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Mystery Science Theater 3000 brought cheesy movies and 30th anniversary to NYC (pics, review)

Mystery Science Theater 3000 is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, and the show is honoring the milestone with a nationwide live tour, which hit NYC’s Playstation Theater on Sunday (10/14). Current host Jonah Ray and creator/original host Joel Hodgson joined robot pals Tom Servo and Crow T. Robot (on tour voiced by Tim Ryder and Grant Baciocco) to riff on two films: the early show featuring 1988 Canadian scifi/horror flick The Brain, and a late show featuring Deathstalker II. The early show had the cast in top form, keeping the sold-out crowd in a near-constant state of uproarious laughter. The age ranges of the crowd seemed to vary as well, which is a testament to the show’s cross-generational appeal.

As is common for most films victim to the MST3K treatment, The Brain is not what you’d call good, but Jonah, Joel and the ‘bots were able to turn an otherwise dreadful film into comedic excellence. The cast hilariously pointed out gaps of logic during the film (including when a character mysteriously broke out of handcuffs with an axe), and the ’80s fashion style was ripe for jokes. Jonah and Joel also took time to thank fans for their continued support of the show through Kickstarter, and extended their gratitude by calling a fan onstage to say a few riffs near the back half of the film. The show blended references to both the contemporary and obscure, while including more subtle jokes, invoking hilariously delayed reactions from the crowd. The show’s last season received some criticism for the faster riffing pace but, in this live setting, the cast appeared far more relaxed and responsive to what was happening on screen, allowing the jokes to have more breathing room.

You can check out a few photos from PlayStation Theatre in the gallery above.

MST3K‘s upcoming 12th season premieres on Netflix this Turkey Day, which has long been a classic Thanksgiving pairing. If you’re new to the show, you can watch some classic episodes on Netflix to get you started.

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