Last weekend Joel popped in at the SketchFest live show of the podcast
Harmontown. He shows up at about the 42:30 mark. (Parental warning: some salty language.)
One of the fundamental tenets of this site is: as fascinated as we — and our readers — are by every detail of the cast members’ doings, we also believe they deserve a private life. We do our best to avoid reporting any personal info about the cast members here, unless they volunteer it.
So, when Josh missed several Cinematic Titanic shows last year, and fans were told only that it was due to illness, we left it at that.
But recently Josh revealed what happened in a series of tweets:
1 month ago today, I had a kidney removed due to cancer. Now I don’t have cancer and I’ve been doing stand-up all week. #feelinglucky
The cancer was discovered when I had a CT scan of my colon and my kidney photo-bombed it. #feelinglucky
I have hesitated to be public about it, but I felt like people should get to hear a happy cancer story once in a while.
Thanks to everyone for your warm and caring wishes. It feels better than my cynical ass would have anticipated.
We have no doubt that we speak for all of our readers in expressing our delight that Josh has made a full recovery and in wishing him all the best.
With Valentine’s Day coming up, alert regular Kenneth has a timely suggestion:
ROMANCES IN MSTed MOVIES: A great many MSTed movies feature a romance of some sort, even if it’s sometimes awkwardly shoehorned in. Which of them strike you as being “true” romances, with a definite connection between the characters. And, conversely, which ones strike you as being just plain unbelievable and only there because the script says so?
Movie: (1968) A girl from a rural truck stop goes to Los Angeles to work as a go-go dancer, but soon gets involved with drug dealers.
First shown: April 18, 1999
Opening: Crow explains his WWBSMD bracelet; Pearl has evil plans
Intro: More bracelets; Pearl, seeking board certification from the Institute of Mad Scientists, impresses the visiting inspector
Host segment 1: Crow exacts petty, childish revenge on Mike
Host segment 2: Crow is shakin’ his moneymaker, much to Mike’s dismay
Host segment 3: Mike sings in the rain, causing much havoc
End: The movie has caused M&TB dress like the ugly thug in the movie and chuckle; this fails to impress the inspector–but Brain Guy does!
Stinger: “Oh, God, I wish I had that pretty mind back!”
• I have to put this one in the “good-not-great” category–despite some excellent riffing and host segments that are more funny than not–and the reason is the movie. This was our only real foray into the grimy, nasty world of director Ted V. Mikels, and once was enough. There are no real protagonists in this greasy little flick. Even Critter, who comes to despise the world he’s landed in, doesn’t seem to be trying very hard to break away. Even the dark and polluted world of “Manos” seems cheerful after this thing. Bleah.
• Paul’s thoughts are here.
• This episode is included in Rhino’s The Mystery Science Theater 3000 Collection, Vol. 4.
• Despite Paul’s concerns about the mad science story arc, this episode’s opening salvo is actually pretty funny. That’s Paul, of course, as the inspector.
• I love the “I want to give you a hump” bit. Bill plays it perfectly.
• Segment 1 works for me, entirely because of Servo, hand over mouth, going “Ohh!”
• It’s amusing (to me, at least) that beer afficianado Mike is drinking Coors. Maybe he thinks it’s only good for pouring onto bicycle seats?
• Host segment callback: “I didn’t mean to turn you on.”
• This print is chopped to shreds, so much so that it actually starts creating riff material, such as when Buz bilocates into a scene. “I’m back!”
• As a longtime fan of lileks.com, he’s taught me to notice when a movie suddenly becomes an unintentional documentary, as this one does when our trio arrives in 1967 L.A. and they drive around seeing the nighttime sights. I don’t know L.A. well, but I bet folks who do find it fascinating.
• I particularly like Servo’s lyrics about L.A. of that era: “Charles Manson is walkin’ the streets…”
• Speaking of that scene, I’m a collector of weird Christmas songs, and this movie has one: Larry Cartell’s “I’m a Lonely Cowboy Santa.”
• This is another movie that shows a night club with a GIANT space for the floor show. I assure you, real night clubs jammed every table onto the floor they could manage.
• You know that guy who plays Leo? He was married to Judy Garland for two years. I am not kidding.
• I do not want to know what sort of moneymaker Crow is shaking in segment 2.
• I really enjoy Crow’s exuberant dancing in the theater. Note that his arms move a bit!
• The musician who talks to Critter is Chris Howard, the composer of most of the songs in the movie. He seems embarrassed and he should be.
• Segment 3, with Mike singing “Oh, I Am Sad” (music by Mike, lyrics by Paul) as the ship catches fire, is hilarious. And by the way it’s only the first of several fires on the ship this season.
• Whoa! Slam on Lea Thompson outta nowhere!
• There’s a nice moment in the theater when Joanie yells “Get out!” and Crow promptly gets up and leaves.
• The bit in the theater where Mike produces a pool cue and begins playing pool is cute and kinda Joel-esque. Then he says he’s been saving the sight gag eight years. Hmm. Comments like that used to make the a certain faction of this show’s viewers very upset.
• Cast and crew roundup: Director Ted Mikels was also cinematographer for 1967′s “Catalina Caper.” Sound guy Sam Kopetsky also worked on “Eegah.” In front of the camera: Jody Daniels was also in “Attack of the the Eye Creatures.”
• CreditsWatch: Directed by Kevin. Intern Nick Prueher returns for one more episode.
Additional photography (whatever that means): Kevin Galligan. Prop assistant: Julia Pratt (in just this episode).
• Fave riff: “Honey! Way to play the harmonica with your ass!” Honorable mention: “Suddenly I like the Allman Brothers!”
The comedy team of Chris Bliss and our own J. Elvis Weinstein is in Minneapolis this week at the Acme Comedy Co., 708 North 1st St., through Saturday night.
More info here.
Trace will present readings from his book “Silly Rhymes for Belligerent Children” Saturday, Feb. 8, at 5 p.m. at the Negative Space Art Gallery, 3820 Superior Ave. E, in Cleveland.
He will be joined by our pal Len Peralta, illustrator of the book.
Admission is $10 for the reading and subsequent meet and greet.
More info (or, more or less the same info) here.
A filmmaker in Utah named Dave Chadwick is trying to pull together the funds he needs to make a documentary about riffing. He hopes to talk to some or many or all of the cast members, but he’s also planning to go beyond that and look at how movie riffing has grown into a phenomenon.
If you’d like to support him, the kickstarter page is here.
Joel is bringing “Riffing Myself” to California for two nights in February:
February 7, 8 p.m.: Brava Theater, 2781 24th Street, San Francisco. Joel performs “Riffing Myself” during SF Sketchfest 2014. VIP ticket holders will join Joel post-show for an intimate meet-and-greet. More info here.
February 8, 7 p.m.: Tower Theatre, 417 Vernon Street, Roseville. Joel takes “Riffing Myself” to the Sacramento area. VIP ticket holders will participate in a post-show Q&A with Joel and can get their items signed by him. More here.
BEVERLY HILLS,CALIF. — Film and TV composer John Cacavas, whose scores include the television series “Kojak” and “Hawaii Five-O,” died Jan. 28 at his home here. He was 83. Longtime MSTies will recall his scores for the movies in episodes K13- SST: DEATH FLIGHT, K15- SUPERDOME and K19- HANGAR 18.
A full obit is here.