Q: Can I send an email to
the people who make Mystery Science Theater 3000?
A: Well, you can send email to Barb Tebben, Info Club Poobah, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q: What about the other people at the show?
Can I send email directly to them?
A: Barb can not pass messages to former cast members, but she can pass messages to Jim Mallon and Paul Chaplin. Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy, J. Elvis Weinstein and Mary Jo Pehl have Web sites where you can contact them. None of the
other cast members have made their personal email addresses
Q: What is BBI's history on the World Wide
A: From 1997 to 2003, their page on the Sci-Fi
Channel's Web site served as BBI's home on the Web. In
February 2004, when the show left Sci-Fi Channel, the
content on that site migrated to Satellite
News, including the online
continuation of the MST3K
Amazing Colossal Episode Guide, the "Say
What?" messages from the
characters and Best Brains personalities, and more. (Satellite
News is an independently
run site and is not owned or maintained by Best Brains.)
In November of 2007, BBI relaunched itself with its own Web site, at MST3K.com.
Q: Are there usenet newsgroups devoted to
A: Yes, in fact there are several. Here's a
(aka RATMA)--Created as a place to MST3K news on usenet this site was
abandoned by its moderator. However, in the fall of 2007 it got a new
moderator and is now functioning again.
- Rec.arts.tv.mst3k.misc (aka RATMM)--the only populated MST3K
newsgroup on usenet. While many regulars departed
following Sci-Fi's decision not to order new episodes, it
still has regular traffic.
- Alt.tv.mst3k (ATM)--traffic dropped off dramatically since the series went off the air and it is now deserted.
(AFM)--although it was the first MST3K
newsgroup in existence, it was quickly eclipsed by ATM. Always the
MST3K newsgroup with the least traffic, it is now deserted.
- Alt.tv.mst3k.mstings, as its name implies, is dedicated to
fan MSTings, and discussions there usually focus on
that topic only (see below for more info on
MSTings). Traffic has dropped dramatically here as well, and spam has greatly increased.
Note: Some servers still offer
Rec.arts.tv.mst3k, the predecessor to RATMM. This is an
inactive newsgroup that should have been deleted from
systems in 1994. The group gets no traffic, except for some
Q: Is there a special MST3K
area on AOL?
A: Not any more. Once
a strong and
thriving community, the bulletin board became the target of
attacks by a group bent on driving regular members
away. They succeeded. The board sat empty for a couple of years
and in July of '06 it was deleted.
Q: Where else can I find people discussing MST3K?
A: One well-run and fun MST3K forum is MST3K: The Discussion Board.
Q: Are there World Wide Web sites devoted to
A: At one time, there were hundreds. In the
last few years, many have vanished, or have been abandoned.
Umbilicus for a sampling of them. If you would like to have your web site
included in The Umbilicus, please email email@example.com with full information about your
Q: Are there mailing lists devoted to MST3K?
Visit one of the major
mailing list hosting services to find them. You may also
want to check Yahoo
Groups. And you can join
the "read-only" Satellite News mailing list by sending a blank email to
Q: I just found an MST3K forum/newsgroup.
Should I dive right in to the conversations?
A: As with any online community, it is advisable to follow
standard "netiquette," which suggests that you read through the forum for a while -- that's called
"lurking" -- and learn the tone and culture of the group.
Then, if you feel you want to contribute, begin by
introducing yourself. If you have a question, read the FAQ
(as you are doing now) to make sure it is not already
answered there. There is no single way to get off on the
wrong foot faster, in an online forum, than by asking a
question that has been answered many many many many times,
and is in the FAQ.
Q: In the forum I found, it
seems like everybody knows each other, and I feel like an
outsider. Will I be accepted?
A: Some of the people who post messages in
these forums have, in fact, met each other in real life,
either at the conventions or at small local get-togethers
MSTies hold periodically around the country. If you approach
these groups in a cautious and friendly way, and don't come on too strong at first, you will get to
know people very quickly and soon you will probably feel right at
Q: My complaint is that people seem to be
talking about everything except
MST3K! Why don't they talk about the show
talking about a TV show that's been been around since 1988, and has
been cancelled since 1999. Many regulars have been online MSTies for so
long that every
imaginable on-topic discussion (as well as the topic of
being off-topic, which is, itself, off-topic) has already
taken place. It's just something you're going to have to accept with good grace. Railing against it is not going to ingratiate you.
Look at it this way: An article
about the show once sagely noted that, while the NBC series
Seinfeld was famous as being "a show about
nothing," MST3K is,
in contrast, a show about everything. If you look at it that
way, no subject is really off-topic. As one online MSTie put
it: "The world is our movie, and we riff on life."
It should also be noted that the arrival of Rifftrax and Cinematic
Titanic and the relaunch of MST3K.com have given MSTies new topics of
discussion, with the result that the off-topic problem has lessened of
Q: I've seen some people posting their own
little scripts in which the characters from the show make
fun of things like fan fiction. What is that about, and how
do I do it?
A: This is known as "MSTing."
The practice began in the
early '90s, when the usenet was just beginning to become
popular, and began attracting posts by all sorts of crazies.
Some fans of the show, after spotting a particularly stupid
post somewhere, began posting commentaries of the posts, in
which comments supposedly by Joel/Mike and the bots were
inserted into the text. Slowly the practice became more
popular, and people began creating more elaborate posts that
even included host segments and other creative elements.
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