Mary Jo Pehl is a seasoned writer and performer on both Rifftrax and seasons 4-10 of Mystery Science Theater 3000. She joins me today to talk about her book Dumb Dumb Dumb: My Mother’s Book Reviews (also available on her website and Amazon). We start off with the difficult process of resolving grief and the sometimes necessity to do so with a bit of humor, and this rolls into a discussion of the mechanics of riffing… and some speculation about educational shorts in particular.
A lot of research is going to come from this discussion. At one point, I mention a quote from Bill Gates discussing what computers can’t do to save the world.
Jim the Podcast Sherpa is your guide to the many, many podcasts of the internet. As the host of the podcast ‘Too Many Podcasts!’ Jim likes to dig up deep cuts and show a new listener why they’d want to try a certain podcast. Often, he does this by looking deep into why the host does their show, and why they do it a certain why. Appropriately, Jim and I spend a lot of this episode discussing why our shows take the form they do, which is some great inside chat for a new podcaster.
I previously appeared on Jim’s show in August of 2022, and would be happy to return any time.
This episode also features commentary on my plan for social media now that Elon Musk owns Twitter.
Shylah Addante was the writer on a film titled The Christmas Dragon, which was a 2014 independent film (you can see it right now on Amazon Prime). It is also currently scheduled to be used in an upcoming episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000, expected December 16, 2023. Shylah and I have a great talk about what it’s like to grow up a film fan, how to transform that childhood interest into a lifelong career, and how MST3K plays a crucial role in making it easier for everyone to become a fan of goofy films.
Jim Dirschberger is the creative director at Wide Right Games, the company behind Rifftrax: The Game. Jim and I discuss the game from a design perspective, but also from the perspectives of two fans who really, really want to see riffing in new and exciting ways. The game is something of a spiritual sequel to the company’s earlier hit, What the Dub?
This was a really fun chat. Jim talks about the VHS era of movie discovery, while I talked about my fondness for educational films and the one I remember most, The Magic House. I’d also pointed out that Rifftrax: The Game seems to pull a lot from the SegaCD era of gaming, but done way better.
Rifftrax: The Game is available now on all major consoles, as well as Steam. You can follow Wide Right Games on Twitter, Instagram, and on their YouTube Channel.
This episode also introduces our collaboration with Sci-Fi Coffee.
Last seen in Episode 118, Larry Hankin returns to Hungry Trilobyte to move beyond our discussion of comedy and acting. He’s now ready to release his new book., ‘That Guy’ and we have a chat about the struggles of writing and of a new author dealing with the publishing industry. Larry also offers some insight into the homeless problem, having lived that life for a year.
Anyone who has seen Home Alone, Billy Madison, Friends, or Seinfeld will recognize Larry Hankin in a second. Diehard fans will also spot him in Star Trek and Married With Children. In this episode of Hungry Trilobyte, Larry and I start off by discussing acting and finding creativity (we all have it!) and then move on to trying to understand if we have any hope for surviving as a people—on earth or in space. Turns out, Larry looks at life from an anthropological point of view, and has some insights about the book The Naked Ape.
In addition to being a filmmaker and fellow podcaster, Ash Congiliando is the writer behind the Tales from the Toy Cave blog. In this episode, Ash and I have a frank talk about a possible end in the adult toy collector hobby, and how being film buffs for many years has given us different ways of looking at movies we might have (in another lifetime) trashed completely.
Frank Conniff (known to MST3K fans as “TV’s Frank”) is now the star of a riffing show called The Mads Are Back. The two of us spend a lot of time talking about discovering movies, appreciating offbeat cinema, and how the movie culture has grown and changed over the years, particularly in our lifetimes. From silent films, to the studio system era, to Disney’s takeover of Marvel, there’s a lot to cover in this chat!