In the show Mystery Science Theater 3000, an evil villain shoots a man into space and forces him to watch bad movies with his two robot friends. The show started in the late 1980s on public access before getting picked up by a very young Comedy Central in 1991 (when it was called simply, “The Comedy Channel”). It’s moved around a lot since then, existing now mostly in live shows and on the internet as RiffTrax.
This Tuesday, June 28 at AMC Pacific Pine Place in Seattle, the gang will reunite for a satellite screening of Rifftrax Live: The MST3K Reunion Show. The show will feature so many original cast members, including hosts Joel Hodgson and Michael J. Nelson, Kevin Murphy (Tom Servo) Bill Corbett (Crow T. Robot) and many more.
We didn’t have Comedy Central at my mother’s house back in the early 90s when I was a little kid, but my Dad had it at his place just a few miles north. I remember this being one of the perks of visiting my Dad every other weekend: It meant I could watch the show with the man and his robots making jokes over old movies.
My Dad made VHS tapes of everything, and he wrote the titles in black ink with a fun, blocky script that was so unlike my mothers. It felt extra special watching the Dad-labeled tapes. My favorite was “MST3K: The Magic Sword,” a poorly made adventure fantasy from 1962 featuring princesses, knights and a vengeful wizard. It’s a great classic episode with excellent jokes from the original captive, Joel Hodgson, but also, I think I just genuinely liked the movie. In any case, it seems clear to me now that these early experiences got me looking at films as imperfect works from a precocious age, and now look at me: I’m a film critic. It’s weird how that works.
Tickets to the 8pm show are available online starting at $15.75 or in person at the AMC Box Office. Hope to see you there!
RiffTrax Live: MST3K Reunion Show
When: Tuesday, June 28, 8pm
Where: AMC Pacific Place 11 (600 Pine S)