In the not-too-distant future, next April Fool’s Day, the minds behind Mystery Science Theater 3000 will be returning to TV. RiffTrax will be running a glorious three hour Riff Off on the National Geographic Channel, taking their brand of humor to television viewers once again.
For those unfamiliar, Mystery Science Theater 3000 was a television show wherein Joel Robinson or Mike Nelson (and let’s not get into which is better, that’s a whole other can of worms), along with robots Crow and Tom Servo, would be forced to watch horrible movies as part of some evil experiment for world domination. (Don’t question it, just remember the theme song when it says “just repeat to yourself it’s just a show, I should really just relax.”) While watching the movies, the characters would crack jokes about it, turning the worst cinema has to offer into first-class comedy.
After MST3K went off the air, Michael J. Nelson, Bill Corbett, and Kevin Murphy continued to take their comedic stylings to movies everywhere with RiffTrax, a website where they sell riffs that can be played alongside whatever movie they’re riffing on to provide the same kind of dialogue and comedy that their fans have come to expect. Movies and shorts in the public domain can be purchased with the riffing included and downloaded directly from the site, while riffs on licensed movies (such as “Star Wars” or “The Avengers”) are sold as audio files that can be synced up with the DVDs. They also host “RiffTrax Live” events that are live-streamed to theaters across the country, where they riff on movies such as “Birdemic,” “Manos: The Hands of Fate,” or “Starship Troopers” in front of a live audience.
For three hours and one night only, RiffTrax will be back on TV. On 4/1/14, starting at 8:00 EDT, the National Geographic Channel will air their Total Riff Off, where they riff on various National Geographic specials. At 8:00 is “Killer Shrimp N’ Friends,” featuring the internet’s (and The Oatmeal’s) favorite underwater denizen, the mantis shrimp, then at 9:00 is “Demon Bat,” and it concludes at 10:00 with “Guy and a Goose,” which I can only assume involves a guy and a goose in some way.
Fans of Mystery Science Theater and RiffTrax have been awaiting their return to television, so this is an event many are eagerly awaiting, including yours truly. To give us a little taste of what’s to come, RiffTrax has released a small sample of what we can expect.