Known primarily for his B-movie-lovin' cowboy alter ego Joe Bob Briggs, actor/writer/comic/social satirist John Bloom is a man of many talents. In addition to keeping faux newshounds in stitches with his role as the host of "God Stuff" during the first two seasons of Comedy Central's wildly irreverent news parody The Daily Show, Bloom has penned numerous books on the subject of B-movies, acted in film and television, and kept tally of more onscreen movie deaths than Jack Valenti.
A native of Dallas, TX, Bloom was raised in Little Rock, AR, before attending Vanderbilt University on a sports-writing scholarship. A subsequent move back to his native state found the emerging writer landing a job at the now-defunct Dallas Times Herald at the age of 19, with the first "Joe Bob Goes to the Drive-In" column appearing in January of 1982. Offering a unique, carefree, and refreshingly unscholarly approach to film, the entertaining column would eventually be syndicated in over 100 newspapers nationwide. Though controversy soon followed when Briggs was fired as a result of comments made in an April 1985 article entitled "We Are the Weird," the media attention that resulted sparked a heated debate on political correctness and censorship that served only to raise his public profile. Picked up by new syndicator Universal Press a mere three days later, Briggs was soon back in print, to the delight of cinema-trash lovers across the country.
In the months that followed, Bloom expanded the Joe Bob persona by developing a one-man show entitled "An Evening With Joe Bob Briggs" (later re-titled "Joe Bob Dead in Concert"), and after debuting in Cleveland in 1985, the show played in some of the nation's best comic venues over the course of the next two years. His show drawing national attention, Bloom was soon approached by executives from Showtime sister-station The Movie Channel and asked to serve as guest host for the popular late-night B-movie show Drive-in Theater. Soon renamed Joe Bob's Drive-In Theater, the twice Cable ACE award-nominated show offered the most laughably bad genre films imaginable -- surviving a healthy ten-year run until a 1996 format change forced cancellation. Never one to go down without a fight, Joe Bob was back on the air a mere four months later as the host of TNT's MonsterVision, essentially the same show on basic cable. The schlock cowboy continued to entertain audiences weekly with a healthy dose of cinematic junk food until that show, too, fell victim to an eventual format change four short years later. Making a move to Comedy Central, Briggs' turn as a religious commentator on The Daily Show offered the best (or worst depending on your vantage point) clips that religious television had to offer.
Also gaining an impressive amount of film and television credits with numerous minor roles, Briggs can be spotted in such features as Great Balls of Fire!, Casino, and Face/Off. He also co-authored the true-crime novel Evidence of Love, which was later adapted as the Emmy-winning made-for-television feature A Killing in a Small Town (1990). Though Briggs would place his two syndicated columns, "Joe Bob Goes to the Drive-In" and "Joe Bob's America," on hiatus as of 1998, his drive-in column returned a mere two years later, and fans suffered no shortage of reading material thanks to the release of such books as Joe Bob Goes to the Drive-In, Iron Joe Bob, and Profoundly Disturbing: The Shocking Movies that Changed History. A new column entitled "The Vegas Guy" found Joe Bob exploring the casinos of the nation, and though his presence on television was sorely missed, this void would soon be filled thanks to the increasing popularity of the DVD format. Realizing that commentary tracks could offer as good a vehicle for his hilariously lowbrow wit and insight as his previous television endeavors, Briggs soon began recording commentaries as Joe Bob for such DVD releases as I Spit on Your Grave, Samurai Cop, and The Double-D Avenger (for such distributors as Elite and Media Blasters) beginning in 2003. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi