303. Pod People (1983)

My second MST experience. Having loved Cave Dwellers (1984), I ran back into my local On Cue and snatched this hoping for a repeat. “Daktari”, “Potatoes”, “With a name like Smuckers…” It had everything. Host Segments, running gags, aliens. “Pepperidge Farm remembers…” and I never forgot. The Wizard of Oz (1939) of Mystery Science? Does it “stink” today as it did then?


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.


Also: “It’s like that scene in Mac and Me when Mac came back to life!”

Heh… who could’ve called THAT one?


:ok_hand: It stinks!


Well said.


This one will always have special place in my heart, since it was the first one I ever watched on that faithful overnight in 1995.

And it’s a great episode overall! Helps that the movie is so out there and strange.


This is the other one I totally burned out on back in the day after renting it over and over from the local video store.


I have to admit that the first time I saw this one I didn’t get the hype, but I think it being a really bad copy on YouTube didn’t help. I enjoyed it a lot more on a rewatch, so it might also be one of those that needs one watch to absorb the weirdness before you can appreciate it.


I told a fellow MSTie once I thought this was good.

They looked shocked and said “Good?! It’s the BEST!


Were they a virgin?


This episode was my pivotal turning point… from casual fan to superfan.

I never knew about Joel/CC era episodes until high speed internet came around and I wanted to get back into the show.

I was definitely a fan… but only knew the scifi era and MST3K the movie. I had seen a lot of episodes that I liked a lot but NONE of the episodes that are currently in my top of all time.

So my son and wife wanted to get into the show after going to Disney World and eating at the Sci Fi Drive In restaurant. It’s set up like a drive in theater and they show trailers of a lot of the bad movies featured on the show.

We get home and go through some of my favs at the time and I hit the internet to find other episodes that other fans like… found out there was this other host and seasons… decided to check one out.

First joel episode we watched was Gamera since I knew that series well. Which was a very good episode on par with the sci fi era episodes I had seen.

Since Pod People was the next episode in that season (and the name is great) we did that one the next night.

I swear by the end of that episode my face hurt from laughing and looking puzzled by the endless string of WTF moments in that film. I found the final segment to be really touching as well. I could not believe the show could be THAT amazing… To this day it’s one of my favorite movie/show experiences I’ve ever had. My body was buzzing with excitement to find more episodes as good as that and to my amazement there were… tons of them.

That was about 10 years ago. It’s been a wild ride since then. Discovering all the greats from all eras, kickstarters, Taking the long bus ride to go to the theater premiere of Reptilicus in new york, running my MST3K meetup group, meeting a lot of the cast in person, the live shows, the podcasts, the spin off projects, and getting deep into the history of the show.


I have a soft spot for Pod People because it landed in my period when I was really warming up to the show. It’s got some great riffing, and the “It Stinks!” host segment was pure gold.

That being said, the movie itself is a challenge for me to get through. It’s just so BORING for such long stretches that it really makes it a hard watch once you get past the ridiculous Idiot Control Now musical sequence. Good episode. Gets 7 out of 10 … but not a top-10 episode.


Well it’s not about pods and definitely not about people so….


Well, this thread inspired me to watch Pod People again.

To me, this is one of the quintessential episodes of MST3K. You got this weeeeeird movie that clearly can’t decide on anything (other than fog) but when paired with strong riffing and iconic host segments, you have memorable gold. This is one of the greats!

And yeah, I just love the “Chief? McCloud!” running gag! :laughing: :smiley:


I need to re-watch this episode as well. It’s never been a favorite of mine, but so many people love it that I feel the need to give it another chance.


Watch Cave Dwellers (1984) right before. They’re cut from the same cloth. Though of different genres. I frequently watch them together.


I think it’s my favorite episode from the Joel era.


Yeah. I only know this because of his shirt.


Fun Fact: If you thought the lead character was a jerk, he gets his comeuppance in the rather gruesome movie PIECES . . .by the same director


The scene with Tracy and “ahem” Trumpy always leaves me in stitches! A great episode I need to revisit.