Blue Jam

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Blue Jam was an ambient radio comedy programme created and directed by Chris Morris. It aired on BBC Radio 1 in the early hours of the morning from 1997 to 1999.

The programme gained cult status due to its unique mix of surreal monologue, music, synthesised voices, heavily edited broadcasts and recurring sketches. It featured the vocal talents of Kevin Eldon, Julia Davis, Mark Heap, David Cann and Amelia Bullmore. Morris himself delivered disturbing monologues, one of which was revamped and made into the BAFTA-winning short film, My Wrongs #8245–8249 & 117.

Writers who contributed to the programme included Graham Linehan, Arthur Mathews, Peter Baynham, David Quantick, Jane Bussmann, Robert Katz and the cast.

Chris Morris is known for pushing the limits of what is acceptable for the media, as is illustrated by an incident surrounding the sixth episode of Blue Jam, named after the sketch which precipitated it, "Bishopslips".

Contents

Format and style

Each episode opened (and closed) with a short spoken introduction (delivered by Morris) describing, in surreal, broken language, various bizarre feelings and situations, set to ambient music interspersed with short clips of other songs.

Common recurring sketches

  • Doctor (played by David Cann): "The Doctor" is a seemingly "normal" physician working in a standard British medical practice. However, he has a habit of treating his patients in bizarre and often disturbing ways, such as prescribing heroin for a cold, making a man with a headache jump up and down in order to make his penis swing (while mirroring the patient's bewildered jumping himself) and making a patient leave and go in to the next room so he can examine him over the telephone.
  • The Monologue Man (played by Chris Morris): Short stories, often up to 10 minutes in length, written from the perspective of a lonely and socially inept man. Invariably involving the man's acquaintance 'Susie', but in different capacities each time, Morris paints a picture of insanity with sober and reasonable clarity.
  • Michael Alexander St. John: A parody of hyperbolic and pun-laden radio presenting, St. John presents items such as the top 10 singles charts and the weekend's gigs.
  • Monged Sex: Short clips of two lovers making increasingly bizarre erotic requests of one another, such as "shit[ting] your leg off" and "mak[ing] your spunk come out green".
  • The Interviewer (played by Chris Morris): conducting real interviews with celebrities such as Andrew Morton and Jerry Springer, Morris confuses and mocks his subjects with ambiguous and odd questions.
  • Mr. Ventham (played by Mark Heap): An extremely awkward man who requires one-to-one consultations with what seems to be his psychologist for the most banal of matters.

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