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Sampo & Erhardt

Sci-Fi Archives


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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Episode guide: 1009- Hamlet

Movie: (1961) A dour production of Shakespeare’s play produced for German TV. A prince returns home for his father’s funeral and doesn’t like what he finds.

First shown: June 27, 1999
Opening: Tom Servo is now Htom Sirveaux
Intro: Crow has a name change too; Mike interrupts Pearl’s plan with Three Card Monty — which she loses, allowing Mike to pick the movie. He chooses unwisely
Host segment 1: Crow and Tom’s plan to be the ghost of one of Mike’s dead relatives quickly unravels
Host segment 2: Crow and Tom give Mike a preview of their percussion version of “Hamlet”
Host segment 3: Time once again to play “Alas Poor Who?”
End: Crow and Tom show off their Hamlet action figure, with real soliloquy action; in Castle Forrester, a snotty Fortenbras demands his due
Stinger: Claudius does a double take
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (405 votes, average: 3.48 out of 5)

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• I’m going to come right out and say that this episode is not nearly as bad as its reputation. Yes, the movie is particularly dour, but Kevin, in his comments on this one, is right: You can’t hurt this thing no matter how hard you try. As happens every time I see this one, I got drawn in to the classic tale, which for me was made all the more fun by the overlay of some pretty solid riffing. The host segments, aren’t bad either. I know plenty of you can’t wait to start trashing this one, but I’m not on board. That said, I don’t have a lot else to say about this one.
• Kevin’s thoughts are here.
• This episode was included in Rhino’s “Mystery Science Theater 3000 Collection, Vol. 4.”
• Callback in the opening host segment: “You think you can take me? Go ahead on.” (Final Justice)
• I like segment 1 a lot. It’s fun, fast and it’s over quick. Really liked it even more this time.
• Segment 2, on the other hand, is a pretty good example of the more-clever-than-funny segment. Clearly they wanted to say something about the many many avant garde stagings of “Hamlet,” and they did say something, but I’m not sure it added up to a comedy sketch.
• Yes, that’s an uncredited Ricardo Montalban doing the voice of Claudius and John Banner, of “Crash of the Moons” and “Hogan’s Heroes,” doing the voice of Polonius. Happily, the Brains noticed. They made two John Banner jokes and one Montalban reference.
• Segment 3, feeling very season two-ish, goes on a little long. But it’s a cute idea.
• Kevin is hilarious as Fortinbras in the end bit.
• Cast and crew roundup: Nobody involved in making this movie worked on any other MSTed movie.
• CreditsWatch: Directed by Mike.
• Fave riff: “Hamlet faxed me a sililoquy!” Honorable mention: “Nice play, Shakespeare.”

284 Replies to “Episode guide: 1009- Hamlet”

  1. swh1939 says:

    I’m the one who actually likes this episode. I know I’m in the minority. I’ve watched Hamlet several times in anticipation of this review to determine what is it about this episode that I so adore but other people find so repulsive. Yes, the print is ugly and the sound is marginal, but that can be said with so many episodes of MST3K. As a production of Hamlet, it’s got plenty of faults and as pointed out there are moments left out. But there is enough there to follow the plot lines. The riffs, in my opinion, have the usual wide range. For the Shakespeare aficionados there’s plenty of in-jokes, but not enough to overwhelm. The other riffs, again in my opinion, make me laugh — audibly, when I’m alone (a true rarity). I’ve shown this episode to dozens of people and they all enjoy it so it truly surprised me to find out that most of the fan base consider this the worst episode of the entire series. Spotting Ricardo Montalban’s voice as well as John Banner’s for me gives a bit of a comfort zone, and perhaps that’s a factor I have that most don’t. Some of my favorites include “RunDMC-Everett Koop”, “Cut to the ghost … the GHOST”, “We’re out of ear poison”, and Crow’s early anticipation of the famous “To be or not to be” soliloquy as soon as Hamlet himself is seen for the first time. Well everyone, hate it if you must, but I for one — probably the only one — have this episode in my top five all-time favorites.

    Nice play, Shakespeare.

       29 likes

  2. robot rump! says:

    this one just goes to show that reinventing classical theater is just one of the many things that Germans shouldn’t do but go ahead on anyway. and now ‘i’m gonna release the Great Dane…’

       0 likes

  3. GregS says:

    Yeah, I’m with Sampo on this one. Definitely a solid offering. Hamlet is my favorite Shakespeare play, and the dreary presentation only makes me laugh all the more at MST3K’s treatment; after all, you don’t really want to stare at the “abandoned power plant” set design!

    Fav line: Htom, why don’t you Hlick me… (or something like that!)

       7 likes

  4. Nope, this is one that proves the “cheesier the movie the better” rule. It’s sooooo boring (and not really a bad movie, just “Hamlet”, for goodness sake’s, and I’m an English and Theater Arts major) that the riffing is not only not that funny, but seems to make the movie even more boring to me. This was an interesting, but failed experiment (that apparently the RT people never learned from).

    It’s not that it’s painful to get through this one — it just puts me to sleep. I find if I am watching it at the dinner table (where we watch a lot of them) I start reading and only look up from time to time. It’s the only way I can get through it without *actually* falling asleep (which I do if we start this in the bedroom or living room).

    Worst. Episode. Ever.

       1 likes

  5. Bobby 23-Skidoo says:

    Well, at least when the Germans are doing this they can’t be up to any mischief.

       12 likes

  6. robniles says:

    What’s worse than clowns? Danish clowns!

    I love this one as well. More than any of the other post-Merlin episodes, in fact. Granted, aside from the film being turgid and underlit, the riffing seems a little sparse and the guys lob some real softballs throughout (but then they also hit pure gold at times, such as the Run-DMC line). Maybe I just love the unlikely juxtaposition of M&TB vs. Shakespeare and the way they pretty much assume everyone knows the play and dive right in, rather than getting hung up on the story. All I know is that they had me from “I don’t think so, breeder!” to the stiffest, minciest fencing match I’ve ever seen, topped off with Fortinbras getting his due. Not to everyone’s tastes, but right up my particular alley. And now I kind of wish I’d chosen Condom Hat as my username. Four stars.

       4 likes

  7. MPSh says:

    Danish Clowns: the damp, smelly, silverfish-infested basement of the clown world.

       3 likes

  8. Fart Bargo says:

    This one is on my ten worse list. I have no qualms with the gang trying something different nor Shakespeare. It’s just that the sheer dreariness just overwhelms even the best riffing. The edited cuts do not help in the least. In comparison, Screaming Skull is a merry jaunt through Pee Wee’s Playhouse. This one is a three for me, barely.

    I’m not sure but I always wondered if this was some sort of slap to ‘SyFy’ , sort of ‘Fight the Power!’ show? If anyone has any insight on this I would appreciate the dish, thanks.

       3 likes

  9. rcfagnan says:

    AWESOME episode, probably my favorite of season 10. I didn’t really feel that way until after it had come out on dvd and I had taken a Shakespeare course in college. That said, love the HS and riffing. Fave riffs: “What’s worse than clowns? DANISH CLOWNS! Danish clowns: the damp, smelly, silverfish-infested basment of the clown world.” And “Danish rapper Notorious K.I.N.G.” And, of course, “To be or not to be, the verbal equivalent of *hums Beethoven’s 5th (?)*”

       2 likes

  10. Rich says:

    We all recognized Ricardo Montalban but I never in a million years would have known John Banner.

       1 likes

  11. Rich says:

    I need to reply to what “swh1939” posted. It’s not repulsive- it’s more like digging through tons of earth and never finding that diamond.

       2 likes

  12. Creepygirl says:

    I admit when this episode was played until the end of the run on Sci-Fi I could not get thru it. I watched it on DVD for the first time a year ago and found it better than I remembered. I won’t be watching it again any time soon but I don’t hate it.

    3 stars.

       2 likes

  13. ck says:

    Like Creepygirl I found this excruciating the first
    time it was on the SciFi Channel. But there’s something
    endearing about what seems to be a German PBS-type
    station doing Hamlet, and Mad Max over the top emoting
    that makes it interesting to watch. And Ophelia is
    easy on the eyes :grin: .

    Probably the strongest criticism of the production is that
    for some strange reason they cut out the small but crucial
    role of Fortinbras. Go figure :shock: .

       1 likes

  14. klisch says:

    This was just a poor choice of a movie or is it a play to do MST with. I tried watching it the other night but lasted about 11 minutes before my mind wandered and I went to do something else. This is just wretched, atrocious, detestable, unpleasant, odious, rotten, and loathsome. I think I’ve made my point.

       3 likes

  15. Graboidz says:

    Simply awful…..the worst episode of the series. Dreary movie, sub-par riffing…just blah. It’s like watching a high school production on public TV shot at night…through a sock. Even top notch riffing couldn’t save this one.

    I would have much rather the Brains tackled the Mel Gibson version than this dreary drek.

       4 likes

  16. GizmonicTemp says:

    I have to rate this low simply because there are SO many other films they could have riffed. Why not Killers from Space or Wasp Woman??? Personally, I think Dimentia 13 would have fit PERFECTLY into this time of the show, what with Devil Doll being so cool.

    However, Alas, Poor Who? is classic host segment excellence!!

       3 likes

  17. GizmonicTemp says:

    Bobby 23-Skidoo #5 – Naaaaah!! That young guy with the mustache is a fiery speaker, but he’ll never amount to much.

       0 likes

  18. Emily says:

    Count me in as one of those people who could not bear the episode on the SciFi Channel, but grew fond of it via DVD. It’s definitely not a favorite, but I will watch it for fun sometimes, as a few of the riffs still make me crack up. And I’ve come to enjoy the host segments even more over the years, as well (though that can be said of almost any episode).

    True story: I showed this episode to a few friends in college, all of whom had already seen MST3K before. Most of them hated it, and one girl refused to watch another episode. However, the ONE friend who genuinely enjoyed it is the only one of them I’m still friends with to this day. (I’m pretty sure it’s unrelated to the episode—but birds of a feather, you know.)

       1 likes

  19. Laura says:

    I actually like this episode. It’s the only version of Hamlet that I will watch. Why bother when it’s not being ripped apart by a man and two puppets? ;-)

       5 likes

  20. Rob says:

    I’ve always considered this a pretty middling offering, not awful, but not very high on my list when I’m deciding which episode to watch. I personally don’t think it has much “rewatchability,” as I’ve only seen it maybe 3 times since the series went off the air.

    On another note, I don’t know the story behind why Kevin (Murphy) refers to “Alas, Poor Who?” as a “series-canceling sketch” in the online episode guide. I’ve been a fan for quite a while, and I always thought that they knew that season 10 would be their last, so I don’t understand what he’s referring to. Anybody know?

       0 likes

  21. Colossus Prime says:

    For starters; I love Hamlet. It is a truly awesome play which makes me enjoy this episode all the more. Yes the production itself is dreary, but the story is so epic. Murder, sacrifice, revenge, madness, love, it’s all there. And because of its timeless greatness I can focus all my opinions on the host segments and quality of riffs. :)

    The opening is just a nice little bit that is perfectly Servo, or is it Sirveaux? The follow up of Cröe is fun if simply for Mike’s silly response of, “I’ll purse your beak.” Leading into another great example of how simple minded Pearl is and how lovable Bobo is. And again we get the transitive facial expression of Mike staring Pearl down and the bots following suit.

    The ghost of Mike’s father isn’t bad but it does run a bit dry. It is silly how many of Mike’s obscure relatives (and their friends) Tom is familiar with and seeing the bots moving beneath the sheet is entertaining. The alternate versions of Hamlet is a little funny but still not great. Sampo, you summed it up perfectly.

    “Alas Poor, Who?” however is a fantastic bit. “I am a small robot who lives with you,” is such an unexpected response when usually they’d make up something silly. The whole production of it, canned laughter and all that, is thoroughly entertaining.

    The start of the closing with the Hamlet action figure is a bit slow, leading to bits about things and rooms lying about the satellite as well as Pearl disposing of Fortinbras. I love Kevin’s bit about interjecting the character into American Buffalo. And how awesome is Pearl’s, “Well hey! There’s a body.” She conveys such a perfect amount of annoyance.

    The riffing is just awesome and settles the, “you can riff anything,” idea put forth again by the Casablanca Rifftrax. Also with it being such a great story it allows them to be more silly and fun with their riffs, unlike last week when they were quite mean towards a disgusting movie.

    SIDE NOTE: Any fans of Hamlet need to check out a song called Screamager by Therapy? (yes they have a “?” at the end of their name) and then check out Hey There Ophelia by MC Lars. The first is so you can have better appreciation for the latter.

    Favorite riffs:
    Tom singing Night Fever

    Tom: Scrooge! Oh, wrong story.
    (They’ve done this joke often over the years and I always love it)

    Hamlet: To be, or not to be?
    Mike: The verbal equivalent of, “Duh, duh, duh, duuuuh.”

    Tom: [Halfway through the “To be, or not to be” speech] Sum up!

    Tom: What’s worse than clowns? Danish clowns.
    Crow: Danish clowns; the damp, smelly silverfish infested basement of the clown world.
    (Note: this makes two clown jokes two episodes in a row)

    Claudius: What if…? [looking at his right hand]
    Mike: No, that would be like the fifth time today.

    Crow: [As Ophelia succumbs to madness] She’s trying to Section 8 her way out of the movie.

    Crow: Loosertes
    Tom: Craplet

    The continued, “Cut his throat in a church,” jokes.

       7 likes

  22. Tim S. Turner says:

    Sorry, but other than “City Limits” and “Escape 2000”, this is my least favorite episode. I just can’t get through it. Self-indulgent to say the least.

       1 likes

  23. ducksoup says:

    Bottom 10 TV shows I’d rather watch than sit through Hamlet again.

    10: Full House
    9: The Ropers
    8: Married With Children
    7: Cop Rock
    6: Step By Step
    5: Webster
    4: Mama’s Family
    3: Cavemen
    2: Alf
    1: Joanie Loves Chachi

       2 likes

  24. Sitting Duck says:

    Count me as another who enjoys this episode and thinks it deserves a lot more hotpad love.

    A query regarding the actress who portrays Ophelia. In the This Date in MSTory, when her name pops up in the deaths, she’s listed as having died at the age of 23. But the cause of death is never given.

    I’ve heard some fairly convincing arguments that Hamlet as a Skakespeare play is a bit overrated. A possible reason as to why it gets trumpeted as the Best Shakespeare Play Ever is because the lead protagonist is the sort of angsty, ineffectual loser which literary types seem to adore.

    Favorite riff: “You cut off my nipple, you jerk!”

       3 likes

  25. Dark Grandma of Death says:

    “Lights.” “Camera! Soliloquy!”

    I was going to give a long, impassioned defense of Hamlet, but I’m just too tired, and I doubt it would change anyone’s opinion anyhow.

    I thought the host segments were lots of fun, particularly the last one, when Fortinbras shows up demanding to be included; Kevin did a great job, and Observer’s “He made me look butch!” pushes it right over the edge. Seems as if the Brains had lots of fun tackling Hamlet.

    So are the people who hate this episode bored by it, or do they feel that Shakespeare is somehow sacred? Either way, keep in mind that it’s just one episode out of 176 (not counting the KTMA eps). Really, folks, it’s just an episode…you should really just relax. The genius of MST is that they used a variety of movie genres. 1950s B movies, propaganda flicks, teen crime dramas, sword and sandal epics…they had something for everyone. This is just one more example of a bad movie ripe for the riffing.

    I can understand that people may not enjoy Hamlet, but that doesn’t mean it’s the “worst…episode…ever.” As with all MST eps, it comes down to personal taste, and what works for the individual. Now if this one doesn’t work for you, okay; I promise you that if you’re ever visiting, I won’t make you watch it, as long as you don’t make me watch Sidehackers.

    Fave riffs: “Yeah, go a LOT to England!”
    (Crow, during Gertrude’s toast): “Whatever!”
    “Is there a word in the English language he hasn’t said?”
    “Okay, die now! Boo! You’re dead!….Oh, come on!”

       3 likes

  26. Gary Bowden says:

    For me,it’s so so.It has its moments,but it’s not up to par as say Werewolf.I give it 2 and a half.I’d much rather for them to have tackled FRANKENSTEIN’S DAUGHTER or another Ed Wood movie than this.Maybe I need to go watch it again,but then again,maybe not..Can’t decide quite just yet.

       0 likes

  27. trickymutha says:

    Any series that mocks or reflects popular culture and our collective mores must have a Hamlet episode. Like beloved Star Trek, or The Simpsons, MST checks in with their contribution. Fans who call this dark and dreary need only to watch “Giant Leeches” “Monster a go-go” or other offerings. I find this episode refreshing and clever, and if I were a high school English teacher I would make this episode a yearly event. The Ted Stevens (“NO”) reference in host segment three is precious. Two closing remarks- I just watched “Judgment at Nuremberg” on TCM with Maximilian Schell- a man I consider to be a pretty decent actor, as did the academy that year. To see him mocked in this 2nd rate cheese ball is worth the time. Secondly, I admit I have always had a crush on Dunja Movar, who played Ophelia. She was as fair skinned as a child, beautiful flowing hair- and a tragic figure who died young like her character. As Ray Davies said “Celluloid Heroes never feel any pain, celluloid heroes never really die”- thanks Brains for a ***** episode!

       5 likes

  28. Papsmear says:

    This episode sucked and swallowed.

       3 likes

  29. Son of Bobo says:

    This episode sticks out in my mind, because it aired on the day, when without warning, my Dad would have to be rushed to the hospital and would die a few hours later. In shock, in grief, that night I returned home. I always taped the show while watching it. It would be to much for me to watch MST, but I didn’t even bother taping it (a first.) So I caught this the second time around, wondering if it would have helped me through that first night with my Dad gone. Would it have brought a little joy to the saddest time in my life?
    Seeing this black and white film with really white people dressed in black, I think I would have been more melancholy. Praying and crying was absolutely the way to go that night.
    I didn’t watch this again until many years later, and I have to say it has grown on me. Except for segment two, which I can’t decide if it went too far or not far enough, the host segments are very good and the riffing is solid. It was a nice change of pace and I think an experiment that the Brains took on as a challenge.
    Some fans hate most of the black and white films, (notice CT has done only one black and white) and I think some fans want a monster, a spaceship, etc. Put the two together and for many I think they consider it unwatchable.
    I was surprised for the fencing scene that they didn’t have a callback to Final Justice. I would have loved Hamlet saying, “You think you can take me? Well, go head on. It’s yer move.”
    Fave riff: “Ladies and gentlemen, Miss Patti LaBelle!”

       5 likes

  30. I'm not a medium, I'm a petite says:

    5 stars. of course. Subject film + riffing + host segments.

    an MSTour-de-force.

    more later.

       3 likes

  31. “Hamlet will return in Thunderball!”

    I like this ep, too.

       7 likes

  32. Stefanie says:

    I thought this episode was funny. The intro is one of the most hilarious and brilliant bits in the entire show’s history!! Pearl says she can kill HALF the world’s population, and Mike just ingores her declaration and tells her to find the lady! I crack up every time!

       2 likes

  33. Mela says:

    It’s not one I hate, but it has one fatal flaw, which is in no way the fault of MST3k. While my old friend (a Theater major) and I (an English Lit major with some passing theater experience) were watching this again last year, it hit us – this just wasn’t a good adaptation. A lot of it is the staging (it’s so dim and half-heartedly “abstract”, and a lot of the physical acting of the German players is very flat), while not everyone on the dubbing end really gave it their all – and Shakespeare DEMANDS your all. I think it’s this realization that makes Segment 2 such a delight – this production of “Hamlet” is as bad in its own way as the most ridiculously over-the-top avant garde production. The most telling moment, for us at least, was Ophelia’s pathetic “insanity”, which any other actress would relish as a license to chew scenary and get praised for it.

    The riffs are hit or miss, but when they hit, they’re good & quotable. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve used a variation of “She’s trying to Section 8 her way out of the movie” to describe a bad performance. So while it’s not the worst episode ever like others claim, it’s one I’ll watch but nowhere near as regularly as my favorites.

       2 likes

  34. JimmyBruce says:

    The dubbing is so horrible I couldn’t make out what they were saying which meant the riffs were all going over my head. Or is it I’m not intelligent enough to enjoy Shakespeare? Whatever the case may be after watching a segment of Hamlet, I quickly got the bad taste out of my mouth and watched Squirm. Then all was right in the world.

       1 likes

  35. Smirkboy says:

    I loved this episode so much I made mp3’s out of the audio track and played it at work telling coworkers this was a “Play on Record”. It took almost three minutes for some of them to catch on and then they wanted to hear the whole thing.

    “King Richard Thompson!” “Hold me elongated Phil Collins”
    “Larry Moe and Horatio.”

       0 likes

  36. Captain Crouton says:

    Hamlet is worse than Monster A Go-Go, worse than The Screaming Skull, worse than Castle of Fu Manchu, and worse than The Starfighers. This one was THE worst.

       3 likes

  37. Edge10 says:

    The only real problem that I have with the movie is the sound. You just can’t understand a word that is coming out of their moufs. Gotta love Ricardo Montalban as Claudius.

       2 likes

  38. Spector says:

    I’ll give ’em credit for trying but quite frankly it was a mistake for them to tackle Shakespeare. Perhaps if they’d found one which was performed badly, that would’ve made it a funnier episode, but as Sampo noted, you can drawn into the story, which is of course amongst The Bard’s best, and the riffing suffers as a result. Two stars out of five.

       0 likes

  39. incrediblehorriblemrlimpet says:

    Favorites:

    Crow: “Ladies and gentlemen: Patti Labelle!”
    “Stop him, Francisco!” (Crow: “He’s headed to the Ladies room!”)
    Mike: (as the ghost) “Let us to brunch”.
    Crow: (as the ghost) “I’m on my way to a costume party. I’m going as Rosalind Russell”.
    Crow: (as the ghost) “I’ve got a bit of the flu”.
    The classic “whoopie cushion” sound as Claudius kisses Gertrude’s hand.

       4 likes

  40. Shinola says:

    I’m not crazy about this episode, but I’ll watch it from time to time. I enjoy the host segments more than movie segs.

       0 likes

  41. Fart Bargo says:

    Duck@24-If I remember correctly, she committed suicide. Boy, this movie just continues the buzz kill.

       1 likes

  42. Yipe Striper says:

    i have never gotten through this episode.

    i am guilty.

    but i must say in my own defense… i’ve never sat down to watch this episode with the time to give it its just deserves.

       0 likes

  43. Smoothie of Great Power says:

    I enjoy this episode as it helps cure my insomnia every single time. It and Mad Monster are the only episodes that have put me to sleep while watching ’em.

    Though, being a fan of running gags, I love the “Cut his throat in a church!” bit.

       0 likes

  44. GizmonicTemp says:

    ck #13 – My wife has fourteen bras.

       1 likes

  45. Roman Martel says:

    This is one that gets regular rotation in our house. My wife and I are both fans of Shakespeare, and obviously fans of MST3K and its really a combination of things we love.

    This is a horrible production of “Hamlet”. As others have mentioned it’s dreary, badly lit, badly designed, badly acted, badly dubbed, and badly paced. It’s just rotten through and through. And what is MST3K’s mission? To make fun of bad movies. Folks, you’ve got a real stinker here.

    All of that by itself would make this amusing to watch, and I think that I’d be riffing it myself about five minutes in. But with Mike and bots onboard things work really well. I saw an arguement that a lot of the riffs are based off the langauge, but when I watched it last week I have to say that many of them are based on visuals. The king’s half baked look, the ghost and his fabulous wardrobe, the costumes and set get constant riffing. So Mike and the bots really feed of the visuals as well as the dialogue.

    I really don’t understand the hate for this episode. I can understand if you don’t like it. But a lot of comments are really harsh. Is it the fact that you hold Shakespeare sacred, or that you dislike Shakespeare so much that anything related to it is automatically the opposite of enteraining? I’m curious.

    Anyway, I really enjoy the episode. I wish some of the riffing was a little more frequent, there are a few opportunities that seem to get by. I’m also not fond of the ghost of Mike’s father sketch and the alternative Hamlet sketche goes on too long (but love “Alas Poor Who?”). So I can’t give this top marks.

    But I will give it four Danish Clown Skulls out of five.

       2 likes

  46. For me, this one is right down there with Mad Monster and The Indestructible Man.

       0 likes

  47. Shenny says:

    This ep has always been one of my favorites. I love how they make fun of the Elizabethan language. As soon as I heard Mike say “Unstaple yourself!” I knew this would be a good episode. Yeah it’s dreary but they make good fun of the dreariness (“I stuck a fork in the outlet”).

       2 likes

  48. Clu Gulager says:

    I will say I used to hate this episode back when it originally aired. Even after new episodes stopped being made and the repeats were on every Saturday morning i still watched religiously. That is unless, I tuned in, saw Mike doing the 3 card monte bit and I knew I would have to find something else to kill 2 hours on my Saturday morning. I thought the episode was way too boring. However as one of the younger MSTies (currently 23) at that point in time I had never read Hamlet and was only vaguely familiar with the story. Since that time I had to read Hamlet in college and found that I liked and it and it was soon displacing Julius Ceasar as my favorite work of Shakespeare. So a couple of years ago I decided to borrow a friend’s taped copy of the Hamlet episode and gave it a retry and actually really enjoyed it. Now it’s far from the best episode of the series, but as Sampo, says nowhere near as bad as its reputation. A lot easier to get into the story now and there is some solid and enjoyable riffing.

    Favorite riff: “Perhaps my impending baldness can help.” (Doesn’t really work without the visual, but it gets me rolling every time)

       1 likes

  49. Gummo says:

    I’ve tried, Lord knows I’ve tried.

    I think I’ve made it all the way thru this one once.

    Usually, any attempt lasts about 15 minutes before I find myself wandering out to the kitchen for a snack, to the computer to check email, to the litter box to scoop out cat poop — anything, in other words, rather than watch this dreary dreary movie with so-so riffing.

       2 likes

  50. mikek says:

    I like this episode and I give it 4 stars. No matter how dreary the movie is, it proves to me that the words of Shakespeare can overpower a poor setting. The actress who plays Ophelia is nice to look at as well.

       1 likes

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