Chris Morris’s radio series Blue Jam had a life-changing effect on my writing and my understanding of comedy. At some point I was working in an office building, high up on the twenty-seventh floor, with the blinds closed at all times. This was because of sound fears that people might have been spying on us from the hotels across the street. Sadly, the day-to-day routine of the job took away the romance of spying and bribes and classified documents.
One winter day a co-worker handed me the entire radio series of Blue Jam. The twisted humour was a perfect soundtrack for that job. But the most impressive part of Blue Jam was that the jokes weren’t chasing laughs. These were jokes that upended the listener emotionally. From our fears of being bad parents, of trying to cope with terrible doctors, of losing our child, and in the case of ‘My Wrongs’ of coping with depression. Morris captures depression with the many close-ups of Paddy Considine and Rothko the Doberman Pinscher and frenetic editing. In ‘My Wrongs’ we’re trapped in a sustained moment of disintegration without that moment ever being cheated by a false laugh.
Warp Films, November, 2002; available to watch online here