Hey there Reddit! Bill Corbett ready to chat. Proof of me-ness:

https://twitter.com/BillCorbett/status/1258432772223401984

I'll be here for the next two hours, then on and off after that. Ask me anything! I'll try to answer as many Qs as I can.

I would also love to let everyone know about the online benefit performance of my comedy HATE MAIL, co-written with Kira Obolensky, tomorrow night.

I'm incredibly excited about the cast: RHEA SEEHORN of TV's BETTER CALL SAUL and PAUL F. TOMPKINS of BOJACK HORSEMAN, MR. SHOW, etc., comedy and podcast legend in general. I've been lucky enough to work with both of these wonderful performers in the past and I'm so so grateful they've agreed to do this. Based on seeing our one (one!) rehearsal, they are going to be amazing together. Here's where to get tickets:

https://hatemail.simpletix.com/e/53553

About the play: HATE MAIL was written about 20 years ago, starting as a sort of parody of the popular theater piece LOVE LETTERS. It was meant to be performed likewise, just two actors with a simple set reading correspondence. The play has had a really nice life in theaters for the past two decades and it just seemed like a natural fit for these days of pandemic-y online performances.

ALL proceeds from the play will go to PARTNERS IN HEALTH, a great non-profit organization dedicated to getting medical health and supplies to those who need it most. And their specific focus on the Coronavirus pandemic has been excellent:

https://www.pih.org/coronavirus-response

All that said! Please ask away. I'll be there answering away until about 1 pm eastern, 10 am pacific but will stop by as much as possible to answer Qs for a few hours after that too. Looking forward to this!

[ADDED SEVERAL HOURS LATER: Thank you all! I got to as many questions as I could and I'll stop by for a bit in a few hours, to see if I can or should answer a few more. FWIW I tended to skip past questions where I'd already answered something very similar and / or where multiple-part questions made it tough to handle right now. Will be back later, but if your Q fits that bill and I haven't gotten there yet, that might be why. Cheers, more soon..]

Comments: 276 • Responses: 70  • Date: 

NPMSRP71 karma

Do you miss Crow?

BillCorbett77 karma

Yeah. How could you not??

Bing_Bong_the_Archer43 karma

By being Servo?

BillCorbett27 karma

Logic!

NickMEspo59 karma

How is Virginia doing? Has everyone recovered from the virus?

BillCorbett125 karma

MUCH better, thank you.

For anyone who doesn't know - my wife Virginia unfortunately got Covid-19 and went though an awful 5+ weeks. Fortunately she is now mostly recovered! And luckily, neither our kids or me seemed to get it. But who knows? So much about this virus is still a mystery.

NomadJones42 karma

Do you ever feel like the current times are like the first half of B movies you've covered?

BillCorbett51 karma

YES

moragal55 karma

I’ve always wondered, how much of the riffing and jokes are actually scripted and how much is ad-libbing on the spot?

BillCorbett104 karma

The vast majority of it is scripted, but it's tricky - some of it is the result of a sort of recorded improv? At least in MST3K writers room days. Even now with RiffTrax, when we write separately a bit more, there is a point where we come together and mess around with the script and sometimes find better stuff.

Then in the recording studio, we might improv / paraphrase jokes even further. This happens a lot more in live shows! Audiences respond and you kind of you with it.

MonkeyPretzel53 karma

I love your Twitter and you've brought many issues to my awareness, but I know there's a lot of MST3K/RiffTrax fans who complain both to you and about you, on your political views - being outspoken comes with often unwanted feedback, and I've seen the usual "I'm never gonna buy any RiffTrax again!" threats. (I usually agree with you 100%, and I love that you're not afraid to speak truth to power.)

Have any of your coworkers or friends ever expressed discomfort with your being so outspoken, or worry about how it might impact them? Everyone both behind the scenes and in front of the mikes seems to get along so well, I don't want to see anything gum up the works - but I also don't want to see you self-censor or silence yourself.

BillCorbett60 karma

Thanks for the the Q. I have to say, I get surprisingly few complaints, in my opinion? I'd like to believe that if people don't agree with me, they either unfollow or mute after a while, or just attribute it to the old man getting cranky again, who cares haha. Because in the end, I don't have any real power or influence and I try to keep that in mind for people who I follow and like / admire, even though I'm not onboard with much of their politics. I DO feel differently about people with actual economic and political power, so I'm less respectful there!

As far as coworkers or friends - they've been so cool, and we genuinely do get along after all these years. So no, no real friction! I try to take care that RiffTrax is walled off as much as possible from my other opinions, because I'd never want to do anything to mess it up for me or my partners.

iblameshane52 karma

Is corn grass?

BillCorbett56 karma

It is so.

BillCorbett51 karma

Haha, I can't believe this is still up on my long-abandoned Tumblr:

https://billcorbett.tumblr.com/post/28450247475/yes

majorjoe2346 karma

Would you rather fight one Kevin Murphy-sized Tom Servo or a dozen Tom Servo-sized Kevin Murphi?

BillCorbett68 karma

This gave me several simultaneous anxiety attacks.

Seattle_Haole43 karma

How large of a production staff do you have at Rifftrax, besides the people on the mics?

I remember getting up at 5 am to watch MST3K in Hawaii. Thanks!

BillCorbett53 karma

Aloha! (Do you know that MST3K sweetheart Jonah Ray is a Hawaii lad?

RiffTrax non-riff staff is roughly 10 people, give or take, including some freelance people who work with us time to time. NOTE: I may have to amend this later if I count better!

tommens_kittens31 karma

Hi Bill. I really miss your Funhouse podcast. Any chance you'll do one in the future? Maybe after the ol' pandemic subsides?

BillCorbett32 karma

Thanks! I had so much fun doing Funhouse.

Yes, after the ol' pandemic I'd like to revisit the newfangled art of podcasting. I actually had one planned, with cohost Maura Quint, but the personal and world chaos of the coronavirus over the last months derailed it. Hope to do SOMETHING in the near future though. Not sure exactly what premise or form right now.

Frito_Caliente16 karma

Is there any chance you can talk Virginia into doing a podcast on cheese?

It was a great Funhouse episode.

BillCorbett10 karma

great idea

ATPdriven29 karma

What is your favorite episode of MST3K before you became Crow?

BillCorbett60 karma

Oooh, tough one. MANOS for its sheer weirdness / Torgo-ness would be right up there.

Other favorites: CAVE DWELLERS, POD PEOPLE, MITCHELL, DEATHSTALKER etc etc HELL. Countless shorts!

Note that I am terrible at picking favorite episodes, because it often depends on what I've seen most recently.

jkdjeff28 karma

Hey Bill, I tried to say that we love you in a comment but it wasn't a question, so it got deleted. So I'll say it here.

My actual question: I'm one of the volunteer moderators of the official RiffTrax Twitch channel. Have you watched it much? You've joined us in chat a couple of times and it's been great to have you, but what do you think of it overall as a way to let people watch older RiffTrax together?

BillCorbett38 karma

I love it! And I love that it has developed its own community. I pop in there from time to time, and - I say this with total respect and affection - it's cool that besides everyone being welcoming and nice, it's really not a big deal that I'm there. The community has its own dynamic and doesn't stop in its tracks for visitors. Which is how it should be!

jkdjeff15 karma

I love this response!

First off, RiffTrax/MST seems to attract really nice people. The work of being a moderator is overall very easy. But we've also tried to use you guys as a model of the community we want to foster; snarky, but never mean.

I've set up a couple of commands that will help promote HATE MAIL in that channel; if you need anything else, don't hesitate to reach out, either here or on Twitch.

BillCorbett13 karma

thanks so much, sincerely appreciated!!

Arkrayder28 karma

If you could ask anyone to guest riff with you, Mike and Kevin, who would you ask?

BillCorbett65 karma

Oh man, I'm gonna get this answer wrong, aren't I?

We've been lucky enough to have as guests (in various recorded / live shows) some of the people I would have first chosen: Al Yankovic, Bob Odenkirk, PF Tompkins, Maria Bamford, David Cross, John Hodgman, Kristen Schaal.

But beyond that -- maybe the late Don Rickles or also-late Joan Rivers? Just one of those old school road warrior hilarious savage comedians. Sit back and watch them work.

Also Jesus Christ; Batman.

SweetSyerra21 karma

Somehow I just imagine Batman sitting there and saying..."I'm Batman" every time it's his turn to riff.

BillCorbett22 karma

Accurate. Yeah, he'd probably be a drag.

ATPdriven20 karma

When did Bob Odenkirk riff with you guys and how did I miss it?!?

BillCorbett27 karma

It was during one of the SF Sketchfest live shows, before we got smart and started recording them! He was awesome. OF COURSE.

SoThatHappened26 karma

I have an MST3k question that I actually from watching Werewolf just last night:

One of the Werewolf host segments is about casting brothers of more famous people in movies a la Joe Estevez. Spike Knotts, Chip Hitler, etc. But there seems to be a secondary joke here. Crow is not really into the sketch and can't come up with anything and Mike and Servo both seem to be doing the segment with an undertone of acknowledgment that it's a weird thing they're doing and almost seem to not want to be doing it? Is there a story behind that sketch? Is something else going on?

BillCorbett16 karma

Oh wow, I'd have to see it and think back. Will update later and see if I remember anything?

SoThatHappened15 karma

I meant to link it and forgot, it's here cued up but it's at 24:57ish

BillCorbett35 karma

Ok, I watched and it's coming back to me now. I actually wrote this sketch! (And I SWEAR I don't always remember exactly which ones I wrote.)

It's somewhat related to the opening sketch, where Mike is doing the Actors Studio guy? So "Ray Liotta" got in Crow's head and he can't stretch beyond it.

Not really a ton more than that exactly that we often set up a thing where one of our three heroes either didn't get or wasn't ready or into the overall premise, just to set up a button. Also it's weird but we really got into playing around with Crow's insecurity and shaky sense of identity for a while (Bellarian; dog and bear; etc.). It really amused us but I'm not sure if it translated to actual humor!

ComicSal25 karma

Love your work, loved your Crow, and so thrilled to see how much all of you have accomplished.

Between MST and Rifftrax, are there any movies you guys just couldn't get through and had to scrap?

BillCorbett41 karma

Oh, for sure! Quite a few. Often because we think it's just too boring, even given our pretty loose standards. Or that it's technically such a disaster it's actually painful to sit through such terrible sound / picture.

But every now and then it's the actual content! A few years back we recorded a rift for 1950s short about child abduction / murder and it was RIDICULOUS on one level, of course -- but in the end, it was just too dark even given the era. ( It didn't help me, personally, that my kids were pretty young at the time.) Sometimes it's just too hard and maybe not worth it to try to joke over horrifying subject matter. Looking at you, Schindler's List and Hotel Rwanda!

ATPdriven22 karma

Who’s the puffy guy who’s a big blurry sex machine?

Mitchell!

Thank you for the response. You and your cohorts have brought so much joy into my life, sincerely. Thank you for all you do!

BillCorbett13 karma

Aww thanks.

LittleJimmyUrine21 karma

Do you plan on allowing machine learning algorithms to continue riffing movies using your likeness after your passing?

BillCorbett32 karma

That is indeed what I am now. RIP Bill.

sclauder20 karma

Is there any movie that you’ve riffed that you actually thought wasn’t that bad?

BillCorbett31 karma

Yes, in varying degrees!

We've done some actual good movies (depending on your taste) for RiffTrax, and we acknowledge it as a special challenge. E.g. CASABLANCA; JAWS; WIZARD OF OZ. You can't rely on the utter badness / weirdness like you can in, say, a BIRDEMIC. But you can play off the famous parts of the movie + shared cultural knowledge more, which is a fun indulgence at times if you don't get too hacky.

Outside of that, sometimes I think that in an otherwise not-great movie we've done, there is a good element or two or three - like a performance or story idea. But I'm blanking now! Will try to be specific and amend this later.

Crimson_Jew0319 karma

Hey Bill just wondering, did you guys ever figure out if there actually is beer on the sun?

BillCorbett40 karma

We did not figure it out but there is always the hope.

I choose to believe that Rowsdower is up there right now, enjoying a cold one.

powerscunner18 karma

Exactly how far away is the "not too distant future"?

BillCorbett47 karma

Scientists theorize that it is in fact next Sunday, A.D.

Arkrayder16 karma

Is there any way a Live Rifftrax online show could be organized? Much like you are doing with Hate Mail. It might be a way of doing live shows until the pandemic is gone.

BillCorbett18 karma

Possibly! We're talking about it.

ATPdriven16 karma

Has anyone been able to confirm the existence of the actresses in Setting Up a Room before or after it was filmed? Or is the “riff” about them being aliens perhaps more fact than fiction?

BillCorbett19 karma

We have not confirmed them as actual human persons who do or did exist! This is a great detective opportunity. Perhaps for... The Guy From Harlem!?! Bringing the RiffTrax-iverse all together, here.

Drding16 karma

Hi Bill!

What went into/inspired your development of Crow's personality? Also... You know you want me baby!

BillCorbett22 karma

Well I was inheriting the character from certified genius Trace Beaulieu. So mostly I didn't want to mess up what was working so well!

As I think I've told before, I started really trying to imitate Trace, almost like hoping nobody would notice? But as time went on, I was able to (and was encouraged to) relax into the character a bit more. SO much depended on what was written for Crow, sometimes by me but also (more often, numbers-wise) by my colleagues. And I think they liked making me act mad and outraged as Crow, because I showed an affinity or something for it early on. So the stuff of minor legends begins! I actually enjoy performing Crow more in moments when he was lower-key subtle or actually trying to be smart / useful but failing, or taking it in a weird 'bot direction! E.g. Droppy the Water Droplet; Crow's Civil War doc.

Archchancellor16 karma

We don't hear a whole lot from Mike any more. Obviously, you guys are still putting out riffs and doing live shows, so unless you've got some crazy good "Weekend at Bernie's" thing going on, it's safe to assume he's still kicking around. What is he up to besides Rifftrax these days? I understand if there's a delay in your answer, since you guys only talk to each other through your lawyers.

BillCorbett21 karma

Mike's lawyer authorized me to answer this.

Seriously, we are all doing well as can be expected in this pandemic world, and I feel like even before that the RiffTrax working relationship has been better than ever.

That said, I am really reluctant as a friend and partner to speak for Mike! He's well, he has a couple of podcasts that people really like (including one with Conor Lastowka of RiffTrax, 372 pages), he's not a huge fan of social media. But (NOT A PLUG, HOWEVER) if you are a RiffTrax Patreon member you see Mike pretty regularly on our post-riff recording chats.

Archchancellor20 karma

Thanks Bill! I've been a MST3K junkie since '95. I remember when I moved to Minneapolis in '97 that I would have lived in a dumpster at the Energy Park Studios just for the opportunity to work on the show. And, uh...then it got cancelled.

I've been a huge fan of everything that Rifftrax and Joel and Mary Jo and Bridget and the Mads have done since then. I was at the live show in MPLS for Sharknado, as well. You might not remember me; I was the guy that was laughing.

BillCorbett25 karma

YOU were the guy! Thanks, you saved our show. Whew!!

Arkrayder15 karma

Will Rifftrax Live ever have a show in Ireland?

BillCorbett25 karma

I hope so! We did a few live shows in London not too long ago and it was such a great time. Pre-pandemic we were plotting on how to do a little tour of that region, including Ireland. Hopefully before too long / we get too damn old!

PaChopper14 karma

Can you watch a movie or tv without automatically riffing?

BillCorbett26 karma

Haha yes. Think I've talked about this before, but it is a true pleasure to watch stuff and not have to make jokes! Especially good stuff.

And being an aspiring polite person, it would really suck of me to do that in a live movie theater. Also someone might sock me right in the dang jaw.

scorpmcgorp13 karma

On the topic of mail, what was your favorite fan mail segment on the show? Follow up, what was your favorite fan mail overall, on the show or otherwise?

Thanks for bringing so many laughs and good times into the world.

BillCorbett18 karma

Thanks back! Generally speaking, I loved when kids sent drawings of the SOL or Deep 13 crew, or bits from the riffed movies. And I don't remember which episode, there was one where an old friend of mine's kid got their drawing on the air. Thrilling for all!

ATPdriven13 karma

Why doesn’t Mike come to SF Sketchfest anymore? Still absolutely love the show, but miss Mike!

BillCorbett28 karma

Thank you. Mike has joined us a few times in recent years! But sometimes it depends on who has other stuff going on that week, or is busy with other stuff, or is just up for it? I think Mike is pretty open about not loving to travel and tour, but every now and then he likes the idea. He is always always welcome because he is hilarious, great company, and well, kind of a big part of RiffTrax.

ATPdriven10 karma

Thank you! My best friend Liz and I had the pleasure of meeting you all after a Sketchfest show a few years ago and you were all just as kind and lovely as I could have dreamed of. We say you’re our new best friends and use the photo as proof. Only slightly embellishing the truth... 😆

BillCorbett11 karma

thanks so much!!

Scitalis12 karma

Since you've seen quite a lot of them could I ask for some of your favourite bad movie? And which ones been the most fun to riff?

And of all the weird short-films which one's the favourite?

BillCorbett15 karma

I am still in a phrase (which I'm guessing will pass at some point) where I love the James Nguyen movies, BIRDEMIC and the others. But very recently I've loved SUBURBAN SASQUATCH, which is very Nguyen-ish in its way.

The shorts are tougher to answer! So many great, trippy ones. I really love the whole ACI "at your fingertips" series but I also love a good black and white freak show from the 1950s like PAPER AND I.

Frito_Caliente4 karma

How often do you find yourself saying "Willie" in that voice tone?

Farscape297 karma

That gives me the shivers every time the bag says "Willy"

BillCorbett8 karma

same!!

ConradBHart4210 karma

What does Paul F. Tompkins smell like?

BillCorbett20 karma

Very expensive apples of the highest quality.

quiktrip_hot_dogs10 karma

Do you enjoy cream soda? I find it quite refreshing

BillCorbett19 karma

Favorite soda of my youth for a few years. I, also, at the time, found it quite refreshing. Now the concept strikes me a bit weird TBH.

link_maxwell10 karma

What's your favorite obscure reference you got into a riff?

BillCorbett25 karma

Hmm, could be one of many sort-pretentious theater things I pitched? Or a sports ref, which our fans seemed to like only sparingly.

But one I remember clearly, and I'm sure I wrote it! In the Incredibly Strange Creatures, there's something where we had the MC say something like "Next up, Livingston Taylor!"

That was a real life ref for me because our high school student council booked Livingston Taylor to perform when I was a senior. And it was a DISASTER. Like, so few people showed up. It was a terrible idea, booking James Taylor's unknown brother to perform for a bunch of Brooklyn kids at that time. The humor and pathos of it all stuck with me!

fusionbringer10 karma

I'm very excited about Hate Mail! Especially seeing Rhea Seehorn and Paul F Tompkins perform. What has been your favorite or most memorable part so far of prepping for this particular performance?

Also thanks for all you do! I'm a huge fan!

BillCorbett13 karma

Thank you! We haven't had much preparation for this performance. I put it together pretty quickly as something positive to do while my wife Virginia was ill and the reality of the quarantine was setting in.

That said - we had a big zoom rehearsal the other day and it was so much fun! Rhea and Paul are extraordinary, and the people helping to make this happen are wonderful. We had a lot of laughs. It was great just to work with other people live, since we're doing a lot of RiffTrax separately these days (inc. recording on separate tracks alone, which we don't do normally).

I will say, also - the play is built to be simple, and just read in performance by two good actors. It's possible to over-prepare in cases like this and get everyone tired and stressed. We did not do that!!

astrakhan429 karma

Would you consider doing more riffs on Blaxploitation movies? I'll give you TWO REASONS why you should: The Guy From Harlem and Velvet Smooth are two of the all-time greats.

BillCorbett14 karma

We absolutely would consider it, and if / when we come across stuff of that perfection we will do it. Must admit, though, we do not want to be careless about either or movie choices or our jokes, as three white dudes. Hopefully we've kept it funny so far!

Werezompire9 karma

What are some movies you'd love to riff, but couldn't get the logistics to work out?

BillCorbett15 karma

Billy Jack (1971)

And a whole bunch of 1980s action-y movies, many starring Sly Stallone. Esp. COBRA.

BillCorbett24 karma

Slab Bulkhead

or

Bob Johnson

GumboPants9 karma

How many fans have you encountered with MST tattoos and do you have a favorite?

BillCorbett15 karma

A lot, especially at conventions! I tend to like the relatively low-key classic riffing silhouette. Assuming it's not like, RIGHT UNDER someone's genital area.

GumboPants17 karma

Yea, that would be just ridiculous...

cancel photo upload

BillCorbett11 karma

haha!!

MonkeyPretzel9 karma

You've spent the majority of your life in Minnesota - would you consider yourself a true Minnesotan at this point, or does the Brooklyn still bleed through on occasion? Anything you still miss about Brooklyn/NYC/the Northeast?

BillCorbett14 karma

I still haven't quite spent the *majority* of my life in Minnesota, though it's getting close! The Brooklyn bleeds through constantly, though used to MORE before I quit drinking. :)

Not sure if I'm a true Minnesotan, that's for others to dub me or not. I certainly don't have the accent or many of the other white-person attributes, for worse or better.

All I'll say is that I really love and appreciate this place, but at the same time, yeah, I do miss NYC. And Los Angeles, where we lived for a little while! But I get to both those places now and again and get my fix. I do foresee warmer weather in my dotage years, though, 'cause as much as I adore Minnesota I get to be a bit more of a wimp about winter every year.

charlie_80118 karma

Is a hot dog a sandwich?

BillCorbett15 karma

We actually engaged that question at a big family gathering a few years back. It was fun for a long while, then suddenly it wasn't. Got a bit heated. Like hot dogs should be.

Anyway, a hot dog is whatever you want it to be, including a soup.

mrsirthemovie8 karma

What's the worst studio note you ever recieved for either MST3K or anything else you ever worked on? MST3K, particularly the Scifi channel years were essential in forming my sense of humor as a young man and remains a show I will never stop rewatching (Hobgoblins is my favorite episode)

BillCorbett14 karma

Oh my god. Could write a book. But will not!

For MST3K, I don't want to be too specific but there was a very brief time when the Sci-Fi channel decided to ride herd on us a bit more, with joke notes. That was after years of the show being really successful, and even after we had a successful few years on that same channel. Then they saddled us with a young executive to try to make us basically become South Park, which was such a huge monster TV hit at the time. We made this guy's life pretty miserable though psyops and he eventually left us alone.

For the ill-fated STARSHIP / MEET DAVE movie, there was an entire draft we had to rewrite set in Providence, R.I. because of some deal. We did it. Then within weeks we had to un-rewrite it back to NYC. Madness. Traumatizing.

Arkrayder8 karma

Which would you chose. Tea or coffee?

BillCorbett12 karma

Coffee. It is the stuff of life. My life, anyway.

Tea is great sometimes but coffee is ESSENTIAL.

Arkrayder6 karma

Have you a preferred coffee flavour?

BillCorbett9 karma

Coffee flavored!

Real A - medium or light roast, but super strong. No other flavor, sometimes just black, sometimes half and half. Never sugar. That is all the coffee stuff I got!!

VicnickVega8 karma

Was it hard switching from the Crow character back to your own persona for riffing? What was the oddest part?

P.s. YOU RULE!

BillCorbett16 karma

Thank you!

Re switching persona - I think at first I tried to overcompensate and not act too Crow-like. My first few riffs (with just Mike and me) I'm extremely low key, and to me now it sounds narcotized. So I allowed myself a little more Crow-like pizzazz after that and I think we found a good balance? Hopefully.

nogoodnickgames8 karma

Thanks for doing this, big fan.

Up until two years ago, I never knew how much of a Rifftrax/MST3K presence has at SF Sketchfest and now I try to make any show you guys are apart of. Loved Riffapalooza earlier this year.

Any fond memories?

BillCorbett8 karma

SO many fond memories of SF Sketchfest. We did some of their first, earliest shows when it wasn't nearly as huge! I think mostly my fond memories are of the guests we've gotten to work with, truly a remarkable list of people. (And we ask Hate Mail star Paul F. Tompkins EVERY TIME because he's the king.)

Founders Janet Varney, Cole Stratton, and David Owen are pals always invite us. They've been incredibly generous over the years. For a while we had a tradition of opening the fest with our show at the Castro theater. We haven't done every single show in recent years, but I'm sure we'll come back here and there in various permutations as long we're invited. (also - Janet and co. have indulged me with a few other shows I brought to the fest, including live podcasts and weird comedy-theater things. I love Sketchfest)

Tex-Rob8 karma

I forgot that I do have a question I've had for a long time. Did you ever get to see any of the Mr Sinus Theater stuff that the guys from Alamo Drafthouse in Austin did years ago? Did you or others feel they were ripping you off, or honoring what you did?

BillCorbett14 karma

I know that those guys are now Master Pancake Thearer, and Trace, Frank, and Mary Jo have worked with them at various times live. I don't know them personally but no, I have no negative feelings at all! I heard they're really good and have made their own version of the riffing thing that's really fun.

zoobisoubisou8 karma

The RiffTrax Twitch channel is on regularly in our house! If you could riff with anyone, who would it be?

BillCorbett8 karma

Thank you, twitch has been great for us! Re the Q: very similar question elsewhere in thread, check it out!

itate8 karma

Mr. C, I've always been curious how writers come up with character names. What's your method?

BillCorbett20 karma

Haha, it causes me way too much angst at times!

Not sure I have much of a method except: don't make it too generic ("Bob Johnson!"), and don't work had to make it too quirky either, unless there's a comedy point to that. But even then, caution applies!

I will say the only other thing I get fussy about is trying to make sure characters' names in the same story aren't too similar (Sauron / Saruman, c'mon JRR T!!), especially when there are a lot of them like in a screenplay. But it's possible to even be too obsessive about that. I manage!

majorjoe237 karma

I think I can guess how Paul F Thompkins got involved with the this, but how did you land Rhea Seehorn?

BillCorbett14 karma

Rhea did a lot of theater before TV. She acted in a play of mine called THE BIG SLAM that had some regional theater success, and she was in one of the first post-Minneapolis productions at Woolly Mammoth Theater in Washington D.C. So I visited rehearsals, then the production when it was playing.

She was brilliant in it, extremely funny. (She's very funny.) Won some sort of local theater award for it, I think? Or at least was nominated. She and the rest of the creative team did such a great job, they revived the show a few months later. I became a fan of her and Woolly Mammoth Theater for life!

najing_ftw7 karma

Shout out to MST2K back in the early days. What movie would be very difficult to give the RiffTrax treatment to?

BillCorbett12 karma

As I think I said elsewhere on this chat: SCHINDLER'S LIST, HOTEL RWANDA. Anything with a real-life tragedy at its core, especially if it's a somewhat decent movie. We would seem like monsters! And would be.

Stoshue6 karma

Window or aisle?

BillCorbett17 karma

Aisle aisle aisle! Gotta get out, can''t be trapped! [hyperventilating into paper bag]

But in those rare, beautiful moments from heaven where a plane is so uncrowded that there's nobody in your row: window! AND aisle. It's all mine bwahahahahaha!!!!

Bing_Bong_the_Archer6 karma

Hi Bill!

Firstly, you’re awesome! Thanks for doing this; I used to wait poised over the vcr so I would be able to record each episode and accurately skip over the commercials.

How long would it take to write each episode, from choosing a movie to having the finished script? How many times would you keep rewatching the movies?

BillCorbett11 karma

I think we quantified that during that MST3k days and it was a bit hard because production of previously written shows overlapped with writing future shows, and various people on staff were sometimes at work doing elements of both at the same time. But for the most part, writing took place over a few days with big chunks of subsequent days reviewing, right up until we filmed.

ShutterBun6 karma

When is the long-awaited Meet Dave sequel coming?

BillCorbett15 karma

When I am dead! Hang tight.

Arkrayder6 karma

Are there any plans for you to guest on Mike and Connor’s 372 Pages We’ll Never Get Back Podcast?

BillCorbett6 karma

I did some voices on one or two eps! No future plans atm.

ReallyAWeasley6 karma

This question comes to mind as my husband and I just watched the Screaming Skull last night... the actor playing Mickey was the director of that fine film. Was there a riff about this that was cut? It seems like a prime riffing opportunity!

Thank your for all of the laughs over the years! You and your cohorts have brightened our lives. Hoping you and Virginia are doing well!

BillCorbett7 karma

Hmm, I either didn't know that or forgot! Oooops.

And thank you!

brocktoon20005 karma

Has there ever been any talk of offering Rifftrax as a subscription service?

BillCorbett11 karma

Yes, for years. We have elements of subscription service but haven't really done the full deal yet, or are 100% sure it's a great idea because we are across so many platforms.

wheatley_labs_tech5 karma

Thank you for everything, I can't count the number of cry-laughs you've gotten out of me.

What would be your marooned-on-an-island-that-somehow-gets-delivery pizza order?

BillCorbett16 karma

A pizza with a boat baked in.

thermonuclearmuskrat4 karma

What is your favorite type of monkey?

BillCorbett13 karma

Any monkey that is not IN MY HOUSE.

Assuming that is true: Japanese macaque all the way, baby!!

analogkid013 karma

Two questions, if I may:

1) How many fish can you name?

2) Is it true Cher had some ribs removed?

BillCorbett12 karma

1) zero

2) no idea but now I want to start a rumor that she had extra ribs added

seismichippo3 karma

Bill, you had the best tweet about Nextdoor posts awhile ago and now it's gone (or I can't find it.) What happened to it? And can you repost it for all of us to enjoy. It was so spot on!

BillCorbett5 karma

Awww damn, my tweets are auto-deleted periodically. By my choice, since it's just silly ephemera. Wish I could remember! Sorry.

TackyMTBer1 karma

I follow your Twitter and agree with pretty much everything you write. Have you ever considered doing a political riff show? For example, you riff over the State of the Union or Fox and Friends or Hannity. Or would that make your head explode?

BillCorbett1 karma

I don't know if it would be make my head explode but I have my doubts that it would be very entertaining? Not sure. Also: 1) I don't want to see those people any more than I have to, and 2) feels like pretty much the whole rest of our culture is covering that beat already, for better or worse?