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Sampo & Erhardt

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Goodbye Sci-Fi

Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy and Bill Corbett reflect on MST3K's final broadcast.

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Weekend Discussion Thread: The Episode that Made you a MSTie

An exchange in another comment thread found “SaveFerris” coommenting on “Terry the Sensitive Knight’s comment about “the episode that made me a MSTie.” SF’s comment: “THERE’S your Weekend Discussion Thread, Sampo.

And so it shall be. Mine was “Women of the Prehistoric Planet. Hi-Keeba! I was never the same.

What’s yours?

81 Replies to “Weekend Discussion Thread: The Episode that Made you a MSTie”

  1. goalieboy82 says:

    but there was no episode that made me a MSTie.

       7 likes

  2. jay says:

    The Wild World of Batwoman –

    As I mentioned in yesterday’s TDIM the seance scene in Batwoman was one of the most WTF things I have ever come across while channel surfing. I had to find out what was heck was going on and after that I was hooked.

       6 likes

  3. jay says:

    jay:
    The Wild World of Batwoman –

    As I mentioned in yesterday’s TDIM the seance scene in Batwoman was one of the most WTF things I have ever come across while channel surfing.I had to find out what was heck was going on and after that I was hooked.

    That should read “what THE heck”. Darn smoochers and the lack of an edit button!

       4 likes

  4. duke of puddles says:

    ‘Godzilla v. Megalon.’ a friend of mine was going to college in Terra Haute and came back home blathering all about this great show. i thought he was just high or in shock from living in Terra Haute, then i stumbled across it thinking it was a regular G-man movie and the rest is well, you know.

       3 likes

  5. Sitting Duck says:

    Another vote for Wild, Wild World of Batwoman.

       4 likes

  6. skrag2112 says:

    My uncle sent my family a bunch of tapes featuring the Turkey Day marathon episodes back in the early 90s. The first full episode I saw was ‘Master Ninja I’, but the one that made me a MSTie was ‘The Beatniks’. We asked him to keep sending more tapes.

       4 likes

  7. DarkGrandmaofDeath says:

    Cave Dwellers is one of the first for me. Not only did it provide me with gorgeous Miles O’Keeffe pecs, but there was Thong and a John Saxony villain and a hang glider. The host segments were fun, the movie was easy on the senses, and I loved the humor immediately; the world made sense after seeing the Brains’ treatment of Ator and gang. I also have great memories of my son and nephew watching this episode and laughing so hard they fell off the couch. “So, do you live around here much?” “Hey, did you turn into an owl and back?”

       9 likes

  8. Ro-man, aka one of several possible Steves says:

    goalieboy82:
    but there was no episode that made me a MSTie.

    I’m with g-boy82; I wish I could point to a “conversion experience”, but I really can’t. I sort of drifted into the MST3K universe, watching when I could when it originally aired, but I honestly was never truly a religious fan until it grew on me over time.

       6 likes

  9. Keith Palmer says:

    I wouldn’t point to “a single episode” either, but only because, living outside the United States, I first became aware of the show through those old fanworks, the “MSTings.” The Movie was the first “official” product I managed to see (and with no standard of comparison, I was perhaps more positive towards it than conventional wisdom goes these days); after that, I rented “The Amazing Colossal Man” from a video store (wide-ranging enough to get its hands on that briefly available tape) and yet needed to move on to “Pod People” and “Cave Dwellers” (although I can’t remember which of them I saw first) before the third season was really clicking with me.

       3 likes

  10. Kevin Wallace says:

    For me it was Time of the Apes.
    This episode actually helped me learn more about myself!
    Such as why there were very important things in and around my life
    that I just didn’t care about.

       5 likes

  11. Murdock Hauser says:

    I’m in the same boat with, DarkGrandmaofDeath. Cave Dwellers was the episode that made my a fan. I picked up the VHS copy at a Sam Goody in January of 2000. I watched it so much the tape is scratchy. Can’t forget about the Rhino Home Video catalog commercial, (800)432-0020.

       5 likes

  12. I never saw the show on CC, we didn’t get it where I lived. And so the story begins…..

    I saw the bumper on sci-fi channel and my interest was piqued. But then I kind of lost track of when it was starting on sci-fi as I was planning to get married at the time and was quite busy. So I kind of lost track of it. Then, one morning, I was flipping channels at my grandmother’s house and I saw this odd little scene. Three silhouettes were at the bottom of the TV screen making fun of a b&w movie. It was the “map” scene at the beginning of The Deadly Mantis. And when Crow blurted out “you know what, screw you Greenland” I laugh.

    And my life has never been quite the same again…..

       10 likes

  13. pete_plums_drivers_license says:

    I was away on my third trip through grad school, and came back to visit one weekend. My fourth-grade son made me watch “Magic Voyage of Sinbad.” It was a nice, colorful, pleasant ep we could watch together.
    Shortly thereafter, one of my buddies graduated and went back to India, and told me that if I cleaned his apartment so he could get his deposit back, he’d give me his VCR. THAT’S what I wish I could remember, which was the first of a long series of MST’s that I taped.
    Since I was grad-school broke, the first several dozen tapes I made were recorded over a stack of used security-camera tapes I bought at a local thrift store. Now I’m circulating the torrents, behind a VPN, with everything so fully encrypted that Ahura Mazda couldn’t break in.
    And, “Whoa, she fell asleep on a cherry Sucrets” is still pretty funny.

       5 likes

  14. Yeti of Great Danger says:

    If I recall correctly — always an iffy proposition and getting worse — it was “Prince of Space.” My kids had finally started watching something other than cartoons on Saturday mornings and they were laughing so hard at this goofy movie with silhouetted puppets that I stopped what I was doing and joined them. Before long, it was a Saturday morning tradition to watch MST3K together while their dad made pancakes. And of course, we had to go back and watch older episodes whenever possible.

    A corollary to this WDT is “What made your best friend or significant other a fan of MST3K?” My husband did not care for the show at ALL for literally decades. Oh well, he made good pancakes (see above). It wasn’t until a few years ago that he humored me by going to the Rifftrax of “Sharknado” at the theater that everything finally clicked for him, and while he’ll never be the obsessive fan I am, we enjoy a lot of episodes together now.

       9 likes

  15. mando3b says:

    I had seen the silhouettes while channel surfing and was intrigued–I could tell it was a show where they made fun of bad movies–but I didn’t linger until after one of those unmemorable S(t)upor Bowls of the mid ’90s. It was “Kitten With a Whip”, of all things, and I don’t remember ever laughing so hard while watching TV. Then the following Friday, CC happened to run “The Magic Voyage of Sinbad”, and I laughed just as hard. The next thing I knew, I was obsessively recording eps on VHS tapes. And here I am today, with my robot figurines, my blue Gizmonics tee-shirt, my pile of DVD collections, and all those Steve Vance mini-posters, starting every day with Satellite News and spending my Saturday mornings obsessively crafting my responses to the latest WDT . . .

       7 likes

  16. mando3b says:

    One of the things that cinched it for me was how my then-little kids fell in love with MST as hard as I had. My daughter loved “Attack of the Eye Creatures” (!) and thought the ‘bots were cute. A few years later, I remember my son roaring with laughter at all the “Big McLargehuge” names in “Space Mutiny” and at Pearl baiting Brain Guy in the Roman-times dungeon. Then we got their cousin, my niece, hooked by showing her “Cave Dwellers”. She grew up a MSTie and made her fiance one, too. They were sooo jealous when I told them about the live show last fall in Portland . . .

       5 likes

  17. Colossus Prime says:

    I was a precious 13 years old when I stumbled upon Godzilla vs Megalon as I flipped through channels. And like so, so, so many people I thought it was weird that I was hearing additional voices as well as seeing weird shadows at the bottom of the screen. As I slowly figured out more and more about just what I was watching, I became more and more hooked. And I was all in by the end of the episode, starting to do all that I could to find out more about this amazing show.

       4 likes

  18. mst3kme says:

    Sampo picked up on that WDT idea fast! :-)

    I became a MSTie in 1993.

    It wasn’t a specific episode.

    Back then, Comedy Central liked and actually promoted MST3K.

    My cable service had just added CC and there was a (non Thanksgiving) marathon of several episodes of the show.

    The rest is history.

       5 likes

  19. cityofvoltz says:

    MST3K the movie, via VHS. With an assist given to Jack Frost. (via cable via VHS)

       8 likes

  20. yelling_into_the_void says:

    The first (partial) episode I saw was The Amazing Colossal Man back around 94.
    But we didn’t have cable back then, it was on the NBC affiliate at 2am, Sunday morning. Full episodes I remember seeing: Cave Dwellers and Pod People all four Hercules and both Godzilla movies. Parts of episodes: Stranded in Space, Teenagers from Outer Space and both Master Ninja episodes.
    I can’t remember if saw all of Tormented or if I fell asleep before the end…
    Then nothing for three years.
    Then in July 97 we got Primestar (now DirecTV), but I never saw Revenge of the Creature and only the very end of The Mole People

       4 likes

  21. Terry the Sensitive Knight says:

    I’ll say it again, I saw a rerun of Terror From the Year 5000 on Sci-Fi and was hooked

    “Furnace repairmen FROM THE YEAR 5000!!!”

       7 likes

  22. John Paradox says:

    Okay, the first I remember catching was POD PEOPLE. Trumpy did stupid things, and it stunk.

       6 likes

  23. Terry the Sensitive Knight says:

    damn lack of edit button

    anyway, I can quote that episode front-to-back, not to mention the Observers and their “When I Held Your Brain in My Arms” song, the battle to the death between Pearl and Bobo (not to mention her hilarious Shatner-esque speech at the end “For we… are human!”). The episode even mentions Pottawatomie Park from Mike’s hometown(and mine!). Just a great episode that really struck a chord with me.

    “Oh? You’re taking his side, are you?”
    “Well, I am sitting on his hand”

       3 likes

  24. Chazzzbot says:

    Unfortunately, I don’t remember which ep hooked me, maybe Manos? My sister and dad discovered it first and told me about it. I quickly became a ravenous taping fan. Some are my favorite memories are watching before gigs. I was in a metal clown band and the other guitarist and I would watch while we put on our make-up and the warm-up bands were playing. The rest of the band were up to shenanigans while we were probably having the best time. Then, at curtain time, we would strut in like rock stars, our heads full of rich mystie goodness. Nerds!

       3 likes

  25. IR5 says:

    Terror from the Year 5000. I had heard of the show, but, did not have CC. In 1997 oldest son and I were channel surfing on a March night- saw M&TB in the corner and started watching. Laughed so hard can’t remember. When the Observers sang “When I held your Brain in my arms” I was hooked. (what with my Dad being such an Ink Spots fan- I was impressed). Went on to discover Joel episodes (VHS at FYE) and the obsession got deeper. To this day.

       5 likes

  26. I’ve always been a bad movie fan (well maybe not in the womb) going back to Teenagers from Outer Space, Stranded in Space, and every sort of monster movie. I even went to the Piranha-con at Texas A&M when I was a student there. Come the 90s I was vaguely aware of MST, but was too cheap to pay for cable, so never actually watched it.

    In the mid-2000s my kid found an episode on VHS at the public library. It was Manos: The Hands of Fate. The other episode they had was Red Zone Cuba. That led us to RiffTrax, but it was just a mild infatuation. I’d catch portions of the occasional Turkey Day Marathon, but it seems I always tuned in just in time to see Manos again.

    It was only after The Return that I really had a transformation. In the search to find a place to discuss it I stumbled across Satellite News, and started seeing references to TICSWSLABMUZ, “It stinks”, and “there was no monster.” It was only after I discovered that so many of the great episodes were available on ShoutFactoryTV that I really became a fanatic. So maybe you could say that my real life changing episode was Reptilicus. Or Avalanche, which is when I made my first post on Satellite News. Or maybe Robot Holocaust, which was my first Shout Factory TV episode, after which I resolved to see all of them.

    I’ve now run through everything on Netflix* and ShoutFactoryTV*, and am working through the ones that are only available on other assorted sources. Only 53 to go. Next up: The Mole People.

    * Disclosure: I still haven’t been able to stomach Hamlet and I Accuse My Parents.

       5 likes

  27. edward says:

    I was taking a film appreciation class in college and during the films the two guys sitting behind me would riff on them the whole way through. Thanks to them I laughed at “Blue Velvet”, not exactly a laugh riot on its own. I remembered the CC ads for MST3K and thought, “hey it’s like those guys in class” and gave it a shot. First episode was “Ring of Terror”. It’s not well regarded but I cracked up and was hooked.

       3 likes

  28. Terry the Sensitive Knight says:

    Endoplasmic Reticulum: * Disclosure: I still haven’t been able to stomach Hamlet and I Accuse My Parents.

    “Is that Hamlet?” “No, that’s his friend Riblet”
    “IT’S MY BIRTHDAY TOMORROW!!!”

    The only episode I don’t have much desire to see again is The Girl In Lover’s Lane, not only is the movie depressing but J&TB let it get the better of them. (also High School Big Shot, another absurdly depressing film)

       4 likes

  29. Jason Davis says:

    Mine was in the first season in early 1990. robot monster was the movie. The first joke i laughed at was Joel said what is scary about something that looks like a college mascot. Crow says Texas a&m for ape and monster, and then Joel crabs crow and crow said just a joke.

       3 likes

  30. GreenLuthor says:

    All it took was seeing The Robot vs. the Aztec Mummy (i.e., the first episode aired nationally) the first time it was aired.

       3 likes

  31. DarkGrandmaofDeath says:

    Endoplasmic Reticulum:

    * Disclosure: I still haven’t been able to stomach Hamlet and I Accuse My Parents.

    Terry the Sensitive Knight:
    “Is that Hamlet?” “No, that’s his friend Riblet”
    “IT’S MY BIRTHDAY TOMORROW!!!”

    The only episode I don’t have much desire to see again is The Girl In Lover’s Lane, not only is the movie depressing but J&TB let it get the better of them. (also High School Big Shot, another absurdly depressing film)

    Sampo’s Theorem in action! That’s why it’s great to have such a range of MSTied movies.

       3 likes

  32. Joel Lillo says:

    I started watching in the first season and had been enjoying it, but not obsessing over it. When Untamed Youth debuted, though, it just floored me. The “at least they’re not unBATHED youth” riff early in the movie got me hooked. It was the first episode I taped and I taped every episode from that point on.

       4 likes

  33. Prez Gar says:

    Robot Holocaust. It wasn’t even the full episode. No short, no host segments. My sister got it from a friend of hers who had Comedy Central when we did not. I made my own copy of it, and watched it many times. It was quite a while before I ever saw a full episode. Which was a Cable Ace Awards weekend, so Lifetime of all channels was showing nominated shows from other channels. They showed Cave Dwellers, which was my first exposure to the Mads.

       3 likes

  34. Larry P says:

    There are two specific instances that I can definitively point to as ‘the’ moment(s) in which I fully jumped on this ride.

    Backstory: I never watched the show on Comedy Central. I *may* have seen fleeting glances while channel hopping or whatever, but I wasn’t really aware of MST3K until it moved to Sci-Fi. At around 10/11 years old, I was already a movie buff, with a special penchant for old horror and science fiction films. Good, bad, didn’t matter; I ate them all up. So, when Sci-Fi had THE DAY THE WORLD ENDED scheduled, I took note and tuned in. The TV Guide listing made no mention of the fact, but this wasn’t *just* that silly 50s movie; it was also MST3K: THE HOME GAME, the “episode” that allowed fans to riff the film themselves via Sci-Fi’s website (they were text riffs that appeared over the M&TB-less theater seat silhouettes) – all while behind-the-scenes footage of the actual MST3K featured during the commercial breaks. It was interesting, and coupled with the promos for the show proper that were in heavy rotation on the channel, MST3K was at least now on my radar.

    Still, in those early months of our show on the channel, it was really more about the movie for me, believe it or not. I ‘got’ the concept, but still only occasionally payed attention to when the it was on, mainly when the movie sounded particularly interesting. “THE UNDEAD? That sounds like zombies!” (Obviously I was just going by title there, and actually, I just took note of it in TV Guide; I didn’t even end up watching the episode.) “THE DEADLY MANTIS? It looks like Godzilla but with a, erm, mantis!” And so on and so forth.

    But here’s the thing: the more I tuned in, the more I realized it wasn’t JUST about these cheesy movies; these guys were also FUNNY! REALLY funny! At 11 years old, obviously there were jokes that flew completely over my head, but I got enough of them to understand just how fantastic this all was. (Indeed, as I’ve gotten older and practically grown up with the show, jokes or sometimes even entire episodes that didn’t grab me years ago will now hit all the right notes, simply because I, uh, know more nowadays. Go figure!)

    However, the two specific “THAT’S when I became a full-fledged MSTie” moments I can cite are these:

    The first was the initial airing of 810 – THE GIANT SPIDER INVASION. May 31, 1997. Even though I came into the episode late, everything about it still just hit me right. It was incredibly funny, the movie was ridiculous but also, to me, intriguing (yes, the constant sense of discovery regarding new old flicks shown has never really left me), and heck, even just the fact it was in COLOR was an eye-opener! (Remember, I was 11 and discovering all this for the first time; I didn’t even know they were ALLOWED to run color movies until SPIDER came along!) I was hooked by the whole experience in a way no previous episode had hooked me.

    While that may sound like the defining moment, the second, which was just a week later with 811 – PARTS: THE CLONUS HORROR on June 7, 1997, I also see as just as important – maybe even more so. This was the first episode where MST3K, was without a doubt, “appointment TV” for yours truly, simply for the sake of it being MST3K. It was a bright sunshiny day out, I had been playing outside in the backyard, but I made it a point to stop all activities when it came time for the show, which is exactly what I did. Everything that struck me about the week before hit me even harder this week. And CLONUS, even at that young age, I found it thought-provoking, to the point that a year or two later I made it a mission to find it un-MST’d on VHS (since it was way out-of-print by then, this wound up becoming my first step into the world of used video collecting). After that episode aired, I knew, KNEW, that I was an MSTie, even though I didn’t know it in such terms just yet.

    So, however you look at it, either 810 or 811 was my “MSTie making moment.” Either way, from there on out, there was no doubt, “yeah, this is MY show.” Later came the the Rhino tapes, and the ACEG, and the movie, and joining the info club, etc. etc. etc. But to me, it really all starts proper with that two week period back in 1997.

       8 likes

  35. Our provider was a year slow in getting the original Comedy Channel (back in its HBO-clip days as the Beetlejuice Channel), but TV Guide had a preview article of all the shows airing on the network–Ie., six CJ’s (you probably remember Higgins Boys & Gruber, but let’s see who remembers Tommy Sledge or Rachel Sweet) and a goofy local monster-movie host from Minnesota, that looked as funny as USA Network’s Commander USA, only with a sci-fi setting.

    Weekends were fun in the early primeval mid-late-80’s days of cable, because networks would appear and disappear at random, and your channel would scramble the lineup every few months on a weekend, and leave you clicking channels to literally figure out what you were watching.
    When I turned on a clip of Beetlejuice (“Can you be scary?” “Whadda you think of this?” *BLARRG!!*), I realized the provider had finally picked up the Comedy Channel–And later, while sampling kids’ Friday-night channel-clicking, happened upon our Robot Holocaust heroes on their way to the Power Station: “Hey, it’s the Kids from Fame!” “Now where is that city??”
    The heroes stop long enough to take a ring off a skeleton, and:
    Servo: “‘The secret compartment of this ring I fill, with a super-power energy pill.'”
    Joel: “‘Thanks, Shoeshine, you’re humble and skeletal.'”

    …That did it. Now I had something ELSE to watch on late Friday nights besides Commander USA. :)

       5 likes

  36. grandma blob says:

    I was already MSTied, but it was the Turkey Day version of Night of the Blood Beast that made me a fan for life. Comatose on the couch after a huge Thanksgiving meal, enjoying a piece of pie and yet another glass of wine, I was in tears as the guys launched a non-stop attack on the blood beast, via parrot squawks and words. It seemed they were laughing as much as I was at the ludicrousness of it all. Best Thanksgiving day ever!

       5 likes

  37. InvaderPet says:

    “Prince of Space” for me.

       3 likes

  38. privateiron says:

    The log ride from “Day the Earth Froze.”

       4 likes

  39. Lawgiver says:

    Saw snippets of various episodes, but first episode was “The Mole People”; while it was very funny and is in my top ten, it was “Prince of Space” that made me a MSTie.

       2 likes

  40. Mibbitmaker says:

    I was already looking for a way to get into B movies during the late ’80s-early ’90s when I finally got my own cable TV in 1991. Going to Comedy Central (for comedy, and esp. old SNLs), I saw promotions for a show featuring old B movies. It was perfect that it was riffing them, plus the host being that stand-up comedian I really liked on Eddie Murphy era SNL, plus those robot puppets and the mythology setting up the premise, and how funny and weird it was. But actually seeing a full show was what made it all click. Being a ’60s exploitation flick helped, too (even if it got dark and violent as it went on), which is how “Side Hackers” was the episode that made me a megafan. It was also an added bonus that the first Turkey Day marathon was coming soon…

       5 likes

  41. Stiiv says:

    For me, it was “Robot Monster”. I had seen it before, & riffed on it mercilessly with my friends back in the 80s.

       1 likes

  42. I would have to say it was like the 2nd episode my family and I ever saw when we first came across this show, “Riding with Death”.

       2 likes

  43. Gorto says:

    Gamera Vs Guiron: “Gamera is really neat, he is filled with turtle meat”

       3 likes

  44. pete_plums_drivers_license says:

    …and as a companion piece, how about a WDT, “After I saw them all, if I’d seen THIS one the first time I tuned in, I probably never would have come back”?

       5 likes

  45. The Great Crowdini says:

    My first MSTie moment happened as I was sick as a dog!

    While channel surfing in bed, I happened upon the part in “Jack Frost” where Baba Yaga is stuffing Ivan into the oven.
    The entire exchange between those two characters, from roasted nuts, to shovel handle love, and then the silly reversal of Baba in the oven and the Ent gang fleeing to Wacky Sax had me hooked and wanting more!

    I play this episode on the bad snow days when its colder than a polar bear’s butt and the dogs stick to the fire hydrants.

    Bye Bye!

       4 likes

  46. wintermute2_0 says:

    I had just moved to Minneapolis in 1995 and I caught one of the abbreviated “Mystery Science Theater Hour” episodes on a local station. I believe the movie was “Amazing Colossal Man.” The riffing had me in tears and I’ve been hooked ever since.

       4 likes

  47. jay says:

    “THE RIGHT PEOPLE WILL GET IT”

    I already liked the show when I first read this quote from Joel, but after that I decided that I wanted to be one of “the right people”.

       3 likes

  48. Torgover says:

    Mine was the first episode I ever saw, Projected Man, when it first aired.

       2 likes

  49. SaveFerris says:





    As much as I LOVE this show, I have absolutely NO idea which episode may have been the one that changed me from just a casual observer of the oddly enchanting cowtown puppet show, I just happened to stumble across one Saturday morning on Comedy Central sometime back in the very early 1990’s, to someone who VERY quickly realized that this was now “appointment television”.


    Since I don’t remember ever having seen any of the Josh Weinstein episodes during their original run, I’m sure it was probably a season 2 show, so…….if anybody cares to choose one FOR me, PLEASE, feel free !!


    Me, I don’t necessarily care WHICH episode it was that eventually got me to this point, I’m just glad that it did !!

       4 likes

  50. Lawgiver says:

    SaveFerris:




    As much as I LOVE this show, I have absolutely NO idea which episode may have been the one that changed me from just a casual observer of the oddly enchanting cowtown puppet show, I just happened to stumble across one Saturday morning on Comedy Central sometime back in the very early 1990’s, to someone who VERY quickly realized that this was now “appointment television”.


    Since I don’t remember ever having seen any of the Josh Weinstein episodes during their original run, I’m sure it was probably a season 2 show, so…….if anybody cares to choose one FOR me, PLEASE, feel free !!


    Me, I don’t necessarily care WHICH episode it was that eventually got me to this point, I’m just glad that it did !!

    OK, how about “Lost Continent”?

       1 likes

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