Monster World Movie Night (Johnsonverse)

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Monster World Movie Night logo.png
Genre: Comedy
Running Time: 60-120 minutes
Country: United States
Network(s): WBC
Created by: Tammy Jo Johnson
Based on Mystery Science Theater 3000 by Joel Hodgson
Executive producer(s): Tammy Jo Johnson (2005-2011)
Tim Johnson (2011-2012)
Distributed by: Johnson Television
Starring: Spike Spencer
Tiffany Grant
Amanda Winn-Lee (first 13 episodes)
Michelle Ruff (thereafter)
Opening theme music: Hog Tied
by Edd Kalehoff
Seasons: 8
Release Date: January 23, 2005 - March 11, 2012


Monster World Movie Night is a spin-off of Monster World that aired between 2005 and 2012 on WBC. Styled after Mystery Science Theater 3000, the series stars Shinji Ikari, Asuka Langely Sohryu, and Rei Ayanami-Ikari (Spike Spencer, Tiffany Grant, and Michelle Ruff, respectively; Amanda Winn-Lee voiced Rei in the first fourteen episodes before she quit over a royalties dispute) as they watch movies and TV shows in NERV's movie theatre, riffing and heckling them in a format inspired by Mystery Science Theater 3000 (1989-present), which airs on WBC sister channel Comedy Central.

The series was succeeded by WBC Movie Night in 2012, which follows the same concept, but uses a rotating cast from the Johnson Aligned Universe (Johnsonverse) and many other Johnson-owned or licensed IPs, with Shinji, Asuka, and Rei also part of the rotation.

Format

Each episode begins with a roundtable discussion between the three cast members about the movie or show they're about to watch. These discussions include information about release date, casting, and other anecdotes. Sometimes, they receive cryptic, unmarked videotapes or DVDs that are "mystery movies" or "mystery shows". These range from an entire story arc where they have to stomach all 26 episodes of Neon Genesis Evangelion, to watching Andy Warhol films (including Empire) and even The Wyoming Incident Creepypasta video.

The movies are shown in full, unedited, with the silhouettes of the cast visible at the bottom of the screen. They riff on the movie for its entire run-time with witty remarks, impersonations, and other comments. After a set time, the cast goes back to the roundtable, either discussing the film's events, doing wacky things, or both. Taking the place of the Mads is the show's executive producer (Tammy Jo Johnson from 2005 to January 2011, when she left to focus on her duties as First Lady of California, and her son Tim Johnson for the remainder of the show's run).

The theme music is "Hog Tied" by Edd Kalehoff. It plays over a sequence of Shinji, Rei, and Asuka going to the Johnson Studios lot, before the show's title is shown on a soundstage.

Seasons

Memorable episodes

The Evangelion Arc

Airing throughout October 2005 to celebrate the original series' tenth anniversary, the arc began when Shinji received a cryptic VHS tape. Popping it in, they are startled when Shinji himself appears onscreen, followed by everyone they know. They soon discover that it is a chronicle of the Angel Crisis, with an alternate ending where God and Gaia never intervened and SEELE's plot succeeded. While riffing on the episodes, Shinji points out the tactical blunders made, Rei riffs on how stupid they sounded back then (and also lampshading the change in her actress from Amanda Winn-Lee to Michelle Ruff by saying her old self sounds weird), and Asuka cringes at her behavior within the show, barely getting through the parts where she yells at or physically assaults Shinji.

The Day After

The infamous 1983 WBC TV movie about a nuclear attack was shown on July 14, 2007. At first, the cast had a blast riffing on it. The most memorable joke was the scene depicting people scrambling, to which Shinji said "Everybody run! The IRS is coming!" The EMP that followed was riffed on by Asuka saying "This is the IRS! You didn't pay your taxes so we're shutting off your power!" In response to everything going dead, Rei and Asuka discuss the IRS' ability to siphon car batteries. Shinji tempts fate by speaking of how cheesy-looking the explosion will be, but is suddenly silenced by it. The rest of the movie has the cast sitting in stunned silence. At several points, Rei tries to make a joke about Oggie and the Cockroaches when the cockroach shows up, but the woman screaming in despair puts pay to that. At other points after the attack, silent yet audible sobs can be heard coming from Asuka. Following the movie, the three sat in stunned silence at the roundtable, where Rei had difficulty mustering words, and Asuka broke down into Shinji's chest. In the end, Shinji decides that to scrub the images from their mind, they will watch It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World in the next episode. The episode concludes with a message from former US President James Carter, who informs viewers that the effects of the attack seen in the movie were not fully accurate, and also mentioned how the movie instigated policy changes within the Reagan administration and the possibility it saved the world.

It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World

Following the emotionally-crippling viewing of The Day After, the trio of riffers watched what is considered the greatest comedy movie of all time. The episode, though, came under fire when the initial airing most of the dialogue was drowned out by laughter coming from the riffers. A rerun airing several weeks later had brand-new material eliminating most of the laughter.

The Wyoming Incident

Airing towards the end of the run in 2010, this episode starts with Shinji receiving a cryptic DVD. What follows is a video that disturbs them all so much, they spend the rest of the episode watching Three Stooges shorts.

End of Evangelion

The final episode of the series saw the cast looking at the movie that capped off the original NGE. Already existing in-universe as slanderous anti-NERV propaganda, the cast decided that it was the best way to go out with a bang. Shinji and Asuka literally puke during the infamous masturbation scene, and entire cast sits in stunned silence. It even gets the point that Shinji and Asuka leave the theater during the scene where the former strangles the latter after Instrumentality.

Production

Reception