The Adam and Joe Show
|The Adam and Joe Show|
|Country of origin||United Kingdom|
|Running time||22 minutes|
|Original network||Channel 4|
|Original release||11 September 1996 – 9 May 2001|
The Adam and Joe Show was a British television comedy show, written and presented by Adam and Joe (Adam Buxton and Joe Cornish), which ran for four series on Channel 4 between 1996 and 2001. All four series are available free to watch on All 4, but currently only a compilation of the best of the entire run is available on DVD, however all episodes are available on iTunes.
Adam and Joe first appeared on Channel 4 show Takeover TV in 1995, with Adam presenting alone at first and Joe joining him as the series progressed. Following this they created The Adam and Joe Show for the same channel.
The show took the form of short, condensed sketches interspersed with links filmed in what was purportedly Adam and Joe's bedsit, but was actually a shared "performance space" above a branch of The Body Shop in Brixton, South London. When in this room, Adam wore a plain black T-shirt with 'Ad' and Joe wore one with 'Joe' written on the front. Although the two comedians were involved in other projects before and after it was aired, The Adam and Joe Show remains their most popular and well-known creation, and it gained a cult following.
Each week, Adam and Joe would re-create a popular current feature film using stuffed toys and elaborate cardboard sets. These "Toymovies" condensed the story, look and action of each film into a couple of minutes. The most memorable included spoofs of Titanic (Toytanic), The English Patient (The Toy Patient) and Trainspotting (Toytrainspotting).
In the first series of the show, Adam's late father Nigel Buxton (aka BaaadDad) reviewed music videos by contemporary groups that he knew nothing about. In later shows, he ventured out of his fireside armchair and into the field, going on a Club 18-30 holiday in Ibiza, going undercover at a public school ball, and smoking cannabis for the first time at the Tribal Gathering music festival.
Dressed as policemen, Adam and Joe would raid rock stars’ homes, then examine their record collections for embarrassing or surprising items. The star would then be forced to dance to the shameful discoveries. Victims included Frank Black, Gary Numan, Alexis Arquette, Tim Gane and Lætitia Sadier, Symposium (band), Dave Navarro, Cerys Matthews, Nick Heyward, Thomas Dolby, Ray Manzarek of The Doors and Mark E. Smith of The Fall. In 2009, Adam revealed on their BBC 6 Music show that some of the stars' 'homes' were not actually their own.
The Adam and Joe Show regularly included songs on random pop cultural themes, co-written with their school friend Zac Sandler. The most memorable included "The Footie Song" from 1998 the same year when France hosted the world cup, an ode to football sung and written by people who clearly neither cared or knew anything about it, "The Robert De Niro Calypso", a tribute to the famous actor from 1999, "My Name is Roscoe", a country and western song whose lyrics included the theory of relativity and "Song For Bob Hoskins". Zac Sandler is now in his own Superhero Funk Rock band called Astroman, currently gigging regularly in London, with an album called Riffzilla now available online.
Star Wars TV
In this segment, Adam and Joe used 1980s Star Wars action figures to parody current British television shows. Targets included Gladiatiors, The Crystal Maze, You've Been Framed, TFI Friday, Stars in Their Eyes, This Morning and Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?. Throughout these sketches, Obi-Wan Kenobi was memorably portrayed as a drunk vagrant.
Ken Korda, a character played by Adam Buxton, was an obnoxious but self-assured media entrepreneur who undertook absurd popular cultural projects in the real world. These schemes included the production of a short film about criminal junkies called Speeding on the Needlebliss, and the formation of a teen band called 1471. By the fourth series, the segment had become a parody of Omnibus, with Korda fronting overly serious profiles of minor television celebrities including Pat Sharp and Handy Andy. Ken hosted the film-themed 13 June 2010 edition of "Adam Buxton's Big Mixtape" (titled "A Proper Mix Now!", a play on "Apocalypse Now") when Adam was unable to host the show due to having locked himself in his shed.
Media Chaos Collective
In Series 4, Adam and Joe began a segment seeing them play West Country anti-authority media terrorists, who would 'interrupt' the regular programming and show their own clips harassing and playing pranks on targets they deemed suitable to cause chaos. Targets included an MP, the Millennium Dome, and banks, however the characters themselves were so inept that most of the time they end up looking foolish, an example being unfolding a misspelled banner on the stage of the Millennium Dome saying "The Dome is Carp". The characters came from an original prank the boys played on a hardware shop, acting suspicious when buying tools and materials to dispose of a corpse.
In 2003 their parody of Jam was put on the Jam DVD as an extra.
Adam and Joe would regularly film each other performing camcorder pranks in the real world. In the first series, they ventured into a supermarket in Brixton and began helping themselves to the 'free' percentage from packages marked as including, for example, "20% free". In the second series, they ruined an unsuspecting man's front room while posing as designers from a home makeover show, then broke into a brewery to see how easy it would be to organise a piss-up. In the third series, they built a poor-quality, movie-themed animatronic wax museum from mannequins and charged tourists for entry, as well as competing as street mimes in Covent Garden Market.
Adam and Joe's links were performed sitting on their bed, in front of a crowded backdrop of contemporary popular cultural clutter. Memorable links included a guide to ways to fiddle with a candle while in a restaurant with a boring person; the most entertaining household objects to put in your microwave oven; and an experiment to see whether consuming Coca-Cola and Space Dust sherbet really does make your stomach explode. They concluded that no, it does not, but it is 'very bad'.
Series 1 - 4 Episodes = 11 September 1996 - 2 October 1996
Series 2 - 6 Episodes = 22 November 1997 - 3 January 1998
Series 3 - 6 Episodes = 10 September 1999 - 15 October 1999
Series 4 - 6 Episodes = 4 April 2001 - 9 May 2001
In 2004, a DVD was released by VCI featuring selected sketches from all four series, titled The Adam and Joe DVD, including a documentary on the making of the show, a BaaadDad retrospective, audio commentaries, "Adam and Joe's World of Sound" and a best-of Vinyl Justice feature, In 2006, a DVD was re-released by Channel 4 DVD when the VCI logo was removed.
An easter egg can be accessed by highlighting 'Adam and Joe's World of Sound' on the extras menu, pressing 'up', and then 'right'. 'right', 'left', 'left', 'up', 'right', 'right', 'left', 'left', 'up', and 'select'.
The series has not been released on DVD but is available for free on 4od in the United Kingdom and for purchase on iTunes. There was also a single of "The Footie Song" (see Songs section), and there were two versions of it on the single. One of these was the "League Edition" and there was also a "World Cup Edition".
- Television: A FEAST FOR POPULAR CULTURE VULTURES - James Rampton, The Independent (1996)
- TV: THOMAS SUTCLIFFE - The Independent (1997)