Does anybody else dislike the Host Segments?

I don’t mind the opening and closing segments but I’ve never really cared for the movie breaks with sketches and songs on the Bridge, interrupting the movie. I personally would prefer more movie to see and more jokes to hear. If the captives of the SOL can’t control where the movies begin or end and will be punished by the MADS if they don’t watch the bad movies, then why can they leave the theatre whenever they want, and when they return it’s only a few seconds past where they left off, instead of several minutes?

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I’ve always assumed that was part of the Mads experiment. They were hoping to see the effects of the movie on Joel/Mike/Jonah/(Emily) during the movie.

As for why the movie has only progressed a few seconds during the host segments, the Mads paused the movie (we know they still have the special parts to control when the movies begin and end) for the host segment and then start it back up when everyone is getting back in the theater. That’s also why there are Movie Signs at the end of each host segment - the Mads telling them the movie was restarting and to get their kiesters back in the theater.


That theory kind of makes sense


I posted this question to see what the consensus was:


Some host segments land better than others, to be sure, but I’d argue it’s an essential part of the formula of the show.
As a kid, I always enjoyed those segments, and then I had a better idea of who the silhouettes were during the movie. As an adult, I appreciate the break from the movie to do sketches or songs based on what’s happening in the film. And it gave us so many great character cameos over the years.
This was discussed at length in an earlier thread, but essentially if you strip the facade from MST3K, you get Rifftrax. I love those guys too, but I love that we get both, and that there are differences between the two.


It wouldn’t be MST3K without the host segments.


We would never have such gems as “Every country has a monster” without host segments.


What you are describing is RiffTrax. All riffs, no host segments.


If it weren’t for the host segments, I wouldn’t be watching. I love the host/bots and Mads segments. It wouldn’t be MST3K without them, in my opinion.


I’ve been loving the host segments all throughout the series, up from the KTMA era to Santo and Robot Wars.

I like to think of them as essential to the MST3K experience.


I remember when I first started watching the show, there was a certain disappointment in feeling a host segment coming on because I wanted to keep riding that riffing high, and the comedy pace of a host segment is generally turned down a notch or two. Also there’s the fact that a host segment is a signal that you’re one step closer to the end of the episode.

Then I started seeing some episodes that had truly great host segments, and now I love them, the end, what a cool story.

As for the story reason for the breaks, it seems like the Mads are always working with some sort of limited tech, like maybe they can only send a twenty-minute chunk of the movie at a time before they have to reset the system and load up the next segment. And of course Kinga is running the experiment as a show first, so she’s going to decree host segments to keep things on formula.


Same as above. In college, I was waaaaay toooo cool for host-segments. Just gimme da riffs! I REALLY disliked them. But as I grew older I kinda lightened up and instead of spending so much energy disliking them, I started to pay attention to them (what else was I gonna do?) and believe it or not, i started to like them and even found a few segments to be downright funny. It changed everything! If you ever bought a CD (old guy alert) and didn’t like it, but then popped it in a couple of years later and decided it was now your FAVORITE CD - yeah … same thing here.


I think of the host segments as part of riffing on the movie. Sometimes there’s some weird character or plot point that lends themselves to more jokes than can be squeezed in during their time on screen. Sometimes it’s just the crew screaming comedy into the void because the movie’s so bad. And, yeah, sometimes it has nothing to do with the movie, but it’s still jokes from the same writers who wrote the jokes during the movie.

There’s certainly host segments that wear out their welcome (all 3 San Francisco International breaks are devoted to everyone laughing at Urkel until Torgo shows up in the third - not great rewatch value). And some of the songs aren’t my favorite or go on too long. But if the show’s like watching a bad movie on the couch with your friends and making fun of it, the host segments are when you pause for a bathroom/snack break and everyone keeps making jokes about what already happened.

And as people have said, there’s Rifftrax and The Mads Are Back for oops all riffs.


When I was a kid, they were my least favourite sections, but mostly because I found their silhouettes fascinating. I just wanted them to get back to the movie so I could see more of it. As an adult, I appreciate the host segments a lot more. Though I still love the movie segments the most.


The host segments are a direct link from MST3K to the horror hosts that came before it. It’s acknowledging their roots as much as making something funny and new. It wouldn’t be the same without it. As someone else suggested, there’s already an MST3K without host segments. Rifftrax.


I can’t say I like all of them (embarrassing Jonah ones have been my least favorite from the new seasons), but I would miss them if they were gone. It adds to character development and gives us a sense that the experiments are taking their toll. Plus, it’s great to have breaks interjected to remind you it is just a show.


I don’t know if you could eliminate the host segments without killing something very fundamentally valuable about the show. Not that the show has ever done a ton of world-building, but I think one of the reasons why these characters matter to us so much is because we get to see them interact beyond the films.


I think we have to remember that when the show started it really was a giant leap forward from the traditional late-night horror movie show, where the host would come on during commercial breaks to reintroduce the film that was airing, provide some quips, and then get back into the film. People tend to point to what Svengoolie or Elvira do or have done, but most of us old-timers can tell tales of watching hosts inserting themselves into films, doing jokey voice-overs, and - getting back to the topic - doing skits at the commercial break marks that usually involved the crew and sometimes got them in trouble with the local station.

So Joel, Mike, and the bots performing skits between breaks had a legacy to fall back on. And that history was hard to break - look at the Film Crew, who did a "lunch breaK’ in their few films because it was more of a tradition and certainly not needed in a series where the concept was that these guys were doing commentary for a film (Why would Honcho want them interrupting the films with their lunch? No wonder he fired them from his high-flying rocket balloon somewhere over the artic with Hef, Keenu, and the Hooters girls close-by watching.)

But I digress, because … squirell!

But seriously. While there is a tradition for it, such segments also allow the writers to do a bit more with the show: deepen characters, build up vague plotting, and just have fun (would MANOS really be as much fun without the segments where the Mads are apologizing for it? Or Nuveena trying to entice Mike to join her and turn the bots into appliances over several segments for 12 TO THE MOON?)

Admittedly, sometimes they do act as filler and you can tell the writers are at a loose-end, probably told that something has to fill out 3-4 minutes of time at this 2/3 segment of the movie. More than one friend has groaned at the sight of the host segments as they can sometimes be a bit of a chore to get through, so the argument against them does have some basis. I can’t say anything against someone wishing to fast-forward through them, but by doing so, you do miss out on the traditional role of such segments (and with the return of sponsors, the breaking up of the film does make more sense than during the Netflix era), as well as missing out on some gems that showcase the cast and writers in a way that the riffing doesn’t cover.


This. And this. The hosts and bots are hard pressed to do any character development in the theater- there’s some, kind of by default, but it’s easy to miss since there’s a lot going on and sometimes you miss a riff or a reference. Sure, some of the host segments don’t make sense either, but that’s still for our benefit. That’s still an expression of who they are as characters. Not to mention it’s a breather both for us and for the performers.

And it’s 100% cool if you don’t like just segments. Got an uncle-in-law who skips them. I don’t lose any respect for him. When I discovered the show I didn’t like them either, but they grew on me and I enjoy them now. My daughter has liked them from the start.

So “really just relax” and enjoy the show your way. I’d encourage anyone to try the host segments and treat them as silly and absurd breaks. I’d also encourage you to watch each segment in reverse if that’s what you’re into. I won’t, but you do you.


Personally I have always liked the host segments, they were a big part of what charmed me into the show initially. Granted, they don’t always work, and I tend to fast-forward through those which are awkward or fall flat. But without them we wouldn’t have the mythos of MST3K. Would we really love these hosts, these bots, and these supporting characters without the extended world they inhabit? This world is constructed and shown in the host segments, and without them you don’t really have MST3K any more.