Mystery Science Theater 3000 alums team up for National Geographic miniseries


For those old enough to have been snarky in the 1990s, Mystery Science Theater 3000 was the best of bad TV. Each week, a man and his robots would watch the worst movies and shorts from outer space, making hilarious comments along the way. Cinematic train wrecks featured on the program included Teen-age Strangler, The Brain That Wouldn't Die, and The Wild Wild World of Batwoman. After the show went off the air in 1999, cast members began touring with two a similarly themed live series, Rifftrax and Cinematic Titanic.

In pleasant-yet-unexpected news, folks from MST3K/Rifftrax appears to be returning for three new episodes, where they will be riffing on nature on the National Geographic channel.

The show won't be a full return of MST3K. Instead the name, Total Riff Off, and tone play off of Rifftrax, one of the program's spin-off projects. It will, however, feature some familiar MST3K faces and voices, as the show will boast the return of the program's (second) host, Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy (formerly Tom Servo), and Bill Corbett (formerly Crow T. Robot).

So, what will they be riffing on? According to National Geographic's website, the guys will be poking fun at classic nature programming from the station, with bits from "Honey Badgers," "Unlikely Animal Friends," "Man v. Monster," "Swamp Men," and "Alpha Dogs" all up for some good-humored mocking.

The three-part miniseries kicks off, appropriately, on April Fools' Day at 7 p.m. with a bit titled "Killer Shrimp 'N Friends." It sounds like it could be up there with one of their Gamera screenings.