MST3K reunites for a good cause

Via AVClub:

Comic-Con@Home is online and underway, having kicked off this past Wednesday, July 22. It’s a grand experiment in capturing San Diego Comic-Con International’s heady mix of popular culture, camaraderie, and commerce without exposing attendees to a highly contagious and lethal virus, and as anyone who’s ever conducted a grand experiment—say, subjecting a human and his robot companions to the worst movies ever made—things don’t always go according to plan. Which is how Mystery Science Theater 3000 creator and original host Joel Hodgson, second Crow T. Robot Bill Corbett, and first Tom Servo J. Elvis Weinstein find themselves committed to resuming their old roles a few hours before taking the virtual stage Comic-Con stage and announcing they were doing so as part of a fundraiser for the Minneapolis-based Native American youth organization MIGIZI.

The fundraiser’s formal launch was intended to be part of tonight’s MST3K SDCC@Home panel, but word of the campaign spread early. As of this afternoon, it had reached the first of its two goals, with $10,000 in donations locking Hodgson, Corbett, and Weinstein in for a riff of the short film “A Busy Day At The County Fair.” (Let it never be said that MSTies aren’t passionate or quick to put money behind that passion.) If the fundraiser reaches $20,000—and, as of this writing, it’s less than $5,000 away from doing so—the trio will do another short, which, like its predecessor, will be a turkey with the full MST3K trimmings: The silhouettes, the doorway sequence, and a combination of host and bots never before seen on the Satellite Of Love.

Donors will receive early, VIP access to the shorts, which will later run on Their donations will go toward rebuilding MIGIZI facilities damaged during May’s protests over the death of George Floyd, caused by fires that spread from the burning of a nearby Minneapolis Police Department precinct. The Minneapolis area was the longtime production hub for MST3K, which originated on Twin Cities UHF station KTMA and produced its 10 cable seasons in nearby Eden Prairie, Minnesota.

Donate here.

Mystery Science Theater 3000 returns for social-distancing Riff-Along special

As we recluse ourselves on our homes, kicks are hard to come by. Thankfully the folks behind MST3K have come along with a treat for its fans, a riff-along of Moon Zero Two along with a new short.

Via AVClub

As with so many aspects of life during COVID-19, it started with a Zoom call. Joel Hodgson and the team behind Mystery Science Theater 3000’s latest live tour were scheduled to discuss their next project over the videoconferencing service in the days before social-distancing measures and emergency lockdowns were instituted across the United States. By the time of the call, any in-person MST3K events would have to be postponed for the time being, but the cast was firing on all cylinders, as if they were still on the road and mixing it up with the worst movies ever made.

“I was feeling the heat off the screen,” creator Joel Hodgson recently told The A.V. Club. And just as a fictional ’70s outbreak had helped spark Hodgson’s idea for a TV show where the hosts crack wise over a movie, this very real 21st-century pandemic set the stage for the next iteration of MST3K, coming to Twitch, YouTube, Facebook, and other platforms next Sunday, A.D.

The A.V. Club is the first to announce the Mystery Science Theater 3000 Live Riff-Along, a special streaming event taking place May 3 at 6 p.m. ET. 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.

“We tend to ignore the first season, because we got so much better the next season—we had a bunch of shows under our belts, so we just improved so much,” Hodgson said. But, he added, “there’s so much in there”—including the 1969 “moon Western” that will play side-by-side with the chat window where Emily Marsh, Conor McGiffin, and Nate Begle will resume their roles as Emily Crenshaw, Tom Servo, and Crow T. Robot, respectively, along with Yvonne Freese in a dual performance as Mega-Synthia and GPC.

The Riff-Along will also be carried via the MST3K channels on Pluto TV, Stirr, Xumo, Redbox, and Vizio. Hodgson himself will be on-hand to field questions and comments submitted to YouTube, Twitch, and Facebook—the last of which will provide peeks behind the scenes during commercial breaks.

RiffTrax: The Hideous Sun Demon

It’s time to take another journey into absurd horror with the crew of RiffTrax.

SunDemon_PosterThis is the tale of a man who transforms into a violent lizard creature whenever he’s in the sun too long. No, he’s not the third wheel love interest in an upcoming Twilight reboot, he’s The Hideous Sun Demon!

It’s the late 50s, a time when exposure to radiation still caused fun stuff, like superpowers and shape-changing, as opposed to less fun stuff, like, y’know, death. After some radioactive material falls off the toy train the scientists use to transport it through the lab (actual plot point, not a joke) mild-mannered genius drunk Dr. Gilbert McKenna is changed forever. Sunlight turns him into a reptile man-monster, presumably because that’s the rubber suit that was cheapest to rent when they made this movie. But not cheap enough for them to rent the bottom part of the suit, apparently, because he runs around in totally soaked khaki pants for roughly half the movie. Why are his pants so wet? That’s just part of the mystery!

It’s a superhuman dose of old-fashioned nuclear mutation fun, stay out of direct sunlight and join Mike, Kevin and Bill for The Hideous Sun Demon!

Click here to order

2015 RiffTrax Live Calendar: “The Crappening”

There are good movies, there are bad movies and there are movies that defy description. Santa Claus and the Ice Cream Bunny could cause brain damage, The Room is akin to watching someone blissfully unaware of his nervous breakdown, Miami Connection excels at bad music, questionable dialog and insane action while Sharknado is… Sharknado.

Luckily we have the fine folks at RiffTrax to assist in making these movies a little bearable. Below is the schedule for 2015’s RiffTrax Live performances. Select cinemas will be showing these ‘movies,’ giving fans a chance to watch the RiffTrax crew work their magic live.

RiffTrax Live: THE ROOM – WEDNESDAY May 6, 2015 (not Thursday)Tickets encore May 12 Tickets – Performed from Nashville Tickets available March 27th 10A CT Tickets available 24 Hours early on March 26th to Kickstarter Backers

RiffTrax Live: SHARKNADO 2 – July 9, 2015 Tickets encore July 16Tickets

RiffTrax Live: MIAMI CONNECTION – October 1, 2015 Tickets encore October 6 Tickets

RiffTrax Live: SANTA and The ICE CREAM BUNNY – December 3, 2015 Tickets encore December 15 Tickets

RiffTrax chronicles Batman’s battle with the Wizard!

It’s Friday night. You’re bored and Saturday night can’t come quickly enough for Doctor Who. What better way to fill the time than with a long forgotten story depicting the most exciting adventure of the world’s greatest detective?

… or a hilariously awful Batman serial.

Here it is, at last, the FINAL EPISODE chronicling Batman’s struggle against the Wizard! The suspense is thick, and everyone’s wondering: who will prevail and be victorious? Will it be the nefarious Wizard or — wait, oh come on, it’s right there in the stupid title! That’d be like titling the Seinfeld finale “They wind up in jail” or the Lost finale “Don’t bother watching.”

One thing the title doesn’t give away is the identity of the Wizard, most likely because the writers of the serial didn’t get around to deciding who that would be until they started shooting the final scenes of this episode. Is it the old occasionally-in-a-wheelchair guy? Or occasionally-in-a-wheelchair guy’s butler? Convenient-provider-of-exposition radio guy? Vicki Vale’s dead brother, who everybody seems to have completely forgotten about, including her? I think we all know the real answer: Gabe. Gabe, you beautiful mastermind, you’ve been pulling the strings all along! Bless you, sweet prince.

Order here

Get ready for the April Fool’s Total Riff Off

Not a hoax!

Not dream!

RiffTrax_RiffOffThe guys from Mystery Science Theater 3000 are back on TV with TOTAL RIFF OFF! The joke’s on National Geographic Channel this April Fools’ Day as Mike, Kevin and Bill riff three hours’ worth of classic NatGeo programming, including clips from Man v. Monster, Swamp Men, and Alpha Dogs. It will be their first time on cable TV since ‪#‎MST3K‬!

Join the fun at 8pm / 7pm Central on Tuesday, April 1st for our special three-hour ‪#‎RiffTraxTV‬ event! For more info, visit

Super Marios Bros. gets RiffTrax treatment


The world, characters, music, even the sound effects of the Mario video games are among the most iconic entertainment creations of the 20th century. So naturally if you made a Mario movie, you’d want to abandon everything that people liked and recognized about them, and then just in case people were still willing to give it the benefit of the doubt, throw in The Happening star John Leguizamo.

Let’s say you went to the cinema hoping to see your favorite character from Mario 3, the red carnivorous fish Big Bertha. Ignoring the fact that you are a moron for your favorite character not being the King of Ice World when he’s been transformed into a seal, you might be disappointed to to learn that in the movie, Big Bertha is instead a large, violent woman with prodigious cleavage who wears S & M-esque garb. (Or maybe you’re into that. In that case, you’re probably not welcome in many of the theaters that were showing Super Mario Bros.)

So Big Bertha isn’t a fish, the goombas aren’t tiny, stompable, sentient mushrooms, and there’s nary a Tanooki suit to be found. No big deal, as long as the Mario Brothers are still brothers, right? What’s that? For no apparent reason Luigi is the adopted ward of Mario? Well, maybe it could still work as long as the movie isn’t an incoherent, hideous mess full of shouting and chaos and cheap sets and… Why are you shaking your head sadly?

Strap on your Kuribo’s shoes and join Mike, Kevin, and Bill up on Jugem’s Cloud for riffing on the best live action Mario property that doesn’t contain Captain Lou Albano.

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Turkey Day preparation- MST3K- Robot Holocaust

No one was ready for the… Robot Holocaust 

The final episode of the 1991 MST3K Turkey Day marathon, Robot Holocaust is a solid example of the thrown together sci fi epics of the 1980’s. Set in a dystopian future in which humans live in ‘New Terra’ under the heel of the Dark One… the adventure of our heroes is set in the debris in the aftermath of the… robot holocaust.

Aided by a buxom female dressed in feathers and fishnets, the Dark One is plagued by a lone wanderer named Neo who seeks to help the slaves of New Terra break free from the shackles of the Dark One. He gathers together a gang of misfits and a goofy Don Knauts-like robot called a free-bot. The ‘action’ is a sword  and raygun affair which is actually more interesting than many other films of its kind, but the quality is so poor that entire cities and possibly car traffic can be seen in the near distance of this shattered future.

Filmed in an early stage of the program shortly after moving from KTMA to the Comedy Channel, Robot Holocaust has some awkward moments but it also has some of the program’s earliest catchy riffs. In preparing your own turkey today, why not take in a real one with Robot Holocaust?

Shout Factory is streaming six episodes of MST3K today in celebration of Turkey Day, a tradition started in 1991 when the program ran for 30 straight hours.

They are also running an amazing promotional sale on all of their DVDs on stock for the next two days so this is a great time to catch up on some of those high priced box sets!

MST3K Turkey Day makes bombastic return in 2013

From as far back as the first Turkey Day marathon I watched almost non-stop 30 hours of bad movies (I think I passed out during Catalina Caper) in 1991, I have been a devoted fan of MST3K. Sadly, the program is no longer on the air and what was once a time-honored tradition is a thing of the misty beleaguered past.

Until now!

MST3K-joel EW is pleased to announce that MST3K creator Joel Hodgson is hopping on board the Satellite of Love once again to program the return of Turkey Day. Shout! Factory, who have been doing a stellar job putting out MST3K on DVD, is helping to celebrate the show’s 25th anniversary with a Turkey Day Marathon, curated and hosted by Hodgson. Beginning at Noon Eastern on Thanksgiving Day, fans will be able to log on to for six glorious, classic, Sampo-filled episodes of Mystery Science Theater 3000.mst3k-mike-and-the-bots_p

Joel Hodgson – Riffing Myself

Since sitting through the Turkey Day marathon back in 1991, I have been a devoted MSTie. Their catalog forms the backdrop of my psyche (which has complications). Since his MST3k days, Jowl has worked in several projects including the TV Wheel, the elusive Jolly Filter and Cinematic Titanic.

His one man show, ‘Riffing Myself,’ will be a treat to MSTies young and old. He met with the folks at SpeakerCreature to discuss the show, the history of MST3K and its continuation beyond his involvement as well as the unusual origin of the name chosen for TV’s wise-cracking Crow.

JoelHodgson(Via SpeakerCreatures)

Comedian Joel Hodgson is best known for creating and hosting the series Mystery Science Theater 3000, a show about a marooned Gizmonics employee (Joel “Robinson”) and his pair of wise cracking robot companions. The trio are imprisoned aboard a static space station (The Satellite Of Love), where they are routinely forced to sit through reel after reel of forgotten bad movies. In 1993, Joel left MST3K in the middle of its fifth season. His final episode, “Mitchell,” became known as one of the benchmark moments of the show’s arc and is often cited by fans as being their favorite. Head writerMike Nelson stepped in as the show’s host until the series ended in 1999. Hodgson has since watched his creation become one of the most beloved cult television shows in pop culture history. Hodgson is currently touring his one man show, Riffing Myself,” which he’ll be performing at the historic Plaza Theater in Atlanta on August 10 and 11th. I had the opportunity to catch up with Joel to talk about his run on the series.

Tell me about Riffing Myself. What is the show about and how did it come to be?

It is kind of the origin story of the creation of Mystery Science Theater. I bought a scanner about a year ago and started scanning all my stuff-a lot of posters, newspaper articles and photos. I started to realize that in my mind, it was all coming together as a narrative. So I decided to put it together and make it into a show. I’ve been doing it once a month or so since last October.

What were some of the specific reasons why you left Mystery Science Theater?

I’ve talked about this a bit. I was having disagreements with my partner Jim Mallon, who was the producer of the show. We weren’t seeing eye to eye, so in lieu of having a big fight and potentially hurting the show, I decided to leave.

But MST was your baby.

Yes. It was my baby. That is my baby.

So why just walk away?

The only analogy I can make is the story of King Solomon. Two women had come up and claimed to be the mother of this one baby. It was decided the only solution was to cut the baby in two and give each mother a half but the real mother said, “Oh, just let her have the baby.” And that’s how he figured out who the true mother of the baby was. So, yeah. I am the mother of Mystery Science Theater. It’s my baby.

What is the secret to being a good movie riffer?

I think it’s about not being too sarcastic or too cynical about the movie. I think you have to respect it. It’s hard to make a film, even a bad one. I think a rookie’s mistake is usually, “I’m going to just complain about how bad the movie is and point out all the flaws.” I don’t think that’s what good movie riffing is. Movie riffing is kind of like creating a variety show out of the movie. You collaborate with it.

Trace Beaulieu [who portrayed Crow T. Robot and Dr. Forrester on MST] once said that the movies are like Margaret Dumont and we’re like The Marx Brothers. The Marx Brothers wouldn’t be as funny without Margaret Dumont. The coloring book version of movie riffing is real cynical and sarcastic. Sure, you can take jabs but after you’ve done other things first. You’re supposed to be the companion to the audience. No one wants to hang out with an asshole, so you have to be kind of nice. I think that’s the secret.

Is there a single MST episode where you remember the entire cast firing on all cylinders?

Yes. I really like “I Accuse My Parents.” Although, I just watched “Mitchell” again recently. That one is very funny. So yeah, those two probably.

Is it true that Joe Don Baker was actually annoyed at your treatment of “Mitchell?”

You know what’s funny? Someone who is a real Mystery Science Theater historian just told me that. I’ve always heard that story but I always thought it was kind of a myth. But supposedly, yeah. The poor guy had never heard of it. I guess when you’re Joe Don Baker, you go: [impersonates Joe Don Baker] ‘What? There’s a show that makes fun of movies and the funniest one is my movie?’ I think that would be sobering and unsettling for him. So yeah, I didn’t think the story was true but someone I trust told me it is, so I believe it is now.


One more thing. Is it true that Crow T. Robot was named after a Jim Carroll song?

Yeah! The song “Crow” from the Catholic Boy album. It is a great album.

Joel Hodgson’s “Riffing Myself” will be at The Plaza Theater in Atlanta on August 10th and 11th. He will also be joined onstage by the Cineprov cast on the 11th, for a Star Trek free for all jam! Both shows start at 7:30 pm. Click here to purchase tickets.

Read the entire interview here