Writing for current sensibilities

wow you have my favorite former and New writers all at the same time! My question is can you talk at all about how difficult it is to be aware of current sensibilities as opposed to the writing climate of 20 years ago? For example, joking around gender issues. So far in all of the new seasons I’ve seen you do a fabulous job. But I know it must be tricky!YOUR QUESTION:
Please keep your question concise enough to ask during the livestream!

**NAME TO CREDIT:**my name is sheryl summe. Pronounced “sue me.” Yes for real :grin:
[your name]

[how to pronounce it]

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Any thoughts?

I know this was just supposed to be for the live chat but I’m really curious because I know it must be difficult :grin:

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Hey, I’ve only been writing since Season 11, so I can’t give you a 20-year perspective on this question, but I’ll answer for the current iteration.

Honestly, it may seem like it would be tricky, but it’s actually not! We’re very fortunate to have assembled writing rooms full of very funny but also very kind and empathetic people who understand that the humor of MST3K never comes from being “edgy” or “provocative” but from cracking wise and making good jokes at a cheesy movie. So riffs that would cross a line rarely come up in the room - if they ever do, we talk about it and make sure the intent of the joke is clear. If it’s not, or if it’s targeting someone or something it shouldn’t, or even just makes anyone in the room uncomfortable for the wrong reasons, we discard it and pick one of the dozen other riffs we probably have for that spot.

Hope that answers your question. Thanks for watching!


I always thought Joel set the dial high to the “Be Nice” level in most cases and I feel a lot of that made it’s way into the fanbase (with many now in the MST3K team).
Joel could bring Crow back to earth from wanting to decide who lives and dies with a simple “Oh I don’t know” and a head shake.


Good writing is timeless. Bad writing tries to pander to trends, gimmicks, and other fads that come and go. Write for the ages.

Wow! Thanks for taking the time to write to me, Tim! I have fun just watching you guys have fun on the live feeds. Your group positivity comes through in the riffing - and yes, it’s easier to convey true “teasing” when you have the right group dynamics to keep the tone light. Keep up the good work! And love to GPC! Sheri


Thanks very much! It’s our pleasure.