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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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Episode Guide: MST3K’s Academy of Robots’ Choice Awards Special

Original air date: March 19, 1998

[Note: This link may not work in the future]
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (39 votes, average: 4.79 out of 5)

(I added the ratings thingy.)

Once again I am stealing the excellent synopsis posted on the wikia page (with a few edits).

Introduction: The Satellite of Love crew receives a call from Vice-President (at the time) Al Gore, who asks them to do a special based on theAcademy Awards. Mike is reluctant until the Veep offers him a favor, upon which cheerfully joins the show, singing the elegant “Academy of Robots’ Choice Awards Special Song.”
Act One: Mike and the Bots review scenes from “Mrs. Brown,” “The Wings of the Dove” and “Good Will Hunting.” Mike becomes obsessed with new titles involving puns similar to “Good Will Hunting.” The Bots are become annoyed.
Act Two: Next comes scenes from “As Good as It Gets,” followed by comments about the poor amount of nominations the acclaimed “Amistad” had. Next comes “Titanic,” and like the movie itself, the riffing on the film goes on … and on …
Act Three: The SOL crew is running out of time, and so follows several quick reviews of short clips from “Jackie Brown,” “Boogie Nights” and “Deconstructing Harry,” followed by a lengthier one from “L.A. Confidential” and, finally, the crew’s choice for Best Picture (in spite of its lack of a nomination) … “Starship Troopers.” The Bots then depart to finish cleaning up from the special, leaving Mike alone on the phone with the Vice-President, who attempts to do some riffing of his own on the movies. Mike feigns approval.

• Al Gore: love him, dislike him, feel neutral about him: wherever you stand, we kindly ask you NOT to tell us in the comments. Thanks.
• This arrived just as Season 9 had begun, in the week between the debut of 901- THE PROJECTED MAN and 902- THE PHANTOM PLANET.
• There’s a lot going on here. Not only is it the realization of the promise of 1995’s “Little Gold Statue” special, we’re also seeing the birth of RiffTrax here. Or, rather, the birth of the first germ of the idea that would eventually lead to RiffTrax.
• Classic riff: “I’m gonna sink this bitch.” Ultimately, RiffTrax would do a full riff of “Titanic,” and this riff was recalled. “Starship Troopers” would also later be riffed in its entirety.
• Best riff: “Everybody dance like Mister Greenjeans!”

39 Replies to “Episode Guide: MST3K’s Academy of Robots’ Choice Awards Special”

  1. thedumpster says:

    Are all of these “special/non-official MST3K” episodes that have been posted the last few Tuesdays be listed in the episode guide by any chance?


  2. Colossus Prime says:

    I don’t think we’re going to get any argument over the best riff on this one. Kevin’s delivery of, “I’m gonna sink this bitch,” is perfect.

    I do love Mike’s constant attempts to further play on the, “Good Will Hunting,” naming convention. Also love their choice of “Starship Troopers” as the best movie, always makes me laugh.


  3. Sampo says:

    The Dumpster: Yes, a new page for the episode guide will be created soon.


  4. Lucas D. says:

    My favorite part has to be when Mike supplements Minnie Driver’s hideous laugh with a sinister “Mwuh huh huh ha ha HA!!” and spooks the bots.


  5. Bat Masterson says:

    “Tyrone Tanic” has had me in stitches to this very day.


  6. Katana says:

    “For some reason” is really simple: Titanic. When I uploaded the original part 2 a year ago, it managed to be viewable for a few days, then the copyright barge came down to it. I’ve tried it uploading three times, once even to a different account, and it just get the auto-block. So that’s why.

    By far my favorite of the specials they did like these. The movies being high budget and serious just makes it all the better. Also, I love the crew in their tuxedos, that was a cute touch.


  7. Thad says:

    @Katana: Yeah, I hear James Cameron doesn’t have much of a sense of humor about himself. He had them nix Sacha Baron Cohen’s bit in the Avatar sketch at this year’s Oscars, from what I understand.


  8. Laura says:

    “We’re not insects! We’re peel-and-eat shrimp!”
    Love that line!


  9. kismetgirl88 says:

    GOOD mike looks good in Tux. Wow.


  10. fireballil says:

    Pretty good show. My favorite part was the Amistad clip where the following appeared:

    Anthony Hopkins as the Lucky Charms leprechaun
    Morgan Freeman as Abraham Lincoln
    ‘Dijonnaise Monsoon’ as the guy on the giant ball from the Janet Jackson video
    ‘screen cipher’ Matthew McConaughey as Mrs. Beasley from Family Affair.

    That has me laughing every time. I also loved the Mrs. Brown section. Mike’s line about ‘Oh, like you rule the whole country…’ is gold.


  11. H says:

    Ha ha ha!

    That’s all I have to say about this one. Very well done.


  12. MPSh says:

    Wow! Nice cartoony zip out and zip in, Mike…


  13. starman15317 says:

    I love this one! Titanic is the funniest segment (“I’m gonna sink this bitch” haha) I love the inclusion of Starship Troopers. It SHOULD have been nomminated :grin:. And Jackie Brown is included, even though it was nomminated once. My least favorite Tarantino movie, except for Death Proof, but it’s still pretty good


  14. Rob says:

    Am I the only one who’s always a little bit sickened by the slurping and mashing noises made during any scene with food? Good call on posting these little “lost” bits of MST Sci-Fi era goodness.


  15. Finnias 'Critter' Jones says:

    Best rock & roll related MST riff EVER, via Tom Servo: “Helena ‘Bonzo’ Bonham Carter.”

    And I like Mike’s suggestion of “Good Hugh Moore Ice Cream.”

    Also, re. “Booger Nights” — Mike: “Actually it’s about porn.” Servo: “Hmm? I call it maize.”

    And I unabashedly love Verhoeven’s “Starship Troopers” – glad they gave it the nod as the best film from that year. I assume its intentional parodic tone prevented it from being skewered later by RiffTrax (though I’d still love them to do it).

    Clever how Mike acknowledges his comedic debt to Bob Newhart during his one-sided telephone conversation with “Al Gore” —
    “That was filthy!”


  16. Mela says:

    This has one of the most spot-on references in “Deconstructing Harry”: “Now we’re just watching Woody’s home movies!” That’s certainly how it felt.

    Leave it to Cameron to keep anyone from giving his hokey “babies” the mockings they so richly deserve. Every single thing I hear about him, it makes me hate him even more.


  17. Lucas D. says:

    14: Yeah, they’re pretty gross, but I laugh at them anyway because of Kevin’s gassy noises. That man is an undisputed master of the phony belch.

    Oh, and I loved the Woody Allen clip; it does seem like the sort of thing Woody might be doing on a Friday evening if, say, Soon-Yi has too much homework to do.


  18. MiqelDotCom says:

    Glad you posted these, it’s like a mini episode! The writing and jokes between clips is excellent for the most part. The Brains skewering Hollywood is music to my ears :)


  19. Ian Lueck says:

    This was one of the best things the MST team ever produced, next to The Movie. I love how long the full title of the special is, too.

    Some random favorite lines off the top of my head:
    “You know, if you get winded from making out, you need more exercise.”
    “Wrong way! You’re going the WRONG way!”
    “It’s my Superfly ‘fro pick!”
    “I’m gonna sink this bitch.”
    “Are you ready to go back to Titanic?”/”Or are you gonna cough up the money?!”
    “FULL STEAM AHEAD- you know what movie I’m talking about! Mrs. Brown!” (Mike looks confused)


  20. incrediblehorriblemrlimpet says:


    *Mike, after instantly transitioning from jumpsuit to tux, enthusiastically commands the music to queue up with a, “Hit it!”, Crow responds with an annoyed look and “…no”.
    *Mike, right in the middle of belting out his intensely sung “Al Gore’s Academy Awards Special” intro is cut short by Crow advising him that he’s frightening Al Gore’s daughters. Mike’s apologetic look is hilarious.
    *Crow, gluttonously as Minnie Driver during the slurpy Good Will Hunting eating scene: “Let me just put some more steak in my mouth!”


  21. Dan in WI says:

    So what was the deal with choosing Al Gore to “order” this special?

    And why isn’t Crow’s hair slicked back as it usually is for formal occasions?

    For a guy with all his musical knowledge and talent, I noticed Mike is not playing the claves correctly.

    It is really weird seeing Mike and the Bots gush over Starship Troopers given last year’s big Kickstarter show.

    Favorite Riffs:
    Titanic leaves the dock: Crow “Look out. Iceberg. Just kidding.”

    Titanic: Leo does his I’m the king of the world shtick. Mike “Packers!”


  22. snowdog says:

    Looks like @15 got his wish since the last time we commented.

    Favorite riffs:
    “Heavens, it’s my Superfly ‘fro pick!” from Titanic
    “This is the scene where the creepy genius teaches us about love.” from Good Will Hunting.


  23. ToolAssist says:

    These specials are only okay. I think the movies are a bit too crowded for good riffing. Alright as novelty though.

    “I’m gonna sink this bitch” is god-tier though.


  24. Ian L. says:

    Funny how opinions change over four years. I definitely don’t think the MST3K movie is one of the best things to come out of the show anymore (as there are regular episodes which have bigger belly laughs), though don’t get me wrong, it’s still a funny movie.

    Anyway, other favorite riffs from this special:

    (on Mrs. Brown) “My engines can’t take it!”
    (on Mrs. Brown) “It’s hard to be sexy when you’re dressed like Bat Masterson.”
    (on Mrs. Brown) “Mmm, ya taste like haggis.”
    (on Good Will Hunting) “Bits of ketchup and mustard and saliva co-mingling, ugh, let’s move onto something else.”
    (on As Good As it Gets) “Carol the waitress, Simon the ____.” “Why’d they bleep out “Former guy from Talk Soup”?”
    (on Titanic) “Where the hell’s the matching brush, you stinking thieves?”
    (on Titanic) “-I- launch, and nobody cares…”
    (on Titanic) “Huh! Jump back! Kiss myself!”
    (on Titanic) “Hooray! We welcome the rich people into our midst even as they do not welcome us, and this is a message we wish to convey.”
    (on Starship Troopers) “Oh no, the bug’s been eating at Taco Bell all day long!”


  25. pondoscp says:

    This special was okay, but due to a lack of Mads, it doesn’t compare to the 1st Annual Summer Blockbuster. It has it’s moments.


  26. Joseph Nebus says:

    @21 Dan in WI says:
    May 29, 2014 at 8:52 am

    So what was the deal with choosing Al Gore to “order” this special?

    I’d expect it was just that since the Vice-Presidency is traditionally a fantastically powerless and unimportant position [1] that snapping to and obeying the whims of the Vice-President is a naturally funny move. That Al Gore carries so much the public demeanor of the professor whose class you duck out of ten minutes in makes it the funnier.

    [1] Thomas Marshall — Woodrow Wilson’s vice-president, and the first one to serve two full terms since John Adams (!) — made a side living telling cracks about his utter irrelevance. Once that I find delightful was telling his security detail, “Your labor is in vain. Nobody was ever crazy enough to shoot at a vice-president. If you will go away and find somebody to shoot at me, I’ll go down in history as being the first vice-president who ever attracted enough attention even to have a crank shoot at him.”


  27. pondoscp says:

    1997 was a horrible year for movies (and pop culture in general). This special reaffirms that.


  28. Droppo says:

    I love this one. The Mike/Good Will Hunting jokes never tire for me. I can’t watch LA Confidential without thinking of Crow’s “La Confidential” pronunciation. The epic Titanic riffs, Minnie Driver laughing…..this one is a home run.


  29. Kenneth Morgan says:

    @Joseph Nebus (#26)

    In addition, Gore is reputed to be a fan of MST3K. Added to his appearances on “Futurama”, they probably figured he’d have a sense of humor about this and not object.

    Each year on The Night the Stars Salute Themselves, I alternate between watching this and the Little Gold Statue special. Plus, I’ll throw in stuff like SCTV’s “People’s Golden Global Choice Awards”, “That’s Lobstertainment” from “Futurama”, “The British Show Biz Awards” from Python, “Naked Gun 33 1/3”, and “The Oscar” (which may be funnier than all the other ones; thank you, Harlan Ellison!).


  30. Angie Schultz says:

    So what was the deal with choosing Al Gore to “order” this special?

    Do you not know the tale, Grasshopper? A reporter asked Gore if he had any favorite TV shows, and he — hesitating a bit; he hated to single anything out, he said — named MST as a show his whole family enjoyed. I believe this was around the time of the 7th season, because I remember thinking that the line, “I wouldn’t have to dress like Tipper Gore” (from “Once Upon a Honeymoon”) was unkind, in the circumstances.


  31. goalieboy82 says:

    al gore is he related to gore vidal?


  32. Cheapskate Crow says:

    Had never seen this before, my favorite riff was “Must have got a hold of Woody’s home movies by mistake.” And I am proud to say I have still never seen Titanic.


  33. Dr. Batch says:

    This special was my very first experience with MST3K!

    When I was in high school, the SciFi Channel would show reruns of Quantum Leap right when I would get home. I watched it everyday. Then one day, they preempted it with this MST special. I remember thinking, “What the hell is this stupid crap? Where’s my Quantum Leap?” I decided to watch anyways and couldn’t stop laughing. I’ve been a MSTie ever since. :-))


  34. Pulatso says:

    @29: Considering the debut of Futurama was a year away, I’m pretty sure Gore’s appearances had no bearing on picking him to order the special. Simpsons, maybe?


  35. GonzoRedux says:

    @31: Al Gore and Gore Vidal were distant cousins.


  36. Cornjob says:

    Some suffer from Albertgore-aphobia. Especially after encountering the three headed Albert Gore Vidal Sassoon.


  37. Ian L. says:

    @ pondoscp: I loved “Good Will Hunting”. Best movie of the year IMO.


  38. touches no one's life, then leaves says:

    “Morgan Freeman as Abraham Lincoln”

    Does anyone else remember Morgan Freeman as George Washington on “The Electric Company”?

    Out a’ sight!


  39. As ordered by the Vice President, here’s my brief notes on MST3k’s Academy of Robots’ Choice Awards Special. Apologies for the lateness.*

    This is an okay special, maybe not as good as the previous two. It has its moments.

    I remember when this aired on TV originally. This was their third such special of this sort and it was starting to seem like a “thing” they would continue doing. Strange to look back on it now and consider that that “thing” would become Rifftrax.


    -from MRS. BROWN:

    Servo: “It’s hard to be sexy when you’re dressed like Bat Masterson.”

    Servo: “I got neck cramps from all our mashing.”


    Servo: (all the burping noises while Minnie Driver eats)

    Mike’s perturbedness over the titular wordplay of Good Will Hunting is amusing at first but quickly runs its course. Just let it go, man.

    -from AS GOOD AS IT GETS:

    Crow: “Why did they bleep out ‘former guy from Talk Soup’?”

    movie: “Who did that to you?”
    Servo: “John Henson.”

    —-These Talk Soup jokes really hit me hard back when this aired in 1998. I was a fan of that show during that era. Wasn’t Crow and/or Servo on Talk Soup at one point? Nevermind, YouTube confirmed it for me:

    -from TITANIC:

    Mike: “Oh heavens, it’s my super-fly hair pic!”

    Servo: “I’m gonna sink this bitch.”

    Mike: “Packers, wooooooo!”


    Mike: “Must of got ahold of Woody’s home movies by mistake.” —I’m a fan of Allen’s, and even I found this hilarious. :laugh:


    Mike: “The bug’s been eating at Taco Bell all day!!”

    -They also looked at clips from THE WINGS OF A DOVE, AMISTAD, JACKIE BROWN, BOOGIE NIGHTS, and LA CONFIDENTIAL. Those last three are all really good movies (Jackie Brown is Tarantino’s most underrated film) and hold up to this day. Amistad I have never seen and The Wings of a Dove I swear I have never even heard of. Doesn’t seem like I am missing much on that one…

    Overall, an okay special. Serviceable would be a good descriptor.
    Not as good as the previous two, so for that fact alone I’m going to give it
    2 out of 5 Vice President mandates.

    *: In regards to the lateness of this post. I recently lost a family member to a tragic automobile accident. It left us all pretty shook up and, as you can imagine, the last couple weeks have been rough. Once I got back into town (had to travel halfway across the country for funeral and all that) and I started to try to get back to normalcy, I realized I had missed a couple Episode Guide posts here. So I watched this special (and the 2nd Annual Blockbuster Review) and you know what? It cheered me up. I laughed. Out loud. Well, at least at a couple jokes… These specials aren’t the best things ever, but I do like them, and while I was watching them and laughing, I thought to myself, “wow, this show is the greatest. Here I am, down as I could be, and this cow-town puppet show is able to put a smile on my face. AND I’m not even watching a proper episode! I love this show!!”

    So anyway, that is all. Just wanted to express my gratitude to the MST cast and crew for being able to cheer me up. Thanks, everybody.


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