What are live events like?

I got tickets to my first live event with the meet and greet package, and have been able to see clips here and there online, but not much details.

What are live events like? Are you standing the whole time or do you sit down like a theater? What are some things that happen? Is everything scripted or is there some off the cuff riffs? Audience participation?

What did you enjoy the most about the live event you went to?

3 Likes

I’ve been to two live shows (though no meet and greet with either) They were in theaters (the first on a university campus and the second in a performing arts theater) so you do get to sit down.

It’s very much like any other sort of live theater entertainment. The show is scripted, there is some audience participation during the host segments. Mostly it’s having a big riff party with a couple hundred of your friends.

they are a lot of fun, you’ll have a great time. :slight_smile:

5 Likes

The event I attended was at Hard Rock Live, and they had seating, although it was just regular chairs brought out onto the open floor (which is typical for the venue). The show was very similar to a regular episode in that there was a big screen with the movie playing, and all of the performers were in the foreground but facing the audience. There was a bit of audience interaction, especially at the beginning where the crew had some jokes meant for the locals, but as far as I know the show itself was 99% scripted riffs.

4 Likes

Awesome! So excited to go. Thanks for the info

3 Likes

I’ve been to three – two in San Jose where the venue was fine, one in San Francisco where the venue (The Warfield) was awful. The seats were tiny and it was super hot. You do get a seat at least :smiley: And the show was SO SO FUNNY. There is a little audience interaction during the “host segment” parts, the rest is scripted AFAIK.

Venue aside, it’s just so much fun to see several hundred MST3K fans all in one place. People dresses as the Mads, people with Crow and Servo bots, people with tattoos. My favorite part of any show was the first year, the audience sing-along with the opening theme song. It’ll give you chills!

6 Likes

I went to Cinematic Titanic at the Drafthouse in DC, and to MST3K Live at the Sony Playstation Theater in NYC.

Both pretty cool. Loved the CT warmup show. Then Joel came out and talked to us a bit. Introduced the rest of the cast. And they stood on stage and watched the movie with us while riffing it. A lot like watching an episode, except you were sitting in a movie theater, you could see the cast reading and performing their lines, and you had a room full of Mysties laughing along with you. Frank had a hilarious running gag about one of the characters looking like a Blaxploitation Frankenstein, which sadly never showed up on the DVD version of East Meets Watts (which I guess was recorded before he wrote those riffs).

MST3K Live was a little different. Instead of watching the whole cast sitting together watching the whole movie in one go, it was done more as a stage show. There was a stage set of the SOL bridge, the Mads “called in” with pre-recorded videos, and it was the tour cast performing. They broke the movie up a bit so they could do host segments, some of which involved some audience interaction. It was like watching a live version of an MST3K episode, but with a theater full of fans to laugh along with you. Got to meet and chat with a couple of them while we were waiting for the show to start, which was neat. The movie, Argoman, was absolutely perfect MST fodder, and the riffing hit it out of the park. Really hoping we get to watch that again in the Gizmoplex.

The MST3K live show had a different feel to it. Both because it was trying to be more like an episode with the setpieces, bots, etc. and because I wasn’t familiar with most of the cast. Both were a lot of fun, though.

6 Likes

I’ve gone to two of the shows, they’re a while lot of fun! The show is scripted yes, though as far as im aware the cast is able to improv if they’d like which adds some nice variety to the show. You are sitting for the whole show, some places sell food (i think it depends on the theater) and theres an intermission. The energy of the crowd is always great, and singing along to the theme with the crowd is kind of magical. You’re gonna have a good time!

3 Likes

Oh, yes. I forgot to answer those questions. Sorry. It’s been a distracting morning.

You sit in a regular theater seat, as if you’re watching a play.

Shows are scripted, but (as they discussed in the KS livestreams) the scripts evolve. If they find a riff isn’t landing with the audience, they’ll replace it. If people are laughing so much at one riff that you can’t hear the next, they’ll take the next out. If the cast gets bored of the current riffs as the tour goes on, they’ll mix it up and try some new ones here and there.

Audience interaction in the live show I saw was pretty much limited to asking us to do a particular call and response and to blasting confetti and stuff at the front rows.

Available concessions depend on the theater you’re going to. The Alamo Drafthouse Theater has waitstaff who will bring you drinks, snacks, and burgers, and every seat has either a ledge or a counter. It’s just the way the Alamo Drafthouse chain works. The theater in NYC was more like a regular movie theater, just with a stage built in front of the screen (so they could use it for stage shows, movies, media presentations, etc). So you could get the usual movie snacks from the lobby, but that was it. Look up the venue where you’re going and see what they offer.

The show itself consists of the cast coming on stage to introduce themselves and the show and prompt the audience for anything like the call and response bit, then a host segment where they talk with the Mads, then watch part of the movie, and so on. The bots are there with puppeteers behind the set pieces.

The details will depend on the show. I think they try to mix it up a little from one tour to the next. You might not know what movie you’re watching until the show starts. (Sometimes they tell you, sometimes they keep it a secret.) There’s merch available, some of it general, some of it specific to the tour. T-shirts, of course. But sometimes more unique items. Whatever’s relevant that they think people might want.

I’m not sure what the meet & greet entails, and if it’s before or after the show. Cinematic Titanic regularly had the cast manning the merch tables at the end of the show. Which meant the line was long and slow-moving, but if you stuck with it you could say hi, get your stuff autographed, and maybe get a picture. (They were really cool about it, hanging around for a long time after the show to make sure that everyone with the patience to stand in line got full service.) MST3K Live didn’t really do that anymore, so meet & greet will be a more special opportunity.

6 Likes

This has been my four to six experiences as well (I’ve gone to every movie AFAIK, and lost track of the number).

3 Likes

At my MST3K meet and greet (I only splurged for one in all the shows I went to), it was about an hour before the show. And the merch cart/desk has always been after the shows, and AFAIK are NOT directly affiliated with Alternaversal itself, I believe they farm that part out to a third party.

3 Likes

I went to the live show in Green Bay a few years ago. I thought they did a good job essentially making it a live version of the Netflix show. Ill admit i liked the Cinematic Titanic format when everyone did a short stand up set before getting into the movie. Saw them twice in Milwaukee.

4 Likes

saw The Brain and Circus of Horror.
both were fun. Live is sorta a combination of Joel’s stand up act and the show itself.
there were standing bits and sketches. I was expecting them to be like host segments
but they weren’t.
the movie riffing was the same except Joel/Jonah and the bots were off to the side.
Emily was great during Circus …at first I was like "who the heck is this’
but very shortly in I saw what Joel saw.
Emily is going to be everyone’s favorite very soon.
so I had a good time and laughed a lot at LIVE.
GO!

5 Likes

5 Likes

I personally can’t wait to see Emily in action. I have always had an easier time swapping hosts than bot voices. The hosts are distinct characters but the bots are supposed to be the same and it takes a few episodes for me to acclimate to the new voice actors.

3 Likes

After all, voice changes for the bots do mean something in-universe:

Crow: changes his bowling pins
Servo: possibly getting screwed by the head
GPC: circuits, maybe?

4 Likes

i was at the playstation theater! saw both movies back to back and had the same seats for each show. what an awesome night that was. :slight_smile:

3 Likes

There’s nothing quite like watching a movie riffing with other people who “get it.” You can tell they get it and it makes the experience so much fun.

3 Likes

There were two things I really enjoyed (I mean, outside of the actual show with the Bots and the riffing and the props and everything).

One thing was the sense of community. I keep saying this and I keep meaning this, but MSTies represent the greatest fanbase on the planet, and to be under the same roof with so many folks who appreciated MST3K like that? You felt like you belonged, and that was something awesome.

Another thing was what @FlyingSquid pointed out: that you were there with people who wanted to be there, with people who got it. At my MST3K Live show, there were people in MST3K gear (some really old school MST3K clothes, too), in costume, all of that. The experience is that much richer with folks who understand the heart and soul of the show. It makes the laughs feel that much heartier and that much better. And to have everyone joining in unison for the theme song? Nothing like it in the world.

On the MST Scrapbook tape, there’s a segment where we watch the first MST3K convention, and you see footage of a room full of people watching MST3K together, and the laughter is cacophonous, spontaneous, enthusiastic, and joyful. As I watched that tape some years ago, I thought, “What must it be like to be involved with an experience like that?” And MST3K Live was the emphatic answer to that question.

I hope you have an absolutely fantastic time there!

10 Likes

Thank you for taking the time to write this, and wishing me a great time. I’m excited to rekindle my relationship with my dad after a very messy divorce from myom years back.

5 Likes

It’s great that you can bond with your dad over MST3K. My dad called it THAT show. And not in a good way. But I loved him anyway.

5 Likes