Joe Bob's Drive-In Jamboree
Mahoning Drive-In - Lehighton, PA
Joe Bob Briggs has gotten me through some tough times in my life. When I was a mixed up teenager, bouncing back and forth between homes and not sure that I'd live long enough to get my drivers licence, he was there with MonsterVision. He opened the door to a deeper level of appreciation for not only horror movies, but movies in general. He made me laugh when I didn't have much to laugh about. He gave me a much needed escape hatch from this world for a few hours a week at a time when I desperately needed something to look forward to.
Seventeen years after MonsterVision was cancelled, Joe Bob once again got me through a tough time in my life. I had recently lost a job that I loved and that made me feel good about myself, and once again, there was an escape hatch. This time it was called The Last Drive-In, which began as a dawn-to-dusk-to-dawn marathon, and branched out to become a regular series on Shudder. It also spawned the #MutantFam community.
I had the opportunity to meet Mr. Briggs at a horror convention in New Jersey a few years ago, and he could not possibly have been a kinder and more gracious man. I sometimes have a hard time relaxing and finding the words I want to say when I talk to folks, but it seemed like he picked up on it and effortlessly eased my anxiety as he chatted for us for about an hour about movies, life and the world. He's is truly a kind, and decent, and genuinely good human being, and I was honored just to be able to shake the man's hand and thank him for years of happiness in dark times.
Season Three of The Last Drive-In continues tonight at 9:00 pm, but there's something I'm looking forward to even more. At noon, tickets go on sale for Joe Bob's Drive-In Jamboree. It's a three day event that's happening this July just a stones throw from my home. It will include the first annual Mutant Film Festival, a live version of The Last Drive-In, a haunted drive-in event, live music, sideshow acts, celebrity guests, autograph tables, food, drinks and horror movies hosted by Joe Bob and Darcy. Since the pandemic began, it's been a long time since I had an event to look forward to, and I can think of no better way to break out of quarantine than to do so at a drive-in with the world's greatest host and the Mutant Fam.