Best show ever! I like how they make fun of really bad films like Manos: The Hands of Fate, Time Chasers, Zombie Nightmare, and Hobgoblins! Unlike the current episodes of The Nostalgia Critic, they never went downhill in the 11 years they were on the air. I'm so glad they're bringing it back. I hope Syfy picks it up again. We need more shows like this back on the air and thse garbage reality shows off TV! I miss the good old days when clever shows like this were still on TV!
I grew up watching this, to which I was lucky as I was a Canadian kid with a old time satellite dish during the early 90's.
It became ritual to watch this on Sundays and I still pull that ritual today. This show has a "plot" kinda, but not really. At the end of the day it's basically a guy and two voice aced puppet/robots watching some of the worst movies ever made while riffing on said movies with their own lines. It's simply a great formula and enjoyable to watch, which is saying much as those involved literally have you enjoying the worst movies ever.
I suggest looking this up on youtube if you want to catch an episode or two, which run the length of a full movie.
"Manos the Hand of Fate" still ranks as one of the better episodes if looking for something great to start on.
On another note. Although the show ended, those involved have made other episodes but without the personas used for the show itself and with the use of more modern movies that are considered good. Examples include Harry Potter, Star Wras, Lord of the Rings. It goes under the name of Riff Trax.
The concept's pretty ordinary Midwestern nice guy has been blasted into space by mad scientists, who force him to watch the worst movies imaginable to torture him. To keep himself company, he's created four robot friends, two of him sit and watch the movies with him.
That's it. It's Joel (and in later seasons, Mike) and the two bots, Crow and Tom Servo, making comments about these dreadful movies. HILARIOUS comments. If you've never seen it, just give it a try. Sometimes it takes a show or two to really "get" what's going on, but once you're hooked, you'll wonder how you ever lived without it, and you'll see why fans are so addicted to MST3K.
Most of the eps are available for free on YouTube, and most of the rest are on Hulu (with commercials) you can also get DVDs at your favorite video stores. There are differences in the voices of the bots change, we go from Joel to Mike as the main character, the mads and the second bananas change, but one thing's consistent from first to last, it's always hysterically funny. Find an MST3K fan site for favorites, but everyone developes their own favorites. I'm a huge fan of the "shorts," old hygene films or motivational films for salesmen or safety film strips from your driver's ed class (I absolutely love "Last Clear Chance," about a sweet little Iowa farm family whose older son ignores warnings about railroad safety, and ends you know)
There's a lot of little things that make the show great--the relationships are wonderful, there's a real love for the bots from Joel and a brotherhood with Mike, some unexpected and excellent music talent (you'll not believe how great some of the songs are, from the Singing Servo Air Corps to Observers singing a doo wop beauty about holding your brain in their hands.
By the way, 3 or 4 times a year you'll find live broadcasts of the Rifftrax, the same guys from MST3K and their new setup, very similar but not quite as good, done at theatres by Fathom Productions. The only thing more fun that watching MST3K at home is watching the show in a theatre with a whole group of MSTies. You'll love it!
MST3K is about a ordinary guy named Joel who was sent up to space because his bosses didn't like,so Joel makes some robot friends to not get lonely,though his bosses send him horrible b movies,so Joel and the bots riff on the movies,which is where the comedy comes from.Also the robots names are Crow a gold crow look like(sort of)bot,Tom Servo a gumball look a like robot,Gyps a robot that looks like a vacuum cleaner,and cambot the camera man.The riffing is just hilarious,but I have to admit the movies are plain atrocious.Though I have to say that mike the guy in the later seasons is OK.
This is my favorite TV show ever. Period. This show is about a guy( Joel in the first seasons, Mike in later seasons) who gets sent up into space to watch cheesy,old(usually), B-movies. He and his robot friends(Tom Servo, Crow) watch the movies and make humorous comments about the movies. People say MST3K should be brought back, but honestly they might have ran out of movies. The reason Sci-Fi and Comedy Central didn't keep this is because most people don't have the attention spans to watch a whole episode, which is why talks with Fuze and Adult Swim fell through. It also has a great theme song! In a not-too distant future Next Sunday A.D There was a guy named Joel Not to different from you and me He worked at the Gizmonic institute Just another face in a red jumpsuit He did a good job cleaning up the place But his bosses didn't like him So they shot him into space We'll send him cheesy movies The worst that we can find(la-la-la) He'll have to sit and watch them all And we'll monitor his mind(la-la-la) Now keep in mind he can't control Where the movie begins or ends (la-la-la) Because he used those special parts To make his robot friends Robot Roll Call: Cambot! Gypsy! Tom Servo! Croooow! If you wonder how he eats and breathes And other science facts(la-la-la) Just repeat to yourself its just a show I should really just relax For Mystery Science Theater 3000
Mystery Science Theater 3000 was probably one of the most funniest, wittiest and creative shows i have ever seen. With great writing, acting and likeableness of the show. It also had a great feel to the show and was awesome with sci-fi good humor and nerdiness this show lead up to be the greatest ever!
Humor is great
Writing is the best i have ever seen on a TV Show
Acting is Good Joel was probably the best in my opinion
None that i can think of but TV.com failures will say the show sucks... Dont listen to people who think Hannah Montana is good they are deprived of all aspects of humor in general and sanity
I am sorry to say I was too young before I heard of MST3K and I never saw it or heard of it. As the years went by though, I heard plenty of it to the point where I fell to pressure and decided to give this show a chance, and I was shocked to see what I missed. MST3K is what you call the ultimate comedy show, it's wonderfully written, has great comedy, the characters are extremely lovable, and it has unending laughs. The show's premise is that a man named Joel is sent into space by his boss so he can experiment how long a person can watch bad movies before going insane. Joel eventually leaves, but is replaced by another person named Mike, who goes through the same ordeal as Joel. Mike has built robot friends to help him get through the movies, they are Cambot, Gypsy, Tom Servo, and Crow and all the robots are hilarious and never fail to amuse me. As the bad movies play, Mike and the robots provide commentary of their own on the movie and ridicule it with jokes and make fun of the movie's stupidity. I have seen 5 episodes and I still love it, and I can't believe I missed this as a kid. I hereby give my complete recommendation to see this show if you haven't seen it yet. This show is awesome and hands down, it's one of the most brilliant, energetic, and funniest show I have ever seen and that's saying quite a lot. So to wrap up this review, go to Youtube and watch episodes of MST3K if you haven't seen it and enjoy the comedy of Mike and the robots.
I just really didn't understand what the point was.I just didn't find it funny. I guess maybe I had a different view on what was funny and what wasn't. Perhaps it wasn't that bad of a show. I don't know. I'll have to see if again and then I'll come to a final conclusion.
I never judge a series unless I see at least six contiguous episodes. Believe me, doing so for this dungheap of a series was almost an unbearable chore. Even though I watched six episodes of this drivel, I could NOT watch each one to the end ... I just couldn't! Possibly the nadir of american television.
I was exposed to Mystery Science Theater 3000 this June on Netflix. I watched the episode, "Secret Agent Super Dragon", and I was hooked instantly, 10 episodes later, I'm still going strong. The formula is original and effective. There's a guy named Joel, who is the janitor of Gizmonic Institute in the future. Dr. Forrester, his boss, shoots him up into space, more specifically, the Satellite of Love, a giant bone-shaped satellite. Dr. Forrester is running an experiment on how many bad movies it takes to make someone go insane. When Joel is up in the Satellite of Love, he builds 4 robots to help him endure the bad movies. There's Cambot, the robot who's filming the experiment. There's Gypsy, a snake-like robot who takes care of the higher functions of the Satellite of Love. Tom Servo, a gumball machine robot, is a wise cracking robot who joins Joel in the theater to watch a cheesy movie. Finally, there's Crow T. Robot: a downright hilarious robot who also joins Joel in the theater. What we have is a show that will deliver laughs, guaranteed. Eventually, Joel escapes, and is replaced by Mike: a temp that's working for Dr. Forrester. The laughs still continue until the end of the series. Trust me, folks. This TV show is THE BEST.
Words don't need to be used to describe how great this show is. The show is actuelly quite ironic considering that people get annoyed when others give their own humorous documentary of a film you are watching, but here you are getting entertainment out of it.
It's a very clever idea for a show that I'm surprised that no one else came up with back then. I'd love to see them bring the show back sometime because seeing that the crew is still making online movie riffs to this day, it appears that they would love to bring the show back if they could.
Mystery Science Theater 3000 (MST3K) is one of those holdovers from early cable. Back in the day, most cable channels were like small market TV stations, with limited budgets that didn't allow for the production of fancy shows. Therefore, they did what small TV stations had always done, they showed old movies.
MST3K's hook, however, was that they placed three characters down front (at the bottom of the screen) and allowed them to talk over the movie's soundtrack. Not loudly enough to ruin the movie, but loudly enough that the viewer could follow either the movie or the conversation. The remarks were a little like the class clown in Junior High who felt compelled to comment on everything that went on around him. It was pretty funny, really.
Early shows were pretty good and the novelty factor was high. Later shows selected worse and worse movies to lampoon and began to get longer and more elaborate scenes between movie acts. That's about where I stopped watching.
Shows like this can still have a place on TV today and I think MST3K was good campy fun, but I think it should have kept the intro scenes short and sweet. I give it 4 and think the producers would be proud to know they really earned it.
I first stumbled across Mystery Science Theater 3000 one rainy Saturday. While channel surfing, I landed on Sci-Fi, and saw three sillouetes mocking a cheap rip-off of gremlins. After that, I was hooked.
Mystery Science Theater 3000 has one of the simplest concepts in history. A mild-mannered guy gets shot into space by a pair of mad scientists, who want to get their hands on the world's worst movie. Said guy then builds a few robots to help him watch the horrible movies. The cast performs a few short skits before, after, and in between watching the various pieces of horrid cinema.
The show mainly consists of throwing "riffs" at B-movies. They would point out obvious mistakes, but the real fun was when they would bust out the obscure references, quoting everything from movies and tv shows to ancient philosophy all within five minutes of each other. If a joke flew over your head, another would be right around the bend to remedy it.
That being said, the show isn't for everyone. The humor mostly involves making fun of other people's efforts, so if that humor sounds disrespectful, don't even bother. Production values are incredibly low, although this often adds a nice charm to the proceedings. Finally, a lot of the movies are so awful, they are difficult to sit through even with the riffing. If you can sit through "Monster A-Go-Go" in one sitting, you are a stronger person than me.
That being said, this was one of the simplest, and yet most brilliant, shows ever conceived, and deserves a watching by anyone.
What can I say about this show that hasn't already been said? We know it's original, we know it's got easily one of the best theme songs ever recorded (lalala) and the characters are all so lovable, even if their supposed to be the villians. First off, you have to love the bots. They are the first thing you notice on the show. You instantly grew attatched to them, maybe even had a favorite before you knew their names. Next, there's the human. We've all seen humans, neither Mike or Joel jumps out at you right away. And, durring my first couple of times watching the show, I couldn't tell who was who. Joel, in my opinion, was the better/ funnier one. I always loved his connection he had with the bots, almost fatherly like. Mike acts so hyper that he might as well be one of the bots. There's nothing wrong with Mike, and he did make some very funny moments, but Joel was just so "sleepy voiced"... I don't know, I just thought that was the funniest thing in the world. He downplays himself so that his bots will stand out. Mike was always wanting to be in front of the camera, where Joel knew that Crow and Servo were going to steel the show, so he didn't bother fighting it.
All and all, I still love this show a great deal. It was original, clever, and well written to the enth degree.
"MST3K" started out with a clever, if not a new idea.(Ever since movies started talking, the set-up of audience voices mocking the screen action has been around, such as the early 30's series "The Movie Album" or Radio's "Easy Aces" in their cinema short subjects.)
In the original Mystery Science series, we got to know those about to mock the movie, a hapless midwestern guy (always ragging on Wisconsin!) trapped aboard a space station with two wiseacre robot puppets who know nothing but half-understood American pop culture.
This was the underlying basis for the jabs at the film, whatever it was they would be sitting down to see on the ship's movie screen as well. The references come fast and furious, and although all are supposed to be none too bright, as an audience member, most will never "get" all of them.
Unfortunately, when Sci-Fi (or now known as "Sy-Fy") channel brought them over, they had to change the format a bit, and instead of just a quick visit at the beginning and end, (with some bumpers in the middle) featuring the cast, which included a mad scientist and his wierdo servant that sent him spaceward in the first place, now there's a nasty fat gal that bosses around a monkey man and a hooded pasty guy in a VW van that courses the galaxy, landing on different themed planets. We find out about their fears, their schemes, their family life, etc.
After this unfunny soap opera burns up lots of time, we go back to the "Satellite of Love" to see the movies. But now, every one has to be a horror picture. Funny thrillers were seen years earlier in the series, and most every one in the S-F version would have been a second, third or never pick previously. When it started, it had a huge following, inspiring such things as campus events, live recreations, even a book which was rather poorly thought out, but still sold well. Tapes of the series were traded around the world. Well, here we are, it's final episode ten years ago this month, and few care any more. It just seemed like the whole show fell into the wrong hands.It was fun while it lasted. It just lasted too long.
So In the not too distant future, Way down in Deep 13
The evil Dr. Forrester, Was hatching a nasty scheme
He hired a temp by the name of Mike, Just a regular joe he didn't like. His experiment needed a good test case, So he conked him on the noggin, And he shot him into space.
He said , "I'll send him cheesy movies,
The worst I can find
He'll have to sit and watch them all,
And I'll monitor his mind."
Now keep in mind Mike can't control
Where the movies begin or end
He'll try to keep his sanity
With the help of his robot friends.
Robot roll call:
If you're wondering how he eats and breathes
and other science facts. Just repeat to yourself, "It's just a show,
I should really just relax.
Sorry I really wanted to sing that really quick, cause this show rules! So then... anyway, the charcters are Mike, it used to be Joel, but now Mike is on. There's Cambot, Gypsy, Tom Servo, and Crow (Crow rules!!!).
This movie was a real stink-burger, which means loads of laugh for us and the crew of the Satellite of Love.
"Future War" happens to take place in the present, when humanoid cyborgs go back in time to capture humans for slaves (because they don't have thumbs and hence can't build anything except other cyborgs and spaceships!) and have vaguely establish dinosaurs are watchdogs that explode when they die. They chase this Runaway slave who meets up with this punk turned nun who really seems to have doubts in her commitments. The movie has no real logic, as the so called oppressed and uneducated 'Runaway' human slave is a master of martial arts. There was even a scene when the two "heroes" are told to get in a police car by a cop who takes them to a packaging factory where one of the dinosaurs is on the prowl for no real reason!
Whats worst are the cutaway and jump-cuts. Our heroes, the nun and the runaway, are calmly walking in their suburban neighbor after being attack by a dinosaur, awake up in some kind of freight train only to be back into the same town! And for another kicker, the Nun manages to stop the cyborgs and dinos by using her underground connections with pimps, gangs, and drugs dealer to personally attack at their base of operations: Some kind of Storm-Drain with lots of pipes, a large hole out for some reason, and an unexplained source of daylight, which goes to show that it really the street thugs and deviants that protect the country, not the police, military, or government.
Overall, this movie makes Manos look a cheap, but competent piece of work. And the best part is one one famous or well like was in this movie nor did any of the cast members moved on to other projects.
Although there had been a few shows like those of Elvira and Paul Bearer which catered to the popcorn-munching movie fan in all of us, 'MST' was probably the first to gleefully indulge in a constant array of wisecracks about the campy, nonbudget efforts on the screen. It paid tribute to the downtrodden moviegoer who waited in the theater for what promised to be adventure... and turned out to be crummy.
An industrial plant worker named Joel was at his job one day when a team of mad scientists stuck him on a rocket and made him take part in a terrifying experiment: he must watch bad movies and comment on them. This allowed the scientists to measure the effects of the low-budget tomfoolery-- and provided a ton of opportunities for jokes. From bad dubbing to cheap special effects, to poorly written scripts, to lousy acting, Joel and the robots endured it all, and had the viewers at home in stitches. The show is on DVD in a number of 'best of' collections. I suggest you get your hands on them. 'MST' was one of the funniest shows to ever hit the airwaves. The robots will thank you.
I miss Mike. Tom, Crow, Gypsy, Pearl, Dr. Bobo, Brain Guy, Joel, Dr. Forrester, tv's Frank, Cambot (which is why I often visit rifftrax.com). This show was one of a kind, seriously. I mean, how often do you stumble across a show that dares to riff horrible movies? Not often. This show, which had a significant run, needs to come back. Because it was amazing and more awful movies are being made today. Of course, Mike and the gang do still get together and rip current movies apart but it's just not the same. I mean, MST3K had a certain charm about it. A funny charm. A gut busting charm about it. An I'm-laughing-so-hard-at-all-the-insanity chamr about it. And it had Tom Servo. He's the sexiest robot ever. Seriously. Sorry C-3PO!
this show caught my eye when sci-fi (england) start airing season 8 when i was 16 or 17. it had me in rolling around on the floor, and i'd never seen anything like it. It was funny, refreshing, and original. I miss Mike and the robots, especially Crow! After sci-fi stopped airing episode (season 8) i realised that more episode/films existed with the gang and that another somebody else did it before mike (Joel) this made me actually purchase dvd's and swap tape via internet back in the day. I really hope that one day the guys get back together and do a re-union special. i have rifftrax and titanic now from the "crew" but i'd love to see the shadows of the guys... the robots and dim-Mike again.
So, the story begins with a guy named Joel Robinson getting trapped in a satellite. He's forced by some crazy mad scientists to watch bad movies every single week. So, Joel built some robots as friends. The robots are named Tom Servo, Crow, Gypsy, and Cambot. Eventually, Joel leaves and a new guy named Mike Nelson comes to continue this strange tradition up until the show's cancellation. The show's known for having a vast amount of good one-liners and rants. Some of the movies they show range from a little bad to extremely horrible. Also, the show's low-budget, and it doesn't matter given what movies are being shown. So, if you haven't heard of Mystery Scienece Theater 3000, I hope that you can watch some episodes and enjoy.
Mystery Science Theater is the funniest show I've ever seen. Even though it is before my time, I still watch it because my mom is a big fan. I think that the Joel episodes are hilarious. However, the Mike episodes were more downhill. There were a few good Mike episodes, but I believe that Joel was the funnier one. My favorite 'bot is Crow. I think he is just so funny and what he says is just classic. Some of my favorite quotes from the show were said by Crow. Overall, this show is just a classic and a personal favorite of mine. I wish it wasn't canceled.
Baywatch was such a bad show. No plot, the characters were plastic and the..... oh? This isn't the Baywatch thread? Hmmmm...
Well, I guess the same could be said about MST3K. No plot and the characters were plastic, or at least two of them.
I don't think I ever laughed so much at any one show in my life. I always found something in every episode. Sure, some (very few) of the episodes weren't all that great. Like..... ummmm, maybe the one about.... no no, that was good, how about that one involving.... ummm, no not that one either. OK. I guess I enjoyed them all on some level.
If you ever want to know if some one's a MSTie, just walk up to them and say some random phrase like... "I'm huge", "That sucked", "The master would not approve", "Time for go to bed", or something similar. If you get a laugh out of them they're a MSTie. If not, there could be other consequences. (In fact, my lawyer says I'm no longer allowed to utter those phrases.)
Happy riffing everyone!
Ah, MST3K...perhaps the ultimate cult show. You either love this one or hate it. The sight of that silhouette on the bottom of the screen elicits either joy or eye-rolling boredom. I (as you probably guessed) am a fan of this gem of a show, which survived cancellation, network and host changes and a revolving door cast.
The premise...oh, do you really need that? Suffice it to say, it stuck true to its mission, never running out of turkey old movies to lampoon. Combine that with the off-kilter humor and performances of the cast (Joel Hodgson, Trace Beaulieu, Kevin Murphy, Frank Conniff, Mike Nelson and others) and you had a show that was glorious in practically every respect. Those Comedy Central days, with a mixture of bad sci-fi epics, embarassing film noirs and oh, those educational shorts, may be the best run of any show ever in TV history. I'm not trying to stir up anything, but when we're talking hosts, I honestly prefer Mike to Joel. His manner of joking was more "on" than Joel's slacker persona, and in his tenure as host the comedy became tighter overall. Once Bill Corbett came on as Crow, I think the series got its best riffing team (Murphy, Nelson and Corbett).
While the overall quality of the riffing didn't change with hosts and networks, the quality of the "host segments," those comedy bits in between sessions in the theater, suffered tremendously with the losses of Trace Beaulieu and Frank Conniff. Added to that was the new mandate from the Sci-Fi Channel that the host segments had to have a story arc. Gone were the one-shot weirdness of the Comedy Central days and in their place were unfunny ongoing misadventures when the gang would encounter odd creatures and sci-fi spoofs. None of it could hold a candle to the old days of the invention exchanges, Crow's screenplays, Tom's dulcet tones and anything from old Gypsy girl.
But that may be complaining too much - after all, even in the Joel era, MST3K was primarily about riffing the movies, which never went out of style. Fortunately, the Sci-Fi Channel's other mandate of only doing sci-fi movies went by the wayside and we got some more classics in the later years.
But now, sadly, it's gone. The good news is that Mike and Joel are continuing the fine riffing tradition with their various endeavors (Film Crew, Rifftrax, Cinematic Titanic). And the DVDs continue to roll out. So kick your feet up, settle back, and laugh your butt off.
What can i say about this show but FANTASTIC!! Joel in the beginning and then Mike towards the end are forced to watch bad movies delivered to them by the evil Dr. Forester and TV's Frank (later by Pearl, Bobo, and Brain Guy). This show is sooo original and HILARIOUS! There have been times when i almost pissed on myself because i was laughing so hard. True this show isnt for everyone and it takes a certain type of dry humor to get it. Unfortunatly this show ended in 1999 but thank goodness for DVD and tape distributing to keep this show alive!
This show features Joel, who is sent into space. 2 of his evil bosses force him to watch old, terrible movies, and whichever one breaks him, they will unleash that movie on Earth. But 2 robots help him pass the time while by mocking the films.
This show is hilarious! Servo and Cro are what power this adventure. They were built by the host, Joel, to help him endure the awful movies (experiements) they are forced to watch. Even the worst, most absurd movie can become fun! Intermissions are taken every 15 minutes or so, and the crew will re-enact one of the scenes, or just have a little fun doing something else. Servo looks like a little gumball machine with arms. He is pretty deadpan, but he is pretty much the funniest one. Cro is a gold combination of, I'm not quite sure. Maybe a baseball mitt, a bowling pin, and a coffee maker. Their silouettes are visible the entire time in the bottom right of the screen. This is great because sometimes they can be seen interacting with the movie, or jumping around. Other than that basic premise, there is no discernable plot, just a good old knocking of whatever they are watching. Everybody should give this show ONE chance to see if they like it.
I loved this show so much. Mystery Science Theater 3000 said all the things my sister and I whispered to each other in movie theaters our entire lives. Now there is a show that speaks our own jilted form of under our breath snarky comments humor. All the movies in MST3k are bad, and the the youngest movies they ever did were already 25 years old, but that is what makes MST3k so great; you're not there to watch a movie, but to hear what great one liners and quips the robots come up with this week. Sadly the only part of this show that I ever disliked was the original content. I really can't bear to watch Joel or Mike stand there with the robots and do sketch comedy...it hurts me, but luckily the sketches are only 5-10 minutes of the show.
Mystery Science Theater 3000 is one of the bast shows on television that's not on anymore. I hope the Turner Network could negotiate with the MSTies so that they could play the show on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim. I like Adult Swim, but if Mystery Science Theater was in the lineup, I would so watch the show. I like Mike Nelson's comments more that Joel's, but it seems to be the eternal debate. Who's the better host, Joel or Mike. Well, I hope Turner Network can get these rights and play Mystery Science Theater on Adult Swim. And maybe sooner than later.
A lot of the movies on which I've commented on this website I've seen as episodes of "Mystery Science Theater 3000." However, I find it difficult to write about this show as a whole - not because I can't think of anything to say, but because there is so much to say that I don't know where to begin or end.
I guess I'll start by saying I approached this show prepared to be unimpressed. A show about a janitor and two robots goofing on bad movies in space? That's about the dumbest idea for a TV show I've ever heard! And in lesser hands this could have been an idiotic show, not worth bothering with. But in the hands of the troupe of writers and performers who call themselves Best Brains it is a show of rare intelligence and wit. The writing is first rate and the performances (especially in the host segments, in which skits are performed which are more or less inspired by the movie) are sharp and enthusiastic. So good was the writing that show was able to remain fresh and entertaining despite several major cast changes (by the time the series ended after ten seasons none of the original cast members remained).
Best of all, this show helped broaden my appreciation for cheesy movies. I've always loved horror and sci-fi movies (horror especially), and some of the movies shown here were familiar, but there were others I would never have seen were it not for this show. Some laughably bad, others cheesy and surreal, others pretty darned interesting. (Still others were just plain bad.)
In short, this was one of the best shows ever shown on television.
In the good old days of television, no TV station was complete without a horror movie show. Some of them had their own little quirks and segments that made them unique. But no local horror movie show ever made, past, present or future, was better than Mystery Science Theatre 3000, which originated at what was then known as KTMA-TV, channel 23 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The movie was actually an "experiment" conducted by Drs. Clayton Forrester and Laurence Erhardt, who sent a janitor, Joel Robinson, into space, not appreciating his hard work a la Cinderella's stepfamily. They sent him into outer space onto the Satellite of Love, where the lonely Joel created Cambot, Gypsy, Tom Servo and Crow, his quartet of robots. Joel was sent into space to watch really horrible movies, but he, Servo and Crow offset the horror of the movies with snappy wisecracks. Meanwhile, Gypsy handles higher functions on the SOL, while Cambot follows Joel and the bots around to see the movies.
The series was a local hit, but the station was in troubled times, and MST3K was cut. Then, Time Warner's new Comedy Channel picked it up, and gave it national exposure. After one season on national TV, Dr. Erhardt departed and "TV's Frank" stepped in. The series continued on without much change, even when the Comedy Channel merged with Viacom's HA! channel to form what eventually became known as Comedy Central. In 1993, Joel Hodgson, who put the show together and played Joel Robinson, decided to leave to work on other projects; Michael J. Nelson, who played various roles in previous episodes (including Torgo, from "Manos: the Hands of Fate"), played Joel's replacement, Mike Nelson, who was introduced on Joel's last experiment, where he and the bots riffed "Mitchell". When Gypsy set Joel free, an angry Dr. Forrester sent Mike into space, where he would remain. Then Frank left, as Dr. Forrester's mother, Pearl, moved in. Dr. F himself was last seen in the theatrical movie, which featured "This Island Earth", probably the best movie ever featured on MST3K, IMO. Pearl would take over when the series moved to the Sci-Fi Channel, and her cohorts were Professor Bobo the gorilla, and an observer known as "Brain Guy". The cycle continued until the Satellite crashed and everyone moved on, though Mike and the bots continued to watch bad movies.
This series has to be the greatest horror movie show of all-time, and for good reason. Where else can you have someone be shown silhouetted at the bottom of the screen making fun of a piece of junk? Also, each host, Joel and Mike, had their own merits, though Joel may have been the better one, IMO. Also keeping the show moving was its loyal fanbase, known as MSTies; my mother is proud to be one. I'm glad the show was as popular as it was, because of its quality, and because of a very loyal fanbase. This was truly a show I enjoyed at one time or another as much as my mother did.
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