Joe Bob Goes to the Drive-In

Joe Bob Goes to the Drive-In coverJoe-Bob Goes to the Drive-In

Submitter: First, I doubt that the forward was written by the Stephen King we all know.  Also, Joe Bob is very slangy and chauvinistic, as of the pig variety.  He describes girls as hot to trot skirts, and reviews a movie as a “pretty decent breast flick with good moaning.”  In Joe Boober, I mean Bober’s assault on good literature, he gloriously offends every type of person and group with sleazy slang and cringe-inducing verbalisms.

Holly: I guess that’s why the Wall Street Journal calls him “the aficionado of trash” on the back cover of the book (see below). Takes one to know one.

Who Is Joe Bob Briggs

This Guy is Really Scary

Joe Bob intro

Nymphos and Psychos



  1. Gee, this misogynistic douche-canoe has trouble getting along with women? I’m shocked, shocked!

    The writing in the intro definitely feels wrong for Stephen King, the author.

  2. I can believe it’s the “real” Stephen King. He’s quite fond of trashy horror films himself.

  3. Probably is the real Stephen King. Joe Bob was publication shed in newspapers, and, as a women’s studies major, I found him hilarious. I still quote one of how s best lines “the plot got in the way of the action.”

    1. I, too, would vote for it being the real Stephen King. And yeah, I’d weed on age, but I’d take it home and read it–I loved Joe Bob Briggs! He was funny back in the day. We used to watch him hosting late-night movies, like a redneck Elvira, Mistress of the Dark. Joe Bob is still around–my mom met him a couple of years ago when he spoke at…a library conference.

  4. I would weed this book based on age alone. Having said that…you do know that this is supposed to be humor/parody, right? Joe Bob Briggs is “the aficionado of trash” because the all the movies he reviewed were really bad, trashy movies. It was his thing. He created this redneck persona who wrote stupid reviews of movies that were so bad they were good, from the point of view of a guy who actually liked the movies. You can still get offended by his language if you like, but don’t think those reviews were written seriously. Joe Bob Briggs is a made-up persona, meant to be ridiculous.

    Stephen King probably did write the foreword. Joe Bob was a syndicated humor columnist at the time and had several books out. His other writing is smart and funny.

    1. I have to agree. Joe Bob Briggs is as reliable a narrator as Stephen Colbert or Borat. The depths of misogyny to which he sinks are pretty shocking even for a buffoon persona, though, and I think public perception has changed enough to move him from “so tasteless it’s funny” to “so tasteless it’s actually uncomfortable.”

      1. I think public perception has changed enough to move him from “so tasteless it’s funny” to “so tasteless it’s actually uncomfortable.”

        True for me, at least.

    2. Thanks, Amy, for letting folks know that Joe Bob Briggs and his writing was simply parody, and pretty artful at that. When I lived in Austin, TX, in the mid ’80s his article was a highlight of the weekly alternative paper–made me laugh out loud like Dave Barry (Berry?) and others of that genre. Sure, I’d weed him too, because people have surely lost track of him; comedy is very perishable. But dang, he was funny. Joe Bob says check him out!

  5. No, it’s the “real” Stephen King. For a while, there were even rumors that King *was* Joe Bob. (In reality, Briggs is a movie critic named John Bloom.)

    The book is probably outdated, but jeez, I consider myself as feminist as you can get, and I thought Briggs could be amusing. He was parody, not a how-to guide.

  6. I remember reading this when I was younger! The line that has stuck with me across the years is one in which he is trying to find a tactful way to describe a sex scene in a movie, finally settling on: “At any rate, two skirts have lunch on an airplane”. Classic, classic stuff.

  7. Not having read this particular book, I can’t comment on the level of misogyny, but Briggs was one of the most prominent reviewers of horror and cult cinema back in the ’80s and ’90s. Unless the entire book is nothing but one long screed against women, I think it could still serve as a reference to an era of film that doesn’t necessarily get a lot of attention.

    The redneck schtick combined with the tendency of the films he reviewed to show boobs as often as possible is why some of that humor has not aged well. It made sense at the time, but in this day and age, when going to an R-rated movie doesn’t guarantee lengthy topless shower scenes, it seems out of place. That’s likely why you don’t see him doing it anymore.

  8. Oh come on, in a public library, “balanced collection” means having film guides for horror and dumb action films, too. This particular title probably hasn’t aged well and is more humor than a film guide, but if it’s still circing, keep it. Who else is going to review these types of films: Paulene Kael? Roger Ebert?

    1. There are more than a few specifically geared to this stuff, and if Joe Bob’s persona is an issue, some of them provide the info without the sexism. I’m very fond of the Psychotronic Encyclopedia of Fim myself.
      But I do agree that yes, having some coverage of trash films (however you define that) is good. I’d love it if my library had the Bigfoot Filmography.

  9. It is the real Stephen King. In fact, Joe Bob has a cameo as “Joe Bob” the cop in the mini series “The Stand”.

  10. Satire bona fides: He was also a Daily Show correspondent for a while.

    Monstervision was great.

    1. He didn’t do Joe Bob on the Daily Show, though; he did a sacrilegious summary of religion in the news, if I remember correctly.

      Since more and more of these films are showing up on the long tail of home video, I think this book is still relevant. How else am I going to know how many naked breasts are in a movie?

  11. I am female, I owned this book, may still have it somewhere and thought it was hilarious at the time. My mother gave it to me! It is satire. It seems like some of the submissions on this blog lately are because of personal tastes of not liking them or being offended by them according to current standards, rather than because they meet the standards for weeding.

  12. Real, live Stephen King. I own this book. Joe Bob was king of trashy movies back in the late 80s, early 90s. He had his own show on The Movie Channel that ran for like 10 years, with him showing the trashiest movies ever. It was awesome.

  13. Yes, this is decidedly tongue in cheek. As others have said, Joe Bob Briggs was the outsized persona of John Bloom, who belongs in the pantheon of MST3K, Svengoolie and John Waters when it comes to cult cinema.

    Incidentally, my mom did his PR in the 80s. She said in reality he was so shy he would barely look you in the eye.

  14. Oh, I want that book! I used to watch Joe Bob all the time and read his reviews! They were the best! I’d often tell my husband that we had to see a movie because of Joe Bob! I am a lover of really good bad movies. Joe Bob’s reviews greatly influenced me in describing movies to others, although as I am a feminist, I also include the number of knees to the ‘nads, hot guys, etc!

    1. Mary, give me your address and I’ll send you the Joe Bob at the drive-in book. Can you belive it? I had the book on a free shelf at my library and no one took it.

  15. His “Profoundly disturbing : shocking movies that changed history!” is a really great book for any library that–like mine–sees most of its challenged material in DVD form, not book form.

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