Sunday, February 22, 2009

Laughter From the Rafters


So last night I made the ear-splitting drive to Somerville (my car's exhaust has a massive hole in it, causing my Maxima to sound like a 767) to see Cinematic Titanic live at the Somerville Theater. I met up with my buddy Frank to catch five of the original folks behind Mystery Science Theater 3000 riffin' on a craptastic '70s kung fu-sploitation flick called The Dynamite Brothers. It was the second of two nights and the place was sold out. It was basically Nerd Central (myself included). We managed to score second row seats, which was pretty sweet. The show opener was Dave "Gruber" Allen, a funny guy who's been in a ton of stuff but most notably (to me, anyways) played guidance counselor Mr. Rosso on "Freaks and Geeks." He was joined by CTer J. Elvis Weinstein, who played some bass on a few songs they did together. Then the rest of the CT crew came out: Joel Hodgson, the original host of MST3K, Trace Beaulieau, Frank Conniff, and Mary Jo Pehl. They were set up on stage in front of the movie screen with stools and microphones and proceeded to hilariously riff on the flick for the next 90 minutes. The movie was a kung fu knockoff of The Defiant Ones, with a black guy and a Chinese guy handcuffed together by a crooked cop. They escape and unintentional hilarity ensues. The 1974 movie featured some familiar faces: Aldo Ray, a character actor from the '50s-'70s and James Hong, who has played Asian characters on "MASH" and "Seinfeld" and just about every other TV show or movie that has ever featured an Asian character. The CT crew had us all in stitches, whether it was Joel's spit-take when one of the cops drops an early f-bomb, or just their repeated tooling on the director's insistence on showing characters just walking around. After the movie ended, they did a quick reel of some of their MST3K "greatest hits" and then stuck around to sign autographs in the lobby. We didn't bother to get in line, which by the time we got out was already into the street. But definitely a great evening.



I came home and watched the Leafs-Canucks game. I was pleased to see Mats Sundin get a standing ovation after a tribute was shown on the Jumbotron, although there were some fans who booed him every time he touched the puck. As has been the case his entire career, the night ended in classic and clutch fashion: It came down to a shootout and then Sundin won the game with a beautiful deke. Pretty great stuff.

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