[image courtesy Rifftrax.com]
Mystery Science Theater 3000 fans were delighted some months ago to hear that the RiffTrax gang were planning a reunion show, bringing back members of the original Peabody Award-winning comedy series for a one-night-only live event to be simulcast in movie theatres nationwide.
Today, the announcement was made that the series’ creator and original host, Joel Hodgson (who is busy resurrecting the series after a highly successful Kickstarter), has signed on for the reunion. This, the press release crows, will make for “the entire principal cast” of the show participating in the reunion.
Well, not quite.
Right now, the roster includes, in addition to the RiffTrax guys (Michael J. Nelson, Kevin Murphy, and Bill Corbett who played Mike, Tom Servo, and Crow, respectively), Trace Beaulieu and Frank Conniff (aka Dr. Forrester & TV’s Frank), Mary Jo Pehl (Pearl Forrester), Bridget Nelson (Michael’s wife, who played several one-off characters), Hodgson and new series host Jonah Ray.
Longtime fans of the show will have noticed two names rather conspicuously absent from the list. First, Josh “J. Elvis” Weinstein, who played the character Dr. Larry Erhardt in the first two seasons until he left the show and was replaced with Conniff’s character. The second is Jim Mallon, who produced the show and also performed the character Gypsy.
This latter omission is at least somewhat understandable, as it has been understood for some time that there were some problems between Mallon and certain other members of the cast. But Weinstein has worked with other MST3K alums since (most notably in Cinematic Titanic), and as such his omission is puzzling.
Still, the reunion is not until June 28, so there may yet be time to turn this into, if not a fully complete reunion, then at least as close as we’re ever likely to get. Tickets will available April 15.
Kelly Luck is still holding out hope they’ll bring Beeper back. Her other SciFi4Me work can be read here.