ROX (originally titled J&B on the ROX) is an independently produced TV series, first shown on the public access television station CATS (Formerly BCAT) in 1992. The first episode, appropriately titled "Episode Number One", appeared on television on July 7th, 1992.
In its original incarnation, the show was filmed in the Bloomington basement of its two creators and main characters, J and B. The show presented itself as a how-to guide to mixing and consuming alcoholic beverages, with each show generally focusing on one or two drinks. Combining humorously irrelevant high-brow banter with creative use of low-budget production values, the show quickly garnered a cult following.
Numerous news articles were written about the show and its producers, in particular when they found themselves pushing the bounds of free speech. In a few cases, the public-access TV administrators felt bound to disallow some of the show's more controversial material, citing the long-standing precedent that broadcast media should be subject to more rigorous standards of public decency than print media. This controversy served to cement the show's celebrity among its already-loyal fan base.
In 1995 Wired magazine called ROX "The best TV show in America." And also in 1995 Time Magazine called ROX, "The first television show broadcast in cyberspace."
The show returned for a fourth season after an eight year hiatus, and is now distributed almost exclusively by the internet. Each of the fourth season episodes is available for download on the ROX Website, and material from older episodes is also made available as space allows. Season Zero (Episodes 1 - 7) and Season One (Episodes 8 - 32) are also available on DVD.
On July 3rd, 2012 the troupe reunited for an event at the Comedy Attic titled "Season One DVD Release Party & 20th Anniversary Celebration." CATS filmed the entirety of the event, which was used as Episode 97 aptly titled "ROX Season One DVD Release Party & 20th Anniversary Celebration."
July 3rd, 2013 the mayor of Bloomington, Mark Kruzan bestowed a day to ROX, called "National ROX Day." The declaration reads: Whereas, although Joe Nickell and Bart Everson didn't set out to become television pioneers that's exactly what happened when J&B on the ROX "hit the airwaves" on July 7th, 1992. And whereas, with little broadcast experience a fair amount of mid-western chutzpah and absolutely no budget, Joe and Bart hereafter referred to as J and B soon became a weekly late night fixture attracting a loyal fanbase of students, sleepwalkers, sleepwalking students, bouncers, bar flies, retired mixologists and insomniacs. And whereas, week after week Carl Orff's "O Fortuna" signaled the start of something somewhat magical as J and B pushed the bounds of free speech and good taste for a full thirty minutes. Therefore I, Mark Kruzan Mayor of Bloomington do hereby proclaim July 7th, 2013 as National ROX Day in Bloomington Indiana, in honor of the twenty first anniversary of this groundbreaking TV show.
On June 26th, 2018 the troupe reunited yet again for an event at the Comedy Attic titled "Second Season Digital Release Party & Tarnished Silver Anniversary Party" to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the first airing of the show on CATS.