MST3K, Rifftrax, & sundry

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Thad
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Re: MST3K, Rifftrax, & sundry

Postby Thad » Wed Apr 29, 2020 8:05 pm

MST3K livestreaming show on Sunday, 6 PM Eastern. The riffers will be members of the touring cast -- Conor McGiffin as Servo, Nate Begle as Crow, Emily Marsh as the human, and Yvonne Freese as...AV Club and mst3kinfo.com both call her "GPC"? Judging by the screenshot, she's an off-brand Gypsy. Joel will do some Q&A during breaks.

There will be a short, Circus Day (which apparently is new and not the classic short A Day at the Circus), and...well this sounds crowded; apparently they're riffing over an old episode of the show.

Coupled with a new short, Circus Day, the centerpiece is a screening of the vintage MST3K episode Moon Zero Two, which will find the show’s touring cast riffing between the jokes their first-season counterparts first made in 1990.


I mean, the riffing on some of those season 1 eps is a little sparse, but it's not that sparse. Four more riffers on top of the original three riffers sounds a little crowded.

Still and all, I think Moon Zero-Two is a great damn episode (I haven't seen all of season 1, but it's the best season 1 episode I've seen). This should be a fun experiment.

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Re: MST3K, Rifftrax, & sundry

Postby Thad » Sun May 03, 2020 9:31 pm



It was interesting. The biggest problem was the audio levels. The new riffs were considerably louder than the old riffs, which were louder than the movie. Turning it up loud enough to hear the movie dialogue meant the new riffs were really loud.

I'm hoping they can fix it and upload the whole thing in some persistent form later.

There was also an aftershow on Facebook. Per my "what's the deal with GPC?" question: that's what she's called now. Some people pointed out to Joel that Romani consider "gypsy" to be an ethnic slur, so he changed her name. The new, smaller puppet is so they can do more with her; she riffed the movie alongside Tom, Crow, and Emily this time, and maybe we can expect to see her in the theater regularly when/if the show comes back.

I also worked out that the reason they chose to riff over an existing episode must be movie rights -- they could riff over an episode they already had streaming rights to, on short notice; no need to get the rights to stream and riff some other movie (or other version of one of the movies they've already done). They could have gone with something in the public domain, but that would still mean finding a movie and vetting it for quality and content (and maybe cutting it for runtime). The short was clearly PD, but there's a difference between preparing a short (and a very short short at that) and a feature.

Emily, Conor, Nate, and Yvonne did a fine job. It's hard to get a sense of them as performers under these circumstances, but I'd be interested in watching them again if they decide to do more of these.

I'm not so hot that they've introduced another Pearl Forrester clone, having heard Mary Jo Pehl express her discomfort with the idea on Bill Corbett's podcast.

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Mothra
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Re: MST3K, Rifftrax, & sundry

Postby Mothra » Mon May 04, 2020 1:25 am

This was fun, glad they did it. Agree that it's really bizarre they just like, watched an old MST3K episode, and commented over it? What a weird-ass idea. They should've just watched a movie and riffed it - we had a new host and everything, would've been good.

Still, nice they did this, regardless.

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Re: MST3K, Rifftrax, & sundry

Postby Thad » Mon May 04, 2020 1:33 pm

Mothra wrote:This was fun, glad they did it. Agree that it's really bizarre they just like, watched an old MST3K episode, and commented over it? What a weird-ass idea. They should've just watched a movie and riffed it - we had a new host and everything, would've been good.

Yeah, again, it occurred to me that that's gotta be a time/budget/rights thing. Getting the rights to another movie (or even one of the movies they've already done) would have taken time and cost money, and even if they'd avoided that by going with a public-domain film, they'd have still had to vet for video/audio quality and content, and maybe make cuts for time. Plus they'd have to write a lot more riffs.

I wouldn't rule out the possibility of something like that happening in the future, but you'd need a lot more runway. For all we know they could already be working on it. Seems like the most obvious thing to do would be to use one of the two movies they've been doing on tour; that way the writing and editing parts would already be taken care of, they'd just have to secure streaming rights in addition to live screening rights. Course, given that they're not turning a profit on this, it might not be worth that expense.

Another thought: I'm totally behind changing the character's name, but GPC is a mouthful. If I were the one making the call I'd have gone with "Gypsum", which they called her several times over the course of the KTMA run.

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Re: MST3K, Rifftrax, & sundry

Postby Thad » Mon May 04, 2020 3:32 pm

There's a livestream of Bill Corbett and Kira Obolensky's play Hate Mail, performed by Rhea Seehorn and Paul F Tompkins, tonight Saturday at 9 PM eastern. All proceeds go to Partners in Health; minimum $5 donation to watch.

A synopsis via playscripts.com:

Hate Mail is an epistolary play something like Love Letters, with two actors reading letters and other correspondence, but it's a little wilder and more hysterically funny. It tells the story of Preston, a spoiled rich kid who meets his match in Dahlia, an angst-filled artist. Their worlds collide when Preston sends a complaint letter that gets Dahlia fired from her job, and then there's no turning back. The play stays with their increasingly crazed correspondence as they move from hate to love, and then right back again.


Seems like the format is really well-suited to a quarantine stream.

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Re: MST3K, Rifftrax, & sundry

Postby Thad » Wed May 06, 2020 1:56 pm

Corrected my post; the Hate Mail stream is on Saturday. The mst3kinfo.com article where I read about it didn't include the date in the text and I guess I must have missed it in the header image.

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Re: MST3K, Rifftrax, & sundry

Postby Mothra » Mon May 18, 2020 2:30 pm


Ugh, loved Fred Willard.

This episode of Rifftrax is easily my favorite. It feels just like an ep of MST3K, paired down with a guest start that works great.

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Re: MST3K, Rifftrax, & sundry

Postby Thad » Thu Jul 02, 2020 3:23 pm

Trace and Frank are livestreaming a riff of Glen or Glenda on July 21. $10 to watch, with a portion of the proceeds going to NAACP Empowerment Programs. mst3kinfo.com is having a drawing for free tickets too.

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Re: MST3K, Rifftrax, & sundry

Postby beatbandito » Sun Jul 05, 2020 12:07 pm

A bunch of Rifftrax (and a handful of overplayed mst3k) went up on the Amazon Prime free selection recently. I've been watching them for the past three days as my first exposure, and it's definitely better than the new seasons of mst3k, and mostly about as good as average classic episodes.
Image

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Thad
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Re: MST3K, Rifftrax, & sundry

Postby Thad » Mon Jul 06, 2020 11:24 am

Yeah, there's some good stuff in there; some good recommendations in this thread too.

Something to keep in mind in case you run out of episodes on Amazon: you're probably never much more than a month away from rifftrax.com having a 10-15% off sale. (In fact I think the 4th of July sale is still going right now, until midnight PST; enter "BBQ" at checkout and get 15% off.)

Their annual Kickstarter is a good time to get a bunch of shorts for cheap, too (like 6 for a buck), but this year's is already over and who the hell knows what next year is going to look like given that we will very probably still be in the midst of a pandemic with people (justifiably) reluctant to go to movie theaters.

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Re: MST3K, Rifftrax, & sundry

Postby Thad » Tue Jul 14, 2020 8:08 pm

And after the Mads on July 21, Rifftrax will be live-riffing the first episode of Stranger Things on July 22, free. Requires a Netflix account, Chrome, and an extension called Scener.

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