Two acquired tastes: British comedy, and the type of laughs that come within milliseconds of uttering the phrase “what did I just witness? That was so wrong.” If you’re allergic to either brand of humor, particularly the latter, stay back. Click away, because these clips will take you to a dark, dark place. To the rest of you assholes who think that dead babies are funny: welcome to the world of Jam, the most twisted sketch comedy series ever produced.
Jam is one of those great shows that’s been reduced to YouTube tatters due to music licensing issues. The episodes are interlaced with dreamy, ambient sounds by the likes of Low, Beta Band, Aphex Twin and Brian Eno. If you’ve never seen the show, let us begin at the beginning. Below is Episode 1, Part 1. It begins with “an invocation of sorts” (there was one of these at the beginning of every episode; here’s another opener), and leads right into “It’s About Ryan,” a sketch about two concerned parents asking their child’s godfather to gain the affections of a local pervert in order to keep him away from their boy (UPDATE: that video was removed by YouTube, so I’ve replaced it with a clip of “It’s About Ryan,” without the intro):
When dancing… lost in techno trance. Arms flailing, gawky Bez. Then find you snagged on frowns, and slowly dawns… you’re jazzing to the bleep-tone of a life support machine, that marks the steady fading of your day old baby daughter. And when midnight sirens lead to blue-flash road-mash. Stretchers, covered heads and slippy red macadam, and find you creeping ‘neath the blankets to snuggle close a mangled bird, hoping soon you too will be freezer drawered. Then welcome… blue chemotherapy wig, welcome. In Jam. Jaaam. Jaaaaaaam…
The show, written by Chris Morris (with occasional help from the cast) is a successor to Blue Jam, which ran on BBC Radio 1, and was described by the Beeb as “the funniest nightmare you never had.” In some ways, the radio show (which you can listen to here) went even further than the televised version. But since I love the look of the actors (particularly the crazy gleam in Mark Heap’s eye!), the TV version has always been my favorite.
Many of my most beloved Jam clips are now impossible to find online. They disappear, audio tracks get erased by YouTube. So watch these while you can! Type “Chris Morris Jam” into YouTube and enter a world stranger than you ever imagined. Below are some highlights:
- Mr. Lizard (this one’s possibly my favorite!)
- Boiler Baby
- Sex for Houses
- Coffin Mistake
- Thick People
- Casual Parents
I’ve included these videos (and some other gems) after the jump. Enjoy! [Many thanks to my friend Mildred for introducing me to this show]