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TV & Media Non-Trek television, movies, books, music, etc.

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Old June 8 2015, 04:02 AM   #1
cooleddie74
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The Official and Most Rifftastic Mystery Science Theater 3000 Thread

Some of you who've been posting for a number of years and know me may have noticed during that time that I'm a colossal and devoted fan of Mystery Science Theater 3000 (1988-99) and have made more than my share of posts and random comments about both the series and its characters. There are other fans of the MST3K universe here on The Trek BBS and I hope this new thread gets your collective attention and starts some very fun conversations about the show and how it's impacted you on a personal level over the different periods of time that you've been fans.

So let's get started: When did you first discover MST3K? Who was and is currently your favorite host? Do you prefer the Comedy Channel/Comedy Central episodes or the Sci-Fi years of the show that aired following the change of networks and the theatrical release of Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie in 1996? Favorite riffs and quotes?

Sit back, relax, enjoy some chili peppers (warning: they're known to burn a gut) and hamdingers and let the memories take you back in time to when folks from the Upper Midwest teamed up with wisecracking robots and mad scientists to give America and the world one of the funniest TV shows ever produced.

What do you think, Sirs?

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Old June 8 2015, 06:03 AM   #2
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Re: The Official and Most Rifftastic Mystery Science Theater 3000 Thre

i discovered the show when it was on Comedy Central. i would watch it occasionally. it wasn't till the move to Sci Fi that i really became a fan. so, i'm a Mike fan and prefer the Sci Fi ch years.

favorite riffs? 'Are you ready for some football?!' and the many names of David Ryder.
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Old June 8 2015, 06:48 AM   #3
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Re: The Official and Most Rifftastic Mystery Science Theater 3000 Thre

I've actually been working my way through the series recently. I had always watched it as a kid but I couldn't tell you what year it was that I started. I definitely remember struggling mightily to stay up all the way to 3 am when the episodes would end.

For me the show was never the same without Joel. I was quite surprised to find out that some people actually prefer Mike. Nothing against him really, only that in my circle of friends it was always Joel all the way. I've rewatched every episode he had and a few Mike ones so far. I feel like the jokes in the theater stayed pretty much the same but Joel had better skits in between(plus Frank was great and he left pretty soon after Joel). I never made it to the end of the series because I remember it getting pretty bad post-forrester.

My favorite episodes were probably the badly dubbed Japanese movies. Tops being Fugitive Alien I and II and Gamer vs Guiron.
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Old June 8 2015, 07:53 AM   #4
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Re: The Official and Most Rifftastic Mystery Science Theater 3000 Thre

"The Side Hackers" and "The Hellcats" were two of the earliest episodes and movies that got me hooked on the series. I missed almost all of Season 1 with Dr. Erhardt (Josh Weinstein) as one of the Mads but I began watching regularly during my senior year in high school and started catching the show during its second and third seasons on Comedy Central (1990-92).

For anybody who wants a fun ride through the eleven years of the show's changing credit sequences, cast members and theme songs, enjoy this awesome video:

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Old June 8 2015, 05:42 PM   #5
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Re: The Official and Most Rifftastic Mystery Science Theater 3000 Thre

I discovered it right around the time it was getting cancelled on Comedy Central. The movie came out (I had a copy on VHS), the Amazing Colossal Episode Guide got released (I dragged my copy around with me everywhere to the point that it now has no spine and all the pages are falling out) and episodes like "Pod People" and the soon to be out of print and impossible to find "Amazing Colossal Man" were getting released on VHS for the first time, and then Comedy Central up and cancelled the show.

But of course it moved to the Scifi Channel, and I actually liked it better there. Though it seems to have been a thorn in the writers' side, I liked that suddenly we were getting way more scifi and horror movies, since during season 6 especially I was getting totally sick of movies like "San Francisco International" and "The Last of the Wild Horses", which 10 year old me just had zero interest in, whereas I'd watch "Horror of Party Beach" or "I Was a Teenage Werewolf" even without any riffing.

My first episodes were the Rhino VHS releases of "Pod People", "The Unearthly" and "The Amazing Colossal Man", all Joel episodes, but when I started watching the series on TV I pretty much instantly fell into Mike's camp. I like most of Joel's episodes but I get more excited to watch a Mike episode. For a while I tried to get into the after-projects like Cinematic Titanic and Rifftrax, and some of it is very funny, but it doesn't have the same charm as the original show, and for whatever reason I've found few of the movie choices very satisfying (Cinematic Titanic's Wasp Woman and The Film Crew's Killers From Space excepted).
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Old June 8 2015, 05:49 PM   #6
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Re: The Official and Most Rifftastic Mystery Science Theater 3000 Thre

I rewatched ”The Castle of Fu Manchu” the other day. I've been a hardcore Mistie for almost a quarter of a century and to this day I doubt I could sit through that movie without Joel and the 'Bots riffing on it.

A lot of fans consider ”Manos” to be the worst film ever made and riffed on the show, but those fans have either not seen ”The Castle of Fu Manchu” and ”Monster A-Go Go” or they've forgotten just how terrible they are.
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Old June 8 2015, 05:51 PM   #7
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Re: The Official and Most Rifftastic Mystery Science Theater 3000 Thre

Red Zone Cuba is the worst. Not just ineptly made, but aggressively ugly and full of 100% unlikable people.
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Old June 8 2015, 05:55 PM   #8
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Re: The Official and Most Rifftastic Mystery Science Theater 3000 Thre

Ugh. That one's a turd for sure. Coleman Francis made stinkers but at least ”The Beast of Yucca Flats” had a sympathetic character in the Tor Johnson role, however badly he was written and introduced.
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Old June 8 2015, 05:59 PM   #9
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Re: The Official and Most Rifftastic Mystery Science Theater 3000 Thre

The Beast of Yucca flats is oddly hypnotic, a combination of the constant voice-over narration, near complete lack of actual dialogue, and extremely repetitive scenes of Tor Johnson wandering around in the desert.
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Old June 8 2015, 06:02 PM   #10
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Re: The Official and Most Rifftastic Mystery Science Theater 3000 Thre

”Flag on the Moon. How did it get there?”

”Pictures of the Moon. NUDE!”

”Shoot first. Ask Christian Slater.”

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Old June 8 2015, 06:06 PM   #11
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Re: The Official and Most Rifftastic Mystery Science Theater 3000 Thre

My favorite has always been "Push a button. Things happen. A scientist becomes a beast".
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Old June 8 2015, 06:08 PM   #12
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Re: The Official and Most Rifftastic Mystery Science Theater 3000 Thre

The episode has a lot of memorable riffs to make up for the almost complete lack of dialogue.

Mike: ”Tor Johnson as The Beast.

That's just smart casting!”
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Old June 8 2015, 06:55 PM   #13
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Re: The Official and Most Rifftastic Mystery Science Theater 3000 Thre

'Feed soda pop to the thirsty pigs.' Beast of Yucca Flats is such a bizarre film.
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Old June 8 2015, 07:36 PM   #14
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Re: The Official and Most Rifftastic Mystery Science Theater 3000 Thre

Few moments in the history of the series were greater or funnier than this one:



I still think of this sketch every time I order and eat a takeout or delivery pizza, which in retrospect probably isn't a good thing, but Torgo's questionable food-warming methods notwithstanding this bit not only makes me laugh out loud but hungry.
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Old June 8 2015, 10:50 PM   #15
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Re: The Official and Most Rifftastic Mystery Science Theater 3000 Thre

Great idea for a thread, cooleddie74!

I didn't have cable TV until the mid-90s, so my first experiences with MST3K were all at friends' houses, late night and half-asleep. The first episode I saw had me crying with laughter. I was hooked immediately, but completely dependent on my friends' hospitalitaly to get my fix.

When Rhino started offering MST3K videotapes, I bought any I could afford and watched them religiously. I've bought all of the DVD sets as they've been released, up to and including the latest volumes now being produced by Shout! Factory.

One of the happiest moments in my life was introducing Mystery Science Theater to my niece and nephew, and having them fall in love with the show much like I did two decades ago. Some of the pop culture references haven't aged well, but a lot of the riffs still deliver the humor, even to new audiences.

Speaking of new audiences, does anyone mind if we include discussion of Rifftrax or Cinematic Titanic in this thread?
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