Jam was a British horror/comedy sketch show, created, written, and directed by Chris Morris. It was broadcast on Channel 4 between 23 March and 27 April 2000. It was based on the earlier BBC Radio 1 show, Blue Jam, and consists of a series of disturbing and surreal sketches, unfolding over an ambient soundtrack. Many of the sketches re-used the original radio soundtracks with the actors lip-syncing their lines, an unusual technique which added to the programme's unsettling atmosphere.
The sketches themselves would often begin with a simple premise, i.e. two parents showing indifference to the whereabouts of their young child, and then escalate it with ever-more disturbing developments (the parents being phoned to come and identify the child's corpse, but asking if it can instead be taxied to their home, as they don't want to interrupt their evening). The cast, composed of actors Morris had worked with in his early satirical shows, such as The Day Today and Brass Eye, included Amelia Bullmore, David Cann, Julia Davis, Kevin Eldon, and Mark Heap, as well as occasional appearances from Morris himself.
Morris introduced each episode in the style of a surreal compère, reading free form poetry over a nightmarish montage, often depicting someone as their life spirals out of control (for instance, one montage sees an unkempt man drinking from a bottle in a bag as he walks down the street, before being kidnapped by "dung-breathed men" and forced to wrestle pigs in the Fens).
Jam was co-written by Peter Baynham, with additional material contributed by Jane Bussmann, David Quantick, Graham Linehan, Arthur Mathews, and the cast themselves. The show perplexed audiences and critics on its initial broadcast. Some hailed it as breakthrough, daringly original television, while others dismissed it as merely sickening and juvenile.