Jesus’ Top Ten 30MOM Skits

By Jesus Rivera | February 19th, 2024

As time has advanced, my tastes have shaped into something else——morphing into another realm of my palette. I have strange bits and pieces from the show that I will always love forever, but the clips I’ve featured here seem to resonate with me the most when going back through the 30 Minutes of Madness universe. I want to add that all of this copy was written by 47 nude men trapped inside of the basement of the house from the hit TV series The Facts of Life, chained to an ominous metal box containing the secrets to the Pythagorean theorem.


The Notepad

Before my involvement in the show, I encountered this sketch in the wild on our local Public Access station 52 while channel surfing. It embodies an insomniac meets whimsical realm, portraying “teens with cameras making goofy shit while their parents are at work.” However, Joe’s performance and the quirky inclusion of Walter Murphy’s disco rendition of A Fifth of Beethoven emit a peculiar, late-night local television vibe that the show inadvertently concocted.
Appeared on episode 6.


Lenny and the Kitchen People

This serves as an excellent example of what could have happened if we extended ourselves into longer-form video. Essentially, it’s a short film cut into segments across episode 7, written by Joe Hornacek and visually executed by Jerry White Jr.. The “plot” essentially revolves around this dopey 90s slacker kid (played by Brian McCarthy) walking into one strange scenario after another, encountering a series of eccentric characters seemingly in one day. At one point, he runs into this freak-a-zoid character (played by Joe Hornacek) wearing a green hoodie stuffed with pillows that is tightly tied around the face, creating a scrunched look to his cheeks while donning protective wood-shop eyewear. Brian’s character touches a punched hole in the wall, and Joe yells, “Don’t touch my Kendra!” proceeding to beat the shit out of him. The entire piece unfolds against the twangs of Repo Man’s 1984 soundtrack, weaving together an idiosyncratic tapestry that effortlessly marries the quirkiness of 1990s MTV-era content with a charm reminiscent of Martin Scorsese’s After Hours.
Appeared on episode 7.


A Night at the Madhouse

I believe this footage was shot on the same evening as another selection on this list, A Southern Tragedy. Essentially, it’s a series of vignettes featuring kids being performative, but it feels as if someone dosed the entire house with rave-era acid via a shared 2-liter bottle of Pepsi. The result is akin to having “the fear” from a bad trip. There’s a clip from this night used on episode 9, simply titled Naked, where Doug Keeney repeats, in an unhinged delivery: “I just feel so naked!” It feels like that could have been the teaser trailer to the sequel.
Appeared on episode 10.


Suburban Legend

This may feel a bit biased because I am featured in this one, and I was heavily involved in the creation of it——but this one feels like an example of what happens when you truly, truly collaborate on an idea. It also gets extra credit points for truly feeling like a goofed-out parody of found footage horror and drugged-out exploitation movies.
Appeared on episode 15.



I feel like people used to believe this sketch slowed down episode 12. I’d contend that it stands as an impressive example of DIY mixed-media art. The concept of “storytime,” primarily a collaboration between Dan Augustine and Joe Hornacek, genuinely comes across as an R-rated fusion of Reading Rainbow and Liquid Television.
Appeared on episode 12.


Sally & Boblo

I adore this one so much. Growing up in Metro Detroit, we had this UHF station, WXON-TV 20, and on Saturday afternoons in the 1980s and 1990s, they had a horror showcase program called Thriller Double Feature, where they would play anything from House of Hammer films to Alice, Sweet Alice to horror exploitation camp like Jean Rollin’s Zombie Lake. If this were expanded into a full-length film in the 1970s, this bit would have totally played on that show.
Appeared on episode 15.


Crazy Larry (2)

In my view, this piece embodies genuine teenage video performance art. It gives off a vibe that could comfortably coexist in a gallery alongside the works of Tony Conrad, Bruce Nauman, Mike Kelley, Nam June Paik, and a touch of Paul McCarthy. The simplicity of Joe Hornacek self-taping, constructing this unhinged character against the backdrop of either a cursed-looking bedroom door or video feedback running on a background TV screen (depending on which installment you watch) coupled with hallucinatory delayed vocals, evokes a blend of hypnotic, hilarious, and occasionally unsettling sensations——as if you were witnessing the final broadcast moments of a character before he plunges into a violent abyss. For me, this served as a true tone setter for what 30 Minutes of Madness ultimately evolved into.
Appeared on episode 11.



I genuinely wish we produced more video collage pieces in the studio using the analog gear they provided. It exudes a sense of true art. Nowadays, people attempt to replicate this vibe in experimental video art circles, but back then, it was just kids being weird, trippy, and funny, creating visually amazing content. What’s exceptionally cool about this work is the utilization of three broadcast cameras in a studio setup, reminiscent of a news station. You’d film people, point one camera at a collage, and simultaneously run pre-taped footage as either an overlay or a green screen key, resulting in a magic trick being pulled off. This vibe resonates 30 Minutes of Madness to me, and I would go to great lengths to cobble together all this coveted equipment again just to recreate this vibe again.
Appeared on episode 10.


PCP Robot

There’s not much else to add about this that hasn’t already been expressed by others. It’s genuinely a special piece of original video art led by Joe Hornacek. I recall all of this unfolding in real time, albeit in slow motion. From John Ryan spray painting “PCP Robot” on the back of an abandoned grocery store to spaced-out conversations about this concept at late-night parties, conceptual sketches and collages in art books, to its actual production. I remember visiting Joe’s house, walking into his bedroom, and being awestruck by handmade sculptures filling the room——crafted from ceramics, paint, hot glue, spare parts, weird electronic pieces, blood, sweat, and tears. On top of it all, the music created by John Ryan and Joe Hornacek deserves remastering and issuance on vinyl. It’s truly one-of-a-kind outsider art. I know reissue record labels that would jizz in their jeans over these sorts of auditory discoveries!
Appeared on episode 12.


A Southern Tragedy

This, to me, is a short film—a genuine piece of 90s transgressive art that would be challenging to pull off in this day and age. It leaves you with this peculiar feeling like, “Who the fuck are these freaks and what kind of glue were they sniffing?!” I still show this one to people, and the reaction is always like, “Whoa.” It feels very illicit.
Appeared on episode 9.

HONORABLE MENTIONS, aka Three Weird Bits:

Episode 4 Intro

Alright, so among my favorites from 30 Minutes of Madness, some aren’t sketches; they’re video moments and edits. The editing in the show impressed, especially considering the era of its production. This was before everyone had Final Cut Pro or Premiere on their computers. Picture two 3/4” analog tape decks, scanning footage in real-time to pinpoint that special moment or human movement and recording it onto another tape, essentially your editing timeline. If you messed up, you had to re-input your in and out points and redo the whole fucking thing. The level of patience, care, and bandwidth required to align these random clips with the beat hits of the backing track is truly inspiring. It gives off a vibe akin to low-rent MTV or Night Flight. Moreover, this one holds a special place because the music was a homemade Dust Brothers/Bomb Squad-style instrumental jammer, crafted by Jerry White Jr. in some archaic DOS program using audio samples obtained by holding a portable tape recorder up to TV and boombox speakers. It’s all about those pre-mashup vibes!
Appeared on episode 4.

Spencer Park

This snippet in the video mixtape which is episode 3, isn’t necessarily a “sketch.” It carries the vibe of an incomplete segment from a home-brewed horror film, resembling something that “could’ve been.” I hold a deep appreciation for SOV (Shot-on-Video) homemade horror films of the 1980s and 1990s, and this exudes a reminiscent tone. If there was ever an opportunity to develop this footage into a short film, there could be oddball potential there.
Appeared on episode 3.

Episode 7 Intro

I touched on this a bit in my words expressed over the episode 4 intro. This kind of work taught me how to edit to music! I recall having a photography class in High School, and the video editing room for our Video Productions class was in an isolation booth in the same room. I would peer through the window in the door, observing Jerry editing this. The sheer multitude of clips pieced together in an analog manner, accompanied by the sounds of Mr. Bungle, are etched into my brain forever. This style of work ended up becoming a calling card for the show in many ways.