I recently went and watched the MST3K reunion and though it was some of their best. That was until Joel and Jonah Ray came on stage and did their short. This was what me, my boyfriend, and our roommate thought was the weakest part of the show. It was not so much Joel but Jonah Ray came off as a bit of a thud. If it wasn't the political jokes, which we are so over saturated now because of Daily Show, Colbert, SNL, and a lot of Late Night talk shows now, it was his delivery.
I chock it up to being on such a big stage with big names, to us anyway. Maybe it was just stage nerves. I cannot say for sure. I think the xenophobia joke related to America was awful for example. The theater was packed and whenever Jonah said his joke there was no response from the audience.
I really hope that this does not transfer into the new show as it would be disappointing.
I've still not seen the Reunion show yet (heresy, I know, I know, I'll get to it! ) so I can't comment personally, though I think this is the second time I've heard someone say that Joel and Jonah's segment was the weakest (though they felt it was both Joel and Jonah together rather than just Jonah.) Can't say much about it myself apart form the fact that Jonah probably has to grow into the part a bit yet.
Oversaturation is definitely going to be something the show has to work to avoid. Political jokes are one major area, but I think a lot of other kinds of jokes will be similarly overdone without us realizing it thanks to the way the Internet makes humor (a challenge that Weird Al was talking about at least two years ago, and it wasn't exactly a new challenge for him so much as one that just hadn't been well recognized yet.)
Click HERE for my blog, and HERE for my awesome sci-fi mystery, Three Virellium Coins!
I haven't seen the reunion show, either, but I also heard that Jonah and Joel were probably the weakest link of the night. I clearly can't speak to it, but there are a few reasons I can think of why this might be.
* Jonah had to be nervous as hell. If he wasn't, that's crazy. Between the live audience of serious fans and working with the cast he has clearly stated he adores for the first time, I'd have been a bit off my game, too.
* Speaking of being on his game, Jonah is just developing his game. As far as I know he hadn't done any riffing for the show on camera yet, either, and despite everyone and their dog thinking they can riff as well as the MST3K crew (they can't, sorry), it takes a while to be good at this. Joel, Trace and Josh were all pretty lousy when the KTMA episodes aired, too – if you disagree with that, go ahead and look back at those eps.
* I love Rifftrax Live, and though I never saw Cinematic Titanic live, I understand it was a great experience. That said, the proof of quality for riffing is during the theater segments on the show. Period. That's where you get to know your SOL crew and learn to embrace the show. The live stuff is cool and can be fun, but new actors/characters need a chance to grow on their own in their natural environment.
I'm not saying Jonah is going to crush it from the start, but I don't think I live "reunion" show was the best acid test for the new guy. I'll hold judgement until I get through the last new season episode
Welcome to the board! Take a moment and introduce yourself here.
Last Edit: Oct 13, 2016 12:18:31 GMT -5 by Mod City
Well anyway, hi there, folks. You know, I'd been having trouble with velvet leaf, uh, cutworm and, uh, foxtail and, well, that's when the representative from Monsanto came out to my farm. He recommended a pre-emergent, inferral mixture of Lorsban with Atrazine in a tank mix and I told him to get off my land. - Farmer Joel
Hmm. You guys really should watch it. I wonder if these comments you guys are hearing are from modern RiffTrax fans, because I thought both Joel and Jonah were very 'on' in a Classic MST3K / Cinematic Titanic sort of way. They didn't do a single 'why are we watching this crappy [short/movie]' type joke that RiffTrax seems to heavily lean on these days. They did references, they made in-character jokes, and they made jokes about the era the short was from. They did play with the audience a little which was different/interesting--probably Joel's idea as he always wants to seem to find new ways to Riff.
Jonah himself delivered mostly all his riffs smoothly and funnily. His demeanor and delivery felt to me right on target with the AV Club geek / class-clown type feel that we got from Joel and Mike.
Post by slainmonkey on Oct 14, 2016 12:33:41 GMT -5
I thought they weren't bad but clearly it was a bit bumpy, you could literally feel Jonnah's nerves, I mean I personally found the barber monster stuff hilarous. One issue I felt is they didn't feel like they were bouncing off each other with the riffs enough, rather feeling like they were taking turns much of the time....this made the riffs not flow as well as they maybe should. Either way I'm still optimistic, it maybe wasn't as polished but I feel that may partly because it was live and Jonnah is still pretty green.
Post by dudehitscar on Oct 14, 2016 14:31:02 GMT -5
"oh finally.. A movie about clown thermometers" THe monster hairdresser jokes and many different voices that Jonah used ("two for dinner? Good!"). "I'm your new mom!" "Ritalin activate!"
I thought Jonah did better than Joel (who is one of my heroes so I'm not anti-joel) and showed some comedic range that exceeded most of the night's riffers minus Kevin Murphy.
They had the hardest short and the toughest time slot. I thought they did excellent and Joel was showing his nerves more than Jonah but both were a bit nervous.
The low point was clearly the Superman short. Low energy, and the jokes were too easy, missed opportunity for lots of references to the DC universe /superman mythology.
By the way the xenophobia joke was pretty minor and funny (both times I saw it in the theatre it got a good response... I think many are just too sensitive from this hyperpartisan grievance based political atmosphere and constant barrage of facebook echo chamber faux outrage posts.
Mike had some 'right wing' humor moments in his episodes that always made me laugh even though I am not aligned with that perspective.
Ex: Zombie Nightare: Guy gets hit by a car (no visible damage to him) and they never take him to the hospital and he just lays there for a long time. Mike Nelson says "This is the canadian health care system Bush warned us about!." A clear jab at the waiting times for canada's more socialist health care program. I'm a bernie supporter and I thought that line was hilarious..
Post by slainmonkey on Oct 15, 2016 6:12:06 GMT -5
We all need to remember that Jonnah was completely out of his element here, he was in a group of people who have done this professionally for years...many of which are used to doing this infront of a crowd. People really need to remember he was kinda thrown in the deep end here, it would be unfair to think he would put in as confident of a preformances as the others. The fact he didn't totally choke and delivered a few good laughs along the way should be encouraging, it'll be good to see how he does in the normal MST3K environment!
I'm one of those who found Joel and Jonah to be the weakest of the line-up, but I attribute that mostly to my not caring for the short selection. The barber short just didn't work up the room like the other shorts, which were more wacky and energizing. It was mostly a slip in energy level of the room that made that particular section weak, though Jonah did fine.
Author of MST3K, Rifftrax, and Beyond! Latest MST3K Review: The Batwoman Latest Rifftrax Review: Zombie Nightmare Latest Beyond Review: Cinematic Titanic's War of the Insects
Post by Who Let Servo Drive on Oct 18, 2016 13:45:16 GMT -5
For what it's worth I was at the backer's shoot a few weeks ago and since Jonah spent a fair amount of time with us I can report that he's very funny and really good with improv.
But of course when it comes to what you will see onscreen, he's reading off a script like everyone else on the show, so it's mostly going to be as funny as the head writer.
We met the head writer and he worked for many years on the Daily Show. He was pretty funny, and I personally loved The Daily Show when Jon Stewart was on, but we didn't hear any of the riffs so it remains to be seen how they stack up to Mike's work.
I think Mike is insanely funny. And I don't just mean MST. So yeah hearing a different voice in the riffing will be an adjustment, but I'm looking forward to it.