FRI., OCT. 3, 2003
If you have never seen Mr. Sinus Theater 3000, you might have some sort of vague notion that it’s even dorkier and less funny than its televised pseudo-namesake, Mystery Science Theater 3000, a show that deservedly holds down a shaky spot in the cable purgatory of the Sci Fi Channel. Admitting familiarity with any programming on the Sci Fi Channel is pretty much date repellent in most circles, so it’s no surprise that the uninitiated remain skeptical. How could a live, local, untelevised knockoff of a mind numbingly bad cable TV show be even remotely entertaining? Start with the cast. Owen Egerton, John Erler, and Jerm Pollet are truly funny guys. Seriously. Pollet and Egerton have spent years honing their chops in local comedy clubs and improv troupes while Erler is a classic cut-up who, in between working on a Ph.D. in classics is also host of KVRX’s wildly popular Elk Mating Ritual Hour, an eclectic amalgam of call-ins, philosophizing, and obscure music billed as, “None of the Hits, All of the Time.” All three are musicians as well – how Austin is that? Pollet fronted the popular punk-pop band Gals Panic back in the early Nineties and still holds down a gig as “Tall, Dark and Lonesone,” a solo show in which he alternately sings and soliloquies on topics both personal and public; Egerton has released a CD of comedy tunes entitled Big Thick Wooden Board, and is a Casio keyboard virtuoso; and Erler shows up occasionally at local karaoke bars to sing Jimmy Buffet tunes in the voice of Skeletor, He-Man’s arch nemesis. Occasionally, Erler also fronts a band called Big in Italy. Under the guise of Mr. Sinus, the three achieve a true comedic synergy that far transcends the Sci Fi Channel counterpart. This may have something to do with the material. Mr. Sinus doesn’t confine itself to the same B-movie fare as Mystery Science 3000. Recently, the movies mocked by Mr. Sinus are high profile studio schlock like Top Gun, Footloose, Speed, and presciently enough, The Terminator. They also manage to work in an actual comedy sketch in the middle of the films that very often involves nudity and cross-dressing, the two unshakeable pillars of live comedy. Lastly, Mr. Sinus allows – even encourages – its audience to drink (responsibly), making Mr. Sinus a happy, interactive, social experience rather than a shameful, solitary, onanistic endeavor. This weekend, the trio takes on the mother of all teen vampire flicks, The Lost Boys, an eye-candied Eighties classic starring huge names like Jason Patric, Kiefer Sutherland, the Corey twins (Feldman and Haim), Jami Gertz, and Alex Winter (the Bill of Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, whose sunken eye sockets make him a lock for any role concerning the undead). Rest assured, The Lost Boys is comedic fodder for even the dullest of wits, so Mr. Sinus should cut it and the audience to pieces.