So, with the exception of Mike, all hosts have changed their surname for the host character. Is there a reason why they chose the names they chose? Something I wondered for a while tbh. May have been addressed somewhere at sometime previously and hoping people can shed some light on the actual reason or come up with any made up reason that’s funny too.
From the MST3K Fandom entry on Joel Robinson:
“Joel Robinson is played by MST3K creator and writer Joel Hodgson. Hodgson explained that he used the surname ‘Robinson’ because it ‘flows off the tongue’ better than his given name. It’s also a reference to the Robinson family in the 1960s TV show Lost in Space (itself an homage to the classic children’s novel Swiss Family Robinson) as well as the novel Robinson Crusoe.”
As for Jonah Heston:
“The name ‘Jonah Heston’ is in keeping with the MST3K tradition of giving the human subject of the experiment the same first name as the actor portraying them, while the last name ‘Heston’ would seem to be inspired by the famous actor Charlton Heston, who starred in several popular science-fiction/adventure films including the original Planet of the Apes, Soylent Green, and The Omega Man - all of which influenced the creation of MST3K.”
In the case of Emily Connor:
“Like Joel Robinson, Mike Nelson, and Jonah Heston, she shares the performer’s first name. The character’s last name was originally ‘Crenshaw’, which would seem to have been derived from the last name of the the main prop designer/builder for the Tour, as seen in Joel Hodgson’s vlogs. The character’s surname was later changed to ‘Connor’, a reference to the character Sarah Connor from the Terminator entertainment franchise.”
It’s been mentioned that all the hosts have -on in their surnames… not sure if that’s just coincidence or what.
A Google search for “Famous Nelsons of science fiction” turns up nothing of note. It seems Mike is the famous Nelson of SF, now.
Mike Nelson just by coincidence was also the lead character in Sea Hunt, so that didn’t take much thought. Also the character used to say “By this time my lungs were aching for air.”
Jonah “Heston” breaks the premise since Charlton Heston’s character name in Planet of the Apes was named Taylor. Not sure why they changed things or why they didn’t just go with a different character.
FYI, “Clayton Forrester” was the lead scientist in the 1960s version of War of the Worlds.
Well, pop artist ON did know a thing or two about space travel… Coincidence?
I was always curious as to whether there was some conflict between Joel and Mike as whenever I’ve seen an interview with Mike or about him and the show his response seems to be rather cool or indifferent. May just be reading too much into it, but has always piqued my curiosity.
Mike has some resentment over the fact that he was never offered an ownership stake in Best Brains or the show… he was always just a “hired gun” and hasn’t made a penny off it since his last paycheck in 1999.
Don’t know if it has anything to do with Joel personally, since he wasn’t even around for most of that time.
Played by Lloyd “I picked the wrong week to quit sniffing glue” Bridges!
Also known as Lloyd “Rocketship X-M” Bridges.
I believe Mike kinda changed his surname. His character’s name is a tribute to the famous astronaut Capt./Major Tony Nelson, who dreamed of Jeannie. You can tell the difference because in the Tony version of “Nelson” the stress is on the first “n”, whereas in the Mike version the stress is on the “l”.
Well, he used to be “Mike Relson,” but he changed it to “Nelson.”
After all, it IS one of the most clearly printed R’s…
It would also be kinda Mike to pick a character / actor that was Nelson for his character, come to think of it. Also, Matt van damme. Forgot him lol.
The family name was originally “Montgolfier” but they changed it at Ellis Island because they had a Swedish quota to fill.
But it was pronounced “Throat-Warbler Mangrove.”
Shout Factory started giving royalties for dvd sales to the cast a while back, as well as MST3K episodes sold through RiffTrax. It might not be much, but it’s something since 1999.