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September 17, 2014

MST3K turns 21 years young today, huzzah!

by Danny Gallagher, posted Nov 24th 2009 9:02PM
MST3KYou may not have gotten the day off for this momentous day in American history (damn you, socialist government!), but today marks a very special anniversary: the first ever episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000.

The show officially hit the airwaves on a local Minneapolis station, KTMA, on Thanksgiving Day in 1988 by a young, fresh-faced Joel Hodgson. The rest, as people who rely on cheap cliches to heighten the dramatic effect with their weak words, is history. You can read the rest at the Satellite News site, the most exhaustive and interesting MST3K site on the Internet.

Every fan of the show and even occasional glancers remembers where they were when they first discovered this kind of cult comedy classics. For me, I discovered it with my old man who hates it when I call him my old man during the hilarious Pod People episode, arguably the funniest episode for the show and the worst movie the show has ever skewered.

It took awhile to understand just what was going on here, but when "Trumpy" starting eating peanuts through his nose and Joel joked "Oh wait, let me get the attachments and you can do the couch," my Dad let out a large, high-pitched, girly laugh that only Mom could replicate (and I'd rather not know why for obvious reasons, sickos).

The only downside is that I, like so many others afflicted by the disease this great show spawned, haven't been able to shake the habit of cracking smart-ass jokes at TV screens and talking during bad movies ever since. The CDC should declare honor/blame MST3K by naming a special form of Tourettes' Syndrome after it.

So to recreate that wonderful night, here's a Cliff Notes version of their Pod People episode. It surely does not stink.

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Buttery Moon

Mitchell! That has to be in the top five.

November 25 2009 at 5:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Bruce Bromley

Thankfully they seemed not to be able to shake that either. We have them at Rifftrax or Cinematic Titanic. Bless them all for keeping it going.

November 25 2009 at 2:46 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
RobynM

Pod People the worst movie ever on the show? Really? Worse than Manos, Hands of Fate?

I loved that show - I remember it used to be so popular on CC that when it was pre-empted, they had to run a scroll on the bottom of the screen explaining why. Everyone always looked forward to the Turkey Day marathon.

To this day, I still say "Push the button, Frank", when the occasion calls for it.

November 24 2009 at 11:06 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to RobynM's comment
Danny Gallagher

Didn't mean to say "Pod People" was the funniest and the worst, just arguably the funniest and worst. I live to start arguments.

November 25 2009 at 1:07 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Robin Diane Goldstein

(pizza)

November 24 2009 at 10:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Videoport Jones

Yup. Genius.

Here's the skinny from the filmgeeks at Videoport, the best damned movie store in the world:

http://videoportjones.wordpress.com/2009/06/13/mst3k/

November 24 2009 at 10:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
WhatI

Now explain why this show why this show is not on anymore- even in repeats. As for not continuing to do the show: could you produce a program any cheaper? The rights to the movies couldn't have been more than a few dimes and most of the jokes wrote themselves.

November 24 2009 at 9:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to WhatI's comment
John

From what I've read, it is because of rights. I think there's over 100 episodes so you're dealing with 100 different people who hold rights, different companies, etc. And also, these people are probably not the most business-savvy - hence making a terrible movie - so it's probably hard to secure all the rights. But it would be cool to even have them run the ones they can.

November 25 2009 at 7:38 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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