1. AIR DATES: March 11, 18, 1991


    Mark Audrain wins a bar bet from Joe and gets to host the show for a week. At his behest, it’s all sketch comedy (he was rarely involved in the man-on-the-street segments.)

    The centerpiece is a domestic family sequence, which Joe films, then Mark overdubs to reinterpret as an orgy of cannibalism. Regular cinematographer Katalina Groh also steps in front of the lens to offer a seductive eating of a banana (definitely Mark’s idea.)

    When Joe returns (whew!) he finds another letter from King Zeke, who’s been shut in the basement by his father, the Reverend Squirmin’ Herman.

    Production Notes:

    The introductory scene, set in the Cove Lounge on East 55th Street, gives a glimpse into the social life of the crew, who would gather there to watch episodes on their big-screen TV. Mark did in fact win a bar bet from Joe, although, as you’d expect, liberties were taken in the television re-enactment.

    This episode was delayed in reaching broadcast, because Joe’s car was broken into and the master and all raw tapes were stolen. Thankfully, they were later recoverd, unharmed.

    Camera and Sound: Katalina Groh, Joe Winston, Dan Margulies, Paul Pomerleau.
    Performers: Kate Olsen, Michelle Heuer, Paul Birchall, Juan Luco, Paul Pomerleau, Mark Audrain, Anthony Perez-Diaz.

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  2. Air Dates: May 6, 13, 1991


    Interviews with gay men (approached on the street) about their lifestyles and straight women (regular contributors Katalina Groh, Kate Olsen and Michelle Heuer.) The women are lively as always, but neither the interviews nor monologues dig deep enough to be memorable.

    Production Notes:

    By this time, Joe’s Basement had become notorious enough to earn a full-blown feature in the Chicago Tribune. A reporter and photographer observed the taping of the show’s opening, in which Joe sits in a chair a reads from not one, but ten pieces of fan mail.

    In fact, the project’s creativity was flagging, and the best episodes were behind us.

    Camera and Sound: Joe Winston, Paul Pomerleau, Dan Margulies, Jonathan Cohler, Martin Hammett.
    Cast: Katalina Groh, Michelle Heuer, Kate Olsen.

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  3. "Beer and Pretzels Theater" is a mixed-media "live" show blending video of some of the best of "This Week in Joe's Basement," with live musicians and actors. A Minute of Fame Booth in the theater lobby allowed audience members to record videos which were incorporated into the show. Created and performed at the Organic Theater in Chicago in the fall of 1994, using spit, glue and VHS tape.

    1:28 The "Sugar, Fat and Caffeine" Song
    3:52 The American Dream Part 1 : Sugar (Teenagers)
    7:35 The American Dream Part 2: Fat (Guns)
    12:14 The American Dream Part 3 : Caffeine (UFOs)
    16:19 Angel Hair (Oliver quits the band)
    18:34 Widening Taps (Cosmo took some mescaline)
    21:04 One Minute of Fame
    24:24 Joe Picks a Winner
    27:20 The Band Leaves
    30:18 Super Big Surf
    38:13 Who Killed Joe? Act One : The Gathering Storm
    45:30 Another Minute of Fame
    46:30 The Strange Little Man Who Lives in My Father's Lab
    52:30 The Name Game
    55:56 Who Killed Joe? Act Two : The Plot Thickens
    1:02:11 Another Minute of Fame
    1:03:02 The FCC Attempts to Intervene
    1:10:39 Who Killed Joe? Act Three: The Circle Closes
    1:16:22 The Butt Creature

    # vimeo.com/141167990 Uploaded 151 Plays 0 Comments
  4. Who is this odd person who enters a physics lab, day, after day, and pretends to work there?

    # vimeo.com/30058337 Uploaded 94 Plays 0 Comments
  5. 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.)

    Joe introduces himself, then sits in his kitchen, drinking a beer and making a snack, while a timer counts down the remaining minutes of the half-hour program.

    AIR DATES: July 2, 10, 1989

    Production Notes:
    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.”

    The show aired three times in July of 1989, on Chicago’s Cable Channel 19, with no advance notice or publicity. Its producers gathered at a local bar to watch the initial broadcast, since none of them had cable TV at home. By the end of the half hour, the teeming bar room had cleared, leaving Joe and Paul alone with the bartender.

    # vimeo.com/30878036 Uploaded 161 Plays 0 Comments

This Week in Joe's Basement

Joe Winston

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