The whole Cinematical gang was at the premiere of The Promotion last night at the Paramount Theatre, and let me be among the first to tell you that this is one of the funniest movies of the year. And who knew? I wasn't aware that the picture even existed until I saw it on the SXSW schedule, and now here it is cracking us up like nothing since Superbad. (Weinberg's review is here.)

When I joined the others in our row before the movie started, I had to squeeze past a woman who looked familiar, and I thought, "Is that...? Nah." Then I saw her festival badge with her name on it and realized it was: It was Mary Jo Pehl, aka Pearl Forrester from the last few seasons of Mystery Science Theater 3000!

I don't geek out very often, and in fact I don't even endorse the use of "geek" as a verb, but MST3K is one of my favorite shows of all time, so I said, "Mary Jo Pehl!" She looked up, startled to have had a stranger bark her name, and I told her I was a big fan of the show, etc., etc. She was very friendly and gracious and stuff.

She's at the festival on behalf of the Minnesota Film and TV Board, and is blogging on their website. Sitting between her and me was a man from that organization -- and it seemed very fitting when, during the director's introduction to the film, he "riffed" on something the director said, MST3K style. Awesome.