Joe Bob Briggs

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Joe Bob Briggs
Briggs in 2018
John Irving Bloom

(1953-01-27) January 27, 1953 (age 71)
EducationVanderbilt University
  • Film critic
  • writer
  • actor
Joyce Karns
(m. 1978; div. 1979)
Paula Leigh Bowen
(m. 1988)

John Irving Bloom (born January 27, 1953), known by the stage name Joe Bob Briggs, is an American syndicated film critic, writer, actor, comic performer, and horror host. He is known for having hosted Joe Bob's Drive-in Theater on The Movie Channel from 1986 to 1996, the TNT television series MonsterVision from 1996 to 2000, and The Last Drive-in with Joe Bob Briggs on Shudder beginning in 2018. In 2019, he was named the Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Awards' Monster Kid of the Year,[1] and in 2023 was inducted into the Rondo Hatton Awards' Monster Kid Hall of Fame.[2]

Early years[edit]

John Irving Bloom was born January 27, 1953, in Dallas, Texas, the son of Thelma Louise (née Berry) and Rudolph Lewis Bloom.[3]

Bloom was raised in Little Rock, Arkansas,[4] and by age 13 was a sportswriter at what was then the Arkansas Democrat.[5] He won a Fred Russell-Grantland Rice Sportswriting Scholarship to Vanderbilt University, in Nashville, Tennessee, where he majored in English and wrote for the student newspaper, The Vanderbilt Hustler. After graduating in 1975.[5] he became a reporter for Dallas Times Herald and later wrote for Texas Monthly magazine.[4] Taking a leave of absence from the newspaper in order to co-write (with Jim Atkinson) his many books, the true crime book Evidence of Love (later adapted as the TV film, A Killing in a Small Town), he supported himself by writing movie reviews for the paper. There he created the humorous persona of "Joe Bob Briggs" to review exploitation films and other genre movies.[4]


Bloom's acting persona as "Briggs" is that of an unapologetic redneck Texan with an avowed love of the drive-in theaters. He specializes in humorous but appreciative reviews of B-movies and cult films, which he calls "drive-in movies" (as distinguished from "indoor bullstuff"). In addition to his usual parody of urbane, high-brow movie criticism, his columns characteristically include colorful tales of woman troubles and high-spirited brushes with the law, which inevitably conclude with his rush to catch a movie at a local drive-in, usually with female companionship. "Briggs" revealed in an interview that he intended the character to have an ambiguous sounding name and initially thought of calling himself "Bubba Rodriguez", but was told that the name Rodriguez would be perceived as racist and decided to go with: "The whitest name I could come up with."[6]

The reviews typically end with a brief rating of the movie in question's "high points", including the types of action (represented by nouns naming objects used in fight scenes suffixed with "-Fu"), the number of bodies, number of female breasts bared, the notional number of total pints of blood spilled, and for appropriately untoward movies, a "vomit meter".[citation needed]

A typical review summary might read:

"No dead bodies. One hundred seventeen breasts. Multiple aardvarking.[a] Lap dancing. Cage dancing. Convenience-store dancing. Blindfold aardvarking. Blind-MAN aardvarking. Lesbo Fu. Pool cue-Fu. Drive-In Academy Award nominations for Tané McClure. Joe Bob says check it out."[9]

Originally, Bloom's film reviews as "Briggs" were limited to pictures shown at local drive-ins. Later, after a tongue-in-cheek "battle" with his own convictions in Joe Bob Goes Back to the Drive In, he also began reviewing films released on VHS and DVD.[citation needed]

Reaction to redevelopment of 42nd Street[edit]

During the early 1980s, when New York City was in the planning stages of redeveloping its run-down 42nd Street, Times Square area, which included closing many grindhouses showing B-movies on double and triple bills around the clock, as well as many porn theaters, Briggs encouraged a "postcard-Fu" campaign encouraging genre-film fans to write to city officials and pressure them into saving "the one place in New York City you could see a decent drive-in movie".[10]


In 1986, as a result of the stage show, "Briggs" was asked to be a guest host on Drive-in Theater, a late-night B-movie show on The Movie Channel (TMC). This led to his hosting Joe Bob's Drive-in Theater, which ran from 1986 to 1996,[11] It was twice nominated for the industry's CableACE Award.[12] After the show ended, he hosted the TNT network's similar MonsterVision for four years through July 2000.[12]

In the late 1990s, "Briggs" spent two seasons as a commentator on Comedy Central's The Daily Show (under his given name, John Bloom), with a recurring segment called God Stuff.[13] He appears in Frank Henenlotter's documentary Herschell Gordon Lewis – Godfather of Gore.[14]

In 2018, the horror-themed subscription video on demand service Shudder, owned and operated by AMC, signed Briggs for a new series, The Last Drive-in with Joe Bob Briggs, which premiered as a 13-film marathon on July 13, 2018.[15] During the premiere, Shudder's servers crashed as a result of a large number of subscribers attempting to access the show.[16] Shudder streamed two shorter marathons on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day 2018[17] Beginning in March 2020, the show returned to Briggs' old double-feature format. A second season consisting of 10 films premiered April 24, 2020. Season 3 began April 16, 2021.[18]

"Briggs" was also a commentator for a Fox TV news magazine for two seasons.[citation needed] He also appeared in episodes of the Fox sitcom Married... with Children in season 8 and 9 as Billy Ray Wetnap, co-owner of Pest Boys Pest Control.[19][20] He also wrote and performed in specials for Fox and Showtime,[citation needed] and collaborated with comedy writer Norman Steinberg on an unproduced NBC sitcom.[citation needed]

Magazine and newspaper writing[edit]

"Briggs" has written for Newsweek,[21] National Lampoon,[21] Rolling Stone,[22] Playboy,[22] The Village Voice,[22] and National Review,[23]

Bloom's two syndicated newspaper columns as "Briggs", "Joe Bob Goes to the Drive-in" and "Joe Bob's America", were picked up by The New York Times Syndicate in the 1990s.[citation needed] For one year he wrote a humorous sex advice column in Penthouse.[citation needed] In 2000, he started writing the "Drive-in" column again, this time for United Press International,[24] along with a second column, "The Vegas Guy", which chronicles Briggs' weekly forays into the casinos of America.[25]

"Briggs" was president of the Trinity Foundation of Dallas, a non-denominational, non-profit public foundation that serves as a religious watchdog group and publishes The Door, a Christian satire magazine, for which "Briggs" was a regular columnist.[26][27]


Under his given name, John Bloom, he co-wrote (with Jim Atkinson) the nonfiction book Evidence of Love: The Candy Montgomery Story (1984). The book recounts the 1980 Wylie, Texas murder case in which Montgomery killed her ex-lover's wife, Betty Gore, by striking her 41 times with an axe and whose highly publicized trial ended in an unexpected acquittal.[28][29] The book was adapted into the CBS TV film, A Killing in a Small Town, starring Barbara Hershey, and the HBO Max miniseries, Love & Death, starring Elizabeth Olsen.[30]

As "Joe Bob Briggs", Bloom has published five books of satire—Joe Bob Goes to the Drive In, A Guide to Western Civilization, or My Story, Joe Bob Goes Back to the Drive In, The Cosmic Wisdom of Joe Bob Briggs, and Iron Joe Bob, his homage to the men's movement and the nonfiction books Profoundly Disturbing: Shocking Movies That Changed History[31] and Profoundly Erotic: Sexy Movies that Changed History.[32]

In 2016, again under his given name, Bloom wrote the nonfiction book Eccentric Orbits: The Iridium Story in which he traces the conception, development, and launching of the Iridium satellite constellation and the race to save it from destruction.[33]

One-man shows[edit]

In July 1985, Bloom's one-man show An Evening with Joe Bob Briggs debuted in Cleveland, Ohio. Later re-titled Joe Bob Dead in Concert for home release, the show evolved into a theatrical piece involving storytelling, comedy and music. The show was performed in more than 50 venues over the next two years, including Carolines on Broadway in New York and regular engagements at Wolfgang's and the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco, as well as at convention centers, theaters, music clubs and other comedy clubs. In 2019, Briggs began performing a new one-man show, How Rednecks Saved Hollywood, at genre film festivals and revival movie houses.[34][35]


"Briggs" has contributed audio commentaries to DVDs released by Media Blasters and Elite Entertainment including Jesse James Meets Frankenstein's Daughter, The Double-D Avenger, Michael Findlay's Blood Sisters, Warlock Moon, Samurai Cop, I Spit on Your Grave, and several Ray Dennis Steckler films including The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed-Up Zombies and Blood Shack.

Bloom appeared as himself in the Jonathan Maberry novel Bad Moon Rising (2008). Joe Bob is one of several real-world horror celebrities who are in the fictional town of Pine Deep when monsters attack.[36][37]


In 1985, Briggs wrote a satirical column about the "We Are the World" video. The resulting controversy, which included accusations of racism towards Bloom,[38] ended Bloom's position at the Dallas Times Herald. His syndicated column changed distributors.[39][40][41]

In May 2020, Briggs received backlash for writing articles published on the right-wing website Taki's Magazine in which he criticized the LGBTQ initialism "and argued for the 'need' to listen to white supremacist speakers.[42]

Personal life[edit]

In May 2020, Bloom contracted COVID-19 but did not make his condition known to the public. Discussing the experience on the podcast Geek Tawk—hosted by his Last Drive-In co-host Diana Prince (Darcy the Mail Girl)—in July 2020, Bloom stated, "Many people have had [COVID-19] and most of them were much worse off than me. [...] I wish everybody thought it was a death sentence, because then everyone would wear the fucking mask and then we would get rid of it."[42][43]

Bloom was married to Joyce Karns from 1978 until they divorced a year later in 1979. He married Paula Leigh Bowen in 1988.[3]


Year Title Role Notes
1986 The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 Gonzo Moviegoer Scenes deleted[44]
1989 Great Balls of Fire! Dewey "Daddy-O" Phillips
1990 Hollywood Boulevard II Himself
A Killing in a Small Town Writer Book "Evidence of Love"
1992 The Chiller Theatre Expo Video Vol. 1 Himself Documentary film
1995 Casino Don Ward - Slot Manager
After Sunset: The Life & Times of the Drive-In Theater Himself Documentary film
1997 Face/Off Shock Technician
1999 The Storytellers Scrappy the Janitor
2002 The Many Lives of Jason Voorhees Himself Documentary film short
2004 All That You Love Will Be Carried Away Alfie Zimmer
Drive-in Movie Memories Himself Documentary film
Chainsaw Redux: Making a Massacre Himself Documentary film
2005 The Perfect Scary Movie Himself Documentary film
Horror Business Himself Documentary film
2006 Evil Ever After Marvin Direct-to-DVD release
Inspector Mom Writer TV movie
American Scary Himself Documentary film
Texas Frightmare Weekend 2006 Himself Documentary film
2007 Ghosts of Goldfield Clancy Direct-to-DVD release
Rapturious Doctor
Wretched Eric
One by One We Will Take You: The Untold Saga of the Evil Dead Himself Documentary film
2010 Herschell Gordon Lewis: The Godfather of Gore Himself Documentary film
2012 The Sleeper Doctor Briggs "Special Guest"
2012 Foodfight! Additional Voices
2014 The Nail Gun Massacre: Texas Frightmare Weekend Himself Documentary film short
2016 The Ghosts of Johnson Woods Warren
VHS Massacre Himself Documentary film
In Defense of Henry Himself Documentary film short
2017 Its Exactly What You Think It Is! An Appreciation of 'Pieces Himself Documentary film short
Roar: The Most Dangerous Movie Ever Made Himself Documentary film
2018 Poetry Slammed Warren
Survival of the Film Freaks Himself Documentary film
Jim Dandy to the Rescue: A Film by Joey Skidmore Himself Documentary film
B-Documentary Part Two Himself Documentary film
2019 In Search of Darkness Himself Documentary film
Scare Package Himself "Horror Hypothesis" segment
2020 Hogzilla Andy McGraw Release originally planned for 2007
Joe Bob's Haunted Drive-in Himself
VHS Massacre Too Himself Documentary film
In Search of Darkness: Part II Himself Documentary film
Rondo and Bob Himself Documentary film
TBA Werewolf Santa Himself [45]
TBA Cryptids Major Harlan Dean [46][47]
Year Title Role Notes
1980 Hello, Larry Big Guy 1 episode
1986-1996 Joe Bob's Drive-in Theater Himself 527+ episodes
1986 Ed Busch Show Himself 2nd episode – recorded live at the State Fair of Texas in Dallas
1987 KDAF 33 Friday Movies Himself 10 episodes
1992 The Tonight Show with Jay Leno Himself 1 episode
1993-1994 Front Page Himself
Married... with Children Billy Ray Wetnap 2 episodes
1994 The Stand Deputy Joe-Bob Brentwood Miniseries
1996-2000 MonsterVision Himself 207+ episodes
2000-2003 The Daily Show Contributor 'God Stuff'
2004 Super Secret Movie Rules Himself "Slashers" episode
2018 Cinemassacre Interviews Himself 1 episode
Without Your Head Himself 1 episode
2018–present The Last Drive-in with Joe Bob Briggs Himself 5 seasons, 20 specials
2022 The Boulet Brothers' Dragula: Titans Himself, guest judge Episode 8

Podcast appearances[edit]

"Briggs" appeared on Ken Reid's TV Guidance Counselor podcast on June 16, 2016,[48] as well as the podcasts Frightday on July 11, 2018,[49] Astonishing Legends Podcast on December 9, 2018,[50] and The Last Podcast on the Left on March 28, 2019.[51] He also appeared on AEW wrestler Chris Jericho's podcast Talk is Jericho.


  1. ^ "Aardvarking" is one of many euphemisms Briggs uses in reference to sexual intercourse.[7][8]


  1. ^ Colton, David (April 6, 2020). "Here Are the Winners of the (Gasp!) 18th Annual Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Awards".
  2. ^ "Here are the Winners of the (Gasp!) 21st Annual Rondo Hatton Classic Horror awards". May 29, 2023. Archive link
  3. ^ a b "Joe Bob Briggs Biography (1953-)".
  4. ^ a b c Elias, Justine (August 1, 1999). "Down-Home Boy Gives Hollywood's Worst His Best (and Silliest) Shot". New York Times. Retrieved July 5, 2021.
  5. ^ a b "Five alumni selected for 2020 Student Media Hall of Fame class". Vanderbilt University. December 11, 2020.
  6. ^ "Joe Bob Briggs Interview". VHS Massacre. January 14, 2014. Archived from the original on December 22, 2021. Retrieved January 14, 2014 – via YouTube.
  7. ^ "Aardvarking List". Archived from the original on March 2, 2008.
  8. ^ "Joe Bob's Advice to the Hopeless – "Dear Joe Bob, Why does the term "aardvarking" mean sexual intercourse..."". 1994. Archived from the original on January 10, 2008.
  9. ^ "JOE BOB BRIGGS APRIL 4, 1996 4:00AM".
  10. ^ Bianco, Anthony (2004). Ghosts of 42nd Street: A History of America's Most Infamous Block. New York: HarperCollins. p. 230. ISBN 0-688-17089-7.
  11. ^ Vasquez Jr., Felix (April 15, 2022). "'Joe Bob's Drive-In Theater' Was Our Original Introduction to Joe Bob Briggs [TV Terrors]". Bloody Disgusting.
  12. ^ a b Reesman, Bryan (December 19, 2018). "Joe Bob Briggs: Thrivin' with the Drive-In". The Aquarian.
  13. ^ Roberts, Andrew (August 8, 2015). "'The Daily Show' Contributors That Didn't Make It to Jon Stewart's Final Show". Uproxx.
  14. ^ Barton, Steve (October 18, 2012). "The Ghost Trap Gets Sprung on DVD in January". Dread Central. Retrieved July 6, 2019.
  15. ^ Squires, John (June 25, 2018). "[Trailer] 24-Hour Marathon "The Last Drive-In with Joe Bob Briggs" Coming to Shudder in July". Bloody Disgusting. Retrieved July 31, 2018.
  16. ^ Collis, Clark (March 25, 2019). "How movie critic Joe Bob Briggs' new show united horror fans — and broke the internet". Entertainment Weekly.
  17. ^ @shudder (July 20, 2018). "Due to overwhelming demand, we're bringing @joebobbriggsofficial back later this year! Stay tuned for details - the drive in will never die!". Retrieved July 31, 2018 – via Instagram.
  18. ^ Briggs, Joe Bob (February 23, 2021). "Joe Bob Briggs on Twitter". Retrieved March 7, 2021 – via Twitter.
  19. ^ "Married... with Children: 'Scared Single'". Apple TV. November 7, 1993.
  20. ^ "Married... with Children: Shoeway to Heaven'". Apple TV. September 4, 1994.
  21. ^ a b Korosec, Thomas (March 1, 1991). "A Wiser Side of Joe Bob". Fort Worth Star-Telegram – via Orlando Sentinel.
  22. ^ a b c Whitworth, Spencer (April 23, 2022). "Joe Bob Briggs Proves That Horror Hosts Aren't Dead Yet". Collider.
  23. ^ "Joe Bob Briggs". National Review.
  24. ^ Briggs, Joe Bob (December 27, 2000). "Joe Bob Goes to the Drive-In". United Press International.
  25. ^ Briggs, Joe Bob (November 14, 2000). "The Vegas Guy". United Press International.
  26. ^ Gallagher, Danny (December 14, 2017). "Drive-in Film Guru Joe Bob Briggs Returns to His Dallas Homeland Next Month". Dallas Observer. Retrieved August 1, 2020.
  27. ^ McDonnell, Brandy (October 30, 2019). "'Drive-in movie critic' Joe Bob Briggs bringing 'How Rednecks Saved Hollywood' one-man show to OKC". The Oklahoman. Retrieved August 1, 2020.
  28. ^ Weiss, Jeffrey (June 11, 2020). "Some in Wylie don't know of 1980 ax slaying; others can't forget". The Dallas Morning News. Archived from the original on June 15, 2010. Retrieved August 2, 2011 – via Denton Record-Chronicle.
  29. ^ Krajicek, David. "Murder By the Book: Candy and Betty". Archived from the original on March 22, 2010. Retrieved August 2, 2011.
  30. ^ "HBO Max Orders 'Love and Death' TV Series Inspired by Texas Monthly Articles". Texas Monthly. May 3, 2021. Retrieved December 3, 2021.
  31. ^ "Profoundly Disturbing: The Shocking Movies That Changed History". Publishers Weekly.
  32. ^ Profoundly Erotic: Sexy Movies that Changed History. WorldCat. OCLC 62270221.
  33. ^ Athitakis, Mark (June 17, 2016). "'Eccentric Orbits' chronicles the stunning failure (and improbable revival) of the Iridium satellite phone". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved August 1, 2020.
  34. ^ "Gigs". Joe Bob Briggs.
  35. ^ "Joe Bob Briggs hits the road for How Rednecks Saved Hollywood tour". March 11, 2019.
  36. ^ "BC Books Interviews Author Jonathan Maberry". Archived from the original on November 23, 2011.
  37. ^ Maberry, Jonathan. "Bad Moon Rising". Pinnacle Press, 2005.
  38. ^ "Charges of Racism Cause Texas Paper to Cancel Column". The New York Times. April 18, 1985. Retrieved December 3, 2021.
  39. ^ Fowler, Jimmy (December 17, 1998). "Joe Bob in Bloom". Dallas Observer. Retrieved August 1, 2020.
  40. ^ Trillin, Calvin (December 15, 1986). "The Life and Times of Joe Bob Briggs, So Far". The New Yorker. Retrieved April 27, 2009.
  41. ^ Goodman, Matt (January 25, 2018). "EarBurner: Joe Bob Briggs, né John Bloom, Gets Serious. Sort Of". D Magazine. Retrieved August 1, 2020.
  42. ^ a b Hallock, Jeremy (July 29, 2020). "Joe Bob Briggs reveals he had COVID-19. Here's why he didn't tell anyone". The Dallas Morning News. Retrieved December 3, 2021.
  43. ^ Prince, Diana (July 23, 2020). "Season 2 Shenanigans w Mr. JB". SoundCloud (Podcast). Geek Tawk. Retrieved December 3, 2021.
  44. ^ Armstrong, Kent Byron (2003). Slasher Films: An International Filmography, 1960 Through 2001. McFarland & Company. pp. 319–320. ISBN 0-7864-1462-6.
  45. ^ Unsworth, Martin (September 23, 2020). "New Werewolf Movie FROSTBITE is in Production". Starburst. Retrieved July 5, 2021.
  46. ^ Seaman, Justin M. "Cryptids-Feature Length Creature Horror Anthology". Indiegogo. Retrieved July 28, 2020.
  47. ^ Gingold, Michael (July 27, 2020). "Exclusive Poster, Comments: Joe Bob Briggs Stars in "Cryptids"". Rue Morgue. Retrieved July 28, 2020.
  48. ^ Reid, Ken (June 16, 2016). "TV Guidance Counselor Episode 156: Joe Bob Briggs, Frank Conniff and Trace Beaulieu". Apple Podcasts. Retrieved July 5, 2021.
  49. ^ "A Conversation with…Joe Bob Briggs". Frightday. Retrieved March 28, 2019.
  50. ^ "Ep 127: Hosting Horror with Joe Bob Briggs". Astonishing Legends. Retrieved March 18, 2019.
  51. ^ "Side Stories: Joe Bob Briggs". The Last Podcast on the Left. Retrieved March 28, 2019.


External links[edit]