Suggestions for Season 14 Improvements

Yes we all love the show. Yes we all are glad its back. But how about a place to make a list of suggested IMPROVEMENTS that people would like to see?

  1. Bring back the lollipop puppets. I know there are ‘reasons’ why they want to use the new system, but its nowhere near as good as the old lollipop puppets. The new method is slow, doesn’t sync well, muted, and generally lackluster. The old lollipop sticks were orders of magnitude snappier.

  2. Physical set (no greenscreen). This would be a welcome return. The greenscreen was a necessary evil in the pandemic. Time to move on.

  3. Increase the size of the theater silhouettes. In the original show the silhouettes were MUCH larger. You could see who was moving, what they were doing, whose mouth was engaged, little leans and twists, et al. Viewers didn’t have to WORK to see what the riffers were doing. Now in the new seasons the silhouettes are so freaking small they it requires the viewer to focus on them to get any of those little nuances to the point where you don’t see what’s going on in the movie. I think there’s a better balance to strike with bigger silhouettes.

What else would people like to see? That’s my list of “top” asks.


I’m here for all of that. I can’t add anymore as that covers my gripes with season 13. I will say tho for as much as these were issues for me I still adored season 13. Just some suggestions to make something that’s already great that much better!


Definitely with you on physical sets.

This one isn’t going to sound right, I know, so let me say first that I do like both Jonah and Emily as hosts. Strictly from a storytelling perspective, I would prefer only one host or the two of them stuck together rather than in two different places. For me, in season 13, switching the hosts as frequently as they did took away from the story of the show. Yes, I know, it’s a puppet show about watching bad movies, but MST3K has always had that little background story of a guy who got trapped in space. Having the two SOLs and the two different hosts riffing at different times just, in my opinion, takes away from the background of what’s happening.

And I would not be surprised if that was not a common opinion so I don’t necessarily expect that to change. Just thought I’d toss it in there.


Probably just tighten up the writing. The pacing of the riffs is there, but occasionally there’ll be a riff that’s a bit rough draft-y.


I’d love to see them go outside again, even if it’s only once.

Was it Crow who had allergies last time? Maybe they could treat him for that.

And I wouldn’t mind an episode of only shorts (from one notorious/horrifying source, or at least thematically bound on some flimsy pretext or another), or only serials. Though I don’t know how feasible that is.


I said this elsewhere, but it bears repeating.

When it comes to physical sets, what I can say about season 13 was that it looked a little too “low-fi”.

There’s a fine line between low budget and “cheap”.

Maybe I’m crazy, but even though KTMA through Sci-Fi era sets often looked “homemade”, they didn’t look cheap.

You knew that someone handcrafted these things and that adds warmth and life and that will always age better then greenscreen.

It’s just my opinion, but I have a real feeling that if they said that if we get to 4.8 million, then that will confirm physical sets, I think that would further motivate backers.

But that’s just me.


I’m anticipating eye rolls here, but I honestly don’t have any improvements to suggest. They would have to try really hard to find a way to make me not like this show (although purely Kaiju movies would make it tough). I love all the hosts, bots, Mads, and voices. I don’t care about the sets. I just want a host and bots making a bad movie fun. Even if it’s another Munchie.


I’m kind of in the same boat - Season 13 was excellent. If I had my druthers I’ve leave out movies like “The Christmas Dragon”, which I found not bad enough to be really fun and not good enough to be worth watching - just not interesting in any way - but it’s a case of different strokes for different folks.


I’m probably an outlier who’d be happy as a pig in…. If they just picked up where they left off with no changes at all.

Re: sets? I’ve said before that the only thing that stood out to me was that it felt a bit tight/confined? But, by the end of S13, didn’t feel so much so? Just got used to it?

So, if I was offered options, I’d take 13 new episodes and shorts, no changes, before 6 episodes/shorts with changes…


I wouldn’t mind if the silhouettes in the theater were larger? That’d be cool.

But I’m not trading any content for changes/added expenses???


Obviously improving should always be a goal, but I’ll leave it up to the crew to decide where they want to focus their energy (and money).

The return of physical sets would be nice, but I’ll be happy for more episodes either way.

RE: The smaller size of the silhouettes compared to the old seasons - They could probably go a liiitttle larger, but the widescreen format used now vs the 4:3 format of ye olden days is the primary reason they’re smaller now.

So, if I was offered options, I’d take 13 new episodes and shorts, no changes, before 6 episodes/shorts with changes…

Agree with you there - if green screen is the difference between more or fewer episodes, sign me up for more eps.


Also because they don’t need to allow for overscan the way they did on analog TVs.


But, they’re a bit too small for those of us who haven’t replaced their HD LCD TVs since before the 3D tv craze?


Season 13 was such a massive improvement over 11 and 12 my main advice is “keep up the good work” but in keeping with that…

  1. Don’t be afraid to do more black and white movies from the 50’s and 60’s

Since the Gizmoplex is 100% fan funded, the concept of “appealing to the casual audience” doesn’t really apply anymore. You are already preaching to the converted, sir… and I guarantee that nobody paying $85 to $200 for a Gizmoplex season pass is going to skip an episode just because it’s in black and white.

Obviously, yeah, you still want to make sure you’ve got a nice clean print, but there are plenty of really terrible and cheap/public domain movies with gorgeous prints out there (like W. Lee Wilder’s The Man Without a Body (1957) and Fright (1956) just to subtly suggest a few :wink:) and it helps to mix things up.


  1. Keep that “cow town puppet show” vibe.

Part of the show’s charm (and comedy) has always been just how cobbled together and cheap it looks. It should always look like it was filmed on a local KTMA station’s budget (which is to say, zero) even when it isn’t. And even though we all know the host segments are written, the more improved and “I just built this jet pack out of bleach bottles and and hot glue” they look, the funnier the skits will be.

Even though they’re now commonplace fabrication items it actually would make sense to have around if you were marooned in space, keep the 3D printed and laser cut parts to a bare minimum (other than for bot parts and practical mechanical components) and avoid greenscreen and other non-practical effects. The hexfield is always funnier when it’s quite clearly just somebody standing over in a blacked-off corner of the set.


  1. More obscure and collegiate riffs for us (really) old school types

It’s a sad day when I can watch a MST3K episode and understand all the riffs.

Another huge part of the show’s lasting charm is just how completely all over the place and esoteric the references are, which makes it a series that grows up along with you. I started watching MST3K when I was 12, and I’m 46 now, and I’m still catching obscure references I didn’t get before on any of my previous 37 viewings because I hadn’t seen the particular Jimmy Durante skit or soap commercial it was referencing until a few weeks ago.

I have no idea what the median age of the average MSTie is (I suspect it’s probably somewhere around 40) but it felt like the Netflix series in particular was kinda dumbed down for broader audiences. I’m not sure how much of that was intentional, or just the particular batch of writers in the room. I know that Frank and Trace were primarily responsible for the old TV/film/jazz references and I suspect that Kevin was the one sneaking in most of the Shakespearean and Samuel Beckett references. But I guess my point is… whenever somebody in the writer’s room comes up with a joke that goes straight over everybody else’s heads and they have to pull up a wikipedia article or youtube clip to explain it… keep that joke in. Because it’ll be absolutely hilarious to the twelve people who get it. And the hundred more who get it on the third or fourth watch-through because they read the wikipedia article wondering “why did Joel say ‘bowling ball’ back there?”


Oh and…

4. Celebrity cameos (usually) aren’t funny enough to warrant their inclusion.

I mean, I totally get it. There is no way I would refuse Mark Hamill anything, and there are a lot of really famous people who are also huge MSTies who would love to be on the show. But in general, seeing somebody famous up there on screen just takes me right out of the skit, since it’s now stunt-casting rather than hanging out with my cow town puppet show friends.
I’d much rather just have Matt McGinnis show up in a wig and a dress.


I honestly don’t have any improvements to suggest

No problem with that. Not everyone has to agree on things.

the widescreen format used now vs the 4:3 format of ye olden days is the primary reason they’re smaller now

We all know the reasons why this was done. However, they took it too far and need to swing that pendulum back a ways. It’s TOO small and it forces the viewer to either (A) completely ignore the silhouettes (in which case why have them?) or (B) ignore the movie and focus on the silhouettes. All I’m saying is that in those olden days a viewer didn’t have to choose between A and B because the silhouettes were large enough you could still watch the movie AND see what the silhouettes were doing without having to bifurcate your attention as much.

4. Celebrity cameos (usually) aren’t funny enough to warrant their inclusion.

Agreed. If the cameo doesn’t add something then it’s not generally worth doing it. Which brings me to another suggestion for improvement…

The whole host segment ‘arc’ in S13? Too overwrought. Too much. MST really does not NEED that kind of stuff. Just do fun host segments for their own sake. The best host segments don’t tell a story, don’t have a real purpose, and just try to do a funny bit for a laugh. When you’re trying to tell a ‘story’ it requires the writing to be on a whole different level than just trying to be funny … and (sigh) it’s patently clear from S11-13 that trying to tell any sort of ‘story’ in the host segments is not where MST’s strengths lie on the writing side.


I agree wholeheartedly with this. The original run was just “scientists torment a guy with bad movies”, and I don’t see that a story is needed beyond that.


I completely agree here. The celebrity cameos in the original run were Leonard Maltin and the guy who was Howard (I think he was a football player?). Having Leonard Maltin on the show was funny because of all the Leonard Maltin references they made. But the other “celebrities” were usually just Mike dressed up and I prefer that.


I’d like the gizmoplex get a navigation upgrade.

For instance, I would like “My Videos” to go to a selection of of shows I have access to, so I can select from that for something to watch. Additionally, it would be nice if the site would hide the purchase option if I already have access to an episode or special. The video being available under the purchase part is confusing navigation.


Agreeing with this point!

It’s obviously up to the creative team as to what they want to do, but from the peanut gallery POV, the story arcs aren’t what I needed.

Some of the best episodes don’t have them and just consist of great segments.


I can live with the Flatimation aesthetic if I need to. I find them dull and think they lack interactivity, but I’d prioritize the show’s survival over any beef I may have with them.

Two things I would say to make the creative choice more engaging:

  1. Utilize the green screen with more backgrounds, like segments taking place on other areas of the SOL other than just the bridge. This would be a nice way of utilizing a limitation to make it more liberating.

  2. The doorway sequence looks like ass. I’d rather a new doorway be created to utilize the format’s strengths rather than the cut and paste job of the Netflix doors.

Other than that, I’m good.