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Sampo & Erhardt

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Visit our archives of the MST3K pages previously hosted by the Sci-Fi Channel's SCIFI.COM.

Goodbye Sci-Fi

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

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Thoughts on the Live Show Crew’s At-Home Event

News from Joel and the MST3K Live team:

On Sunday, May 3rd at 6 p.m. ET / 3 p.m. PT, join the cast of Mystery Science Theater 3000 LIVE as they bring a special at-home event to MSTies worldwide! Join Emergency Host Emily Crenshaw (Emily Marsh), Tom Servo (Conor McGiffin), Crow T. Robot (Nate Begle), and GPC (Yvonne Freese), as they perform live via videoconference a Riff-Along of Experiment 111- MOON ZERO TWO. The event will feature new additional riffs, with visits from Joel Hodgson, who will field questions and comments from the Riff-Along audience via social media. The two-hour event will also include a brand new riff of the short film “Circus Day.”

More info here.
———————-

THOUGHTS
• To begin with, I should explain: I planned to see the most recent Live Show, I even bought a ticket. But family issues kept me from attending. So this entire crew was new to me.
• I heard pretty much unanimous praise of the new crew from those attended the Live Show, and I have to admit, the group looks and sounds strong and delivered their lines well. (I don’t really know if any of the on-camera performers are also writers.) I definitely laughed.
• Joel made some news last night, at least for me. IF there is a 13th season, the new host will be Emily Marsh (her character name will be Emily Crenshaw). As Tom Servo, Conor McGiffin will be doing the voice work. As Crow T. Robot, Nate Begle will be doing the voice work. And as GPC (see below), the voice work will be done by Yvonne Freese. Freese will also play a new character, Mega-Synthia, one of Pearl Forrester’s many clones.
• One other change: the newly renamed GPC has been downsized to “more less the same size as Crow and Tom,” just to make her easier to handle. Joel said that, when he built the bot, “I was just trying to build the biggest puppet I could.” Some fans will remember that, to work Gypsy, Jim needed a harness that was normally used in a marching band to carry a tuba. And then in season 11, they built her that complicated rig that only partially addressed her overwhelming size. By the way, during the closing segment of the episode, the old Gypsy appears, and Freese, as the new GPC, quipped: “Ah, my sad dragon phase.”
• What’s with GPC? Several commenters have already explained and Joel himself explicitly stated it during the show. When the show relaunched, Joel began receiving concerns about the fact that Gypsy’s name is now considered a slur. Joel said he took the concerns to heart and this is the result.
• No word on how the efforts to make a 13th season happen are going.
• In the after-show thing on Facebook, Joel expressed frustration with IMDB, which is treating the KTMA season like all the others. Joel insisted the KTMA season is “NOT CANON.”
• The show was a little ragged, but mostly everything went off pretty well, at least on the YouTube channel, which was where I was watching it. In the Facebook chat, Ivan Askwith, the mastermind behind the Kickstarter, said it felt very similar to slightly ragged but captivating live show when the 11th season launched.
• Joel and the cast read letters from doctors, nurses and others on the front line of the pandemic. All of them said despite the awful experiences they’ve had, MST3K has been a welcome distraction. Best wishes to all those folks.

69 Replies to “Thoughts on the Live Show Crew’s At-Home Event”

  1. Master Ninja 2:
    Gypsy is a person’s name. No other slur has been used as a person’s name, correct? So, do all people who are actually named Gypsy have to change their name now? When a word transcends to being a name, an identity of a person, doesn’t it cease to be a slur? Words have a lot of different meanings.
    If Gypsy was not used as a name for actual people, I wouldn’t have an issue with it being changed on the show. But, they used it in the first place because it was a name, not just a random word that turned out to be a slur.
    I really wish their were some MSTies whose names are actually Gypsy, it would be interesting to hear how they feel about this. “Hey, you can’t call yourself that! It’s offensive! – But, it’s my name, I’ve had it all my life! Does this mean my parents were stupid, or something?”

    I automatically assumed CC-era Gypsy, the, er…darling of the SOL, was named after Gypsy Rose Lee. Which she later used for the title of her bold, searing, brutally honest one-woman show.
    (Either that, or Rosalie Gypsum, from the Flintstones episode: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NffGUJ6eca0 )

    Of course, nowadays, we have a Gypsy who doesn’t sound like Gypsy, doesn’t act like Gypsy (the CC-era one knew she couldn’t heckle movies after five minutes of a Hercules), and now doesn’t even look like Gypsy, so, um, why even bother with the name anymore?

       2 likes

  2. Erhardt says:

    The Original EricJ: I automatically assumed CC-era Gypsy, the, er…darling of the SOL, was named after Gypsy Rose Lee.

    Maybe in a round-about-way. But more directly, she was named after a turtle, as Joel explained in our 20 Questions Only Joel Hodgson Can Answer About MST3K article posted several years ago:

    Q. What about Gypsy? (her name)
    J. Gypsy was the name my brother gave a pet turtle he had. I always thought it was so peculiar. I knew Gypsy was going to be big and slow, so Gypsy was the logical choice.

       2 likes

  3. Thad Boyd says:

    Master Ninja 2: I really wish their were some MSTies whose names are actually Gypsy, it would be interesting to hear how they feel about this. “Hey, you can’t call yourself that! It’s offensive! – But, it’s my name, I’ve had it all my life! Does this mean my parents were stupid, or something?”

    Perhaps if your argument relies on inventing an imaginary person to agree with you, it needs a little more time in the oven.

    InvaderPet: I know “Gypsie” can be an actual name, as there was a model with that as a surname.
    That said, there have been people that have changed their names upon learning their last names were seen as offensive. For example Rob Gavagan was previously Rob Dyke.

    And names can fall out of favor in various times and places and for various reasons. Gaylord used to be a pretty common name, but I think if there were an MST3K character named Gaylord people would probably suggest “yeah, you should maybe consider changing that” in that instance, too.

    Regional differences matter too. People in the US who are named Randal or Randolph frequently go by “Randy”; my understanding is that’s a lot less common in the UK because of the connotation the word “randy” has over there. There’s a toy in the Transformers line that’s named Spastic in the US; they changed his name in the UK because over there that word’s considered a slur (similar to the R-word used to disparage mentally handicapped people in the US). And you’re not going to find many Americans named Benedict for reasons that have nothing to do with offensiveness and everything to do with that particular name’s historical association in this country.

    What’s considered offensive depends a lot on time and place. Language and culture change. Joel has made the decision to change with the times, because people — real people, not hypothetical people who someone just made up — told him that they consider the word “Gypsy” to be hurtful. He changed her name because he didn’t want to hurt anyone. He didn’t have to, but he chose to because he felt it was the right thing to do. That kinda seems like a positive thing to me, not a negative one. Though I agree that “GPC” is not ideal as a new name.

       8 likes

  4. Master Ninja 2 says:

    Thad Boyd: real people, not hypothetical people who someone just made up

    There are people who are named Gypsy. That’s all I was saying.

       4 likes

  5. PJ says:

    Thad Boyd: I’m not quite sure what you’re suggesting.Are you saying that Jonah really wanted to stay but Joel fired him on a whim just to shake things up? Because that sure wasn’t the impression I got when Jonah showed up in the aftershow last night.

    I am just saying Joel wanted to move it into his tour style. Like a “Wink” Guys we need to pump this tour stuff. Now the show staff is gone.
    I am so completely done with mister JH after this crap. He will fire this next cast if they cannot do the tour.

       5 likes

  6. PJ: I am just saying Joel wanted to move it into his tour style. Like a “Wink” Guys we need to pump this tour stuff. Now the show staff is gone.
    I am so completely done with mister JH after this crap. He will fire this next cast if they cannot do the tour.

    I don’t if it was that harsh about being “done with mister JH after this crap”, but I can understand the sentiment. After all each tour resulted in fewer and fewer members of the reboot cast involved.

    2017 Tour: Jonah Ray, Hampton Yount, and Rebecca Hanson were in the cast

    2018 Tour: Jonah Ray, Rebecca Hanson, and then Joel comes back onstage

    2019 Tour: Joel alone with new crew

    Patton Oswalt & Felicia Day only ever provided prerecorded material and Baron Vaughn never went any of the tours. Now it could be that when they came together for the reboot, they never signed on for live touring per se. And with most of the reboot cast being stand-ups that tour on their own and/or have other projects/family commitments that demand their attention, I can understand an ever-dimming interest/availability to do the MST3K tours.

    I guess that’s the hazard if you hire some “names” for a project like this: they had a career before MST that was good, they’ll have a career after MST that’ll be good. This was just a hired gig and now onto the next job. Kind of like hiring Billy Crystal, Christopher Guest, and Martin Short for that one season of SNL. Popular, oh yes! Sustainable, probably not. Then again, they might love it and want to keep coming back. And committing to a limited run series easier than a long tour.

    I can’t imagine that it was a huge payday either. Or at least enough of one to be enough of an enticement. But this is pure speculation on my part and perhaps the stars just simply did not align for the reboot cast to tour as well.

       5 likes

  7. MonkeyPretzel says:

    Sampo: What’s with GPC? Several commenters have already explained and Joel himself explicitly stated it during the show. When the show relaunched, Joel began receiving concerns about the fact that Gypsy’s name is now considered a slur. Joel said he took the concerns to heart and this is the result.

    Except if Joel took the concerns to heart so dearly because he doesn’t want to offend, why did it take him until the 3rd live tour to do anything about it? There’s definitive proof he knew about people’s concerns (and really, it was one person on Tumblr who started this concern at the time of the Season 11 release as far as my research can prove) in an interview done with the former Revival League podcast in May 2017. So why not change Gypsy’s name for the 2017 live tour? Or Season 12? Or the 30th Anniversary tour? It’s almost like he was waiting for something…maybe to feel out how the fandom would react?

    I don’t really care what this new mini-chestburster Gypsy/GPC is called (she was introduced on the tour by bursting out of old Gypsy’s tube and mouth) going forward, but I do object to the way Joel retconned the name, going so far as to say he originally designed “GPC” to be as big as possible because he wanted a big puppet. Her name is Gypsy in the old show. Rebecca Hansen played Gypsy in Seasons 11 and 12, and on two live tours. Are all those mentions of Gypsy going to be overdubbed in the future?

       5 likes

  8. MonkeyPretzel says:

    Thad Boyd: Perhaps if your argument relies on inventing an imaginary person to agree with you, it needs a little more time in the oven.

    And names can fall out of favor in various times and places and for various reasons.Gaylord used to be a pretty common name, but I think if there were an MST3K character named Gaylord people would probably suggest “yeah, you should maybe consider changing that” in that instance, too.

    Regional differences matter too.People in the US who are named Randal or Randolph frequently go by “Randy”; my understanding is that’s a lot less common in the UK because of the connotation the word “randy” has over there.There’s a toy in the Transformers line that’s named Spastic in the US; they changed his name in the UK because over there that word’s considered a slur (similar to the R-word used to disparage mentally handicapped people in the US).And you’re not going to find many Americans named Benedict for reasons that have nothing to do with offensiveness and everything to do with that particular name’s historical association in this country.

    What’s considered offensive depends a lot on time and place.Language and culture change.Joel has made the decision to change with the times, because people — real people, not hypothetical people who someone just made up — told him that they consider the word “Gypsy” to be hurtful.He changed her name because he didn’t want to hurt anyone.He didn’t have to, but he chose to because he felt it was the right thing to do.That kinda seems like a positive thing to me, not a negative one.Though I agree that “GPC” is not ideal as a new name.

    Master Ninja 2: There are people who are named Gypsy. That’s all I was saying.

    I’m 50. I went to school, either Kindergarten or 1st Grade, I can’t remember, with a little girl named Gypsy. The show and movie Gypsy had been very popular a few years before our birth, so I’m sure there are at least a few people out there, alive right now, named Gypsy.

       7 likes

  9. goalieboy82 says:

    MonkeyPretzel:
    Sampo: What’s with GPC? Several commenters have already explained and Joel himself explicitly stated it during the show. When the show relaunched, Joel began receiving concerns about the fact that Gypsy’s name is now considered a slur. Joel said he took the concerns to heart and this is the result.

    Except if Joel took the concerns to heart so dearly because he doesn’t want to offend, why did it take him until the 3rd live tour to do anything about it? There’s definitive proof he knew about people’s concerns (and really, it was one person on Tumblr who started this concern at the time of the Season 11 release as far as my research can prove) in an interview done with the former Revival League podcast in May 2017. So why not change Gypsy’s name for the 2017 live tour? Or Season 12? Or the 30th Anniversary tour? It’s almost like he was waiting for something…maybe to feel out how the fandom would react?

    I don’t really care what this new mini-chestburster Gypsy/GPC is called (she was introduced on the tour by bursting out of old Gypsy’s tube and mouth) going forward, but I do object to the way Joel retconned the name, going so far as to say he originally designed “GPC” to be as big as possible because he wanted a big puppet. Her name is Gypsy in the old show. Rebecca Hansen played Gypsy in Seasons 11 and 12, and on two live tours. Are all those mentions of Gypsy going to be overdubbed in the future?

    i almost think there is something going on behind the scenes we don’t know about (maybe Shout told him to change the name).

       2 likes

  10. Master Ninja 2 says:

    In about 30 years, or less, movie riffing in general will be considered offensive and obsolete.

       5 likes

  11. Mr. Sack says:

    GPC is clever and reminds me of the naming conventions of R2-D2 and C-3PO, who are often just shortened or more easily spoken as “Artoo” or “Threepio”. And this isn’t the first time we’ve had name changes to established characters; remember “Art Crow” and “Htom Sirveaux”? :P

       1 likes

  12. Mr. Sack says:

    Master Ninja 2: No other slur has been used as a person’s name, correct?

    Check out the Star Trek TOS episode The Way to Eden and then start calling people who disagree with you “Herbert!”

    But seriously, yes, names have been used as insults or slurs, like the most recent “Karen”, and people have used common ethnic names as slurs (though usually a spoken tone implies the negativity), like “Paco” and “Achmed”. Also, you don’t see too many people use the names “Adolf” and “Hitler” in positive lights anymore.

       2 likes

  13. PJ says:

    Benjamin Wink: I don’t if it was that harsh about being “done with mister JH after this crap”, but I can understand the sentiment.After all each tour resulted in fewer and fewer members of the reboot cast involved.

    2017 Tour: Jonah Ray, Hampton Yount, and Rebecca Hanson were in the cast

    2018 Tour: Jonah Ray, Rebecca Hanson, and then Joel comes back onstage

    2019 Tour: Joel alone with new crew

    Patton Oswalt & Felicia Day only ever provided prerecorded material and Baron Vaughn never went any of the tours.Now it could be that when they came together for the reboot, they never signed on for live touring per se.And with most of the reboot cast being stand-ups that tour on their own and/or have other projects/family commitments that demand their attention, I can understand an ever-dimming interest/availability to do the MST3K tours.

    I guess that’s the hazard if you hire some “names” for a project like this: they had a career before MST that was good, they’ll have a career after MST that’ll be good.This was just a hired gig and now onto the next job.Kind of like hiring Billy Crystal, Christopher Guest, and Martin Short for that one season of SNL.Popular, oh yes!Sustainable, probably not.Then again, they might love it and want to keep coming back.And committing to a limited run series easier than a long tour.

    I can’t imagine that it was a huge payday either.Or at least enough of one to be enough of an enticement.But this is pure speculation on my part and perhaps the stars just simply did not align for the reboot cast to tour as well.

    Funny how you also said SNL, like I mentioned Joel said he wanted this new version to be like SNL where the cast would rotate. :/
    But yes, I guess the star power was not so great an idea, even though I loved the casting.
    What a mess he has made of this. I was liking the new MST, but now with the ending of Jonah how it was done, I can’t place it as canon any longer. In my head it’ll just have to be M&TB sitting in front of that TV.

       6 likes

  14. Droppo says:

    What a mess he has made of this. I was liking the new MST, but now with the ending of Jonah how it was done, I can’t place it as canon any longer. In my head it’ll just have to be M&TB sitting in front of that TV.

    Joel leaves: Mike gets a ton of hate because he’s not Joel
    Joel brings show back: Jonah gets a lot of hate because he’s not Mike or Joel
    Joel picks Emily to be new host: No, we want Jonah!

    I mean, guys….

       11 likes

  15. goalieboy82 says:

    Master Ninja 2:
    In about 30 years, or less, movie riffing in general will be considered offensive and obsolete.

    might be sooner.

       1 likes

  16. Kenneth Morgan says:

    Droppo: Joel leaves: Mike gets a ton of hate because he’s not Joel
    Joel brings show back: Jonah gets a lot of hate because he’s not Mike or Joel
    Joel picks Emily to be new host: No, we want Jonah!

    I mean, guys….

    I just don’t want MST3K to fall victim to what I’ve seen in several other fan groups recently, where when a change is made than some fans don’t agree with, there’s a move to cast someone involved in the production as the “villain” of the piece. You may not like a development, but there’s no need to say it was done by someone with malicious intent.

       0 likes

  17. Speedy B. says:

    Master Ninja 2:
    In about 30 years, or less, movie riffing in general will be considered offensive and obsolete.

    If that ever happens, it will be the death of comedy.

       2 likes

  18. jlh says:

    Joel whining about how KTMA doesn’t count is funny, since he made sure they counted for his episode total on the MST3K Mission Patches so he’d have a higher total number than Mike.

    (BTW: I do think KTMA should “count” as the zero season. #releaseKTMA03 )

       8 likes

  19. myothernamewastaken3 says:

    Late to the party here, so nobody will probably see this, lol. At this point, I’d prefer they just let it die. It takes a while for whoever the cast is to gel and get everything going and finding that rhythm. When Bill took over as Crow I was like ugh this is terrible, but now he’s my favorite Crow (I do love Trace too of course!) When Jonah took over, it was by the second season, in my opinion, that they really seemed to click and get a handle of it, and now they’re all gone. So then Joel is going to keep changing the host every season? Maybe some crews will nail it right off the bat and get a good flow going, but it usually takes a little while, so then every season or whatever will not quite find its groove and then by the time they do they’ll be replaced? No thanks. I prefer a little consistency in my crew so you can connect with them and get to know them. I was really getting to like Jonah. But now he’s gone too.

    On a personal note, as an autograph collector, it took me many years and going to several states to finish my first 10 seasons of MST3K autograph project. Then they announced a new cast. Nuts. So again, I’ve gotten everyone I need including Patton and Felicia, except for Baron since he never went on the tours. And now there will be a whole new cast and then a new one every season? I guess the autograph project has to end. I don’t have that much wall space!

       0 likes

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