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Author Topic: Frank Conniff's Open Riff Night  (Read 732 times)

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Offline Iron Curtain

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Frank Conniff's Open Riff Night
« 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



Offline linszoid

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Re: Frank Conniff's Open Riff Night
« Reply #1 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?


Offline Iron Curtain

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Re: Frank Conniff's Open Riff Night
« Reply #2 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.


Offline Iron Curtain

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Re: Frank Conniff's Open Riff Night
« Reply #3 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).


Offline Iron Curtain

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Re: Frank Conniff's Open Riff Night
« Reply #4 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!
« Last Edit: April 11, 2018, 08:38:43 PM by Iron Curtain »


Offline Iron Curtain

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Re: Frank Conniff's Open Riff Night
« Reply #5 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. 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!
« Last Edit: May 09, 2018, 08:25:19 PM by Iron Curtain »


Offline Iron Curtain

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Re: Frank Conniff's Open Riff Night
« Reply #6 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.
« Last Edit: June 18, 2018, 06:54:36 PM by Iron Curtain »


Offline Iron Curtain

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Re: Frank Conniff's Open Riff Night
« Reply #7 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!


Offline Iron Curtain

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Re: Frank Conniff's Open Riff Night
« Reply #8 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!
« Last Edit: August 10, 2018, 05:23:56 AM by Iron Curtain »