Joel Hodgson of Mystery Science Theater 3000 will be performing his one-man stage show on Saturday Dec. 22 at 8pm, at The Colonial Theater. The show is part of the Cult Cinema series The Colonial has on the third Saturday of each month.
Mystery Science Theater 3000 or “MST3K” was a long running program on Comedy Central, which featured Hodgson and several robot characters “riffing” or humorously commenting on old movies. The show was created by Hodgson. MST3K continues to have a large cult following.
In October, Hodgson debuted his live stage show at The Colonial titled, “How to Have a Job Like Mine.” He returns on Saturday with his updated version called, “Riffing Myself.” He has been touring his new show across the country for the last couple of months.
“I got the show on its feet at The Colonial. They’ve been so cool to let me work it out there,” said Hodgson.
“Riffing Myself” is a 90 minute presentation, in which Hodgson explains how he came up with his idea for Mystery Science Theater 3000. The show is an in depth look at what has inspired Hodgson since childhood.
“It’s super exciting,” said Hodgson. “I’ve done it a total of six times now. I run a lot of videos and I show a lot of slides from my life and from the development of MST. It’s basically an explanation of the DNA that is MST3K.”
Following the presentation, Hodgson will sign autographs and posters. The audience will then screen Mystery Science Theater’s riffed version of the film, “Santa Claus Conquers the Martians.”
Hodgson said he’s always wanted to do a screening of that film around the holidays.
“I was really interested in doing that as a holiday event, as an alternative to all the other stuff that’s out there,” Hodgson remarked. “Sometimes it’s okay to be cynical about the holidays, and Mystery Science Theater’s “Santa Claus Conquers the Martians” is a really good way to do that. If you’ve hit the wall with too much holiday advertising, and too much of the holidays, it’s kind of a good antidote for that.”
Hodgson said he has been a long time fan of The Colonial Theater.
“I’ve always heard about Blob Fest, and The Colonial is famous for doing for doing really inventive programming. When I had a chance to work with them I really wanted to do it,” he said.
Hodgson said as a child The Blob was an important movie for him.
“I just loved it. It was really amazing and scary. That was a huge connection for me, so I was really motivated to work with the Colonial.”
Hodgson said he did a promo for Blob Fest earlier this year.
“I actually riffed The Blob trailer at The Colonial, and did that as a promotion,” Hodgson said.
He said he was happy venues like The Colonial exist, compared to larger, more mainstream movies theaters.
“To me they are kind of what all movie theaters should be doing,” said Hodgson. “It’s kind of a movement I’ve noticed, building a community around people who like movies. I think it is really great and is going to be good for filmmakers, and really good for the audience.”
Colonial Theater volunteer, Joel Rickenbach, is happy to have Hodgson return to the venue. Rickenback said The Colonial has screened many MST3K movies as part of their Cult Classic series over the last few years. He saw Hodgson’s last stage show in October.
“It’s kind of fascinating to see where his mind formed,” said Rickenbach. “He’s showing how he became who he is. It’s very stream of consciousness but it all comes together.”
Rickenbach said he was pleased with having someone like Hodgson perform locally.
“It’s such a special theater and the type of guy he is, it fits him here. Having 300 people show up last time, with that type of cult following here in Phoenixville… …It’s a feather in our cap.”