Satellite News - An Interview with Beez! - Page 1


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A continuing series profiling one member of the Best Brains organization.


Mr. Beez Natural
"Mr. Beez, You're Hot!"

(All photos of Beez copyright © Laurel Vaughan. Thanks, Laurel!)

If you stopped into an MST3K-related chat room or read through an MST3K-related internet forum a couple of weeks ago, it would have been pretty easy to figure out what "Topic A" of conversation was. No question about it.

The Subject was Beez.

Beth "Beez" McKeever, 28, BBI's self-proclaimed Prop Diva, had made appearances on the show before, perhaps most notably as the screechy "Terror from the Year 5000." But in episode 908- THE TOUCH OF SATAN, she truly burst onto the MSTie consciousness as Steffi, the no-nonsense babysitter left in charge of Bobo and Observer while Pearl was away chatting up Leonard Maltin.

The response was immediate. Female MSTies immediately knew they'd found a kindred spirit. As for male MSTies, well, the phrase "Hot-hot-HOT!" was used many times, as was: "Steffi could discipline *me* anytime!"

It seemed clear that a new MST3K star was born, and the episode was barely over when we here at Satellite News began making preparations for this special report on "The Deadly Beez."

The obvious place to begin is with that name. Turns out she's been Beez since day one, hour one. It's a nickname given to her by her family, and is derived from Mrs. Beasley, little Buffy's favorite doll on the 1960s TV show "Family Affair."

McKeever is a Twin Cities native. Her first experience with comedy came as an eighth-grade fan of comedian Paul Reubens' character Pee-wee Herman. "I wrote a letter to Pee-wee telling him what a fan I was, and I guess he remembered me." When Reubens did a show as Pee-wee at Minneapolis' Guthrie Theater, "He called me at home, ( I sh*t you not) and he upgraded my seats for his show. But wait it gets better, during his act he called me on stage to do my rendition of his "Hand Monster Game" (Don't let the name scare you, it was a G rated bit.) I was a big hit! Pee-wee even pretended to stomp off stage pouting. I think that's when I got bit by the comedy bug, standing in front of that crowd of 1,500 laughing people. It was great."

After high school, she attended the University of Minnesota, where she got a theater arts degree, and she insists all that time in college wasn't a waste of time. "I learned some weird 'wingnut' kinds of things there: Mold making and construction techniques and other stuff it would have been hard to pick up anywhere else," she says with a giggle. (Have we mentioned Beez has an incredibly infectious giggle? She does. Anyway.)

During college, Beez was waitressing ("I waited on Frank and Mary Jo once, but I'm sure it was more memorable to me than to them." she reveals) and briefly had a job at a company that makes the large, life-size costumes for Muppets characters in ice arena venues and the like. "But making Cookie Monster feet wasn't as exciting as I thought it would be."

After college, she was "looking for a place that fit" when she decided to fax her resume to Best Brains. "I'd watched the show before, and I thought it had all the elements of a place I would want to work. And it just so happened that the things I could do were the things they were looking for somebody to do."

As season seven got under way, Beez started life at BBI in the way many staffers do, as an intern, running cigarettes for Agnes De Mille...No! Sorry! We lost track for a moment. We meant to say she began assisting Prop Master Helena Espinosa, who had jumped into the role after Toolmaster Jef Maynard departed, initially taking Patrick Brantseg with him. By the middle of the season, however, Beez was on the payroll as Prop Assistant. Following season seven Espinosa departed and Brantseg returned, and Beez ascended to her present role as Prop Diva.

Despite her catchy title, she and Patrick share prop making duties and Beez is also responsible for creating or acquiring the costumes seen on the show. Purchasing is another one of her duties, and part of Beez's job is to cruise the discount stores and thrift shops for offbeat stuff that will be made into the next prop, costume or set piece.

"Yes, I get paid to shop!" she says with her trademark giggle. "I get paid to make doll clothes."