Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy and Bill Corbett share their thoughts on the final airing of MST3K
on the Sci-Fi Channel.
On 31 January 2004, Mystery Science Theater 3000's fourteen year run on cable television
comes to an end. I would like to mark the occasion by flailing on the floor, crying like a baby. No, seriously,
I would like to thank all the viewers who made the show a success and kept it on the air for a pretty darn good
run. To those who over the years, in emails, cards, letters, and at personal appearances, have offered such kind
words and good humor, my special thanks. (To those I haven't met, I plan on getting to it in the years I have left,
unless you're really good at avoiding me.)
Special thanks also to Brian Henry and Chris Cornell at Satellite News for their amazing work over the years.
Hi-Keeba to you all!
My thoughts are of immense gratitude. I got to work on a series that people still
care about five years after it stopped production. I got to work on a show that flouted the conventions of TV and
subsequently became a cultural icon in its own right. I got to laugh damn near every day I went to work. I got
to pee next to Leonard Nimoy and smell Michelle Pfeiffer's perfume. But not at the same time. I got to meet thousands
of the show's fans, first-hand, and found not a creep in the bunch. I got to sit next to Richard Corliss at Cannes,
listen to Burt Reynolds mumble a bad joke, and watch Dennis Miller sweat. I got to make Lew Wasserman laugh in
an elevator at Universal Studios by trying to engage him in conversation with my puppet Tom. I got to make a Hollywood
movie, play a live stage show to a sold out crowd, write and sing songs, sign autographs, wear a monkey mask. I
got to make fun of Rob Schneider while he was standing there in person. I got to meet Ray Bradbury, frighten Barry
Levinson, get dissed by Kurt Vonnegut, threatened by Joe Don Baker and kissed by Kim Cattrall.
I got to work on something that, even today, I am immensely proud of.
Best of all, I was given an amazingly rare opportunity with MST to work with some of the most talented, funniest
and finest men and women I've ever met, in or out of television. Each deserves a standing ovation:
-Mike Nelson, one of the funniest men alive;
-Warm and witty Mary Jo Pehl;
-The razor sharp button-down mind of Paul Chaplin;
-The unsinkable Bridget Jones;
-The brilliant and courageous Bill Corbett;
-The incredibly inventive Jim Mallon;
-Warm, wise and insane writer Mike Dodge;
-Creative firestarter Joel Hodgson,
-Trace Beaulieu, another one of the funniest men alive;
-The multitalented Josh Weinstein,
-Makeup whiz-kids Andrea "Action" Jackson DuCane and Faye Burkhalter;
-Our gentle Gepetto Crist Ballas;
-Ace Editor Brad Keely;
-Other Ace Editor Tim Scott;
-The charming writer and musical force of Colleen Williams;
-Our constantly bemused accountant Tim Johnson;
-Our patient and generous first videographer Ken Fournelle
-Toolmasters Jeff Maynard and Pat Brantseg;
-The remarkable Barb Tebben,
-The indomitable Wendell Jon Andersson
-Our man in Hollywood Bill Johnson;
-Our miraculous agents David Kanter and Rick Leed
-Our frighteningly good lawyer Tom Selz;
-Wunderkind Jeff Stonehouse,
-The hilarious Frank Conniff who truly is TV's Frank;
-The astoundingly hard-working prop diva Beez McKeever;
-Hard-workin' madman Mike Parker;
-Rock of sanity Peter Rudrud;
-The savior of sound Fred Street;
-The company guru Tommy Naunas;
-photographer, artist and friend Mickey Keinitz;
-The people who worked while we played: Ellie Thomas, Sarah Wisner, Jann Johnson, Julie Walker, Alex Carr, Heidi
I am certain that I have forgotten many, because so many were involved in the show's success that I've forgotten
more people than I've remembered. To all of you, it's nothing personal; I'm just an addlepated writer these days.
I'm also grateful to Brian and Chris and those who have kept this site not only alive, but worth coming back to.
At this point, these guys know more about MST than I ever did, and if the show ever sees the light of day again,
it'll be due in part to their love of it.
Am I sad? Nope. I'm sad that Jack Paar died, because he was a reason I got into television in the first place,
and why I never went to Hollywood. He showed me that television can be intelligent and funny at the same time.
He always tried to make it better than it was.
I'll always aspire to that.
Well hey there now, stranger! Didn't see ya comin' up the walk. Just catchin' up
on my whittlin', here. Well sir, it's been nigh about five years since we filmed the last MST3K, and since then
I've been spendin' my time clearin' brush, blastin' stumps, cookin' flapjacks, and droppin' the last letters of
all my gerundial verbs.
…Wow, I'm annoying even myself, with that fake cornpone talk. Let's try this again in a less irritating gear:
Much to my surprise, it's been almost five years since we filmed the final MST3K, the strange, agita-inducing Italian
entre that was DANGER: DIABOLIK. We left Mike and 'bots safely hanging out in their nice basement efficiency apartment,
happily tucked away in the Cheesehead state, then all said our teary goodbyes at the time. From there, I think most
of us expected that the show would hang around the airwaves another year, tops. But…!
But the public kept clamoring for more! More Rowsdower!…more Krankor!…more Arizona werewolves with vague foreign
accents!…more wispy, ineffectual Japanese space heroes! And the Sci-Fi Channel listened!
(…and by "listened," I mean they listened to reruns of Dr. Demento, I'm guessing, as MST3K just kept
running for five years, unnoticed, until they finally remembered to pull the plug and make room for more CROSSING
OVER WITH JOHN EDWARD.) (Off-topic question: why is ANYONE voting for this I-See-Dead-People freak in the Democratic
primaries? I don't get it.)
Anyway, here we are at the end of the line. Again, kind of. And what I said back in the last millennium (technically
correct!…and here you thought you were done with people being all cute about that), well, that still holds true
today: I am eternally grateful that I had the honor of working on such a great show, with such amazing partners.
We had a better time doing MST3K than even seemed reasonable, at times.
Many thanks (again!) to fans everywhere, whoever or whatever you are. You're the best, and you helped make it a
great experience. Hell's bells, was it fun!
Thanks, and Remember to Use the Force.
(…Aw crap, is that right? Which fan website is this, again? Man, I'm so drunk…)