Q: What are MSTies?
A: Fans of MST3K refer to themselves as
MSTies (pronounced MIS-teez). Also variously spelled
MiSTies, Misties, Mysties and Mistees.
Q: What makes MSTies special?
A: MSTies come from all walks of life and
every part of the country and from every niche in the
political and social spectrum. Despite this vast diversity,
most truly devoted fans do seem to have some things in
common. With the obvious caveat that there are exceptions to
every rule, here are some of the things we've noticed after
meeting many, many MSTies:
- MSTies are funny. They laugh
easily and comedy is an important part of their lives.
And, despite a culture that tends to discourage women
from having and displaying a real sense of humor, female
MSTies are every bit as funny as their male counterparts
-- or more so.
- MSTies are nice. The show
itself has a very positive worldview -- one that BBI says
is intentional -- and it tends to attract people who are
sweet, easy-going and easy to like. As friends, MSTies
are loyal to a fault.
- MSTies are smart. You'd have
to be to love a show with references to everyone from
Nietzsche to Heisenberg to Shakespeare, and they are
invariably intelligent, well-read, thoughtful and
- But MSTies are NOT all
sweetness and light. They can be cynical, hyper-critical
and impatient. They do not suffer fools easily, they tend
to question authority and can be downright harsh when
confronted with anyone or anything they deem mediocre,
stupid and/or pompous. The flip side of their loyalty as
friends is that they can be tenacious opponents.
Q: With the intense nature of the fandom
surrounding this show, it would hardly be surprising if Best
Brains staffers acquired the occasional stalker or spooky
correspondence. Did they?
A: BBI insiders say that these situations were remarkably few and far between. They consider this
a testament to the fact that, although many fans follow the
show intensely, they still remember "it's just a show."
Indeed, throughout the history of the series, the cast
members have always lived remarkably normal private lives
and have felt very little need for extra security
precautions. For example, it was only in 1995 that BBI
staffers thought to take their names out of the Minneapolis
phone book, take their addresses and phone numbers off their
checks, and things like that. "99 percent of the fans are
sweeties," said one BBI staffer. Although there have been a
few troublesome cases, they've all been more of the
"nuisance" variety; none that we have heard about have been
of the "imminent bodily harm" variety.
Q: Which cast members got the most
A: From what we hear, Joel seemed to get most
of the unwanted attention during his tenure. After his departure,
what little oddball mail, etc., BBI received was about
equally divided among the cast members.
Q: I've heard that a rock band recorded a
cover of the theme song. Is that true?
A: Yes. The band Man Or
Astroman (currently on
extended, perhaps permanent, hiatus) did a cover of the
Joel-era theme on its album "Destroy all Astromen." The
band's members are reportedly big fans of the series and
also report that the audience response whenever they played
the song live was overwhelming. In 1997, Joel himself made
an appearance at one the band's concerts and sang lead on
their rendition of the song, as the audience went wild. Joel
also mentioned them in his return appearance in episode
Q: Are there any other famous MST3K fans?
A: Plenty. Among the most notable, who have sung the show's praises either in verbal coments or in print, are Keith
Olbermann, Steven Spielberg, Martin
Scorsese, Al Gore, Neil
Young, Miles O'Keeffe, Beverly
Garland, Kim Catrall, Paul Schrader, Time film critic Richard Corliss, "Weird Al" Yankovic, Emilio Estevez, Neil Patrick Harris and the rock band Rush. Now-deceased musicians Dan Fogelberg and Frank Zappa were also fans.
Q: What's this "Troops"
thing, and what does it have to do with MST3K?
A: "Troops" is a short, homemade parody of
the Fox TV show "Cops," presented as if an episode of that
show had been filmed following the daily routine of some
Imperial stormtroopers on patrol on the planet Tattooine
(from the movie Star
Wars). It features a brief cameo appearance by our own Tom
Servo. Check it out here.
Q: I've heard that some fans have created
their own homemade versions
of the show! Is that
A: Yes. Perhaps the best known was a
group based in Seattle
who, in 1992, filmed themselves pretending to be Joel and the Bots as they
riffed on "Star Trek V." They followed it up in 1995 with a riff of
"Highlander II." A few other similar groups have sprung up
around the country.
Q: I really want to see some of these
homemade versions of MST3K, but I don't know where to find
them. Wouldn't it be great if there was some sort of central
database of fanvid information?
A: Check out this site. Note: Most of these efforts are
in violation of a whole slew of copyright laws and we at
News neither support nor
condone such activities.
Q: I've also heard about an X-rated parody of MST3K! Is that true?
A: Several New York City residents report
that this much-rumored short film, in which some mechanical
sexual devices are seen in theater seats commenting on a
porno movie, does exist. The reports say it appeared on
"Midnight Blue," a low-budget, pornographic version of
"Entertainment Tonight" hosted by Screw Magazine publisher
Goldstein, seen on Channel
35, one of Manhattan Time Warner Cable's public access
channels. Reports say it has been shown several times.
According to one correspondant who claims to have seen it:
"The segments are pretty short, no longer than five minutes,
and aren't very funny. The three "bots" basically say things
like, 'Look at those hooters' and so on."
We here at Satellite News would like to make it clear that we are
shocked--SHOCKED!--that this sort of thing is going on.
(Pssst! Can anyone out there get us a copy?)
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