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Sampo & Erhardt

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Sci-Fi Archives

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

Goodbye Sci-Fi

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

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Visit, the official site of Best Brains, Inc. and Mystery Science Theater 3000.

And be sure to visit Cinematic Titanic by Joel Hodgson and other original MST3K cast members.

And don't forget about, the place to download DVD commentaries by Michael J. Nelson.

And check out the official web site of Joel Hodgson.

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Weekend Discussion Thread: What Movies Should the Reboot Riff?

Well, what a week it’s been!

The news we got this week is causing all sorts of speculation…so let’s do some more!

What movie(s) do you think would be good fodder for the new MST3K? Obviously they won’t be doing big blockbusters, so keep in mind that the movies will be a lot like the ones they did on the old show.

Have at it!

Now Available (and Available for Pre-order) from RiffTrax…

More NatGeo riffing! Stream or download it here.

Scheduled to be released Nov. 20th, but you can pre-order it now!

RIP Phil ‘Philthy Animal’ Taylor of Motörhead

Phil “Philthy Animal” Taylor, who played drums in the heavy metal band Motörhead from 1975 to 1984 and from 1987 to 1992, alongside guitarist Fast Eddie Clarke and frontman Ian ‘Lemmy’ Kilmister, died Nov. 11. He was 61. He had been ill for some time and his death had been reported so many times previously that the bandmates joked about it.
His drumming can be heard in “Ace of Spades,” which was featured in the movie in episode 604- ZOMBIE NIGHTMARE.
The Daily Mail has a remembrance.

Episode Guide: 407- The Killer Shrews (with short: ‘Junior Rodeo Daredevils’)

Short: (1949) Cowpoke and old-timer Billy Slater straightens out some wayward kids by making them put on a small-time rodeo.
Movie: (1959) A hunky skipper makes a delivery to a small island, and learns that the inhabitants include heavy-drinking scientists who are conducting genetic experiments.

First shown: 7/25/92
Opening: Joel gives out presents to the bots
Invention exchange: The Mads prepare to destroy Earth, but are stopped by Jim Henson’s Edgar Winter Babies
Host segment 1: Joel vapor-locks while trying to do Will Rogers
Host segment 2: While presenting the Killer Shrews board game, the bots snap
Host segment 3: J&TB concoct the Killer Shrew drink
End: The shrewbots attack scientist Joel, letter, Frank isn’t feeling good
Stinger: Festus swipes Roscoe’s drink.
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (225 votes, average: 4.25 out of 5)

• This is one of those episodes where the movie is SO stupid and the print is SO bad that it takes a lot of really good riffing to overcome it — and that, for the most part, is what you get. You can tell the writing team struggled with the movie’s tediousness -– it comes out in one segment -– but overall I think they did a pretty good job. The host segments are lots of fun too. I’m not sure I’d recommend this one for a newbie, because the movie’s just so hard to see and hear, but the episode is plenty funny.
• This episode is featured on Rhino’s “Mystery Science Theater 3000 Collection, Volume 7” and became notorious after fans noticed that the movie had been cut a little bit and that there were some mastering issues, causing Rhino to send corrected disks to any who complain.
• People always talk about the way Joel was a “dad” to the bots in a way that Mike never tried to be. The opening sketch is pretty much a pristine example of that dynamic. Who hasn’t been in poor Crow’s place at one time or another?
• This ep has another use of the “aaaaaaahh!” farewell by the mads, first used (I think) in episode 321- SANTA CLAUS CONQUERS THE MARTIANS.
• Servo is still wearing his hat in the theater during the short, but it’s gone by the time the movie starts.
• The whole “Jim Henson’s [fill in the blank] babies” concept, which was clearly a phrase being batted around the BBI writing room for past several weeks, reaches its peak with this episode: it was used three times, including the invention exchange.
• The riffs get very dark during the short — a taste of the way it’s going to be in plenty of shorts to come.
• Crow DID get some use out of those slacks: He is wearing them in segment 1.
• Segment 1 is an corollary to the “sabotaged sketch” — the “Joel vapor locks” sketch. Mike had a tendency to vapor-lock too.
• You have to be a certain age to get the “He’s the guy who taught LBJ how to hold dogs” riff. For those too young, President Johnson loved his beagles, but caused a kerfuffle among animal lovers when he was photographed lifting them by the ears. He insisted there was nothing wrong with doing so, but dog lovers howled.
• Some entirely understandable tears are shed by the bots during segment 2, as the bots seem to express the feelings of writers about the dull, actionless movie.
• Has anybody noticed that this movie has, in a general sort of way, the same plot as “Jurassic Park”?
• Two “Dune” references in this one: “It’s the Gom Jabbar” and “Tell me about your home world, Usul.”
• Segment two is a great example of what movie sign can be good for — giving the sketch an ending it otherwise doesn’t have.
• Joel and the Bots decide Hispanic Mario is Manuel from “Fawlty Towers.” It allows them to do foreigner jokes that they otherwise probably couldn’t get away with.
• I remember after this episode aired that a few people actually tried to follow the recipe for a killer shrew. Anybody ever taste one? If they did, they’re probably in a diabetic coma. This sketch also has a nice little visit to Deep 13, something that doesn’t happen that often in mid-movie.
• The sound is so bad in this movie that there are about a dozen riffs where they are essentially asking what the hell some character just said. Way more than usual.
• The killer shrew costumes, far from “not cutting it,” are a riot.
• Joel says “we will be-ack” and “MST3 viewers.” They keep going.
• Ipecacs reappear; they first reared their ugly head in episode 315- TEENAGE CAVEMAN.
• Cast and crew roundup: The person to blame for this movie is Gordon McClendon, a Houston radio tycoon went through phase where he fancied himself a movie producer. The result was “Giant Gila Monster” and this. He also fancied himself an actor: he plays the Steve Allen-like scientist in this one and was the narrator in GGM. Both movies were made by many of the same crew members, including: co-producer Ken Curtis (yes, Festus of “Gunsmoke” fame), director Ray “knees up” Kellogg, screenplay/story guy Jay Simms, cinematographer Wilfred Cline, editor Aaron Stell (who also worked on “Beginning of the End”), makeup lady Corrine Daniel, production manger Ben Chapman (who was a stuntman in “The Mole People”), art director Louis Caldwell, set designer Louise Caldwell (who also worked on “The Amazing Transparent Man”), sound guy Earl Snyder (who also worked on “The Amazing Transparent Man” and “The Crawling Hand”) and sound effects guy Milton Citron.
• CreditsWatch: Additional contributing writer: Steve Hollenhorst. Host segments directed by Jim Mallon. Dr. F’s last name is still spelled “Forrestor.”
• Fave riff from the short: “And the crowd goes wild — yay.” Honorable mention: “Oh no. This is wrong. I signed up for debaaaaate…”
• Fave riff from the movie: “Imagine in how much detail, senor?” Honorable mentions: “I’ve been going through the script and I think I’m in this scene.” “The…end…”

Variety Reports the Business Side

The show has been making entertainment news the last couple of days, but there’s also the business side, says a report from Variety’s Elizabeth Wagmeister.

Shout! Factory has acquired cult comedy series “Mystery Science Theater 3000,” Variety has learned.

The news of the acquisition comes the same day Joel Hodgson, the creator and writer of “Mystery Science Theater 3000,” launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund a new season of the show.

With the new deal, negotiated by Shout’s David McIntosh, Shout! Factory now has the proprietary rights the “Mystery Science Theater 3000” from Best Brains Inc., including all brand assets and global intellectual property. The media company is partnering with Hodgson and his company Alternaversal LLC on future endeavors surrounding the “MST3K” brand, including plans for new content development, digital media initiatives, live events, merchandise licensing programs and content syndication to international territories.

“’Mystery Science Theater 3000′ is a true cult-classic comedy series that continues to attract fans till this day,” said Shout! Factory’s founders Richard Foos, Bob Emmer and Garson Foos. “This is a momentous acquisition for us. We’ve been pursuing this deal for many years, and we’re thrilled that it’s finally coming to fruition. We see that there’s still tremendous untapped potential for the ‘MST3K’ brand. We’re looking forward to the next phase of ‘MST3K’ with Joel.”

Hodgson commented, “I am thrilled to team with Shout! Factory, one of ‘MST3K’s’ greatest supporters, to once again pick up the creative mantle. It’s been a long time coming and I feel ready for the show’s reboot and hopefully lots of new iterations in different media. I’m also looking forward to working with both creative pros and the loyal fan base who have been inspired by our humble show over the years…Actually, I’m not sure if there really is such a thing as a humble show, let me check on that.”

The show’s original producer Jim Mallon added, “Fans of ‘MST3K’ can celebrate as Shout! Factory begins a new ‘MST3K’ adventure with the Crow, Tom Servo, and Gypsy reuniting with Joel Hodgson. Shout! Factory is perfectly placed for this next chapter as they have been our partner and excellent stewards of ‘MST3K’ for the past seven years.”

“Mystery Science Theater 3000,” created by Hodgson and produced by Mallon, first aired on KTMA-TV in Minneapolis for its freshman season, then heading over to Comedy Central (then Comedy Channel) where it ran for seven seasons, and wrapping up with its final three seasons airing on the Sci-Fi Channel. Over its eleven year run, 198 episodes and one feature film, the series won a Peabody Award in 1993 and was nominated for two writing Emmys.

Not sure how “Consolidated Puppets” fits in to all that.

Thanks to Jeff for the heads up.

The Reboot Moves Forward. Step One: Crowdfunding.

Here’s the press release:

Joel Hodgson, Creator of Mystery Science Theater 3000, Announces Kickstarter to #BringBackMST3K For a New Generation

For more than 25 years, the award-winning comedy television series Mystery Science Theater 3000 has been known as one of the best cult TV shows in history. The story of a human host and his robot sidekicks, trapped aboard a satellite and forced to watch cheesy movies by his captor, MST3K has maintained its reputation thanks largely to its fervently devoted fan base, known as MSTies. This morning, Joel Hodgson, creator and former host of the beloved show, announced that he is turning to the fans to bring back Mystery Science Theater 3000 for a new generation.

“I don’t think there’s ever been a show more dependent on its fans than Mystery Science Theater 3000,” Hodgson says. “Twenty-five years ago, we asked our fans to ‘Keep Circulating The Tapes’ and sharing MST3K with their friends and family to help the show find its audience. Now, I’m hoping the fans will join me again to “Keep Circulating the URL” of our Kickstarter, so that we can bring MST3K back to life for a new generation.”

Through Kickstarter, Hodgson hopes to raise at least $2 million – enough to make three brand new, feature length episodes – with an ultimate goal of raising the $5.5. million needed to make a full season of twelve episodes. While Hodgson will be involved in writing and all facets of production of the new series, the new episodes will feature a new host, new Mads and of course, new cheesy movies to riff.

To contribute to the campaign and for updates, visit, and follow MST3K on Facebook (, Twitter (@MST3K) and Instagram (@MST3K).

More info here.

Two Episode Items

Two items:

* This week’s “MST3K Monday” at featured episode 512- MITCHELL.

* The latest annotated episode on YouTube is episode 208- LOST CONTINENT.
(As always, post additions or corrections in the comments THERE, not here.)

Frank and Trace in St. Louis

Frank and Trace will be appearing for two shows at the Ivory Theater in St. Louis on Saturday, December 12. Each show will feature a different film never before riffed in St. Louis. Tickets, which go on sale Friday, November 13 at 10am, are $35 and can be purchased online at or by phone at 314-534-1111. A separate ticket is required for each show.

Would you like to spend even more quality time with Frank and Trace? Then you might want to attend the three-hour riff-writing workshop that they will be giving earlier that day. Tickets are $80 and may also be purchased at beginning Friday at 10am. As you might guess, space is limited.

Weekend Discussion Thread: What If You Were Indestructible?

Our pal Timmy sez:

I just watched The Indestructible Man. In host segment 2, Joel ask the bots: what you do if you were indestructible? I would be used as a punching bag by Floyd Mayweather, be shot out of a cannon into a brick wall and would tap dance across a mine field (dress up of course).
So what would you all do?

I think I’d go to the woods and taunt a bear. It’d be fun!


New Short from RiffTrax


There was a huge reaction to this one at the last live show, here’s the studio version.

Download or stream it here.