Darkly Surreal UK Comedy Masterpiece "Jam"

Richard Metzger is the current Boing Boing guest blogger

Reclusive British comedy genius Chris Morris came out with his darkly surreal masterpiece of weirdness, "Jam" (based on his "Blue Jam" radio show) in 2000, but sadly because of expensive music rights issues, "Jam" has seldom been seen outside of the UK. This is a shame, because "Jam" is a uniquely...um... well... ah...hmmm... I hesitate to call it "comedy" because it's so odd and disturbing, but if I called it "David Lynchian" comedy, we'd be in the right ball park at least. "Jam" is like a bad --make that very bad-- acid trip played for laughs. Take a look at one of the show opens:

Not exactly "funny ha ha" stuff. In fact, there's nary a traditional "joke" in the entire series. There are six episodes of "Jam" and although I'd classify myself as a huge fan of the show, six episodes of something like this is plenty!! The style would've become a creative dead end. But a great talent like Chris Morris wasn't to repeat himself anyway --his next project, the wonderfully vicious satire of dotcom dickheads, "Nathan Barley" was quite a shift away from the brooding psychopathy of "Jam." I eagerly await his feature comedy debut, rumored to be about Islamic terrorists and suicide bombers.

This is one of my favorite "Jam" moments, "Mister Lizard" featuring the always brilliant actor, Mark Heap --he's in tons of stuff-- as a creepy television repairman.

Here's another great "Jam" clip with another UK comedy auteur, Julia Davis, creator of the "wheelchair Gothic" classic, "Nighty Night" as a particularly stupid woman: