Comedian, writer, and performer Kevin Murphy has been involved in nearly every incarnation of Mystery Science Theater 3000 and its offshoots. He was with the initial show as a writer from its earliest days, on Minneapolis' KTMA TV station, then became the iconic voice of gumball-machine robot Tom Servo for the show's time on Comedy Central and the Sci-Fi Channel. Murphy has also been part of the Film Crew, a direct-to-DVD riffing project featuring fellow MST3K'ers Bill Corbett and Mike Nelson, as well as working with Corbett and Nelson on the hugely popular Rifftrax series of downloadable movie mockery.
Read the full Q&A (as well as an interview with Michael J. Nelson by Dan Lybarger) at the Pitch
. Published 10/27/16
We kick off our “Unaired” theme month with the previously lost pilot for Clerks, the sitcom (+ laugh track) adaptation of the Kevin Smith film. Jim Breuer makes a pre-SNL appearance, the writers can’t use Jay or Silent Bob and Keri Russell even makes an appearance as typical ’90s bimbo.
Listen to the entire episode at Modern Vinyl
"There’s a very short list of things I miss about the movies of the late ‘80s and early ‘90s. For the most part, it was a pretty transitory period for the sort of movies I like. Even given the fact that I was a kid at the time, the rose-colored glasses of nostalgia can only do so much to influence my opinions on the actual quality of things like Best of the Best or Judgment Night.
Still, there was a wonderful trend at the time to include end credits songs which weren’t just a pop single they were trying to flog to the audience as it threw away its empty popcorn containers. I’m talking about the terrible end credits rap songs. There was everything from “Monster Squad Rap” from 1987’s Monster Squad to Partners In Kryme’s “Turtle Power!” in 1990’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to even the likes of “Maniac Cop Rap” from 1990’s Maniac Cop 2.
However, I feel like the pinnacle — or nadir, depending on how you look at it — of this trend came rather early, with “City of Crime,” from 1987’s Dragnet. The film — starring Dan Aykroyd and Tom Hanks — was a filmic reworking of the popular 1960s television show, which was itself a reworking of the popular 1950s radio program. It’s very tongue-in-cheek, yet managed to be a fairly faithful homage to the show, which had been running in reruns for years by the time the film came out."
Read the From the Stereo to Your Screen column on Dan Aykroyd & Tom Hanks and Dragnet at Cinepunx
, published 6/13/16
Despite being a regular on the stand-up circuit since the 1980s, comic Barry Crimmins didn’t get broad national attention until last year. After decades of work as a comedian’s comedian, he was the subject of a documentary, Call Me Lucky
, which revealed an astonishing life story.
Stand-up comedy is just one part of the Bobcat Goldthwait–directed film, but even the grainy VHS footage and brief interludes of his current work show Crimmins as a genuine force onstage. Now, at age 62, he’s shooting his first special, produced by Louis C.K. — and taped at the Lawrence Arts Center.
Read the entire piece in the Pitch
, published 6/1/16