I actually like hearing the audiance reaction. It makes it more of "an experience" and brings back memories of seeing them live.
Yeah, without the audience reaction, Frank's great "How dare you judge me!" bit wouldn't have happened.
I think you guys misunderstood, I like hearing the audience...but not seeing their faces, especially so large onscreen, I prefer "Shadowrama." You don't get to see the audience anyway from what I gather. They should at least figure out a way to do shadows live. Having them stand in front on a blue screen, illuminated from the rear, (of the screen,) would look really cool live, and would translate to DVD pretty well at least.
I didn't make it to the live Rifftrax stuff, but I see they did the big face thing too. Joel and the gang have the silhouettes at their disposal and they've cast it aside it seems to save a few bucks.
I was actually a bit disappointed that the live shows of CT were so bare bones, they could use a dash of showmanship in their presentation I think; see KISS circa 1977 for advice. They didn't even have any merchandise for sale, I wanted a T-shirt. They had their DVDs, (which most of us already had I'm sure) and cast pictures for $15, but everyone had MST3K stuff for them to sign. Also, I was pretty close for both shows and their desk lamps were in my eyes the whole time.
Oh, by the way, whats "the don't you judge me gag?" It would fit as a "tag" for when he did the "Ginger Baker" riff again, I was the only one who laughed (clapped too), because I read his blog about it way back when. He didn't have any "tags" to go along with the riff at the time, but I remember thinking he should stand up and say something like "Who says a running gag has to be funny?"; but I forgot to tell him in line.