J & B, Still on the Rox

Ed Note: Boingboing's current guest blogger Gareth Branwyn writes on technology, pop and fringe culture. He is currently a Contributing Editor at Maker Media. Recent projects have included co-creating The Maker's Notebook and editing The Best of MAKE and The Best of Instructables collections.

Back in the early '90s, at print bOING bOING, we all took a shine to a Bloomington, IN cable-access TV show called "J & B on the Rox," or just "Rox" (in Wired, Mark called Rox "the best TV show in America"). It was pre-Vlog, proto-YouTube, Wayne's World meets Michael Moore's TV Nation (on prodigious amounts of herb and alcohol). These guys were good. They made it look effortless. And they never took themselves, or their show, too seriously. Now, through the reconnective magic of Facebook, I've found my Bartender J again! Turns out, he and B are back to putting out periodic episodes and releasing some cutting-floor specials, like the video seen below. The most recent episode, Fifteen Months of Katrina, is a moving look at B and (wife and Rox regular) Xy returning to their home after the hurricane and trying to make sense in the aftermath. J & B also have a new podcast, called J & B's Nightcap.


  1. I was on ROX a couple times (no, not under this name) and still have a load of VHS tapes stashed away.

    They’ve been trying to get the vintage ones ported over to DVD finally also, but it’s taking more time than they anticipated.

  2. Last time I picked up a VHS deck I was forced to get one with a DVD player built in (this was immediately after dropping $100 on a new DVD player).

    If I’d had the scratch for it then, I’d have picked up a DVD recorder instead and that’d all be on disc already.

  3. A few, but I don’t exactly trust used equipment (and got burned last time I took a VCR in for repairs).

  4. I am actually the person converting all of these programs to DVD. Season Zero (episodes 1-7) are available on DVD right now. I have been working on Season One for well over 2 years now. It has been a time constraint issue more than anything else. I have all the episodes on the computer ready to edit, just not the time. Since I’m doing this out of love, and not for money, I can only work on this when I have free time. I don’t have much anymore due to schooling, working full-time and an expecting wife…….

  5. Ah yeah, back in the mid/early 90’s, I believe it was Tuesday night, all us Bloomingtonians would gather ’round the TV to catch the latest episode.

  6. I lived in Btown for five years and watched J&B on public access for much of that time. If you watch the shows and are familiar with the town, you can see how much the IU campus and downtown has changed in the last decade. Great find, cheers.

    Sean W.

  7. I definitely remember watching J&B on BCAT way back when I was an undergrad at IU. Sometimes it would be followed by a show where someone would flip a tiny, plastic teeter-totter back and forth. For 30 minutes.

    Ah, public access TV.

    Anyway, good to see J and B are still around!

  8. Heh…LML, I wasn’t dogging you for any delays in the DVDs or anything, just mentioning that the guys were in the process of trying to get it out there eventually.

    I remember the plastic seesaw show too. And “Pots, Pans and Pot”, “Raw Shorts”, “Booby Hatch”, etcetera, etcetera.

  9. I just need to say that it’s very freaky to be scrolling down the BB front page and see a large representation of the face of my freshman roommate.

    (Joe was a great roommate, even if he did take up most of the available wall space with his marksalot rendition of The Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock)

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