The End and Beyond - Part 7
2016 started by once again showing the far-reaching influence of MST3K. The recent Kickstarter campaign made the headlines of the Maui News on 1/3. The next day we saw our new host Jonah Ray making an appearance on @Midnight with Chris Hardwicke.
RiffTrax returned to San Francisco Sketchfest for a shorts night at the Castro Theater on 1/7 with guests John Hodgman, Adam Savage, Paul F. Tompkins, Mary Jo Pehl, Bridget Nelson, Cole Stratton and Janet Varney.
On 1/13 we learned of an essay in the Los Angeles Review of Books, “He’ll try to keep his sanity / With the help of his robot friends” by Ian Williams about how the show saved his life at least twice.
January saw a couple Best of RiffTrax Live shows in theaters across the country. Starship Troopers aired on 1/14 and The Room on 1/28.
Frank and Trace attended Sketchfest 1/15 to appear on some panels and to riff live at the Bravo Theater in SF, CA and officially exclaiming that The Mads Are Back! On 2/19 Frank joined comedians Myka Fox and Freddy G riffing The Room at QED in Astoria, NY.
Production of episodes of the web series Vermin starring Trace were underway thanks to a successful Kickstarter campaign with an "angel" donation by a local comic shop. Some behind the scenes photos were made available on 2/21.
3/1/2016 saw the first official podcast of the MST3K Revival League with hosts Greg Tally, Ryan Smith and Blake Sanchez. The first guest was Grant Baciocco. The show was recorded in the Roof Lizard Lounge at The Dino Hotel in Lakewood, CO. Upcoming guests would include cast members such as Mary Jo, Trace and Bridget, directors Rick Sloane and David Giancola and fans like bot-builder Ron McAdams and others.
In 2016 RiffTrax turned 10 years old. To celebrate, RiffTrax kicked off another Kickstarter campaign on 3/7. This time with the intention to re-riff the Vermont saga Time Chasers that had previously been done on MST3K as episode 821. They also announced plans for a show centered around an MST3K reunion. At the time of the original announcement Mary Jo, Bridget, Trace and Frank had already confirmed they would be participating. Not surprisingly the goal of $225,000 was easily achieved.
3/29 saw the release of MST DVD set XXXV with episodes Teenage Caveman (315), Being From Another Planet (405), 12 To The Moon (524) and Deathstalker and the Warriors from Hell (703). Documentaries this time included I Was A Teenage Caveman, Richard Band Remembers, You Are There: Launching 12 To The Moon and Medieval Boogaloo: The Legend Of Deathstalker III plus the original version of Time Walker.
On 4/1 Joel and Jonah announced they were joining the MST Reunion in Minneapolis (fans made them assure that this was not an April Fools' joke). RiffTrax also announced that $1750 donors would be entered into a Meat Raffle.
An AV Club article on 4/4 discussed the evolution of Comedy Central. They included input from Joel, who was there from the beginning. The cool graphic below shows the history of the various channel logos.
Shout announced on 4/7 that the first 1000 to pre-order DVD set XXXVI would get a bonus disc of the 1997 and 1998 Summer Blockbuster specials.
There was a live stream event on 4/8 on Periscope to close out the RiffTrax Kickstarter. They successfully raised $620,999 USD with 11,686 backers.
Jeopardy chose Mystery Science Theater 3000 once again as an answer on 4/13. Then on 4/15 and 16 the Mads performed live movie riffs at the North Bar in Chicago. As they did in October 2015 they performed two different movies for the early and late shows. Next Mary Jo joined comedian Kristen Andersen-Anderson As Two Hot Tamales at Pepitos Parkway Theater.
RiffTrax Live of Time Chasers took place on 5/5 at the Polk Theater in Nashville, TN (while the Belcourt Theater was under restoration). All of the major cast members and the director David Giancola attended that performance and were all good sports, although some admitted that the jabs hurt a little.