My second MST3K experience, too, after I caught Alien from L.A. on MTV by completely random chance!
This was a random find, too. We didn’t have Comedy Central, so I couldn’t watch MST3K (don’t think I didn’t try to call our local cable company repeatedly to convince them to carry Comedy Central).
Anywho, it was some ungodly hour of Saturday night/Sunday morning in junior high. I was flicking through the channels when I saw THOSE silhouettes AND I FREAKED CLEAR OUT OF MY MIND, just as I did when I found Alien from L.A.!
And man, did I laugh HARD. It was the Mystery Science Theater Hour in syndication, and I loved the hell out of it.
But as for the episode itself, I love and adore this one to pieces. It was a neck-and-neck race between the humans and aliens to determine which were dopier. There was pure 80s cheese all over this, and the gang capitalized on that beautifully.
Lots of great running gags on display from the Ren Fest guy (“HUZZAH!”) to the New Age music to the “which movie is this” bit to that Boris Karloff-esque voice for Trumpy… just wonderful. And the ALL HELL BREAKS LOOSE stop-motion sequence was a hoot, as was the corresponding host segment that mocked it.
What also struck me about this was how hilariously inappropriate the movie was in its tone, where you had an ostensibly adorable family-friendly alien movie on one hand and a OH MY GOD, THE ALIEN IS KILLING EVERYONE movie on the other. I had no idea who the damn thing was made for.
It’s a god-tier episode, and while “Idiot Control Now” was a great song, “Clowns in the Sky” has become something of a sign-off song for the show. I remember an instrumental version of it being used to good effect for The MST Scrapbook.
You better believe that I snapped this up with the quickness when Rhino released it on video.