Although they cut their comedic teeth working on Mystery Science Theater 3000, it’s been a while since the RiffTrax guys (aka Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy and Bill Corbett) appeared on TV. After Nelson stumbled on to the brilliant idea of releasing comedic commentary tracks for movies independently of the movies themselves (thus bypassing the need for licensing fees), RiffTrax has grown into a multimedia mocking empire that includes live shows and a musical trio, The Rifftones, as well as the original commentaries.
Now Nelson and friends are (maybe) making their (potentially) triumphant return to the format that made them famous. Entitled Total Riff Off, the show would be a mini-series that “provide(s) comedic commentary over National Geographic programs.” But aside from a mysterious listing that popped up on TvGuide.com last week, no one’s saying whether or not Total Riff Off is real.
Neither National Geographic or Rifftrax has officially confirmed the existence of Total Riff Off, and although a search for the show on National Geographic’s website lists such promising titles as “Badass Dino Bird,” “Aggro Mantis Shrimp,” and “Man Vs. Balrog,” the videos themselves redirect to the National Geographic Channel home page. Further complicating this mysterious nerd bait is the air date of the supposed premiere—April 1 at 8pm.
Is this a cruel April Fools’ Day prank being played on the Rifftrax faithful by their capricious overlords? Did an intern just get fired from the National Geographic Channel for leaking the story to an intern from TV Guide? Or was it all just a beautiful, snarky dream? We’ll find out on April 1.