Thursday, April 3, 2014
National Geographic Channel Gets Totally Riffed Off
Rifftrax is well-known for putting bad movies in their place, but it's also pretty good at mocking those shorts about animals that kids saw at thousands of elementary schools years ago. That's now we learned about Moose Baby, Gregory the skunk from Little Lost Scent, Prickly the Porcupine, Wing, Claw and Fang, assorted farm animals and those poor bear cubs that was captured by some jerk named Ross.
So, for April Fool's Day, Mike Nelson, Bill Corbett and Kevin Murphy decided to riff on clips from several National Geographic Channel shows that are now on NatGeo Wild. That way, Rifftrax can claim it pulled a prank on that channel behind its back.
The first hour, "Killer Shrimp and Friends", featured clips from Bad@$$ Animals and Honey Badgers. It featured the Mantis Shrimp, which apparently is from Krypton nd is praised by animal "experts". When they're called "real ball-busters", Kevin asks "they specifically target testicles"? They also ask what is so special about Dr. Carin Bondar, aka "Biologist with a Twist". They wonder if that means she's a ghost, or not a nerdy grad student. Here's a sample:
There's also a piece on the honey badger that risks being stung many times to get honey.
Bill: Why couldn't I have been born a dandelion badger instead?
Kevin: Winnie the Pooh went the same way.
There was also a story about a cocker spaniel that had a dangerous addiction...eating thongs. One question: why no Sisqo (not Coolio, thanks, Eric) jokes? We also found out that Koalas may be cuddly, but their lifestyle would rival really lazy college students.
The second hour, "Demon Bat", was from the show Man vs. Monster with really pretentious guy Richard Terry, or as Kevin calls him "not so much of an explorer as he's a guy who quit his job as a line cook at Chili's and bought a camera." Anyway, he's in Mexico looking for a "monster bat" that's been attacking villagers. They're mocking the trailer to this episode, but you get the idea.
The funniest part is when Terry talks to a villager who claims a bat attacked her, but it was too fast for her to see.
Mike came to the most logical conclusion: " The Flash has become a vampire."
Finally, there's "Guy and a Goose", which is a mix of features from Alpha Dogs, Swamp Men and Unusual Animal Friends.
It starts with the unusual relationship with a guy from L.A. and a goose named Maria, and how it led to the goose being in a video by OK Go Then two guys in the swamp learn how to capture an alligator. It involves having to put tape over its eyes, which Mike thinks he should have done before going to a screening of After Earth. Finally, a guy tries to sell an unusual cadaver dog... a cocker spaniel that doesn't eat underwear. What's more, its name is Bullwinkle, and that inspires this line: "Hey Rocky, watch me pull a cadaver out of a hat". The dog trainers are skeptical, but the spaniel gets a tough test...
Mocking cable TV shows is quite different from mocking bad movies or even Congressional hearings, although that would be overdue. The Rifftrax crew did a great job riffing on some of the more bizarre segments from the NatGeo channel. It planned to start selling digital downloads on April 4th, but the popularity convinced the gang to sell it much sooner. The shows go for $4.99 apiece, a good price for 45 minutes of comedy.
The specials will also be shown again on NatGeo April 8th, and available anytime on demand at most cable outlets. It would have been great if the Rifftrax gang plugged their website at rifftrax.com, and the next live show on July 10th, where Sharknado gets the business. After all, if we're getting ads for the next Transformers movie, why not?