• Kristine14 November 2003
    Movie Sign!
    Mystery Science Theater 3000, one of my favorite shows of all time, I'm serious. This is one of the best television shows ever created, why is it such a cult classic? Ever see a really bad movie? I know you have, we also know how much we love to make fun of a really bad movie, that's exactly what the characters of Mystery Science Theater 3000 do, they take the worst movies of all time and absolutely tear them a new one. They are like the friends we want to have around when you feel like you wasted your money at the movies, because at least you can get a good laugh at just making fun of it. I saw this show for the first time in 1998 when my parents finally broke down and got cable, the first channel that popped up when I turned on the TV was the sci fi channel and what looked like a fun werewolf movie... then I noticed three little figures in the corner. I didn't get it, why are they talking through the mov... oh, because this is a really bad movie and they are saying everything that I am thinking... I'm in love! At that point I was hooked and tuned in every week to see a new episode.

    The show first started off with Joel, a man who is stranded on the satellite of love space ship with several robots: Crow T. Robot, Tom Servo, Gypsy and Gambot. He is being tortured by our villain, Dr. Forrester with terrible movies. Eventually in the middle of season 5, we got a new host, Mike Nelson. He was a slave to Dr. Forrester, but is now sentenced to the same fate as Joel to see the most horrible movies of all time. We also later on got a different villain, Dr. Forrester's mother, Pearl Forrester who is trying to take over the world while presenting horrendous movies to Mike and the bots.

    The great thing about this show is it didn't just make fun of horror movies, nope, any bad movie could face the hand smack of Mystery Science Theater 3000. I couldn't choose a favorite episode, but I stepped into the Mike era so most of my favorites come out of those seasons like: Prince of Space, The Final Sacrifice, Space Mutiny, Girl in Gold Boots, The Brain that wouldn't Die, Squirm and Soultaker. Not only do they make fun of movies, but "educational" shorts as well with the scary "A Date With Your Family" and "Spring Fever!" that are frankly the most disturbing thing on film. Like most shows, not every episode is a classic, but is always guaranteed a good laugh. There are some haters on this show saying that they hate seeing people talk through the film, if you really want to see films like the one's they make fun of, I pity you.
  • Cowman19 July 2003
    Excellent! Ranks right up there with "The Simpsons" and "The Daily Show" !
    For those unfortunate few who have never seen an episode of Joel Hodgson's MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000 (referred to by fans as 'MST3K'), here is a brief rundown on all the fun you've missed out on. Dr. Forrester is your typical mad scientist. He sports big glasses, an oversized lab coat, crazy hair, and an insatiable urge to take over the world. In an effort to kick off his latest foolproof world-domination scheme, Dr. Forrester abducts a dry-witted janitor named Joel Robinson from the research center they both work at. Joel is blasted into space in an apparently escape-proof ship called the Satellite of Love, forever doomed to orbit the planet Earth. Forrester keeps contact with Joel via satellite transmission, and each week sends hims an unbearably awful b-movie which he is forced to watch. The mad doctor's idea is to keep sending movies that are so mind-numbingly terrible that it will eventually drive Joel and his viewers to insanity, thus giving him an easy outlet for conquering the world. To help preserve his sanity, Joel uses parts from the ship to build four wise-cracking robot friends that keep him company and help us to avoid cinema-induced lunacy by mercilessly heckling the films.

    The show aired weekly, and re-introduced old 1950s-70s era drive-in swill to a world that has long forgotten about it. The movies they chose--The Brain That Wouldn't Die, Time of the Apes, and (most notorious) Manos: The Hands of Fate, for example--were truly some of the most awful abominations in cinema history, and how they were able to find clear, working prints of these (mostly) obscure films is beyond me. Not only was it great to be able to witness some of these "masterpieces" first-hand, but the non-stop commentary by Joel, Tom, and Crow was absolutely hysterical. There was never a dull moment when those boys hit the SOL's onboard movie theater. On occasion, there would be a break from the movie to show a humorous sketch that would further the basic plot of the show. While many of these segments were admittedly not all that funny, they didn't last long, and Forrester would call for "MOVIE SIGN!" again in no time. Come to think of it, it may not even be that these primitive skits weren't funny, but that they simply paled in comparison to the sheer hilarity that took place in the ship's movie theater.

    MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000 is one of the few television programs that seems to be loved by virtually everybody. Seriously--I know of not a single person who didn't like this show, nor have I ever read a single negative comment or review of it. That being said, why on Earth was such a brilliant show like MST3K canceled? It couldn't have been because of poor ratings, since the show had a huge cult following and a substantial amount of regular viewers. If anyone has any information regarding why this series was taken off the air, please contact me!
  • skillwithaquill10 December 2005
    Should go down in history as one of the greatest shows ever written
    Mystery Science Theater 3000 could quite possibly be one of the most inventive and hilarious shows of all time. In a nutshell, an average guy is rocketed into space by his evil boss and is forced to watch terrible, cheesy, poorly acted, poorly written, poorly shot, B-grade movies (sometimes even lower grade than that). The only way he keeps his sanity is by mocking and riffing on the movie-of-the-week with his robot friends, Tom Servo and Crow T. Robot. He is also kept company by the robots Cambot and Gypsy, who do not watch the movie.

    Each episode of MST3K delivers almost non-stop laughs and great one-liners that make watching these awful movies not only bearable, but also hilarious! There are fans (known as MSTies) of all ages, from adults who have been watching it from the first televised episode to teens just discovering it thanks to the release of the DVDs.

    All in all, I am a huge fan of MST3K and have never been dissatisfied with it. I've never seen an episode that didn't make me laugh out loud.

    It's difficult to describe it to those who haven't seen it before, so if you're not one of the legions of fans of MST3K yet, hurry out and rent or buy one of the DVD sets. You won't be disappointed! 10/10
  • Rat Man8 July 2003
    One of the Greatest Ideas ever come to TV
    MSTK 3K was never meant to be a quality show. It's simply a cheesy skit to make fun of really, really bad movies. In a world, where everybody takes things too seriously, this show produces a much needed boost of comedy. Sitcoms tend to become the same, and humor anymore is few and far between. There is just a finite number of plot lines that a sitcom can have. And many sitcoms tend to outlast their usefullness (Friends and Fraiser). However, MST3k, the humor is always refreshing. Joel (or Mike) and the robots never run out of potshots during a movie. So many movies become untentionally funny, because they are so poorly made. The robots are very clever, when they can relate contemporary events with old movies. I'll never forget when Croww T. Robot, said when he saw a wrecked T-bird "Teddy Kennedy are you alright?"

    The shorts are very clever too. They make fun of the stupid short films that you had to watch in elementary school. (Posture, grooming, what to do on a date).

    The only thing that one must watch out for, is that sometimes people don't get the jokes that the robots are pitching. As long as one is up on current events, he would find this show hilarious.

    I remember watching the movie when it came out to theaters in 1996. I have never been in an audience that laughed so much.
  • Mike Sh.14 November 2000
    A consistently great show
    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.
  • Op_Prime26 December 1999
    I love it!
    MST3K is without a doubt one of the funniest shows ever made. It's hard to believe there could be anything that could make horrible movies like 'Hobgoblins' fun to watch. The show is clever and witty. It's hard to believe a show about a group of three making comments while watching a movie could spawn a ten year series and a movie. But it was done, and I'm sure we're all thankful for that. It's a shame the show has ended but the went out with a bang, making the series finale 'Danger: Diabolik' one of the best of the series; my personal favorite is 'Hobgoblins'. See the reruns and rent the movie whenever possible!
  • aczilla-113 March 2006
    From Trash to Treasure: Rich Genius on a Salvation Army Budget
    A mad scientist's plot to rule the world hurls an employee (and later a temp worker replacement) into space on a fully furnished satellite where, in the company of quick-witted robot friends, the captive is forced to watch real movies from nearly every genre imaginable that threaten to rob him completely of his sanity. That's all you really need to know to start watching, but it can't begin to scratch the surface of what you will encounter. Beneath the surface is a work of comedic genius that has held a stronger-than-cult following for almost 20 years.

    In the Mystery Science Theater 3000 dictionary, you probably can find a picture of Joe Don Baker under the definition of "irony." He is quoted with having threatened physical violence on the creator of MST3K after how they treated him in the film "Mitchell," yet he played a trailer trash dad in "Mars Attacks" around the same time. It's these kinds of relationships between one movie and another, the throwbacks to our culture, and (most) performers' ability to be a good sport that makes MST3K such a brilliant program. It is only in the case of this series that too many writers don't spoil the ambiance; in fact, a large group of writers is essential to capture every flaw and possible remark that can be made about a single movie. If you grew up within the last 50 years, then you are bound to have seen most of the movies featured on MST3K. On the same token, you are bound to get most of the jokes the stars hurl at the screen, but don't be surprised if you catch something new every time.

    Sci-fi and film purists have deemed MST3K detrimental to film genres in some arguments, and some viewers who saw the actual movies when they were released or were influenced heavily by a group of films might be taken aback by seeing their favorite movies torn to pieces for the sake of comedy. Nonetheless, MST3K has the ability to grow on virtually everyone who sees it... and has done so. The show is filmed with some of the most dated film technology while the robots and sets were literally sculpted from scraps of junk gotten from Goodwill, but the impact is lasting and any argument you may have over scientific mistakes are immediately addressed in the last line of the catchy theme song. Mexican wrestlers, Italian spies, Japanese giant monsters, 1960s-era juvenile delinquents, mad scientists, educational short films, rugged bikers, and even works of Shakespeare (well just one work but still) to name only a few types of the over-200 films featured in its 10-year run (many of which continue to hold high ranking on IMDb's worst films list), are the primary fodder of this brilliant undertaking, and you are hereby dared not to find the same amusement in every movie you see after experiencing MST3K for yourself and succumbing to its effects.
  • lambiepie-21 July 2003
    My Best TV Friends at the Movies!
    Comedy Central gets credit when credit is due. "South Park", the "Chapelle's Show", "Win Ben Stein's Money", "The Daily Show" and a few others -- were breakthough series for a very hungry comedy generation. But this was their very first hit, let no one tell ya differently.

    At first, I thought Mystery Science Theater 3000 would bug me. A bunch of folks talking through a movie. I HATE that. But these guys have gone through and chosen a host of films that are bad to begin with. And you know as you're sitting in the comfort of your home, by yourself or with friends watching these same films, you are saying or thinking the same thing of what Joel and Mike and the 'bots are.

    Yes, MST3K is "cheap", its stupid..but its a heck of alot of fun. There are a few movies they took that I didn't think deserved an MST3K "do-over" but at some points in the series, they did a unique thing and added in Cartoons, old Soap Operas and TV Series before showing the full feature. That was a laugh riot.

    Comedy Central's MST3K went to the Sci-Fi Channel where they still show the series but I wish they would also show the ones with Joel and the 'bots along with the ones with Mike and the 'bots. In such a depressing time, it puts a smile on my face for two hours every Saturday Morning. It's simple and s-i-m-p-l-e.

    Every year the Sci-Fi network does "Twilight Zone" Marathons which I love. I remember Comedy Central ONCE doing a "MST3K" Marathon, it's time to do another. This is the best comedy/sci-fi series to date, it deserves alot more than it got.

    If not, maybe its time to pull the gang together and do another "Movie". The "MST3K" gang really blew it with doing "This Island Earth" when we all know "Manos, the Hands of Fate" would have gotten them Academy Award Nominations. Find another film like that, put these guys back into space (and hey, bring 'em back home!) and I bet it would surprise everyone in the film industry for how well it would do.

    Great Series!
  • Greidanus2 January 2000
    The most Intelligent show created by the Imperfect race of Man
    Mystery Science Theater 3000: The most intelligent show ever seen by the eyes of man, and created by man too.

    This show greatly critiques the acts and creations of our imperfect society by making various remarks throughout the 'host segments' and 'movie segments' and makes good hilarity in the process.

    If you have never seen it, you have to! I'd greatly recommend it for geeks and the fashionable alike, though the geeks seem to understand it a lot more.
  • DrZaat5 September 2000
    The best comedy series ever.
    The best comedy series ever. The range of humor, from lowbrow to extremely sophisticated, is amazing. Despite numerous cast changes over its ten-year run, it maintained a high quality and its final season was no less funny than the others. The writing was top notch, the performances hilarious, and their treatments of the abysmal films they mocked proved that you CAN make silk purses from sows' ears. Certainly, a station with greater resources than Comedy Central or the Sci-Fi Channel could have delivered the audience the show deserved, but, sadly, this was not the case, and its second cancellation was final. No TV program has enchanted me the way MST3K did, and I still mourn its cancellation more than a year after the fact. Catch it while reruns are still being aired! I don't expect them to continue much, if at all, into 2001. If you manage to see it, I guarantee you'll be heading to Rhino Videos to order tapes of the old episodes, and contacting fans to obtain copies of newer ones.

    I am in my forties, yet Servo and Crow, the two main robot puppets, became as real to me as any human character on TV. Along with the rest of the cast, they became friends with whom I looked forward to spending a couple of hours every Saturday morning. Invite some real friends over to watch it--it's much better as a group experience. Once again, catch it in reruns on the Sci-Fi Channel while you still can!
  • lauraeileen89419 November 2006
    Best Cult Show EVER!!
    "Mystery Science Theater 3000" does what we'd all love to do when watching a bad movie, but hesitate due to courtesy or our own lack of wit: Offer our own biting commentary on the wretchedness before us. For 12 seasons, this sleeper cult TV hit used this idea (one that can never grow old because there will always be bad movies) to hilarious advantage. The plot was as follows: mad scientists Dr. Clayton Forrester and Dr. Larry Earhart (who was replaced one year later by doofy henchmen TV's Frank, who proved much more popular) run Gizmonics Institute. They have such an irrational dislike to quirky, sleepy-eyed custodian Joel Robinson (Joel Hodgson, the show's creator), that they blast him into space on the "Satellite of Love". As if that weren't bad enough, they force poor Joel to sit through bad movie day after day to study their effects on our hero's brain. Well, space gets pretty lonely, so Joel builds himself four robot companions (according to the show's theme, they're built from parts that could have helped him "control when the movies begin and end"). The main robots are suave smart-ass and occasional crooner Tom Servo (who is made from a gumball machine) and abrasive pop culture fiend Crow, a bizarre, gold, bird-like thing. There's also Gypsy, who controls the main functions of the ship and has a girlish crush on B-actor Richard Basehart, and Cambot, who tapes the show. Every week our hapless captives were sent an awful movie (just a reminder, these are REAL movies, and they have to be seen to be believed), each more horrendous than the last. Bad acting, cheesy scenery, plots that range from silly to reprehensible, lame special effects, laughable fashion, stilted dialogue, these movies have it all. Yet Joel and his plucky pals have a secret weapon: their never-ending supply of wisecracks at the rubbish they're forced to watch. Everything that comes out these guys' mouths is a comedic gem. Example?

    Servo: What do you think the lesson of the movie was? Crow: Don't watch it.

    Like all long running shows, "MST3K" went through many changes. Dr. Forrester and TV's Frank moved from Gizmonics to Deep 13, a lair located at the core of the Earth. Joel Hodgson left the show in 1993 and was replaced by one of the show's writers, Michael J. Nelson. Like the fictional Joel Robinson, "Mike Nelson" was an affable, All-American temp working in Deep 13 who was much disliked by the mad scientists (Dr. Forrester called him a "mild-mannered boob"). When Joel miraculously escapes after seeing the Joe Don Baker crapfest "Mitchell", Mike was immediately blasted into the Satellite of Love in Joel's place, and stayed for the rest of the show's run. Mike was an excellent replacement, having a slightly different comedic style than Joel, but still getting plenty of laughs. While Joel was more laid back and wry, Mike tended to be more blunt with his remarks during movies ("Did ANYONE know how to run in the '50s?" he quips during a horror film). Five years and one movie later, Dr. Forrester's mother Pearl was the main villain, along with her henchmen: Bobo, a simian professor, and the Observer, or "Brain Guy", a cloaked genius who transported movies with the power of his mind. No show has ever had one formula that stayed fresh for so long, and it's still a cult favorite that's a hit on DVD. Mike Nelson even keeps it up with Riff Trax, a web site where you can download his skewers of bad mainstream films like "Road House" and "The Phantom Menace". Yet the fine art of making fun of cheesy movies will belong to those silhouetted three chaps who tear sub par movies a new one. Yup, I stand by my statement: Best. Cult show. EVER!!
  • Scott22 January 2002
    Originality would be nice.
    You know, I'm getting kind of tired of people reviewing movies here on IMDB, based solely on what they saw on TV. Especially movies people saw on Mystery Science Theater 3000. Now, I'm not saying that MST3K is bad, I think it's great! It's just that when someone watches the show, and reviews the movie shown, they have no imagination of their own. I've read reviews for movies shown on MST3K that directly quote the show. The people have no new material to joke about and are confined to what Joel or Mike or Tom or Crow find funny because they cover everything in the movie.

    By now, you probably think that I hate the show, but you're wrong. I love it! I watch it every week. I think they bring justice to movies that need justice brought to. They make great jokes and really bring about a thrashing to some movies. But it's when people watch the show and they take a quote from the show, and claim it as their own, that is when I have a problem. Not necessarily with the show, rather with the people who have no independent thought. And they have no independent thought because you really can't joke about a comedy show. It's very hard to find something previously ignored by a show who's job is to find funny things out of every part of something it a movie. I mean, the guys on the show watch one movie at least half a dozen times a week in order to prepare for the actual taping. There are some movies they did that I would go insane watching that many times. Invasion of the Neptune Men was a personal hell for me, as was Hobgoblins (yeah, I really felt agony after watching that movie)

    At this point, I have been dodging around my main reason for writing this. I guess after all of this, I am really trying to say, ask, even beg people to get some independent viewing of a movie in order to honestly form an opinion about that movie. You need to find what YOU think is funny, what YOU think is stupid, what YOU think is goofy about said movie, without the help of anybody else. And if that means going out and renting the movie and watching it again, then so be it. You're opinion about the movie has to be yours and yours alone. You need an unspoiled viewing of a movie in order to get your true feelings about that movie.
  • THX--113828 June 2001
    Now THIS is funny.
    Many people are wise to the attraction of BAD movies - however poor they are you can sit and gasp 'WHAT WHERE THEY THINKING' or pull holes in the plot/acting/effects/continuity/script. Especially Sci-Fi. And, like myself, you probably rip the mickey out of said films whilst they are watching them. This show takes it one step further - and makes a GOOD job of doing just that for you! And the humour is ALWAYS spot on - so much so that during a recent showing of 'Overdrawn at the Memory Bank (1985)' I laughed so much I almost did SERIOUS damage to myself (and my underwear)!! I just wish this was shown more in the UK. Sci-Fi channel - come on!!! Put it on earlier so us non-vampires can see it! Top class comedy.
  • lmntathffan27 July 2005
    In my opinion, the greatest thing to ever happen to T.V.
    basic synopsis: Joel Hodgeson, along with his robots Tom Servo, Crow, and Gypsy, is held captive thousands of miles above the earth, in the satellite of love (S.o.L.), where he is forced to endure gruelingly bad movies. Joel, rather than succumb to the terrifying badness of the films, makes slapstick puns, which Tom Servo and Crow easily join in on. Joel also creates weekly inventions for Frank, the man who shot him into space. Inventions include the comic grinder, which mixes boring comics with other boring comics to create FUN!!! comics, i.e. "Ziggy got Garfield neutered?!? NOW THAT'S FUNNY!"

    Even after 10 seasons, the humor never ran down or let up. In fact, the only notable difference was the change in humor styling, from Joel to Mike. What happened, basically, was Joel either decided to quit, or was fired from, the cast of MST3K. His replacement was Mike Nelson, who did an equally good job commentating on movies. Anyways, where Joel brought a sarcastic, harsh tone to his humor, Mike gave more of an analytical, joke-by-comparison type of humor. It is very hard to explain, but you should understand once you actually view a couple of episodes.

    Overall, there were many decent episodes, such as those from the first season, which were really stepping stones for the MST3K crew to find their real footholds on the show. the jokes were less risqué', and the cast lacked it's flare. Nonetheless, the episodes were still worthy of watching. Titles include: The Crawling eye, the robot versus the Aztec mummy, and Mad Monster. Definitely not a bad group.

    However, the third season was where the MST3K really got things cookin'. This was the first season where MST3k appeared on Comedy Central, and it shows. Personally, this, along with season's five and ten, was my favorite season. The episode's were all great, every last one of them, and they all had the necessary emotion put into them. Titles include: Cave Dwellers, Santa Claus conquers the Martians, and fugitive alien. Must see!

    Finally, we have the fifth season. Half way through this season, something went wrong with Joel, and thus he was fired. So, starting with episode 514 (Mitchell) we were introduced to Mike Nelson. Do not take this statement the wrong way, this season was great! All of my favorite episodes were packed in here, and above all else, the season had the change that MSTies everywhere were looking for. Titles include: Eegah!, Mitchell, I accuse My Parents

    The only other episode I would like to remark on is Manos: The hands of Fate, which is considered to be the worst movie ever made, and, in my opinion, truly is. It is also a great episode, providing lots of hilarious gags, etc. Definite must see.

    Overall: MST3K is a 10/10 fa sho.
  • icehole411 April 2002
    Tragically cut down in the prime of life.
    It's sad that this series was cut so short - even though it lasted 11 seasons, they still had a mountain of stinky movies that they could have done. The ones they did do, however, really deserved it in most cases. One of the testaments of how good the series was is that even though it's not had any new episodes since 1999, the repeats on the sci-fi channel are still attracting fans. The premise is that an evil mad scientist has captured a guy, shot him into space and forces him to watch really bad movies, one a week. He's a test subject for finding the worst movie ever made and then the scientist will broadcast it into everyone's mind, causing their minds to collapse and then he would take over the world. Helping our hero out are two cobbled together robots he made. Maybe someday someone will make a 'next generation' type sequel to this series. I hope I can live to see it.
  • Maciste_Brother14 April 2007
    Who told these guys they're funny?
    I'm a big fan of "it's so bad it's good" movies (check my IMDb reviews). I've enjoyed watching them since I was a kid, even before the concept of bad movies a la Ed Wood became an "in" thing. Some bad movies are so beautifully bad that they're almost an art-form. Some films definitely deserve to be made fun of, like TERROR IN THE JUNGLE, DRAGON HUNT, NIGHTMARE WEEKEND, A NAME FOR EVIL, DON'T GO IN THE WOODS come to mind. But there are also big Hollywood movies which are as bad if not worse than the majority of obscure grade-z films.

    So as an avid fan of bad movies, I finally decided to watch several MST3K episodes and I never laughed at anything. Anyone can do funnier improvisational bits than these guys. In fact, drunk guys who know nothing about movies would be funnier than these guys.

    I watched the episode with THE CRAWLING EYE and it wasn't funny at all. The movie itself is not great but with so many bad movies out there, which are much worse than this, THE CRAWLING EYE didn't deserve to be made fun of. Some films are so bad unto themselves that add-libbing comedy bits to them is hardly a remarkable or a clever feat.

    This is the main problem with these guys. Not only they think they're funny, when in fact they're not, but they selectively choose certain films to make fun of, mostly old low budget movies, when big budget atrocities released by Hollywood, past and present, like THE PHANTOM MENACE or VAN HELSING, deserve more derision than these often forgotten or deservedly forgotten films. It's very easy to make fun of old movies if you're a snobby Fanboy. It's ironic that a low-budget show like this one can only afford low-budget films. Getting the rights of big budget films would be too costly so these poor unfunny comedians are stuck trashing films which are mainly public domain stuff.

    But there's something more disturbing about this show. It's the inherent elitism it reeks. Today's generation rarely watch old movies. There's so many disposable new films on DVD or cable, and so much specialty programming spoon-feeding these young viewers that this generation can hardly think outside the box when it comes to entertainment. When I was young, everyone watched old movies and as well as current films. There were just a few channels and we could watch something made in the 1930s as well as the 1970s or 80s. It wasn't unusual for me to watch a WC Fields movie one moment and then watch a brazen Blaxploitation film right after. Ask anyone under 30 who WC Fields is and probably no one would know who this comedian giant is. And it's not just about old movies, but TV shows, music, books, etc. A 20-something will see an old film on TV and immediately switch channels. We have an entire generation of moviegoers who don't even watch movies which are 5 years old, never mind one that is 40 years old, no matter how good or bad they are. And these MST3K guys feed into this massive generation gap, by trashing old movies mainly because, well, they're just old. For many, an old film = bad film. Just check the MST3K IMDb forum for examples.

    In the end, if you're a fan of bad movies, you don't need to watch MST3K to enjoy them. I certainly won't be watching this unfunny show anymore.
  • PlutonicLove14 August 2003
    Consistently brilliant, one of the finest shows of our time
    Living every pop-culture enthusiast's dream of talking back at the industry's bottom-of-the-barrel refuse, at least those samples they could get their fingers on, the marooned janitor Joel Robinson (Joel Hodgson) and his bots Tom Servo (first Josh Weinstein, then Kevin Murphy) and Crow T. Robot (Trace Beaulieu, later Bill Corbett) have, at least in the minds of their countless fans, been elevated to an almost Christ-like status of brilliantly witty, film-savvy martyrs. Forced to watch atrociously bad movie after atrociously bad movie, which they survive only through the use of their own biting and above all highly educated and sophisticated wit, they are identification figures for all of us suffering wannabe critics. From the lowbrow to the esoteric, no opportunity for a cutting remark is missed by these lovable rascals, who practically invented this new way of reviewing film. It's the dissatisfied moviegoer's commentary track, an option that should, in my opinion, be included on the DVD releases of pretty much all major blockbusters released today. After all, wouldn't we Mysties just kill for an MST3K treatment of the Bay/Bruckheimer movies or Lucas' prequel trilogy? I'd like to think so.

    Now for the development of the series: The KTMA years were still pretty sketchy and mostly unscripted, but did nevertheless successfully create the foundation of the show, firmly establishing its format. Though many of its episodes were forgettable, there were some true standout moments. One of these was their treatment of Sandy Frank's `Fugitive Alien' series, which would be repeated and perfected in MST3K's third season. The official first season was still not quite up to the quality we're so used to now, but it provided the show with some of its most memorable host segments and catch phrases, namely Servo's romantic infatuation with the ship's water cooler and `Hi-Keeba!'

    Season two to six represents the shows golden years, wonderfully covering many of the `Gamera' and `Godzilla' films, other Sandy Frank abominations like `Time of the Apes', many ambitious Bert I. Gordon and Roger Corman misfires, the Italian `Hercules' series and, of course, Hal Warren's classic `Manos: The Hands of Fate', still the most infamous of all MST3K movies (the wonderful Torgo became a memorable recurring character throughout the show).

    In the middle of the fifth season Joel Hodgson left the show and was replaced by the equally great Mike Nelson, who served as head writer all through the series. With the change of the host also came a change of the shows tone. Joel was an exceedingly amiable, pleasant fellow - a great balance to the scathingly sardonic Crow and pompous, overeducated Servo. Mike was still likable, but generally favored a much darker brand of humor. Thus, by the end of the 8th season, the show had become far less jovial in their treatment of the films, some comments being downright spiteful (for instance, the Canada song in `The Final Sacrifice').

    As for the villainous mad scientists, Dr. Forrester (again, Trace Beaulieu) and his assistant TV's Frank (Frank Coniff) were later replaced by Dr. Forrester's mother (the positively Dawn Frenchian Mary Jo Pehl) and her assistants, Professor Bobo (again, Kevin Murphy) and Observer (again, Bill Corbett). Needless to say, it was not really a worthy replacement, and the quality of the host segments decreased considerably. Nevertheless, MST3K still produced some incredibly funny episodes, on par with (if not superior to) the best of their early work. `Puma Man', `Space Mutiny', `Overdrawn at the Memory Bank' and `Prince of Space' are unarguable classic episodes I would not want to live without.

    All in all, an absolutely amazing show of quite consistent quality.
  • donjeffries1 July 2003
    Right On!!!!
    Simple concept, brilliantly executed. Three little shadows aiming poisonous barbs at unintentionally hilarious films, most of them 1950s-era sci-fi and horror turkeys. "I Accuse My Parents," "The Giant Gila Monster," "The Girl In Lovers' Lane," "Teenage Strangler," the list of my personal favorites could go on and on. The shows with Joel Hodgson were especially well-done, and one hopes that we will hear again from this very funny fellow. For unclear reasons, only the recent shows from the sci-fi channel run (the shows from the comedy channel run were far superior) are being re-run. One wishes that one of the myriad of cable and/or satellite channels would re-run the classic shows we know and love. Also, a nice set of DVD releases (unlike the cheap, single show DVDs which have been produced) would be welcomed.
  • NateW14 September 2002
    One of the few reasons I watch TV
    I feel that I am at a loss of words to describe how much I truly adore this show. It is pure genius and pure delight. I remember my first ever encounter with MST3K: It was five years ago and the featured movie of the episode was Hobgoblins. I had heard about the show but had never really had an interest in seeing it. I came across it channel surfing and decided to watch it for awhile. At that moment, I was forever hooked. Since then, I have seen every Sci-Fi era episode and roughly half of the show's Comedy Central days. I have been exposed to some of the worst movies in history, and I have loved every minute of it. When I found out that the show was ending its run of original episodes in 1999, I was devastated. Fortunately, Sci-Fi has kept re-runs of MST3K going every Saturday. My only complaint is that its not on enough. Rhino has made the wise decision to release select episodes of MST3K from the Comedy Central era on video and DVD, making the show readily available to a new generation of fans. Hopefully, someday every episode of the show's prestigious run will be released for human consumption, or at least it will go into wide syndication like many beloved TV classics. Until then, tune into the Sci-Fi channel every Saturday morning and witness a true work of genius in progress.
  • DragonMasterHiro16 July 2003
    Joel Hodgson is my idol.
    Warning: Spoilers
    The man had the best idea ever. Take the crappiest movies ever made and make a show all about making fun of them. It's the idea everyone else wish they thought of first because we all do it. Joel found the formula, and the perfect way to institute it. Not only that, but because he worked his way up from his initial KTMA studio days and then finally to Comedy Central. The show later on was adopted by the Sci-Fi Channel after Joel left the show. I haven't seen every episode and the show was on when I was a kid, so there is still a lot I don't know about.

    *POSSIBLE SPOILERS* I also love the premise of the show. You learn about the story in the theme song of the show. Joel Robinson works at Gizmonics Institute doing janitorial work, shipping, etc. His bosses, Dr. Clayton Forrester and TV's Frank, didn't like him so they took his red jumpsuit wearin' keister and shot him into space aboard the Satellite of Love. As part of their weekly experiments, they send him the cheesiest movies they can find and force him to watch. A man would go insane having to deal with that all by himself so makes a sacrifice. He can't control when the movie starts or stops because he uses the machinery to make robots. You've got Cambot, who's purpose is to film Joel as he makes his broadcast. Gypsy, the only girl robot aboard (aside from Magic Voice who is just a voice) who keeps the Satellie functioning. Tom Servo, the bubbly little gumball machine. And of course, the legendary Crow T. Robot made from gold parts, famously the bowling pin nose.

    I've never been a fan of Mike since his onscreen presence didn't have the same strength as Joel. Mike did a lot of appearances (Torgo, Morrissey, Steve "Hercules" Reeves) prior to taking over as the human. He didn't have great host segments, partially due to the loss of the invention exchanges (which was Joel's fault). I just didn't like the fact that someone took the reigns for Joel and that minor changes were made to the set. Mike did the great writing for the show but his words came out better through Joel, in my opinion.

    I think I first saw the show when I was 9 or 10 and just being floored by it. It was on at midnight on Comedy Central, and I would stay up late when I wasn't supposed to so I could watch it. I LOVED IT. I usually didn't make it for the full two hours but watching Joel and the 'bots was amazing to me. The first one I might have seen all of was "King Dinosaur". As time went on, I would tape all the episodes I could. I wanted to get a jumpsuit just like Joel's and I would run around making wisecracks I heard from the show. They released a few movies on tape through Rhino, namely "Catalina Caper", "Manos: the Hands of Fate" (CLASSIC), "The Gunslinger", "Side Hackers", and a few others as well as MST3K Shorts featuring different segments they performed. I'm waiting for them get more out. Other favorites of mine were "King Dinosaur", "Super Agent: Super Dragon", "Santa Claus Conquers the Martians", "Hercules Unchained", "Beneath the Ocean Floor" and "Eegah".

    It's truly priceless. Awesome series, I wish I could have helped work on it. Turn your lights down (where applicable) and have a Patrick Swayze Christmas.
  • erikwestby21 October 2004
    Amazing Success Story
    Far too many haters have posted, so I thought I might bring a little more

    enlightenment to the discussion.

    MST3K is simply one of the greatest success stories in the history of television. Why? Location. This show was created by a group (but primarily by Joel) of

    standup comedians tired of life on the road. So do they move to LA and beg for writing gigs on other people's shows like most comics have? No. They created their own jobs --- IN MINNEAPOLIS! (And how many of you in LA right now wish that you could have stayed home and made a career there? I work in TV & Film .... I know. I almost moved there myself before landing in SF.)

    And did these guys wait for a big network to pluck them from obscurity, install them in a fabulous Hollywood soundstage and give them a giant budget to

    create a pilot no one would ever see, but they could use it on their reel to get the next breakfast cereal commercial audition? NO. They built the show from

    scratch at a local TV station, honed an affordable concept over time, then

    proceeded to produce a nationally cablecast, critically praised television series from a warehouse in a Midwestern suburb for 10 YEARS! They made it work!

    They didn't sell out! They did what THEY wanted to do --- AND MADE A LIVING!

    What have you done? Where's your show?

    So, fan of the show or not, please respect what has been accomplished here. I personally think the show rates right up there with the Simpsons for jokes-per- minute. And the host segments are mostly "Good-Bad". (Especially classic bits like Joel as father-figure, making the Bots cry when he frightens them by reading excerpts from "Everything I need to know I learned in kindergarten" as a scary bedtime story. "Joel .... Make it stop!") But I have to admit that, having grown up in the Midwest, I probably got some of the local jokes that seem to cause you coastal people fits.

    But have we land-locked masses complained for the past 90 years when only

    New York and LA are represented in every single film and television series?


    Yes, Joel created the show and those of us who caught the series from the

    beginning will always like his shows better than Mike's. (I still can't watch M*A* S*H reruns post-Trapper John. I mean, did anyone think Mike Ferrell was

    funny? And I was just a kid at the time of the change. And what about the

    Darren switch on Bewitched?) But MST3K is not for everyone. It was never

    intended to be. If you don't like it, just walk away. Leave this little gem to those of us who do get it.
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