The Adam and Joe Show
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 22 episodes and four series on Channel 4 from 6 December 1996 to 16 May 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.
|The Adam and Joe Show|
|Created by||Adam Buxton|
|Country of origin||United Kingdom|
|No. of episodes||22|
|Running time||22 minutes|
|Original network||Channel 4|
|Original release||6 December 1996 –|
16 May 2001
Origin and formatEdit
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. Unusually for a comedy programme, the show was commissioned by Channel 4's head of religious programming, Peter Grimsdale: according to Cornish, "The remit for religion at 4 was to do with personal belief and personal expression, and somehow we came under that banner: it was almost like pop culture was our religion".
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.
WARNING: The Adam and Joe Show is a high-density programme, start taping now!
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), Showgirls (Showtoys), The English Patient (The Toy Patient), Saving Private Ryan (Saving Private Lion), American Beauty (American Beautoy), Shine (Shiney), Shakespeare in Love (Shakesbeare in Love), Fight Club (Tufty Club) and Trainspotting (Toytrainspotting), as well as television shows including Friends (Furends), Ally McBeal (Ally McSqueal) and Star Trek: The Next Generation (Stuffed Trek: The Toy Generation). According to Cornish, the amount of work involved in creating these sketches led Adam and Joe to work on them individually to avoid arguments, resulting in a rivalry with each attempting to upstage the other with ever-more elaborate sketches: "I remember doing The English Patient and going to massive lengths to make a plane and a desert with sand dunes shaped like teddy bears. Adam was jealous and went: 'Right, I'm going to do something even better'. It ended up with me making a Titanic the length of a room to try and completely crush him".
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. In a 2019 interview, Adam stated that the idea of getting his father to review contemporary music originally came from Louis Theroux.
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, 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 TVEdit
In this segment, Adam and Joe used Star Wars action figures from the early 1980s to parody current British television shows. Targets included Gladiators, The Crystal Maze, You've Been Framed (Chew've Been Framed), Blind Date (Blind Data), TFI Friday, Big Brother (Big Jabba), Stars in Their Eyes (Star Wars in Their Eyes), This Morning, The Jerry Springer Show (Jedi Springer), Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? (Who Wants to Be Killed on Air?) and The Royle Family (The Imperial Family). 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 Omniken had become a parody of Omnibus, with Korda fronting overly serious profiles of minor television celebrities including Pat Sharp, Handy Andy and Jenny Powell. On 13 June 2010, Ken hosted the film-themed 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.
The 1980s HouseEdit
This segment of the show was a parody of The 1900 House and The 1940s House, in which the Fatboy Slim family from the early 21st century travels back to the 1980s. The only 21st century object has allowed in the house was a webcam, using which the Fatboy Slim family recorded video diaries, recounting their experiences of 1980s living, such as riding the Sinclair C5, thoughts on the guy from the Ready Brek adverts, and watching the video nasty called Cannibal Holocaust on a new Betamax machine.
Media Chaos CollectiveEdit
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 mis-spelled 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||Start date||End date||Episodes|
|1||6 December 1996||31 December 1996||4|
|2||22 November 1997||3 January 1998||6|
|3||9 April 1999||14 May 1999|
|4||11 April 2001||16 May 2001|
|4 May 1996||Adam and Joe Say 'Goodbye Carrefour!' (See Note 1.)|
|31 December 1997||Adam and Joe's Fourmative Years|
|21 February 1998||Adam and Joe's Late Night Show|
|10 June – 12 July 1998||Adam and Joe's FIFA World Cup 1998|
|25 December 1998||Adam and Joe's Christmas Bananas|
|31 December 1998||Adam and Joe's Toy Movie Special|
|10 September 1999||Adam and Joe in the USA|
|25 December 1999||Adam and Joe's Christmas Bananas 2|
|31 December 1999||Adam and Joe's Old Millennium Endings|
|10 June – 2 July 2000||Adam and Joe's UEFA Euro 2000|
|1 September 2000||Adam and Joe Does Smack The Pony|
|15 September – 1 October 2000||Adam and Joe at the Sydney Olympics|
|8 November 2000||Adam and Joe at the Holiday Curse|
|28 November 2000||Adam and Joe at the Teatime Table|
|25 December 2000||Adam and Joe's Christmas Bananas 3|
|31 December 2000||Adam and Joe's New Year Spectaclular|
|16 March 2001||Adam and Joe's Inside Your Television Set|
|31 March 2001||Adam and Joe's World of Sound|
- 20 minute promo only seen on instore satellite network Gateway TV and VHS sent to Gateway shareholders, who had just bought Carrefour UK. Commissioned by then Director of Communications Roger Marley who was later sacked over the £85,000 cost. Not currently available online, though for a short time in the late 90s available on the ASDA website after their aquisition in turn of all the superstore sized branches of Gateway Supermarket.
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 All 4 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".