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  • This Week In Joe’s Basement, episode 01: Structural Cinema

    This Week In Joe’s Basement, episode 01: Structural Cinema

    An homage to the infamous films like **** (24-hours of the exterior of the Empire State Building) and Sleep (eight hours of a man sleeping.). When this was taped, in June 1989, Andy Warhol had recently died, and the Art Institute of Chicago mounted a lavish commemorative exhibition of his art.

    Not only was “Structural Cinema” created without any intention of following it up with an Episode 2 or 3 (both Joe and Paul assumed they’d move on to other projects), but it was not meant to be watched or enjoyed by anyone.

    In fact, the show begins with the host urging viewers to stop watching, and “go outside, read a poem, do something constructive.” Soon the series would adopt as its slogan, “Don’t watch too much TV. It’s not good for you.” Continue reading

  • This Week In Joe’s Basement, episode 02: People As They Really Are

    This Week In Joe’s Basement, episode 02: People As They Really Are

    AIR DATES: August 4,8,14, 1989 Continue reading

  • This Week In Joe’s Basement, episode 03: Self-Indulgence

    This Week In Joe’s Basement, episode 03: Self-Indulgence

    Four people address the camera and deliver improvised, personal monologues. No common thread links the content. The revelations are honest, sometimes interesting, and everyone seems to drunk several pots of coffee. AIR DATES: September 5, 12, 22, 26, 1989 Continue reading

  • This Week In Joe’s Basement, episode 04: Well, At Least We Tried

    This Week In Joe’s Basement, episode 04: Well, At Least We Tried

    An audacious concept, again executed in a single, “uninterrupted” take: Joe introduces the show as a leisurely walk from his house to the Museum of Science and Industry – threatening another “Structural Cinema”-like exercise in videotaped tedium.

    However, though Joe does nothing in particular to engage a viewer, amusing characters appear in the background as the camera rolls. A couple argues endlessly, appearing at every street corner, a harried commuter shoves past Joe, over and over, and a wino follows him the whole way. AIR DATES: October 2, 10 1989 Continue reading

  • This Week In Joe’s Basement, episode 05: Cooking By Committee

    This Week In Joe’s Basement, episode 05: Cooking By Committee

    Sporting a trim haircut and a new T-shirt, Joe is disillusioned with hosting the show, and threatens to quit. Suddenly, Mark Audrain arrives with a surprise birthday cake. This triggers a retelling of the cake’s creation: Mark cooked it himself, with his assistant, the lovely Penelope. Every few minutes Mark’s evil twin interrupts the memory, laughing and hitting himself with broccoli. Penelope multiplies into eight or ten scruffy guys, who make a total mess of the kitchen. Anticipating David Lynch’s Lost Highway, Mark suddenly becomes Paul Birchall, who’s no tidier. What Penelope pulls out of the oven doesn’t even resemble a cake. Thankfully, Joe dumps it in the trash when Mark isn’t looking.AIR DATES:  January 2, 12, 23, 1990 Continue reading

  • This Week In Joe’s Basement, episode 06: Alone In A Dark Room

    This Week In Joe’s Basement, episode 06: Alone In A Dark Room

    Joe turns off the lights, plunging the show into total darkness. In the absence of vision, however, strange sounds emerge. A search for a leaky faucet begets an odyssey of noisy mishaps, progressing to a full-blown Beauty Contest in the dark (interrupted by some pesky mimes.). These conceptual, audio-based high jinx were inspired by the great Ken Nordine, to whom Joe’s Basement owes a considerable debt. AIR DATES: February ?, 1990 Continue reading

  • This Week In Joe’s Basement, episode 07: Enhanced Reality

    This Week In Joe’s Basement, episode 07: Enhanced Reality

    AIR DATES: March 5,12, 1990 Continue reading

  • This Week In Joe’s Basement, episode 08: Stories About Policemen

    This Week In Joe’s Basement, episode 08: Stories About Policemen

    Three monologues about encounters with authority figures, delivered in intense close-up. Each of the performers wears headphones and hears his own voice delayed and filtered by a “harmonizer” manipulated by a crew member. The performers occasionally struggle to keep a train of thought, distracted by these distorted echoes in the headphones.

    Juan Luco recounts his run-ins with an authoritarian soccer coach; Joe Winston relates his arrest and strip-search as a suspected terrorist bomber (these were more innocent times!) and John Harriman remembers his high school days as a casual thief, breaking into people’s homes – and getting caught. AIR DATES: March 19, 26, 1990 Continue reading