Jam (TV series)
show_name = Jam
creator = Chris Morris
caption = The front cover of the
DVDrelease of "Jam".
format = Ambient
runtime = approx. 25 minutes
starring = Chris Morris
Mark Heap Kevin Eldon Amelia Bullmore David Cann Julia Davis
country = UK
first_aired = March 2000
last_aired = April 2000
num_episodes = 6
"Jam" is a British comedy television series created by Chris Morris. It was based on the earlier
BBC Radio 1show, " Blue Jam", and consisted of a series of unsettling sketches unfolding over an ambient soundtrack.
Many of the sketches re-used the original radio soundtracks with the actors lip-synching their lines, an unusual technique which added to the programme's unsettling atmosphere.
The show was broadcast on
Channel 4during March and April 2000.
The cast included
Amelia Bullmore, David Cann, Julia Davis, Kevin Eldonand Mark Heap. It was written by Chris Morris and Peter Baynham, with Jane Bussmann, David Quantick, Graham Linehan, Arthur Mathews and the cast. Chris Morris also stars in some sketches, although not as many as his co-stars.
The series consisted of six twenty-minute episodes, and, unusually for a TV show on a commercial channel, had no
advertbreak in the middle. Some reports claim this was because no company would want their products associated with the show. However, Morris has said that he asked Channel 4 to broadcast it without a break in order not to spoil the atmosphere. [ [http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/the-distorted-world-of-chris-morris-720611.html The distorted world of Chris Morris - People, News - The Independent ] ] . The closing credits were also missing, replaced by a brief link to a website[http://www.channel4.com/entertainment/tv/microsites/J/jam/credits_ns6.html] . When the DVDof the series was released, the website changed and offered a link to a long sound file containing the thumping sound of heavy artillery, which it is suggested is played while watching the programme to simulate surround sound.
"Jam" is sometimes referred to as being "controversial", but in spite of containing scenes many would find quite disturbing (and prompting at least one article in the
Daily Mail), it nonetheless did not receive the same outraged headlines as the " Brass Eye" episode on paedophiliaChris Morris produced the following year.
Jaaaaam was a late-night remix of "Jam". Its audiovisual distortions of the original series introduced the musical
remixconcept to British television.
"Jam" came 26th on a list of the " [http://www.channel4.com/film/newsfeatures/microsites/S/scary/results_30-21_1.html 100 Greatest Scary Moments] " on Channel 4, managing to beat other more famous horrors such as "Carrie" and "The Silence of the Lambs".
There were no opening titles to the show. Instead, they would begin with a strange and often disturbing monologue by Morris along with appropriate images. They usually concerned someone finding their paranoid fears being made real or some other bizarre happenings, such as a man waking up to find his body is that of a bizarre maggot creature (with Morris's dispassionate dialogue reading "...and when you wake up, wondering where you are, only to find that the rest of you is wondering where you've gone"), or a man visiting his bank's safe deposit vaults in order to feed a baby he apparently keeps in his lockbox ("When dreadful duty leads you to the place where you have stored It").
Morris would then declare "Then welcome", followed by a nonsensical sentence (e.g. "Ooh, astonishing sod ape") before finally announcing "Welcome...in Jam." The word "Jam" would never be said normally; it would either be heavily distorted, said in a strange fashion or just screamed at the viewer, usually repeatedly.
Sketches often had a documentary feel to them, with the character(s) acting as if they were being interviewed about recent events.
The DVD for the series is designed almost as a satire on DVDs themselves, with numerous pointless extras. For instance, each episode has both a normal version and a special version, which is usually the normal one but distorted in such a way as to make it completely intolerable, if not impossible, to watch (respectively: a miniaturised version, a miniaturised "moving" version, a moving lava lamp version, a fast forwarded version, the first 19 seconds of the episode and a fast forwarded version reexpanded to the original running time - the last being the only one reasonably capable of being watched without extreme difficulty).
In addition, the items listed under the "Extras" on the disc are much of the time little more than additional copies of sketches, with the occasional deleted scene or shot of an audition or rehearsal. The only exceptions are Adam and Joe's "Goitre" parody of Jam and a link to "Undeleted Scenes" which, when selected, advises the viewer to take the DVD back to the shop they bought it from and complain "loudly and obnoxiously" about the lack of undeleted scenes.The DVD was deleted by suppliers in February 2008 but was re-released in July of the same year.
* Selecting "Play All At Once" from the "Play All" menu reveals a large red dot; if you press the select button on your DVD remote when this is shown, an audition for a deleted scene is shown.
* At the end of episode three, just before the TalkBack productions credit is shown, a dogs face is flashed up on screen for a few seconds, with a red dot. When the dot appears, pressing select will show the trailer for Morris's 2003
short film, My Wrongs 8245 - 8249 and 117. The film is an adaptation of a story from Blue Jamabout a dog that takes over the life of its owner. Numerous brief images depicting scenes similar to those in My Wrongs appear in Jam.
Many sketch names come from the [http://www.channel4.com/entertainment/tv/microsites/J/jam/music.html music credits] .
;Opening Poem: "When dancing, lost in techno trance, arms flailing gawky bez; then find you snagged on frowns, and slowly dawns: you're jazzing to the beeptone of a life-support machine that marks the steady fading of your day-old baby daughter. And when midnight sirens, lead to blue flash road mash, stretchers covered heads, and slippy red macadam, and find you creeping neath the blankets, to snuggle close a mangled bird, hoping soon you too will be freezer drawered. Then welcome, ooh blue chemotherapy wig, welcome in Jam". ;Homo Mum Dad:Two parents explain to their son's godfather that they are worried their son will become
homosexualbecause he has a friend who is apparently gay. The father has been having sex with his son's friend to keep him distracted, while the mother has been keeping her son "interested in ladies" by having sex with him. The godfather is encouraged to pitch in and help.;Kilroy: Chris Morris announces it's "The day Kilroy lost his mind." There is then a series of manic shots of a lookalike of television presenter Robert Kilroy Silkgoing mad in a shopping mall, running around naked, shouting at passers-by, urinating on a shop window then falling asleep in a supermarket's freezer after attempting to wrestle a baby from its mother.;Coma: A doctor insists that one of his patients - who is obviously perfectly healthy - is in a coma, one that apparently has no symptoms. He then carries out a mercy killingon the heavily drugged patient.;Shrunken Car: An angry man walks down a street complaining that he recently took his car to a garage and, when he went to pick it up, the car was only four-foot-long, the mechanic insisting that that was how it was when it came in. The complaining man gets angrier and angrier as he explains this anecdote, swearing frequently and eventually attacking the pavement.;One Man Wedding: A forty-six-year-old man explains how he married himself out of fear of being a life-long bachelor. We see a shot of the wedding with the solitary newly-wed driving off on a honeymoon with himself. ;Indian Restaurant: A brief scene shows two men in an Indian restaurant. Poppadoms are served. One man breaks the poppadoms for ease of consumption. His dinner partner becomes enraged, flings the table aside and starts beating up the other man, the violent assault accompanied by very relaxing music.;Thick People: An agency provides thick people for jobs they are good at, such as arguments, which they are apparently very good at winning "because they are too thick to realise they've lost.";Apartment Jumper: A suicidal man wants to kill himself but, instead of leaping from the top of the building, he opts to throw himself from the first-floor repeatedly in case he changed his mind half-way through.;Tree: Standing in a tree, a woman sings "Lovin' You" by Minnie Ripertonwhile a crying man spanks her slowly with a spacehopper.;Infidel: A wife's fury at her husband having been caught apparently having sex with another woman is tempered when her husband tells her he was merely raping the woman.;Doc Knee: In the first of many sketches set in a general practitioner's office, a woman comes in to complain about her sore leg. The doctor goes to rub it and asks "Does this hurt" when in fact he's rubbing his own leg. He loses himself in the pleasure of stroking his thigh and asks the woman to leave. The visuals and audio of the sketch are slowed down, creating a very dreamy and even hypnotic effect.
;Opening Poem: "When roped to concrete, and noose your bauble, for car powered head divorce, then find your scheme all twunted by a honda. And when all your taxi journeys come to this. Then welcome, ooh astonishing sod ape, welcome in Jam".;Sex Birth: A man is seduced by his wife's
midwifeand has sex with her in the next room while his own wife is in the middle of giving birth.;Doc Phone: A doctor insists on going to the next room to listen to his patient list his symptoms over the telephone. The doctor has a very bad memory and ends up forgetting what he's doing, so that when the patient telephones the office next door, the doctor chides him for not making an appointment.;Personal Services Evening: A recurring character is introduced, a man named Mr Ventham. Even compared to the surreal nature of the show, this recurring sketch is clearly dreamlike. In each sketch, Ventham enters a plush office for a meeting with a middle-aged man to whom he goes with his minor problems. In this one, Mr Ventham doesn't know what to do on Saturday evening. He is advised to go and see a show with some friends. Everyone involved in the Mr Ventham sketch is incredibly polite and formal with each other, although Mr Ventham always gets strangely nervous when making small-talk with the secretary outside. ;Porn 99: A Dutch porn star(played by Chris Morris) explains his fear of getting "The Gush", which is apparently a terrible affliction male pornographic movie stars can sometimes get. It involves being unable to stop shooting semen, resulting in the victim ejaculating themselves to death over a period of several days.;Woodshredder Revenge: A man throws himself into an industrial shredder that is set up to spray his bloody remains over his ex-wife's house. He calls out to her before jumping into the shredder so that the horrified woman leans out the window just in time to get a face full of gore.;Madeley: Faked CCTV footage shows television presenter Richard Madeleybeating up a cleaner and having sex with a coffee machine.;Plumber Baby: One of the most controversial sketches of the series shows a woman begging a plumberto "fix" her dead baby. She reasons that the baby is only really constructed of pipes and other materials, and tells the plumber that he would easily be able to repair the corpse to working order. He is very reluctant, but after being offered £1,000 an hour he takes the job and reroutes the central heating pipes through the baby's body. We do not see his completed work, but the mother - who is obviously quite deranged - is very happy with the results.;Gun Idiot: A man holds up a shop, demanding a packet of cigarettes while thrusting a gun into the terrified cashier's face. The armed-robber then insists on actually paying for the cigarettes, and is confused when it is explained to him that he didn't need the gun; he explains that it is for the purpose of ensuring he gets his change. He then slowly exits in amazement, apparently pleasantly shocked at how 'useful' a gun can be. He is the seen walking down the street, and finds he has no lighter for his cigarette. Then remembers his gun, enters another shop and exits with a lighter, shaking his head in amazement as he lights up. He briefly walks down the street, puffing his cigarette, before being tackled to the ground by 2 policemen. The scene ends with him in the back of a police car staring lovingly at his cigarettes.;Woman in Trouble: A brief scene shows a crying woman complaining "I can't feel my cock" when her mother asks her what's up.;Life's So Good: A middle-aged man declares how he doesn't like the idea of dying in his old age and so has himself buried (alive) "while I'm in my prime." He sits up in the coffin during the funeral service, listening to his own eulogy, before being buried and slowly suffocated in his coffin.
;Opening Poem: When walk to work, all swig faced, six months since you clowned it up, and old friends cross the street, and no one pays you any heed, except the dung-breathed men, who often now will pick you up, and van you to the fens, to wrestle pigs. Then welcome, ooh PIG, welcome in Jam".;Sex Fantasy: A woman, with her grinning husband beside her, explains her preferred method of
foreplay. It involves her husband coming home crying and claiming he has just been homosexually raped "by a gang of street poofs." ;Doc Cock: A doctor asks to see a patient's penis, which he then expresses great admiration for, much to the concern of the patient who actually only came in with a headache. The doctor then shows off his own penis. His colleague catches him and tells him off, making it apparent the doctor does this regularly. The doctor then asks if he will be able to do the same thing a few more times before being reported, and the colleague grudgingly agrees. ;Kilburn Protest: A woman whose housing rent has recently gone up decides to take action by lowering the house prices in the area (Kilburn) by spreading grease on shop windows, strewing used bandages all over the pavement and frying excrementon a grill by the side of the road.;TV Lizards: An angry couple complain to a repairman that their new television has lizardscoming out of it. The repairman offers some hopeless solutions ("sweep them up"), and then accuses the couple of putting the lizards there themselves. They angrily ask for his name and his manager's name in order to report him; he only mockingly gives them "Mr. Lizard" and taunts them before strolling out of the house, laughing. The husband becomes mad with rage, and his wife slaps him.;Pay Rise Fart: A manageress cannot afford to give a member of staff a 12% pay-rise so, as an alternative, she offers a 5% pay-rise and she will farton her secretary's head. The employee is quite satisfied with this although the secretary is understandably rather distressed.;Gun Stomach: A man tries to hold up a shop by insisting he has a gun in his stomach. The cashier doesn't believe him and attempts the serve the next customer, so he fires it. The gun shoots the wrong way, blowing the would-be robber's spine out and killing a customer that was waiting quietly behind him. ;Coffin Clinic: A scene without dialogue shows happy couples strolling through the grounds of a private clinic all holding tiny coffins; one woman who has a tiny coffin greets another who is pregnant and waves goodbye to the bump.;Personal Services Wallet: Mr Ventham goes to see his mysterious advisor, to whom he complains he can't find his wallet. The advice-dispensing man suggests he looks around the kitchen for it. The music used is 'The Healing Place' by David Sylvian.;Press Conference: During a press-conference, the parents of a missing child sing a tearful song, accompanied by a cheap synthesizer, begging for their young son to be returned safely to them by his captor.;Scheming Parents: In order to help get their son into a very competitive local school, a couple have been sabotaging the competition. Among other things this involves getting other people's young children drunk and encouraging them to smoke and take up an interest in pornography.
;Opening Poem: "When shakey head, at local paper story of a crime git, then look again and see that he is you, this long lens shifty bugger in the park. When every phone call destroys your life, but the phone aint got a bloody plug. And when waking, wonder where you are, only to find the rest of you is asking where you've gone. Then welcome, ooh arrested for copying dogs, welcome in Jam".;Bored Sex Doc: A doctor (Cann), allegedly to raise money for a little girl with head cancer, offers
telephone sex, even when he is with patients. One patient (Eldon) is horrified when, in between asking him about his symptoms, the doctor keeps picking up the phone or speaking through a headset and saying things like "I've come on my knee", always in a very formal, disinterested voice.;Cleaner: A maid (Bullmore) gets very upset when her employer (Heap) tells her off for taking so long to vacuum the house because she uses a tiny vacuum cleanerthat is only a few inches in height. She eventually convinces him to not only pay her but also to continue dusting with a cloth the size of a postage stamp.;Fixit Girl: In a scene reminiscent of Nikita, a man (Eldon) has a fight with a friend and waits for someone to come round and dispose of the body. The person who arrives is a six-year-old girl, who, despite her tender age, turns out to be very proficient at chopping up corpses. She is also very foul-mouthed and carries a gun. The body turns out not to be dead, but she kills him so that she can finish the job. The police arrest the surviving man.;Personal Services (Chin Warmer): Mr Ventham goes to see his advisor with the dreadful problem that his chin is a bit hot. He is advised to lick his chin and stand on a tall building on a windy day until the order of a tie-mounted "chin cooling sachet" is delivered.;Coffin Mistake: A couple grieving for a miscarried baby (Heap and Bullmore) are horrified when their cheerful neighbour (Eldon) comes round with a present in the form of a miniature coffin, which he proudly proclaims that he made himself. The couple are not impressed, and the man explains that coffins aren't generally used. The conversation runs dry and in attempting to console them. the neighbour lets slip that the baby was his, and that he had paid the woman for sex, to the horror of the woman's husband.;Two Men in a Window: Seen through a window, two men (Eldon and Cann) shoot one another in their rectums with automatic pistols then roll around in agony and apparent sexual pleasure.;Injure for Friends: A very lonely woman with a dull voice (Davis) goes to great lengths to meet people, such as by setting up traps to injure them so she can come to the rescue, or in one instance dressing up as a policewoman and telling a woman her son is dead then immediately asking the sobbing mother if she wants to see "Cats" at the theatre that evening.
;Opening Poem: "When surface from a four day crash, bluebottle gobbed, and hear the children call you maggot mouth, and rise to find they've roped your guts, so fall you jessop. They crown you king cantaloupe, and gob you up a synapse bomb, so now your hooting leathersnake, not clocking you've been prammed, to serenade the door of your ex wife, clocking glares of ice. Then find you've wandered back to school, and frit the squabs, and now here comes a teacher with a copper. Then welcome, ooh fuss fuss fuss, welcome in Jam. ;Acupuncture: A woman who claims to perform
acupuncture(Davis) actually practices crucifixion, explaining that she puts her patients out in the back yard and 'they're usually gone in the morning.';Doc Aldis Lamp: When he is accused of prescribing herointo a girl, a doctor blinds himself by flashing an Aldis lampinto his face and thus enabling him to go home sick (he is intent on driving) and avoid having to give an explanation for his actions.;Sex For Houses: A couple (Bullmore and Eldon) reluctantly agree to buy a house after the obviously unbalanced vendor (Heap) insists that, on top of the asking price, he wants to have sex with the intended purchasers. The couple eventually grow tired of it and the husband lets his mentally handicapped sister take their place for the sex session.;Forgotten Axe: Featuring CCTV footage of his actions, an inept armed robber (Eldon) admits that his plan of holding up a shop with an axe went a bit wrong when "the day I went in with the axe wasn't the same day as the day I made the threatening gestures".;Couple Outside: Standing in a rainy field, a man - played by Chris Morris - explains how he survives by living outside and eating moss and insects. He ignores his wife who keeps suggesting he move back in to the house. He tells that sometimes he thinks that it would be so easy to go back in, but it would be giving up. He concludes by saying that he will probably be killed off by a frost when the winter comes.;Piss Directions: While giving directions, a man urinates on the side of the car belonging to the man asking for the directions. Bizarrely, the car has urinalsall round it, except at the place the man is standing.;Unflustered Parents: Two parents (Bullmore and Cann) seem totally unconcerned when their young son does not come home from school. It is some time before they bother trying to find out what happened to him. When the police telephone them and say they have found the boy's raped and strangled corpse, the parents are rather annoyed that they are obliged to bury him, and the father vows to "Have a word" - polite but indignant - with the man, a friend, suspected of carrying out the murder.
The 'Synapse Bomb' in the opening sequence appears to be a tab of
;Opening Poem: "When dreadful duty, leads you to the place, where you have stored it. And when walking dog, call the children, he won't bite, then see them run, deranged by what you're dragging round, and have been since you found him eyeless stiff and putrid, after seven months of "oh I wonder where hes got to". Then welcome, ooh born dead through your own arse, welcome in Jam.;Apartment Lady: A woman (Bullmore) invites the man from next door into her flat. She opens by asking him to feel her breast, and explains that she will have to slap him for doing so. She does; this repeats, and after a number of similar advances, ends up tricking the man into "raping" her, for which he is arrested. Despite her warnings, the man still gives in to his urges.;Musical Chairs: CCTV footage shows a children's game of
musical chairswhich turns nasty when an over-competitive mother starts attacking other people's children and then the other parents.;Lift Guard: To his horror, a timid security guard in an office (Heap) witnesses several people step into a lift shaft and, thanks to the lift not actually being there, they plunge, screaming, to the bottom. He tries to warn others but his nervousness doesn't allow him to get the warnings out in time. They all ignore him and continue to stroll into the empty lift shaft and fall to their deaths.;Little Girl Balls: A couple (Bullmore and Cann) explain that they are convinced their six-year-old daughter is actually a forty-five-year-old man trapped inside a child's body. They give her an operation to fit her with a penis and testicles. They express particular satisfaction with the testicles. We do not actually see the handiwork, as it is out of shot.;Pub Kiss: Two male friends (Heap and Eldon) start kissing while in a pub, despite evidently having no previous homosexual urges. They try to tell their wives (Bullmore and Davis) when they arrive but the women think it's a joke.;Thick Couple Baby: A couple (Eldon and Davis) go to see a doctor (Bullmore) and refuse to believe the diagnosis that the wife is pregnant. She believes her swollen belly is just a "spot". The couple believe that the doctor is attempting to examine the woman for her own sexual gratification, while the doctor attempts to explain the pregnancy.;How About it Dog: In a veterinarysurgery, a man requests that he is allowed to have sex with his dog while it is in the process of being euthanised. The veterinary refuses, so the man contents himself by just pulling down his trousers while he watches his dog die.;Mah-nu-Mah-nu: Police hunt for a corpse in the woods while two rather bizarre elfin figures (Cann and Roz McCutcheon) leap and covort around them, singing to Piero Umiliani's Mah Nà Mah Nà. One memorable sight is that of a bass clarinetbeing placed in the corpse's mouth and being 'played' by his chest being manually pumped.;Bad Sex: A couple have an incredibly bizarre session of sex, involving such antics as the man fulfilling the woman's request to "shit your leg off" before he begs the woman: "Whack my bonobo!! Whack my bonobo!!". The woman eventually demands that the man makes his sperm come out green, but he can't do this; and when the sex session fails, he complains about his leg. We see very little of this, merely a shot from a camcorder half-buried under a pillow.;Doc Bedwetter: A woman (Bullmore) goes to a doctor with her son, who can't help wetting himself. The doctor insists that there is nothing wrong with wetting oneself, and proves it by doing exactly that in front of his horrified patients. As with most 'Doctor' sketches, the speech is timestretched, and the 'torrent of urine' shot is shown in slow-motion, adding to the dreamlike effect of the sketch.
Adam Buxton and Joe Cornish's characters; "The Media Chaos Collective" from Channel 4's
The Adam and Joe Show, filmed a parody of "Jam", called "Goitre". In the sketch, the two actors made very amateurish attempts at creating unsettling sketches. One such sketch involved a repair man who found a "dead baby" (actually a doll) behind a TV and insisted he would have to bugger it in order to fix the television. The Goitre sketch later appeared as an extra feature on the "Jam" DVD.
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