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Weekend Discussion Thread: What If Nobody Knew About MST3K Except You?

Alert reader John offers:

The recent movie “Yesterday,” where a man wakes up to a world where the Beatles never happened but he remembers them, got me thinking: What if you woke up one day and discovered that MST3K never happened but you remember it vividly? What would you do to bring it back to public knowledge?
I would create Youtube videos of the movies they riffed and try to crack all the jokes as best I could. (I can almost recite the “Manos” episode verbatim.)

Intriguing! Go!

30 Replies to “Weekend Discussion Thread: What If Nobody Knew About MST3K Except You?”

  1. jay says:

    I would go to the Alamo Draft House in Austin, Texas and start up a live show group to riff on the cheesy movies I remember in front of their fun Saturday night crowds.

       9 likes

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

    But there was no MST3K…

    (I now hate myself)

       19 likes

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

    Actually, I’d build a time machine using an old Commodore 64 and a small airplane by which I would travel back in time to Minneapolis 1988 and rally the Brains, thus restoring balance and righting history.

    This is assuming, of course, that I can avoid the evil Gen-Corp. Oh, and that I don’t step on a butterfly.

       21 likes

  4. I would get fan lists from Horror Hosts fan clubs like Elvira, Billy Bob and Zachery. I would then create a crowdfunding site and use the mailing lists to notify these fans to the next step in enjoying shlock movies. Sorta like what recently happened I suppose.

       5 likes

  5. jay says:

    Ro-man, aka one of several possible Steves:
    Actually, I’d build a time machine using an old Commodore 64 …

    You might need a time machine to find a Commodore 64 and never mind the 5 1/4” floppy disks.

       13 likes

  6. nomad says:

    Time to make a fortune off all those inventions Joel came up with (sorry buddy!) …some of them were actually quite ingenious and ahead of their time.

       8 likes

  7. Murdock Hauser says:

    I guess I’d try going into the brewing business called “Captain Joe Beer” and do something similar to what Jones Soda does with its labels, except put classic MSTed characters on the labels with a riff underneath the label. Collect all 13 labels in series one that include Torgo, Mitchell, Ator, Godzilla, Mr.B, Rowsdower, Batwoman, The Creeping Terror, Gamera, Dave Ryder, Henry Krasker, and the extremely rare, Lab Assistant Jennings label.

       5 likes

  8. I would attempt to befriend a production supervisor at a low-budget TV station in a small market and try to convince him that me siting in front of a lousy movie with a couple of my goofball friends operating puppets and making wisecracks is a path to a lifetime of riches and adulation.

    I would then perform said wisecracks for my fellow patients until they let me out of whatever institution for the dangerously insane I got confined to.

       17 likes

  9. mando3b says:

    Well, first of all, I would do everything I could to “create” Crow and Servo and Gypsy. I’m challenged making stick figures, but I would draw them as best I could and then persuade some gizmocrat to make them. (“No, really, a plastic bowling pin and a lacrosse mask! And for this one, a little keg of some kind topped by a toy gumball machine. No, the female is the one with the two baby car seats. Believe me, this is going to work, and it’ll be HILARIOUS!!”)
    Then I would take credit for being the guy with the classic, cutting-edge quips, always made “spontaneously” in just the right context: “Oh, Mando, you are a scream! ‘Watch out for snakes!’ is the PERFECT thing to say as Luke Skywalker walks the desert of Tatuine!”, or: “Ha, ha! Sylvester Stallone really is a ‘Big McLargehuge’, isn’t he? My goodness, those names are a riot! How can you come up with so many so quickly?”

       4 likes

  10. jay says:

    IN A WORLD WHERE THERE WAS NO MST3K –

    ToRgO wOuLd bE ForgOtTeN.
    No one would associate Japanese children with upsetting shorts.
    TV would be TV’s Frankless.
    Children’s banks, bowling pins, and lacrosse masks would not be considered robot parts.
    Dickweed and hinder would never have made it out of the upper Midwest.
    Satellite of Love would just be a Lou Reed song.
    Everyone would think Mr. B Natural was a sixties comic book stoner icon.
    And finally – Mr. Potter would end up owning everything in Bedford Falls and it would suck.

       16 likes

  11. I was a fan during the ’89-’90 S1 & 2, back when cable saturation was only starting to catch on in the suburbs. Back then, seemed like nobody DID know about MST3K but me.

    (So what did we do? We kept circulating the tapes.)

       9 likes

  12. duke of puddles says:

    as a fan of ELO i am exposed to this exact scenario on a regular basis… but that’s a different discussion.

    for this particular thread i have two thoughts:

    a: crop circles
    b: mentally recall some of the more hilarious riffs and laugh maniacally until the numerous restraining orders rolled in.

       5 likes

  13. Trumpys Dad says:

    I would just mutter things no one understands:
    Flag on the moon. How’d it get there?
    Is there beer on the sun?
    Trumpy NO!!!

    Yeah, life would not be much different than today. But the right people would get it.

       10 likes

  14. Terry the Sensitive Knight says:

    If I lived in a world with no MST3K I’d probably kill myself

    Sorry to be so morbid, but I can’t imagine trying to recreate the magic all by myself…

       6 likes

  15. jay:
    IN A WORLD WHERE THERE WAS NO MST3K –

    Everyone would think Mr. B Natural was a sixties comic book stoner icon.

    I think I saw that issue of Zap Comix.

       7 likes

  16. mst3kme says:

    Terry:

    MST3K is part of who we are. It makes us laugh, it entertains us, it makes us think.

    It’s the common thread that connects us all here.

    Terry the Sensitive Knight:
    If I lived in a world with no MST3K I’d probably kill myself

    Sorry to be so morbid, but I can’t imagine trying to recreate the magic all by myself…

       3 likes

  17. jay says:

    Actually, I did live in a world where no one knew about MST3K, at least temporarily. I spent June and July in Montana and North Dakota. Good people. Smart people, but MST3K was not a part of the cultural milieu and we humans are adaptive to our surroundings so my MSTiness faded into the background. The “hi-keebas” and “watch for snakes” were drained out of me.
    However, on one occasion in a restaurant I overheard a nice older woman who sounded just like Trace imitating a nice older woman. None of my table mates understood my poorly hidden mirth. It was an isolating experience, so I am really glad you MSTies are out there. Keep circulating the catchphrases!

       7 likes

  18. Scott Strong says:

    I’d have to convince everyone that Mr. B Natural was actually a woman.

    No one would understand what I meant when I said warwilf.

    The name Rowsdower would mean…..nothing.

    THE WORLD WOULD BE THROWN INTO CHAOS!

       4 likes

  19. GR Robertson says:

    Being a UK Mstie it feels like you’re the only person who knows about MST3K. Last year we had Rifftrax and The Mads shows in London, it felt kind of strange talking to people about the show and they actually knew what you were talking about. Feels like the audience at those shows, 100-200 people are the only ones who know.
    I’ve got one friend who’s watched a couple of DVDs I’ve lent him and likes the show but not enough to really get into it. When I explain the show to people they generally looked puzzled. Except for the occasional showing of the movie there’s nm MST3K in the UK except at my house.

       3 likes

  20. jay:
    I would go to the Alamo Draft House in Austin, Texas and start up a live show group to riff on the cheesy movies I remember in front of their fun Saturday night crowds.

    Terry the Sensitive Knight:
    If I lived in a world with no MST3K I’d probably kill myself

    Sorry to be so morbid, but I can’t imagine trying to recreate the magic all by myself…

    Back in the days when there really WAS no such thing as MST3K, you didn’t create it by yourself. You created it with an audience.

    If you can’t imagine those days, I’m guessing it’s cineplexes as far back as you can remember, and the Live shows are the only times you saw a movie with a goofy audience in a comfortable theater, that didn’t mind being there? Try stopping in at an Alamo Drafthouse sometime.

       3 likes

  21. mst3kme says:

    Eric J.:

    Try stopping in at a psychiatrist sometime.

    The Original EricJ:
    Back in the days when there really WAS no such thing as MST3K, you didn’t create it by yourself.You created it with an audience.

    If you can’t imagine those days, I’m guessing it’s cineplexes as far back as you can remember, and the Live shows are the only times you saw a movie with a goofy audience in a comfortable theater, that didn’t mind being there?Try stopping in at an Alamo Drafthouse sometime.

       2 likes

  22. mst3kme says:

    GR Robertson:

    Spread the word!

    Circulate the DVDs.

    Send MST3K links from YouTube.

    GR Robertson:
    Being a UK Mstie it feels like you’re the only person who knows about MST3K.Last year we had Rifftrax and The Mads shows in London, it felt kind of strange talking to people about the show and they actually knew what you were talking about.Feels like the audience at those shows, 100-200 people are the only ones who know.
    I’ve got one friend who’s watched a couple of DVDs I’ve lent him and likes the show but not enough to really get into it.When I explain the show to people they generally looked puzzled.Except for the occasional showing of the movie there’s nm MST3K in the UK except at my house.

       1 likes

  23. GareChicago says:

    I would go to the Medford Outlet mall and shop!

    Gare

       2 likes

  24. jay says:

    mst3kme:
    Eric J.:

    Try stopping in at a psychiatrist sometime.

    I kinda like Eric J’s suggestion about stopping in for a live show at the ADH.

       3 likes

  25. jay: I kinda like Eric J’s suggestion about stopping in for a live show at the ADH.

    Back in the old days when we HAD live shows (and very live audiences), we had a spontaneous riff for “Forbidden Planet” that would make the sophomoric “Rudolph, I need you tonight” blush. :)

    But then, that’s what happens when you have audiences who like watching movies that happen to be goofy, and don’t need to work out rage issues at them for being low-budget.

       1 likes

  26. jay says:

    But then, that’s what happens when you have audiences who like watching movies that happen to be goofy, and don’t need to work out rage issues at them for being low-budget.

    I tried to follow Mr. Rogers’ guidance and be kind. I don’t regret that, but maybe you could have waited a beat with the vitriol?

       4 likes

  27. Cornjob says:

    With all the precursors to MST3K from audience interaction in old Loony Tunes cartoons, What’s Up Tiger Lilly?, and B-movie hosts like Elvira and Joe Bob Briggs; I think movie riffing as a comedic form would have come in to being in some form or another even if Joel Robinson hadn’t been around to give it the specific form that he did. This other form would of course lack MST’s particular charm, and if brought in to being today would probably be more vulgar and course along with our culture. As a California guy with too many health issues and not nearly enough energy I would be in no position to try and recreate that unique charm, though I would definitely try to put the idea in others heads if I could manage it. Personally I would much rather imagine living in a world with no human centipede movies.

       4 likes

  28. mst3kme says:

    Jay:

    Enjoy this instead.

    Rifftrax is having a sale. Get 15% off riffs in the Back to School Sale – enter coupon code LEARN at checkout (discount excludes RiffTrax Live: Star Raiders, pre-orders and gift cards).

    jay: I tried to follow Mr. Rogers’ guidance and be kind.I don’t regret that, but maybe you could have waited a beat with the vitriol?

       0 likes

  29. GareChicago says:

    The Original EricJ: Back in the old days when we HAD live shows (and very live audiences), we had a spontaneous riff for “Forbidden Planet” that would make the sophomoric “Rudolph, I need you tonight” blush.:)

    But then, that’s what happens when you have audiences who like watching movies that happen to be goofy, and don’t need to work out rage issues at them for being low-budget.

    You’re *so* edgy and avant-garde!

    FFS just delete your account already you pompous gas-bag.

    G

       5 likes

  30. mando3b says:

    You know, all of us can and have and probably still do riff bad movies, but none of us have ever done it with robots up in space. If there were no MST3K, I would be forced to bring puppets into movie theaters and do all the voices myself and then stage little skits from time to time in front of the audience. I would have to sing the theme song before the feature started in order to explain the premise. Even as I was getting hauled away in cuffs, I would be convinced that most of the other people in the theater GOT IT, and that eventually I would win a Peabody or an Emmy. Thank goodness none of that ever has to happen!

       1 likes

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