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(Boing Boing)   Mike Nelson discusses RiffTrax and this week's live riffing of Manos: The Hands of Fate. The Master approves   (boingboing.net) divider line 70
    More: Cool, The Hands of Fate, RiffTrax, Mike Nelson, Michael J. Nelson, Katherine Heigl, head writer, jamie, movie theaters  
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1326 clicks; posted to Entertainment » on 13 Aug 2012 at 7:38 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-08-13 04:47:06 PM
Any Orlando-area Farkers going to see this? Maybe we could get a little group together.
 
2012-08-13 05:29:24 PM
Nice find subby... and Starship Troopers with NPH?... do it f*ggot. ;)
 
2012-08-13 05:52:00 PM
I think the funniest Rifftrax riff I've seen was the scene from Star Trek: Generations, when the ship is being evacuated and a little girl drops her teddy bear, and Mike yells "LIEUTENANT RUXPIN, NOOOOOOOOOOO!".

/as for shorts? William's Doll.
 
2012-08-13 06:29:14 PM
As much as I love the quality of the VOD stuff these days, I wish Rifftrax would go back and do a few more mainstream movies (non Scifi too). There's just a better connection with the known stuff. I like Birdemic just fine, but Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory was fantastic. Same with Jaws.
 
2012-08-13 06:46:25 PM
Wish I was going to the one in Boston on Thursday but I have another meeting to go to. Shame.
 
2012-08-13 07:14:04 PM
Mike Nelson is great, but Joel is still the king.
 
2012-08-13 07:44:40 PM
Birdemic.

Comedic Gold.
 
2012-08-13 07:53:49 PM

Adolf Oliver Nipples: Mike Nelson is great, but Joel is still the king.


I came up with what I thought was a pretty good analogy that involves Joel, Mike, and Paul McCartney:

Joel: Paul McCartney in the Beatles; Mike: Paul McCartney in Wings


Mike did some funny things, even really great things with his run on MST (just like Paul in Wings), but everything Joel did--even when an episode was a little off--was intelligent, creative, and just damned funny (like Paul in the Beatles) (well, except for the funny part).


/MIke's run had those brain dudes, Dr. Forrester's wife and that ape
//there was nothing funny about any of those
 
2012-08-13 07:57:02 PM

Cargo: Adolf Oliver Nipples: Mike Nelson is great, but Joel is still the king.

I came up with what I thought was a pretty good analogy that involves Joel, Mike, and Paul McCartney:

Joel: Paul McCartney in the Beatles; Mike: Paul McCartney in Wings


Mike did some funny things, even really great things with his run on MST (just like Paul in Wings), but everything Joel did--even when an episode was a little off--was intelligent, creative, and just damned funny (like Paul in the Beatles) (well, except for the funny part).


/MIke's run had those brain dudes, Dr. Forrester's wife and that ape
//there was nothing funny about any of those


I think that's a bit too black and white. Even when Joel was hosting, Mike was writing a lot of it (along with the rest of the staff). It would also be a bit much to say everything Joel did was great. It took a couple seasons to really get the show rolling. I agree about the Mads, though. Dr. F and Frank were leagues above Pearl and her gang.

I think both hosts were great, but I'm partial to Mike since I didn't really get into the show until the Sci-Fi years.
 
2012-08-13 07:58:08 PM
I am so excited for this. Maybe it's time to take it easy....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dRsVyZq wWY8
 
2012-08-13 08:04:08 PM

Cargo: Joel: Paul McCartney in the Beatles; Mike: Paul McCartney in Wings


Look, I get it. Things changed and it made you angry. But during the Mike era, we got: a) better movies, b) host segments worth watching (sometimes), and c) the end of the invention exchange, which was nothing more than gags recycled from Joel's failed stint as a prop comic.

While I can definitely understand the preference for Joel's delivery (even if I don't agree), the movies got more mockable, the skits got funnier, and overall the show improved in Mike's era. While Forrester and Frank were a great duo, they didn't get great material- they never had moments like "Pearl! Pearl! Pearl!" during Overdrawn at the Memory Bank. There was no Frank dancing the Watusi in a gogo outfit, like Brain-Guy in Girl in Gold Boots.

And there was no Space Mutiny or Boggy Creek II.
 
2012-08-13 08:08:03 PM

t3knomanser: Cargo: Joel: Paul McCartney in the Beatles; Mike: Paul McCartney in Wings

Look, I get it. Things changed and it made you angry. But during the Mike era, we got: a) better movies, b) host segments worth watching (sometimes), and c) the end of the invention exchange, which was nothing more than gags recycled from Joel's failed stint as a prop comic.

While I can definitely understand the preference for Joel's delivery (even if I don't agree), the movies got more mockable, the skits got funnier, and overall the show improved in Mike's era. While Forrester and Frank were a great duo, they didn't get great material- they never had moments like "Pearl! Pearl! Pearl!" during Overdrawn at the Memory Bank. There was no Frank dancing the Watusi in a gogo outfit, like Brain-Guy in Girl in Gold Boots.

And there was no Space Mutiny or Boggy Creek II.




THIS THIS THIS THIS THIS THIS

/I still missed Frank though
 
2012-08-13 08:10:46 PM
Going to Ann Arbor!!
 
2012-08-13 08:11:01 PM

Spoon over Marin: Birdemic.

Comedic Gold.


I can't shake the feeling that Birdemic was intentionally bad. The Rifftrax was great though.
 
2012-08-13 08:17:47 PM

NeoCortex42: Cargo: Adolf Oliver Nipples: Mike Nelson is great, but Joel is still the king.

I came up with what I thought was a pretty good analogy that involves Joel, Mike, and Paul McCartney:

Joel: Paul McCartney in the Beatles; Mike: Paul McCartney in Wings


Mike did some funny things, even really great things with his run on MST (just like Paul in Wings), but everything Joel did--even when an episode was a little off--was intelligent, creative, and just damned funny (like Paul in the Beatles) (well, except for the funny part).


/MIke's run had those brain dudes, Dr. Forrester's wife and that ape
//there was nothing funny about any of those

I think that's a bit too black and white. Even when Joel was hosting, Mike was writing a lot of it (along with the rest of the staff). It would also be a bit much to say everything Joel did was great. It took a couple seasons to really get the show rolling. I agree about the Mads, though. Dr. F and Frank were leagues above Pearl and her gang.

I think both hosts were great, but I'm partial to Mike since I didn't really get into the show until the Sci-Fi years.



You are absolutely correct on that, and I was only thinking about the shows that started on Comedy Central. I have a couple of the really early Minnesota episodes and they were pretty bad. The reason being, they didn't write anything in advance, it was literally done while they watched the movie.

And even though Mike was the head writer, it still seems that--based on the shift in tone in general--things changed a great deal once Joel left. Another analogy might be Larry David leaving "Seinfeld." Yes, the show was still good but there was an intangible missing that left the experience not as enjoyable as it was.

The best example I can think of was a Mike episode that involved--hell, I can't even remember. All I know is that they kept repeating it over and over and over and over. It got old and it lacked creativity. It may have been something about "Warp speed" or something.

And, t3knomanser, I was never angry about anything. I just don't think Mike is as funny as Joel: the host segments were great, Forrester and Frank were incredibly funny (and was there ever any explanation given as to why they left the show shortly after Joel's departure?), and the jokes during the movies were just better, IMHO. I was disappointed that Joel left and quit watching it once I saw that Mike's episodes were not going to be as funny.
 
2012-08-13 08:19:08 PM
Blast Hardcheese!
 
2012-08-13 08:21:22 PM
Oops. Sorry. The point I wanted to make with . . .

"And even though Mike was the head writer, it still seems that--based on the shift in tone in general--things changed a great deal once Joel left."

. . . was that I think Joel was actually doing most of the writing. Hence, the change in tone once he left.
 
2012-08-13 08:23:26 PM
There was certainly a bit of a change once Mike took over, but he still had some great episodes once he found his footing. If you stopped watching, you should give some of the Sci-fi era episodes a shot.
 
2012-08-13 08:26:25 PM

Cargo: Oops. Sorry. The point I wanted to make with . . .

"And even though Mike was the head writer, it still seems that--based on the shift in tone in general--things changed a great deal once Joel left."

. . . was that I think Joel was actually doing most of the writing. Hence, the change in tone once he left.


I don't think anybody was doing the majority of the writing. Mike was head writer, but the episodes were really a group effort. I don't know how much of the change was due to losing Joel in the writer's room and how much was just the normal progression and polishing of the show.
 
2012-08-13 08:27:06 PM
Have they done The Rural Juror yet?
 
2012-08-13 08:30:11 PM
Manos again? Even the people who goof on Hollywood have run out of ideas apparently.
 
2012-08-13 08:30:28 PM

NeoCortex42: There was certainly a bit of a change once Mike took over, but he still had some great episodes once he found his footing. If you stopped watching, you should give some of the Sci-fi era episodes a shot.


Maybe so. And I've heard that some of his episodes are really great. I actually have episode 801, "Revenge of the Creature," but have never watched it. I don't know if that's Sci-Fi, though.

Either way, thanks for the suggestion, brah.
 
2012-08-13 08:36:29 PM

Cargo: NeoCortex42: There was certainly a bit of a change once Mike took over, but he still had some great episodes once he found his footing. If you stopped watching, you should give some of the Sci-fi era episodes a shot.

Maybe so. And I've heard that some of his episodes are really great. I actually have episode 801, "Revenge of the Creature," but have never watched it. I don't know if that's Sci-Fi, though.

Either way, thanks for the suggestion, brah.


801 is the start of the Sci-fi era and a great season. If you want suggestions, check out Space Mutiny or Time Chasers. Most people agree that those are a couple of the best episodes.
 
2012-08-13 08:39:40 PM

NeoCortex42: Cargo: Oops. Sorry. The point I wanted to make with . . .

"And even though Mike was the head writer, it still seems that--based on the shift in tone in general--things changed a great deal once Joel left."

. . . was that I think Joel was actually doing most of the writing. Hence, the change in tone once he left.

I don't think anybody was doing the majority of the writing. Mike was head writer, but the episodes were really a group effort. I don't know how much of the change was due to losing Joel in the writer's room and how much was just the normal progression and polishing of the show.


Yeah, I know they were a group effort but the "shift" seemed to coincide with Joel's leaving so I put together my theory.

I've been watching the DVDs of "It's Garry Shandling's Show" recently, and the writers on that show (some of whom were Al Jean, Mike Reiss, Tom Gammill, and Max Pross) alluded to still having to get their ideas past the head guys--Garry Shandling and Alan Zweibel--before things could proceed. And those two were changing and revising things right up until they recorded the episode.

Point being that even if someone is a head writer or the group is working together, there still has to be someone at the top through whom everything filters, even as that "filter" guy is actively involved in the writing process itself.

When Joel was there, he was that filter guy.
 
2012-08-13 08:41:11 PM

NeoCortex42: Cargo: NeoCortex42: There was certainly a bit of a change once Mike took over, but he still had some great episodes once he found his footing. If you stopped watching, you should give some of the Sci-fi era episodes a shot.

Maybe so. And I've heard that some of his episodes are really great. I actually have episode 801, "Revenge of the Creature," but have never watched it. I don't know if that's Sci-Fi, though.

Either way, thanks for the suggestion, brah.

801 is the start of the Sci-fi era and a great season. If you want suggestions, check out Space Mutiny or Time Chasers. Most people agree that those are a couple of the best episodes.


Oh, cool. I'll watch it sometime and see if I can get my hands on some of the others.

Thanks again.
 
2012-08-13 08:44:40 PM
The relationship between Mike and the Bots (older brother they make fun of) was funnier than the relationship between Joel and the Bots (father figure they look up to). Just to throw in my 2c.
 
2012-08-13 08:50:26 PM

tdpatriots12: The relationship between Mike and the Bots (older brother they make fun of) was funnier than the relationship between Joel and the Bots (father figure they look up to). Just to throw in my 2c.


Absolutely. Joel was running the asylum up there. Mike was just one of the inmates.
 
2012-08-13 08:55:31 PM
Eh, Rifftrax is boring nowadays.

I prefer several of the other fine fan commentary teams that Zarban keeps track of.

/Especially Film Pigs and DVD PodBlast.
 
2012-08-13 09:02:38 PM

Adolf Oliver Nipples: Mike Nelson is great, but Joel is still the king.


I'll always be partial to the Joel years. For me, Joel had the stoner vibe, Mike was more the frat boy type.

/It didn't hurt that Joel always looked like he was just as stoned as I was watching the movies
 
2012-08-13 09:04:27 PM
Oh also, if anyone hasn't seen it yet, Kevin Murphy did an AMA over at Reddit today. He had a pretty frank answer about Joel's leaving, basically saying "Joel wanted to try new stuff, and he and Jim didn't get along". Maybe this was already out in the open but that's the first time I can remember anyone addressing that elephant in the room.
 
2012-08-13 09:30:05 PM
It is showing in Lexington Ky, but I have to work that night. I will buy the DVD when it comes out. I already own 3 copies of that movie, so 1 more won't hurt.
 
2012-08-13 09:31:23 PM
I'm going to the Davenport, Iowa showing. I'll be wearing my Manos Restoration Team shirt:

i.imgur.com
 
2012-08-13 09:36:35 PM
Just showed "Santa and the Ice Cream Bunny" to my family an hour ago, getting a kick etc.

/I'm a terrible person
//Predicament lacking its usual cheer
 
2012-08-13 09:40:52 PM
Manos....

Hands of fate....

Manos...

Hands of fate.....

Hands of fate...............

Manos..............


Hands of fate........................
 
2012-08-13 09:42:48 PM
Good Rifftrax stuff

Opening logo riffs

Best of Rifftrax shorts

/not getting that live Manos thing here
//not bitter with slashies
///shake hands with danger!!!!
 
2012-08-13 09:48:34 PM
I'm going to say it - I like Pearl.
 
2012-08-13 09:53:43 PM

The_Y2P_Problem: I'm going to the Davenport, Iowa showing. I'll be wearing my Manos Restoration Team shirt:

[i.imgur.com image 467x587]


Same thing here. Not the Davenport showing though. Nor any in Iowa.
 
2012-08-13 10:02:30 PM
I had to sell my ticket to the live show when I moved out of Nashville.

Sigh.
 
2012-08-13 10:08:50 PM
I preferred MIke with the 'bots. The relationship was less parental and more akin to a bunch of goofballs all trapped together and trying to survive. To me that was the grand essence of MST3K.

My Undergraduate career was marked by watching MST3K on Sunday nights when I got home from work still all hopped up on coffee and having slept in too much. Occasionally whiskey was involved. But I did haul my butt out of bed for "Diabolik." And I cried at the end of it.
 
2012-08-13 10:12:07 PM
As dar as I'm concerned, the actual riffing on the show was always good. But it was the host segments that seemed to get worse after Joel left. Frank and Dr F were okay. I don't remember a damn thing about Dr. F and Pearl, they were so bad. And the whole 'Pearl chasing the SOL of love through time and space' shtick was damn near unwatchable.

Things got marginally better during the last year or two, when they gave Pearl and the others a castle on Earth, but still a pale imitation of the early years.
 
2012-08-13 10:18:41 PM
My favorite stuff was during the Sci-Fi Channel years with Mike but it's all good. I like RiffTrax a lot in a different way because they do newer movies that aren't so "fish in the barrel" but deserve skewering even more than old monster movies from the '50s.
 
2012-08-13 10:20:22 PM

Old enough to know better: As dar as I'm concerned, the actual riffing on the show was always good. But it was the host segments that seemed to get worse after Joel left. Frank and Dr F were okay. I don't remember a damn thing about Dr. F and Pearl, they were so bad. And the whole 'Pearl chasing the SOL of love through time and space' shtick was damn near unwatchable.

Things got marginally better during the last year or two, when they gave Pearl and the others a castle on Earth, but still a pale imitation of the early years.


The problem was that Sci-fi insisted on some serialization for the host segments and ongoin plots, hence stuff like the Rome storyline. It wasn't until the last season that the network just said 'screw it' and let them just stay at the castle with no plot line.
 
2012-08-13 10:34:49 PM
Any New York Farkers seeing this at the Union Square Regal? We can drink before/during! Let's meet!
 
2012-08-13 10:38:55 PM
It was all about the riffing, which was pretty consist from Season 2 onward.

Joel's attitude towards the bots was one of my favorite things about the series. The inventions were sometime neat, but usually in a "huh" sorta way.

The best host segments usually had something to do with the movie in question. This kinda died down once they moved to Sci-Fi.

Dr. F and TV's Frank were far superior to Pearl, Bobo and Brain Guy. As in their stuff was actually funny (Brain Guy got on occasional funny line, sure). Bless MJP's heart, Pearl just wasn't that funny of a character. She tried, though!

From what I've noticed, most people who prefer the Sci-Fi era stuff because that's when they started watching it. Which is cool, but it's like the Final Fantasy VII syndrome: it's their favorite because it was their first experience of it. Not necessarily because it was of any quality, but just because it was their first exposure to it.

I wish the series coulda kept going, just with a few new writers/performers. Once Trace left the whole show felt wounded to a point...and just when things were starting to turn around in Season 10, cancelled.
 
2012-08-13 11:31:57 PM

RevRaven:

From what I've noticed, most people who prefer the Sci-Fi era stuff because that's when they started watching it.


I've often wondered if this might be the case. Your other points were good, too.
 
2012-08-13 11:54:31 PM
Seeing it on Thursday with a group. So excited!
 
2012-08-14 12:02:57 AM
So, boingboing is paying for links now?

/boingboing sucks
 
2012-08-14 12:28:26 AM
Mike also brought a lot higher quality musical aspect to the show; note how many more musical skits there were with Mike in the writing staff and as host than with early Joel.
 
2012-08-14 01:02:30 AM

Githerax: Mike also brought a lot higher quality musical aspect to the show; note how many more musical skits there were with Mike in the writing staff and as host than with early Joel.


Yup. Also it seems like Kevin Murphy became more comfortable with singing by the last few seasons. I can't think of the episode off the top of my head, but he practically sung all the riffing too. (Not as a bit, he just got more theatrical as time in later seasons)


Skarekrough: I preferred MIke with the 'bots. The relationship was less parental and more akin to a bunch of goofballs all trapped together and trying to survive. To me that was the grand essence of MST3K.


For all the Joel vs. Mike debates, I've never thought of it that way. It's true that with Joel it was more like "OK, settle down you two," while with Mike they all were equally goofy.

I really like Corbett's voice as Crow, so the best part about RiffTrax is that it's basically Mike, Crow, and Servo. Whenever I watch Rifftrax, I'm seeing this in my mind:

img585.imageshack.us

Hmm, maybe there's a way to overlay this kind of template over all the RiffTrax films. Also I should probably learn to just let it go.... but dammit they got me addicted!

/Watching Robot Monster from season 1 right now
//"My robots, I think I'll crush grape jelly in my neck until the clocks come home."
 
2012-08-14 01:04:41 AM
The Belcourt just announced a second Rifftrax Live show on October 25th. They're doing Birdemic. Tickets go on sale Friday. You want to see this one.
 
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