Last night at 9 p.m. EST, Joe Bob Briggs returned to hosting horror movie marathons for the first time in nearly 20 years. It seemed no network on the planet was willing to bet on Joe Bob’s ability to draw viewers with his trademark casual approach to discussing horror and exploitation films. Shudder, on the other hand, took that bet happily.
The result? An overwhelming turnout. So much that the AMC-owned streaming horror movie platform had their servers completely bombarded by the massive fan response, as the stream seemed to crash a number of times during the broadcast.
Vocal critics did express some frustration at first, but as the night continued and the stream began experiencing fewer issues, horror fans were mostly just happy to have Joe Bob Briggs back, and ecstatic that he had made such a triumphant return. Many fans expressed patience and understanding during the outages, via Twitter. For their patience and inconvenience, Shudder went against the original intent of making Joe Bob Briggs’ The Last Drive-In an exclusive one-time event, and put the special up on demand immediately following its conclusion.
We love you Shudder!— Michelle Swope (@RedheadfromMars) July 14, 2018
One fan, known only as cthlhu on Twitter, saw fit to help out the horror community as best he could by broadcasting the highly sought-out special on his Twitch stream. As a result, many fans were able to see the broadcast they’d been waiting for since the year 2000.
Twitch, however, didn’t find the solution particularly heartwarming, as they suspended the user for 24 hours. Cthlhu didn’t seem to mind.
Just received a 24hr suspension so I'm golden! Thanks for the support.— cthlhu (@cthlhu) July 14, 2018
In the end, a 24-hour suspension probably seems like a small price to pay, since he’s now being regarded as a hero by many within the horror community.
The incident reached a climax when the man of the hour himself, Joe Bob Briggs, took notice of the selfless act and thought perhaps a reward, rather than banishment, was in order.
By the way, @cthlhu is the guy who put the twitch stream up so people could watch when all hell was breaking loose last night. He saved the day for a lot of people, and for his trouble he got banned by Twitch. We've got a shirt for ya, man, DM me.— Joe Bob Briggs (@therealjoebob) July 14, 2018
As the saying goes, not all heroes wear capes, but this horror hero will be wearing a sweet T-shirt in the near-future.
Although no official comments from Shudder have been made about Joe Bob Briggs returning to the platform, the response to Joe Bob Brigg’s The Last Drive-In, which representatives of the company referred to as “staggering,” makes it seem inevitable that Joe Bob Briggs is likely to become a busy man soon.
Horror films are doing extremely well at the box office right now.The gory, R-rated hit, Stephen King’s IT, was the No. 7 highest grossing film in 2017, and the horror film A Quiet Place is the eighth highest grossing film in 2018 so far.
If AMC wasn’t paying due attention to Shudder before Joe Bob Briggs brought massive attention to the horror platform, it’s likely they’re taking a much longer look at Shudder now, as the unconventional horror streaming service is officially in a position to pull in serious numbers.