Television Puppetry

An oral history of Mystery Science Theater 3000

By April 22, 2014 May 29th, 2023 No Comments
Joel Hodgson and the `bots of Mystery Science Theater 3000

One of my favourite shows of the 1990s was Mystery Science Theater 3000 (MST3k). The cult series has been off the air since 1999, but spawned lots of imitators and is still very much missed by its fans. The recent 25th anniversary of the show’s debut has sparked rumours of a possible return, as well as a fantastic oral history in Wired Magazine:

Watching MST3K was like hanging out with a trio of underachieving-­genius best friends. At a time when depictions of geekery were limited mostly to Urkel and Comic Book Guy, the denizens of the Satellite of Love were brazenly brainy—which explains why MST3K’s fan base reportedly included such meganerds as Al Gore and Patton Oswalt.

As fun as MST3K was, though, life aboard the Satellite of Love wasn’t always easy: The show was never a ratings smash, and tension between Hodgson and producer Jim Mallon led to Hodgson leaving the show just a few years into its run. In later years, members of the show’s ­Midwestern-based, DIY-determined staff found themselves struggling with the sort of big-TV bureaucracy they’d long fought to avoid.

You can read the full story here.

Via Rolling Stone.

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