For real. I must have spent an inordinate and exhausting amount of time downloading brief WAVs of movie jokes and host segment sound bites before folks could put entire episodes online.
Like I said, worth it.
It’s been so many episode re-watches that I’ve long since forgetten exactly how I got into it. Likely was some clips or old segmented early YT uploads of Season 3/4 episodes. Might’ve been the Forklift song, or the Unhappy Meal/Johnny Longtorso segments, or the excessive dubbed sighing in Time of the Apes, something around that time in the show.
I enjoy having shows on while I work; Preferrably something engaging and uplifting enough to enjoy during loading moments, but also chill enough to fade out into the background for a while, without eventually becoming completely lost in what’s going on: MST3k is nigh-on perfect for that.
Shorts like Johnny at the Fair & Last Clear Chance became nearly-memorized mainstays, S-tier riffs. Any host segment with Frank & Trace is fantastic. The “middle-aged teen” and “rocket ship” films always get a laugh for how deeply out-of-touch they are, even within their own time period.
I do remember the first riff that personally got my ears to perk up: “Theo Bikel? This must be 200 Motels.” from The Rebel Set. I love that movie/album/project warts and all.
I’m sure everyone has a riff like that, one little thing that jumps out at you in such a way that you form a sort of permanent trust with MST3K from that point on, in a “They get it, they’re in.” way.
I can’t believe I missed this thread!
The time: 1996
The place: my friend Karl’s house
The event: a bunch of bored teenagers hanging out on a Friday
The episode: The “MST3K Hour” 1st hour of The Magic Sword
I immediately was hooked and taped the replay as well as the reruns of The Amazing Colossal Man and The Giant Gila Monster. Great intros to this fantastic show.
! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !
I still have those two Mystery Science Theater Hour installments on VHS tape here!
Did we just become best friends?!
Well, it was tricky for me to become a MSTie. The show started in 1988, and I was born in 1990. Being a fan pre-natally wasn’t without its challenges, but I over came them.
Seriously, you try cosplaying as Crow in your mother’s uterus and see how you fare.
I’d be more concerned about how she fared.
I recently went back into my email (because the attached Twitter account is suspended so I wouldn’t be able to search for when I first started talking about MST3K on it), and it turns out I learned of the Turkey Day tradition in 2013, from an ex-friend (whose falling out was recent)
I stumbled across the show on the Comedy Channel some time back in 1989. I recall catching a bit of “The Crawling Hand,” but the first episode I can clearly remember seeing in its entirety was “First Spaceship On Venus.” I remember being completely transfixed by the show because- somehow, a tv show had peered inside my brain, and found all of my favorite things: intelligent comedy, so-bad-they-are-funny science fiction films, and good art- the puppets, props, and sets, created with a DIY, punk rock ethic- and combined all of these qualities together to create a completely delightful and thoroughly intoxicating brain elixir. I was an art student at the time, and I remember I couldn’t afford to continue to consistently pay the cable bill, so I only saw a few episodes before the show was out of my reach. Fortunately, I had met a lovely fellow art student who turned out to also be a fellow MSTie. YES! I would load her up with cheapie blank VHS tapes every week, and she would very kindly record the show for me. I lived for those new episodes, and watched the tapes over… and over… and over. The quality of the image and sound was pretty terrible for whatever reason, and the tapes sometimes started a bit late or cut off part of the end (always much worse) but I didn’t care. I told everyone I knew they MUST watch this fantastic show. But art school is not a hotbed of laughs, so… I only had my one MST3K-loving friend. (Wherever you are, Kim- I hope you are still making those fantastic paintings, and I wish you the best.) I will be forever grateful I happened across this amazing show. It got me through some dark times… it still does. It entertains and inspires anew, and I’m so happy it is being embraced by new viewers. Long live Mystery Science Theater 3000!
My father isn’t nearly as enthusiastic about the show as I am. He had a few friends who watched it and told my father about it, but he never got into it like I did. A few days after season 11 came out, my father was scrolling through Netflix and came across The Return, and decided to give it a shot.
I stumble out of my room and look up at the TV. There’s this old movie playing and these weird shadows at the bottom of the screen, talking to it (this is how 11 year old me saw it). My father explained the show to me and I found myself on the couch, absolutely hooked. I didn’t understand any of the jokes or what was happening in the movie, but I was still intrigued. Crow really stood out to me. I couldn’t watch very much on week nights (my parents were rather strict when it comes to school nights). I watched season 11 and the classic episodes that were on there at the time and did not see it again until about a year later.
I finally got Netflix on my iPad and could watch MST3K whenever I wanted. This was also the time my history teacher at the time found out I liked the show and talked with me about it.
First turkey day marathon was in 2019. I have no experience with tape trading other than I know it existed. Never been to any of the tours (sad). I think I’ve covered everything.
I love being a MSTie!
You’re not alone, I haven’t seen any of the tour shows either. A whole second avenue of rights issues it creates is so agonizing, because having a professionally recorded performance would make great stocking for the Gizmoplex. Treat it like a concert documentary. Even with Emily’s in-series debut it doesn’t make any of those less special. Nor does Joel suiting up again beforehand, it just makes a steadier path from his departure to Demon Squad (with those DVD-exclusive host segments from like 2008 also contributing)
Good to know. I’ve tried to convince my parents to take me to the last two tours. My mom isn’t a fan and my dad doesn’t like attending live shows. I did like getting to watch the Great Cheesy Movie Circus Tour updates when they did them. I hope they do that again if they do another tour.
Maybe next time, my uncle could take me.
My family didn’t have cable when I was growing up, so I missed the Comedy Central era. When I finally did get cable after high school, I stumbled upon MST3K for the first time on Sci-Fi during a lazy weekend afternoon with an airing of The Deadly Mantis. I was hooked from then on. I don’t see that episode getting a lot of love, but it’s always been special to me because it was my first.
I can’t even begin to describe how depressed I was when they announced MST3K would be cancelled after the tenth season (only the third season since I had discovered it). I did wind up beginning a rather large VHS collection, and became familiar with many of the Joel episodes through them. I believe Pod People may have been my first Joel episode. Obviously a good one to begin with!
I currently have over 180 episodes in one format or another in my collection, and have been in the process of digitizing everything for future preservation (some of my VHS tapes are over 20 year old!). I recently came across my old home VHS copy of The Final Sacrifice, which was a real treat to watch again for the first time in years. It converted to digital beautifully, and looks way better than I expected even when streaming to my 65" TV. It still has all the original 90’s era commercials in it, which were kind of an interesting time capsule of the late 90’s.