‘Mystery Science Theater 3000′ Team to Host New TV Riffing Miniseries

Published 1 year ago by

Mystery Science Theater 3000 silhouette Mystery Science Theater 3000 Team to Host New TV Riffing Miniseries

In the not-too-distant future (next Sunday A.D.), there was a guy named Joel, not too different from you or me. He worked at Gizmonic Institute, just another face in a red jumpsuit. He did a good job cleaning up the place, but his bosses didn’t like him so they shot him into space.

That’s pretty much all the set-up you need to know for Mystery Science Theater 3000, which popularized the still-popular trend of comedic riffing. The show’s host, with the help of his robot pals, would watch old and forgotten B-movies and gently (or harshly) mock them and parody them in short skits. The sets were wobbly, the props were cheap and the robots weren’t created using state-of-the-art CGI, but Mystery Science Theater 3000 is still fondly remembered by fans to this day.

The show currently lives on in RiffTrax, a site in which the stars of Mystery Science Theater 3000 – Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy and Bill Corbett – provide comedic commentaries for both old movies and recent blockbusters like The Avengers and Twilight. After being off TV screens for almost 15 years, however, the Mystery Science Theater 3000 crew are making a three-episode comeback… on National Geographic.

Rifftrax Logo 570x294 Mystery Science Theater 3000 Team to Host New TV Riffing Miniseries

According to Zap2It the MST3K revival will actually air under the RiffTrax name, but Murphy will be reprising his role as Tom Servo and Corbett will be playing Crow T. Robot. Whether this means that the full show format will return – complete with their silhouettes projected onto the screen and the comedy skits in between – remains to be seen, but the riffing subject will apparently be some kind of TV programming.

Despite the change in name, the RiffTrax commentaries are still just as entertaining as the old Mystery Science Theater 3000 episodes and the hosts’ return to television is very welcome, even if it is only for a few episodes.


RiffTrax will air on National Geographic on April 1, 2014.

Source: Zap2It

Follow H. Shaw-Williams on Twitter @HSW3K
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  1. Rifftrax sounds too 1990s. They need an entirely new name.

  2. Wait. Bill and Kevin are going to play their robot characters, instead of riffing as slightly-skewed versions of themselves like they do in every single other RiffTrax performance? I’m skeptical.

    Also, if they don’t have the silhouettes, then the point is pretty moot. Also also I’m preeeeety sure there’s reasons they can’t use MST3K IP and I’ll just stop now sorry.

    • Oh boy crap Crow if it ain’t Trace Beaulieu it ain’t crow….The replacement just sounded terrible..Cinematic Titanic was way better than Rifftrax….But then again I’ve always hated Mike, Joel was funnier

      • You know Mike used to write for Joel, right?

      • Trace is bemoaning the closing of his local Radio Shack store. I talked to him last week and he’s severely depressed. He’s also got something new going on with Frank Coniff.

      • To each his own. Like Yoshi said, Mike was the head writer for all the seasons. I actually prefer Mike over Joel, and Bill over Trace. Not to disrespect the original actors, but Joel and Trace always sounded whiny to me. Maybe its a hearing perception preference, I don’t know. But Mike always had that campy, dorky style of humor that made me laugh, and the same with Bill.

    • There were many layers throughout the seasons where Trace got to riff as Crow the both Joel and Mike. Loved both Trace and Bill as Mr. T. Robot. Bill gave Crow some east coast edge. haha. Also if you haven’t seen Cinematic Titanic’s The Alien Factor and East Meets Watts, then what the heck are you doin’?

  3. Please, oh PLEASE cameo DisembAudio in all his toaster glory… Everyone knows he’s the real brains in the crew.

  4. EEEgah!!!!!!

  5. Zap2It has it wrong, they aren’t reprising their roles as the ‘bots. It’s RiffTrax, not MST3K.

  6. But then it ends with April 1st air date? I’ll take this as silly joke.

    • That was the conclusion I came to, as well.

  7. I always enjoyed MST3K, so I will give this a watch (like National geopgraphic as well!).

  8. Good lord I hope this turns into a return of the mst3k crew. I have most of the volumes on DVD. It’d be just awesome that’s all I can say

  9. I agree that it seems unlikely the Crow and Servo characters will be used. I think the rights are still owned by the producer, Jim Mallon. They’d probably start an internet riot if either of the two splinter groups tried to hijack the MST3K characters for themselves. I’ll give this a shot out of loyalty to the crew, but I have to say that (to me) RiffTrax has not been as consistent as MST3K or the Cinematic Titanic spin-off. I think it’s because there was some kind of magic created amongst the writers and cast of the series. CT did a better job of recapturing that because it was comprised only of writers from the show, and they took their time between projects. RiffTrax, on the other hand, has farmed out some of the writing to what seem to be unfunny high school kids, and they pump new stuff out every other week. Still – maybe if this is successful, it’ll be the first step toward seeing MST3K reunited and reborn.

  10. >the MST3K revival will actually air under the RiffTrax name
    and just like that, the series was dead before it even aired
    seriously, what are they thinking?

  11. I can’t believe someone posted this incredibly bad piece of reporting. They actually mention Joel Hodgson, the original host and creator of the show, and then consistently refer to Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy and Bill Corbett as “the” stars. They don’t even explain why the show won’t air under the original name (it can’t, they don’t have the rights to it), much less that some of the most important (and funniest) cast members and writers won’t be involved. I’ve never seen this blog before, but I definitely won’t be coming back to it, since it’s perfectly clear it’s not a very good source of information.

  12. They’ve been doing this for years

  13. I will watch, i’ve been a fan of rifftrax since they went off the air. And seen cinematic titanic in person and it was funny indeed, but i like seeing them riff newer stuff. Lets hope its not to bad. I only dislike the april 1 air date, seems like it could be a spoof in and of itself as that’s a tuesday…and Nat Geo? Really?

  14. I was lucky enough to see Cinematic Titanic’s farewell show in December. For those who don’t know, Cinematic Titanic was a movie riffing project involving Joel, Trace, Mary Jo, Frank, and Josh. Anyway, that’s what I consider the “real” MST3K lineup. No disrespect to Mike and his guys, but they just aren’t the genuine article. I’ll be tuning in to their NatGeo thing, but it certainly won’t be MST3K to me.

  15. I haven’t been able to find rifftrax on my channel guide. Does anybody know what time it’s supposed to air, and is it airing under rifftrax? I’d never forgive myself if I missed it

    • Yeti, the show is actually called “Total Riff Off”, and it’s playing on April 1st. The National Geographic website lists three episodes, but when I looked it up (we have DirecTV), there were actually six or seven episodes listed in a row. Looks like they’re doing a marathon or something. Hope that helps.

    • Rifftrax isn’t on any channel, its a website-rifftrax.com-you pay to download the riffs and pop in your own dvd to play with it at the same time-that way they can avoid any copyright infringement. It’s awesome, by the way.

  16. ……..is anyone else slightly wary of the fact they’re claiming to come back….on NatGeo….on April Fool’s Day?

    • I think that’s the point: NatGeo wanted to do something fun for April Fool’s Day, and their idea involves some of their programmed being riffed by the guys at Rifftrax.

  17. I checked the entire schedule for April 1st and no Rifftrax listed.. Just something called Riff off.


  18. I love MST3K!
    I Love Rifftrax!
    I cant wait for this

  19. Such negativity! Quit yer whining and just be happy to see them back on TV again! Bunch of babies..

  20. most useless information of all time. thanks innocuous web site!

  21. thanks for information that i could have guessed myself!

  22. mike nelson was the head writer. joel hodgson was the creator. all this dumb “info” just says that rifftrax will continue doing rifftrax for now. it aint really news. that is all

  23. “Airs on National Geographic April 1st”. Coincidence or setup for another not-funny website april fool’s joke?

  24. An April 1st premiere date sounds a little suspicious.

  25. I…honestly want this to be a real thing. But for now I’m just going to cry in a corner until I see it with my own orbitals.

  26. considering that the rifftrax crew are signed up to do an Ask Me Anything on the IAmA subreddit (5million subscribers) on reddit on April 1st… I’m guessing its pretty real.. as these AmA things are often used to market/shill stuff these days. http://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/

  27. RiffTrax will air on National Geographic on April 1, 2014.

    Hope this not an April Fools Joke!!

  28. Wait, What day does it come out?

  29. So, the show is coming on April Fools Day…sounds a little fishy to me.