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

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Weekend Discussion Thread: Fave Season 8 Host Segments

Well, of course, MST3K changed quite a bit at the start of season 8, and the host segments did too. I’m going to allow 15 for this season (and some of you are ignoring my dictates anyway):

• Mike searches for something good on the radio…and fails–804- THE DEADLY MANTIS: The show takes on the state of radio. Great performances and very observant.
• An irritating Observer arrives and observes–805- THE THING THAT COULDN’T DIE: Paul really shines in this sketch.
• Mike plays his Digger Smolken album–806- THE UNDEAD: A great vocal performance by Kevin.
• The Observers croon “When I Held Your Brain in My Arms”–807- TERROR FROM THE YEAR 5000: One of the great songs of any season.
• Crow’s proximity detector detects a lot of humidity–809- I WAS A TEENAGE WEREWOLF: The show takes riffs “Alien” with some funny stuff.
• Pearl, Bobo and Observer have “that” chat with the kids–811- “PARTS”: THE CLONUS HORROR: Mary Jo, Kevin and Bill show how really comfortable they are with these characters. Each one is a riot.
• Mike Nelson IS Lord of the Dance!–813- JACK FROST: Mike deflates the Broadway phenomenon.
• Tom sings about the 70s (and the 50s, too)–814- RIDING WITH DEATH: Yes, we get the essence of the joke quickly, but the underlying idea sustains it.
• Crow is Turkey Volume Guessing Man!–814- RIDING WITH DEATH: a classic host segment, responding to the movie but taking that response in a witty direction.
• Pearl and Bobo give their opening statements–815- AGENT FOR H.A.R.M.: I have to include at least one of “trial” segments, all of which are great. The cultural references fly fast and furious.
• M&TB are unstuck in time–816- PRINCE OF SPACE: Some really impressive writing here. I could never keep it all straight, but they do.
• M&TB sing “Sodium;” meanwhile as Callipygeas and Brainguyus bond, Apearlo and Flavia trade…er…pleasantries—817- HORROR OF PARTY BEACH: Another wonderful song. I love the credit at the end that says “lyric by.”
• Mike’s love of Noh theater causes confusion–819- INVASION OF THE NEPTUNE MEN: Yes, it’s an update of the Abbott & Costello, but it’s a great upate.
• Crow finds Mike’s surly big brother Eddie in Mike’s place–821- TIME CHASERS: Just when I thought they had given Mike every sort of character to play, they give him Eddie, and once again he knocks it out of the park.
• While Mike continues to struggle with Henry the monkey, PPTV presents a preview of “Pearl! Pearl! Pearl! Pearl! Pearl!”–822- OVERDRAWN AT THE MEMORY BANK: If you wonder what’s going on with Bill and Mary Jo in the blogs right now, you can get a good idea by watching these two here. Here’s two performers working brilliantly together.

What are yours?

28 Replies to “Weekend Discussion Thread: Fave Season 8 Host Segments”

  1. John Seavey says:

    Honestly, I could almost say “All.” They learned a lot from doing the movie, I think, and it shows in a lot of great sketches. The Holy and Everlasting Bomb, the Little Amish Boy (“You got up, you buttoned your buttons, you logged onto the World Wide Web…”), the nude sculpture of Bobo, Crow’s time traveling, food in pill form, “We’ve got the MRXl and you’ve got none!”, the wonderful encyclopedia gag (“It lists Hitler as a fairly stable veteran of the Great War!”), ‘The Nature of Bobo’, catering by Ortega (“Well, I guess that’s just the difference between you and me, Mike!” “You hire deformed psychopaths and I don’t?” “EXACTLY!”), the poop-throwing gag (“Start running, Casper!”), Howard (a rare guest-appearance, and by Robert Smith at that! I always was a big fan of his), Mike as a Brazilian kids’ show host, Mike in the tiny bikini (“What’s wrong? Is it the dancing?”), Bobo catching Observer in a pie-related lie at the trial, Mike as a little puppet guy…that’s fifteen right there, and I also agree with every single one on your list. It was just a great season for sketches.


  2. DrZaat says:

    I thought that, with fifteen choices to make, I’d have no difficulty, but I still had a hard time keeping it within the limit. Here’s my fifteen–in order of the episode in which they appeared:

    Mike’s Hestonish reaction to the discovery that apes have taken over.

    Looking for a radio station — I’m not a country fan, so I can relate.

    “THE UNDEAD”: 806
    Tom’s intelligence — Tom’s sojourn with the Observers makes me laugh.

    “TERROR FROM THE YEAR 5000”: 807
    the “Observer Trio” — one of my favorite MST3K songs.

    Tom and the Alien face-hugger — I love the Alien parody.

    Servo as cheerleader — quintessential Servo
    Bodysnatchers–the fifties version is one of my favorites, and I enjoyed MST3K’s take.

    Helping Children Through Research and Development — this seemed vaguely Monty Pythonesque

    “JACK FROST” 813
    Lord of the Dance — an eminently deserving target of MST3k’s scorn.

    Turkey Volume Guessing Man — I just love this.

    “AGENT FOR H.A.R.M.”: 815
    Any bit from Mike’s trial, perhaps the “pie” sequence. When’s Bobo gonna star in the To Kill a Mockingbird remake?

    “DEVIL DOLL”: 818
    Dorm party — Crow’s drunken frat boy brings back memories.

    Eyelash mites — like every war documentary you’ve ever seen.
    Noh theater — funny homage to Abbot & Costello.
    Krankor’s emotional return! — what can I say?


  3. I too could say all the skits from Season 8 were great. Personally, I believe Season 8 was MST3K’s best. Without further ado, here is my list (and I apologize if it’s too lengthy):

    #801 Revenge of the Creature: M&TB discover Deep Ape; introducing the Nanites; Pearl is unfrozen
    #802 The Leech Woman: The Beverly Hillbillies skit collapses as Servo is obsessed with screaming “JEEEEEEEEEEEEED!” over and over again
    #804 The Deadly Mantis: Mutants worship thermonuclear device; Mike’s radio plays country songs such as “When You Killed Me, I Died”
    #805 The Thing that Couldn’t Die: An Observer observes M&TB
    #806 The Undead: Digger Smolkin sings; Bobo’s midnight snack, complete with Observer brains and mayo-NAISE!
    #807 Terror from the Year 5000: Mind-control fight
    #808 The She Creature: Tickle Me Carlo Lombardi doll; “Do Not Act!” by Lance Fuller
    #810 The Giant Spider Invasion: Pods create doppelgangers of Pearl, Bobo & Observer; “MRxL!”
    #811 Parts the Clonus Horror: Weird Star Trek-inspired “space children” create havoc for Pearl, Bobo and Observer
    #813 Jack Frost: Mike almost tricks Observer into the theater
    #815 Agent for H.A.R.M.: “The Trial of Michael J. Nelson”; Extreeeeeeeeeeeme things!
    #816 Prince of Space: M&TB (and Pearl, Bobo and Observer) go through a wormhole; the sylvan glen; ancient Rome
    #819 Invasion of the Neptune Men: “Noh Theater” bit
    #820 Space Mutiny: Crow meets 80s Mike
    #822 Overdrawn at the Memory Bank: Public Pearl Television pledge drive; Henry the monkey


  4. adoptadog says:

    803 – Mole People – Tom’s “ballad” about his adventures, which he never gets to sing thanks to trying to tune up, and the guitar string that snaps & hits Mike; many folk songs tend to feel that way to me anyhow.
    806 – The Undead – Bridget as the witch with a sneezing attack, who keeps changing uncontrollably. Pearl’s sudden appearance is priceless.
    807 – Terror from the Year 5000 – the song “When I Held Your Brain in My Arms.”
    811 – Parts: the Clonus Horror – I love all the space children host segments, but in particular the one with Pearl & Brain Guy playing Candyland with the kids. Brain Guy’s trying to cheat to get out of Molasses Swamp (“My own personal hell!” as he says) is dead on; I feel exactly the same about Chutes & Ladders.
    Also, a close second from the same ep is the SOL’s version of a kids’ show, which devolves into the truly frightening Mexican kids’ show.
    813 – Jack Frost – Mike Nelson IS Lord of the Dance! (“Oh…did the other one die?”)
    816 – Prince of Space – again, all enjoyable & lots of fun, but my favorite is when they find themselves in a sylvan glade, and Tom develops hay fever.
    821 – Time Chasers – and yet again, most of these segments are such a treat, but Segment 1, when Pearl and Mike sit out in the Widow Maker, all neighborly, cracks me up no end. Something about Mike commenting on how chilly it is, and Pearl’s very Minnesotan, “Ya, it’s supposed to get down to absolute zero…that’s why I always wear a sweater,” never fails to make me laugh.
    822 – Overdrawn at the Memory Bank – the pledge drive overall is fine stuff, especially “The Nature of Bobo.”


  5. Kris says:

    I have to admit: I’m one of those annoying people who first started watching the show in its Comedy Central days and never really got into the host segments in Season 8. It’s not that I didn’t find them funny – many were – it’s just that I got used to a fixed set of characters (Joel/Mike, the bots, and Mads) and a fixed set of locations (SOL/Deep 13), and boring consistency makes me happy. It’s great that the writers experimented with new locations and characters, but I am lazy and have a short attention span, and I found a lot of the early Season 8 host segments difficult to follow, what with characters appearing and disappearing and planets blowing up willy nilly and stuff. Again, in many instances: funny – just not what I was used to.

    OK, that whiny introduction aside, my favorite segments from this season (and I just have 10, sorry):

    1. Mike vapor-locks remembering the temp jobs from his past in 806: The Undead. It’s so amusing to think of Mike as anything but a genial yet slightly dim man who wouldn’t (intentionally) hurt a fly, and I laughed my butt off at his mildly deranged psychosis here. “Somebody really had it out for me. I think I know who it was, too….”

    2. Same episode, Servo blows everyone out of the water with his test results. Typical pedantic, oddly brilliant Tom schools the rest of the S.O.L, then gets upset over a “misplaced decimal.” I think we all know (and sort of hate) too many people like that.

    3. The Spanish Kids Nightmare Television Freak Show from 811: parts: the Clonus Horror. I first saw this episode on tape. When I got to this host segment, I watched it with my mouth hanging wide open, then stopped the tape, rewound it, and played it again to convince myself that, yes, in fact, I did just see that. Perhaps the greatest “WTF?!” moment in MST history. It’s a skit that makes me laugh while feeling squirmy and uncomfortable at the same time. Thank you, MST, for expanding the limits of my comfort zone.

    4. Mike Nelson IS Lord of The Dance! in 813- Jack Frost. I love this skit for one simple line: “Did the other one die?” I’m laughing right now as I think of it.

    5. Mike blows up Planet Number 3 in 814: Riding With Death, vapor-locking yet again. What could be better than a baking soda bomb and long-suppressed homicidal rage toward “that one guy in receiving?” Who knew Mike was such an angry man? Crow’s new personality was clearly rubbing off on him.

    6. The ‘bots give their video depositions in 815: Agent for H.A.R.M. Crow is “so @&%(% sorry he couldn’t &)%()% be there, man.” It’s completely childish, I know, but I absolutely adore Crow’s obscenity-laden, violent rant at the “bull%$# court system.” I have a feeling that certain friends of mine would give fairly similar testimonies on my behalf should I ever have to go on trial.

    7. Same episode, Bobo is Atticus Finch, sort of. Kevin nailed this thing by getting the sweaty, Southern, down-home style of To Kill A Mockingbird just right, while eliminating all of Atticus’ honor, intelligence, and dignity and replacing it with panties and pie. And he’ll take no criticism from Mike, either: “You shut up, boy: I’m defending you here.” Kudos to Brad Keely as well for his hysterical Little Amish Boy performance.

    8. The wormhole screws up everything in 816: Prince of Space. You get the feeling that the Brains were just itching to have a “host puppet” for years when they made this thing, and I love the result. Mike’s robot is small and endearingly pathetic, the space-time continuum sketch is amusingly complicated, I get a big kick out of the guys randomly ending up in a sylvan glen, and who wouldn’t want to have Krankor as his wife? Great stuff here.

    9. There’s a dorm blowout! in 818 Devil Doll. “DEBBIE!!!!” Man, I loved Trace as Crow, but Bill did an absolutely fantastic job reinventing the character, and this sketch was just so damn funny. I adore the fact that Crow never fantasizes about being happy and successful, just drunk, miserable, and violent. What a masochistic, lovable weirdo. “I punched a window in for you, baby!”

    10. The ‘bots attempt to prevent Mike from being trapped on the S.O.L. in 820: Time Chasers. A brilliant premise based ever-so-loosely on the film, well-written and shot, and just so hysterically funny. I only wish Mike weren’t such a crappy actor, you know? He totally ruined the show. (intense, heavy sarcasm) :razz:


  6. fishbulb says:

    I said in an ealier thread that the host segments declined steadily after season 5, but I was wrong about that. The host segments in this season are pretty good. My choices:

    Michael J. Nelson IS Lord of the Dance!! – one of my favorite segments ever, absolutely hilarious. Mike perfectly captures the lame smugness of the real guy.

    M&TB are introduced to Ape World – “Everything you knew and loved is no more. Now, your movie today -” “Movies?! Why are you showing us movies?” “Ape law.”

    Mike is admonished for his Gesture Professor impression.

    Bomb worshippers on Ape World.

    M&TB meet the observers.

    The Observers explain their food substitute pills.

    “When I Held Your Brain in My Arms” – “It caused a contusion… during Suddenly Susan”

    Tickle Me Carlo Lombardi – I love Bill’s vocal inflections in this one

    Mike out-Xuxas Xuxa, hosting a strangely sexualized kid’s show.

    Turkey Volume Guessing Man.

    Mike is on trial for serial world-destroying, and accidentally chooses Bobo as his attorney.

    Mike loves Noh theater.

    Everyone’s so glad to see Krankor. (I especially liked this sketch, as Invasion of the Neptune Men is essentially Prince of Space without Krankor, and goes to show how much a character like Krankor can add to a bad movie.)

    Crow has a catch phrase. Mike tries to compete, with “Don’t run on my wet floor!”

    The Public Pearl duet with Observer and Pearl.

    Hey, I’m all done and it was exactly fifteen – how ’bout that?


  7. Lynchmob17 says:

    My favorite season ever. In my opinion, the new setting and cast changes seemed to really rejuvinate the writers. My favs:
    Observer Paul “examining” Mike(“Perhaps we’ll find that he’s some form of feces”).
    Teaching the space kids(“Ahhh! Right in the Tender Vittles”).
    All of the trial sequences(“..all warm and full of fruit…”).
    The return of Phantom(NOT Krankor!).
    Tickle Me Carlo Lombardi(“Oh, I think you better, Mike. Tickle Me Carlo Lombardi doesn’t like to be disappointed”).
    Bobo and Observer fighting(“You addle-pated homonculus!”).
    Mike’s nude dancing(“Maybe it’s the dancing?”)
    Mike’s evil brother(“That’s right. Every day!”)
    The sylvan glen(just because it’s so bizarre to see them in a real world setting.
    Mike as the Devil Doll(“You’re an ugly little dummy. A dummy who will never have any ham.”).


  8. The Professor says:

    I may be one of the few MST fans that count Prince of Space as his favorite episode but everything in it, in my opinion, is darn near perfect including the bizarre wormhole host segments. Mike becoming a robot and the cast ending up in a forest are some of my favorite MST moments…period. Beyond that, Turkey Volume Guessing Man may be one of the more wonderfully absurd post-CC host segments they ever did.


  9. outer space says:

    All of the space Children sketches especially the disturbing PBS kids show that servo and crow put on.


  10. Puma says:

    My top 3, because if I do any more, I’ll never be able to stop:
    Epispde 806 – the “Digger Smolken” record, particularly this bit: “Hello filth. I didn’t see you standing there!”
    Episope 814 – “Turkey Volume Guessing Man” is the sketch that made me finally accept Bill Corbett as Crow.
    Episode 818 – Crow and the Great Vorelli, Mike as Hugo the Devil Doll, and Servo as Vorelli’s leggy toaster-strudel assistant (with his butt hanging out). This bit makes me laugh tell it hurts, every time.


  11. BebopKate says:

    Season 8 was great! (See it rhymed! Ha ha…never mind.)

    1. 802 The Leech Woman – The Varment Vac makes me crack up, but not half as much as the idea that a satellite is infested with prarie dogs.
    2. 804 The Deadly Mantis – Looking on the radio for something interesting, and failing. I love all the bad country music, because that’s still pretty much the state of the radio around here.
    3. 805 The Thing that Couldn’t Die – Tom’s art show at the beginning is pretty awesome, and I envy the MSTies who won those auctions on eBay, but I also love Crow’s Civil War documentary. Crow + history x misconception = hilarity!
    4. 806 The Undead – Digger Smolken Sings; Kevin was having a lot of fun with this one. Almost as good, was Lydia’s continuing mistransformations.
    5. 807 Terror From the Year 5000 – “When I Held Your Brain in My Arms”. As they already proved with “Tubular Boobular Joy”, clever anatomy songs are funny.
    6. 808 The She Creature – Tickle Me Carlo Lombardi is so creepy it’s funny.
    7. 810 The Giant Spider Invasion – I always hated those inane “Give me a…” cheers. Negotiating for MRxL is brilliant.
    8. 811 Parts:The Clonus Horror – The children’s show, both versions, had me on the floor laughing. Especially the bad spanish one…”Agua. Ag-ua”.
    9. 814 Riding With Death – “The Funky Seventies” is great, and Servo’s reactions and ranting are better. “Morons, morons all of you!”
    10. 816 Prince of Space – The sylvan glen bit is just cool because’s its the first time on the show we see someone in an unstaged location.
    11. 817 Horror of Party Beach – Mike’s trunks are too small. The Bots’ reactions are just priceless.
    12. 820 Space Mutiny – Servo installing railings to ridiculous extremes, to the point that their purpose is completely defeated.
    13. 821 Time Chasers – The whole bit with Crow going back in time to help Mike and bringing back Eddie instead was pretty funny, especially the duel Crows, and the young Mike.
    14. 822 Overdrawn at the Memory Bank – For some reason, Henry Kissenger throwing things at Mike is funny to me, and Bobo joining forces with him at the end is funnier still.

    Worst: The Public Pearl TV stuff could have been funny, but just didn’t really go anywhere for me.


  12. jon says:

    I think season 8 is probably the strongest Sci Fi season, and even matches up to some of the best CC ones. The first eight episodes are such a great run.

    1.) Observer observes the SOL & Crow’s Civil War doc – 805, “The Thing That Couldn’t Die”
    2.) The Digger Smolken album and the final insane segment (Crow’s an imp, Bobo makes a brain sandwich with mayo-NAISE) – 806, “The Undead”
    3.) Tickle Me Carlo Lombardi – 808, “The She-Crature”
    4.) the SOL puts on a public TV kids show – 811, “Parts: The Clonus Horror”
    5.) Walkathon (but not walkathok) – 812, “The Incredibly Stange Creatures…”
    6.) Tom sings about the ’70s – 814, “Riding With Death”
    7.) All of the trial segments from 815 – “Agent for H.A.R.M.”
    8.) Again, all of the segments from 816 – “Prince of Space.” “Dog and bear” is terrific, and Mike, well, Mike’s going to lie down for awhile.
    9.) Noh theater – 819, “Invasion of the Neptune Men”
    10.) Tom installs a new railing system on the SOL – 820, “Space Mutiny”
    11.) Crow has a new catchphrase plus all of the “Public Pearl” bits from 822, “Overdrawn at the Memory Bank”


  13. Keith says:

    “When I held your brain in my arms” from 807- Terror From the Year 5000. Definitely a highlight of MST3Ks musical history.

    802- The Leech Woman: The Beverly Hillbillies thing was great, mainly due to the recurring gag of Servo yelling “Jeeed!!” especially the extended yell over the end credits.

    Two from 811- Parts: the Clonus Horror: The bots harshly criticize Mike’s new mustache, and the bizarre Spanish educational program upsetting the space children.

    816- Prince of Space: Mike and the bots are unstuck in time. For obvious reasons.

    818- Devil Doll: The closing bit where Crow builds a cage around Mike, dresses him up like a dummy, and taunts him, as in the movie. It most certainly was a weird movie.

    819- The aftermath of the war on Mike’s eyelash mites, and Servo coming down with “Roji Panty Complex. I don’t know if it’s fair to credit the host segment for having that, the point where it came up in the movie was what was really funny.

    820- Space Mutiny: Servo fills the ship with railings. “I see Crow is enjoying the whisper-quiet whirling blade railing…” Also, Mike’s personal time is cut short by the bots’ reckless dogfight.

    821- Time Chasers: Crow’s initial attempt to fix Mike’s past. “Who was that?” “Oh that was…. God.”

    822-Overdrawn at the Memory Bank: Mike is forced to tranquilize Bobo and Henry. “They weren’t hurting anyone!” “Yeah, except for us!” Poor Mike being persecuted for seemingly harmless things is always great.


  14. -RCFagnan says:

    I’m with John Seavy up there at no 1. I really liked the ongoing plots (though they are confusing as heck if not watched in order). All the segments in this season were dynamite (my own opinion has seasons 7&8 ranked as my favorites on the show). Since no one’s mentioned them yet:
    -Crow gets Yakov Smirnoff & and Earl Torgeson to explain the Russo-Finnish “Jack Frost”s place in myth and culture.
    -Pearl is “the goddes of quit yapping and get on with it” or “brevity” if you must and Observer is just “Braingaeus the…god!”
    -Best ape movie ever? Every Which Way But Loose or Any Which Way You Can? Nope, it’s Dunston Checks In! Fresh Pain awaits!(final host segment of Jack Frost, one of my all-time favorite eps. I wish they’d release all the Russo-Finnish episodes on dvd).
    -Servo, inspired by “Space Mutiny”, installs lots and lots of railings. Also, Crow is a Belarian (sp?).
    -Servo’s Doppel Vs. The Nanites in the rough part of town.
    -The Nanites create a distraction. And take care of a “little problem” for Mike. (It’s always annoyed me slightly that Mike is blamed for the first two planets’ destruction. The only planet HE actually is responsible for blowing up is the third one. He should have brought that up at the trial…)
    -And speaking of the Nanites, I love their introduction…”of course, forgive us, where are our manners. What can we do you for?”


  15. Diamond Joe says:

    Before trying it, I wouldn’t have thought it would be so difficult to limit myself to 15. So I’m going to cheat by picking my 15 favorite episodes, host-segment-wise.

    The Deadly Mantis (804): The Brains get up to full speed in both sketches and riffing with this one. Casual Day (“Can I dress as a turn-of-the-century carnival barker?”). “And by the way, what IS a thermonuclear device?” The car radio sketch. “Did I say ‘juicy’? I meant well-marbled, with a kind of piquant aftertaste. I mean he’s GOOD… ISN’T he?”

    The Thing that Couldn’t Die (805): a) Crow: A Thousand Years of Tyranny. I like how they left it to us to notice that the “expensive” catering is crackers with spray-cheese. b) Mike gets beaten up by Finnigan, the Emperor Hadrian, and Adrianne Barbeau, who ungallant Mike punches when she’s distracted by Movie Sign. c) The War Civil. I especially liked the play on one of the letter reading voices from Ken Burns’ version. d) Servo’s Evil Head. It’s amusing to see Servo reduced to just the red lower head section. “As always, Mike, well done!”

    The Undead (806): a) The witch visits the SOL. The things she turns into, including Pearl and a bottle of Clorox, are hilarious. b) Digger Smolken’s album. I can see how the Brains were sorely tempted to go on and on with this.

    Terror from the Year 5000 (807): a) I think this is the one with silly color names. “Have you got it in twerp?” “Twerp’s on backorder; it’ll be 8 to 12 weeks.” b) “You mean Ginger Suh-NAP?” c) When I Held Your Brain in My Arms. Back in the ’20s, when they appreciated cleverness in song, the Brains could have RULED the pop world. d) Beez makes a wonderful Blind Date from the Year 5000.

    The Giant Spider Invasion (810): a) “Have you got as much unh-unh-unh-unh MRxL as us? I don’t think so! We’ve got the MRxL, and you’ve got none!” b) Pod-Gypsy’s lullabye: “Let an evil/Superconsciousness/Come and swallow your soul…”

    Parts: The Clonus Horror (811): “Mike’s mustache to world: I hate you!” Somehow, the Brains manage to make a “getting hit in the nads over and over” gag hilarious. The bizarre Mexican kids’ show. (“Agua! Agua!”) “That” talk, with three hilarious and in-character takes on it.

    The Incredibly Strange, etc. (812): I’ll bet the Brains had fun coming up with the full name for HELPING CHILDREN THROUGH RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT. The CNN graphics for Bobo and Brain Guy are funny, too.

    Jack Frost (813): a) Mike Nelson IS Lord of the Dance! “Did the other one die?” b) Mike Mediates. Well-played all around, but they missed the great opportunity of having Brain Guy go into the theater, at least for a while.

    Agent for H.A.R.M. (815): The trial is great, especially Bobo’s pie-centric cross-examination of Brain Guy, and Pearl’s graphic re-enactment of Mike’s villainy.

    Prince of Space (816): a) I love the long, graphic description of Dog and Bear, ending in, “And then Servo took it too far!” b) The “Unstuck in Time” sketch rivals “Quantum Linear Superposition” for extremely clever silliness.

    Horror of Party Beach (817): a) Tom harmonizes with the fundamental. “Five bucks says you can’t.” “You’re on!” b) The beef jam. c) Sodium, baby! d) “Must be fun to be a suhhhhhhhLUT, though!” Mary Jo and Bridget had fantastic comic chemistry in these Roman segments.

    Devil Doll (818): Almost nothing not to love here. “No wine coolers? Cripes!” Crow’s “drunk and depressed” fantasy. “I know what let’s do! Let’s overthrow the royals whilst we wait!” Tom the Toaster Strudel. “You’re an ugly little dummy, aren’t you, Mike-o?” “I’m the Goddess of Shut Up and Get on with It.” “The, uh, the Goddess of Brevity!”

    Invasion of the Neptune Men (819): a) If this is the sketch I’m thinking of, I always love the line, “We believe that YOU do!” By the way, who’s the woman with the red curls? Now, SHE’S got it goin’ on! b) The Eyelash Mite War has some great lines (“No, Mike, don’t even think of it as a war. It’s more of a… police action.”), and I always laugh at the cut back to Servo, who we see is providing the music we’ve just been hearing. c) Noh Theater is fun wordplay, with Mike thoroughly discombobulating the ‘Bots for once. d) Krankor visits. The movie understandably makes M&TB intensely nostalgic for the comparative sanity of “Prince of Space.”

    Time Chasers (821): Everything in this one is gold. I love Mike and Pearl’s understated neighborly chat, and how the ‘Bots act like children… with very odd tastes (“‘Mondo Cane’?! Cool!”) And, of course, the “dim young version of Mike,” and big brother Eddie, and how the Brains give time paradoxes more thought than the filmmakers did. I had to think about that one for a while before, like Mike, I realized Pearl was right (although Spare Crow still has the time machine he arrived in, so he’s not stuck there).

    Overdrawn at the Memory Bank (822): a) I like how Bill delivers “You know you want me, baby!,” and the comic punctuation of the gradually-malfunctioning tape player. b) When Loving Lovers Love: I like Brain Guy’s smug acknowledgment of the audience applause. The rare multi-camera directing is nice, too. c) Tom’s Dopple: I like the nanites calling Tom “College Boy,” and I always laugh at the cut back to Mike, now wearing a pink jacket like Apollonia.

    On the downside:

    1)I always hate it when they feel they have to explain a joke. It doesn’t make it funnier for those who didn’t get it, and it kills it for the rest of us. I loved the line (818) when Mike explains he got his beer from “The Nanites. They have a microbrewery.” But then they had to go and over-explain it.

    2) Inconsistency between episodes. a) Pearl explains to Brain Guy the possible consequences of changing the past in 816. Then in 817, Brain Guy has to explain the same to Pearl in almost the same way. b) In 801, Crow is quite clear on having lived on the SOL for more than 500 years, and it’s implied he’s forgotten Mike as someone unimportant from very long ago. But in 803, he thinks he’s the latest in a long line of Crows, and when Servo explains that he isn’t, Crow suddenly remembers Mike.


  16. magicvoice says:

    I liked it when Crow was drunk and upset over his dorm girlfriend Debbie


  17. I stand corrected: the “Crow Meets 80s Mike” bit was in #821 Time Chasers.


  18. Sitting Duck says:

    The riffing during Season Eight was so high quality that for the most part the host segments went unnoticed by me. The only one that sticks out was Mike’s trial.

    And it’s looking as if I’m the only one who thought that the Lord of the Dance segment was kind of lame.


  19. Rowsdower42 says:

    As someone that started with the Sci-Fi years in it’s initial run, I’ve always been a fan of these sketches as well. Those that hate the sci-fi sketches are wrong wrong wrong. So, here we go!

    1) 801 – Revenge of the Creature – Segment 4: Crow gets to know Mike over a coffee. I just really think this one is funny. The tiny coffee, after all the effort Crow puts into it, is just… funny!

    2) 802 – The Leech Woman – Segments 4 and 5: Pineal Juice / JEEEDDD! Crow’s pissed reaction at their failure to acquire Mike’s precious juices is priceless, but Tom forcing Mike and Crow to re-enact The Beverly Hillbillies at gunpoint is better. Jed!

    3) 803 – The Mole People – Segment 2: Gesture Professor. I love Lawgiver Daze, I love Crow rediscovering his heritage, but Mike’s failed experiment as the gesture professor (down, down, down) is just great. The bots talking him down, and hugging him… precious.

    4) 804 – The Deadly Mantis – Segment 4: Turn your Crank to Frank! A callback to another great sketch as the SOL crew tries to find something listenable on the radio. It’s all AM Country, which is terrible. Hangin’ around with a rodeo clown?

    5) 805 – The Thing That Couldn’t Die – Segment 2: Observations. It’s so tough to pick a sketch from this episode. Crow’s fantastic Civil War documentary, Mike being pummelled by Finnegan or Adrienne Barbeau, but Paul’s Observer-ing is tops. He’s just so cruel! He deserves the beating he gets.

    6) 806 – The Undead – Prologue: Mike’s Recollections. One of my favorite episodes ever (STAY!) has some of the best sketches: Flavia’s visit and the Smolken record are fantastic. But the opening is solid gold: Mike locks up as he recalls the misery of his temp job life. And it happens again during his test!

    7) 809 – I Was A Teenage Werewolf – Segment 4: A Darling Breakfast Place. This is the moment when I loved the new Crow. He was growing on me, but his insistence that he was, in fact, a restaurant critic, after inventing the restaurant himself, gets me every time. The Egga-palooza!?

    8) 811 – Parts: the clonus horror – Segment 3: Children’s television. This one speaks for itself.

    9) 813 – Jack Frost – Prologue: Mike Nelson is! He is! The Lord of the Dance!

    10) 814 – Riding With Death – Segment 2 and 4: The Seventies and TVGM! A tie between a hilarious mix-up and another one of Crow’s delusions.

    11) 815 – Agent for HARM – Segment 3: Video Depositions. Crow’s string of obscenities make this one solid gold, Jackson.

    12) 816 – Prince of Space – ALL! The wormhole stuff makes me laugh so much. The phrase “sylvan glen,” the three-second delay about a chicken puppet, and Puppet Mike… all good stuff. Put Krankor on top and you have a delish comedy pie.

    13) 818 – Devil Doll – Segment 1: Debbie! While the return of Pitch is hilarious, as is the howdown, it’s Crow’s psychotic depression about Debbie that takes the cake. And he breaks poor Servo’s window!

    14) 819 – Invasion of the Neptune Men – All! Yet Again! The Kabuki/Noh joke is hilarious, and really well written. The eyelash mite battle is just fantastic and funny. And the Krankor comes back to save the guys from a movie in which Hitler appears. Yes, we love you, Krankor.

    15) 820 – Space Mutiny – Segment 2: Tea-Time. Mike’s darling preparations for some tea are interrupted. Explosively. Mike acting prissy + damaged puppet models = fantastic.

    I didn’t mention the Time Chasers past stuff… It’s good, and well-done… I just didn’t laugh too much. Eddie is great, but he’s much better in the theater.

    Honorable Mentions: 807 – Terror From the Year 5000 – Prologue: Comfort Ratings: Tom’s list of Mike’s ratings makes me laugh every damn time.
    808 – The She-Creature – Segment 4: Lance Fuller Acting Lessons. This one just hits home, as an actor myself.

    Least favorite: 817 – Horror of Party Beach – Segment 4: Tom’s Headlines. A dated joke, poorly-executed. Sorry.


  20. Bob says:

    Favorite Season Eight host segments in no particular order:
    The Undead: Mike plays his Digger Smolken album
    Giant Spider Invasion: Invasion of the body-snatchers parody, which I really liked. Pod-Gypsy suggests sleep and Mike is suspicious of her.
    Prince of Space: Mike is transformed into a small robot. The Mike puppet is cheap and funny.
    Invasion of the Neptune Men: Tom comes down with Roji Panty complex. Just the phrase “Roji Panty complex” makes me laugh.
    Space Mutiny: Servo installs railings. This is one of the best Sci-Fi Channel era episodes as a whole to me; really funny movie, great job by MST3K riffing on it.
    Time Chasers: The host segments with a story arc of Crow trying to interfere with Mike taking temp jobs. Also one of the best Sci-Fi Channel episodes for me.
    Horror of Party Beach: Tom’s a newsy with very up-to-date news


  21. Rowsdower42 says:

    Damn, I totally forgot the Sodium song. Ah well. You kids today…


  22. norgavue says:

    I love season eight and its host segments are some of the best. i can only really pick the ones that i like way more than the others.

    The Wormhole – Prince of Space
    Everything about these host segments really showed that with the constraint of needing a story arc they certainly rose to the challenge – the “I only take orders from Willy Tyler and Lester” was a highlight

    Return of Pitch – Devil Doll
    Crows seeming readiness to perform soul transference and make deals with pitch seems to really irritate mike and this really shows the new angry crow as he responds with his “WHAT”

    Eddie – Time Chasers
    As one of my favorites the polar opposite of mike really gave us a look at what was never meant to be. I like the joel acknowlgement “when the sleepy eyed guy left” That was my first signaling to seek out knowledge of the one named joel.

    The observer song was just insane. I still laugh my ass off when I see it

    Servos song about the 70’s. I always used to say the same thing about why no one will say 1970’s. When we get to the 50’s it is shown that servos song styling has a tender side.

    Sodium Can’t say anything that hasn’t already been said. We still break out into this song at work or lines at the movies.


  23. Invisible Cracker Mom says:

    [801- Revenge of the Creature]
    Deep Ape is born, and Mike does Bright Eyes proud. one never tires of Heston’s thundering words of invective for the destruction wrought by his species. [maybe Pearl could have impersonated Dr. Zaius for some extra fun.] the ape above the exploded/melted Statue of Liberty diorama, blissfully swinging his briefcase, always makes me giggle.

    the Octopus Alien Guy ‘Phil’ in the hexfield is strangely too repellent for me to enjoy. he reminds me of old guys at the park who ruin your quiet sketching session by the lake, barking at you about how crappy everything is these days. and I agree: things are crappy. I was just trying to forget for awhile. old guys would use Vanilla Pudding as money, though.

    anyone who has ever worked behind the counter of a cafe knows the terror of an espresso machine. especially if it is huge and a little on the funky side. the gouts of steam, the weird spittings of coffee napalm, the horror of a mistakenly turned knob…this segment took me right back to those days. these are the days of such machines; ‘coffee’ means a long specific sentence, and a long wait while the described beverage is created. no more sitting at a counter with legs dangling, having your cup refilled in an eyeblink. the SOL crew makes a comment on society while turning the joke onto themselves.

    Mike’s descendants married apes- or more precisely, primates; one is a lemur. we ARE apes under the skin, after all. when in Rome… a nice transition from Pearl takes us into the new era.

    [802- The Leech Woman]
    I like when the prairie dog puppet pops up out of the Varmint Vac. ‘Hello!’ very cute.

    Bobo’s questions for Mike are hysterical. an ape scientist would be fascinated by our odd, hairless skins, and our scent, or probably to them, stench. [an aside: chimpanzees, while grooming their caretakers, will try to pull or scratch off freckles or moles on the skins of their human buddies.] Mike as Dr. Peanut embracing roller-skating while diapered and bow-tie’d is painfully funny. chimpanzees, dressed in human clothes and being forced to roller skate are NEVER funny. I’m surprised more humans weren’t harmed by chimps while enforcing these supposedly cute scenarios- but then, we humans zap them with electricity, and we hold the choke-chain.

    I love Mary-Jo as the wise little Nanite, Jody. ‘it were after the union summer the prairie fire started…some folk say it was set a-purpose…’ very funny. I am the offspring of a Teamster myself, so I’m pleased the Nanites are union ‘bots.

    OK: the ‘Jeeeeeddd!’ thing is funny, if hard on the ears. Servo is adorable in his teeny Granny glasses, tiny-bunned wig, and dress. I especially love the part where Mike has to slap some sense into ‘Jeeeedddd!’ obsessed Servo. he orders him to say this prized word in his normal voice. ‘Again!’ ‘[sob sob]- Jed.’ Servo’s sustained Jed scream during the credits always terrifies the cats.

    [803- The Mole People]
    it’s Lawgiver Days! inexplicably, Mike can’t touch Tom’s bake sale pastries. ‘no, that’s a kringle. that’s a krumkakke. that’s a profiterole. napoleon- blintz-’ [paraphrased.] Crow tumbles from a great height from atop his meringue, a new leitmotif. then, Pearl catches Bobo ‘not smiling during Lawgiver Daze.’ I have a question: anyone out there ever worked at Nordstrom? ever get caught ‘not smiling?’

    Mike Nelson is unparalleled at portrayals of stentorian white guys, stuffed with unctuous enthusiasm for their own ridiculous areas of study. Gesture Professor Baxter is made to order for him. ‘down, down…’ if he put out a series of ersatz educational films as this character, I would buy them all.

    the discovery of the pale stowaways under the floor of the SOL is a nice touch.

    ‘brought you a big delicious pan of smarmy!’
    ‘walk this way and look like you have batteries’

    [804- The Deadly Mantis]
    traumatized by the bald veiny future humans in ‘Beneath the Planet of the Apes’ as a kid, it was nice to have their memory washed away by the MST3K versions.

    is there any way to get full-length versions of the MST3K country music stuff? I’m not partial to country music at all, but would gladly pay and listen to their renditions of this genre.

    [805- The Thing That Couldn’t Die]
    I love the Tom created Crow portraits. this segment reminds me of hours of critique in art college. if only the wit of the SOL crew were in those classrooms! a nice comment on the shadow companion of the art world: how much MONEY you have- or can get.

    welcome, Observers! along with the MST3K country album, I would love a cd of the ambient tonal chiming sounds that plays constantly on the Observer world. I find it strangely soothing. how does Mike keep from laughing as he is analyzed by the Observer? well done, all.

    oh, god- Finnegan. annoying in any century.

    [806- The Undead]
    Mike’s resentful flashback vapor-lock at the beginning is amazing. who knew our favorite genial blonde spaceman had such darkness within? as the camera slowly zooms in on his face, Mike’s pupils dilate as his rage blooms. he holds this expression, his normally mild mannered face now hardened. madness flickers within his blue eyes. this is a man that you do not want to mess with.

    the testing segment sends me back to SAT-taking time. who knew that Servo was such a genius? the gag with the spoons falling from Tom’s sleeve is right out of the repertoire of the Marx Brothers- I wish they had included their punchline of the coffee pot tumbling out at the last.

    Bridget Jones is again wonderful in her portrayal of Livia the Witch. great transmogrifications. nice effects. funny. they made it all seem effortless!

    Bobo’s snack sequence is one of my very favorites in all of MST3K-land. ‘mayo-NAISE!’ always cracks me up; that’s what we call it at our house! and oh, god- when he slices into the green brain! Kevin Murphy, is there no end to your brilliance? [and the answer is: NO.]

    [807- Terror From The Year 5000]
    ‘When I Held Your Brain in My Arms’ is a gorgeous tune. filled with witty anatomical references and a fine melody, it always reminds me of my mom, who loved 1920’s ballads. she could harmonize along with the MST3K Singers to this fine song, which she loved doing. bravo!

    [808- The She-Creature]
    I like Pearl’s attempt to sing rounds with an enthusiastically idiotic Bobo and sobbing Observer.

    Mike transcends himself again while attempting a technique from Lance Fuller’s ‘Do Not Act’ textbook. again- how did they keep from breaking up completely? though someone [logically, either Kevin or Bill] behind the scenes does start to lose it during Mike’s Lance Fuller’ed ‘Schindler’s List’ reading. and try mumbling ‘I’m as mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore,’ with your chin tucked under and your eyes dead, Fuller-style. always makes me giggle.

    ‘would you like a C cup or a D cup of coffee?’

    [810- The Giant Spider Invasion]
    Tom Servo is the cutest little cheerleader! I love how his blonde pigtails flip around. MRxL!

    nice ‘Invasion of the Body Snatchers’ subplot. ‘they’re zucchini’ ‘they’re throw pillows’ it’s fun to see Bobo triumph, for a change. he saves the day, even though the Lawgiver won’t give him credit.

    ‘I suppose you’re a woman, too’

    [811- parts: the clonus horror]
    The Space Children have come! ‘naanahh naanahh boo boo…’ Scooter is the best demonic tot ever. I love how they call our favorite ape ‘Tante Bobo.’ a nice touch. ‘what the hell is fruit leather?’ ‘ahhhh!’

    Mike in silver spandex like Xuxa! crazed Latino child-show antics never fail to terrify and tickle the mind.

    the ‘nose job’ sequence, in an homage to tiny-nebbed Lena of the film by Bill Corbett as New Crow is hysterical. one of the funniest MST3K bits of all. his teeny, truncated voice puts me on the floor every time. ‘what are you looking at?’

    ‘later on.’
    ‘what am I thinking? oh yes: DUH. that’s right’

    [813- Jack Frost]
    Mike as Lord of the Dance is just as ridiculous as the real thing. they make their point.

    Servo with giant eyes and a babushka IS ‘dawling’ and ‘adowable’. I love his little giggles.

    [814- Riding With Death]
    again, Tom Servo’s body altering makes for good fun. I think he has a GREAT little butt.

    sorry- Turkey Volume Guessing Man becomes immediately tiresome.

    love the last bit with the inexplicably appearing, remotely observing Abby from the film as a cardboard cutout taking it all in.

    [815- Agent For H.A.R.M.]
    yes. ‘Extreme!’ everything. when did everything start to become ‘Extreme!’? I forgot to notice.

    Bobo’s turn as a Southern lawyer, mopping his brow and weaving home-spun non sequiturs is great stuff. I love when he catches Brain Guy in his how to make pie crust lie.

    [816- Prince of Space]
    this is the first episode I saw with the New Crow. for years, I had no access to the channels that broadcast MST3K, so I’m still catching up! after my initial ‘where’s Trace?’ I realized that New Crow was just as much fun as the old. ‘Mike? why are we in a sylvan glen?’ nice to see the SOL crew in the sunshine of our Earth.

    I wonder where is the puppet version of Mike? I love this little guy’s attempt to be credible even though he looks like a ridiculous Pez dispenser/Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood reject.

    Bill Corbett does Krankor proud.

    [818- Devil Doll]
    sorry to digress, but this movie contains one of my favorite Tom Servo riffs: the little sigh-grunts he assigns to the sitting dummy Hugo in his cage, before its eyes slowly move in its head. I rewound this bit a few times. scary and funny.

    the ‘Debbie!’ stuff reminds me TOO much of frat goons to be funny.

    Mike is Hugo: ‘an ugly little dummy that will never get any ham.’ also scary and funny.

    [819- Invasion of the Neptune Men]
    the Noh theater bit is a little too derivative to enjoy. I wish they had done more with the masked robots before devolving into the Abbot and Costello thing.

    but I love Tom’s illness; he is stricken with Roji Panty Complex. Mike tenderly administers panties.

    Krankor returns! he slips into a maudlin moment, then saves himself with his trademark laugh of evil.

    [821- Time Chasers]
    I love the 80’s Mike, complete with biker mustache and aviator shades, his voluminous golden locks imprisoned in a hairnet. perhaps the steady diet of cheese has stimulated his scalp. he’s so doggedly sure his reality is worth saving… by the way, ‘Sex Factory’ rules, man!

    Eddie is that bad boy that we all know. ruthless, smeared with automobile greases, chain-smoking- and somehow, oddly alluring. an interesting alter ego for Mike Nelson.


    [822- Overdrawn at the Memory Bank]
    we used to volunteer for pledge drives for our local PBS station. ‘what’s your name? Ortega? that’s pretty!’ but the jewel of this episode is ‘When Loving Lovers Love.’ I have never been partial to love songs, which makes this haunting tune extra piquant. great nails on Pearl; great harmony from both.

    [fat guy riff-farting]


  24. Matt D. says:

    “I think I lie…because I’m evil.” That line, and the absolute zero line make the opening segment of Time Chasers one of my very favorites. And Mary Jo’s facial expressions in that segment just put a capper on the whole bit.

    The installation of the railings is another big highlight.

    As for worst, I’d go with the first introduction of the space children. Mind you, the other segments about playing candyland and the “birds and the bees” talk are great. It’s just the introduction that bored me, and I usually just FFwd through it to get to the movie.


  25. Smoggy says:

    There’s something so odd about Season 8 host segments and movies, but I can’t quite put my finger on the host segment part. What’s odd about the movies is that half of them were all Universal monster movies, and boy, that really made it so surreal, I suppose.

    As for the content, I was enjoying Invasion of the Neptune Men. Up until the hero’s car, most likely with the driver within, just explodes and I felt really bad about how nothing was made of it, no explanations, etc. Too sad. I liked ‘im.


  26. somebody` says:

    Can someone tell me what those observer guys with the brains in a bowls come from? are they based characters from a movie? I have asked around and no one seems to know I was hoping that one of you well-informed and knowledgeable people.


  27. Sean74 says:

    I’ve been reviewing alot of my Sci-fi era episodes. I’d been nostalgic for the Comedy Central experiments until recently, but all this talk about the latter episodes made me realize that the ‘Brains were still making high calibuer comedy.

    My choices for season 8:

    -Bobo questions for Mike. Probably the first indication that Bobo would be an affable but not very bright regular character.
    -Mike and his take on the Professor at the beginning of “The Mole People”. It’s kind of on the line of Jack Perkins, but that was funny too.
    -Mike being analyzed by the Observer played by Paul Chapin is hysterical! There must be outtakes of this scene out there somewhere.
    -Mike mentally stuck with looks of resentment, while the “bots try to break him out of it. (806)
    -Mike as Lord of the Dance, and Servo has that little Nastinka(?) from “Jack Frost”
    -M&TB making fun of that highly-dull woman from “Riding with Death”
    -ALL segments from “Prince of Space”, probably the best episode of the Sci-fi era.
    -M&TB perform “sodium”
    -the last segment in “Devil Doll”, where Mike is Hugo in a cage and Crow is Veralli.
    -The Noh Theater sketch in “Invasion of the Neptune Men”, as well as the return of Krankor.
    -The “Time Chasers” sketches are great, with Mike’s take of evil brother Eddie being the highlight.
    -Pearl hosting a PBS special about herself; her song with Observer is a personal favorite of mine.

    Worst: The opening sketch of this era, show 801, has never done anything for me, and maybe a reason why I was never a big fan of Bobo’s to begin with.


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