AZ Weekend got a one-on-one interview with this world renowned movie critic and personality.
John Bloom, best known as his alter ego, “Joe Bob Briggs,” is a nationally syndicated “drive-in movie critic” whose wisecracking take on B-movies was featured on two long-running late-night television shows, first on The Movie Channel and then on TNT. That tradition continues with his latest series, The Last Drive-In, currently featured on AMC’s Shudder streaming platform. The new season premieres March 29th. We got a chance to sit down with him when he was recently at the Loft Cinema for his show called “How The Rednecks Saved Hollywood.”
Briggs is also a successful investigative journalist, actor, and author. His nine books include the true-crime classic Evidence of Love (1984), Profoundly Disturbing: Shocking Movies that Changed History (2003) and, most recently, Eccentric Orbits: The Iridium Story (2016).
Briggs has been a finalist for the National Magazine Award three times and was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize by United Press International for his eyewitness coverage of 9/11. He has appeared in several movies, including Casino, Face/Off, and Great Balls of Fire, and was a special commentator for The Daily Show for two years. He toured with a one-man show, Joe Bob Dead in Concert, and continues to be a regular host and Master of Ceremonies at film festivals and exploitation film conventions. Joe Bob is currently touring with his critically acclaimed comedy lecture “How Rednecks Saved Hollywood,” a one-man multi-media presentation that traces the entire history of the redneck, as told through movies, from 16th-century Scotland to the present.
Born in Dallas, he grew up in Little Rock, Arkansas, and attended Vanderbilt University on the Grantland Rice scholarship for sportswriters. He was an award-winning columnist and reporter for the Dallas Times Herald and Texas Monthly prior to his performing career, which has included stand-up comedy, one-man shows at venues like the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco, and dozens of guest appearances on both television and radio, including The Tonight Show, The Today Show, CBS This Morning, and The Diane Rehm Show on National Public Radio. He has also continued to write for newspapers and magazines, including stints for Rolling Stone, Playboy, Talk and The Village Voice – all while hosting Joe Bob’s Drive-In Theater for eleven years on The Movie Channel and MonsterVision for five years on TNT. During the course of his hosting career, Briggs has executive-produced 20,000 hours of television and become the leading authority on exploitation and genre films.
In addition to his internet-breaking return to horror hosting on Shudder’s The Last Drive-In, he is currently a columnist for Taki’s Magazine, where his satirical writings are celebrated by both conservatives and liberals— while simultaneously being attacked by both conservatives and liberals— making him one of the few journalists welcomed by most groups, no matter where they rest on the political spectrum. He believes that humor is the best antidote to sectionalism, partisanship and hatred.