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Episode guide: K00- The Green Slime (the unaired pilot)

Hello, people of Earth.
This half-hour “proof of concept” video, a very rough pilot created by Joel, Trace and Josh, with Jim (and presumably Kevin) behind the camera. The video shown below is most likely an edited version which focuses on the host segments and removes most of the theater sequences.

Segment 1: Joel tries to make contact with anyone, then introduces the movie.
Segment 2: Joel is joined by Crow and Beeper; he demonstrates the Chiro-Gyro.
Segment 3: Joel introduces Gypsy and reveals that he has taught the bots to laugh at his jokes.
Segment 4: Joel discovers that his vacu-flowers are sick, and the illness spreads to Gypsy.
Segment 5: As Joel works on Gypsy, he discovers that the illness has spread to Beeper and…himself!
Segment 6: Everybody has recovered from the foam sickness, but Crow has a parting shot.

Some observations:
• The purpose of this video was to convince KTMA’s station manager, a guy named Don O’Connor, that this idea of Joel’s was going to work. I gotta say, as interesting as this is to look at more than a quarter of a century later, I am AMAZED that it accomplished that purpose. Maybe ol’ Don had an eye for talent (though from the stories I’ve heard, that doesn’t sound likely) or maybe Jim just talked him into it.
• You can definitely see Joel’s “Silent Running meets Omega Man” concept at work, but as he says, it’s a little dour.
• The primitive door sequence always gets a laugh from fans the first time they see it.
• It’s interesting that the pilot doesn’t really show Joel riffing. That doesn’t really seem to have been a big part of the concept at this point. It seems like Joel is just sort of watching along with us. It’s much more like a standard “Svengoolie” style movie show in that sense.
• Note somebody fumbling around behind the theater seats as Joel leaves the first time. Not sure what’s going on there. (Some commenters say that’s audience members at the screening.
• The second segment is one you’ve seen if you’ve seen “The MST3K Scrapbook” video tape.
• The “chiropractic helmet,” later known as the “Chiro-Gyro,” would make a return appearance in episode 105- THE CORPSE VANISHES.
• Gypsy is male in this.
• Joel also says there are “25 other robots doing various complicated operations around the ship.” That’s very “Silent Running.”
• I notice that the ubiquitous background nooise — that non-stop engine hum and occasional “plink!” is present even in this. Where did they get it from?
• For the record, Joel comes into the theater by himself the first time, Crow joins him the second time, the third time it’s Joel, Crow and Beeper (who seems to be sitting on Joel’s lap), then Joel, Crow and Gypsy the next time and finally Joel by himself again.
• Joel mentions the “spiral-on-down” which he would mention once or twice more in the regular series.
• Fave riff: “…Speaking of the number 2 position…” At the screening, Joel declares it “The Birth of Movie Riffing!”

K01- INVADERS FROM THE DEEP

First shown: 11/24/88.
No fan copy is known to exist.

K02- REVENGE OF THE MYSTERONS

First shown: 11/24/88.
No fan copy is known to exist.

K03- STAR FORCE: FUGITIVE ALIEN 2

First shown: 11/27/88.
No fan copy is known to exist.

139 comments to Episode guide: K00- The Green Slime (the unaired pilot)

  • 1
    Fart Bargo says:

    Mop top Joel! Pales in comparison of what it developed into but endearing and courageous all the same. Shows what a lot of hard work and dedication, despite limited resources, can accomplished. I think of the KTMA era as the Garage Band phase.

       3 likes

  • 2
    mstgator says:

    “Note somebody fumbling around behind the theater seats as Joel leaves the first time. Not sure what’s going on there.”

    I think that was somebody at the convention, unless there’s something else you’re seeing (kinda dark)…

       3 likes

  • 3
    bad wolf says:

    When they showed up again later in Season One I thought Joel’s ‘vacuum flowers’ were a reference to a sci-fi novel of the same name: Michael Swanwick’s Vacuum Flowers (1987). I never read it but saw it on a list of recommended ‘cyberpunk’ novels around the time. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vacuum_Flowers

       2 likes

  • 4
    Chief?McCloud! says:

    The nucleation point that would become a “cult”-ural icon….thanks Joel & Best Brains & DAP. Twenty plus years latter we are buying DVD box sets, merch, and passionately discussing online. Wow.

       3 likes

  • 5
    Steve K says:

    Is it me, or does it look like Crow’s trying to “put a move” on Joel in the theater near the end of the first YouTube clip?

    Also, I kind of liked Beeper’s head mobility.

       3 likes

  • 6
    Emily says:

    #5, I was thinking the same thing! Crow’s trying to cop a feel!

       1 likes

  • 7
    touches no one's life, then leaves says:

    >>>Joel also says there are “25 other robots doing various complicated operations around the ship.”

    “I’m responsible for the lives of 148 crew members on this ship, 144 of which we never see!”

       10 likes

  • 8
    GizmonicTemp says:

    25 robots? Maybe Joel was referring to the Nanites and he meant 25 trillion.

    Wow. I am awestruck at the difference between this and the MST3K that we all know and love.

       2 likes

  • 9
    Alex says:

    Here’s something I think should go into that observations lsit: Notice how when Crow, Beep, and Joel enter the theater, it looks like they have what I’m assuming would be pocorn in the theater?

    Also, after seeing one of the host segments for Invaders from the Deep on Mst3k.com, I’m guessing that episode is kind of like a repeated version of this episode. Razz

       0 likes

  • 10
    Alex says:

    Here’s something I’ve also been wondering for a while: If anyone has seen the portion of segment 3 at that 1994 convention, you’ll notice how Crow says “If you found the secret of life, why *did* it bum you out?”, while on the video here, he says “If you found the secret of life, why *should* it bum you out?”. Also, if anyone has the 20th Anniversary DVD and watched the first part of The History of Mst3k, when it shows a clip from the 1st segment, you’ll notice Joel says “Is there *anybody* out there?”, while here, he says “Is there *anyone* out there?”. It’s making me wonder if there were possibly 2 different versions of the pilot made, and the other version from this one actually features the title screen and that little riff we hear from Joel where he says “That’s no asteroid, that’s a battle station!”, both of which can only be viewed on the MST Scrapbook tape… for now. Those could just be deleted scenes, I admit, but I guess we’ll never really know for sure till Shout! can convince Joel and Jim to release ‘dem dry KTMA episodes. Rolls Eyes

       1 likes

  • 11
    mst3ktemple says:

    I still think there was actually more riffing of the movie done for the pilot, but it is cut from this version. After all we have seen the little clip of Joel saying “That’s no asteroid. It’s a battle station” and also doing his “dance” over the opening title. Someone suggested that maybe they went back and filmed just those clips later so they could use them in their original KTMA promo, but to me it would make more sense if they had filmed Joel riffing the first eight or nine minutes of the movie.

       0 likes

  • 12
    jamie says:

    I love the primitive door sequence.

       3 likes

  • 13
    mst3ktemple says:

    Looks like Alex and I were typing at the same time. I do like the way they tried different combinations of riffers in the theater. Probably just trying to see what looked best. One other thing, this is the only time Joel is “Joel Hodgson” in the show instead of “Joel Robinson.”

       1 likes

  • 14
    pablum says:

    The Green Slime would have been the third movie I’ve seen prior to it being riffed on MST3K if only they had actually done it.

    I can see this demo tape selling to a local station. They’ve always been known to play b-movies. Having a host guide you through it, even if he doesn’t do that many jokes, would seem like a natural fit.

    My only other comments is that Joel looks like a hippie. Which is a good thing that I would have liked to see continue on the cable series other than just his goatee. Also Josh is pretty hyper here. Had I been a station manager at KTMA I would have bought the show as well.

       0 likes

  • 15
    Alex says:

    I don’t really know how to quote comments on this site but…

    “mst3ktemple says:
    July 17, 2010 at 10:57 am
    I still think there was actually more riffing of the movie done for the pilot, but it is cut from this version. After all we have seen the little clip of Joel saying “That’s no asteroid. It’s a battle station” and also doing his “dance” over the opening title. Someone suggested that maybe they went back and filmed just those clips later so they could use them in their original KTMA promo, but to me it would make more sense if they had filmed Joel riffing the first eight or nine minutes of the movie.”

    Well, I do have one possobillity of finding out: Shout! Factory apparently *was* trying to include this episode on the 20th Anniversary DVD, but it was turned down by Joel and Jim because of their little “rule” of not allowing those episodes to be packaged onto any volume set. But luckily, they were still able to show clips from the episode on The History of Mst3k, and at least one clip is different from this version. I suppose if you have an account on Shout!’s official website, you could ask Brian Ward if the version shown on The History of Mst3k includes the title screen and Joel’s riff about the asteroid. Just a possobillity. Wink

       1 likes

  • 16
    Speedy says:

    I agree with the Title missing and “That’s a battle station” comment being cut, I have the Scrapbook too. And I believe Joel used his real name throughout the entire KTMA season. It wasn’t until the national Season One that everything changed. So when will Jim put up more stuff on the website. I’d like to see more KTMA “missing bits” and “15 minutes with Bob Bagadonuts”. Because you can’t go wrong with a gravy or a sauce or a gravy.

       0 likes

  • 17
    Alex says:

    Honestly, I wouldn’t guaruntee seeing more KTMA clips from those 3 “lost episodes” on the site. Jim hasn’t updated it in months, and the only recent update in the Genises section is just a duplicate clip of the “tanked” joke from K02.

    So, with that being said, what’s already yp on there may sadly be all we might ever see, till Best Brains are convinced to releasing those episodes.

    I have honestly kinda wondered about the whole KTMA issues: Are Joel and Jim not comfortable with releasing those episodes because they weren’t scripted or because they never exactly got the rights to use those movies (what were you guys thinking back then?!), so they don’t wanna get sued for releasing an episode with a film they never got permission to use… or is it pretty much both, for that matter?

       0 likes

  • 18
    Brandon says:

    “they never exactly got the rights to use those movies (what were you guys thinking back then?!”

    Well, they were just getting started, and KTMA probably had crappy lawyers. My understanding is, KTMA assumed if they had the rights to the movie, they could willfully just let it be shown on MST3K, when in reality it’s not that simple. Joel and Jim probably just assumed KTMA was doing all the paperwork down to the bone, when really they didn’t.

    As for another reason why we’ll never see the KTMA episodes, a couple years ago I spoke with someone at WUCW (the current incarnation of KTMA), and he told me that WUCW owns the copyrights to the early MST3K episodes, not Best Brains. Joel and Jim are probably aware of this, in the ACEG it’s written in the intro they don’t own those episodes.

    So, to release the KTMA episodes, Shout Factory’s gonna have to pay money not just to the film’s rights holders, but the people at WUCW as well.

       2 likes

  • 19
    eegah says:

    mst3ktemple is correct. What Joel showed is not complete; he apparently cut out the movie riffing segments. I’ve seen the clips that he mentioned and other stills (on the defunct “MST3K Picture Archive”) of them riffing movie segments that are missing in this showing.

       0 likes

  • 20
    Gary Bowden says:

    What you see is a work in progress,which they got better with each season.Pretty impressive,considering with what they had to work with.

       1 likes

  • 21
    Alex says:

    “Brandon says:
    July 17, 2010 at 12:04 pm

    “they never exactly got the rights to use those movies (what were you guys thinking back then?!”

    Well, they were just getting started, and KTMA probably had crappy lawyers. My understanding is, KTMA assumed if they had the rights to the movie, they could willfully just let it be shown on MST3K, when in reality it’s not that simple. Joel and Jim probably just assumed KTMA was doing all the paperwork down to the bone, when really they didn’t.

    As for another reason why we’ll never see the KTMA episodes, a couple years ago I spoke with someone at WUCW (the current incarnation of KTMA), and he told me that WUCW owns the copyrights to the early MST3K episodes, not Best Brains. Joel and Jim are probably aware of this, in the ACEG it’s written in the intro they don’t own those episodes.

    So, to release the KTMA episodes, Shout Factory’s gonna have to pay money not just to the film’s rights holders, but the people at WUCW as well.”

    Yeah, I guess you have a point there. It makes me wonder how much money they had to pay when they apparently were busted for using these films without permission.

    And really? Gee, I never knew that. When was this? If this was a long time ago, that could’ve possibly changed now, so for all we know, Best Brains now owns the rights to the KTMA’s. If they don’t own the rights to those films, then I wonder why there’s a vault at Best Brains with those tapes in the first place… Neutral

       0 likes

  • 22
    Alex says:

    If they don’t own the rights to those episodes, I mean. My oopsy. Razz

       1 likes

  • 23
    H says:

    I thought this was a good introduction to the characters. Not necessarily the characters as we know them, but still an interesting look at the creative process. Sure they didn’t do too much with the movie (or we didn’t see that part) but the KTMA days weren’t meant to be about riffing and such.

       0 likes

  • 24
    Josh says:

    “If they don’t own the rights to those films, then I wonder why there’s a vault at Best Brains with those tapes in the first place…”

    Would you throw them away just because you didn’t own the distribution rights?

    I rest my case.

       1 likes

  • 25
    Alex says:

    “If they don’t own the rights to those films, then I wonder why there’s a vault at Best Brains with those tapes in the first place…”

    Would you throw them away just because you didn’t own the distribution rights?

    I rest my case.”

    Hmm… good point. But I meant like if the master tapes were in a locked-away vaulat at WUCW instead of Best Brains, is all. Wink

       0 likes

  • 26

    Yes, it’s very rough around the edges, but you can definitely see the germ of the show that it would become.

       1 likes

  • 27
    Brandon says:

    Alex, I don’t recall exactly when it was I contacted WUCW. “A couple years ago” is an approximation, it could have been longer than that. I was mostly asking if they had copies of the first three KTMA episodes. The man who responded to me, I forgot his name, but said that he’s one of only a few people from KTMA that still work at WUCW (I think his first name was Tom). He told me that he’s good friends with Joel and Jim, and explained that when KTMA shut down, they took the masters to those early episodes with them, and WUCW doesn’t have any copies in storage. He also said that WUCW owns the copyrights to those episodes (which really wasn’t something I asked about, but it was good to get that information nonetheless).

    Also, I don’t know if KTMA ever got “busted” for using the films without permission, but they did go bankrupt shortly after MST3K ended its run there. However, I think it’s bankruptcy was caused by other things.

       1 likes

  • 28
    Unga Khan says:

    This actually isn’t that bad. True, not having JaTB do much of anything in the theater misses what became the point of the show, but the sense of humor outside the theater is the same charming skits & inventions that held steady throughout the first couple seasons.

    I’m looking forward to watching the KTMA versions of the Sandy Frank movies for the first time in coming weeks.

       0 likes

  • 29
    Unga Khan says:

    #27: Good work. And I agree, I’ve never heard of KTMA getting busted for using the films (it would probably be a waste of money to litigate against such a small station). They went bankrupt after leading an attempt to create a regional network of independent stations that proved financially disastrous.

       1 likes

  • 30
    Alex says:

    “Brandon says:
    July 17, 2010 at 1:07 pm
    Alex, I don’t recall exactly when it was I contacted WUCW. “A couple years ago” is an approximation, it could have been longer than that. I was mostly asking if they had copies of the first three KTMA episodes. The man who responded to me, I forgot his name, but said that he’s one of only a few people from KTMA that still work at WUCW (I think his first name was Tom). He told me that he’s good friends with Joel and Jim, and explained that when KTMA shut down, they took the masters to those early episodes with them, and WUCW doesn’t have any copies in storage. He also said that WUCW owns the copyrights to those episodes (which really wasn’t something I asked about, but it was good to get that information nonetheless).

    Also, I don’t know if KTMA ever got “busted” for using the films without permission, but they did go bankrupt shortly after MST3K ended its run there. However, I think it’s bankruptcy was caused by other things.”

    Ah, I see. Well… if Joel and Jim come out of their shell and let those episodes be released, I ceartainly hope WUCW won’t want an expensive amount of money just to release those episodes like Sandy Frank wanted when BB and CC tried to renew the rights to his movies (before he lost the rights, of course).

    Speaking of which, the Sandy Frank films *were* later secured when used in Season 3, so at least those ones could be released when it comes to KTMA. I know the Gamera episodes are right now off-limits (cause the Japanese license holder doesn’t want their precious turtle being mocked Rolls Eyes, and yes, I do kind of think those Gamera films are pretty stupid honestly), but as for Fugetive Alien, Mighty Jack and Time of the Apes… no confirmation on those yet, but keep them fingers crossed and see what happens. Alien

       0 likes

  • 31
    mst3ktemple says:

    Mock turtle! Ha!

       1 likes

  • 32
    Brandon says:

    Okay, after doing some research through the archives at the MST3K Discussion Board (and it took awhile. I love that forum, but they have the worst search engine ever), I was able to turn up the pasted e-mail and response I had with the guy from WUCW. This was done in March 2007.

    My e-mail:

    “Hello. Are you firmiliar with the comedy series Mystery Science Theater 3000? Back in November 1988, the series premiered on this station, back then, when it was called KTMA TV23. Many “MSTies” have long been trying to obtain copies of the first 3 episodes Invaders From the Deep, Revenge of the Mesterons From Mars, and Star Force. We are asking you guys, if it’s possible you still have copies of these lost MST3K episodes, perhaps in storage. Please take the time out to look for these episodes. Many MST3K fans would gladly appreciate this. Thank You.

    Brandon”

    The response:

    “Brandon,

    I work at channel 23 in St. Paul, and worked with Joel and the gang from
    MST when it was here. Unfortunately, KTMA went bankrupt many years
    ago and let a lot of people go. The MST group left and took all of the
    shows with them, and we do not have any copies.

    Good luck on your search. If you find them let me know, I think we still
    own the copyrights.

    Tom Lynch
    Asst. Promotion Director
    WUCW
    The CW Twin Cities”

    The e-mail included a phone number, but I edited that out when I posted this on the forum.

       2 likes

  • 33
    Alex says:

    “Brandon says:
    July 17, 2010 at 1:51 pm

    Okay, after doing some research through the archives at the MST3K Discussion Board (and it took awhile. I love that forum, but they have the worst search engine ever), I was able to turn up the pasted e-mail and response I had with the guy from WUCW. This was done in March 2007.

    My e-mail:

    “Hello. Are you firmiliar with the comedy series Mystery Science Theater 3000? Back in November 1988, the series premiered on this station, back then, when it was called KTMA TV23. Many “MSTies” have long been trying to obtain copies of the first 3 episodes Invaders From the Deep, Revenge of the Mesterons From Mars, and Star Force. We are asking you guys, if it’s possible you still have copies of these lost MST3K episodes, perhaps in storage. Please take the time out to look for these episodes. Many MST3K fans would gladly appreciate this. Thank You.

    Brandon”

    The response:

    “Brandon,

    I work at channel 23 in St. Paul, and worked with Joel and the gang from
    MST when it was here. Unfortunately, KTMA went bankrupt many years
    ago and let a lot of people go. The MST group left and took all of the
    shows with them, and we do not have any copies.

    Good luck on your search. If you find them let me know, I think we still
    own the copyrights.

    Tom Lynch
    Asst. Promotion Director
    WUCW
    The CW Twin Cities”

    The e-mail included a phone number, but I edited that out when I posted this on the forum.”

    Interesting. What thread was that on, may I ask?

       0 likes

  • 34
    Spector says:

    You can see in this episode what this series would eventually become but still, it took a good deal of faith to buy into that concept Joel was pitching at the time. This is interesting to watch from a historical standpoint but it’s also like seeing a rough, first draft. The promise is there but it really needed work.

       0 likes

  • 35
    starman15317 says:

    This was interesting to watch when I discovered it. I always wished that they riffed all of The Green Slime, it’s a funny movie and it’s one of my favorite b-movies. As for the pilot, it is alright for something they made with no money to present to a little UHF station

       0 likes

  • 36
    Keith Palmer says:

    I have to admit that some mixture of “how will I react to the KTMA episodes?” and “if I can’t start with ‘K01,’ maybe I’ll just skip that inaugural season altogether” has kept me from watching the KTMA episodes that are available… but when the pilot (host segments) showed up online, I watched it (them), and found the experience interesting. I do wonder whether it was rights issues or just wanting to emphasise the “host segments” rather than however much riffing there was at the beginning that shaped what has turned up, but what we can see is interesting enough; I’m able to think of it as an evolutionary step between “creature feature host” and Mystery Science Theater as we know it.

       0 likes

  • 37
    Stacia says:

    I still think there was actually more riffing of the movie done for the pilot, but it is cut from this version.

    Could that have been cut due to the rights issues being discussed?

       0 likes

  • 38
  • 39
    jim says:

    could someone elaborate a little on these rights issues? Outside of KTMA owning the episodes that aired, there really shouldn’t be any difference between releasing those from releasing anything else. My understanding is that if a channel has the rights to a movie, they can show it. I’d always assumed, from what I’ve read, that those early episodes used movies that KTMA did have the rights to.

    Am I missing something?

       0 likes

  • 40
    Alex says:

    “jim says:
    July 17, 2010 at 7:32 pm

    could someone elaborate a little on these rights issues? Outside of KTMA owning the episodes that aired, there really shouldn’t be any difference between releasing those from releasing anything else. My understanding is that if a channel has the rights to a movie, they can show it. I’d always assumed, from what I’ve read, that those early episodes used movies that KTMA did have the rights to.

    Am I missing something?”

    I remember hearing on The History of Mst3k that there was apparently a library at KTMA TV 23 that contained all those films. While the studio may have bought vhs copies of the films, they may have just decided to give them to the crew who possibly assumed they would get permission instead (apparently, neither got permission at all).

    That’s just my understanding. I guess we’ll never really know for sure. But, if Best Brains possibly re-riffs all the films for either Cinimatic Titanic or Rifftrax… there could be a possiblity for a fix.

    P.S. thanks for the link, Brandon. Smile

       0 likes

  • 41
    Alex says:

    Aside from the Sandy Frank films used in S3, that is. Wink

       0 likes

  • 42
    Alex says:

    And by the way, about the whole rights issues some people are wondering about on this article: I guess there could be some rights issues with this film so they had to edit out some scenes (and do keep in mind, this is an MGM movie, which is one big company).

    But also keep in mind: When this was being shown, Joel apparently just recently discovered he had a copy of it. So I don’t think he edited out any scenes, and plus, also keep in mind that this version is slightly different when you compare it to one of the clips from this episode shown on The History of Mst3k and a portion of segment three from a 1994 convention. I’d show you guys a clip, but I can’t find the clip on YT or Google anymore, and Tom Noel doesn’t have it on his website anymore. Neutral

       0 likes

  • 43
    bad wolf says:

    I wonder if the “25 other robots” was either part of the original idea, or just a way to give themselves flexibility in later changing/adapting robot characters. In the History of MST3K short i think Joel says that around that time he was making lots of robots to sell in the Minneapolis area (!). So he probably thought he could make as many more as he wanted. Part of the changing concept was the focus on the three main characters.

       0 likes

  • 44
    Mr. B(ob) says:

    I think the spark of brilliance and hilarity is evident even in the very raw material there. Fortunately, the “right people” saw that too and we have ten years of wonderful network shows as a result.

       3 likes

  • 45

    Pretty neat to see the genesis of the concept. It’s really, really raw, but there’s a certain homegrown amusement to be had, and back in those days if you had something with a little spark and a station that desperately needed to fill airtime, you had a shot.

    You know, if you just took the first 10 seconds or so, you’d think Joel was stuck on the Event Horizon. It’s a little creepy.

       2 likes

  • 46
    Iggy Pop's Brother Steve Pop says:

    The problem with the rights, as I understand it, is this: what you get when you create something based on copyrighted material is what’s called a “derivative work.” That is, unless you can successfully argue that use of the copyrighted material falls under the rubric of “fair use.” There are four tests which courts apply in determining whether use of copyrighted material falls into the category of “fair use.” And if nothing else, the KTMA episodes pretty clearly fail the “amount and substantiality” test by using all or most of a movie. The owners of the movies could have sued KTMA for infringing their copyright by creating unauthorized derivative works, irrespective of whether KTMA had licensed the basic right to show the movies. The original copyright holders don’t actually own unauthorized derivative works based on their material, but since they own the copyright of the underlying material, they ultimately have a veto over the public distribution of such works. The host segments, naturally, are a different story. (It’s also a different story when they use brief clips, as in the Scrapbook tape.)

    I’m not sure if this is necessarily a roadblock to a formal release someday. It seems to me that the successors of KTMA and “Hair Brain Productions” could license the derivative use of the movies for a DVD release just as easily as, say, Cinema Titan can license movies for new derivative works. That is, if the copyright holders were amenable. But there may well be something about this that I don’t understand.

    This comes mostly through reading on Wikipedia and fanfic copyright FAQs. I’m not a lawyer, don’t play one on TV, etc.

       1 likes

  • 47
    JLH says:

    I did an iRiff for the Green Slime, attempting to retroactively to give it a proper riffing, a short time after these segments were shown. Didn’t sell well, since Green Slime is still not officially on DVD (that or it wasn’t funny enough, which could be the case since it got outsold by some dope putting his Youtube Poops up as iRiffs).

       0 likes

  • 48
    Tarantulas says:

    Don’t feel bad. iRiffs as a brand just doesn’t work.

       2 likes

  • 49
    Ralph C. says:

    I think the KTMAs won’t be released onto video due to, simply, the fact that the material is raw and unfinished as a concept. It would be like a writer releasing their earliest, least-polished works, where their style of writing hasn’t been developed fully or matured. If I could remember where I read such a thing, it would prove my point better but I think it was Kevin who said they would rather not have people see the KTMA episodes because of the rawness of the shows and the incomplete workings of the concept. It took the actual scripted nature of the show to make it a more viable concept.

    How many of us in our 30s and beyond want anyone to see our elementary and high school pictures? Smile

       0 likes

  • 50
    Tarantulas says:

    I would argue that several KTMA episodes are better than Season 1 episodes…. and there’s a ton of Season 1 episodes on DVD.

       0 likes

  • 51
    eegah says:

    Tarantulas I would argue that several KTMA episodes are better than Season 1 episodes…. and there’s a ton of Season 1 episodes on DVD.

    I wholeheartedly agree. The worst period of MST3K was the first half of season one, which has entirely been released on DVD. Most KTMA episodes are better, or at least more fun, than those episodes.

    However, the second half of season one is pretty good. But, for some reason, none of those have been released on DVD (unless you count 104-Women of the Prehistoric Planet, which was actually filmed late in the season).

       1 likes

  • 52
    Creepygirl says:

    I agree with #50. I find many of the KTMAs a little more entertaining than some Season 1 episodes. I kind of find both of these seasons as two parts of one…Like the White Album. Grin

       1 likes

  • 53
    The the Eye Creatures says:

    You can see the beginnings of greatness here. I really have to break down and get a set of KTMA’s. It’s the only season I haven’t seen Sad

       0 likes

  • 54
    Alex says:

    Another reason we may never see those episodes is because… well… Best Brains most likely just doesn’t give a **** about the fans (at least from my point of view; correct me if I’m wrong). Rolls Eyes

       0 likes

  • 55
    Alex says:

    And I must agree, the first half of Season 1 was pretty terrible, especially “The Robot VS the Aztec Mummy”… and yet pretty much all of them are now on DVD.

    I would honestly just love it if all the episodes will someday be released by Shout, because I could use a mini poster for all the episodes. Cool

       0 likes

  • 56
    Tarantulas says:

    By the way…

    I’m “this guy” who filmed this originally at Archon (at St. Louis area scifi con). I had originally posted an SD version online for people to view, and that’s been the best source for quite a while.

    Here’s the first half (stupid 10 minute YouTube limit!) in HD!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G5f-yqtl7l4&fmt=22

    I’ll get the rest of it uploaded as soon as I can.

    – Tarantulas

       3 likes

  • 57
    Sampo says:

    A small clarification about the movie library, etc.:
    Today, most local TV stations are network affiliates, and because of that the network provides a huge chunk of their programming. Other than local news and maybe the occasional interview-style community service program, local stations just push the button and run whatever the network is showing, and they’re not really responsible for filling that much air time with their own programming.
    Back in the day, it was different, especially for a channel that wasn’t a network affiliate (and KTMA wasn’t). These stations had to come up with a LOT of ways to fill air time between commercials. One way to do that was by showing movies. And over time a lot of these local stations developed libraries of movies that had been legally cleared for the channel to show (although very probably they had to pay a small performance fee every time they showed it). KTMA had such a library, and it was from that library that Joel and Jim pulled the movies they riffed.
    However, as “Iggy Pop’s Brother Steve Pop” noted, in doing an MST3K version of the movie, they created a “derivative work,” and that was not covered under the legal agreement that allowed the station to just show the movie.
    It would be interesting to ask Jim or Joel or Kevin if they knew at the time that what they were doing wasn’t a permitted use, or whether they were just oblivious to the whole issue.

    Anyway, I’ve never quite understood the “shh, we never got the rights” answer to the KTMA question. Okay, maybe back in the ’90s they might still somehow have been liable for some sort of legal action if the rights holders of the movies found out about what they did. But surely (and don’t call me Shirley) whatever statute of limitations exists has run out at this point (and in any case, if the current station claims to own the rights to those shows, wouldn’t they also have to assume the liability?).

    So at this point it would seem to me that, if Jim wanted to release the KTMA episodes on DVD, it would simply be a matter of obtaining the rights to the movies in the exact same way that it is being done for episodes from other seasons (and, as somebody else noted, perhaps negotiating another fee to the TV station). Now, granted, many of these movies are moderate- to big-budget affairs, and it possible that the costs would be prohibitive. It’s also possible that the quality of whatever masters Jim has may not really be acceptable any more (look at the flaws on the “Lost Continent” DVD, which came from a master that is three years younger). There could be a lot of good reasons that KTMA episodes will never get a proper DVD release, but at this point I think the “we never got the rights when we originally did it” answer no longer really flies.

    To Alex: You mention “a vault at Best Brains with those tapes.” No such thing ever existed, to my knowledge. I assume Jim’s tapes are in storage somewhere. Let’s hope they are someplace that’s dry and a constant temperature.

       3 likes

  • 58
    Tarantulas says:

    Joel claims Jim has copies… which is true given all the host segments from these episodes that Jim has posted on the offical MST3K website.

       0 likes

  • 59
    dsman71 says:

    I like the Season 1 episodes..they arent that bad, not as good as later ones but I enjoy them ..if it wasnt for Season 1, there wouldnt even be a Season 2,3
    I am 100% thrilled to have The Crawling Eye after many years of waiting..
    The KTMA stuff is okay too …its cool to watch them from a historical perspective..especially the Gamera /Sandy Frank titles where all the movies werent cut for time and see how they improved from KTMA to Season # 3
    Its also fun watching Joel’s hair get shorter as the season progressed..

       2 likes

  • 60
    JCC says:

    Keeping in mind that I’d love to see the KTMA episodes on official DVD, the thinking might be that these may alienate the casual fans and be more of a niche (even for MST3k) product. If these ARE ever officially released, I hope they keep the local weather info because it’s fun to gasp at the very low temperatures.

       0 likes

  • 61
    Creeping Terror says:

    Concerning rights,

    Broadcast rights and creating a derivative work have already been touched upon. But I don’t think anyone has mentioned that DVD/video distribution rights are completely separate from those. There may be problems if a distribution company has exclusive rights to a movie and Shout! also wants to distribute a MST3K version of the film (although this applies to any non-public domain MST3K episode).

    Likely, the Brains have looked at it economically and have decided that it’s not financially smart to try to obtain the rights and release those episodes. When you add in the artistic side of Joel & Co. not wanting us to see the “rough drafts,” then you have some strong arguments about why the KTMA episodes might not ever be released.

       0 likes

  • 62
    trickymutha says:

    @JCC- LOL. I live in Michigan, and it’s like Phoenix or Miami Beach here compared to the Twin Cities. I went there once in April and froze my butt off. Think it was about 15 in the day.

       0 likes

  • 63
    trickymutha says:

    I just wish somehow fan copies could slip out of K-01 through K-03 so we could all complete our collections. Come on Jim, we’ll all look the other way.

       2 likes

  • 64
    Tarantulas says:

    Sorry for the delay…

    Here’s part 2.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yrG6j8pnXhA&fmt=22

    – Tarantulas

       2 likes

  • 65
    Watch-out-for-Snakes says:

    Looking at these clips it’s almost hard to imagine a tv station manager saying, “yeah. Okay. Great. Sign here on the line.”. Very primative. But still, I had never seen this before, so I feel a bit of MSTory (history+MST= MSTory. Get it?) has been filled on for me. Thanks for sharing. Can’t wait for the KTMA threads to start, I acquired the eps off of DAP Central last year and I really haven’t watched them yet. This is as good an excuse as any. Also, I’ve enjoyed the discussion on the rights issues. Y’all is smart, don’t let anyone tell you diffrent.

    And I semi-recall hearing/reading that Kevin Murphy has copies of those first three KTMA eps., but vows never to release them, based on quality control. So if he and Jim Mallon both have copies, you’d expect eventually that something would have to give, right?

    Right??

       1 likes

  • 66
    Manny Sanguillen says:

    These old ktma shows are good for informative purposes and such, but I can’t sit through them very long because I’m all about the riffing, and face it, these aint the greatest.

    It’s neat though from a fan’s standpoint to watch it for the origins and seeing it all slowly coming together.

    I just never have enough time to do the things I’d like to do, so when I actually have the chance to sit and watch stuff, I will normally pick things that I know will highly entertain me. Thus I have a tough time popping in anything from ktma or season one, even though I have all of season one and about 7 or 8 ktma’s.
    The only ktma I actually ever sat all the way through was SST Deathflight, and several times to boot.

       1 likes

  • 67
    C. says:

    On this site, there was an interview with someone from Shout Factory who stated that SF isn’t trying to get the KTMA episodes released due to the fact that they were never nationally broadcast and SF is all about nostalgia value derived from old TV programs. Since the only people who would have that is our community and people who lived in Minneapolis in the 80s, there isn’t enough value there.

       1 likes

  • 68
    Finnias 'Critter' Jones says:

    Speaking of the number 2 position…

    Thanks Tarantulas for posting these HD clips (@ #56 & 64). Hopefully Sampo will replace the links in the original post.

    I wish the existing KTMA copies looked as good as these. Just re-watched K04 (G v. B) and it is rough. We may be better off not having the complete early episodes as the riffing is so slight as to be barely worth the effort. But I enjoy this one for its early look at the concept behind the SOL.

    Funny how Joel is so insistent on this environment being “of his own design,” him being a “freak,” and how “you can see how even I get kinda bored with this after a while.” Though him leaving the show years later was not from “boredom” it’s oddly prophetic, in that he decided to move on to what he thought would be greener pastures in Hollywood, which never panned out the way he imagined. It’s meta-cool that he unveiled this video at a Cinematic Titanic panel, his triumphant return to the form he invented.

       1 likes

  • 69
    Smog Monster says:

    @ 15 – It’s a good thing that K00 The Green Slime didn’t make it as an episode or an extended DVD bonus… If KTMA ever makes it onto an official Shout! Factory DVD, it should be a good KTMA episode, many of which there are.

    As for this episode, I’m sure there’s more riffing on the forgotten edits of The Green Slime. Of course, seeing these dry excerpts makes me wonder how Joel made it on television even for KTMA… These are REALLY dry clips…

       0 likes

  • 70
    Smog Monster says:

    @ 65 – Ohhh, the pain … Shock Shock Shock

       1 likes

  • 71
    Alex says:

    Yeah, but honestly, if the KTMA episodes ever are allowed to be released, I, again, wouldn’t see this episode getting out of its never-endless tunnel, because, again, keep in mind, The Green Slime is an MGM movie, and I doubt MGM will license their material to Shout. But… if they do license it, I hope Shout will put it as a seperate episode and not as a bonus feature like “The original pilot” in the menu section. I’m mostly saying this because I’d *love* to have a mini poster of the green slime attacking Crow and Servo. Alien

       0 likes

  • 72
    mikek says:

    :!: I’ve noticed that The Green Slime is playing on Turner Classic Movies tomorrow afternoon. 11am central/12pm eastern.

       0 likes

  • 73
    Alex says:

    Speaking of DVDS, by the way, when is the next Dracocon coming up? I’ve heard Volume 19 gets announced during then. Grin

       0 likes

  • 74
    cambot j. nelson says:

    it’s so funny to think how that early MST creation of Joel’s was the necessary beginning of what would eventually evolve into that which I now so greatly enjoy as Rifftrax. It’s so raw and beautiful in it’s primitiveness. Godbless Hodgson, and his fellow firestarters.

       0 likes

  • 75
    trickymutha says:

    1- Will TCM ever have Frank be a host? 2- If any station would show MST reruns, it would be TCM- like at 2 AM- that would be awesome!

       1 likes

  • 76
    Mr. B(ob) says:

    @ “The worst period of MST3K was the first half of season one”
    Everyone’s got an opinion, but it’s not the only one. Can’t agree, I love the first half of Season One and am grateful to have it on DVD. The raw energy and creativity is great and it’s fun seeing them experiment with what works well and what doesn’t. I find it highly entertaining and for the most part quite funny. Lots of good jokes in there right from the start for me.

       1 likes

  • 77
    Alex says:

    @ 76

    Yeah, I admit, Crawling Eye and Mad Monster are ok. A little bit of Corpse Vanishes too. As for Robot VS the Aztec Mummy… I’ve only seen it once, but I might have to watch it again to see my opinion on the riffing. The host segments are kind of strange, though, with it being all about demon dogs.

       0 likes

  • 78
    dsman71 says:

    Those classic cheesy B movies are fun in my opinion ..I highly anticipate Robot Monster in an upcoming set..
    Volume 19 will be announced at the San Diego Comic Con I believe this Thursday
    My pics were Robot Monster, Rocketship XM, Samson vs the Vampire Women and Horror of Party Beach
    I have to admit owning a pristine copy of a KTMA episode sounds awfully yummy , but these lay in the hands of Jim Mallon and the rights owners to the films

       1 likes

  • 79
    mike says:

    Yeah, the word on the street is Volume 19 will be announced on Thursday, July 22nd.

       0 likes

  • 80
    Alex says:

    July 22? Sweet. Cool

       1 likes

  • 81
    Iggy Pop's Brother Steve Pop says:

    I wonder if the “we don’t want to release rough drafts” feeling about the KTMA episodes applies just to the riffing, or to the sketches as well. If it’s just the former, here’s a sort of amusing idea (provided they could get get rights to the movies, of course): replace the original audio track for the movie segments with new riffs written by the Titans and performed by Joel, Trace, and Josh. They could possibly keep the original audio track as an alternative for “historical interest.” They didn’t interact with the screen much in those days, and the shadowramma is small, so it wouldn’t be all that obvious that J&TB’s new voices are speaking at different times (and more often) than their images from 1988/89 are.

       0 likes

  • 82
    Alex says:

    @ 81

    Yeah, but the thing is, Misties (like myself) don’t like the show to be unaltered in any way… at least from what I’ve heard. So doing that to the KTMAs would probably anger them so much that they’ll want replacement discs. For my understanding, I think it’s pretty much they simply just don’t want the entire episode released at all. They really don’t give a damn about the fans, do they?

       0 likes

  • 83
    bad wolf says:

    I think they’ve done more than enough for the ‘fans’ to not have to listen to such negative comments.

       1 likes

  • 84
    mikek says:

    I want to destroy Beeper, is that wrong. Alien I’m so glad that they gave him a voice and named him Tom Servo.

       0 likes

  • 85
    Ryan McSwain says:

    Does anyone else feel like the missing episodes fill an important role in the MST3K mythos? They’re so much more interesting missing as they would be available on a Season Zero box set.

       1 likes

  • 86
    Tarantulas says:

    The only reason people want to see them is because we can’t.

       2 likes

  • 87
    Danny says:

    There are decent enough fan copies of most of the KTMA’s. I really want to see K01/K02 though (the “lost” ones).

       0 likes

  • 88
    PondosCP says:

    At some point when the well starts to run dry, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a KTMA episode come out. Say, around Vol. 40? Also: http://www.loftcinema.com/node/1798

       0 likes

  • 89
    PondosCP says:

    Oh, and do you plan to review the clips from K 1-3 on mst3k.com?

       0 likes

  • 90
    Sampo says:

    PondosCP: Sorry, no.

       1 likes

  • 91
    Sampo says:

    Also: I’ve replaced the YouTube links with links to the HD version kindly supplied by Tarantulas. Thanks!

       1 likes

  • 92
    Tarantulas says:

    Yeah! I’m helping (for once)!

       1 likes

  • 93
    kismetgirl88 says:

    So glad Don O’Connor gave Joel a chance. Though I think He was filling Dead air time that didn’t have fill with static or test signal.

       0 likes

  • 94
    Alex says:

    Personally, I think it’d just be better to wait till the complete episodes of K01-K03 ever surface in their entirety… if they ever do (which is unlikely Rolls Eyes). But I guess it is still possible those KTMAs may possibly surface once the Sci-Fi and Comedy Central episodes that are easy to not get your hand slapped when touching by the films’ rights owners eventually run out… or… the episodes may just remain “lost” anyhow, who knows.

       0 likes

  • 95
    Richard the Lion Hearted says:

    “I am AMAZED that this it worked”

    I agree with you Sampo.
    The only thing on Joel’s side was that this was in the twilight years of independent stations. Stations owned by people, or local companies, or families who did this for love & profit.

    Today Joel would not have stood a chance. At least on the west coast, all the independent stations are bought up by chains and it is all corp. cr##.

    This may be the last “creative” show we see for a long time, and I, like you, am surprised it got on at all based on this promo tape.

    I am also surprised that it survived until year 2 when it hit its stride.

       1 likes

  • 96
    Iggy Pop's Brother Steve Pop says:

    It’s certainly not much in comparison with what it became. (If I were the studio head, looking at this riffless pilot, I’d probably have asked, “So what’s the point of the shadows, blocking part of the movie?”) But compare it to most other locally-produced movie shows, with hosts trading in hackneyed puns and wearing dime-store Dracula makeup, and it starts looking quite promising.

    (Chicago folks, I know that just sounded like I was describing Svengoolie. I’m really talking about hosts lower on that particular food chain. Svengoolie is the gold standard of hosts trading in hackneyed puns and wearing dime-store Dracula makeup.)

       0 likes

  • 97
    starman15317 says:

    @47: Did u make the Kitmah Predicts one? I bought it but haven’t watched it yet

       0 likes

  • 98
    Dan in WI says:

    I find the discussion of what did Dan O’Conner see in the pilot that made him pick up the show fascinating. Here’s my guess. He saw they would be able to deliver a way to fill two hours. This wasn’t that radical an idea to put this on the air. After all we are talking the waning days of when every major television market had a hosted creature feature show. At its core MST is nothing more of an evolution of that concept. So Mr. O’Conner probably looked at this and thought to himself “I might as well have an Elvira/Svengoolie/Ned the Dead/etc… too.” When you watch this thing and see there really are no riffs to be had in the theater this seems even more plausible.

    With Beeper being unable to speak it sure gives it a kind of R2-D2 and C-3PO vibe.

    Man, I wish Joel or somebody would explain who designed the robots.

    Trace did more puppetry work with Crow’s arms in this pilot than he did in the next several years of the show. I wonder why the arms weren’t utilized more often when it is proven here right in the beginning it can be done.

    I have to say these host segments stand up pretty well with just about anything from the Joel years. It has his wit and humor and I enjoyed this piece of history.

       4 likes

  • 99
    snowdog says:

    Watching this always makes me smile. Joel is obviously improvising through most of dialogue, which is “of his own design”. The robots are extremely primitive, but recognizable. Beeper even has a transparent head like Tom Servo ultimately would. I wonder if Joel already intended to start riffing the movies and just didn’t want the station manager to know, or if he truly hadn’t thought of it yet.

       1 likes

  • 100
    dsman71 says:

    Joel had A LOT of hair back then…
    I wish they could find those unreleased KTMA episodes 1,2 and 3… they have to be in some storage place somewhere.. never-mind the fan copy, find the original master (he would approve)

       2 likes

  • 101
    Jason says:

    That Joel was able to present this leaves me with the comforting impression that Mallon did go ahead and digitally archive those frail 3/4″ KTMA tapes regardless of whether or not something could ever be done with the content commercially. In fact, considering the fragile media that MST3K was filmed on for all 10/11 of its seasons, it would have been smart for the digital transfer of every episode to have been completed a long time ago, as I suspect may well be the case.

    I’m quite surprised Shout! hasn’t yet worked with Mallon to put out a KTMA host segment collection as an extra yet. I do see that happening one day. My preference given the probably unresolvable legal situation with the KTMA episodes as well as my assumption that pristine digital files exist is that they get anonymously “leaked” to Youtube at some point, and the fans ultimately have what they want.

       0 likes

  • 102
    Sampo says:

    I don’t know what bad mood I was in or something, but I have removed a rather snippy reply I made to a commenter named “PondosCP.” I apologize to him/her for it, and I additionally apologize that it took me four years to do it.

    PondosCP asked if I was going to post any comments about the KTMA clips posted at MST3K.com if they were from the missing K01, K02 and K03 episodes. The practical answer, currently, is that there is only one clip on the site right now and even that one won’t play for me. My snippiness may have been a result of my frustration with the state of that site and its glacial updates, I don’t know. Whatever, the simple answer is that there simply is nothing there to look at or talk about.

    However, if what’s left of BBI ever actually does post clips from the missing episodes, sure, I probably will post something about it.

       2 likes

  • 103
    Jason says:

    On the subject of BBI, I’m incredibly disappointed that Mallon didn’t live up to his promise to continue posting ancient KTMA (non-MST3K stuff included) content on the website as part of his incredibly promising “Memoirs” section. All he had posted was an amazing Kevin Murphy hosted segment called “The Wall” that plays like a proto Daily Show field correspondent sketch. It was a gem and I’m eager to see some of the other material that was generated when Mallon and Murphy were abusing their creative control of a bottom dollar TV studio in the 80s.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lujglyYVGZY

       1 likes

  • 104
    Bruce Boxliker says:

    I actually liked Beeper. Yes, they made the right choice to replace him, since he couldn’t join the riffing, but I still liked him. Kinda sad they never brought him back for anything. Maybe if the show does get re-started they can bring him back!

    Speaking of the show getting re-started, maybe they could kick it off with new versions of all the KTMA movies (except the ones MST3K did later)! How great would that be to have The Green Slime be the first one they do?

    Looking back, yes, it is amazing the show got started at all. However, just like Comedy Channel wanting MST3K because it was 2 hours of programming, maybe KTMA saw it in a similar way. It does, after all, stretch the length of some of those movies. Also, it’s hard to judge exactly how someone back then would have seen it. We’ve all seen what the show came to be, and a number of today’s TV writers have admitted to being inspired by MST3K. There really wasn’t anything like it on TV at the time, so maybe KTMA just wanted something new & different.

       1 likes

  • 105
    Bill Redfern says:

    Most of us have read or heard how Joel developed his “laid back” persona for the series. Supposedly, he was “dead on his feet” the day of filming after he stayed up most of the previous night assembling the first ‘Bots. I wonder, if he been fortunate enough to obtain adequate sleep that particular night, would his performance that fateful day been a bit more lively and would that have altered how he developed his on camera persona?

    In other words, would we have gotten a “mellow” Joel regardless of circumstances?

    Sincerely,

    Bill

       0 likes

  • 106

    Dan in WI @ #98 says: “I find the discussion of what did Dan O’Conner see in the pilot that made him pick up the show fascinating. Here’s my guess. He saw they would be able to deliver a way to fill two hours.”


    –Seems likely. If I’m not mistaken, that was also a big selling point when MST3k was picked up by The Comedy Channel (later to become Comedy Central). Filling up a 2-hour slot in your schedule must of seemed like a godsend to that just-blooming-cable-television-network.

       1 likes

  • 107
    jjk says:

    That thing growing on Joel’s head would have made a good sci-fi movie. “The Thing That Ate Minneapolis”.

       1 likes

  • 108
    JCC says:

    Thank God the sign didn’t read “I HATE BEEPER’S NEW VOICE.”

       2 likes

  • 109
    Luther Heggs aka Number 6 says:

    Consider for a moment, what the Proof Of Concept for The Green Slime itself might have looked like when it was being pitched as a motion picture.

    Btw, didn’t Harlan Ellison sue MGM because the plot of The Green Slime resembled a ten page note Harlan wrote to a local tropical fish pet shop owner in 1965?

       4 likes

  • 110
    Cheapskate Crow says:

    Interesting to see but I agree with Sampo and others that it is amazing the show was given the green light to proceed. Sadly a lot of comedies never get the chance they need these days to succeed. MST took a couple of years to hit its stride and even classic comedies like Seinfeld and Mash didn’t start out well. Networks are far too impatient now.

       2 likes

  • 111
    Kenneth Morgan says:

    While no fan copies of the first three KTMA shows are available, I’m glad that the master tapes still exist. I’d hate to think that MSTies would have to be like Whovians and search the world for viable copies of zapped episodes.

       2 likes

  • 112
    Chad Vader says:

    in addition to the legal issues related to any possible release of the KTMA episodes, there is another problem. In the ACEG, it is explained that they don’t want to release them, because they are not very good. For this reason, I don.t think the missing episodes will ever see the light of day. I hope I am wrong.

       0 likes

  • 113
    Dan in WI says:

    Chad Vader #112> Unless we sent Diabolik into Jim Mallon’s home to find them…

       4 likes

  • 114
    GornCaptain says:

    Every attic and basement in Minnesota must be searched! There has to be an old Beta or VHS of the first three KTMA’s somewhere. Wink

       2 likes

  • 115
    GornCaptain says:

    @112 The ACEG came out a long time ago. They’ve changed their stance on the first season Comedy Channel shows since then. When Shout releases all the Comedy Central and Sci Fi that they can, what’s left?

    Joel could do new intros for the KTMA’s, explaining how they’re a little rough around the edges, and that he’s not responsible for any unusual side effects from watching them. Smile

       3 likes

  • 116
    senorpogo says:

    I’m surprised so many people are surprised that O’Connor put MST3K on the air.

    This was 1988. The big three networks still ruled the airwaves. Cable was around, but hardly as ubiquitous as it is now. Fox was new and the thought of a 4th network seemed a crazy idea. And in this environment, local unaffiliated channels still were going strong, operating on shoe-string budgets, and desperately trying to find cheap (preferably local) programming.

    So here comes Joel, a local comedian who has made something of a national name for himself, with an intriguing concept on an old-standard (The Monster Matinee). He and his colleagues have also done some unique, innovative production/design for the show too. Oh, and the topper, the station already owns the movies (or maybe they didn’t, but they seemed to think that they did) and Joel, Trace, and Josh will do it all for $150 a week (that’s three-hundred 2014 dollars after correcting for inflation). Who says no to that? Especially when you have air time to fill.

    That’s an amazing thing about MST3K – it has survived through some ridiculous changes in entertainment and media. Local affiliate, to cable, to DVD-by-mail, to downloadable, to streaming….

       4 likes

  • 117
    Chad Vader says:

    Don’t forget tape trading! Smile

       2 likes

  • 118
    JeremyR says:

    One of the great paradoxes of modern TV is that despite having more and more channels on TV, there seems to be less content. All you see is the same shows, the same movies, and lots & lots of infomercials.

    Back in the 70s (through early 90s) you had a lot more space on TV to fill, and there would be a lot of weird stuff made to fill it. One of my favorite shows was Night Flight. It was aired late at night and it was just basically 4 hours of random stuff – music, shorts, jokes.

       7 likes

  • 119
    Kenneth Morgan says:

    @JeremyR (#118)

    You remember “Night Flight”? Holy cow, that was a while back.

    I agree with your assessment. It does seem like things are lots more of the same things. And I also miss the old days when local TV & radio were truly local.

       3 likes

  • 120
    Jason says:

    @112

    The whole issue of BBI and the cast being embarrassed by the KTMA episodes is kind of moot considering that 17 out of 21 of them are streaming online and pretty much already consumed by the die-hard audience that’s interested in them academically. I’d have to conclude that it’s purely legalities that keep us from getting high quality versions of those 17 episodes (and any version of the first three).

       4 likes

  • 121
    Retcon says:

    Pretty cool to see these early videos.

       2 likes

  • 122
    Quasimoto says:

    @JeremyR (#118) @ Kenneth Morgan (119)

    I totally miss the old UHF and early cable days of Night Flight and local shows. I am noticing some of it make a small comeback on digital sub channels – even a few MST knock offs. I would have also loved to see BBI put out more shows, even if it wasn’t MST related – just to see what else they could have done.

       4 likes

  • 123
    Dan in WI says:

    Jason #120> I have to disagree. Legality can’t be the reason these these are or aren’t officially released. See Sampo’s post #57. Whatever the past illegalities of these episodes may or may not be, his argument that the statute of limitations must be up by now makes a lot of sense to me. If Shout! Factory backed up the money truck to purchase the rights of those movies today you have to figure most of the rights holders would take the right offer. Heck I’m no lawyer and am just thinking out loud here, but take a look at movies like the Gameras that were done both at KTMA and in season three. You would think because Shout! already licensed those films it would be perfectly within their rights to issue both versions at this point.
    That leaves Jim Mallon as the sole roadblock. Are they out there unofficially? Of course. But for whatever reason he still doesn’t want to release them officially. (I don’t think Joel does either but apparently Jim has the final say at this point on the Best Brains side.)
    The only other possibility is that KTMA’s successor might really own some rights to those yet. See post #32. I’m not going to take this Tom’s word as gospel on that. I’m just going to allow it might be true. Someone much smarter than any of us would have to explain the legalities of that claim. If they do still own some rights then obviously Shout! would have to pay off the movie’s rights holder and KTMA’s sucessor making the financials of releasing these much more difficult.

    As for the possibilites of ever seeing high quality versions of these… That all depends on how smart Jim Mallon was in his storage methods. All I see here is speculation about how he stored them.

       1 likes

  • 124
    Bill Redfern says:

    As has been recounted in various interviews over the years, Joel Hodgeson liked constructing “robot” sculptures out of knick-knacks and discarded items. He’s also stated that the Douglas Trumbal film “Silent Running” provided considerable inspiration as he developed the MST3K format. So it seems as though he was “destined” to develop robotic sidekicks.

    Still, I occasionally wonder what other choices he (or another person in similar circumstances) might have made.

    Somehow, I keep picturing “biological aliens”, Muppet-like hand puppets constructed from soft materials. Their explanation? Rather than Joel, the character, building them to alleviate his loneliness, benevolent creatures visit the station to “learn of the human condition” and stay when they learn of Joel’s plight. Or, maybe like E.T., they’re left behind (accidentally on purpose) by their comrades. Though part of a spacefaring species, they’re not bright enough to engineer a means of escape. (Hey, how many of us could construct a boat to escape an island if we were shipwrecked?)

    Obviously, the gags that depend upon Crow and Servo’s mechanized nature would not be applicable, but routines concerning alien biology could replace them. I can imagine Trace and Kevin performing them as they did the ‘Bots, but they could have employed features not readily available for mechanical men. One or both could have been handled like Rowlf or Dr. Honeydew, at least one opertaional hand. If you limit it to one “functional” hand, only a single puppeteer would be needed. one hand to operate the mouth and the other fitted within the “glove”. Or go the “useless” limb route giving them floppy tentacles that can’t handle Earth gravity.

    Even the personality dynamics could develop similarly. One sharper witted and ascerbic, the other a bit more “innocent” but both deferential to Joel due to their lack of experience but becoming a tad more caustic by the time Mike arrives.

    No, I’m not saying I would have preferred that, just speculating what might have been with someone with a slightly different creative angle.

    Sincerely,

    Bill

       2 likes

  • 125
    bad wolf says:

    Sorry to spam the boards, Sampo, but since you’ve announced that you won’t be expanding to cover their recent work, i’ll try hosting a blog this summer to discuss some Film Crew/Rifftrax/Cinematic Titanic shows, in an Episode guide-like format.

    Anyone interested please stop by!

       0 likes

  • 126
    ilovemst3kpromos says:

    Enjoy these clips from K01, K02 and K03:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Npx1H61An0&feature=youtu.be

       3 likes

  • 127
    jaybird3rd says:

    Oh goody, the KTMA era! I’ve been waiting for these episodes to come back around, because there is so much to talk about. (My comments here will be about “season zero” in general, not just K00.)

    The KTMA shows are fascinating to look at, because as others have said, you can really see the creative process at work. But even in the unaired pilot, all the main elements are there: the principal characters, the host segments, the movie segments, the inventions, and even a preliminary doorway sequence. True, they all needed further development, and the show also needed the addition of good antagonists (the Mads), but all that this “proof of concept” really had to do was to get those ideas on the screen for the first time and to convince KTMA that it would work as a show. I may be in a minority, but I’m not surprised that it succeeded: there was a lot that Joel got right, and right at the beginning, which really speaks to the value of his original concept for the show.

    Thanks to the 25th anniversary last year, the KTMA shows have been getting more attention. I was especially pleased to see the number of KTMA clips that were used in Shout Factory’s “Return to Eden Prairie” documentary. I could identify at least six different episodes that those clips were taken from, and what was interesting is that they all looked substantially better than the widely circulated fan copies. This makes me believe that those shows have already been digitally transferred from the original tapes, and I’m still hopeful that we may even see some of them officially released in some form, perhaps when the obtainable licenses for the remaining cable shows begins to run low. As others have said, the biggest remaining obstacle seems to be the reluctance of Best Brains to re-release their earlier work, but I think that attitude is beginning to change with the passage of time: who would have thought that the previously downplayed Season One would be the first to get a complete release on DVD?

    In anticipation of reviewing the KTMA shows again, I recently re-read the very interesting “Remembrances of the KTMA Days” interview that Sampo conducted with Joel, Josh, and Trace. Here is a weekend discussion thread about it, which includes a link back to the original interview:

    http://www.mst3kinfo.com/?p=7457

    On the one hand, I can totally understand and respect Joel’s present view of the KTMA shows. If you’ve worked hard to develop and refine a creative product, you don’t necessarily want your audience looking back at your earlier attempts and evaluating them by the higher standards that you established later. But on the other hand (and with all due respect and affection for everyone involved), I don’t think they’re giving themselves enough credit for what they accomplished at KTMA. Working with the extremely limited resources they had, they were able to create a show that quickly attracted a VERY enthusiastic fan base, that built a fan club of 1000+ members, and that gave them the experience and the raw material they needed to sell the show to a national cable network. Quite a few of those shows are also just plain fun to watch! It’s true that the older shows have to be appreciated from a different context than the later shows, but they all have their own special moments of brilliance, and to paraphrase Dennis Hopper, sometimes moments are enough.

    I think a lot of MSTies dislike the KTMA shows because they try to evaluate them in the same way they do the later shows: how many riffs are there, and how funny are they? Trying to quantify the humor of the KTMA shows in that way is a bit like trying to quantify the humor in “Caddyshack” by reading a transcript of the jokes and analyzing the plot: if you look at it in such a rigidly mechanistic way, it doesn’t hold up especially well. To the extent that “Caddyshack” works as a comedy, it works because it features fantastically funny people who were having fun while they were making it. Because a lot of what went into it was improvised or put together at the last minute, there’s also a quality of spontaneity that adds to the enjoyment. I think the KTMA shows have the same kind of appeal. Granted, nobody thinks that “Caddyshack” is great cinema, and I would agree that the overall quality of MST3K undeniably got better when they started scripting the theater segments. But at the same time, I think a certain kind of intimacy and creative “juice” was squeezed out of the show when every single joke was honed and tightened and delivered with split-second timing. The difference is especially apparent by the time you get to the later Sci-Fi shows: they may be technically superior in every measurable way, but they’re also “colder” in ways that are harder to describe.

    What I think I like the most about the KTMA shows, oddly enough, is their inspirational quality. Joel has said in other contexts that one of his hopes was that his creative work would encourage others to be creative in their own way. Looking back at the old KTMA shows and at MST3K’s humble beginnings, knowing in advance what the show later grew into, is creatively inspiring to me: it somehow makes me think that my own (very different) creative work also has a chance to become a catalyst for something bigger. Perhaps that’s one reason I’ve gotten into the habit of playing the KTMA shows in the background as I work. I don’t know if that’s enough of a reason to make Joel and Co. feel any better about the fact that these old shows are still in circulation, but that’s how I see them, and why I’m eager to see them all again.

       4 likes

  • 128
    pondoscp says:

    @102 think nothing of it, Sampo. We’ve all had our bad days, and I’ve certainly posted my share of irritated rants over the years. I love this site, and frequent it every week. What I really like is the openness here, everyone treats each other well.. You don’t get a lot of that online… Anyway, thank you Sampo, for keeping this site up and going, and I look forward to going over the episode guide again over the next few years. And I usually use your links when I pre-order the new box sets, it’s not much, but I do what I can to help.

    @126 thank you for digging these up! getting to see about 9 minutes of clips from the missing K01-K03 episodes is perfect after watching the pilot. You get the feeling that K01-K03 were full length episodes done in the vein of the “Silent Running” concept. No wonder they retired these episodes quickly and only replayed K04 and up on KTMA; they have a sightly different take to them. The missing Joel with hair shows! lol And the Chiro-Gyro makes another appearance! My favorite line “I beat you this time!”

    Everyone should check out the clips @126, they’re essential! Great timing, ilovemst3kpromos!

       1 likes

  • 129
    pondoscp says:

    another thing I enjoyed, Joel attempting to recreate the spontaneous smacking of Gypsy and it doesn’t quite work!

       1 likes

  • 130
    AFFA says:

    @127: jaybird3rd, I really appreciate your perspective on the KTMA episodes and am going to watch them this time through with that “inspirational quality” as context. I got a set a little while ago from Cheepnis and started to go through them in order but the Gameras were a lot to slog through alone. I love this show–all of the seasons, especially season 1–but at that time I decided to stop and wait for this episode guide to start over again. Something about the collective endeavor makes the slog more tolerable, and I enjoy reading the little things everyone notices and appreciates. So, thank you for your ideas; I will be keeping them in mind as I give this season another try Smile

    @Sampo and pondoscp: What a classy example of good manners and kind attitudes–Pondoscp is right; I appreciate this site for it’s updates and deposit of resources, but it’s the continued practice of goodwill everyone shows each other that makes it really special.

       5 likes

  • 131
    Quasimoto says:

    @AFFA 130 ~ “@Sampo and pondoscp: What a classy example of good manners and kind attitudes–Pondoscp is right; I appreciate this site for it’s updates and deposit of resources, but it’s the continued practice of goodwill everyone shows each other that makes it really special.”

    Absolutely! I recently left another MST3k group because it degraded to some nasty personal attacks between a handful that flooded the boards for the rest of us. I’ve been reading Satellite News for years but haven’t been active in discussions. Hope to change that. Thank you Sampo & Erhardt for the great community!

       2 likes

  • 132
    goalieboy82 says:

    such humble beginnings.

       1 likes

  • 133
    Cornjob says:

    I also appreciate the respectful tone of this site. It’s a real oasis of dignity in an internet full of “I hope you get raped by a pack of rabid manatees.” type statements.

    I’d never seen any of the Green Slime demo. Interesting to see it’s crude genesis. I like the long hair and the Silent Running (a favorite film of mine) vibe.

       2 likes

  • 134
    Sitting Duck says:

    Funny thing regarding when I was rereading the old posts. Apparently my brain forgot that the posts I was reading were from about four years back. Because when I got to post #30 and the remark about Gamera being off-limits, I did a double take. Now that Shout is releasing episodes with movies from the major studios, those old comments about off-limit episodes seem increasingly odd.

       1 likes

  • 135
    jaybird3rd says:

    @ilovemst3kpromos: Thanks very much for posting those K01-K03 clips! I finally had the chance to look at them today. Some I’ve seen before, but others were new to me. I assume these originally came from the “MST3K Scrapbook” tape and/or the “Genesis” clips from the MST3K site. I’m glad to have seen them, but they really left me wishing yet again that we could see these “lost” episodes in their entirety. I’m still hoping that, someday, somebody will find a way to make it happen.

    I don’t remember where, but one of the commenters somewhere said that the only reason anyone wants to see these episodes is because they’re presently “off limits”, but for me that’s not the case. The two Supermarionation compilation films, “Invaders from the Deep” and “Revenge of the Mysterons from Mars”, are so different from the usual MST3K fare that they’d be very interesting to see just for that reason. With the exception of these two films and the Gumby short in #912, I can’t think of any other movies or shorts ever featured on MST3K that were not live action, unless you include the brief animated credit sequences in some of the later films.

    A few random observations about the first three episodes, based on what we have available in these clips:

    K01 seems to have re-used the cute little “vacuum flowers storyline” from the unaired pilot, which makes sense, but I kind of like the original version better. In K01 it seems to have been more rushed, and as pondoscp says, certain spontaneous moments from K00 (like Joel accidentally giving Gypsy a punch in the jaw) didn’t work quite as well when they tried to repeat them deliberately. Now that I’m used to hearing the low-pitched grunts Josh did in K00, Gypsy’s high-pitched shrieking sounds a little strange, and is Josh also performing Crow’s voice in the “Well-Lit Crater” theater clip? If so, I wonder why. I also noticed that Beeper was mentioned by name in K01, so does this mean that the change from Beeper to Servo didn’t happen until K02? It must have been a pretty quick change, since these episodes were originally aired on the same day and were presumably filmed back-to-back. Josh’s voice for Servo in K02 sounds much different from the “Marvin the Martian” voice that he evidently started using in K03, so the creation of Servo’s “persona” apparently involved even more experimentation than I thought.

    As for K03, I’m just curious to know what they made of the second half of the “Fugitive Alien” saga without having seen the first half, and whether they were even aware when they picked it that there was a first half. Both “Fugitive Alien” movies are pretty choppy and incoherent even if you watch them in order, but viewed in isolation, “Star Force: Fugitive Alien II” must have been completely incomprehensible. Then again, maybe that was appropriate for K03, since hallucinogenic drugs seems to have been a subject of the host segments!

    I really liked the “Nun-Clucks” clip, which seems to have been the opening segment for K03. The “Chiro-Helmet” invention shown here was obviously reused from K00, but I’ll bet that the gun with the “pointing silencer” is the missing half of the Mads’ “stocking mask of the future” invention from #110 (“Robot Holocaust”). In his introduction to that episode for the Shout Factory DVD, Joel mentioned that the pointing gun and the mask with the radio-controlled eyebrows came directly from his stage act, and that he used them together in a “bank robber” sketch. Presumably, either Best Brains or the Comedy Channel didn’t want to show the gun, so Josh just did a “finger gun” when he demonstrated the mask in #110.

       3 likes

  • 136
    Richard the Lion-Footed says:

    Quasimoto @ 122says:
    @JeremyR (#118) @ Kenneth Morgan (119)

    Not only “Night Flight” but TNT use to show “Weird Theater” late Friday and Saturday nights.
    I also miss the “live” programming a lot of the start-up networks did in the 1990s. FX use to have loft programs both live and as introductions to the 20th Century Fox library. Now it is all cookie cutter packages.

    In the early 1980s local stations bought movies like the old theaters did in the 50s and 60s. Independent production companies would sell their stuff almost door to door. The stations would attract viewers by limiting commercial breaks to the half hours.

    Joel and his idea was on the final slide of independent TV and on the rising cusp of the cable explosion. Timing was perfect.

       0 likes

  • 137
    Mnenoch says:

    I am so grateful that these clips of the missing episodes have been shown. Like every other mstie it’s nice to have a little more to “fill in the gaps” for the last remaining episodes. The door sequence is just absolutely awesome to see. It’s surprising that they got such an “elaborate” door sequence for the rest of the KTMA run. Hopefully one day we will see the missing episodes in full.

       0 likes

  • 138
    Link says:

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  • 139

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