I’ve long been a fan of Mystery Science Theater 3000, and hey, the various people behind that show are still riffing on movies in different groups.
And hey, the “Mads” from the old show, Trace Beaulieu and Frank Conniff, are touring right now, and further hey, I got to see them when they performed at the Yonkers Drafthouse this past Saturday.
The thing is, I almost didn’t go. I learned about the show a month or so ago and asked a college friend who, like me, was a big fan of the old show. Sadly, she couldn’t make it. I wasn’t sure I wanted to go alone, but then another friend was praising the program on Twitter for their performance in the Brooklyn Drafthouse, and there were still some seats left. And so…
Let’s start by saying, I am extremely glad I went. The guys were there early signing stuff and they both stayed late to take care of the fans who showed up. I did skip that myself because I’m not really an autograph collector, but they came across as generous with their time.
As for the actual riffing, they did well, though many of the jokes were a bit too, shall we say, profane to use on the old show. The movie for our show (they had, like, six in rotation for the tour) was The Choppers which was, as explained, from the creative team behind Eegah!
After the riffing, the guys took questions from the audience, where I learned not only did Conniff discover Manos: The Hands of Fate (Beaulieu was the one responsible for The Choppers as he is still trying to catch up to that seminal awful movie), but that given the choice of any old Oscar winner to riff on, Conniff would choose Gone with the Wind because it is “a racist piece of shit.”
Look, I know this review is bad, but how do you review a live show like this? It’s about the spontaneous-seeming jokes (they aren’t), and the way the guys interact with a bad film. The guys have been doing this for years, and they’re good at it. Go see them if they do their show near you.
Also, they have a podcast. Give it a listen after you listen to the Gabbing Geek podcast.