Joe Bob Briggs: Dead in Concert (1985)


“Dead in Concert” is one of the rare comedy specials starring John Bloom as his iconic character Joe Bob Briggs. Briggs himself is a politically incorrect character who revels in embracing stereotypes for the purpose of ironically mocking them. He mocks religion, race, gender, politics, and even speaks about growing up in a small town where dirt was a way of life. Briggs is not one to shy away from being offensive and has a good time making his audience squirm and laugh at some of the most inappropriate jokes. In one instance he royally pisses of an audience member who gazes at him angrily.

When Briggs points out how mad he is, the man simply chuckles and loosens up again preparing for another Briggs barb. From there Joe Bob discusses his meeting with Meskans (Mexicans), The Blacks, and how he helped them create their “head disconnecting” dance style. Joe Bob is a man who enjoys comedy that’s not so much about routine and more about endless rambling that ends with a joke or two. Joe Bob is often known for his very no holds barred commentaries on religion, race, and gender, causing quite the ruckus in old reviews from the drive in, and his famous news letter that garnered such a huge fan base. Surely, at first glance he seems like an offensive caricature, but that’s just the charm of Joe Bob.

Deep down there’s a lot of wit and brilliant subtext about how we take so much about the world way too seriously, when sometimes we should just reflect and laugh about how most of it doesn’t matter in the end. It’s a lot of fun watching Briggs make his audience recite the Drive-In Oath, and break in to a song or two. He also commits to some really funny skits, including demanding that the audience give him a standing ovation. In one moment he even begins looking for a fifth wife, asking the women in the audience to scream out their phone numbers and then asking them to flash their breasts for him. “Dead in Concert” is for a certain kind of fun loving comedy audience that knows what they’re getting with Joe Bob Briggs. He’s a man who is suited for a particular kind of comedy and speaks his mind without any kind of restraint, and you’re either a fan of his silly, absurd commentary on society, or you’re just plain wrong.