This isn’t necessarily geared towards this initial riffing, but submit some ideas for shorts you think would be worthy of a good verbal beatdown. I’m not sure if there should be a definition of a “short” here, but I think under 20 minutes is a good start. There are seemingly an infinite number of possibilities out on youtube, so get hunting and post them here.
Here’s a hand-picked list of public domain shorts available over on Archive.org that I put together a while back for The Mads. None of these have been riffed on MST3K, Rifftrax, The Mads, or any of the other offshoots before. I’m listing them below in order of how riffable I think they are:
Tippy, Our Town Dog (1952) Tippy, Our Town Dog : Encyclopaedia Britannica Films, Inc. : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive
You don’t get more perfect riff fodder than a short following a filthy dog around town while an unseen narrator describes his every thought and action. Any time you get to riff on what a dog is thinking, it’s pure comedy gold.
Tomorrow’s Drivers (1954) Tomorrow's Drivers : Handy (Jam) Organization : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive
A surreal drivers ed short narrated by Jimmy Stewart, featuring kids driving around in tiny model cars and getting into traffic accidents. There’s so much to work with in this one!
Man to Man (1947) Man to Man : Handy (Jam) Organization : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive
This one’s a bit long but makes up for it by being another one of those crazy fever dreams where some poor salesman eats a big lobster dinner and has his dreams invaded by otherworldly spirits who want to teach him about salesmanship. Because it’s half an hour. If we were to use this one alongside a really short hour movie like The Incredible Petrified World it would be good for bringing our fanficisode up to the standard 90 minute length.
The Fun of Being Thoughtful (1950) Fun of Being Thoughtful, The : Coronet Instructional Films : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive
One of those Coronet social guidance shorts that tries to convince selfish teenagers to consider the motives and feelings of others. This one goes to great lengths to convince us what an insufferable dink Eddie is, and why his life is a living hell of his own making.
Control Your Emotions (1950) Control Your Emotions : Coronet Instructional Films : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive
A psychology short featuring a supposedly accredited psychologist only slightly more believable than the “Gesture Professor” from the beginning of The Mole People, who strongly advocates avoiding any stimulus that might conceivably make you experience an emotion. He also seems to have a thing for fondling his glasses.
Better Use of Leisure Time (1950) Better Use of Leisure Time : Coronet Instructional Films : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive
Pretty sure this is the exact same kid from the Cheating short. An instructional video who’s main point seems to be that if you have time off it should be spent working. Also contains various old-timey phantoms appearing in a child’s bedroom to offer advice on how to have a better work ethic, which is always good fun.
What Makes A Good Party? (1950) What Makes A Good Party? : Coronet Instructional Films : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive
This is one of those shorts that could kick off an entire experiment’s worth of host segments, as preparing a party involves weeks of forethought, careful planning, and compulsive list writing, leading up to the driest least entertaining party ever.
Friendship Begins at Home (1949) Friendship Begins At Home : Coronet Instructional Films : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive
This one has a lot in common with the Fun of Being Thoughtful short, where a teen (who bears an uncanny resemblance to Quentin Coldwater from The Magicians) is taught to appreciate spending time with his family after angrily refusing to go along on the annual family camping trip and finding himself left alone in an empty house to eat canned beans for two weeks straight and reflect on his past sins.
Bacteria: Friend and Foe (1953) Bacteria: Friend and Foe : Encyclopedia Britannica Films, Inc. : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive
(This one’s in color, and drifts off into some weird territory about alchemy, which is kind of amusing, but mostly it’s two brothers in a lab looking at bacteria under a microscope. This one might be a little harder to riff, because the actual scientific information about microbiology is pretty dry and boring.)
Leave it to Roll-Oh (1940) Leave It to Roll-Oh : Handy (Jam) Organization : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive
A clunking robot from the 1940’s World’s Fair shows off the marvelous time-saving “robots” of the future. Robots like thermostats, antilock breaks, and automatic coffee pots. This one tries to be funny in parts, so it may be harder to riff.
A few others:
Are You Ready For Service?: Getting Ready Morally (1951) Getting Ready Morally : Coronet Instructional Films : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive
A Department of Defense short designed to help people entering the service behave responsibly and not shame themselves while wearing Uncle Sam’s uniform.
How Do You Know It’s Love? (1950) How Do You Know It's Love? : Coronet Instructional Films : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive
While this one doesn’t include any ‘boing’ or rubber bands, it is your pretty standard Coronet short trying to convince teens to consider whether they actually have anything in common with their potential mate before forming the beast with two backs. (And that the best people to ask for relationship advice are your college roommate and your mom trapped in a desperate loveless marriage)
What is Business? (1948) What Is Business? : Coronet Instructional Films : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive
A short designed to teach students about the glories of capitalism. Yes, this short goes to great lengths to show you that if it wasn’t for capitalism, you wouldn’t have any toast, and you wouldn’t want to be one of those horrible no-toast having commies, would you?!?
The Bus Driver (1946) Bus Driver, The : Encyclopaedia Britannica Films : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive
A young boy and his father go on a bus trip to Pittsburgh and discover along the way that busses are blameless holy creatures that can do no wrong, and there is no god, only Bus Driver.