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Sampo & Erhardt

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Sci-Fi Archives

Visit our archives of the MST3K pages previously hosted by the Sci-Fi Channel's SCIFI.COM.

Goodbye Sci-Fi

Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy and Bill Corbett reflect on MST3K's final broadcast.

Social Media

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Visit, the official site of Best Brains, Inc. and Mystery Science Theater 3000.

And be sure to visit Cinematic Titanic by Joel Hodgson and other original MST3K cast members.

And don't forget about, the place to download DVD commentaries by Michael J. Nelson.

And check out the official web site of Joel Hodgson.

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#BringBackMST3K Kickstarter Tracker

Bring Back MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000 -- Kicktraq Mini

Next Goal: $3.3 Million for six episodes.

This Date in MSTory

1916: Forrest J. Ackerman, who played the park victim in the movie in episode 1004- FUTURE WAR.
1927: Gunter Reisch, one of the screenwriters for the movie in episode 211- FIRST SPACESHIP ON VENUS.
1935: Tom Neyman, who played The Master in the movie in episode 424- “Manos” The Hands of Fate.*
1940: Alan Gibbs, who played a Mustang hood in the movie in episode 512- MITCHELL and served as a stunt consultant for the movie in episode K19- HANGAR 18.
1940: Cathy Crosby, who was a singer in the movie in episode 601- GIRLS TOWN.*
1941: Pino Donaggio, who was an uncredited music composer for the movie in episode 519- OUTLAW.*

1955: James Millican (age 45), who played Sheriff Harrison in the movie in episode 611- LAST OF THE WILD HORSES.
1968: William Nobles (age 75), cinematographer for the season four serial UNDERSEA KINGDOM.
1969: Howard Marion-Crawford (age 55), who played Dr. Petrie in the movie in episode 323- THE CASTLE OF FU MANCHU.
1972: Joseph Boyle (age 84), assistant director for the movie in episode 414- TORMENTED.
1975: Paul Vogel (age 76), cinematographer for the movies in episodes 411- THE MAGIC SWORD and 523- VILLAGE OF THE GIANTS.
1977: Richard Carlson (age 65), who played Tom Stewart in the movie in episode 414- TORMENTED.
1984: Victor Most (age 66), costumer for the movie in episode 610- THE VIOLENT YEARS.
1991: Glenn Dixon (age 73) who played Jack Landis in the movie in episode 112- UNTAMED YOUTH.
1995: Paul Csonka (age 89), was the uncredited composer of some of the stock music used in the movie in episode 807- TERROR FROM THE YEAR 5000.
2001: William Read Woodfield (age 73), producer/screenwriter for the TV movie in episode 614- SAN FRANCISCO INTERNATIONAL.

1988: “Mystery Science Theater 3000” premieres on Minneapolis UHF TV station KTMA with a double feature: K01- INVADERS FROM THE DEEP and K02- REVENGE OF THE MYSTERONS.
1990: episode 208- LOST CONTINENT first shown.
1994: episode 604- ZOMBIE NIGHTMARE first shown.

This Date in MSTory is written and compiled by Steve Finley, Chris Cornell and Brian Henry. Copyright © 2015 All rights reserved. Please do not reproduce This Date in MSTory items in any form without express written permission from the authors.
* = According to the IMBD this person is alive. If you can supply evidence that he or she has died, and when, please let us know.
** = If this appears next to a birthday, the IMDB indicates that the person has died, but the IMDB does not have a full death date (probably just a month and year or just the year he or she died). If you can give us the exact date (with some sort of proof we can check), please let us know.
** = If this appears next to a death date, the IMDB does not have this person’s full birthday. If you can provide it (with some sort of proof we can check), please let us know.

Three Links of Interest

1. Entertainment Weekly presents RiffTrax’s end of the year “Naughty List.”

2. Joel is interviewed by

3. And it’s MST3K Monday at and this week’s episode is 701- NIGHT OF THE BLOOD BEAST.

Felicia Day to Be the New Mad; Hampton Yount and Baron Vaughn to Voice the Bots


Joel has posted another update. The big news is the announcement that Felicia Day will play the new Mad, Dr. Forrester’s daughter, and that comedians Hampton Yount and Baron Vaughn will provide the voices of Crow and Tom Servo, respectively.

Read the whole thing!

RIP Rex Reason


Walnut, Calif.–Handsome leading man Rex Reason died at his home here Nov. 19 of bladder cancer. He was 86.

Of course, he played Cal Meecham in the movie “This Island Earth,” riffed in MST3K: THE MOVIE.

And, in 1996, at MST3K’s CONVENTIOCON EXPOFEST-A-RAMA 2: ELECTRIC BUGALOO in Minneapolis, he took part in a celebrity panel that also included Kim Cattrall and Russell Johnson.

The Hollywood Reporter has an obit.

Thanks to Paul for the heads up. And thanks to PrezGar for noticing the obit.

Weekend Discussion Thread: Who Should Sing the Theme Song?

Bob writes:

We all know that Joel and Mike sang the songs in their runs on the show. Since it looks like the show will be brought back it’s possible that Jonah Ray could sing it. If he doesn’t then who could? I don’t know if Joel would, as he’s not the host. My personal pick would be Annie Clark/St. Vincent. It would be a new twist having a female vocalist sing the theme! Yes, Mary Jo did sing a few lines in the Sci-Fi era but Mike did the main vocals. I think Annie would do a great job. Annie also plays guitar so she could even do the famous “TWANG!” note at the end of the song.

My suggestion: Man or Astroman, baby!

Turkey Day Marathon Details


Here’s the info! As usual, Joel is keeping mum about which eps will be shown.

Shout! Factory TV to Host 2015 Mystery Science
Theater 3000 Turkey Day Marathon

Annual Streaming Marathon Invites Fans to Spend
Thanksgiving with MST3K Creator and Host Joel Hodgson

Break out the three-layer dip and pureed giblets, it’s time to celebrate Turkey Day Mystery Science Theater 3000 style! This year, give thanks for turkeys of the cinematic variety as Shout! Factory continues its revival of the beloved holiday tradition with a newly curated Mystery Science Theater 3000 Turkey Day streaming marathon, hosted by show creator Joel Hodgson.

Starting at 9 am PT/12 pm ET on Thursday, November 26th, visit to join the Turkey Day festivities. Featuring six classic episodes hand-picked by Hodgson himself, this year’s Turkey Day Marathon will also celebrate the halfway point of MST3K’s month-long Kickstarter campaign. As part of the celebration, Hodgson will be online interacting with fans throughout the marathon, so join the conversation with fellow MSTies by using #BringBackMST3K to share your favorite riffs, jokes and MST3K memories. This year’s Turkey Day will also mark the return of MST3K’s tradition of reading fan mail on air, so fans who write a letter, draw a picture or compose a song about why they are thankful for MST3K have a chance to have their contribution shared on air during the marathon. Submissions should be sent to before Thursday, Nov. 19, at 5 p.m. Eastern Time. Fans who are feeling thankful for bad movies and wisecracking bots can share the love – and get incredible rewards – by contributing to the Kickstarter campaign at

Since launching on November 10, 2015, the MST3K Kickstarter campaign has rallied over 21,000 fans, raising more than $2.3 million to help bring the beloved cult series back to life for a new generation of fans. Hodgson and the MSTies have until December 11th, 2015 to raise the $3.2 million needed to produce a full season of 12 episodes.

For updates on Turkey Day, the future of MST3K, and ways to help bring the series back to life, follow @MST3K, @JoelGHodgson and @ShoutFactory on Twitter, “Like” on Facebook, and follow @MST3K on Instagram.

Episode Guide: 408- Hercules Unchained

Movie: (1959) Traveling with his young companion Ulysses, Herc’s mission to stop a war is sidetracked by hypnotic Queen Onfale, while his wife Iole pines for him.

First shown: 8/1/92
Opening: It’s wash and wax day for the bots
Invention exchange: The Mads have created decorator roaches (and Steve Reeves visits!), while J&tB present the Steve-o-meter
Host segment 1: Gypsy demonstrates that she is the Hellenistic ideal
Host segment 2: J&tB consume the water of forgetfulness, among other things
Host segment 3: Tom and Crow want to know what are Hercules and the nice lady are doing
End: J&tB ponder the meaning of the Hercules movies; while in Deep 13, Steve is no help
Stinger: The queen REALLY misses Herc
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (217 votes, average: 4.25 out of 5)

• This is the first of several sword-and-sandal outings for MST3K. I think they’re perfect for the show: colorful, action-filled, mildly sexy and really really weird. I don’t think this is their best one, but it’s a lot of fun. The riffing is great, and the host segments are slyly funny.
• This episode was included in Rhino’s “The Mystery Science Theater 3000 Collection, Vol. 7.”
• Is anybody a scholar of these Hercules stories? I’m not. How close does this plot follow the “real” adventures of the Herc? (Update: Several scholars filled us in in the comments.)
• One thing I DID notice, though: Herc is surprised to encounter Oedipus (whom Ulysses says is “a good man”) blind and banished, but nobody really thinks to ask why. The whole thing is kind of glossed over…
• I’ve never been a fan of “detour” movies and that’s really what this is: The main plot–Hercules returns to his hometown of Thebes only to find it in the midst of a power struggle between Oedipus’ two sons–is sidetracked for most of the movie as Herc lumbers down one plot cul-de-sac after another. When he finally gets where he wanted to get, the big battle scene is actually pretty cool. Plus ya got lots of scantily clad nymphs…
• This movie was originally released in Italy as “”Ercole e la regina di Lidia”
• The opening segment ends as Joel leaps over the desk at Crow. It’s actually a more difficult move than you may think: For those who don’t know, directly behind the desk is the puppeteer “trench”–essentially an approximately three-foot drop. In order for Joel (and later Mike) to stand right up next to the desk, there was a narrow wooden plank laid across the trench. So, to make that move, Joel had to launch himself forward, carefully plant one foot on the plank (and not misstep and go crashing into the trench), and spring over the desk. A fellow could hurt himself, he could.
• What is the music on the menu screen of the DVD? I don’t think it’s from the movie.
• That’s Mike as Steve, of course. I love that “Nuh-uh.” By this time it was really becoming a delight anytime he popped up.
• A little personal story related to the Steve-o-meter sketch: In a previous incarnation I used to write, for the Philadelphia Inquirer (and the now-defunct Knight-Ridder news syndicate), that little write-up next to the TV grid that tells you what’s worth watching on TV that night. In one column, I said something nice about an performance by Steve Allen’s wife, Jayne Meadows. A few weeks later I was stunned to receive a hand-written letter from Ms. Meadows herself, thanking me for my kind words. I wrote back thanking HER for being so nice, and in the letter I mentioned MST3K, briefly explained the premise of the Steve-O-meter and ended my letter with something to the effect of “now I know something else Steve thought of, marrying a class act.” A week or so later I was even MORE stunned to receive ANOTHER letter, informing me that Steve thought the Steve-O-meter bit sounded funny and asking where they could get their hands on a tape of that show. I duped off a copy and sent it to them, and later got a short note saying Steve thought the sketch was very funny.
• Somewhat obscure reference: “He’s everywhere! He’s everywhere!” From the legendary Chickenman radio series back in the ‘60s. God, I loved that show.
• I can’t hear exactly what Servo says under his breath when Oedipus is mentioned, but it’s something about his mom…
• The whole little plot cul-de-sac at the beginning of the movie with Anteus the giant just seems like filler. It really has no relevance to the rest of the movie. And Herc is kind of a jerk during it.
• Primo Carnera, who played Anteus the giant was a household name in the 1930s. He was the world heavyweight boxing champion in 1933-34, during which he was also the heavyweight wrestling champion.
• Note the mention of Rondo Hatton, who we’ll later meet in “The Brute Man”
• Every once in a while in the theater, you can really tell that Joel/Mike and the bots are in a large echoey room. Listen when Joel yells “I haven’t showered since Zeus was a pup!” The acoustics are not good.
• Great job by Jim segment 1. He really belts out that song.
• The riff “Look! I’m hungry.” “Listen! It’s cold” brought back a memory: my daughter, about 8 at the time, thought that was one of the funniest things she’d ever heard. I remember her just rolling on the couch with laughter for about five minutes after she heard it.
• Another movie complaint: The guy tests if Ulysses is actually deaf by hurling a spear into the deck right next to him… I hate to break it to the movie, but any deaf person would feel the vibration of that. Not really a good test…
• Servo, as the pretentious theater fellow, mentions that he’s doing “an anti-Columbus thing.” And you might think: huh? Columbus? Remember, it was ’92, the 500th anniversary of ol’ Chris’ arrival in the western hemisphere and lots of people were making a pretty good living being outraged about it.
• Vaguely naughty riffs: “You mean nymph loads!” “Ow! My eye!” “It’s twue! It’s twue!” The Herc movies brought out the naughty.
• Then-current references: Distant entertainment memories “Curly Sue” and “Remington Steele.”
• As segment 3 opens, Joel is reading, highlighting and apparently really enjoying the novel “Tek Wars” by William Shatner. But he is — quite rightly — embarrassed by it.
• Segment 3 seems like it’s not in the right place. Tom says that by this point in the movie Herc is living with the nice lady. But actually by the time the segment comes up Herc has already left the nice lady. Seems like they could have moved Segment 1 to the third spot, Segment 2 to the first spot and Segment 3 to the second spot and it would have flowed with the movie a bit better.
• Tom says: “Oh for the clarity of Mighty Jack.” It’s a funny line, but really this movie has a much more easily-discernible plot than “Mighty Jack” which I had to watch about five times before I began to make any sort of sense of.
• Joel invokes the memory of short-lived ’60s TV show “Garrison’s Guerrillas,” which I think most boys loved because it had that cool Jeep-mounted machine gun. Who didn’t want to ride around in that when you were about nine?
• Callbacks: “He hit big Jake!” (“Sidehackers”) and the “He learned too late” speech from “It Conquered the World.” “Hikeeeba!” (Women of the Prehistoric Planet).
• Firesign Theatre reference: “He’s no fun, he fell right over.”
• The final segment is great, but I do wish they could have led into it a bit more smoothly. Gypsy’s question –“Why these kind of movies?”– sort of comes out of nowhere. But the rest of sketch is hilarious: Gypsy tries to contribute, but doesn’t quite have the mental dexterity. Crow has clearly paged through Campbell’s “Hero With a Thousand Faces” but, like an under-educated guy at a snooty cocktail party, can’t quite pull his thoughts together. Tom, ever the realist, cuts to the chase. Wonderful writing like “…which translates into big sweaty guys pushin’ girls around…” is one of the reasons why I love MST3K so much.
• Cast and crew roundup: This movie was made not long after the movie in episode 502- HERCULES, and many of the same cast and crew worked on both, including: assistant director/cinematographer Mario Bava (who also directed “Danger: Diabolik”), script writers Ennio De Concini and Gaio Frattini, editor Mario Serandrei and score composer Enzo Masetti. And don’t forget that Joseph E. Levine, executive producer of the American version, also produced “Santa Claus Conquers the Martians” among many others. In front of the camera there was Steve Reeves, of course, plus Sylva Koscina, Mimmo Palmara (who is also in “Hercules and the Captive Women”), Gabriele Antonini, Andrea Fantasia, Aldo Fiorelli, Fabrizio Mioni, Gino Mattera, Aldo Pini, Fulvio Carrara and Willy Colombini. Another face in the crowd is Sergio Ciani a.k.a. Alan Steel, who we’ll meet again in “Hercules Against The Moon Men). And we’ll see Carlo D’Angelo again in “Secret Agent Super Dragon.”
• CreditsWatch: Additional contributing writer: Don Jurek. And, at last, the last name of Dr. F is corrected to “Forrester.”
• Fave riff: “You win the crazy award!” Also: Centurion: “Great Queen!” Joel: “Thanks!”

Colonial Theater Showing Ep

Our pals at the Colonial Theater in Phoenixville, PA, are showing episode 903- THE PUMAMAN on Friday, Nov. 20, at 10 p.m.

More info here.

It’s MST3K Monday…

…at and the episode this week is 1004- FUTURE WAR.

And “RiffTrax Live: Miami Connection” is available for preorder.