The Adam And Joe Show (Channel 4, 1996-2001)
It probably won’t surprise you to know that I am a fan of this terrific late-night comedy show, with a lot of references and parodies of old TV and adverts from a pair who seemed to wish that it was still 1987, and it gained a cult following.
Buxton and Cornish didn’t exactly come from nowhere, they had known one another for years and both featured in Channel 4’s Takeover TV (which was a sort-of You’ve Been Framed! for weirdos) before in 1996 they got their own show which with little publicity just turned up one night in a post-midnight slot, and was seemingly hosted by them in their bedroom, and that probably isn’t that much of an exaggeration this time.
Among the regular features on the show were great parodies of TV and films using a collection of soft toys and Star Wars characters, and they definitely put an amusingly odd spin on such shows as Friends, TFI Friday and Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, plus films including Titanic and Trainspotting.
Also turning up was Adam’s awfully posh father Nigel who was known as “BaaadDad” who knew nothing about pop culture and it was very amusing seeing him being introduced to the likes of Britpop and hardcore techno for the first time and discover his opinions on them.
There were also some great parodies of daytime TV and game shows including the unforgettable Quizzlestick which really should have got a full series and proved that their memories of watching lots of terrible TV in the 80s and 90s hadn’t gone to waste. One sketch I really enjoyed was The 1980s House, a parody of Channel 4 show at the time and yet more proof that they loved that decade. There were even some great song parodies too.
There were also some daft sketches, including trying to answer the very important question of why salt and vinegar crisps bags were green for Walkers but blue for every other make, and an experiment to determine if when you put spacedust and cola in your mouth at the same time your stomach explodes. And there was the feature Vinyl Justice where they went round the house of a famous pop star such as Gary Numan and laughed at some of the old records in their collection.
As well as this show there were also a couple of spin-offs. In 1997 Adam And Joe’s Fourmative Years was a remarkable look back some of the less famous moments of Channel 4’s archive for the 15th anniversary. And in 2000 there was Adam And Joe’s World Of Animation where they took a look at the world of cartoons. Also, the final series was first shown on the newly-launched E4 in 2001 before it was repeated on Channel 4.
After the show ended, Adam and Joe went on to do some other things including a radio show and directing music videos and films. There was also a great book released based on the show and a DVD featuring the best moments from all the series plus lots of fascinating archive extras.