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June 25, 2024, 03:27:23 PM

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Jam screeners

Started by rural, April 27, 2024, 11:24:42 PM

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rural

Hello - very long time lurker here, now with an actual question to post. (I had a search to see if this topic had already been discussed but couldn't see anything, apologies if I missed something).

The Jam DVD includes 2 studio audience versions of sketches as Easter eggs. I'm curious as to what is known about these. Did a pilot actually get shown to a studio audience? Was there ever an intention to have a laugh track?

While I know there's a possibility that these use canned laughter, it really sounds like an actual audience responding, to me.

Shaky

I thought I knew the DVD well but for some reason I'd never heard of this! Quick google throws up the Unflustered Parents sketch on Youtube with audience laughter bolted on top. Really odd. Pretty certain Morris didn't do audience screenings - definitely not in a trad sitcom sense, with a couple of hundred punters filling the pews - so that leaves a couple of posibilities:

1) He added the laughter himself for shits and giggles
2) It is a realtime reaction but taken from a live evening of Blue Jam sketches rather than any sort of Jam preview (from memory everyone lay on beanbags and a lurking Morris complained they were laughing at the wrong things).

Someone here will know more, though.

BJBMK2

Quote from: Shaky on April 28, 2024, 03:05:53 PMI thought I knew the DVD well but for some reason I'd never heard of this! Quick google throws up the Unflustered Parents sketch on Youtube with audience laughter bolted on top. Really odd. Pretty certain Morris didn't do audience screenings - definitely not in a trad sitcom sense, with a couple of hundred punters filling the pews - so that leaves a couple of posibilities:

1) He added the laughter himself for shits and giggles
2) It is a realtime reaction but taken from a live evening of Blue Jam sketches rather than any sort of Jam preview (from memory everyone lay on beanbags and a lurking Morris complained they were laughing at the wrong things).

Someone here will know more, though.

The DVD credits give a Special Thanks to the Barbican, which is where they did that live Blue Jam thing you refer to. But that was in 1998, Jam would have been shot in late 99/early 2000, so it's not taken from that specific evening. But there is always the chance there was some clandestine event/screening later on.

Maybe it was recycled audience reaction from the KLF's Fuck The Millennium thing?

Ambient Sheep

Live Blue Jam thing at the Barbican?!

Wow, that passed me by.  Never heard of it.

I remember reading somewhere that some Jam sketches were literally Blue Jam recordings with the actors miming to themselves, could that have any bearing on it?

M-CORP

I mean, there was definitely this screening at Battersea Arts Centre, but it doesn't sound like the audience noise was used for the screeners:


It might have indirectly planted the seed though. From the SOTCAA website:
QuoteMorris had included the ('Unflustered Parents') sketch in the Battersea Arts Centre selection and was incensed and disappointed by the audience's response. 'They weren't supposed to be laughing at a child being buggered - that's not the point!' he apparently bellowed after the show. Morris was arguing, quite rightly, that - as with most Blue Jam sketches - the comedy rested on the characters' inappropriate reactions rather than the subject matter alone; the 'buggery' line had indeed resulted in a substantial guffaw from the audience (although, to be fair, they'd pissed themselves even more at the 'I'll have a word with him' line).

http://sotcaa.org/history/sotcaa2000/sotcaa2000_frame.html?/history/sotcaa2000/editnews/bluejam.html

I suspect this may have been the inspiration for a little dig at that particular audience, though I'd always assumed that the canned laughter heard on the DVD was just that. I don't believe you'd have gotten a crowd of people (perhaps the sort of people used to being taped laughing at more basic sitcoms) into a pitch black room, and have them respond to the sort of dark, visceral imagery seen in 'Jam' with such loud laughter and applause. It's too unsettling a show if you don't know what to expect. I'd have loved to hear an audience's shocked, nonplussed reaction to, say, The Gush or the episode 4 intro.

Whilst I'm here, I find it increasingly hilarious with each passing year that 'Jam' was apparently too grim and too focused on moral dilemmas, as opposed to just making people laugh... according to Gr***m L***han. (The show has its flaws and poorly aged elements, but it's one show I'd love to see a reimagining of..)

M-CORP

Quote from: Ambient Sheep on April 28, 2024, 08:25:06 PMI remember reading somewhere that some Jam sketches were literally Blue Jam recordings with the actors miming to themselves, could that have any bearing on it?

I'm not sure this is true. If I'm correct the only sketch where this was obviously the case was '4FT Car' in episode 1. Most sketches from the prior radio show were re-recorded and don't sound like they did on 'Blue Jam' - often scripts were refined and lines cut, for better or for worse.

Solid Jim

Quote from: M-CORP on April 29, 2024, 12:25:53 AMI'm not sure this is true. If I'm correct the only sketch where this was obviously the case was '4FT Car' in episode 1.

And that was conspicuously presented as a series of still images, handily avoiding any issues with lip-sync. Perhaps they judged that Kevin Eldon's original performance couldn't be topped?

Ignatius_S

Quote from: BJBMK2 on April 28, 2024, 06:37:44 PMThe DVD credits give a Special Thanks to the Barbican, which is where they did that live Blue Jam thing you refer to. But that was in 1998, Jam would have been shot in late 99/early 2000, so it's not taken from that specific evening. But there is always the chance there was some clandestine event/screening later on.

Maybe it was recycled audience reaction from the KLF's Fuck The Millennium thing?

The Barbican reference would be relating to the JAM: Tokyo-London exhibition, which was shown in London in 2001 and Tokyo, the following year.

There was some discussion a couple of years ago here -https://www.cookdandbombd.co.uk/forums/index.php?topic=95815.0

I didn't go to it but do remember it being on at the time as I was working on a magazine at the time, and mentioned the exhibition in an article.

lazyhour, who went, said the Morris work was a video installation of film clips. 

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