Damn, was that fun. Rifftrax Live was beamed nationwide Thursday night with only a few satellite glitches along the way. The show rocketed by for those of us onstage, and the live theater audience in Nashville was the kind you want to take home with you. And as reports around the country have come in, I’m even more amazed. Hearing that people of all ages joined in singing about eating brains is the kind of thing that doesn’t happen at most movies.
I want to thank Legend’s pair of David Martins, who were everywhere they were needed before they were asked. For those who laughed during the pre-show slides, give a round of applause to Rifftrax writer Conor Lastowka who cooked up the funny and served it as a brilliant crowd warmer-upper. Thanks to our production guys and gals in Nashville, and to Erik and crew back at Rifftrax for keeping the site from going the way of Bela Lugosi.
Of course Big thanks to Veronica Belmont for deftly navigating our weirdness and keeping the whole thing out of the “Boyz-Only” club. Thanks to Rich Lowtax Kyanka and his videos, which make me laugh every time I see them. And to Jonathan Coulton for his steady supply of talent, funny and as our own Bridget would say, terrific phrasing.
Most of all, a heartfelt thanks to all of you for showing up. You made all the difference, you made it that much more fun. It’s a good bet we’ll be doing this again.
BILL adds –
A post-show photo courtesy of David G. Martin: The Cast of This Evening’s Play.
N.B.: As this picture shows, I am constantly distracted by my Skoal-chewing. And Kevin is NOT allowed to touch people.
Who wants a free iPod Touch? Everyone on the planet save for a few bellicose Luddites, that’s who! You can win a free iPod Touch crammed-to-bursting with free RiffTrax! Just enter our Twitter drawing, and come to our Live Show on August 20th! You’ll also win free RiffTrax for everyone in your theater – even the guy the guy two rows back who’s been unwrapping a jawbreaker for the last 25 minutes!
Here’s how it works: you go here and purchase your RiffTrax Live tickets. http://is.gd/2hekt <—Then tweet that link, the location of your theater, and the hashtag #rifftraxlive and voila! You’re entered to win the iPod touch! We’ll give it away live during the show AND we’ll give every single person in your theater a free RiffTrax! Live, we’ll do it. That’s how we’ll do it: Live! Not not-live, but Live!* (Entry will close midnight on August, 19th. Example of a tweet, “RT @rifftrax #rifftraxlive http://is.gd/2hekt Swayzeville 13, Swayzeville, Kansas! Win an iPod. http://is.gd/2kBs4” <– A link to this post, in case you have room and want to get fancy.)
The person who took the above video would have us believe that the creatures frollicking in this lawn sprinkler are baby moose. This is puzzling to me because they bear little resemblance to the creature seen below.
Most of you will hopefully recognize Moose Baby, the star of our latest short “The Tale of Moose Baby.” If you haven’t, I invite you to go check it out right now, as it is possibly my favorite short we’ve come across so far.
Still not convinced? Perhaps this video will push you over the edge:
What’s that? It didn’t work and now you’re just confused and frightened? Dammit!
We have found some winners for our Family Circus Caption Contest! Thanks to everyone who entered, especially those of you who obeyed the only rule of the contest: to make your caption a line from a RiffTrax or a RiffTrax’d movie. Very funny entries, not everyone can win, etc. But here are the ones I particularly enjoyed.
If you’re a winner, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with your Name, mailing address and if you won tickets, the theater you’d like to see the show at. (Remember, a list of theaters carrying RiffTrax Live on Thursday, 8/20 can be found here.)
Three Winners get a pair of tickets to RiffTrax Live!
This entry from “Kevin” references my favorite line from the ultra-grim short (my favorite kind) about misfit kids, Each Child is Different.
This entry, from Danny Gallagher, references a line said by Kevin in the surprisingly mega-popular RiffTrax for Twilight. The line, to reiterate, is said by Kevin.
That’s it for the tickets. But we have here two special entries that we’d also like to reward with a signed lobby poster for the Plan 9 show. Call them the Judges Private Selection if you will. See if you can identify the common thread:
Pjwaldron came up with this The Room referencing caption
And Landon Cowan came up with this Room related one, that no matter how dark and evil it is, still made me laugh.
Thanks to everyone who entered, and be sure to come out and see us on Thursday, 8/20 for RiffTrax Live!!!
If, by any chance, you still haven’t bought tickets to RiffTrax Live at your local movie theater, (Thursday, 8/20, aka NEXT WEEK!!!) here’s your chance to win a pair!
Since this is an amazing show featuring our funniest riffs of Plan 9 yet, an unreleased short, and the talented contributions of Veronica Belmont, Jonathan Coulton and Rich “Lowtax” Kyanka, I figured what better way to promote it than by recaptioning some old Family Circus cartoons!
All you have to do is take any of these Family Circus cartoons and recaption them with an (in)appropriate RiffTrax riff or quote from a RiffTrax’d movie. Paraphrasing is OK, but I have to understand what you’re getting at. Make me laugh, and win a pair of tickets. We’ll pick winners at the end of the day tomorrow and you’ll get your tickets in the mail. Be sure you specify which cartoon your caption is for!
For all the info about our RiffTrax Live event, check out the page here. Also included is a box for you to enter your zip code to see the nearest theater.
So Twitter is down, big time. Last word is that they’re defending themselves against a “denial-of-service attack” Not sure what that is, or if it involves orcs, but it sounds bad. And now Facebook is groaning under the strain of people needing to send each other brief messages and read those of others.
It’s mercurial, this internets of ours, unpredictable and volatile. The tubes get clogged, people wail and weep, but the sun rises and sets and the local bakery still has crullers on special. Here at Rifftrax we’ve had the hard crashes that come from being swamped with attention. It’s not fun, but it’s oddly comforting to know that we’re not the only ones.
So here’s a suggestion: Today, use the time you’d normally waste on Twitter here. Maybe download and enjoy one of our shorts. Or order tickets to our August 20th nationwide live show in theaters everywhere. Drop in on the forum and discuss movies, social networking, breakfast meats, whatever strikes your fancy. Then maybe take a walk. it’s a nice day here; if you have rain, bring an umbrella, or get a little wet. You could even head down to the local bakery and get yourself a cruller.
Why hell, you could have a nice conversation! For instance: This is what we in the Midwest call a cruller, particularly in Wisconsin:
Whereas many of you in other parts of the country call this a cruller:
We call that a French donut, which makes it no less delicious. There, see? we’re having a conversation, learning about each other without any social networking. In fact, why don’t you folks give us and each other some ideas on what to do when your favorite social networking service is offline. And enjoy a potentially Twit-free day.
Can’t wait for our nationwide RIFFTRAX LIVE show on August 20th? Whet your appetite with this fresh summer riff: Fast & Furious! It’s just like The Fast and the Furious but without all those annoying articles in the title. You can think of Vin Diesel as a leaner, slightly less successful version of Plan 9’s Tor Johnson.
See what I mean? By the way, Tor’s on the left. Tor’s a bit easier to understand than Vin, even with the former’s thick Scandinavian accent. Whereas Tor’s blunt tenor dialogue delivery puts me in mind of a slab of aluminum pig, the deep mumbly register of Vin’s voice has been known to set off car alarms. As for raw acting ability, it’s a toss-up for me. But there’s enough of Tor in Vin to get your cinematic taste buds primed for August 20th.
In the meantime, here’s a quick and easy summer recipe inspired by the plot of Fast and Furious.
FAST AND FURIOUS POTATO SALAD Serves 8-10 as a side dish
6 lbs. large russet potatoes, skin on
1- Mossberg 590 Mariner 8+1 12 gauge shotgun
6 – shells 00 buckshot
1 – 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS LS6 454 (preferably red)
Salt and pepper to taste
- BEAT potatoes one by one with your bare fists until soft.
-FIRE one round of buckshot into each shell, distributing shot evenly as possible
-PULVERIZE potatoes by driving over them with Chevelle until well mixed
-Season with salt and pepper.
Awhile back RiffTrax hosted a little competition to see who out there had the best riffing chops. The winners, the very lovely and talented Doug Walker, Rob Walker, and Brian Heinz from thatguywiththeglasses.com. These brave men waded in where no one else dare go, to the grim innards (yes, you can wade into innards, let my metaphor stand!) of Joel Schumaker’s execrable Batman Forever.We stood safely off to the side, offering a little advice, giving a few notes, but mostly providing a shoulder to cry on as they stared repeatedly into abyss and lost all hope.
But hey, their suffering is our joy! Click on the poster for info, or just go right to the sample.
And, hey, if you think you’ve got what it takes, head on over to iRiffs, read the FAQs, and make your own. If you’re funny enough, we’ll feature you as a RiffTrax Presents.
Congratulations again to Doug, Rob, and Brian. Well done, guys!
The biggest story of Comic Con had to be the presence of Tommy Wiseau and Greg Sestero, aka Johnny and Mark from The Room, at a booth not too far away from ours. Here is a picture my friend Lisa (Yes, I know) took of them holding a rubber duck:
And here is a pic of their biggest fan:
In short, The Room fever here at RiffTrax shows no sign of abating, so as I listened to the back to back combo of Revolver/Rubber Soul last night, I was inspired to make this video, that I acknowledge is very dumb, but it still makes me laugh:
Yes, yes, you might read any number of commentaries about why the decline of the newspaper happened so rapidly . But nobody is addressing the key issue: that the comics used to look like THIS:
And now look like this:
Let’s take a closer look at the Katzenjammer Kids comic (the Born Loser strip is best left ignored, lest you descend into madness wondering how someone has convinced a business that is going bankrupt to pay him for this type of thing everyday for several decades. Also, a true story, probably over a decade ago, I wrote one of the only Letters to the Editor I’ve ever written, to the Washington Post, imploring them to cancel The Born Loser.)
This was the first Katzenjammer Kids cartoon I came across in a Google Image search, so I have no idea whether the insanity depicted in it is more over the top than your typical Katzenjammer Kids comic. I will assume that it is a middle of the road strip, just because if that turns out to be true, it means that the crazy ones must have been really crazy.
Panel 1: The Katzenjammer Kids come across The Captain, who is laid up in a wheelchair with a broken leg. He is passed out and snoring.
Panel 2: Their immediate reaction: go and get a caged pig from somewhere on the boat. Note that there is no discussion about where to obtain a caged pig. They simply wander off to the area where presumably, pigs in cages are stacked to the ceiling, and borrow one for the afternoon.
Panel 3: The blonde Katzenjammer Kid proposes the course of action to his brother: shoving the pig down some sort of pipe. The other Kid is shocked. Evidently, he was fine with going along with the plan to drag a pig in a cage out of the pig in a cage storage room, but did not bother to question what they might be doing with the pig.
Panel 4: They flip a coin to decide who has to do the deed. The Captain’s snoring continues to be amplified to industrial road grader volume. The pig looks worried. Also, take note of the pigs cage. Somehow it has been able to turn around a few times already, when in reality, the extreme confined quarters would have rendered his muscle mass a useless, gelatinous goo, unable to support his delicious, bacony frame.
Panel 5: We await the results of the coin flip as the swine, no doubt infested with an impossible number of sea-faring vermin, scratches itself.
Panel 6: Evidently the blonde Kid has either won or lost the coin toss and must deposit the pig down the pipe, which he does without a second thought. Now, there is run of the mill school boy mischief, and then there is the kind of mischief where barnyard animals are inserted into duct work. The latter usually only is perpetrated by children in the comics or by fraternities in college movies as a means to interrupt a speech by the “Crusty Old Dean” archetype.
Panel 7: The pig lands head first, directly on the Captain’s shattered leg, no doubt rebreaking it and causing immense pain in the hobbled old man. The purpose of the pipe, which would be inaccessible from the ground, remains unclear.
Panel 8: The blonde Kid observes the Captain’s agony with amusement while the other one, without knowing whether or not the pig even survived the fall, prepares to catapult his brother towards the same fate.
Panel 9: Which he does, with a look of demented joy on his face.
Panel 10: The blonde Kid crashes at a high velocity onto the Captain’s still throbbing leg, prompting the exponentially more agonized cry of “Owitch!” The pig, sensing glorious freedom for the first time in its wretched life, makes its getaway.
Panel 11: Despite the anguish of a twice rebroken leg, the Captain keeps his wits about him long enough to seize his cane and beat the hell out of the Kid. You have to admire the mans singular focus. After being awoken by a pig re-breaking his leg, he must have been pretty confused and groggy. But then a few seconds later, when someone elses child falls from the sky and re-re-breaks his leg, his immediate reaction is to reach for his cane and rain down blows upon the boys backside. The pig continues to flee, which is a nice touch, as is the delighted giggling of the beaten boys brother eminating from the pipe whose purpose other than pig/boy conveyance continues to baffle.
Panel 12: The blonde Kid, his ass still smarting from the caning, threatens his terrified brother with a sword as a great white shark looks on, eagerly awaiting a full meal after the appetizer of the confused and panicked pig that no doubt blundered into the water.
As Comic-Con looms, we’re packing our bags and heading out to San Diego with ENTIRELY NEW LOOKS!* We’ve already made Bill and Mike over, now to the real trouble spot- Mr. K.W. Murphy. Kevin’s owned a single pair of jeans for eleven years, and has watched his yellowing Munsingwear golf shirt go in and out of style six times. Something must be done.
Now here’s Kevin (right, with Bill Corbett) sporting his dreary old look. His dogged refusal to surrender his facial hair is problematic, but we’ve come up with an elegant, sophisticated solution - the face mitten.
The beard is no longer a problem. The loosely vested top accentuates Kevin’s broad shoulders and draws attention from his kidney fat and pit ham. Sure it’s a bold statement, but is it bold enough?
We asked our readers to contribute their vision, and boy, was that ever the right idea! Daisyj worked the face mitten with something more leggy:
Wook, among other more adventurous combinations, urges Kevin to adopt a more youthful line in his couture:
But it took BEMaven to put the whole thing together, and it hits you like a bolt out of the blue: OF COURSE! THE BRIAN BLESSED LOOK!!!
Here the beard is in balance with the wings, there’s a helmet (Kevin loves helmets) and he gets to show a little leg. Okay a lot of leg. All right, way too much leg. But on an ursine fellow like Kevin, I believe we have assembled a comfortable, versatile look that’s absolutely perfect for Comic-Con.
Thank you all! Hope none of this haunts your dreams! It’ll certainly haunt mine! On to the Con!