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Weekend Discussion Thread: What Set You Up to Become a MSTie

Alert reader Jay suggests:

Was there something in your past that primed you to become an MST3K fan? For me it was a local Friday late night show called “Project Terror” — “Where the scientific and the terrifying emerge.” The shows which years later were fodder for Mystery Science Theater were new to me in our dark, late-night living room with the sound on our Zenith TV turned down low so Mom could sleep. How about you, or are you just a natural born MSTie?

In Philadelpbia is was Doctor Shock’s “Fright Flicks,” But even more it was my brother Curt’s fascination with monster movie of all kinds. It was one of the few things we both liked.

What about yoou?

56 Replies to “Weekend Discussion Thread: What Set You Up to Become a MSTie”

  1. Professor Gunther
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    says:

    For me it was Bob Wilkins’ Creature Features, which ran in the San Francisco Bay Area in the seventies and into the eighties. I was ten or so when I discovered the show, and even then I instinctively understood where Wilkins was coming from. The skull dripping with candle wax, the blonde hair and horn-rimmed glasses, the cigar. I totally got it, and he interviewed Christopher Lee, too.

       5 likes

  2. Cornjob
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    says:

    Elvira and Movie Macabre more than anything else, but I was a fan of monster and B-movies growing up and there were a few other hosts movie hosts I watched some. I vaguely remember someone called something like Commander USA who hosted Sci-Fri Movies and Monster Saturdays or something like that. I also remember being a fan of a local radio personality who called himself the Green Gopher and pretended to give aerial traffic reports while using super powers to fly. “This is the Green Gopher swooping and swirling over Highway 101…”

       5 likes

  3. GR Robertson
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    says:

    We had nothing like this in the UK. Occasionally BBC2 would do a late Saturday night double bill of a Universal then a Hammer film and also a season of SF films but always the same ones (Forbidden Planet, Day The Earth Stood Still). You had to hunt to find the turkeys !!

       3 likes

  4. Scott Armstrong
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    There was a local creature feature guy in my area named Wolfman Jack. But I can’t say he influenced me that much. It was more that I simply loved old b&w monster movies, and Godzilla movies, and dopey old rocket ship movies. I guess you could say I was born to be a Mstie.

       6 likes

  5. courteous martians
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    says:

    In SE KS there was a show on Saturday night called Dimension 16 that showed cheesy movies. My friends and I never missed it, we used to riff the movies and endlessly repeat certain lines to ourselves. “And then…. I ate them!” from Attack of the Mushroom People’s final scene was one of our favorites. I’ve always thought Mushroom People would have been ideal for MST.

       2 likes

  6. Keith Palmer
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    If anything did it for me, it was reading old copies of “The Golden Turkey Awards” and “The Fifty Worst Films of All Time” in my local library when I was young (for all that I later became conscious of complaints those books weren’t quite in the hard-to-define “MST3K spirit.”) This “exposure through print” might even have tied into how I spent a lot of time around the turn of the millennium reading MSTings, with the show itself not quite within reach for me… and I have to admit it snuck up on me and seemed a profound revelation that “these cheesy movies make their own contributions to the humour; it’s not just a matter of ‘looking down, however cleverly, on a pop culture proclaimed generally dissatisfying.'”

       4 likes

  7. Torque the Dorque
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    My brothers and I were riffing Gamera and Godzilla flicks back in the 60’s. We got to the point where we were running around in a lab coat and black horn rimmed glasses over acting the urgency of the scientists and the squeaky kids voices. Special effects, script, editing etc. were all fodder for our riffing. I guess you could say that I found a kindred spirit in MST3K and a NBM.

       3 likes

  8. skrag2112
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    For me, there were the local creature feature shows on St Louis television: Saturday Night Shocker on Channel 11 comes to mind.
    Strangely enough, in the early 1980s, my dad, brother and myself went to see this movie called ‘The Sword And The Sorcerer’ at a local theater. It turns out we were the only ones in the audience. Three people, watching a cheesy movie, in an empty theater. I can’t recall if we made riffs out loud, but its strange how prophetic this was.

       3 likes

  9. Yeti of Great Danger
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    Hmmm, not really, other than liking to watch old movies on local channels on Saturday afternoons: Them!, Mothra, Dracula, and so on. Besides monster/scary ones, we liked funny ones like the old Marx Brothers comedies, so I did gradually get an ear for punny and then-pop-culture-reference jokes. Not very interesting, sorry.

       1 likes

  10. Mibbitmaker
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    says:

    A few things, starting with discovering MAD magazine which, of course, satirized many things, including movies. By the later 1970s I was able to get old MADs, and one of them parodied a movie called “Marooned” (“Moroned” in MAD)…

    Also in the late ’70s, we were watching a TV movie (don’t remember what movie, but I think David Soul was in it), and my step siblings and I were making fun of it… until everyone started legitimately getting into it.

    By the early ’80s, I was really enjoying a prop comic who had a couple appearances on SNL. Future creator of some kind of snarky puppet show…..

    Ultimately, it was a couple shows around the late ’80s that substituted jokey dialogue for the real thing in B movies that made me want to get into B movies somehow… leading into getting cable, and Comedy Central, at my own place…

       6 likes

  11. Endoplasmic Reticulum
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    My first monster movie, when I was about five, was King Kong. The original, with Fay Wray. My parents had gone out leaving my sister in charge. That movie scared the crap out of me.

    A couple of years later I tuned into the middle of a Saturday afternoon monster movie. It had guys in these weird jumpsuits, and they had a ray gun that could blast anything down to the bare skeleton, even in a swimming pool, and later they had this giant lobster. This obviously was a different kind of monster movie. I spend decades watching lousy movies on TV, hoping it would come around again so I could figure out its name. (Remember, this was before Yahoo and Alta Vista became the force in our lives that they are now. Wait a minute, that’s not right.)

       4 likes

  12. mando3b
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    All of the above! I was born to be a MSTie. As a kid in the ’50s & ’60s, I devoured monster movies, cheesy Japanese movies like Gamera and The Salamander Men of Neptune, and all the rest. WGN in Chicago showed movies of this sort every Monday afternoon, and I would rush home from school and watch. The more ridiculous they were, the more I liked them. If I was alone, I’d riff to myself. If my sister was with me, we would moan at the corniness together and riff back and forth. The occasional good film–like Them!–was greatly appreciated, and served as a benchmark to judge the bad ones by. In the early ’60s at some point, Fleer (I think) introduced a set of trading cards that were nothing more or less than single MST3K riffs on cardboard. I had close to the whole set. (The only one I can remember is from The Creature from the Black Lagoon: some John Agar-type hero is launching a desperate attack on the Creature, with the caption “I’m so mad I could slap your wrists!”) Revell or Monogram released a series of scale models of various movie monsters: I built the Creature, Frankenstein, Dracula, and many others. Of course, my friends and I loved going to the theater to watch newly-released cheese. (I saw Gorgo when it first came out, and marveled at the sight of a non-Tokyo city unexpectedly getting the works from an anonymous actor in a rubber dinosaur suit.) My college years featured many late-night chemically-enhanced home riffing sessions with friends. (Non-stop riffing, too, since the ads were also fair game.) Then there was Elvira (my own true love! sigh . . . ), and countless local creature-feature shows. Discovering MST3K was like finally coming home to a loving family after years of wandering in the wilderness. From the first, I felt like I had known these people all my life. I felt an instant bond with these fellow Midwesterners whose sense of humor was in the same language and style I had grown up with.

       6 likes

  13. Professor Gunther
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    Yeti of Great Danger–I disagree! Watching old movies on local channels on Saturday afternoons strikes me as both interesting as well as one foundation for an appreciation of the show. Joel has said that he watched too much television as a child and it paid off. Interestingly (or not), I stopped watching television when I went to university, and I’m never sorry I did, even as I’m glad I watched too much of the stuff growing up since it primed me for MST3K, which I did not discover until graduate school. Also, unless I am completely mistaken, watching old movies on local channels on Saturday afternoons is kind of a thing of the past. (Or am I WAY OFF about that? I might be!)

       4 likes

  14. Kenotic
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    Mad Movies on Nick at Nite was one of the funniest things when I was 10 – they took old (usually public domain) movies and dubbed their own lines into them. The highlight episode was probably Shirley Temple’s The Little Princess — where they re-imagined her as a demon-possessed child a la The Exorcist.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eZ9DDMf5WvU

    When I was a few years older I found MST during its short run on syndication and it was all downhill from there.

       7 likes

  15. Blonde Russian Spy
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    This is so bizarre. When I was a kid there was a syndicated educational series for children that I believe was created by local station WJXT. It was obviously inspired by The Electric Company, but instead of creating their own skits they showed episodes from a 1930s serial, The Vanishing Shadow (I wish Rifftrax would do that one). They’d stop the film at various times and put text on the screen, which a narrator would read. The one bit that stuck in my head was at a point where a car was about to go off a cliff. They stopped the film, and the narrator asked something like “How many cars have been destroyed in this series? A) 1, B) 3, C) we’ve lost count, there’ve been so many!” I was like “What???” Here were adults on TV making fun of their own show! It was strange, but I loved it! I don’t think the show was listed in TV Guide, so it was hard to find, but I could find it on Saturday afternoons occasionally. I checked it out every chance I could, and when it went away it stuck in my mind – until MST3K came along. It took about 15 years, but in a sense it finally came back.

       4 likes

  16. michaelkz
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    I’m not sure. All I know is that I found the tail end of the reruns on Comedy Central when our cable company finally that channel and I was hooked.

       1 likes

  17. eegah
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    says:

    Elvira, for one. My favorite jokes were when she pointed the flaws in the movie. One particular memory is a scene in a movie where a character picks up a brick to fight with, one that was in an improbably convenient location, without even looking.

    In the late 80s when I was in college, there was a movie that epitomized “funny-bad” called “Hard Ticket to Hawaii”. It would play late on one of the movie channels (probably “Skinimax”). Everything was hilariously bad about that movie, except the gratuitous R-rated nudity. My roommates and I loved that one. It was so easy to riff on.

    There was some other show that would dub hilarious alternate dialogue over old movies. That was pretty good, too. I can’t remember the name.

    But, in general, I’ve always gotten a laugh out of corny dialogue, scientific/logic errors, and plot holes in movies. I remember laughing my a** off at Commando, The Specialist, and Along Came a Spider (and others that I can’t remember, I’m sure). I wish Rifftrax would riff those.

       4 likes

  18. Chazzzbot
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    As a kid, I taped Joel’s performance on SNL and watched it over and over. I still sing, “We’re cousins . . . identical cousins . . .” more than I should. Loved it! There was also a local channel in Fresno that would play monster & sci fi movies on Saturday morning. One of my favorites was The Green Slime. Obviously, this was destiny!

       3 likes

  19. Yeti of Great Danger
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    says:

    Professor Gunther:
    Yeti of Great Danger–I disagree!Watching old movies on local channels on Saturday afternoons strikes me as both interesting as well as one foundation for an appreciation of the show.Joel has said that he watched too much television as a child and it paid off.Interestingly (or not), I stopped watching television when I went to university, and I’m never sorry I did, even as I’m glad I watched too much of the stuff growing up since it primed me for MST3K, which I did not discover until graduate school.Also, unless I am completely mistaken, watching old movies on local channels on Saturday afternoons is kind of a thing of the past.(Or am I WAY OFF about that?I might be!)

    Thank you, Professor Gunther. Your comments mean a lot to me and have cheered me up today. Not having a particularly good week, so per last week’s WDT, I’m planning on an MST ep to work its comedy magic tonight. :-)

       4 likes

  20. goalieboy82
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    says:

    this is on in my area:
    http://monstermadhouse.com
    we use to have (i dont think i ever watch him) this:
    http://www.countgore.com

       1 likes

  21. goalieboy82
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    says:

    GR Robertson:
    We had nothing like this in the UK.Occasionally BBC2 would do a late Saturday night double bill of a Universal then a Hammer film and also a season of SF films but always the same ones (Forbidden Planet, Day The Earth Stood Still).You had to hunt to find the turkeys !!

    its call Doctor Who (and Blake’s 7)

       0 likes

  22. Stump Beefknob
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    Like Professor Gunther, I enjoyed Bob Wilkins Creature Features on KTVU 2 and cable channel 40. “Attack of the Killer Barbecue” was a short made by high school kids, I believe, that showed me just how entertaining poorly produced films can be!

       3 likes

  23. LoneZombie
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    says:

    My influences have mostly been mentioned by others: Bob Wilkins’ Creature Feature and Captain Cosmic (still have my membership card!), Mad magazine, and Mad Movies (especially their take on Night of the Living Dead). No one has mentioned Dyna-Man from Night Flight in the 80s, though. There were 3-4 episodes of a Power Rangers type Japanese kids show someone re-dubbed with new dialogue. Those really hit my funny bone.

    A lot of my favorite riffs on MST, Cinematic Titanic, and RiffTrax are where they give the characters new dialogue, especially if it totally changes the direction of the plot or the personality of the character. Those types of riffs remind me of the re-dubbed shows like Mad Movies and Dyna-Man. I’d love to see more completely re-dubbed movies, to be honest.

       2 likes

  24. LoneZombie
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    says:

    eegah: Hard Ticket to Hawaii

    Thank you for the “Hard Ticket to Hawaii” recommendation! I just checked Amazon and the Director’s Cut is being released on Blu-Ray on April 16th for $12. Pre-ordered!

       1 likes

  25. mando3b
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    Do any of you remember Fractured Flickers? It was a syndicated show hosted by the then-ubiquitous Hans Conried in which they took silent movies and added “fractured” dialogue and narration that ranged from silly to absolutely hilarious. Very MST-like, before its time. Each show ran for 30 min., there was one longish segment preceded by shorter snippets. Some themes recurred from week to week. Hans C. offered short intros and some dry, tongue-in-cheek, commentary. One bit I recall was very much like Catching Trouble: big-game hunters “bravely” tracking down animals; at one point a ferocious beast is trying to escape up a tree, making the sounds of a whimpering baby as the narrator goes on about how ferocious it is and how courageous the hunters are! There was a catchy theme song, and an intricate cartoon opening that involved standard silent-film characters ducking in and out of doors that eventually spell out the show’s title. Anyway, that was another favorite growing up that set me up to be what I am today! ;)

       7 likes

  26. jay
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    says:

    Cartoons and Commercials –

    Joel and The Brains made countless references to commercials and cartoons which struck a personal chord for me. I was young when my dad died and Mom had to work, so the TV was the center of a lot of my childhood hours as was already mentioned by some. Rocky and Bullwinkle, Jonny Quest, even Speed Racer, that early introduction to Japanese cartoons, were all on. Commercials for Mattel, Stingray bikes, and Matchbox cars. An endless parade of Saturday morning merchandising which left my brother and I with desires for things that our limited family budget would not allow, though we did get an occasional box of Cap’n Crunch thanks to which I still sport a couple of old dental crowns. Marvel the Mustang? Not so much, but the highlight of my tenth Christmas was getting a Man From Uncle fake camera that converted to a pistol with the push of a button. Pew-Pew!

       8 likes

  27. The Original EricJ
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    Oh, what story should I tell from the old college-town all-nighter festivals?: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RLEUyE58_Cw Okay, I’ll tell the Chex Cereal story, but keep in mind, this is sacred lore to fans:

    One year, between the sci-fi movies, they decided to show four episodes of…not Rocky Jones, IIRC, but kinescope film episodes of some other live-TV 50’s space-patrol serial. Since the actors had to do their own sponsor commercials back in live-TV days, we’d get the Captain or Winky-equivalent cadet doing commercials for “the good folks at Checkerboard Square”, as we saw the many (two) varieties of Chex Cereal turn by on a turntable: Wheat Chex…Rice Chex…Wheat Chex…Rice Chex… Four episodes that evening meant seeing the commercial about six times, and by about the third or fourth time, the audience started chanting along with the cereals going by on screen.
    For the rest of that evening, in the downtime between the movies (think of the audience in the intermission at a Cinematic Titanic or Rifftrax palace-theater show), bitter rival audience factions in the theater would break out tastes-great-less-filling shouting matches of their breakfast loyalty: “Wheat Chex!”…”Rice Chex!!”…”Wheat Chex!!“…”RICE CHEX!!”
    (The other two commercials were for Hershey’s Chocolate, and when our young cadet said “And now here’s something for all you girl Space-Rangers out there:”–Hershey’s baking kits for the Easy-Bake Oven–you should have heard the “…BOOOOO!!!” that came up from the audience.)

    When I came across the first Comedy Channel season, having a “virtual” rowdy audience riffing back again was one thing, but the fact that Joel could take one absurd-silly moment from the movie (like Crow and Servo playing kill-the-human from Robot Monster) and take it out of the movie into an entire three-minute host-segment around it just for variety, I knew One of Us was working on the show. Sorry, Joel, but movie riffing wasn’t “Invented in Minnesota”. :)
    Sitting through even just five minutes of a RiffTrax, there’s so much bitterness and resentment dripping from the riffs at the very CONCEPT of sitting in a theater, that could be one reason it’s caught on with a generation of kids who can’t hear “Theater audience” without whining about cellphones and cineplexes.

       2 likes

  28. jjk50
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    I grew up in Cleveland and watched Ghoulardi on Friday nights in the early 60’s. Many of the movies he showed turned up as MST3K episodes so I wanted to see what they did with these turkeys. I have a fondness for those old movies from childhood.

       5 likes

  29. goalieboy82
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    jjk50:
    I grew up in Cleveland and watched Ghoulardi on Friday nights in the early 60’s. Many of the movies he showed turned up as MST3K episodes so I wanted to see what they did with these turkeys. I have a fondness for those old movies from childhood.

    so do I.

       2 likes

  30. Say No To Yes
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    The 1966 film “What’s Up, Tiger Lily?”
    1970s Mel Brooks comedies where on occasion, the characters would break the fourth wall and comment on the films in the middle of the action.
    The 1982 film “It Came From Hollywood.”
    But mainly, having great affection for comedy, specifically satiric writing, and parody (Kurt Vonnegut, Frank Zappa, Hunter S. Thompson and George Carlin).

       7 likes

  31. Ray Dunakin
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    The Original EricJ:
    Sitting through even just five minutes of a RiffTrax, there’s so much bitterness and resentment dripping from the riffs at the very CONCEPT of sitting in a theater…

    What parallel universe version of RiffTrax are you watching??

       14 likes

  32. Kenneth Morgan
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    Hmmm…

    Unfortunately, by the time I was around, we didn’t have any local horror hosts, though Channel 11 still had Capt. Jack McCarthy hosting the Popeye cartoons, and Officer Joe Bolton hosting the Our Gang shorts. We did have a lot of sci-fi and monster movies, though. The aforementioned Channel 11 (WPIX-TV) had “Chiller Theater” on Saturdays. No host, but those from the NY/NJ/CT area still remember the opening: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ok6uzndOmPA.
    Channel 11 had Godzilla movies, while Gamera would occasionally show up on Channel 7 (WABC-TV) on “The 4:30 Movie”. There were also low-grade MSTable movies on Saturdays on Channel 9 (WOR-TV), sometimes in the afternoon or on “Fright Night”. Again, no host, but a great opening: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uU73vWzWW1s. Channel 5 (WNEW-TV) would also have monster movies on Saturday afternoons.
    As far as comedy, there was endless listening to our Bob Newhart, Bill Cosby, First Family, and Allan Sherman LPs. And there was loads of TV, from classic sit-coms to Python when it first appeared on Channel 13 (WNET-TV), they of the endless pledge breaks, to classic comedies from Abbott & Costello to the Bowery Boys. Then cable came along and really added to the available material.

    So, I’d like to think I was somewhat prepped for when MST arrived.

       2 likes

  33. Crowdini
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    On my last day of second grade, the teacher played Benji for us. All went well, until my best friend at the time started saying “Laaaassie” real quiet anytime Benji ran. I burst out laughing, as did the kids nearby. This went on a couple more times, with everyone now laughing and few other kids adding barking noises, until the teacher got fed up and shut off the movie. My last moments as a second grader were spent with my head on a desk as with everyone else until the bell rang. I didn’t care. I giggled to myself.

    I didn’t see the rest of that movie until I was in my 30’s. Ended up riffing on it. It felt like I was back in that classroom again.

       7 likes

  34. Ray Dunakin
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    says:

    Background: Grew up watching cheesy, old, sci-fi and monster movies on TV.

    Later: When I was 22 my brothers went to visit relatives. While they were there, they both got the flu or something and spent most of the time feverish and watching TV. When they came back they told me about this hilariously bad movie they watched called “Robot Monster”, and how much they wished I could have seen it.

    Later still: I think it was 1980. Local TV stations at that time were experimenting with trying to do more local programming. One of our local stations came up with this show called “Disasterpiece Theater” hosted by “Sal U. Lloyd”. He played cheesy old movies, while a text crawl at the bottom of the screen made jokes about the movie. Yes it was VERY much like MST3K! My brothers and I were still sharing a place, so we watched it together every week and loved it. Unfortunately we only had a tiny portable TV with a 3″ screen, which made it very difficult to read the text riffs. And sadly, the station failed to support the show, and it didn’t last very long.

    In fact, when I first heard of MST3K, the thought that first came to mind was, “Oh, it’s a ripoff of Disasterpiece Theater!”

       4 likes

  35. mando3b
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    says:

    Crowdini:
    On my last day of second grade, the teacher played Benji for us. All went well, until my best friend at the time started saying “Laaaassie” real quiet anytime Benji ran.I burst out laughing, as did the kids nearby. This went on a couple more times, with everyone now laughing and few other kids adding barking noises, until the teacher got fed up and shut off the movie. My last moments as a second grader were spent with my head on a desk as with everyone else until the bell rang. I didn’t care. I giggled to myself.

    I didn’t see the rest of that movie until I was in my 30’s. Ended up riffing on it. It felt like I was back in that classroom again.

    Oh, man, how could I have forgotten riffing movies in grade school? My school would occasionally show movies in the gym on Friday afternoon, and once they showed some really old, black-and-white caveman movie. There was a little cavegirl with curly hair that riffsters immediately dubbed “Caroline”, as in President Kennedy’s little daughter. (Er, yes, this does say something about how old I am, doesn’t it?) Anyway, at some point there’s a volcanic eruption, and an oddly benign wave of lava started oozing across the landscape like Maypo. Of course, it eventually threatens to ooze over the little girl. The scene was SO ridiculous–the “lava” was not burning anything and moving at a snail’s pace and the girl was totally oblivious and could have skipped her way to safety in seconds, and all us kids were hooting and making wry comments; and then the girl’s mother finally scoops her up, and some kid said in a loud voice, “Oh! Caroline got saved from the oatmeal!”

       7 likes

  36. Kenneth Morgan
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    says:

    mando3b: Oh, man, how could I have forgotten riffing movies in grade school? My school would occasionally show movies in the gym on Friday afternoon, and once they showed some really old, black-and-white caveman movie. There was a little cavegirl with curly hair that riffsters immediately dubbed “Caroline”, as in President Kennedy’s little daughter. (Er, yes, this does say something about how old I am, doesn’t it?) Anyway, at some point there’s a volcanic eruption, and an oddly benignwave of lava started oozing across the landscape like Maypo. Of course, it eventually threatens to ooze over the little girl. The scene was SO ridiculous–the “lava” was not burning anything and moving at a snail’s pace and the girl was totally oblivious and could have skipped her way to safety in seconds, and all us kids were hooting and making wry comments; and then the girl’s mother finally scoops her up, and some kid said in a loud voice, “Oh! Caroline got saved from the oatmeal!”

    That must’ve been a pretty neat school.

       1 likes

  37. Sitting Duck
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    says:

    mando3b:
    Do any of you remember Fractured Flickers?

    I do, and it was great. While there were frequent jokes about former movie stars trying to litigate them, the only attempt on record came from Lon Chaney Jr. He was less than thrilled when they took his father’s portrayal of the Hunchback of Norte Dame and remade it into Dinky Dunstan, Boy Cheerleader. For those who wish to see it for themselves, it has been made available on DVD.

       3 likes

  38. Cornjob
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    Mad magazine was a primer for me too. I still remember my first Mad magazine. It had a parody of Jaws 2 in it.

       1 likes

  39. CaptEoNinja83 .
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    Mom and Sis were channel flipping, stumbled upon “Jack Frost”, we all were like “What is this weird show? I’m intrigued.” Then we saw “Riding with Death” which made us laugh a lot. The local library had a couple of VHS Joel episodes, and we got crazy-hooked ever since!

       5 likes

  40. bartcow
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    I didn’t think I had an answer for this, but then I remembered catching one of Weird Al’s occasional “takeovers” of MTV back in the 80s, which he called ALTV (of course). There would be weird skits, fake interviews, and most telling of all, he would occasionally show mainstream videos, but add dialogue over the top of it (I particularly remember him screaming in character to be let off the roof of the car in Chicago’s “Stay the Night”). That might have been the first time I saw someone “commenting” over the audio track of a video. So in that way, Weird Al was my primer (in more ways than one, but certainly in this instance, for MST-dom).

       6 likes

  41. Mr. Sack
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    First, seeing Joel Hodgson guest star on an episode of Nickelodeon’s Out of Control. Joel’s quirkiness and sense of humor that he’d be famous for on MST3K. When I stumbled upon a Joel episode during the 1994 Turkey Day Marathon, I instantly became a fan because of the show.

    Second, I used to watch movies like the ones featured on MST3K. Godzilla vs. Megalon was my first Godzilla movie, and though I enjoyed it and other films like it unironically as a kid, seeing their comedic potential gave new life to them, and I daresay I appreciate such films more because of the show.

    Finally, MTV played a part in two ways: 1) featuring Weird Al Yankovic videos that are pitch perfect parodies (his Michael Jackson parodies in the 80s forever cemented my love for him), and 2) Beavis and Butt-Head. Initially, I didn’t care for the segments where they riffed on music videos, but over the years (and after exposure to MST3K), I greatly appreciated those segments, and realized that they prepared me for what would await me that fateful Turkey Day in 1994.

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  42. Skiptastic
    Ignored
    says:

    I grew up in the Chicago suburbs so definitely Svengoolie. Also, I loved Weird Al.

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  43. mando3b
    Ignored
    says:

    Kenneth Morgan: That must’ve been a pretty neat school.

    It was. I was very lucky to have grown up in a town with such a good school system. Yes, they would show movies after school for us kids–once a month maybe? Certainly no more often than that. Just fun stuff that elementary school kids would enjoy. I remember seeing a silly Red Skelton B-comedy in which he’s a cab driver (I think) and stupidly stays in his car as it’s lifted up on the rack in the garage. Of course he gets out and falls, feet first into a stack of tires where he gets stuck. That scene made such an impression on me I immediately made a drawing of it when I got home! In-class riffing of science films was fun, too: There was one about the wonders of the insect kingdom that focused on some deadly wasp–the narrator went on and on about what a fiend it was, but then we got to witness some smaller bugs give it the works and when the narrator intoned in his most solemn voice, “Finally the wasp succumbs to its wounds and dies”, a few of us clapped like you do when the evil bad guy gets his just desserts in the movies.

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  44. mando3b
    Ignored
    says:

    Sitting Duck: I do, and it was great. While there were frequent jokes about former movie stars trying to litigate them, the only attempt on record came from Lon Chaney Jr. He was less than thrilled when they took his father’s portrayal of the Hunchback of Norte Dame and remade it into Dinky Dunstan, Boy Cheerleader. For those who wish to see it for themselves, it has been made available on DVD.

    Ha! I forgot “Dinky Dunstan, Boy Cheerleader”! That was their most famous segment, I think: it got replayed a lot. Just discovered Fractured Flickers on YouTube! Here’s a full ep: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eCIL3_Spd4Q for those of you not familiar with the show. You will see the similarities to our favorite Cow Town Puppet Show immediately.

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  45. Sitting Duck
    Ignored
    says:

    I’m probably a bit of an odd man out around here in that, when I first discovered MST3K, I had no particular interest in schlocky movies. We found a tape of the Movie at our local video rental place and checked it out. Once we delved further into the show, I started becoming interested in some of the movies they featured.

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  46. Endoplasmic Reticulum
    Ignored
    says:

    Cornjob:
    Mad magazine was a primer for me too. I still remember my first Mad magazine. It had a parody of Jaws 2 in it.


    “Before this is over a whole lot more people are going to get Jaw’d, Too.”

    My favorite was Saturday Night Feeble. Much better than the original movie, which in hindsight pretty much sucked except for the Bee Gees.

    Clod Encounters of the Absurd Kind. “Can we see these lights, too?” “Si, senor, eef you have been smoking what I have been smoking.”
    “The wind is blowing the sleeping gas away from us!” “Unfortunately it’s drifting into the audience.” I could imagine Crow delivering those lines.

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  47. Cornjob
    Ignored
    says:

    Gotta love those late 70’s/early 80’s Mad Magazines. Their take on The Omen and The Exorcist and Top Gun are still vivid in my mind.

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  48. Kenneth Morgan
    Ignored
    says:

    Cornjob:
    Gotta love those late 70’s/early 80’s Mad Magazines. Their take on The Omen and The Exorcist and Top Gun are still vivid in my mind.

    One of my favorite “Mad Magazine” gags is from their take-off on “The Empire Strikes Back”:

    LEIA: I love you.
    HAN: So do I.
    LEIA: He said it! He loves me!
    HAN: No, I mean I love me, too.

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  49. The Original EricJ
    Ignored
    says:

    Kenneth Morgan: One of my favorite “Mad Magazine” gags is from their take-off on “The Empire Strikes Back”:
    LEIA: I love you.
    HAN: So do I.
    LEIA: He said it!He loves me!
    HAN: No, I mean I love me, too.

    And from their “Star Wars” takeoff:
    Obi-Wan: “These aren’t the droids you’re looking for.”
    Stormtrooper: “These aren’t the droids were looking for.”
    Obi-Wan: “He can go about his business.”
    Stormtrooper “You can go about your business.”
    Luke: “How did you do that?”
    Obi-Wan: “The Force gives you power over weak minds.”
    Stormtrooper: “The Force gives me power over weak minds.”

    (I’d quote it accurately, but then I’d have to buy a new CD-ROM drive just to look up my old 50 Years of Mad Magazine collection that’s still stuck on disk.)

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  50. Kenneth Morgan
    Ignored
    says:

    The Original EricJ: And from their “Star Wars” takeoff:
    Obi-Wan: “These aren’t the droids you’re looking for.”
    Stormtrooper:“These aren’t the droids were looking for.”
    Obi-Wan:“He can go about his business.”
    Stormtrooper“You can go about your business.”
    Luke:“How did you do that?”
    Obi-Wan:“The Force gives you power over weak minds.”
    Stormtrooper:“The Force gives me power over weak minds.”

    (I’d quote it accurately, but then I’d have to buy a new CD-ROM drive just to look up my old 50 Years of Mad Magazine collection that’s still stuck on disk.)

    My favorite gag from their “Godfather II” takeoff:

    SENATOR: Mr. Corleone, you’d like to read a statement?
    MICHAEL: Yes, I would. My name is Michael Corleone. I am the leader of one of the largest Mafia crime families in the country. I control most of the gambling, prostitution and narcotics in the United States. I have personally killed or ordered the deaths of at least 50 people, and I won’t stop until the entire world is mine.
    SENATOR: Mr. Corleone, are you now or have you ever been a Communist?
    MICHAEL: No, sir, I have not.
    SENATOR: Thank you, Mr. Corleone, and God bless you.

    Did I mention that my brother Don had a lot of issues of Mad?

       5 likes

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