DADDY-O'S DRIVE-IN DIRT
SCI FI ARCHIVES
archives of the MST3K pages previously hosted by the Sci-Fi Channel's SCIFI.COM.
A continuing series profiling one member of the Best Brains organization.
official title at Best Brains is Technical Supervisor, which seems to cover a lot of ground. On the
day we called to interview him, he had recently been, he sheepishly reported, "trying to fix the brake lights
on Mary Jo's car."
Why would you be doing that? we asked wonderingly.
"Well, they were broken...."
Keely, 33, joined Best Brains in 1992, as the series was beginning its fourth season. A graduate, with a bachelor
of science degree, from Bemidji State, Keely says he got "a very hands-on experience" at the school,
eventually working as the production manager and program director at the school's small TV station, which broadcast
for six hours each day.
"That included producing a nightly news broadcast and making all the programming decisions, including which
reruns we scheduled," Keely says. "We ran a lot of "Mannix" reruns, I remember." (Editors'
note: duh-dah duh-dah)
From there, Keely worked an internship at a local TV station in Minneapolis (not KTMA) and then got a job at Cable
Value Network, a now-defunct cable-TV home shopping channel. It was there that he was approached by BBI staffer
Tim Scott about working at Best Brains.
"He said he needed some help and I decided to take the job, though I went reluctantly," Brad recalls.
"I was pretty comfortable in the job I was at."
At BBI he quickly found himself doing all the editing for the series. His job involves sending the movie (with
Shadowrama and a time code) to the monitor which Mike, Kevin and Bill watch as they riff the
movie. Indeed, when asked what the most aggravating part of his job is, Keely replied (with some weariness): "I
have to watch all these terrible movies."
Keely, in fact, has the worst of both worlds: He is required to watch the bad movies along with Mike, Kevin and
Bill, but unlike them, he doesn't get a chance to speak his mind about them.
"I make a lot of my own comments in the editing room, though," he says with a laugh.
Keely's picks for the worst movies he's had to endure are hardly surprising: "Manos, of course," he says
without hesitating. "And Skydivers -- really anything by Coleman Francis. And the one we did this season,
The Incredibly Strange Creatures. The visual quality was so bad in that one."
Keely's also there, recording, when they shoot the host segments and when all is completed it is Keely's job to
put all the pieces together into a finished episode, and make last-minute changes. It's at this point that those
eerie moments are created where you can see Crow's mouth moving but can't hear him saying anything.
"Those are called 'adds and deletes,'" he says. "Sometimes they'll flub a line, or sometimes a line
just doesn't come out as funny as they thought it would be, so we'll re-record it or just cut it. It's no big deal
for Mike and Servo, because you can't see their mouths move. But there's no hiding it with Crow."
Keely also downplays his role in the selection of the stingers -- the little clip of the movie shown at the
very end of the show after the credits. In past public appearances, several of the cast members have given Keely
much of the credit for their selection, but he denies it.
"I have suggested the stinger a few times. And once or twice I just changed it and by the time they found
out, it was too late to change it back. I do have a lot of freedom in suggesting them. But they're only suggestions,
and usually it's their choice."
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