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Well, Hell…

May 15th, 2009 by Kevin Murphy · 70 Comments

…Well the Rifftrax Live Online event met with a steamroller of trouble, and we had to pull the plug on our first live feature film riff.  We apologize to all of you who share our disappointment, we’ll make it right by you.  In the meantime we’ll do our best to get it right before we try again, and we’ll keep you posted along the way.

And hey, thanks for hanging with us while we keep trying new things.  We’ll do our best to keep you entertained.  Keep watching.


Tags: RiffTrax

70 responses so far ↓

  • 1 ShutterBun on May 15, 2009 at 7:15 pm

    I’m afforded a small measure of relief, since at the last minute I discovered I couldn’t make it for the live event, so hopefully I’ll be able to catch the 2nd attempt, or whatever. Better luck next time!

  • 2 CrowTeeRobot on May 15, 2009 at 7:16 pm

    Apologies accepted all around sir, as I learned in TV Production: Always know that murphy’s law will come after you. Or in this case, Kevin Murphy’s Law.

  • 3 Quilted Porcupine on May 15, 2009 at 7:32 pm

    I also must admit to relief at the postponement. My parents being in town for the weekend was going to make me have to miss out on the awesomeness.

  • 4 RequiemInADream on May 15, 2009 at 7:35 pm

    We know you guys tried your hardest to get it up, and are probably more frustrated than we could ever be. Just keep us laughing and you guys won’t lose a single customer. And perhaps you can turn this into a running joke in your future riffs.

  • 5 Ninjew on May 15, 2009 at 7:40 pm

    No need to apologize. We understand. You guys are so popular that you need to offer a new T-Shirt:

    “We don’t make movies, We break the internet!”

    I hear that Mike is so upset about the live show, that he’s fallen off the wagon again.

    Back to eating bacon…

  • 6 Edward J Grug III on May 15, 2009 at 7:50 pm

    Better to have tried and failed and all that!

    Nice try, and better luck next time!

  • 7 mst3ktemple on May 15, 2009 at 8:18 pm

    Keep trying guys. It will eventually work out. Looking forward to the next attempt.

  • 8 Ryan on May 15, 2009 at 8:36 pm

    It IS Murphy’s LAW!

  • 9 Jana on May 15, 2009 at 8:36 pm

    I’m down to let you keep my money for a standing ticket to the next attempt. I don’t think the average person has any idea what kind of undertaking this is. It may take some time – but ya’ll will get it! Hang in there.

  • 10 Corn Job on May 15, 2009 at 9:35 pm

    Sorry it went wrong again. You guys are pushing it to another level even trying to do something like a live riffing webcast on a full feature length film so once you do pull it off it will be a big deal, and something to be proud of. I’ll be there (or rather here) watching it then too.

  • 11 Corn Job on May 15, 2009 at 9:41 pm

    I don’t think that would be doing them any favors. It’s actually probably a lot easier for them if they just refund your money now and then you just bought a new ticket for the next show whenever it might be. I doubt it would be very easy for them to keep track of who payed what and when, and all that stuff if they don’t even know when or what the next live show will be at this point. Or you could do what I plan on doing, which is spending my refund at, especially by ordering the Planet of Dinosaurs VOD version.

  • 12 Ern2150 on May 15, 2009 at 10:11 pm

    More than 10 years ago Roger Taylor of Queen set up a live stream of a concert he performed in his barn. People linked directly to the stream, at least in the thousands, and were able to stay connected for at least three hours. This was done with some kind of RealPlayer media server. It’s apparent by now that Ustream isn’t ready to support the equivalent load by today’s standards, but I got the impression they’re a startup experimenting with what they can get away with.
    More power to ‘em for trying, but uh, you’re gonna need a bigger boat.

  • 13 jenifersf on May 15, 2009 at 10:55 pm

    I am sad, but understand. I just really wanted the “tapes”. Better luck next try, guys! Will be here for it.

  • 14 lfinn on May 15, 2009 at 11:11 pm

    I was really looking forward to this riff but I guess it just wasn’t in the cards for tonight. I still love you guys to death though so you can be sure I will be back, front row centre, when you try again.

    All the best from Newfoundland

  • 15 Darth Chimay on May 15, 2009 at 11:21 pm

    Sight… another capri-less night… Can’t wait ’til the next thing!

  • 16 AJ on May 15, 2009 at 11:26 pm

    I wasn’t able to make it, but I’m really sorry it didn’t work out for you guys.

    You’ll all get there!

  • 17 freelancer on May 15, 2009 at 11:46 pm

    Had a date, so while relieved to not have missed such a momentous moment, I am saddened it didn’t work out for you: Mike, Bill, Kevin, and the whole Legend Films Crew. You make the Hulu Hulk ep work, so it’s only a matter of time before you increase your revenue stream even more with special events like this. I for one can’t wait for the Live Riffing of the CAM screener of “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen: LeBouf’s tourette’s” COMING Summer 09.

    BTW, love the Twilight Riff

  • 18 CrowTeeRobot on May 16, 2009 at 12:04 am

    Good night, and God Bless Kevin’s pants!

  • 19 Jason on May 16, 2009 at 1:40 am

    Kevin, been watching you since oh, 1991 or so.. You can’t upset me :)

    Sorry it cranked out.. Hope it works out next time!

  • 20 Mike on May 16, 2009 at 1:43 am

    Looking forward to the next one, but I need some better advanced warning, maybe a constant calendar box on the side of the blog. Would’ve loved to have been there tonight even for the abridged show.

  • 21 Barry on May 16, 2009 at 2:12 am

    Hey, everyone’s tubes get clogged every now and then. That just means you need bigger tubes! :)

    In any case, you guys are revolutionizing the film riffing industry, so it’s understandable that there will be a few hiccups along the way.

  • 22 Houndstooth Mind on May 16, 2009 at 3:45 am

    Disappointed of course but this is all new! It will work out and I will be there when it does! You guys name the date and I will be back!

  • 23 Geena on May 16, 2009 at 4:25 am

    Ah, well. Luckily, we had a DVD of The Cat ( to act as consolation.

  • 24 Ninjew on May 16, 2009 at 5:08 am

    You guys are so popular that you need to offer a new T-Shirt:

    “We don’t make movies, We break the internet!”

    I hear that Mike is so upset about the live show, that he’s fallen off the wagon again.

    Back to eating bacon…

  • 25 Ninjew on May 16, 2009 at 5:11 am

    Of course, next time you could have a back-up system.

    You could all whip out your cell phones and to a live stream from that!

    It’s all good. I had fun with the trivia and the movie theater style slide show and chatting it up with everyone.

    You know the old saying though, “Third time’s a charm!”

    Of course, the next one will end up being the FIFTH try, but you know what I mean…

  • 26 Derek on May 16, 2009 at 6:11 am

    I don’t think it’s a mere coincidence that while they are “updating” the Hubble, OUR beloved LIVE EVENT is taken down with TECHNICAL DIFFICULTIES!

    I just think it was extracting revenge for treatment Mike gave it during the MST3k movie!

    CURSE YOU HUBBLE TELESCOPE and all the wondrous things you’ve shown us!! Mike was going to show us stop-motion dinosaurs or something … and we’ve never seen THAT before!!!

  • 27 Kevin on May 16, 2009 at 6:47 am

    On a side note, the pre-show cards with the trivia and such were inspired. Great stuff. And after hearing the music going along with it I had to buy the Rifftones CD today. Keep at it, guys!

  • 28 Jana on May 16, 2009 at 6:58 am

    Was more just making a general statement of support. In hindsight I should have used a ‘winky’ ;-)

  • 29 Steve R. on May 16, 2009 at 8:06 am

    Hey guys, just wanted to say even though I couldn’t make it to the feature riff and only saw the short, it was still great. After reading all these responses it is obvious that you guys have a truly remarkable fanbase that will stick with you to the end. Best of Luck to ya for next time!

  • 30 Kelly on May 16, 2009 at 8:17 am

    The moral to this story is never try something new. :)

    Maybe you can find some comfort in this Rifftrax blog obsession related news story -

  • 31 TeeJay on May 16, 2009 at 8:40 am

    I share the relief of others here who found out at the last minute that they couldn’t make it to the live event. I too was afraid I would miss out on it because dopey me double booked myself.

    So while I feel bad for those who were here and didn’t get to see the show, I’m relieved that I didn’t miss Mike, Kevin and Bill’s masterful live riffing of this movie.

  • 32 Brad on May 16, 2009 at 8:40 am

    Having done several live streaming events I know how difficult they can be and how prone to problems they can be. I would certainly offer to act as a mirror to the event, so at least some of the traffic load could be spread around, I’m sure there are others who would also offer up a similiar offer. I would also be willing to offer whatever help I could…including testing and other support. But rest assured that at least from me that I’ll be there for the next one and that you have lost no trust from me. No worries guys. And thanks for everything you do (typing this while downloading Planet of the Dinosaurs VOD).. .

  • 33 Brad on May 16, 2009 at 8:41 am

    Offer up a similar offer?
    I shouldn’t type before my caffeine levels stabilize….

  • 34 Invisible NanoGhost on May 16, 2009 at 9:30 am

    You don’t really think he ever stopped, do you?

  • 35 Invisible NanoGhost on May 16, 2009 at 9:31 am

    wow, that’s pretty amazing.

  • 36 Cap'n Hack on May 16, 2009 at 9:47 am

    Like everyone else, I was really looking forward to the event and I really feel for you guys. Anyone who is offended or feels let down by this event should point their blame elsewhere or, better yet, just put on a Rifftrax and relax.

    You’ve all brought me and many others so much pure joy over the years that I would not even feel let down by you if you broke into my home and dyed all my bodily hair green.
    Keep going, you’ll crack it eventually and then you should be set for a good long while.

    P.S. I appreciate the video apology given by the… technical director? last night some time after the main event had been cancelled so please pass on my thanks.

  • 37 Invisible NanoGhost on May 16, 2009 at 10:02 am

    I’ve been in computing for many years, and have rolled out large new services during that time. I know how hard it can be.

    There’s no point in me asking for the details of what happened here, because I’m pretty sure I don’t know enough about the specific things you’re trying to do, so I wouldn’t be of any help anyway.

    But instead, let’s think of some less-traumatic way to do a real serious stress test of this setup. Something that will be fun if it goes right, and yet won’t have so much riding in it if it falls apart. If nothing else, it’s a shame to have Bill and Kevin fly out for this, and then have so many problems.

    I’ll pick up on an idea from someone in the Rifftrax Forum, and suggest:

    Have a “Rifftrax live” event which is nothing but playing a few of the iRiff shorts which have been done. Maybe do them in pairs, with the first one being free and the second one being a “paid-for” event. People who are willing to test could buy in for 25 cents, or something like that. Advertise this event in advance, to pick up a serious number of willing testers. Maybe include some simple file to download, which could be as simple as the Rifftones singing “hello, Hello, HELLO” (barber-shop style). Nothing serious, just something good enough to prove that all the pieces of a live event can be handled smoothly.

    If it goes right, then some iRiffer groups have a shot at fame and wider exposure to their riffing. In some ways the “Lost City” series of iRiffs would be perfect for this, except that’s TOO much to go through for an event.

    I know you’ve all been working hard and hoping to spring a perfect live event on the world as if by magic, but you’ve had two of those go down in flames now, so let’s give up on the “Like Magic!” part. As others have noted, (Edward) Murphy’s Law was bound to stick its nose into a big project like this, so let’s assume something will go wrong, and do some tests to find out what that is.

  • 38 Invisible NanoGhost on May 16, 2009 at 10:06 am

    I’ll also say that you’re mixing together one server machine, some video equipment, an internet connection, and several thousand naive customers. You have to assume that a significant amount of trouble is going to come from the customers. I went through the whole thing last night, and I’m still not completely sure that I was setup right so I could both “chat” and be recognized as a paid customer.

    If you had some realistic dry-runs of this whole process, you’d have more customers who are familiar with how the live event is expected to work, and thus they won’t be quite so frustrated — even if things aren’t working. At least then they’ll know “yes, things are not working right now”, instead of “did I do that right? what’s happening? is that icon on the left supposed to be blinking? why is it telling me I can’t tweet again for 30 seconds?”.

  • 39 Invisible NanoGhost on May 16, 2009 at 10:09 am

    I’ll also say that going into this event I thought the twittering idea was great. But if that twitter connection really is setup the way it seemed to be setup last night, then it totally totally sucks. #sillyrant

  • 40 Invisible NanoGhost on May 16, 2009 at 10:22 am

    It’s downright impossible for us (outsiders) to guess where the problem was. is known to have handled events larger than this one was. The problem Friday night might have been something as simple as a DNS entry or a gateway config being set wrong on some machine. Some error which is so minor that the delay it causes isn’t even measurable in a small test, but which turns into a nightmare when you have 2,000 streams of video and 2,000 chat sessions going on.

  • 41 June on May 16, 2009 at 10:26 am

    The short was awesome, thank you! It’s a classic, especially the drawly sawwwwwng.

    As for Twitter, some of us will never use it — or will never use it again. It can be frustrating to see communications, trivia contest, etc., that depend on having a Twitter account. Whatever issues Ustream had: in terms of reliability, TWITTER SUCKS WORSE. A lot of my existing posts have just disappeared from Twitter — I’m talking permanently gone, not talking about the times of fail-whale inaccessibility.

  • 42 Invisible NanoGhost on May 16, 2009 at 10:27 am

    I do think it’s great that you’re trying to make these live events happen. Rifftrax has come a long way since the first DVD I bought back in August 2005 (”House on Haunted Hill”), and it’s generated a lot of welcome laughs along the way. These Rifftrax Live events are so tantalizingly close to working, and I’m sure they’ll be great to have once the bugs are worked out.

  • 43 Michael ("Kruge") Briel on May 16, 2009 at 11:32 am

    Hey there! I was there at the dawn of the third age of Rifftrax… :D

    Rule No1: Smeg happens, *especially* when there’s computers involved – those boxes are able to make many, many more mistakes per second than every human being!

    Learned: More testing required, some good suggestions from the community imho (see above).

    The short movie was quite cool in itself, it reminded me of one of the funnies clips I’ve ever seen: “Staplerfahrer Klaus” (Klaus, the forklift driver), done in the style of your typical 70/80s German security PSA.


  • 44 R.A. Roth on May 16, 2009 at 11:37 am

    I’ve been down with a bad stomach for two days, so I missed all the chaos. Damn!


  • 45 Erica on May 16, 2009 at 11:57 am

    I’m just going to go ahead and let me geekiness (or is it geekness?) show through: if all of you have noticed that lately technical things don’t seem to work and are wondering if it is a conspiracy, it IS a conspiracy. It’s an astrological conspiracy. It’s called Mercury Retrograde, and it doesn’t go away until May 30.

    Laugh if you will, but you have been warned (insert evil manical laugh sound effect, which I would do if Mercury Retrograde would not thwart me….)

  • 46 Erica on May 16, 2009 at 11:58 am

    I meant maniacal of course, not manical. That’s not the retrograde, that’s me typing too quickly.

    Carry on.

  • 47 Brooke on May 16, 2009 at 1:01 pm

    It’s not the size of the tube, it’s how you use it?

  • 48 gojikranz on May 16, 2009 at 2:50 pm

    well fortunately my internet is so terrible here at college i didnt even try, schedule the next one for after june 20th when i will be home with lovely internet!

  • 49 Mike on May 16, 2009 at 2:53 pm

    The short was pretty funny. I’d like to download it (especially since I paid for it). In fact, even if wasn’t done live, I’d still like to get a download of the movie (with the crew’s commentary of course).

  • 50 CrowTeeRobot on May 16, 2009 at 3:13 pm

    Lies! Lies and slander!

  • 51 Lord-z on May 16, 2009 at 3:24 pm

    I was aware that there would be a live riffing, but I throught it was just another short, and that it was on Sunday, so I was pretty surprised when I got an email saying that in little over half an hour, there were going to be a short and a ppv feature. And I seriously tried to buy the feature, but I wasn’t even able to open the site until ten minutes into the short, much less use shop.

  • 52 Sensei_Rebel on May 16, 2009 at 3:35 pm

    Are you showing off that you had a date ?

  • 53 Houndstooth Mind on May 16, 2009 at 3:37 pm

    I wonder if there was a prob with everyone buying tickets at the last min. Seems like before the bottom dropped out there were LOTS of folks showing up trying hard to buy.

  • 54 Erica on May 16, 2009 at 7:19 pm

    If that’s true, Mike and any other bacon lover, you have to try “Original Rangoon” Barbecue Shrimp in Bacon. A gift from God, my friends, a gift from God.

  • 55 Kouban on May 16, 2009 at 9:25 pm

    I noticed that the short yesterday was some truncated version of SHWD. Is the version that’s on the DVD the same one, or is it the full version of the short?

  • 56 mrbasehart on May 17, 2009 at 4:12 am

    That’s what she said?

  • 57 CrowTeeRobot on May 17, 2009 at 6:12 am

    Yeah, stop bragging!

  • 58 ShutterBun on May 17, 2009 at 8:01 pm

    It’s OK, Kevin. We can just cuddle for a while instead.

  • 59 Kris on May 18, 2009 at 2:49 am

    Oh, horror and unnecessary and therefore I laughed my wee bottom off. Well done.

  • 60 Invisible NanoGhost on May 18, 2009 at 3:56 am

    Btw, I’m a fan of Roger, so I wish I had seen that concert… :-)

  • 61 Laura on May 18, 2009 at 1:34 pm

    S’ok, I missed it anyways so now I don’t feel so stupid. Oh, look what I found on Youtube for people who haven’t seen Film Crew stuff yet!


  • 62 DohXs on May 18, 2009 at 3:50 pm

    Like most of us, I was hoping this was going to be your post on words that rhyme with well. Thanks for doubling my collection and keep working at it, I’m trying to write a poem for my cat. Her name is Tinkerdingding.

  • 63 jopageri on May 18, 2009 at 3:59 pm

    gosh ‘n’ gollies! i just saw your e-mail about making good on the live (non) event. i never saw such a generous refund, other than when that new puppy died on christmas morning (but that was just cuz my dad said he would shoot the guy in the head if he didn’t give the money back). but i digress… anyway, you guys are swell. can’t wait to download a bunch more crap that makes everyone else in the house get up and leave the room. SANCTUARY!!!

    regards, jo.

  • 64 Jeff Possberg on May 18, 2009 at 4:01 pm

    Couldn’t agree more with everything said above (and after viewing the preview clip from the Dinosaur flick, I’m still hoping there’s a way to obtain the full version in the future)

    Eagerly awaiting the next Riff over here in Saskatchewan

  • 65 Houndstooth Mind on May 18, 2009 at 7:38 pm

    It really is an etremely generous offer! I’m gonna get me another DVD!

  • 66 euphoriafish on May 18, 2009 at 11:38 pm

    Yeah, the guys aren’t just as good as their word; they’re *better* than their word. For me, the refund is going toward Twilight and maybe a couple of shorts.

  • 67 wbwolf on May 19, 2009 at 8:29 am

    The edit used for the live riff is the same as the version on Shorts Vol. 1, minus the weird CGI Kevin, Bill & Mike.

  • 68 Jeff Possberg on May 20, 2009 at 10:32 am

    I agree – over and above by Rifftrax – THANKS!