Joel Hodgson insists he’s not a fun guy to go to the movies with.
“I’m just like everybody else,” the creator and star of the bygone, B-movie skewering, Comedy Central series Mystery Science Theater 3000 told Patch this week.
“When I’m not working, I’m not joking...I just want to sit back and be taken in by the magic of the movie.”
As for Hodgson’s old show: you know it even if you haven’t seen it. Three silhouetted figures, one human, two robot, are forced to–for reasons both hilarious and outside the scope of this piece–sit in front of bad movies ad infinitum and crack wise about them.
MST3K earned Hodgson a cult following in the course of its 1988-1999 run–during which it drew praise from corners as lofty as the editorial office of Time Magazine, which named the show one of its “100 Best TV Shows of All-Time” in 2007–and now it’s brought him, through some Rube Goldberg turns, to the , where he’ll perform riffs with a team of students from Bucks County Community College.
How it happened: At the suggestion of a friend who’s a professor at BCCC, Hodgson started teaching a comedy course at the school, then, after a recent show in Princeton he performed with his comedy troupe Cinematic Titanic, he was approached about coming to Phoenixville to perform at the theater.
Enter Chaos at the Colonial.
Billed as a “movie riffing battle royale,” four groups of Hodgson’s students will compete on stage at the theater on June 2 at 8 p.m. and let the audience decide which squad has most completely, and humorously, taken apart the terrible short films they'll screen.
After the show, Hodgson will participate in a riff-off of his own before taking questions from the audience and screening an episode of MST3K.
Despite the reflexive reservations many have about amateur comedy, Hodgson promises the show will be worth your while.
“I was amazed at the material that some students were generating,” he said. “Some of them are very talented writers and others are very talented performers.”
And despite having made a generous living these past 25 years gleefully skewering half-baked entertainments, Hodgson says he takes it easy on his comedy students.
“No, I’m really careful about that,” he insisted.
He doesn’t pick on the little guy. Only the little budget.
Chaos comes to the Colonial on June 2 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $10; $8 for seniors & students; $6 for members and children younger than 13. There’s also a VIP package ($34) that includes reserved seating, backstage meet & greet with the cast at 7:30, event poster, free medium drink and medium popcorn.
Event posters (11×17) will be on sale for $10 at the show. Tickets are available here.