In 1986, as a result of the stage show, Joe Bob was asked to be a guest host on Drive-in Theater, a late night B-movie show on The Movie Channel (TMC), related network of Showtime. Briggs went over so well that he was eventually signed to a long-term contract. Joe Bob’s Drive-in Theater became the network’s highest-rated show and ran for almost ten years, and was twice nominated for the industry’s Cable ACE Award. He appeared on some 50 talk shows, including The Tonight Show (twice) and Larry King Live. He was also a commentator for a Fox TV news magazine for two seasons. He also appeared in episodes of the eighth season of Married… with Children as Billy Ray Wet Nap, co-owner of Pest Boys Pest Control.
Joe Bob’s Drive-in Theater ended when TMC changed its format in early 1996. He was off the air for only four months before joining the TNT network, where he hosted MonsterVision for four years. That show ended in July 2000, when TNT likewise changed format. In 2011, the most definitive account of the MonsterVision series (including interviews with Briggs and series mailgirl Honey Gregory) appeared on the cult movie website, Mondo Video. In the late ’90s he also spent two seasons as a commentator on Comedy Central’s The Daily Show (under his given name John Bloom), with a recurring segment called “God stuff” beginning on the 2nd ever episode in 1996. He starred in Frank Henenlotter’s documentary Herschell Gordon Lewis – Godfather of Gore.
In 2018, the horror-themed subscription video on demand service Shudder, owned and operated by AMC, signed Joe Bob for a new series The Last Drive-in with Joe Bob Briggs, which premiered as a 13-film marathon on July 13, 2018. During the premiere, Shudder’s servers crashed as a result of an overwhelming number of subscribers attempting to access the service’s new Live Stream feature. Despite the server errors, the series received critical acclaim from critics and horror fans alike. On July 20, Shudder announced on social media that Joe Bob would return, which was realized as two shorter marathons on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. Beginning on March 29, The Last Drive-in with Joe Bob Briggs marked the return to his double feature format, streaming live on Friday nights, and streaming on-demand on Shudder after the live streaming premieres. The second season of The Last Drive-in with Joe Bob Briggs started on April 24th, 2020 consisting of 10 films. On February 23rd, 2021, Joe Bob Briggs announced on Twitter that Season 3 of The Last Drive-in with Joe Bob Briggs on Shudder will start on April 16th, 2021.
During these TV years, Briggs remained active as a writer, working as a contributing editor to the National Lampoon, freelancing for Rolling Stone, Playboy, The Village Voice, and Interview. He was the regular humor columnist and theater critic at National Review, and he published five books of satire—Joe Bob Goes to the Drive-in, A Guide to Western Civilization, or My Story, Joe Bob Goes Back to the Drive-in, The Cosmic Wisdom of Joe Bob Briggs, and Iron Joe Bob, his homage to the men’s movement. He also wrote and performed in special shows for Fox and Showtime, and collaborated with veteran comedy writer Norman Steinberg on an NBC sitcom that remains unproduced. His two syndicated newspaper columns, “Joe Bob Goes to the Drive-in” and “Joe Bob’s America,” were picked up by The New York Times Syndicate in the ’90s, and he continued to write both until putting the columns on hiatus in 1998. For one year he wrote a humorous sex advice column in Penthouse. In November 2000 he started writing the “Drive-in” column again, this time for United Press International, along with a second column, “The Vegas Guy”, which chronicles Joe Bob’s weekly forays into the casinos of America. In 2003, Briggs delivered Profoundly Disturbing: Shocking Movies That Changed History.
In 1998, Bloom retired from writing newspaper reviews, only to return two years later due to popular demand and continue his column as Joe Bob with UPI. Bloom has also appeared on television as a host of TNT’s MonsterVision horror movie marathons, and has an internet website, The Joe Bob Report, with collections of movie reviews and other articles.
Briggs was president of the Trinity Foundation of Dallas, a non-denominational, non-profit public foundation that serves as a religious watchdog group and publishes The Door, a Christian satire magazine, of which Briggs was a regular columnist and investigative reporter. Some of the efforts of Bloom’s religious watchdog reporting and satire were featured (under his given name John Bloom) in God Stuff, a regular segment in the first two seasons of The Daily Show.