I’ve been lucky enough to see Mr. Show’s “Hooray for America” when they came around in 2002, Louis C.K. in one of his very angry this-close to divorce shows circa 2008, Dave Attell right after they cancelled “Insomniac”, Doug Benson right after he had “made some very bad decisions pre-performance”, Brian Regan when he filled up the Crest with just about everyone in Sacramento, Mitch Hedberg a few years before he died and the spectacularly funny Paul F. Tompkins twice while he was participating in the SF Comedy Sketchfest.
Chris and I were also in the audience when Dave Chappelle had his famous meltdown that severely damaged his career in 2004. Google “Dave Chappelle Sacramento”, and you’ll find all kinds of articles that all mention how he told us all that we were stupid and left. In Sacramento’s defense, we’re not terrible people. There was one guy in the back who kept yelling “I’m Rick James, bitch!!!” and would not stop. The rest of the audience tried to get him to shut up. We really did. It was awful all around, really.
Last Saturday, Rifftrax (members of MST3K) put on a show at the Castro Theater in San Francisco. In order to make up for Mike Nelson’s absence, they tossed in appearances by Chris Hardwick, Andy Richter, Adam Savage and Bob Odenkirk. The best part is that that they riffed on movie shorts, which I find to be much funnier than full movie riffs due to my short attention span. I must say that those were some terrifying shorts. The one with the paper bag will haunt me for life, and I may never be able to use a calendar again without thinking of the Cameltoe Twins.
There was also a band playing nearby that same night. My friend Jenny’s husband is in the band Orchid, so I was able to get a music fix in there as well after the comedy. Even though the comedy ran long, we made it there in time to see the full Orchid show, which rocked. There was even a song about bigfoot, and everyone knows there are few things more awesome than bigfoot. Even Chris enjoyed the show, but he was about five drinks deep at that point.
Of course, this website is all about screen thingies. So, here are some ways to have some MST3K-related fun in front of whichever screen suits you best:
Rifftrax for Road House. There are a lot of Rifftrax out there, but this one is my favorite. Plus, it has the line “sink wash my unit” in there for your listening pleasure. I think the best bits are when they just giggle at the movie.
Riding with Death, MST3K. This is one of those movies that I know by heart. Chris had some kind of copy that only played in our old broken TIVO, so I’ve been missing this one for a while now. Though, I found it whole on Google video when I was searching for a link just now. (Don’t really know if that’s exactly legal, but it’s there.) It offers up the best of the 70’s with girly bellbottoms on dudes, country music, truck driving, CB radios, car racing and terrifically filthy glasses. Also, Robert Denby and turkeys.
Mike Nelson’s Mind Over Matters, Kindle book. I have this one in paperback, but apparently it’s also available on Kindle as well. There’s a story in here about him running over a hornet’s nest with a lawn mower, and it made me laugh until I cried. I also think of him whenever I hear a leaf blower, and yearn for the days where people used rakes instead. Note: this is not edgy in-your-face comedy.
Of course, you also now have twice the entertainment since the MST3K group has blossomed into both Cinematic Titanic and Rifftrax. There was a debate while waiting outside the Castro Theater as to which group was better than the other, but I’m staying neutral on the topic. There are plenty of bad movies and good comedy to go around!