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.
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.