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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.

Social Media

Visit these!

Visit, the official site of Mystery Science Theater 3000.

And don't forget about RiffTrax, the place to find commentaries by Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy and Bill Corbett.

And be sure to visit The Mads are Back to see Trace Beaulieu and Frank Conniff live!

And check out the official web site of Joel Hodgson.

Weekend Discussion Thread: When Hell Started Bubbling Up for You

I want to start this one by saying: NO POLITICS!!! GOT IT??

Okay. Our pal Timmy says:

I just watched “Eegah!” (and since it was talk about this past Thursday) and I thought when did hell bubble up for you all? For me, (besides when the show was cancelled in 1999), it was when they did the tap dancing routine in the 1999 Oscars (look this one up kids).

I know what some of you want to say. NO POLITICS!!

That said, for me, it’s two words: Cousin Oliver. (Look that one up, too!)

What’s yours? And remember, NO POLITICS!!

What Did You Think?

Theater about half full in Dickson City (outside Scranton). Lots of laughs. I’d forgotten about all the bad acting in this thing.
Fave riff: “Leave…the…bait.”

Sampo from the Guv’mint.

Episode guide: 506- Eegah

Movie: (1962) A teen girl, her weird-faced boyfriend and her scientist dad discover a cave man living in the desert.

First shown: 8/28/93
Opening: Crow has been frozen to nearly absolute zero!
Invention exchange: Rebuilt Crow is just like new; J&tB presents the Pork-orina, while the Dr. F replaces Frank’s blood with antifreeze
Host segment 1: J&tB consider subtle forms of hell
Host segment 2: The bots alter Joel’s face to look like Arch Hall Jr.
Host segment 3: J&tB discuss why ’60s sitcoms are run by single dads
End: Washing the movie off the bots, Joel reads a letter, Frank gets a fluid change
Stinger: “Fake it.” “That’s what I’ve BEEN doing. Now I’m getting sick!”
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (142 votes, average: 4.69 out of 5)

• We’re in a very good stretch of episodes here. This is another winner, following close on the heels of last week’s gem. Great host segments, great inventions, great riffing. Shtemlo!
• This was one of the first episodes released on DVD by Rhino, in April of ’00.
• I always wondered what the “porkorina” instrument really was. Commenters informed me that it is a bass harmonica, aka a bass harp.
• Then-current reference: While doing his Cryptkeeper impression, Crow mentions the now-forgotten cable series “Dream On.”
• Callbacks: “Glen was 50 feet tall!” (War of the Colossal Beast), “The Torgo school of fondling,” “To live like the hu-man” (Robot Monster—also a mention of the Robot Monster set) “Durn smoochers!” (Attack of the the Eye Creatures) “He tampered in God’s domain” (Bride of the Monster), “Giant Gila Monster.”
• Segment one, is another pithy, brilliant sketch, one that assumes a certain level of sophistication on the part of its viewers. It’s classic MST3K.
• I hate to tell Joel, but maybe the reason he didn’t see anything in the papers about Charley Weaver dying is that Charley’s real name was Cliff Arquette.
• After having referenced “Last of the Mohicans” with the classic “Stay alive! Whatever may occur! I will find you!” line in the last episode, they go ahead and do it again…and then they do it again!
• The second segment, while not as witty, is a great example of the sort of Looney Tunes silliness they often did well.
• Crow is once again netless following the second segment, as he was in the previous episode.
• There is very little that needs to be said about this travesty of a movie, since it’s been thoroughly examined many times, but it’s worth saying again, as so many have before, that the scenes in the cave, with Roxy’s dad cheerfully suggesting she give in to Eegah’s romantic advances — particularly the horrifying shaving scene — are the very dictionary definition of the term ”icky.”
• This is an episode that launched so many catchphrases, from “Stop saying ‘whee!’ Nobody says ‘whee!’” to “My tires are filled with water!” to “Watch out for snakes!” to “Shtemlo!”
• “Wha happa!” is used twice.
• Joel again invokes Gregg Toland, the cinematographer for “Citizen Kane,” because a shot shows a ceiling.
• Arty reference: Keith Haring.
• Cast and crew roundup: associate producer/editor Don Schneider worked on “Incredibly Strange Creatures,” screenwriter Bob Wehling was an actor in “Revenge of the Creature,” cinematographer Ray Dennis Steckler directed “Incredibly Strange Creatures.” He also appears in the movie as the guy who gets thrown into the pool at the end. Sound recorder Sam Kopetzky also worked on “Girl in Gold Boots” and score composer Henri Price worked on “Incredibly Strange Creatures.” In front of the camera Richard Kiel was also in “The Human Duplicators” and “The Phantom Planet.” Carolyn Brandt was also in “Incredibly Strange Creatures.”
• CreditsWatch: Contributing writer Colleen Henjum becomes Colleen Henjum-Williams. Host segments directed by Joel Hodgson.
• Fave riff: “Sit down, pie face, it’s a long list.” Honorable mention: “That little satchel will be the death of him.” “Poor shovel. Didn’t ask to be in this movie.”

New Full-Length Documentary from Ballyhoo


If you enjoy those documentaries included on the Shout! Factory sets, then you might be interested in this. Ballyhoo Motion Pictures has created its first limited edition DVD release, THEY CAME FROM THE SWAMP: THE FILMS OF WILLIAM GREFÉ. MSTies will recognize Grefé as the director of WILD REBELS. You can find out more, and place your order, at the Ballyhoo Midway online store.

Oh, and one word of advance notice…SHATNER!

New RiffTrax Audio Title (you knew it was coming)…


Download it here.

Weekend Discussion Thread: Favorite Hexfield Moments

Alert reader “Be Right There” asks:

Has there ever been a Weekend thread about favorite hexfield/Rocket #9 moments? These were always some of my favorite MST moments.

I gotta go with Kevin as Ilya Muromets at the Waffle House. “HAM!!”

What’s your pick?

Episode guide: 505- Magic Voyage of Sinbad

Movie: (1952) A sea-going adventurer sets sail to find the bluebird of happiness, which he believes will help his down-on-its-luck hometown.

First shown: 8/14/93
Opening: J&tB are presenters and nominees at the SOL-tie awards
Invention exchange: The Mads present chin-derwear, while J&tB show off the rat pack chess set
Host segment 1: J&tB have a meeting of the Junior Jester Club
Host segment 2: J&tB are the bearded town council debating the Sinbad problem
Host segment 3: Crow’s lifelong quest thingy goes awry
End: The bots are amazed by Joel’s channel cat puppet, letter, Frank meets Mr. Fistie
Stinger: Laughing horse
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (140 votes, average: 4.56 out of 5)

• Oh my, oh my, oh my, what a wonderful episode. An all-time fave. Everything works, everything clicks. Great invention exchanges, great host segments, great riffing and a well-shot, expensive — albeit weird — movie. Despite my personal attachment to “The Day the Earth Froze,” I have to say this is the best of the Russo-Finnish movie episodes.
• This episode was included in Shout! Factory’s “Mystery Science Theater 3000 Collection: Vol XX.”
• You gotta assume the opening is perhaps a reflection on their “always a nominee, never a winner” TV award history.
• Both inventions, chin-derwear and the Rat Pack chess set, are not just clever, they are downright witty.
• That’s Mike, of course, attempting Frank Sinatra. He doesn’t sound much like ol’ Blue Eyes, but he has the intonation down pretty good. In any case, as we approach the switch in hosts, Mike is seen and heard more and more.
• He’s not Sinbad, and director Aleksandr Ptushko never intended him to be. But when this Soviet-financed film was released to American audiences, the lead character was given the name “Sinbad” in hopes of fooling American moms and dads, who, the American importers knew, would never allow their kids to see a movie made by commies.
• Comedy Central used this episode for a contest: viewers were asked to write in and guess what the riff would be after Morgana (or whatever her name was) said “You seem troubled.” The correct answer was: “Have some Prozac.” The winner was a lady in New Jersey named Susan Schneider (she’s at the beginning of this collection of ’93 Turkey Day bumpers) who was on, I forget, either Prodigy or AOL. The prize was one of those god-awful giant-screen rear-projection TVs that were unaccountably popular at the time (and five grand, which was pretty sweet, even if the ridiculous TV took up half the space in her rec room). She threw a party and invited some of the folks she knew on line for the weekend — a decision she came to regret, but that’s another story for another day. I’m sure that behemoth she won is moldering in a landfill somewhere now.
• Crow the jester is carrying the little mini Crow last seen in the possession of Sir Giggles Von Laughs-a-lot.
• Again, the writing in the Junior Jester Club sketch is off-handedly brilliant.
• J&tB are still wearing jester hats when they enter the theater after the first segment. Also, Crow has no net for a lot of the riffing.
• Arty reference: “I can’t tell if that’s a Magritte or a hole in the wall.” Did Magritte do many giant frescos?
• Odd riff: “…and a tetherball.” What’s that about?
• Too-harsh riff?: “Jell-O tonight!”
• Did anybody else notice a similarity between the creepy laughing horse in this movie and the creepy laughing reindeer in “Santa Claus”?
• As if the segments up to this point haven’t been great, the second sketch is a riot, maybe one of their best. It even has an ending! “I wanna be the Labor MP from Brixton!”
• Callback: “Tom Stewart killed me!” (Tormented), “Please give my best wishes to everybody!” (Minsky the robot in last week’s episode) “A sampo?” (Day the Earth Froze), “Hikeeba!” (Women of the Prehistoric Planet).
• This is one of those episodes with some theater business: First Joel and Crow drift off under the spell of the magic bird, then off goes Crow on his lifelong quest thingy. I love how Crow flies in from above upon his return. I guess Jef Maynard or somebody was up on a ladder next to the riffing chairs?
• Obscure reference: the infant of Prague.
• The movie was already really strange, but in the last 15 minutes it really gets goofy.
• Gypsy seems a little hungry in the final segment.
• Firesign Theatre reference: “Those eyes! Weird!”
• There are not one but two uses of “wha happa?” in this episode.
• And just to finish things off, the appearance of an instant classic bit, Mr. Fistie!
• Cast and crew roundup: Some of the same folks worked on “The Sword and the Dragon,” including cinematographer Fyodor Provorov, costumer Olga Kruchinina, art director Yevgeni Kumankov and actors Sergei Stolyarov, Yelena Myshkova and Sovol (a.k.a. Sergei) Martinson. Actor Mikhail Troyanovsky was also in “The Day the Earth Froze.” And of course Alfred Pusco a.k.a. Aleksandr Ptushko, also directed “The Day The Earth Froze” and “The Sword and the Dragon.”
• CreditsWatch: Andrea J. DuCane is back for a 14-episode run doing hair and makeup. Host segments directed by Kevin Murphy.
• Fave riff: “And stock up on socks! You know, you’re never gonna have this chance again!” Honorable mention: “Is this really the best away team he could have chosen?”

RIP Michelle McNamara

gettyimages-135998915 LOS ANGELES–Michelle McNamara, a crime writer and wife of comedian and actor Patton Oswalt, died in her sleep at her home here April 21. McNamara was 46.

Our sincere condolences to the family.

The Hollywood Reporter has the story.

Weekend Discussion Thread: Food

Alert reader Jay suggests:

Food. The Brains brought up food in many, many episodes. What is your favorite? For me it has to be Hamdingers. Not only were they Joel’s exit device, but they sound darn tasty! Too bad they aren’t around anymore.

I kinda like The Mads’ breakfast bazooka.


If you have WDT ideas, email me at msampo at aol dot com.

RIP Prince

(Photo: Warner Bros. Pictures) Chanhassen, Minn. — Prince Rogers Nelson known to millions by his stage name Prince — songwriter, singer, producer, one-man studio band and consummate showman — died April 21 at home here. He was 57.
Best Brains writers and performers, fellow Minnesotans that they were, gently mocked and imitated him many times throughout MST3K’s history, most noticeably in episode 815- AGENT FOR H.A.R.M.

The New York Times has an obit.