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Goodbye Sci-Fi

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Weekend Discussion Thread: Your Favorite RiffTrax Live Show

Alert regular Paul notes:

The recent RiffTrax Live: MST3k Reunion show marked the 20th live show broadcast in theaters. Which shows are your favorite?

Along with the MST3k Reunion show, I hold the December 2009 Holidays Shorts show among the best! It’s also composed solely of shorts, which helped maintain attention spans. Also, they improved on their first show from that year by eliminating mid-show musical numbers! Oh, and who could forget…”I NEED YOU TONIGHT!”

I think I’ll go with “Birdemic.” I remember stumbling out of that one with a bad case of “laugh stomach.”

Your pick?

Also, keep those WDT suggestions coming!

53 Replies to “Weekend Discussion Thread: Your Favorite RiffTrax Live Show”

  1. Rip McStudly says:

    Santa Claus-this is a tough one, because I’ve liked all of the live shows I’ve been to (via simulcast). But the bigger, better cut was fantastic and they milked every laugh they could from it. My wife still makes the Merlin “gump gallump” sounds at me when I try to walk with a back ache.

       3 likes

  2. DarkGrandmaofDeath says:

    The San Francisco Sketchfest 2015 (Night of the Shorts). “Setting up a Room” was beautifully done in two segments, and “Making Sense with Sentences” was even more surreal with John Hodgman helping to riff it. And I’ve shown “Live and Learn” to people and had them laughing so hard I thought they’d hurt themselves – there’s nothing like a ’50s short that endangers children to tell children how to be safe, combined with some great riffing and a live audience, for pure magic.

       1 likes

  3. Son of Peanut says:

    Gotta go with Birdemic. It’s one of those train wrecks that is so bad you almost feel sorry for everyone involved. Almost. It actually makes Sharknado look Oscar-worthy… well, Emmy-worthy… well, ok it’s still pretty bad, too.

       6 likes

  4. Kansas says:

    Miami Connection. Even without the riffs, I was laughing. Measuring man short was great also, although the beginning was cut off in my theater.

       5 likes

  5. Green Switch says:

    If we’re not counting the Reunion Show, I’ll pick Plan 9 from Outer Space.

    The whole show was hilarious, but when Mike got to his “time for go to bed” soliloquy, we hurt from so much laughter.

    Manos ranks a close second for giving Norman to the world.

       1 likes

  6. David Mello says:

    My vote is the 2009 Christmas show. It was my first one, and yeah, “I need you tonight” (which threw the show right off the rails) was the one that made it a classic

       6 likes

  7. Ken McElhaney says:

    Tough call. I’ll go with “Reefer Madness” based primarily on the two shorts “More Dangerous than Dynamite” and “At Your Fingertips: Grasses” which had all of us in stitches.

    Although I’ll admit that other shows were better, I was genuinely surprised that “Time Chasers” turned out to be funner than my expectations … perhaps it was the Paul Bearer reference which left all of us laughing hysterically.

       2 likes

  8. Weepy Donuts says:

    The Reunion made me very happy. I will continue to go back (and share) this one because its the the Whitman’s Sampler of riffing. Every performer made me want to see more of them.

    It’s a tough call, but Manos: The Hands of Fate is probably my favorite RiffTrax Live. Having watched the MST3K episode so many times, I wasn’t sure what to expect. It was fresh! It was a whole lot of fun! I saw the movie in a way that I had never seen it before. I don’t think I would’ve seen Santa Claus in theaters if Manos wasn’t such a great show.

    Also, Birdemic.

       2 likes

  9. Torque the Dorque says:

    I haven’t seen them all but I did see ” Birdemic”. Hands down the funniest live I’ve seen for Rifftrax. CT “Rattlers” and “The Alien Factor” are tied. “You can’t weigh anything when you’re holding it dumbass.” (Rattlers) Two door police car for the sheriff and State Troopers in VW bugs (AF).

       2 likes

  10. trickymutha says:

    They’re all pretty funny- but, for some reason Starship Troopers stands out. Maybe it was the audience and my kids laughing so hard.

       4 likes

  11. Sitting Duck says:

    I’ll give some love to Jack the Giant Killer. These goofy fantasy movies bring out the best in their riffing. Plus it was paired with the utterly bizarre short What is Nothing?

       8 likes

  12. HauntedHill says:

    Tough call between the 2009 Christmas Show and House on Haunted Hill. But none of them have been “bad”, so it’s a ‘can’t lose’ situation in my book.

       6 likes

  13. MSTie says:

    Sharknado will always hold a special place in my heart because it was the show that FINALLY got my husband interested in riffing in general and MST3K & Rifftrax in particular. I know he only went to the show with me to be nice, but being able to follow (so to speak) the movie and appreciate the jokes at the same time finally clicked for him.

    Thank you, Sharknado, for making us laugh about love, again.

       10 likes

  14. Herandar says:

    I’ve probably watched Jack the Giant Killer over 20 times now. I don’t think I’ve watched any of the other Live! offerings more than five times or so.

    I still haven’t seen a couple, and am intentionally avoiding Sharknados.

       2 likes

  15. Majorjoe23 says:

    Christmas 2009 for me. It had the perfect quality, freshness and flavor.

       6 likes

  16. MissT3K says:

    All of the Christmas offerings are at the top of my list – but I agree with HauntedHill – they’ve all been great, so it’s a “win-win-win-win-win…” all around. :)

       2 likes

  17. Torgo's Pizza says:

    The reunion will always hold a special place in my heart, so that’s number one for me.

    But of the others, it’s “The Room” and “Birdemic.” Amazing stuff.

       5 likes

  18. Farmland says:

    Starship Troopers. All the shows have been good, but things really seemed to be in alignment that night.

    “Bring out the Gimp!”

       1 likes

  19. Like a lot of others, that Christmas Shorts Extravaganza from 2009 is really really fantastic stuff. In addition to that I was a big fan of the Jack the Giant Killer show (SEIZE THE BONE!) and I also really enjoyed the Manos and Night of the Living Dead shows.

       5 likes

  20. Mike says:

    Godzilla 1998

       1 likes

  21. Mibbitmaker says:

    The first RT Live I saw was Manos. I’ve only gone to shows since that aren’t too horribly violent, and caught up on some of the earlier Live shows on Hulu.

    It depends on whether the reunion show counts. If so, then, yeah, that one. But besides that, I’d say The Room. I’d barely heard of the movie before that, and it was easily prime riffing material. Manos, of course, was great, too, and Norman was my favorite short (besides the reunion ones).

    For me, the only show that didn’t click was Santa Clause Conquers the Martians – even the pre-show slides. All the best riffs there were already done by MST3K and CT, it seems to me.

       1 likes

  22. EricJ says:

    Majorjoe23:
    Christmas 2009 for me. It had the perfect quality, freshness and flavor.

    They seem to do better at Shorts, like the Christmas shorts, because there’s no lame, Razzie-like Best Worst Film fan-baggage being brought to the movies themselves as with The Room and the Sharknado movies, no hostility grudges being brought to big-name annoyances like Twilight or the Transformers, and no MST3K fan-pimping as with Manos and Santa Claus.

    The shorts come out of nowhere, spend ten minutes being strange, and if the riffing doesn’t work, there’s something better coming along later. It’s the closest that RT can come to Joel-ist “React, Don’t Punish” found-humor for two hours of the live shows that CT can do with an obscure cheapie.
    The Live shows can’t fill a paying tour audience with something as strange and obscure as educational shorts or Balloonland or Batman serials the way the downloads can, so the holidays is as good excuse for a Shorts anthology as any.

       1 likes

  23. EricJ says:

    Mibbitmaker:
    For me, the only show that didn’t click was Santa Clause Conquers the Martians

    …The strangest Tim Allen comedy Disney ever made.

    (With hard work and research, we can end this grammatical idiocy in our lifetime. Please give generously.)

    C’mon, how does it go?: You spell it S-A-N-T-A, C-L-A-U-S…

       3 likes

  24. Jay says:

    “Please give generously.”

    Here is a generous donation of advice, you hide-behind-your-screen bully. KNOCK IT OFF!! Nobody, and I mean nobody, appreciates your crap on people from on high posts.

       22 likes

  25. Atorgo says:

    Do you just cut and paste your Rifftrax slams? One part Razzie/Golden Turkey reference, one part Gentle Joel “found humor” rhetoric, one part casting Rifftrax creators as grudge-holding tyrants…

       17 likes

  26. hellokittee says:

    House on Haunted Hill holds a special place in my heart because it was the first RT Live show I went to, but I think that Miami Connection and Santa Claus and the Ice Cream Bunny were particular favorites!

       4 likes

  27. PrivateIron says:

    Starship Troopers by a mile. I think it may be the best Rifftrax period, not just Live. Pretty much a perfect movie for them, then given much quality execution.

       3 likes

  28. MonkeyPretzel says:

    This is such a tough question for me, because I like all the live shows tremendously; the audience interaction with the performance seems to make the jokes funnier to me. But if I had to pick one…Santa Claus and the Ice Cream Bunny. And I can’t really tell you why except it speaks to my personal sense of humor. It’s just funnier because it is.

    This may change, however, once I get to really sit down and watch the Reunion Show several times.

       2 likes

  29. Justin Reeves says:

    I think that Night of the Living Dead or Plan 9 were my favorites. I’ve never left disappointed in a show

       2 likes

  30. Bat Masterson says:

    Gee, EricJ was it pandering when CT did Santa Claus Conquers The Martians? Get over yourself, dude! I don’t particularly like Trace and Frank’s new project but I don’t post on hews about them like some demented teenybopper.

    Gah. Sorry. It’s been a long day.

    My favorite Rifftrax Live event was probably House on Haunted Hill just because I am a huge Vincent Price fan, and I am glad that some incarnation om MST tackled one of his movies.

       9 likes

  31. NanoRiff says:

    For reference purposes:

    1. Plan 9 from Outer Space
    2. Christmas Shorts with Weird Al Yankovic
    3. Reefer Madness
    4. House on Haunted Hill
    5. Jack the Giant Killer
    6. Manos: The Hands of Fate
    7. Birdemic: Shock and Terror
    .. A. SF Sketchfest 2013
    8. Starship Troopers
    9. Night of the Living Dead
    10. Santa Claus Conquers the Martians
    11. Sharknado
    12. Godzilla
    13. Anaconda
    14. Santa Claus
    ... A. SF Sketchfest 2015
    ... B. Tribeca Film Festival World Premiere performance of The Room
    15. The Room
    16. Sharknado 2
    17. Miami Connection
    18. Santa and The Ice Cream Bunny
    ... A. SF Sketchfest 2016
    19. Time Chasers
    20. MST3K Reunion Show

       4 likes

  32. NanoRiff says:

    And looking at the list, it’s hard to pick a favorite. “Plan 9 from Outer Space” was great just because it was the first one. It was a fun time, and enough people showed up that it looked like Rifftrax would be able to do more Live Events.

    “Jack the Giant Killer” was a lot of fun. “Miami Connection” was great because so many people in the movie were acting so earnestly. I was happy to see “Time Chasers”, and happy to see that Rifftrax filled it up with riffs that weren’t in the MST3k version. And I thought it was great when I found out that the director and several cast members were flown out to attend the live show. It’s a goofy movie in many ways, but I actually liked all the actors. And then of course the Reunion Show was great.

       3 likes

  33. MonkeyPretzel says:

    EricJ: They seem to do better at Shorts, like the Christmas shorts, because there’s no lame, Razzie-like Best Worst Film fan-baggage being brought to the movies themselves as with The Room and the Sharknado movies, no hostility grudges being brought to big-name annoyances like Twilight or the Transformers, and no MST3K fan-pimping as with Manos and Santa Claus.

    The shorts come out of nowhere, spend ten minutes being strange, and if the riffing doesn’t work, there’s something better coming along later.It’s the closest that RT can come to Joel-ist “React, Don’t Punish” found-humor for two hours of the live shows that CT can do with an obscure cheapie.
    The Live shows can’t fill a paying tour audience with something as strange and obscure as educational shorts or Balloonland or Batman serials the way the downloads can, so the holidays is as good excuse for a Shorts anthology as any.

    I thought you didn’t watch RiffTrax? ?:-)

       18 likes

  34. Ben Hur says:

    The Reunion Show was painfully funny! Best collection of shorts ever — SEE AND BE SEEN

       3 likes

  35. Kenneth Morgan says:

    Hmmm…

    I, also, find this a tough question to answer. The only official RT live show I haven’t seen is “The Room”, and, from what I’ve heard, it may be too off-kilter even for my sensibilities.

    I think the only one that I had a problem with was “Anaconda”, but that was more because the movie was too distasteful; the guys did a good job with the material they’d been given. Otherwise, I don’t think I have a definite favorite; I’ve enjoyed them all.

    And EricJ, I have the unfortunate feeling that some Disney exec will hear about your post and make a few calls and negotiate a few contracts and…oh, dear. (I won’t blame you, though. I’m surprised they haven’t already tried this.)

       1 likes

  36. Son of Torgo says:

    My top three are The Room, Birdemic and Starship Troopers
    All three had me laughing so hard I had to catch my breath.

       2 likes

  37. Bruce Boxliker says:

    That’s a tough one. The Christmas Shorts are way up there, but so is Birdemic & The Room. No, my favorite was Jack The Giant Killer. Hilarious riffing & a fun movie. Plus the song they sing over the opening credits (Mooow the lawn, Cleeean the garage….). Seize the bone!

    I enjoyed Plan 9, and while I love Jonathan Coulton, it felt like it took way too long to get to the movie. Starship Troopers would probably be my least favorite, but that’s only because I couldn’t hear half the riffs since the movie audio was way too high compared to MK&B.

       2 likes

  38. Richard the Lion-Footed says:

    For RE-watch ability, you cannot beat Birdemic.
    A film ripe for riffing and a great interplay with the audience.
    Far superior to the studio effort they did earlier.

    If you want to introduce someone to RIFFTRAX, this is the live show to do it with.

       4 likes

  39. hortense says:

    For me it depends on the type of movie. I didn’t enjoy Anaconda, Miami Connection, Sharknado, or Starship Troopers as much because I just don’t like those kinds of “bad” movies. I loved Birdemic, House on Haunted Hill, The Christmas shorts one, and even the redo of Time Chasers. I liked Night of the Living Dead too, but I don’t consider that a bad movie.

       3 likes

  40. sdogmoore says:

    The reunion show was the best – and I agree that I think its because it is all shorts. Birdemic is a second because the film is so utterly ridiculous.

       2 likes

  41. GizmonicTemp says:

    Of the ones I’ve been to…

    1. Manos was pure magic. Norman, Cylinders. It was all great!
    2. Mst3k Reunion was a GREAT way to introduce Jonah, see Joel again, and get caught-up with Trace, Frank, Bridget, and MJ’s current goings-ons.
    3. Somehow, Sharknado eluded me until Rifftrax’s treatment. Awesome.
    4. Santa v Martians was cool because CT had already done it and this caused it to surpass Santa Claus as my fave X-mas EP.
    5. Birdemic was was horrible, but dripping with charm, IMHO.
    6. Sharknado 2 – Nice. Just nice.
    7. Santa and the Ice Cream Bunny was totally out-shined by the shorts. I didn’t agree with the source material and thought even it was too horrible to deserve riffing.

       3 likes

  42. CaveDweller says:

    I’d have to go with “Birdemic” as my favorite with “Jack the Giant Killer” a close second. ‘Course, the fact that I was sitting front row there in Nashville for both of those helped to make those nights special. Wonderful memories and great times, indeed!

       3 likes

  43. Be Right There says:

    Jack the Giant Killer for me. The fact that it was the first RT live show I attended factors into things, but more importantly Mike, Kevin and Bill were firing on all cylinders, the movie itself was halfway watchable, and of course What is Nothing?.

       3 likes

  44. Ray Dunakin says:

    Well, unfortunately I haven’t seen many of the live shows, and only got to see two of them in the theater rather than on DVD. Of those that I’ve seen on DVD, I’m torn between the Christmas Shorts-travaganza (or whatever they called it), and Birdemic. Both are endlessly rewatchable. Of the two I actually saw live, I have to go with Sharknado. Not only was it hilarious from beginning to end, it was also the only time I was able to get my wife to go see it with me, and she loved it too.

       2 likes

  45. skierpete says:

    I would say Starship Troopers and The Room are the two that stand out in my mind. I also think this MST3K reunion ranks up there. I didn’t see them all either – the Starship Troopers one was the first one I saw.

    The worst would be Godzilla. Not that there wasn’t strong riffing, but the middle hour of the movie was such a SLOG it just dragged on too long. I wish they could’ve edited down by 30 minutes. The only time I’ve been happy that a Rifftrax ended. The other one I didn’t think much of was Sharknado 2 – the movie was so aggressively stupid the riffing hardly helped. Didn’t help that it was the one immediately after The Room.

       2 likes

  46. A Flat Minor, Mr. B'smith cousin says:

    Jack the Giant Killer as well as the Christmas shorts.

    Seize the bone!!

       3 likes

  47. Gare.Chicago says:

    I haven’t been to all of them, but of the ones I’ve seen, it’s gotta be Christmas shorts. I introduced a friend to the whole world of Rifftrax/riffing, and she told me later that she had never laughed so hard in her life (and that her stomach hurt).

    Gare

       2 likes

  48. Easily “The House on Haunted Hill”. The shorts are fantastic, Paul F. Tompkins is great as a guest, as a riffer and as a plot device. Only the best jokes from the original Mike-only and three-riffer versions make the cut and the new stuff is great. The perfect Rifftrax Live (and possibly my favorite post-MST riff show/episode/whatever of all time).

       4 likes

  49. Bat Masterson says:

    @ 48
    Magical Disappearing Money is one of my favorite shorts of all time.

       2 likes

  50. BIG61AL says:

    SHARKNADO & BIRDEMIC are tied for my first place…the reunion show had stellar shorts…;)

       1 likes

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