Power Hour Interview: Michael J. Nelson and Kevin Murphy
The Power Hour crew of Matthew Sardo and Amanda Borges spoke with Michael J. Nelson and Kevin Murphy of RiffTrax.com and Mystery Science Theater 3000 fame.
Nelson and Murphy are promoting their upcoming event where they will unleash their humor, improv and wit on 1998’s Godzilla. The conversation even brought up and or brought back from the dead the Super Mario Bros. film.
Fathom Events, Sony Pictures and RiffTrax.com® are thrilled to bring Michael J. Nelson, Kevin Murphy, and Bill Corbett of RiffTrax.com back to select cinemas nationwide on Thursday, August 14 LIVE at 8:00 p.m. ET/ 7:00 p.m. CT and tape-delayed to 7:00 p.m. MT/ 8:00 p.m. PT AND Tuesday, August 19 at 7:30 p.m. (local time) for a hilarious never-before-seen take on 1998’s Godzilla – yeah… the one with Matthew Broderick.
Source: Premiere Networks
Listen to the interview or read the transcript below.
Mike and Kevin, can you tell us about your event and why you’re excited about riffing on Godzilla?
“Good heavens. Because Matthew Broderick and the cast of the Simpsons and a giant lizard. I don’t think you can ask for more. It’s always a blast. We originate the show from the Bellcourt Theater in Nashville this time around. And there’s always a big crowd there and we feed off them, the attitude they give us and they’re having a good time. And then the show is beamed out from 700 odd theaters across the United States and Canada and I think people will go to their local theater to see us catch that same feel that we feel when we’re in the theater doing it.”
Do you guys make any jokes to different areas?
“No it goes all over the country live. We don’t do anything regionally specific. Although, a while back I think one of our first live shows just out of no where we picked Fort Worth to make fun of even though none of us have any experience with it at all. It’s been a running joke of ours to make fun of Fort Worth. Sometimes we pick on one town or another to pick on. So some day we’ll make fun of Tampa. Although I like Tampa.”
How many French jokes are going to be made?
“I haven’t counted them but you could probably fill a cigarette pack.”
Have any directors, actors etc gotten upset over the jokes you’ve made toward their films?
“Not really. We had a discussion once with The Room, the commie was so filmed, the bizarre little vanity project by some guy from Europe somewhere. He called us and was upset over the whole venture but I don’t really think he understood what was going on. SO it was a strange phone call. But no one has confronted us face to face or punched us in the face.”
Speaking of punching in the face, Michael, what’s your beef with John Mayer
“Oh come on. He is the most punch-able man alive. You can’t help but swing away. I would like to take that sweet guitar and use that as well.”
If Gozilla is the most requested movie to be riffed, what’s the second most?
“I’d have to look at the list. People can be idiosyncratic in that and so there’ll be movies that I’ve never heard of and it’s like ‘Dude you have to do this’ and so. I’m not sure what stacks up as the second but it’s probably Super Mario Brothers.”
So how does it work, do you practice or is it all improv?
“Oh God no. We rehearse plenty before hand. We write and rewrite and get the scripts down to where we’re very confident with it. Know what we’re doing and where we’re doing and really know the film almost by heart. And then we can go in and throw in some ringers or some improv and unroll some things as we go along. Because a lot of times the audience will catch something that even after we’ve spent watching this film, we’ve missed and they’ll pick up on it, react to it and suddenly we’ve missed three and four jokes in a row and then we have go catch up on ourselves and react to what they’re reacting to. And that’s what makes the live show part so fun is that part the audience dynamic.”
What was your favorite episode of MSTK3 to shoot?
“For me it was just whatever one the puppets didn’t break down during. Because they’re like old Gillespies and the wrangler would have to come up and restring them. And their eyes would burst into flames all the time so whichever one was the easiest, and I don’t remember what that’d be. It was a chore to shoot with puppets. One that always sticks in my mind as far as working in the studio was it was a Gamera film, and at the end Mike came out and impersonated Michael Feinsteen, and I don’t think he gets a lot of people to impersonate him. And he did a beautiful job and to this day it makes me laugh when I see it.”
So are you guys the worst people to go to the movies with because you make fun of it the whole time?
“Oh no no never. I don’t. When I’m actually paying my money and getting a ticket, I’m the guy telling people to shut up and turn off their dang phones. If I’m paying money to see a film, if you wanna do that at home, that’s fine. Or if you want to go to the theater and watch us do it that’s fine but once you pay a ticket to see a movie, I like it to be that experience. I love going to the films when I can and I don’t like people talking from the audience to the film.”
What is it in a movie that you make fun of?
“There’s jokes that we tend to be real strange with our references and stuff. We always say its like watching a movie with your funniest friends so a lot of times its not directed at the film per say its just some sort of concept off the film so its a full range of stuff. It varies widely I’d say.”
So Michael according to your twitter page, you’re a fan of the flower beard.
“Oh yes. Yeah I’m huge into flower beards now, yeah.”
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