Favorite Reaction to Explaining MST3K

Despite MST3K having existed for decades, there are still many people out there who have no idea what it is. Have you ever witnessed a memorable or funny reaction from having to explain just what this show is and how it works?

I was inspired to ask this because of my own favorite reaction: during my junior year of college, I was delighted to hear a reference to Socrates in one of the Netflix episodes. (I can’t recall which one off the top of my head.) When I next saw my philosophy professor, I asked if he knew what MST3K was, because I thought he would appreciate a good Socrates reference. He wasn’t familiar, so I launched into a quick, basic explanation: it’s a show where a man and two robots watch and react to bad movies, and their reactions are incredibly comedic.

“Interesting,” my philosophy professor replied, seemingly neutral about all this. “So, is this something that people your age are currently into?”

“Actually,” I replied, “this show is mostly popular with people older than I am. My dad was the person who exposed me to it, and he raised me on old episodes.”

At that moment, my professor- an older gentleman with the air of an immortal and the physical form of a skeleton wearing a fresh coat of skin- stepped back and stared at me as if I had told him the parents of today’s youth were entertained by watching people being hit over the head with clubs. (Or perhaps, by watching a man and two robots react to people being hit over the head with clubs)

“Your father,” he asked, his voice sharp with distress, “likes this?”

To this day, I am incredibly entertained by my teacher’s unexpected and sudden judgement of this show from my simplest explanation of it. He may be a genius when it comes to philosophy, but I respectfully disagree with his slight disdain of MST3K. Hopefully he watches it one day and changes his mind!

What about you guys? Do you have any fun or notable stories like this?


First of all, that’s hilarious.

Second of all, I feel that a good teacher wouldn’t disdain something they’ve never seen. Even if it does involve puppets.

Third of all:

during my junior year of college… in one of the Netflix episodes.

sorry I just went jealous there for a second. My junior year of college was during the Joel era.


I’m glad you liked my story! Yes, a good teacher would otherwise be more accepting, but that professor of mine was, in fact, a very good teacher indeed. Perhaps his quick judgement of MST3K can be considered his one flaw.

And my apologies for being young. It’s a situation that is slowly being resolved with each passing day. (Were you an MST3K fan during your college days and the Joel era itself, or did you get into it later?)


None as good as yours. I usually just get, ‘Oh that sounds cool,’ and then the other person goes about their day as if I hadn’t said anything. I DID get my family into it though :grin::+1:


Ha, no apology needed of course, it’s just a reflex among old people to notice when anyone younger than us experiences things at a different stage of life. Like, despite the wisdom that is supposed to come with age, we are just baffled and confused that time continues to pass once we have hit adulthood. It was supposed to stop for me! :grin:

I was a college student when the Joel era first aired on Comedy Central. I discovered it (thanks, ex-boyfriend!) when season 3 was airing. Used to set my VCR timer to tape it.


Ain’t that the truth. That’s why I was so excited by the first reboot: if MST3K is still happening, I can’t possibly be too old. So excited that it will continue into 2022!

As far as explaining the show, seems like most people I hang out with are already fans, so I might be self-selecting :slight_smile: