I may not be the super die-hard that many people are (looking at you, Crimson Quill!), but I’ve been a fan of Mystery Science Theater 3000 for at least twenty years now. In the intervening years, many people from the show have come and gone, the show was killed, brought back, killed again, spun into a variation, and, now, even a new show on the horizon.
But the prospect of getting all of the old gang back together was too good to resist!
To a packed State Theater in Minneapolis, MN, June 28 saw Rifftrax hosts Michael J. Nelson, Kevin Murphy and Bill Corbet celebrate 10 years of their show… by celebrating MST3K and having on stage with them: Joel Hodgson (Joel Robinson), Trace Beaulieu (Dr. Clayton Forrester, Crow T. Robot), Frank Conniff (TV’s Frank), Mary Jo Pehl (Pearl Forrester), Bridget Nelson (Nuveena, Mr. B Natural), and the host of the revived MST3K, Jonah Ray (Nerdist Podcast and The Meltdown with Jonah and Kumail).
Non-Spoiler Version: I didn’t know how much I missed all of them & their riffing style. I laughed continuously for the whole show, culminating in the “Super Riff-a-Palooza”.
If you missed out on it, the show will be rebroadcast in theaters on July 12!
While I missed them working a full feature film, I think will all the people that were there performing, the use of short films worked out the best.
Mike, Kevin, and Bill started off the show with “The Talking Car”, involving a child being questioned about his knowledge of car safety… in what appeared to be Purgatory, being grilled by 3 talking cars. Suitably nightmarish!
Mary Jo and Bridget came out and did a solo on “A Word to the Wives”, which involved subterfuge and guile to make ’50s husband Darren McGavin buy his wife a new kitchen… which meant a whole new house apparently! The level of inability of McGavin’s husband had when left alone to fend for himself, made me wonder if he’d had some kind of brain trauma! That and the plotting of the wives came off as wonderfully Machiavellian!
“The Mads” Trace and Frank did there solo with “More Dates for Kay”, an instructional guide for girls wanting to date more. If that sounds odd & creepy, you would be correct! Even with Frank cautioned that this show was “PG-13″, the subject itself made if far easier to laugh at the absurdity of it all!
The Rifftrax gang came back out for “Shake Hands with Danger”, a safety film from Caterpillar that is filled with the best/worst blood effects I’ve ever seen! You’ll never work a construction site again. And, yes, they were right-I can’t get that damn theme song out of my head!
Joel and Jonah showed us “Barbers and Beauticians”, sponsored by the AFL-CIO… which is funny in and of itself! Having the old guard and the new kid was a great pairing, though Jonah needs to be less topical with his riffs. He’s new at this, but I think with some experience, he’ll work out fine.
The whole gang came out for Riff-A-Palooza and “Stamp Day for Superman”, using the cast of TV’s Superman of the 50′s to help encourage kids to buy treasury stamps. As an “encore” of sorts, the group also did “At Your Fingertips: Grasses”, which is a STRANGE 70′s educational film(well, aren’t’ they all!) about the uses of grasses. There’s some pretty nightmarish uses for grasses that I can never unsee! These two shorts really saw how well they work together as a group. Everyone’s different style and type of riff was really showcased, reminding me of how much I enjoyed all the different versions of the MST3K cast. It really ended on a great high!
Thanks to Fathom Events for letting me be a part of a little history… and a lot of funny.
Be seeing you!