New Jersey Film Festival

Joey Skaggs: Satire and Art Activism 1960s to the Present and Beyond

Expired February 13, 2021 4:45 AM
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Joey Skaggs is a satirist, performance artist, and activist who for decades pioneered the use of the media as an integral part of his artwork. Skaggs’ art is both timely and timelessly relevant in that he tackles far ranging cultural, political and social issues, producing works that question and challenge authority and examine societal beliefs in a profound and humorous way. These four short documentaries are the first in a series of Joey Skaggs oral histories produced with technical support from NYU’s Moving Image Archiving and Preservation program in the Tisch School of the Arts. In Joey Skaggs: The Early Years, 1940s to 1960s, Joey looks back at some of the earliest influences that led him away from the art establishment and into the streets. In Joey Skaggs: Art as Activism, 1960s and 1970s, Joey talks about the roots of his activism and his earliest renegade and inflammatory performance art in the streets of New York City. We see the spark that ignites his life-long controversial relationship with the news media. In Joey Skaggs: The Bad Guys Talent Management Agency, using historical archival footage, Joey tells the hilarious story of this 1984 media performance piece in which he helps his friend Verne fulfill his life-long ambition to become an actor. And in Joey Skaggs: The Fat Squad, Joey enlists his stable of eager actors and unleashes them as Fat Squad commandos, tough guys you can hire to use force to keep you on your diet. With extraordinary archival footage, Joey shows how he hooked the global news media, always hungry for salacious stories, into covering businesses that were definitely too good to be true. Joey Skaggs' work is also the subject of Andrea Marini's award-winning feature documentary Art of the Prank, which won the Best Documentary prize at the New Jersey Film Festival back in 2017. 


  • Year
  • Runtime
    52 minutes
  • Language
  • Country
    United States
  • Director
    Judy Drosd
  • Screenwriter
    Joey Skaggs
  • Executive Producer
    Judy Drosd
  • Filmmaker
    Judy Drosd