ROGERS PARK — The creator of the "Mystery Science Theater 3000" television series has decided to riff himself rather than the cheesy sci-fi B-movies that helped the show become a cult classic.
Joel Hodgson, who counts Jerry Seinfeld as a friend and mentor, said he's planning to travel to Chicago to perform two shows at the Mayne Stage at 1328 W. Morse Ave.
"Mystery Science Theater 3000" began as a TV series in 1988. It featured Hodgson and two robot buddies commenting on bad movies such as "Attack of the Giant Leeches."
His new show, "Riffing Myself," is performed solo as he describes the beginnings of the famous series.
"It’s really different than movie riffing," Hodgson said, "because it’s my life."
The 52-year-old has been traveling around the country making fun of himself, and performing on stage with six others, in a live version of movie riffing called Cinematic Titanic.
Jerry Seinfeld described Hodgson as one of his "favorite cultural visionaries" in an episode of the blockbuster comedian's new Web series, "Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee."
Hodgson said he's known Seinfeld since he "only had one car," when they would sip coffee and eat diner food while talking about the farting noise a squeezable ketchup bottle makes.
The beginnings of "Mystery Science Theater 3000" stretch back to Hodgson's childhood, when he thought God made movies, he said.
The series, which has been referenced in "The Simpsons" and Mad Magazine, now is "part of the culture," he said.
General admission tickets are $18 for the Saturday shows at 8 and 10:30 p.m.