Article: The Mystery Science Theater 3000 Robots Are Quintessential Gen-Xers

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Are we the Nirvana Generation? I guess it beats the Pepsi Generation!

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Hmmmm. Good question. Personally, I think I am a member of the 1910 Fruitgum Company Generation

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But it was made by post-boomers, not Gen Xers. Hence all the references to early 70s TV.

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“post boomers?” Is that a thing? Sigh.

My understanding was Gen X goes back pretty far. I get the impression that Mike is only a few years older than me. I was born in 1973 and am emphatically Gen X (second childhood and everything). My mom was the Boomer, born in 1946. I have part of a press packet from the first Star Wars. A buddy of mine knew Nirvana before they were famous. The Dave Matthews band played a graduation party at my high school. I remember back when we feared that the world could blow up at any time (times… change?). I feel my Gen X cred is solid.

I get most of the pop culture and politics references they make on the show. I do the Airwolf theme much better than Mike… and the helicopter effects in Blue Thunder were just fine. I am not as good on the Sunday Mystery Movie and Mannix, because those went out before my family got more than two channels (and we never got CBS well anyway).

I do think that the riffs were “younger” after Joel and Trace left, and you don’t hear the 70s stuff so much from the Rifftrax crew, so I’m gonna guess that Trace and Joel might be early Gen X… which might be a “post-boomer” position, assuming I can be convinced that such a thing is worth worrying about. Lol!

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Original series was made by boomers, actually. Late boomers.

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They actually call Mike a “shallow post-boomer” in the show, so yes.

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Nice! And, for the record, by the time the show showed up the term Generation X was in play, so obviously “post-boomer” means something, at least on the SOL!

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Yes. After Trace and Frank left (and Joel), there are far, far fewer pop culture references from before 1980. Mike, Kevin and Bill are roughly the same age as the others (Mike’s a couple of years younger), so it seems like a conscious choice to me.

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So long as no one in the movie asks, “What’s happening?”.

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Dee dee dee dee dee di di dee ta di di dee…

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The “boomer” generation is usually considered to be those born between 1946 and 1964, so I think that pretty much includes all of the major names from the original run of MST3K. Mike and Bridget both were born in 1964, so they just squeaked in under the wire.

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I’m a couple of years older than Joel, and even I find a lot of the early jokes extremely dated.

I’m happy to have more current jokes, even if I don’t understand half of them. I want this show to be enjoyed by lots of people and persist long after I am gone.

It’s a force for good in this world - we need it to last.

[Hums MASH theme on seeing a helicopter, because that one will never get old]

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I’m a late Gen-Xer; on another note, I know the timeframe for the birthyears of Generation X are hotly debated (I’ve heard 1961-1981, 1965-1980, 1965-1975, etc. but that’s a whole other thread).

MST3K is invariably a product of the 1990s with its initial run on cable television, 1970s pop culture reference (1970s nostalgia was big in the 1990s) and dated references nowadays such as Crow’s attempts to get onto the Internet via dial-up.

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Interesting read for the nostalgia. As someone who grew up in rural Minnesota and didn’t have Internet access at home until I was well into my teens, this excerpt from the article really hit me:

“MST3K” was based on a now-moribund model of TV that perhaps requires some context in 2022: In the 1970s and 1980s, many local TV stations, eager to fill their airwaves and keep their broadcast going late into the night, would buy up pre-packaged bundles of movies from low-end distribution houses that, in turn, had amassed the dregs of the cinematic landscape from a decade previous. A generation of kids was raised on the random caprices of late-night TV programmers, and, as such, attained a bizarro affection for the garbage that they were consuming. Although the films and TV shows were bad, many people Hodgson’s age discovered the fun of “riffing” along to these bad movies, finding value in the valueless.

[Read More: The Mystery Science Theater 3000 Robots Are Quintessential Gen-Xers]

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I have to push back against a couple of assertions in the article:

Joel is not Gen X, he’s a Boomer
Gen X is not the first gen raised in front of the TV, Baby Boomers are. I probably watched 8-10 hours of TV per day when I was a kid. It was definitely our family’s baby sitter.

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I was born in 1966, so an early Gen Xer. My musical wheelhouse was the early 80’s. Nirvana to me was one of the saviors of music after the boy band/pop diva/phony white-boy R&B hell of the last years of the 80’s. Grunge, along with Britpop and Big Beat.

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Oh to be born in 86; too young to be adopted by the ‘Fox News’ crowd and too old to be in league with all them young podcaster avacado toast eating eco-hippies

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I’m part of the micro xennial generation. I’m two months older than Baron Vaughn as well.

Also, Pearl Jam>>>>>>Nirvana. Come at me, millennials!

Come To Me Bring It On GIF by Team Coco

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Pftttb,

We all know Hootie and the Blowfish was where it was really at