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Riffer Projects => Mystery Science Theater 3000 => Topic started by: Iron Curtain on March 31, 2018, 03:46:37 PM

Title: Frank Conniff's Open Riff Night
Post by: Iron Curtain on March 31, 2018, 03:46:37 PM
I didn't know where to post this, so I'll just post this here. Mods, if it's inna-pro-pro here, feel free to move it to the a-pro-pro forum.

Anyway, I have some news. Do any of you know that event in NYC (to wit, Queens; to even more wit, Astoria; to wit even further, QED) where Frank Conniff is having an open riff night on April 11? I've signed up as a riffer and am going to test my riffing chops (even though I'm a total n00b)!

In case you haven't heard of the event, here's the link: https://qedastoria.com/collections/shows/products/frank-conniffs-cartoon-dump-34

Title: Re: Frank Conniff's Open Riff Night
Post by: linszoid on April 02, 2018, 08:53:45 AM
So do you get to know what clips you'll be riffing on or is it totally impromptu?
Title: Re: Frank Conniff's Open Riff Night
Post by: Iron Curtain on April 03, 2018, 07:43:21 AM
So do you get to know what clips you'll be riffing on or is it totally impromptu?

Nope. It's totally ad-libbed.
Title: Re: Frank Conniff's Open Riff Night
Post by: Iron Curtain on April 11, 2018, 12:31:25 PM
I'm doing this tonight! I'll give a review/rundown after I finish my thing (or "jawn" as the Philadelphians say).
Title: Re: Frank Conniff's Open Riff Night
Post by: Iron Curtain on April 11, 2018, 07:28:56 PM
Okay, so here's my review:

The event was set up into watching 5-minute movie clips (such as one half of a 10-minute educational short or a five-minute movie clip of a riffable B-movie), and three riffers per clip. There were about seven clips total, so 7 x 3 = 21 open-mic riffers altogether. Second-place gets a movie pun card game called "Schmovie", and first place gets to see Neil Gaiman interviewed by Lori Anderson at the 92nd Street Y. In addition, Second-place and First-place riffers also get to riff with Frank Conniff and Myka Fox who was also a judge.

As for how I did…

You know how you watch game shows and think "Anybody can do it!" and "How can that person miss that answer? I wouldn't have done that if I were they!" but when you actually participate in one in front of a small group of people, you get intimidated? That was my experience. I have never riffed before in front of an audience, and though I have riffed in private with friends, doing so in public with other amateur riffers was scary! I was afraid I would trip over my words (I have autism), or say something that wasn't funny, or say something offensive, or not say something funny at the right moment, etc. But as with everything else, it gets better with practice, and that was why I went in the first place: to take that first step into becoming a better riffer.

I had a great time and would happily do it again!
Title: Re: Frank Conniff's Open Riff Night
Post by: Iron Curtain on May 09, 2018, 08:19:22 PM
Okay, I was back at QED for another Open Riff Night, but since Frank is currently on tour with Trace for a The Mads Are Back! event in the UK, John Fugelsang took his stead. Compared to last time, there were fewer people (about 12 compared to the inaugural show's 21) Since there were fewer people than last time, three riffers did full ten-minute runs with the entire educational short rather than having the short split up into halves with 3 riffers per half. Runner-up gets the game Schmovie!, and winner gets the game Schmovie! as well as four passes to frames bowling in Times Square.

Compared to how I did last time, I think I grew the beard (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/GrowingTheBeard). My riffs were smoother, I got more laughs, and I didn't stammer or stutter at all! In fact, one of the other amateur riffers told me after the winners were announced that he thought I should've been one of the winners!

Rather than last Open Riff Night when the runner-up and winner would each riff five-minute clips of riffable movies with the host and co-host, this time the winner riffed the final twenty minutes of Birdemic 2 with the host and co-host.

Like last time, I had fun; and unlike last time, I had skills!
Title: Re: Frank Conniff's Open Riff Night
Post by: Iron Curtain on June 13, 2018, 08:20:35 PM
I just came back from the third Open Riff Night @ QED in Astoria, Queens, NYC, NY, USA. Frank Conniff was back and his co-host was someone you probably heard before if you watched Saturday Night Live in the 1990's: Janeane Garofalo. I and two other riffers went first and we riffed Birdemic. I didn't think I did anywhere near as well as last time but people laughed at a couple of my riffs, so I guess it worked out. Other people then riffed The Room, Jingle All The Way, Street Fighter, Riki-Oh: the story of Ricky, "Manos" The Hands of Fate, and the winner got to riff Jaws 4 with Frank Conniff snd Janeane Garofalo. Janeane felt her intelligence was so insulted by the fact that Michael Caine's and Mario Van Peebles' characters survived being eaten by sharks that she then refused to riff it anymore. The winner was a really funny woman, and I'm glad the glass ceiling got broken! After the show, I then talked with the two hosts. Both before and after the show, I talked with Frank, and I put him up to R.O.T.O.R. and using it as riffing material for the next Open Riff night. I hope I hear some amateur riffs on that live!

Addendum  June 18, 2018: Frank came to the NYC Alamo Drafthouse this evening not to riff, but to see Hereditary. Coincidentially, I was there at the same time he was in the lobby. I then used this rare opportunity to greet him and ask him about R.O.T.O.R. and if he'd seen my tweet wherein I link the Shout! Factory page where one can purchase the Blu-Ray, and he affirmed and said he'll look into it when he has time! It's not much, but it's worth editing this message, IMHO.
Title: Re: Frank Conniff's Open Riff Night
Post by: Iron Curtain on July 11, 2018, 07:47:52 PM
Today, 7/11 (Also, Free Slurpee day! Yay!), Frank was not in, so in his stead were Irene Bremis and Melissa Stokoski. I took my life coach with me. This event was similar to the Open Riff Night two months ago. As with two months ago, only the regulars showed up. However, unlike two months ago, each set of three riffers did five-minute clips and if there were any deficit of riffers, those who had already riffed got to riff again.

The first clip was an educational short about how women in the fifties were training to be secretaries. The second clip, wherein I partook, was a clip from Birdemic, to wit, the part where the lead and the model are in the restaurant with the "Hangin' Out With My Family" singer. I used this opportunity to sing along with the chorus and pretend to be surprised when the singer rapped "Uncle Phil is Scoring" by making a reference the Fresh Prince of Bel Air. Unfortunately, the clip was filled with sound clipping and muting and it made riffing hard.

Other people got to riff. Off the top of my head, the clips were a Jean-Claude Van Damme movie situated in Michigan, Batman & Robin, Nick Fury (played by David Hasselhoff, not the superior-in-the-role Samuel L. Jackson).

Ms. Stokoski did some standup, and then the winner got to riff the final 20 minutes of Rad (the movie with Lori Loughlin (a.k.a. Aunt Becky from Full House)) with the two co-hosts, but it seemed like everybody was watching the movie with commentary instead. It made me feel better that at least my lackluster riffing wasn't so bad. Then the open riff night was over and I had the next open riff night to look forward to.

All in all, no open riff night was wasted, and since I took my life coach with me (we also see riffings (such as MST3K and Rifftrax) together), it made it all the better. Here's to a great time!
Title: Re: Frank Conniff's Open Riff Night
Post by: Iron Curtain on August 09, 2018, 11:34:45 AM
Yesterday, August 8, was Open Riff Night, and Frank Conniff was available! This night Carolina Hidalgo joined Frank. The prizes this time weren’t the Schmoovie game; rather, they were a cool-looking Trucker cap and an even cooler-looking T-shirt that was probably in my size! The prizes inspired me to step up my riffing game! The first movie was the same Birdemic clip as last time, and I was glad I was not called for it seeing as I always choke on this movie. The next clip was the first half of a 50’s educational short warning young girls not to be swayed by guys in dumb-looking pickup trucks lest something horrible happen to them, and I riffed the second half of that short. All in all, I have to say this was my best night ever!!! My riffs were on-point, they generated laughter, and I was focused and confident. I didn’t win any prizes, but even doing great work of mine can’t even hold a candle to the other riffers. Even Frank said I did a “very good job” and didn’t use polite euphemisms.

I just hope I have more nights like these!
Title: Re: Frank Conniff's Open Riff Night
Post by: losingmydignity on November 13, 2018, 06:05:16 AM
And to think I lived in Astoria not far from the venue for many years. Oh, if only they would have done this then. I would have been there every time. Glad you go to enjoy it IC
Title: Re: Frank Conniff's Open Riff Night
Post by: Iron Curtain on November 13, 2018, 11:12:00 AM
There was another one last month, but Frank wasn't there, so I didn't think it deserved a write-up. Will there be one tomorrow? This website says "Yes!"

Title: Re: Frank Conniff's Open Riff Night
Post by: Iron Curtain on December 12, 2018, 07:47:04 PM
There was an Open Riff Night tonight at QED, and Frank was there this time with a comedienne named Katie Hannigan who was on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert! Since it's December, the chosen cinematic candidates to be riffed were Christmas-themed. There weren't many people there (probably because of the cold), so the riffers would be two at a time, and Frank and Katie would alternate as the third riffer. I was first along with another New Yorker named Jen, and we would riff the Hulk Hogan stinker Santa With Muscles along with Frank (Yes, I can now cross "Riff with Frank" off my bucket list!). I thought my riffing was weak, but I had a cavity which gave me a toothache and distracted me. Then again, I think I was the only one who noticed, so that's a good thing!?! Other people had turns also riffing Santa With Muscles, The Grinch (2000), The Star Wars Holiday Special, and the winner would riff the last 15 minutes of the He-man and She-ra Christmas Special from the 1980's with the two hosts. I didn't win, but that's okay, because I riffed with Frank!

Also, I heard from Frank that there's going to be another show at the NYC Alamo Drafthouse, but it's on a date where I'm going to see my sister in Miami for her 40th birthday party, so it bites that I can't TiVo my life. :-[
Title: Re: Frank Conniff's Open Riff Night
Post by: Iron Curtain on January 09, 2019, 07:38:21 PM
I just came back from Open Riff Night, and I think this one may be my favorite, even though I had a severe toothache the entire time. Why? Because the secret guest was none other than Trace Beaulieu! In fact, he came into QED early and even though he grew a gray beard à la Bill Corbett, I recognized him and I shouted "TRACE!?!" and he hushed me because he wanted to make his presence at QED a secret. We had a nice pre-show chat though wherein Trace could relate to me having a toothache, because Trace had some dental work himself which cost him as much as a new sports car. Frank and Carolina later came into the establishment and had I not had the really painful toothache, I would've been in heaven. I guess it's purgatorial paradise. I even made a political comment to Frank which I'll quasi-censor under the spoiler tag:
Spoiler (click to show/hide)
Anyway, onto the riffing:

As I said before, I was in pain the whole time. I had taken a gram of extra strength Tylenol before the show but they had not kicked in and I was in severe pain the whole time. Watching the shitty movies was actually way less painful than my toothache. The matchup this time would be four riffers at a time. First, two riffers each would be called and they would riff with the Mads (i.e. Trace and Frank). Then one riffer apiece would be called and riff with the Mads and Carolina. The first film was a short I had seen before called "Girls Beware" made in the 1950's warning girls not to be date-raped. This took two sets of riffers to complete. The second film was a short I had not seen before from the 1930's called "How to undress in front of your husband" (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NM_QFbtqWjA) which is so creepily dated that I would rank it up there with "The Sentinels of Safety" (from Rifftrax's Summer Shorts special) as a short from the 1930's that gets high riffability and entertainment value from its dated nature. The next clip was from Baywatch Nights. I had seen this clip before and someone else along with the Mads and Carolina did the first half, but Trace, Frank, Carolina, and I riffed the second half! And I thought I did a great job riffing even with a toothache! After that, one more person riffed a clip from Birdemic with the Mads and Carolina. The runners-up and winner was chosen, and predictably, I was not chosen. But that's okay, I'm an amateur. The winner riffed the final fifteen minutes of the Prince flop Graffiti Bridge. After the show, I left and took some Advil. I feel better now (as I write this).

Now I can cross off "riff with Crow" off my bucket list! Huzzah!

EDIT: Also, I can go to the Mads are Back show at the Alamo Drafthouse tomorrow! Huzzah!
Title: Re: Frank Conniff's Open Riff Night
Post by: Iron Curtain on February 13, 2019, 08:46:09 PM
Today was a really special day for me: A Nintendo Direct and an Open Riff Night with Frank! Quite a red-letter day if you ask me! Anyway, onto the recap:

I forgot to pay the admission fee in advance, so I paid up front. I also forgot to put my name on a piece of paper in the bucket at first, so I did so when Frank mentioned the bucket wherein one must put in one's name. There were about just 5 or 6 riffers, so each would be riffing with Frank and his co-host whose name I cannot look up on QED's website (https://qedastoria.com). The first two clips were from a 50's short about teaching how to be more friendly. The second clip was from Street Fighter. The Third Clip was from The Room, which I riffed with Frank. I thought I was so-so, and that I flubbed some riffs made it worse IMHO. After me there were no more riffers. But there was one more guy named Jonathan Land who for whatever reason didn't put his name in the bucket. The next clip was from Birdemic, and Mr. Land blew us the hell away with how funny he was! He won first place easily, so he then riffed a 50's short about juvenile delinquency. I hope to see Mr. Land again, because IMHO he was even funnier than Frank!
Title: Re: Frank Conniff's Open Riff Night
Post by: Iron Curtain on April 11, 2019, 05:38:51 AM
Last night was Open Riff Night at QED, and Frank was there, so here is the run-down:

I didn’t order a spot to the show online, but since the show was far from sold out, I was able to buy one at the gate. Frank’s co-host was Irene Bremis. The first clip was the Encyclopaedia Brittannica short “How to be neat and clean” which some of you may remember that was in the MST3K episode The Sinister Urge. Since there weren’t many people attending, Frank and Irene riffed with each riffer. The first two riffers riffed that short, and then the next clip was from the movie Dolls, which I did. As for how I did, I must have been firing on all four cylinders because I was really proud of how I riffed! (I even threw in a reference to Jonathan Coulton’s “Creepy Doll” and another one for good measure)! Frank even complimented me on how well I did! Anyway, the next riffer riffed Dolls as well but the clip actually preceded the one I did in the movie’s timeline so it ended up looking like Memento (something which Frank said explicitly). As it turned out, I was riffing Clip B and the person after me was riffing Clip A; the person in charge of setting up the clips to riff made a mistake. I forgot what the penultimate clip was, but I do know that rather than Frank and Irene riffing with one riffer for the next clip, the remaining three riffers riffed the clip.

The winners were chosen, and their reward was that they got to riff the final 15 minutes of the Masters of the Universe Holiday Special with Frank and Irene (in addition to the game Schmovie and passes to QED shows).

Next month, the shows movie from 7:30PM to 9:00PM, so recaps are gonna be even later.
Title: Re: Frank Conniff's Open Riff Night
Post by: Iron Curtain on May 08, 2019, 09:17:46 PM
I just came back from Open Riff Night at Q.E.D., and this time was at 9:00PM instead of 7:30PM, so that's why this post is later than usual. But I'm here, and Frank attended, so I'll give you the rundown:

I arrive at Q.E.D. at 8:00PM. Frank arrives at 8:30PM, a half hour early. At around 8:50PM, Myka Fox, Frank's co-host for the night arrived, so we could start at 9:00, which we did. The reason for the move from 7:30 to 9:00 was to increase attendance, but it backfired since attendance actually decreased. There were fewer people for Open Riff Night than last month. So that means that Frank and Myka will have to riff with everyone chosen. The first riffer riffed the first half of a 1950's short about trustworthiness. The second riffer; the second half. The third riffer riffed the first half of a 1954 short about manners. The fourth riffer; the second half. Then it was my turn, and I riffed Batman & Robin with Frank & Myka. As for how I did, let me describe it like this: You know that Simpsons GIF with Bart Simpson throwing out a cake that says "AT LEAST YOU TRIED" on it? Imagine you were dealing out pieces of that cake for people to eat. That's how I felt about my performance: neither my best nor my worst, but at least I tried. The sixth and seventh riffers riffed the short about cleanliness that you may have watched in the MST3K episode where it preceded The Sinister Urge. This short was also at Open Riff Night last month.

The winner would receive Frank's new short novella, and watch the last 20 minutes of Starcrash. I remember watching the MST3K episode, but even the MST3K episode was nowhere near as bad as the unedited final 20 minutes of Starcrash. Wow, was it a stinker. Fortunately, Frank's, Myka's, and the winning riffer's (I think his name is Jason) commentary was great, but I still prefer the MST3K episode as it wasn't a slog to sit through.

Oh, and one more thing: Before I left, I talked to Frank if he and Trace were going to do a studio recording for Rifftrax, and he said he and Trace were going to do it "sometime in the future". This is strictly from memory, but my memory is fresh, so…

That's all you get, folks!
Title: Re: Frank Conniff's Open Riff Night
Post by: majorjoe23 on May 09, 2019, 05:45:21 PM
That would be awesome if Frank and Trace did some RiffTrax VODs. One a quarter or so would be instant buys from me and would keep their live catalogue from getting too depleted.
Title: Re: Frank Conniff's Open Riff Night
Post by: Iron Curtain on June 12, 2019, 09:37:38 PM
Nota bene: I had a previous recap, but since I posted it on my iPhone as I was traveling on the Subway between stations, Safari said I had no internet, and when I refreshed, my recap was wiped off the input box. So I'm going to recap from scratch and I apologize in advance for my brusque and blunt style:

Hosts were Frank and Mia Faith Hammond. Style is Open-Riffer/Frank/Mia. First two clips are of Baywatch Nights. Third Clip is of the John-Woo-directed Hard Target with Jean-Claude Van Damme. Fourth clip is of Birdemic. Fifth Clip is of Manos, and it was my turn. IMHO, I did terribly. When it got to showing the painting, I even hackishly reused the "Frank Frizzetta of a Frank Zappa" riff that was in the original MST3K episode. When I noted it to Frank, he noted that he could have written that line. Next was the Room with just two open riffers and Frank. After that it was the Riki Oh: The Legend of Ricky. The winner got Frank's Book and the last fifteen minutes of the cheesy 80's BMX racer movie Rad. Many jokes about Lori Loughlin's admissions scandal were made at her expense. In the future, I may see Frank and three other riffers riff Howard the Duck.

That. is. IT. I am outta here!
Title: Re: Frank Conniff's Open Riff Night
Post by: majorjoe23 on June 13, 2019, 06:24:39 PM
This may be the best place to post this: Frank tweeted tonight that he's in the hospital and may need open heart surgery. I hope it goes well for him.
Title: Re: Frank Conniff's Open Riff Night
Post by: losingmydignity on June 15, 2019, 11:59:50 PM
Oh, no. Wishing the best for him.
Title: Re: Frank Conniff's Open Riff Night
Post by: Iron Curtain on June 17, 2019, 03:41:52 PM
He was doing so well when I riffed with him. I guess heart problems can really sneak up on you like that…

That being said, he's okay! https://twitter.com/CarolinaDoesOk/status/1140460560930283525