PopLurker Reviews: MST3K Live! (The 30th Anniversary Tour)

This show was exactly what has been missing in my life. Freakin’ man, did I need to see this show.

 

My soul was crushed when I missed last years’ Mystery Science Theater 3000: Watch Out for Snakes tour. It landed on the same day as the Sailor Moon live symphony show in Downtown Los Angeles, which I regrettably attended instead.

Never again.

I’m always saying that there is no better fandom than Mystery Science Theater 3000 Myself and other PopLurker writers have sung our praises to the women of the show, demonstrated our MST3K cosplay capacities, interviewed the best known MST3K Meme Maker, and discussed how you can watch an episode for every date you might go on.

I even got to interview Mary Jo Pehl once, the actress who plays Pearl Forrester. And in fact, I have an interview scheduled with Rebecca Hanson, the amazing and charming actress who currently voices Gypsy and plays Synthia, Pearl Forrester’s clone!

Look forward to that piece coming soon to PopLurker.

What I’m trying to illustrate here is this: Mystery Science Theater 3000 makes lives better. It was nothing short of amazing when we fans successfully crowd funded season eleven, and we are so excited for season twelve, which is premiering on Netflix this Thanksgiving (Turkey Day!) which is a very special day in MST3K fandom. So when the chance arose to see the show live– you bet your tuchas myself was there.

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Walk into a theater and the stage is set like this? Instant freak-out screaming ensues!

Now, before I review this hilarious show, I need to preface with this; I do really like MST3K season eleven. I’m so incredibly proud of Joel, Jonah, the fandom in general, and the fact that there’s this noticeable budget (though I’m sure it’s still cheap television in the big picture). But that said, there’s a few small things about it that I personally find too busy. I don’t like the skeleton band, I don’t like the static cam on the Mads (though I understand it was due to Felicia Day’s pregnancy), and while Max and Kinga are amusing and have good chemistry with Jonah (who is a freakin’ doll and does so well acting with the robots and riffing), I honestly wouldn’t mind a show with Synthia as the Mad. I think Rebecca Hanson holds down that fort just fine!

What I’m trying to say is that it’s all a little too busy.

Now– back to the live show. It was improv/riffing at its absolutely finest. The crowd was happy and excited, myself included. I’m loud as shit and I’m sure everyone there could hear this Lurker screaming “AAAAOOOOOOOWWWWWW” right into that theater. And when Joel came on stage…not even lying…I’m almost started bawling. His voice and comedy and personality made such an impact on me at such a young age that it’s become a source of comfort just hearing the way he delivers a line. You know that sort of cynical/trying not to laugh way he said “Mr. B, you’re hoooooot.” It was like every line was delivered in that overly-amused monotone voice he has.

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And I’ll just say it– god, that man is sexy.

I’ll leave it at that.

The showing I went to included The Brain, a deliciously terrible Canadian horror film that basically makes no sense. But WOW, were the guys on point with their jokes. I haven’t laughed like that in forever. Joel and Jonah just had the best chemistry. One joke that killed me when the guys were doing a sort of “Joel Vs. Jonah”, Jonah says “Who are they going to choose? Papa Bear or Not-Mike? I don’t stand a chance!”

It got the crowd roaring.

The touring actors/puppeteers for Crow and Servo were great. Somehow, they just keep getting these voice actors who just nail it as Crow. They all sound like this variation of Trace with a little bit of Bill’s stank. As for Servo– you can’t replace Kevin Murphy. He’s a product of his time and clearly, they’re intentionally going in a new direction. That’s that and there’s nothing else I can say. And MAN– Synthia as the MC was just a riot.

This tour is honestly MST3K at its roots– excellent riffing, amazing host segments, and a minimalist approach. I would love to see more of this implemented in season twelve (which will never happen), but hopefully we can at least see more MST3K out in the wild. Because you know what? We want more!!!

Go see this show if you can. Honestly, go make an evening of it. Pay the parking. Go have fun. Because you know what? Seeing these people live, with a crowd of people who have the same love as you do…

It makes it feel like you’re home with family.

Even if it’s just a show.

At least you can relax.

 

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