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Blue Jam

Chris Morris' surreal radio series, described as "Ambient Comedy". This would air at midnight on BBC Radio 1, and would be a mixture of music and dark sketch comedy in a Media Barrage-lite style, with everything fading and cross-fading into each other. The last episode of the first season was incomplete on its airing; the BBC had told him to cut out a sketch featuring a cut-up of the speech given at the time of Princess Diana's death over a bed cut from "Screenwriter's Blues" by Soul Coughing. Morris edited the show as requested, but then, at the last minute, swapped the tapes for the original version of the show with the offending sketch. The night it aired, the engineer faded out Episode 6 after most of the cut-up aired, and cued up Episode 1 to fill out the rest of the hour. It's not sure whether or not the Engineer at the time decided to just let the sketch run because it was funny, fading it out after it was almost over, just to cover his ass, or if it merely took that long for him to realize what was airing, to find the tape for the first episode and then cue it up to a proper point in the show. There're even rumors that Chris Morris himself even planned the entire dust-up, but these haven't ever been confirmed. (The edited version of Episode 6 aired as the first episode of the second season, so no other material was lost.)

Each episode began and ended with a stream-of-conciousness monologue delivered by Chris Morris, beginning in a "When" statement and ending in "welcome, [different combination of words and/or nonsense syllables]] welcome… in Blue Jam (echo)". An example of a monologue is:

When you sick so sad you cry, and in crying cry a whole leopard from your eye.
Computer voice: Sad mammal
If you angry so mad ye tongue burst and mouth juice run gall bladder bitter.
When you sick so sad you place your face in the puddle of a lay-by waiting for lorry to splash it.
And when you are inside the infinite misery jumper pulling it over and over your head with no hope of ending because it's replicating at the waistband and you never get out.
Then ee welcome…
… oh then ee arth welcome in Blue jam

Warp Records released a 1 CD long best-of, though I think it's only available in the UK. Blue Jam was the source for Chris Morris' later projects Jam and Jaaaaam, as well as his short film My Wrongs 8245-8249 and 117 and his series of columns in the Observer newspaper credited to "Richard Geefe", Time To Go.

While Jam is my favorite iteration of this project, Blue Jam does show off Morris' great taste in music and can be listened to both for the hilarious sketches as well as for being turned on to some cool music. I discovered Mr. Scruff through Blue Jam, along with Serge Gainsbourg's "Bonnie and Clyde". For the full effect, it can help to listen to this with all the lights off and at the moment when you're a little rummy from lack-of-sleep so you can latch onto the dream logic of the bits. One of my favorites is the nightmarish ident about Mark Goodier's baby – about the BBC DJ's new baby, who isn't so much a baby, but rather some skin and fat Goodier had removed from himself and had stitched together, drawn a face on, and cut a gash in for the mouth – which "baby" he takes around and shows off, and "feeds" bananas to by mashing them into the fatgash.

Uh, this show's probably not really for the squeamish.

Torrents seem to be available here, along with lists of the sketches and music lists. Here are some episode transcripts [1], [2], [3], [4].