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Weekend Discussion Thread: Your Favorite Parody Host Segments

On Twitter, E. A. Bruce, aka @NeoMyers, asked:

Have you ever done a piece on favorite “genre-bending” episodes? Like “Last of Wild Horses”?

I assume what he means by “‘genre-bending’ episodes” are the ones where one or more host segments take a familiar convention, sci-fi or otherwise, and parody/satirize it. His fave is the “Star Trek” “Mirror, Mirror” parody in “Last of the Wild Horses.”

I’m going to pick an obvious one: the segment in “Fire Maidens of Outer Space” that parodies “Aliens.” “Uh, say, Crow? Could you please kill me?”

What’s your pick?

59 comments to Weekend Discussion Thread: Your Favorite Parody Host Segments

  • 1
    HauntedHill says:

    I actually enjoyed it when the Observers forced Bobo and Pearl into a duel to the death – with Bobo predictably getting the short end of the stick…. I hope this fits the theme, since the “2 characters forced to fight to the death” cliche is horribly overdone, and this skewers it nicely.


  • 2
    robot rump! says:

    the ‘general cinemas'(?) intro done in the 2nd host segment of ‘Teenagers from Outer Space.’


  • 3
    Rip McStudly says:

    “Previously on The Satellite of Love” is nothing but parodies, and it’s my all time favorite sketch on the show, right up there with “Hired, the Musical”.


  • 4
    DarkGrandmaofDeath says:

    For me, it’s the last host segment from Jungle Goddess, when they parody the ’50s sitcom style with “My White Goddess.” Joel is perfect in the title role; I love his wig and apron, and his delivery of the lame comedy lines is spot-on. And of course Crow and Servo are excellent in their supporting roles. There’s a show that could have lasted for at least 8 seasons!


  • 5
    Kenneth Morgan says:

    I’ll go with the “Mirror, Mirror” parody from “Last of the Wild Horses”. It’s not just funny, but it’s also pretty well-researched. And, with the segments featuring the Mads on the SOL, they were also parodying themselves.

    Honorable mention: “SOL Legends of Rock” from “Track of the Moonbeast”. A perfect send-up of “Biography”-type profiles.


  • 6
    Hollyhox says:

    Hmmm…I’m gonna go with the Invasion of the Body Snatchers host segments from Giant Spider Invasion, until I can think of one I like more!


  • 7
    GizmonicTemp says:

    The first one I think of is “Legends of Rock: The Band that Played ‘California Lady'”. This segment is so well-written and so well-executed that it exists on a level of genius.
    My normally lucid mind is clouded with Boulevard Double-wide IPA and Blooming Groundflower smoke, so I don’t remember the exact episode, but it’s the very first host segment where Mike and the bots “preview” new shows coming to local TV. One has Mike trying to revive Tom saying “I’m not gonna lose him!” and dressed a a detective and yelling “Don’t make me shoot you!” in another. Great stuff.


  • 8
    Fart Bargo says:

    Mike as James Lipton, “Whoopie Goldberg says you smell like apples, true?”.


  • 9
    Dr. Erickson says:

    Has to be the long send-up of terrorist bomber action movies from ‘Sinister Urge,’ when Frank (so easily influenced by the moving pictures) threatens to blow the living bejeezus out of the SOL. I love Frank’s cliche-ridden phone call: “You know, Nelson, you and I are quite alike.” The satire is still dead-on today because that genre hasn’t changed much.


  • 10
    Black Doug says:

    I can’t believe no one else has mentioned the children’s show parodies. Rompero!


  • 11
    Kenneth Morgan says:

    @Black Dog (#10)



  • 12
    Murdock Hauser says:

    The opening host segment in Swamp Diamonds where Crow and Tom are obsessed with the Star Trek episode Spock in Love.
    Also in Zombie Nightmare when Tom and Mike are dressed up like Batman and Robin to do Crow’s Batman play. When their ready to go Crow shows up with a sandwich and just makes fun of them.


  • 13
    GizmonicTemp says:

    Come to think of it, which host segments AREN’T parodies?

    Oh, any Deadly Bees was the episode I couldn’t think of in my post above.


  • 14
    dafs says:

    @Rip McStudly (3)



  • 15
  • 16
    trickymutha says:

    The whole PBS thing during ODATMB is the first thing that comes to mind. Love the bit about tote bags, and, Bobo with Border pop. I really like pie.


  • 17
    jaybird3rd says:

    I like the various parody moments in the “Laserblast” host segments: Servo’s James Doohan impression, the appearance of “Monad” (with a perfect voice by Jim), and of course, Mike as Kate Mulgrew as Captain Janeway, complete with wig and fake boobs. The “2001: A Space Odyssey” ending was the best of all, a fittingly epic farewell for Trace.


  • 18
    Bob Johnson says:

    My favorite would have to be the segment where Mike gets pounded by Finnegan from the Star Trek episode Shore Love, and then by Emperor Hadrian and Adrienne Barbeau, in The Thing That Couldn’t Die. This is the episode that introduces the Observers, and the whole episode works well as a Star Trek parody. Paul turns in two good performances, as Finnegan and as the annoying Observer observing M&TB close up.


  • 19
    sol-survivor says:



  • 20
    ready4sumfootball says:

    “A Joke by Ingmar Bergman” in The Sword and the Dragon. I’ve never actually seen an Ingmar Bergman movie, but I knew exactly who and what they were making fun of.


  • 21
    Smoothie of Great Power says:

    “Mike, I think it’s time we blew the lid off ‘Love, American Style!'”

    I laughed so hard the first time I saw that one, even more so than the, “Previously, on the Satellite of Love,” one.


  • 22

    The whole Richard Burton sketch from ‘Gamera Vs Guiron’ with Crow as Richard.
    “I wonder what the king is drinking tonight.
    I wonder if the king will get stinking tonight.”


  • 23
    Blowie the Dolphin says:

    I’ll take “Mike Nelson IS Lord of the Dance!:, from Jack Frost.


  • 24
    mst3ktemple says:

    Crow T. Robot’s Bram Stoker’s The Civil War from The Thing That Couldn’t Die.


  • 25
    Professor Gunther says:

    I might be off the mark here, but I have a soft spot for the Joel-era episodes in which the skits parody the movie itself. For me, the classic example will always be the “Are You Happy in Your Work” sketch (from I ACCUSE MY PARENTS, of course). I love watching Servo and Crow go back and forth with their trays, and of course the whole thing ends in chaos. The “I know” sketch (from DOUBLE 007) also comes to mind. Just superb, self-contained (parodic) humour.

    At the same time, I love ANY of Mike’s parodies — the Adam Duritz is PURE GOLD, for example, and I love for his Hugh Beaumont impersonations.


  • 26
    Flying Saucers Over Oz says:

    I guess someone should mention the PLANET OF THE APES sendup which gave us Professor Bobo and then refused to take him back…Smile


  • 27
    Professor Gunther says:

    I want to hone in a little on Mike’s Hugh Beaumont. Both sketches are just weird enough to be wholly original. The black-and-white painted set (in LOST CONTINENT), along with the cheap canned laughter (which appeared quite regularly in the early seasons) is just right for that sketch, and the entire set-up perfectly complements Mike’s ultra-calm delivery. Conversely, the second sketch (in HUMAN DUPLICATORS) relies almost wholly on Mike’s hilariously over-the-top performance. “Does she greet me wrapped in saran wrap and dressed in hi-heels? NOOOOO!!!!!” I can’t remember the rest of it verbatim, but Mike’s performance is fiercely hilarious. I was out of breath from laughter the first time I saw that.


  • 28
    Candy Lion says:

    So many good ones, but a favorite is the flawlessly-executed bearded city council sketch in THE MAGIC VOYAGE OF SINBAD. It’s so quick and crisp and witty and silly all at the same time–it satirizes the film itself, British Parliament (which is often quite funny in its own right), and city council meetings on public access. “Can I get some more water?!”


  • 29
    littleaimishboy says:

    Lots of great host segments named.

    But, sorry, I’m not understanding what “genre-bending” has to do with it. The “Mirror Mirror” parody (for example) is just that, a perfectly straightforward (and very funny) parody.


  • 30
    EricJ says:

    I assume what he means by “‘genre-bending’ episodes” are the ones where one or more host segments take a familiar convention, sci-fi or otherwise, and parody/satirize it.

    Huh?…Uh, by LotWH, I think he meant “Favorite conceptual-twist format episode”, like the ones we got in the Mike era, when they started gazing at their own navels because they couldn’t find an interesting enough movie.
    But since there aren’t enough of those, I’ll go with “Favorite Parody Segment” instead. Smile

    @2 – What 80’s moviegoer didn’t cringe to hear the General Cinemas “Popcorn in Space” theme done in its entirety? Grin


  • 31
    SOLDaria says:

    Given all the rest have been mentioned, and rightly so, I’ll throw in a vote for Timmy in general, since “evil doppelgangers” are another standard. “Oh we’re gonna kill you, alright!” I loved it so much I did a MiSTing that brought back Timmy for a Season 6 set story (and since it’s just a fanfic of a show and we should just relax, I described him as being voiced by Bill).


  • 32
    jaybird3rd says:

    I have this weird theory that Bill Corbett’s Sci-Fi era Crow actually was Timmy, who found his way back to the Satellite of Love and painted himself gold to impersonate Crow, while the real Crow was left floating in space as pure energy. His voice and movements seemed a little “off” in the early Season 8 shows because Timmy hadn’t yet learned all of Crow’s mannerisms. It changed the way I watch the Sci-Fi shows.

    But anyway … if we’re including host segments which parodied the movie, my favorite of those was the “re-enactment” of the recording session from “Pod People”. Pure comedic brilliance.


  • 33
    EricJ says:

    @32 – Aha, so THAT would explain why this new so-called “Crow” didn’t seem to know how to riff movies except to beat everybody else’s joke motifs six miles further into the ground after they stopped being funny–as if trying too hard to “blend in”–and who didn’t seem to know any jokes besides just reciting corny 70’s lyrics as dialogue….I knew there was something suspicious about that! Wink


  • 34
    Steve Vil says:

    Oh, definitely their take on “Invasion Of The Body Snatchers” which was quite quality.


  • 35
    BC says:

    I’m not sure I understand the topic fully either, but I’m going to concur with #20: “A Joke by Ingmar Bergman”, from The Sword and the Dragon. It’s not that it’s that funny, per se. It’s just that they fully committed to that thing; it’s four and a half minutes for what amounts to a silly pun. Since I’m a huge Bergman fan, I love the style of it all, but if you’re not familiar with his oeuvre, I can see how this would be a frustrating experience. But they went all the way with it, and for that I’ve got to commend them.


  • 36
    littleaimishboy says:

    Did this weekend discussion thread used to have a different title? Or have I just had too many LI Iced Teas?


  • 37
    Ern2150 says:

    My knee-jerk reaction was Janeway from Laserblast, but then I re read and saw it wasn’t “gender-bending.”


  • 38
    Droppo says:

    One word: Mystos!!!!!


  • 39
    Boucher says:

    The EricJ drinking game: take a shot every time he goes out of of his way to bad-mouth the Sci-Fi years!

    And @Ern2150: wouldn’t Mike-as-Janeway be the very literal definition of “gender-bending”? Grin

    Add me to the list of those liking A Joke By Ingmar Bergman. It does that thing where it stops being funny and just becomes boring, but circles back to funny again. And I always enjoy a lame pun, especially one so labored.


  • 40
    radioman970 says:

    Take THAT Love American Style! (so unexpected and random, gotta love it…)

    Invasion of the Body Snatchers… maybe my favorite host segments of the Sci-Fi years.

    The funky children’s show paraodies. o/ Now we know A and 3! Nooow we know A and 3! o/


  • 41
    goalieboy82 says:

    off topic (decide to put it here since the birthdays and deaths are change everyday) but mst3k fans of monty python need to put in there two weeks so they can see this:
    i know i am going.


  • 42
    JCC says:

    Hating on Mike, The Mike Era, Bill Corbett, Bill Corbett’s Crow and The Sci-Fi Channel Era makes Baby Joelsus cry.


  • 43
    Manos Bride says:

    @41 – Me too! I wonder if the concession stand will be serving Crunchy Frog?


  • 44
    goalieboy82 says:

    i can go for the Ram’s Bladder Cup myself.


  • 45
    mst3ktemple says:

    @39 – I also love the Joke by Ingmar Bergman and the length and pace IS the joke.


  • 46
    Geoff says:

    The Creeping Terror, where they make fun of Love American Style.


  • 47
    Happenstance says:

    I like the “Invasion of the Body-Snatching Zucchini Throwpillows” from The Giant Spider Invasion–it gives everyone a moment to shine, esp. Pearl losing her patience even after being assimilated, and Gypsy’s lullaby is hilarious–but my favorite (for SOME reason) remains the “Crash Landings Make You Languid, Helpless and Sex-Starved” spoof in and of Horrors of Spider Island. It just kills me to see Mike imitating the murmuring ladies in the movie…oh, hey, that’s a “gender-bender” of sorts! Mike sure did a lot of cross-gender bits…

    EDIT: Oh, wait! I also love the Recap! You know, the “last week on Mystery Science Theater 3000” opener, in which Mike and Gypsy have a romantic moment and Mike dramatically begs Crow not to make Mike kill him. Gold!


  • 48
    Happenstance says:

    Correction: It was “Previously on the Satellite of Love.” It was the opener for The Deadly Bees.


  • 49

    I understood last weekend’s SHADOWRAMA topic much better.

    Isn’t “genre bending” what the original Weird Tales Magazine (March 1923 – September 1954) would call a story that was NOT Lovecraftian but still accepted and published because the author was popular at the time?

    And as for the newer versions of Weird Tales Magazine, they would classify a story about a Cthulhu bartender as genre bending?

    Meanwhile, here’s a genre bending smiley. It is smiling, but it’s taking something from the world of hippo and bending the smiley genre to accept it as a fellow smiley.


    That’s all I got.


  • 50
    Sitting Duck says:

    Regarding post #30, a project I’ve always had in mind but have never gotten around to is to determine the ratio of host segments relevant to the movie to those that aren’t, both in totality and by host. I’m sure I’ll do it eventually, but I imagine there could be some takers who are up to exposing EricJ as an ignorant jackass once again. Razz


  • 51
    Huggybear says:

    Any of Crow’s sci-fi moments come to mind. Droppy the water droplet, Crow T. Robots Bram Stokers The Civil War, and my personal favorite Let’s Talk Women!………. Did you have any children? I don’t remember!


  • 52

    It doesn’t just have to be host segments — for instance, “Last of the Wild Horses” also featured Dr. F and Frank in the theater, which was fun. Similarly, Mike’s brother in Mike’s place on the Satellite in “Timechasers” and he’s also in the theater, too.


  • 53
    Joseph Klemm says:

    Three days in and no one had mentioned the Orville Redenbacher sketch from Godzilla vs. Megalon? For shame.


  • 54
    Ryan says:

    My favorite is probably the set of Ape World where we meet Bobo. Everything they did in that was BRILLIANT! But the fact they designed the set like a cheesy zoo exhibit kills me every time.

    As for more outright parodies, the Bar-B-Q Souce commercial was my favorite. IT’S BOOOLD!


  • 55
    Dan in WI says:

    Ryan #54> It’s not bold. It’s decidedly unbold.


  • 56
    radioman970 says:

    @54. Bold! oh yeah… I use that all the time.


  • 57
    RCFagnan says:

    Orville Popcorn sketch from Godzilla vs Megalon. The parody of VH1’s Behind the Music in Track of the Moon Beast is a close second.


  • 58

    One word: SODIUM.


  • 59
    Huggybear says:

    To: @33Ericj

    Your complete lack of any sense of humor only reaffirms to me that the sci-fi era episodes were more entertaining.