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Ask MST3k Creator Joel Hodgson

CmdrTaco posted more than 6 years ago | from the because-you-can dept.

It's funny.  Laugh. 191

As turkey day approaches, we have the chance to ask Joel Hodgson whatever you can think of. If you've lived without electricity since the 80s, you might not be aware that he was the creator and original host of what may be the funniest show in history - Mystery Science Theater 3000, as well as the upcoming Cinematic Titanic. I've still got my fan club membership card even after nearly 2 decades. Standard Slashdot interview rules apply: ask your questions here, and we'll pass a bunch of the highest scoring ones for Joel to answer.

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What's the square root of one million ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21440045)

HA! No one will ever know that!

Re:What's the square root of one million ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21440195)

1000

Re:What's the square root of one million ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21440419)

OK smarty pants, what is sum(1/k^3, k=1..infinity) ?

Re:What's the square root of one million ? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21440891)

zeta(3). Maybe you meant to ask something else. Like, is it irrational ?

- Joel Hodgson

Re:What's the square root of one million ? (1)

2.7182 (819680) | more than 6 years ago | (#21442503)

1000 is correct, but I believe the original was a homage joke to the Simpsons. It's a Nelson quote.

Rifftrax & The Film Crew (5, Interesting)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 6 years ago | (#21440049)

What do you think about the other efforts led by Mike Nelson like Rifftrax [slashdot.org] & The Film Crew [slashdot.org] ? Is there a reason that you, Pearl, TV's Frank & Dr. Forester have split from Mike, Brain Guy & Tom Servo? I'm overjoyed that there are multiple efforts but why?

Re:Rifftrax & The Film Crew (1)

Tetsujin (103070) | more than 6 years ago | (#21440169)

What do you think about the other efforts led by Mike Nelson like Rifftrax [slashdot.org] & The Film Crew [slashdot.org] ? Is there a reason that you, Pearl, TV's Frank & Dr. Forester have split from Mike, Brain Guy & Tom Servo? I'm overjoyed that there are multiple efforts but why?
I think these days they go by their other names: you know, Mary Jo, Trace, Bill, Kevin, Josh, etc...

Re:Rifftrax & The Film Crew (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21440971)

Never mind the Joel vs. Mike controversy -- it will just lead to endless arguing. Joel, do you prefer vi or emacs?

Re:Rifftrax & The Film Crew (1)

psychicninja (1150351) | more than 6 years ago | (#21441179)

What do you think about the other efforts led by Mike Nelson like Rifftrax & The Film Crew?


We all know you really meant:

What do you think of that slouch Mike who replaced you, and why is Cinematic Titanic going to kick the crap out of The Film Crew?


Kidding of course, I love 'em both!

Re:Rifftrax & The Film Crew (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21442227)

Mary Jo (Pearl) did at least one rifftrax, actually: http://shop.rifftrax.com/rifftrax/glitter [rifftrax.com]

Don't turn your backs on Jesus. (-1, Flamebait)

grub (11606) | more than 6 years ago | (#21440051)


Mystery Science Theatre goes against the word
of God Almighty. Science is evil and atheist. It promotes
the young of today to turn their backs on God and Jesus.

All the answers you need are in God's writings: The Bible.
Read your bible, commit it to memory, live as an unquestioning
member of Jesus Christ's flock.

Re:Don't turn your backs on Jesus. (0, Flamebait)

grub (11606) | more than 6 years ago | (#21440101)

Ah hell, forgot to AC this.
Praise Fucking Jesus.

Rub a dub dub. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21440171)

Roofle owned scrub.

Re:Don't turn your backs on Jesus. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21440233)

-1, Straw Man

Re:Don't turn your backs on Jesus. (0, Flamebait)

geekoid (135745) | more than 6 years ago | (#21440503)

"Don't turn your backs on Jesus."

Cause he'll stick a shiv in it!

Seriously people, I think he was trying to be funny..he wasn't, but he doesn't deserve flamebait.

Re:Don't turn your backs on Jesus. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21440701)

Nah, I'd have to say that qualifies as deserving a flame, or at least offtopic (which it also got). Funny still has to be somewhat relevant to the story; that was nothing but troll, and the only part even remotely on topic was the word science. It deserved the downmod because thats what moderation's for; keeping the crap separate from the stuff worth reading.
Eh, just my 2 cents.

Ah, zealots have mod points (0, Troll)

geekoid (135745) | more than 6 years ago | (#21442079)

now I understand.

Clearly I was being funny, cause Jesus has been dead for a long time. A long with the thousand of other people claiming to be 'Sons of God' that where walking around then.

Take that, Bitch.

Never heard of it (-1, Offtopic)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 6 years ago | (#21440083)

So, has /. fully changed over to infomercial stories already? never heard of this show, or the movie, and frankly don't care

Re:Never heard of it (1)

TJ_Phazerhacki (520002) | more than 6 years ago | (#21440137)

This guy could use a shrub, or heck, even a twig would cheer him up!

Re:Never heard of it (1)

imgumbydamnit (730663) | more than 6 years ago | (#21440237)

From the lead-in:

If you've lived without electricity since the 80s...

So, what year did you wire the cave, Calibanos?

Re:Never heard of it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21440255)

never heard of this show, or the movie, and frankly don't care


So then your reason for posting that was what?

Re:Never heard of it (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 6 years ago | (#21440773)

"So, has /. fully changed over to infomercial stories already? never heard of this show, or the movie, and frankly don't care"

Your ignorance is not Slashdot's fault.

Re:Never heard of it (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21442209)

<Announcer Voice>
"Timmarhy has been nominated in three categories for this year's Dotty awards. Most Annoying, Most Likely to Entirely Miss the Point, and the perennial fan-favorite Most Oblivious"
</Announcer Voice>

SLASHDOT SUX0RZ (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21440089)

_0_
\''\
'=o='
.|!|
.| |
in a not too distant goatse [goatse.ch]

Box Set Frustrations (5, Interesting)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 6 years ago | (#21440097)

My frustrations abound with my attempts to collect the Licensed DVDs of your MST3K material. Currently I have no method of acquiring the tenth box set ($250 on eBay?!) and Rhino has some insane pricing scheme which amounts to $10-$15 a disc. Why did Best Brains Inc. go with Rhino? Why after all that effort to make this material free online (at one time I think there was a dedicated server) are they so expensive and hard to get a hold of? Will Rhino go after me if I continue to own and share tapes and files of MST3K? The mantra always was to keep on circulating the tapes--and with the advent of bittorrent, that's never been easier--but now that they are one by one becoming licensed by Rhino, is that legal?

Re:Box Set Frustrations (1)

BoberFett (127537) | more than 6 years ago | (#21440453)

Wish I had mod points, I'd love to see the entire series of DVDs available at decent prices, or at all. My wife would do anything for me if I could get her the complete set. Did you hear that? ANYTHING. Help me out here Joel!

Re:Box Set Frustrations (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21440493)

My wife would do anything for me if I could get her the complete set. Did you hear that? ANYTHING.
Are there quality restrictions on that? I mean *cough* how would I contact said wife?

Re:Box Set Frustrations (1)

The Dobber (576407) | more than 6 years ago | (#21440753)


Just bit torrent the seasons. Sure they're VHS dups and the quality suffers sometimes but that's half the fun.

Re:Box Set Frustrations (1)

Paradise Pete (33184) | more than 6 years ago | (#21442037)

I once saw a torrent containing what was purported to be *every* episode. It was 180GB. I never noticed if anybody ever completed.

Re:Box Set Frustrations (1)

nick.ian.k (987094) | more than 6 years ago | (#21440915)

IANAE, but I believe Rhino themselves didn't clear the rights for the Godzilla film in set ten and that's why it got pulled. Damn shame, as it's easily one of the best episodes officially released (however briefly). I only got to see it because an old neighbor of mine scooped it up when it came out, and I seem to recall there was speculation even then about it getting pulled due to whichever entity managing the distribution rights of the Godzilla movies (Toho [appropriate biz abbreviation here]?) being super-finicky about them...

How did MST3k come about? (4, Interesting)

TJ_Phazerhacki (520002) | more than 6 years ago | (#21440109)

Did the idea for the show come from a single inspiration, or was it a process?

Sci-Fi Channel Years (5, Interesting)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 6 years ago | (#21440125)

I had heard rumors that Sci-Fi was the end of MST3K. I know people that have argued whether it was quality or requirements of a story arc in Sci-Fi's contract that caused the show's viewership to fall, why do you think the show eventually went off the air? What was your opinion of it at the end? What was the biggest mistake MST3K made?

Re:Sci-Fi Channel Years (3, Interesting)

theMerovingian (722983) | more than 6 years ago | (#21440881)


I had heard rumors that Sci-Fi was the end of MST3K.

Sci-Fi is where shows go to die. I have never seen a concept so promising completely fail to deliver in all respects, but the Sci-Fi channel is the penultimate failure of cable television. I love science fiction as much as anyone, but I intentionally and actively avoid that channel because the vast majority of the stuff they air is total crap.

Allowing your show to be put on Sci-Fi channel is the death knell of your intellectual property (prime example-- Highlander: The Source).

Re:Sci-Fi Channel Years (2, Funny)

MrNiceguy_KS (800771) | more than 6 years ago | (#21440973)

God, I hope you're right. If you are, than we're on the cusp of the end of professional wrestling.

Re:Sci-Fi Channel Years (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21440995)

but the Sci-Fi channel is the penultimate failure of cable television.


So, what's the ultimate failure of cable television? G4?

Re:Sci-Fi Channel Years (2, Interesting)

Joe Tie. (567096) | more than 6 years ago | (#21441701)

Don't forget sliders. Fairly good show that seemed to almost instantly turn to crap when it hit sci-fi.

Re:Sci-Fi Channel Years (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 6 years ago | (#21442205)

I gave up on the sci-fi channel when they didn't run space 1999 in 1999. I mean Come On!

Why'd you stop? (4, Interesting)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 6 years ago | (#21440133)

Really, there's no shortage of bad movies still being made that deserve the MST3K treatment. Did you just get tired of mocking bad movies?

Public Domain (4, Interesting)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 6 years ago | (#21440159)

What is your opinion on public domain laws? As someone who creates content but also relies on making derivative works of other content, do you support it? What do you think is a desirable length for something to become public domain?

Hollywood Trends (3, Interesting)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 6 years ago | (#21440191)

What trends have you seen in new movies that you feel are positive? Is there anything about movies today that you utterly detest? Do you ever notice similarities between new movies today and the MST3K movies? What are your feelings about today's movies? I've always wondered if you are capable of watching a movie today without making hilarious jokes in your head, is watching film a major part of your life?

New Content (4, Interesting)

mugnyte (203225) | more than 6 years ago | (#21440197)


  We've all laughed at the choice of just inane productions you guys have lambasted over the years. However, there's new choices for great commentary being made every day (skipping personal suggestions). What sort of licensing issues do you guys run up against for acquiring certain content? Is there a "sweet spot" for movies to be in for it to be worth fighting for? How do you choose?

What's it like (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21440209)

to be the idol of millions of losers?

So... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21440245)

Joel or Mike?

Re:So... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21440339)

Without a doubt - Joel.

Re:So... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21440353)

Mike, obviously.

Re:So... (1)

SargentDU (1161355) | more than 6 years ago | (#21440653)

Man, your attention span is so short. This is Joel, you are trying to ask questions about MST3K. I hope you aren't Meth'd up.

How's it feel when people quote decades-old jokes? (2, Interesting)

Tetsujin (103070) | more than 6 years ago | (#21440271)

MST3K is still popular with its fans after all this time: people still watch the show, mimic it, repeat the jokes, build robots, etc. What I'd like to know is, how does that feel? Is it fun to think that people enjoyed something you did enough to stick with it after so long, or is it just strange to think that people fixate on it?

Re:How's it feel when people quote decades-old jok (1)

iluvcapra (782887) | more than 6 years ago | (#21440585)

Allovertheworld!

Hikeeba!

MITCHELL!

Re:How's it feel when people quote decades-old jok (1)

Tetsujin (103070) | more than 6 years ago | (#21440831)

Allovertheworld!


Hikeeba!


MITCHELL!

...And some French-fried potatoes! 'Cause the giant turtle called Gamera is destroying the city! In the... Robot Holocaust.

See also this XKCD Comic [xkcd.com] . We love when somebody does something cool, original, and funny - are we missing the point by fixating on it like this?

Cherokee D (3, Interesting)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 6 years ago | (#21440311)

So who which writer was the model rocket fan? I loved the reference to teh Cherokee D in Marroned.
Also if you could could give the MS3K treatment to any move which movie would it be?
My vote would go to the original Star Trek movie.

So... (1)

Megaweapon (25185) | more than 6 years ago | (#21440377)

who ate all those Hamdingers anyways?

Cheap Seats (1)

hansamurai (907719) | more than 6 years ago | (#21440403)

Did you ever watch Cheap Seats (kind of like MST3k but featuring sports) when it was on ESPN Classic? I'm a huge fan of it and whenever I watched it I thought of 3k and how much it probably inspired the writers of Cheap Seats. It wasn't really a show for the typical Slashdot reader but the Sklar brothers are mighty hilarious in my book.

Cheap Seats [imdb.com]

How much improv? (5, Interesting)

xPsi (851544) | more than 6 years ago | (#21440423)

Obviously, a huge amount of energy went into writing a typical MST3K show so that it recreated the feel of a bunch of sharp-witted pals staying up late at night over beers and pizza making fun of a bad movie. Nevertheless, it seems like as a group of talented comedian/actors, after watching so many campy movies with such vast bounties of ripe, low hanging fruit, it would be just too tempting to blurt out something amusing that deviated from the script. How many of the remarks made during a typical MST3K show (i.e. during the featured movies) would you say were improvised and how many were scripted?

Re:How much improv? (2, Interesting)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 6 years ago | (#21440659)

I've read (probably on Wikipedia) that the first season was largely ad-libbed, but they started scripting things a lot more heavily after that, which was one reason why Josh Weinstein (now apparently J. Elvis, to the WGA) left the show.

Still, there are moments I could swear were ad-libs, especially during the Joel years, where Joel or one of the bots would say something and earn a surprised-sounding laugh from the others.

why (3, Interesting)

trybywrench (584843) | more than 6 years ago | (#21440447)

why did you go?

Theme song (3, Funny)

kwabbles (259554) | more than 6 years ago | (#21440457)

The only two songs that I've been able to remember word for word in their entirety for my whole life have been the national anthem and the MST3K theme song.

Does it contain a subliminal message?

Re:Theme song (1)

ajlitt (19055) | more than 6 years ago | (#21440595)

Yes. You should really just relax.

Re:Theme song (1)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 6 years ago | (#21440713)

Don't forget the Master Ninja Theme Song. You probably know the words to that one, too.

Re:Theme song (1)

The Dobber (576407) | more than 6 years ago | (#21440817)


The bastardized song from Pod People

Re:Theme song (1)

_xeno_ (155264) | more than 6 years ago | (#21441687)

Which nation's national anthem are you referring to? And if you mean the Star Spangled Banner, let's hear all four verses! :)

Re: Star S*p*ngled banner (1)

TeknoHog (164938) | more than 6 years ago | (#21442029)

I am a shaman, magician
The sun is purple
3D dimensions
I am for mental extensions.

Re:Theme song (1)

Atzanteol (99067) | more than 6 years ago | (#21442133)

*Ahem*

We gather together to watch cheesy movies
at Comedy Central on Thanksgiving day.
It's 40 straight hours of Mystery Science
*breathe* Theater 3000 it's called Turkey Day!

It just ain't Turkey Day without a MST3k marathon...

Permission and Sets (5, Interesting)

Avatar8 (748465) | more than 6 years ago | (#21440547)

Do you have to get permission from the target movie's owning company to use/abuse it?
Has this caused limitations of content for your treatment?
What movie(s) did you really want to review but were denied for some reason?


One of my favorite parts of the show was the creative use of inexpensive materials for the set (except that Millenium Falcon on the door might be worth something now). Will your current project use the same creativity, or will it be more funded and "polished?"

I endorse this question (1)

theMerovingian (722983) | more than 6 years ago | (#21440967)


This is the question I came here to ask, but someone beat me to it. The copyright issues involved in getting the show done were probably pretty complex.

Dear Joel, (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21440553)

What makes *you* laugh?

The first (4, Interesting)

ChromeAeonium (1026952) | more than 6 years ago | (#21440601)

Did you guys ever find the first couple of episodes, and how did you lose them anyway?

Re:The first (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21442325)

Apparently they he lost them on a farm and they got picked up by the eMule. At least I saw the first few episodes there a couple years ago. Not the whole first season but you can hear the original Servo which is interesting.

What do you do in your own off-time? (5, Interesting)

KC7GR (473279) | more than 6 years ago | (#21440611)

I'm a little surprised no one else has asked this yet.

We all know what a great job you did with MST3K, what the show was about, etc. HOWEVER -- I'm more curious about you! ;-) What do you do when you're not lampooning bad movies? What do you do in the way of hobbies or relaxation? Favorite books? Heck, for that matter, what do you LIKE to see in terms of movies or animation?

And, perhaps most interestingly, are there any particular movies that you wouldn't dare lampoon?

Inquiring knows want to mind!

Re:What do you do in your own off-time? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21440889)

And, perhaps most interestingly, are there any particular movies that you wouldn't dare lampoon?
Schindler's List?
Mississippi Burning?
Philidelphia?
There are a ton of movies that, yes, you could lampoon but you would not be popular ...

Ahh, the memories (1)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 6 years ago | (#21440613)

*sings* "Iiiiiidiot control now!"

(from "Pod People")

Re:Ahh, the memories (1)

The Dobber (576407) | more than 6 years ago | (#21440869)

With a pickled mind,
We kick the nipple beer.
Steady as a goat,
We're flying over trout.
Getto down the highway
At the speed of light.
All I want to feel now is
The wind in my eyes.
Sack of monkeys in my pocket,
My sister's ready to go.

Re:Ahh, the memories (1)

Pancake Bandit (987571) | more than 6 years ago | (#21441967)

Haha, I recently bought a box set with Pod People for my boyfriend's birthday. We cracked up so much at that part.

Earlier-than-documented influences? (3, Interesting)

sh00z (206503) | more than 6 years ago | (#21440623)

Joel,

All of the on-line biographies of you gloss over your "formative years" and seem to concentrate on your prop comedy stand-up work in the Twin Cities as being the impetus for MST3K. However, having grown up in the Green Bay area myself, I can't help but think that some of MST3K (especially its connection to irresistibly awful movies) was inspired in part by WLUK's TJ and the ANT [milwaukee-...-hosts.com] show. Can you comment or elaborate on whether you enjoyed this show as a teenager?

Funniest show ever? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21440707)

Am I the only one who doesn't get this show? It's not funny at all.

Re:Funniest show ever? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21441183)

Not at all, but most of the people who don't like it don't post in fan-friendly discussions professing their indifference.

It always seemed like a giant waste of time to me to pop in and say, "Hey, guys, I don't like this thing that you all do."

Long-term effects of spaceflight? (2, Funny)

Tetsujin (103070) | more than 6 years ago | (#21440885)

Did you suffer any significant loss of bone mass as a result of your long-term spaceflight? (Are you aware that you currently hold the record for the longest continuous space flight? By a human I mean. Some would give that credit to Valeri Polyakov [wikipedia.org] but you seem to have her beat by about four years...)

Hey Joel (5, Interesting)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 6 years ago | (#21440919)

While you were at MST3K, was there ever a mis-interpreted gag that caused an uproar with some of the fans? Maybe something that sounded unintentionally naughty? Just curious. I remember all those nice letters that were read at the end of each show. Made me wonder if you ever got nastygrams.

What do you think of KTMA episodes being available (3, Insightful)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 6 years ago | (#21440957)

on sites like the Digital Archive Project. I know many current and former MST3k staffers have shown support, but I am interested in what you think about the early stuff(KTMA era and season 1 era) episodes being available for all to see. In the Amazing Colossal Episode Guide there are a couple of statements telling us not to go seek those out because they aren't very good, but fans have encoded them anyway. Does it still bother you? And also, can we please have the master tapes for the first 3 KTMA episodes? Please!

What is your horrible closet political ideology? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21440959)

I heard that Mike Nelson came out of the closet as a Republican, which is sort of odd considering that a large number of MSTies are "stoned slackers". Maybe he wants to put all his fans in jail?

My question to you is: What is your horrible closet political ideology?

Other Stuff (2, Interesting)

Toonol (1057698) | more than 6 years ago | (#21441051)

Can you fill us in on your projects and work after MST3K? Also, it seems everybody focuses on a show that you left many years ago... does that irritate you or gratify you?

Well... (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21441071)

How do you all eat and breathe on the satellite?

Pissed off any target? (5, Interesting)

sammyo (166904) | more than 6 years ago | (#21441147)

Has any actor/writer/director been legitimately peeved by your often acrid, yet so very accurate commentary?

Joe Don Baker (Mitchell), I Believe (3, Funny)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 6 years ago | (#21441609)

Has any actor/writer/director been legitimately peeved by your often acrid, yet so very accurate commentary?
The final episode that Joel did was for the movie Mitchell, starring Joe Don Baker. Now, you may actually have seen him in movies today including Goldeneye, Congo, or The Dukes of Hazzard. This actor reportedly threatened to physically harm the MST3K staff [wikipedia.org] if he ever saw them. One of the voices said that he was sure JDB was just joking but I'm not so sure.

Also, there have been some new introductions to the DVDs licensed by Rhino and I've watched them all. At the beginning, they often talk with or about trying to contact the actors/directors of the films. Oftentimes, it's kind of sad when they show the actors or actresses as they really poured their heart into the movie. For Time Chasers, Mike opens up saying that they invited the original cast to see the movie together with them. I guess they thought it was going to be more friendly ... than it was. There were many low blows at acting quality, how people looked, how they talked, the music for the movie, the region it was filmed in, the list goes on. It put the whole movie in a new context when I rewatched it. Still, hilarious MST3K, I highly advise seeing it.

That said, I have spent considerable amount of time and resources researching Manos and although this is off-topic from your question, I must point out that it was written, directed, produced and starred in by the same man. Hal P. Warren, a fertilizer salesman from El Paso Texas. You can find considerable material on that movie including that the camera had no sound function and couldn't hold more than 60 seconds worth of film which resulted in many cuts and bad editing and three people doing the voices. The film crew was not allowed to do anything artsy and soon dubbed the production "Mangos: Cans of Fruit." The unfortunate story of Torgo is that he was supposed to look like a Satyr but instead put the metal leg inserts in backwards (supposed to make his legs look like that of a goat's) and, as a result, had hilariously large knees. This caused him great pain and, whether he was addicted to pain killers or shamed from the movie I can't say, but he committed suicide shortly there after. Rest in peace, Torgo [imdb.com] . After I found out about that, I did feel a touch bad for him, considering his short life.

Too funny (1)

raddan (519638) | more than 6 years ago | (#21441159)

MST3K made me laugh so hard, I would get asthma attacks. Why did you do this to me?

Zippy TV show? (3, Interesting)

Vegan Pagan (251984) | more than 6 years ago | (#21441275)

Bill Griffith, the creator of Zippy the Pinhead, often complained that Hollywood wouldn't let him make a Zippy movie the way he wanted. But when I saw MST3K, especially the host segments, I thought cable TV would be the best place for Zippy because MST3K had a similar style of humor and was thriving in the cable world. Did Bill Griffith ever tell you what he thought of MST3K, or if he wanted Zippy to follow a similar model?

Illegal video downloads (3, Insightful)

fonik (776566) | more than 6 years ago | (#21441297)

Recently on my college campus there has been a huge rise in popularity of MST3K among people who have never seen an episode before. I think this is due to the ease of illegally watching episodes online. Do you think that this trend is good or bad?

Alternate question: What is it like to watch regular movies with those jokes going on inside your head?

Robot Wars Judging (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21441435)

I remember seeing you as a judge in one of the "Robot Wars" competitions in San Francisco a few years back. How did you end up in that role? Did you ever dream about beefing up Crow/Tom/Gypsy and throwing them into the pits?

Do you know that you trained people? (1)

CrazyJim1 (809850) | more than 6 years ago | (#21441597)

When my friends and I watched your shows, we learned how to be comical critics and make fun of shows that we watched. Entertainment never had to be grade A when my friends were around because we'd lampoon the show if it got boring or worse. This type of freestyle joking at movies is great for kids with a sharp sense of humor. I was wondering if you ever thought of the impact you have on people's method of watching shows?

Do you feel proud or ashamed (0, Troll)

divaguy (1192579) | more than 6 years ago | (#21441763)

That you're willing to leech off the success of RIffTraks in a pathetic attempt to try and recapture some past glory. You remember Mike, Kevin, and Bill - the guys who DIDN'T turn their backs on the fans in order to seek out so-called greener pastures that never materialized? (Freaks and Geeks notwithstanding. *snicker*)

Re:Do you feel proud or ashamed (2, Insightful)

geekoid (135745) | more than 6 years ago | (#21442161)

Why is this expectation so prevalent among fans?

What, he was supposed to do the same thing forever? He wanted to go other places with his career.
He doesn't owe you crap.

Turds and Treasures (2, Interesting)

themushroom (197365) | more than 6 years ago | (#21441777)

Dear Joel... I'd imagine that the show was a lot of fun at times, especially in the gag-writing. But as the laws of averages goes, not every movie that comes down the pike is as ripe for jokes as others. They can't all be gems, which became more obvious after you left the show (I mean it seems there were more "blah" movies to work with, not a statement about the MST3k actors). Some you can just look at and come up with a hundred things to say, others are just kind of "meh" and you have to work harder to come up with something others would find funny to say about. What tricks did you employ to get through the mediocre films, beside musical numbers at intermissions or talking about something unrelated to what was happening onscreen at the time? Bigger question, what films did you have the hardest time riffing on because of so-so content?

Hassled by actors/directors? (2, Interesting)

scottbot (601451) | more than 6 years ago | (#21441857)

First off, thanks for a great show... Were you ever hassled by any of the actors/directors who may have seen their movies on an episode of MST3K? You must have met a few of them at some point, I wonder how they handled it.

Switching from MST3k to Cinematic Titanic (1)

GersonK (541726) | more than 6 years ago | (#21441889)

In creating Cinematic Titanic, particularly in coming up with the basic format and premise, how often do you find yourselves saying 'we can't do this, it's too much like mst' or 'here's something we always wanted to do, but couldn't inside the mst framework'?

favorite? (2)

mothis2 (810193) | more than 6 years ago | (#21442027)

what's your favorite episode? why?

Live tours? (2, Interesting)

austinpoet (789122) | more than 6 years ago | (#21442069)

Hi Joel,

Always liked you more than Mike.

Live action facsimiles of MST3K have been popping up (most notably, at least for Austin, Mr. Sinus Theater (which had to change its name)) lately, and with technology improving, have you considered doing a live action tour? Perhaps with a Jazz band opening act? or TMBG?

Do you regret leaving the show? (1)

grumpygrodyguy (603716) | more than 6 years ago | (#21442097)

I know many fans like myself enjoyed your warm sense of humor, and the relaxed sense of family-like togetherness you brought to the show. In my case, I stopped watching after you left because I missed that feeling...things became too cynical and cerebral for my taste...it had lost your special ability to give the viewer a sense of comfort and belonging.

I remember reading an interview in which you said you felt uncomfortable in front of the camera, and that you left MST3k primarily for that reason. Do you ever regret making that decision?

What about of MST3Ks of "fanfic" or Chick Tracts? (1)

J. J. Ramsey (658) | more than 6 years ago | (#21442251)

Some MST3k fans have given unofficial MST3k treatments of fan fiction, called MSTings [keithpalmer.ca] , and even of a cheesy Jack Chick tract [humpin.org] . What do you think of those?

How do you live with yourselves? (-1, Flamebait)

Jack Action (761544) | more than 6 years ago | (#21442413)

I am curious if you ever had any qualms about making a career out of attacking other peoples' hard work.

While some films featured on your show were shoddy and amateurish, many just lacked a mainstream presentation. When one sets aside the markers we are conditioned to expect in a "good" film (slick sets, smooth acting, professionalism instead of enthusiasm or originality), there is alot to be gained by watching and understanding the films you have slighted. At the very least these film-makers had a sensiblity and a point-of-view not available in mainstream, Hollywood productions (I thinking particularly of the films of Ted V. Mikels -- who I believe was one of your foremost punching bags). To make them the target of mockery was really an exercise in conformism -- something I thought the geek/scientic community was supposed to be against.

One has only to read through the comments left at the Internet Movie Database on films featured on your show, to see page after page of the kind of derision towards the work of these men and women you have inspired (example: Girl with the Gold Boots [imdb.com] by Mikels). Do you think that this kind of mob mentality is the permanent legacy of your show?

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