's childhood friend, Ryan Taylor.
  4. ^ "Weekend Box Office Results for April 13-15, 2001". Box Office Mojo. Internet Movie Database. April 16, 2001. Retrieved October 11, 2013. 
  5. ^ "Joe Dirt (2001)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2009-08-02. 
  6. ^ Ebert and Roeper
  7. ^ "Ebert's Most Hated". Chicago Sun-Times. 
  8. ^ Hibberd, James (Jan 28, 2010). "David Spade, TBS plotting animated 'Joe Dirt'". The Live Feed. 
  • Spade, David, Life of Joe Dirt, p. 177-178, American Printing Press

External links[edit]