Mental Floss has compiled a list of the best Leno impressions that have appeared on a television near you, from Jim Carrey on In Living Color to Dana Carvey on (even shorter lived than The Jay Leno Show) The Dana Carvey Show. Here's my personal favorite of the bunch: Crow T. Robot from Mystery Science Theater 3000.
Bake for two hours under the high heat of Mystery Science Theater 3000-inspired quips, and you end up with the new live DVD from Cinematic Titanic, "East Meats Watts."
This latest release from MST3K veterans Joel Hodgson, Trace Beaulieu, Josh Weinstein, Mary Jo Pehl and Frank Conniff features a clunky 70's mess on celluloid mocked before an affectionate live audience. While Cinematic Titanic's earlier DVD releases all pack more than the U.N.-mandated share of laughs, the energy provided by the comics' interactions with the crowd make this the comic troupe's most successful DVD release so far.
Now the laziest human beings on the planet can enjoy the classic MST3K series on the web, that is if they don't consider moving a mouse and a minimal amount of typing too much physical activity for one day.
Hulu has picked up five episodes of the series from the fourth, fifth and sixth season including such famous episodes as Super Agent Secret Dragon, Monster-a-Go-Go and (my personal favorite both on and off the Satellite of Love's screen) The Giant Gila Monster. Watch it, then get some exercise, please.
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.
1. Current cast of Law & Order: I know, I know, who could replace Lenny Briscoe? No one, really. But the current pairing of Anthony Anderson and Jeremy Sisto as NYPD partners is the best the series has produced. They changed the feel of the show. Perhaps because we're still getting to know them, they are less predictable then previous tandems, and both evoke a certain hard-nosed quality that seems a bit more gritty and real. Plus, Anderson has chops as a stand-up comic, and could easily fill the wisecracker role, if need be.
Consider this your way-too-far-in-advance sneak preview at a future DVD extra for a Mystery Science Theater 3000 set for Shout! Factory. On January 17, MST3K creator Joel Hodgson and original cast member and writer Trace Beaulieu gave a crowd at M.I.T. a peek behind the scenes of the venerable sci-fi comedy show with their lecture, "The Design and Speculative Technology of MST3K," which they filmed to use as a future DVD extra.
For the uninitiated, Joel was the original host, was shot into space by evil scientists (Dr. Forrester was played by Beaulieu) and forced to watch (sing it with me, MSTies) "cheesy movies, the worst we can find." To help him handle the torture, Joel built four robot friends, two of which, Crow (also originated by Beaulieu) and Servo, watched the movies and made fun of them with Joel. Together, Joel, Crow, and Servo cut the best silhouette in show business (at least to comedy and movie geeks like myself).
But then, if you're reading this, you probably know all of that.
But eventually, the show evolved into a 60-minute scream fest of recurring characters spouting catchphrases over and over and celebrity satire that taught lessons about the proliferation of pop culture and ignorance. Important lessons, such as "Boy is Anna Nicole Smith dumb and fat!" and "Hey, is that Paris Hilton a whore or what?" Every episode felt like a hand was reaching out of the TV and rubbing a cheese grater across my face. Now 14 years after its inception, Fox has finally decided to pull the plug on Mad TV and let it die a slow horrible death instead of taking it out Old Yeller-style, the way God intended.
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