Tag Archives: MST3K

Throwback Thursday: MST3K’s 1993 riffing of “Santa Claus” (Season 5).

Here’s a weird, wonderful, possibly offensive clip from the classic days of Mystery Science Theater 3000.  This is from the show’s fifth season; it originally aired in 1993.  The movie that Mike and the bots are riffing is 1959’s “Santa Claus.”  [I am linking below to MsHandsanitizer’s channel on Youtube.]

Paul Anka is coming to Mary Washington College.

That means the ladies and gentleman of 90’s-era New Hall need to return to Dodd Auditorium for at least one of his performances and discreetly riff him afterward — in the same manner as the MST3K episode, “Girls Town.”   It’s a moral imperative.

I’m surprised I haven’t mentioned “Girls Town” here at the blog before.  It’s one of the show’s best.

“I did it my way.”


Throwback Thursday: “Mystery Science Theater 3000” at Mary Washington College!

As I’ve shared here at the blog before, “Mystery Science Theater 3000” was a pretty big part of my college experience.  MST3K parties were indescribably fun.  I honestly believe that I have literally never laughed so hard in my life.

I’ve previously linked to the priceless episode where Joel and the ‘Bots skewer Joe Don Baker and 1975’s “Mitchell.”  Below are three more that were the unofficial required viewing for the second floor of Mary Washington College’s New Hall during the 1993-1994 school year.

What was maddening about MST3K was how difficult it was to explain to the uninitiated.  (Bear in mind, this was before the days of Youtube, with which you could just send your friends a clip.)  It was an amazing TV show, but my efforts to explain it to friends made it sound preposterously stupid: There are these three comedians that make fun of old movies — really bad ones — as the movies are playing.  Two of the comedians are portrayed by robot puppets …  There’s an ongoing skit in which they’re stuck in space.  The special effects are really terrible — but that’s okay, because it’s kinda part of the joke …

The first episode below is 1966’s “Manos: the Hands of Fate,” which I understand to be the most popular among fans.  (Even aside from MST3K’s satirical riffing, I’ve read that this is widely regarded as the worst movie of all time — a distinction I’m not sure it truly deserves.)

The second is the episode devoted to 1944’s befuddling and blithely moralizing “I Accuse My Parents.”  (I and the other guys on my floor might have actually liked this one even more than “Manos.”)

The third is my personal favorite — the entry for 1951’s saccharine, preachy “The Painted Hills.”  In a strange coincidence, I think it’s actually the first one I ever saw.  And it’s also one that I’ve never heard named as a favorite by another MST3K fan.  Seeing the Joel and the ‘Bots make fun of a poor defenseless dog (played by the same dog who played Lassie, no less!) was just too irreverently brilliant.  SNAUSAGES!  (And does anyone else think that this was a morbidly strange film when it was first conceived?  It was marketed as a family-oriented “Lassie” movie, but it contains just a bit more murder and bizarre horror than you’d expect from that.)


“Manos: the Hands of Fate.”


“I Accuse My Parents.”


“The Painted Hills.”

WTF am I hearing right now?

That sounds like a 70-pound cricket, hopped up on steroids, with cybernetic enhancements that electronically distort its voice.

That is NOT one of God’s creatures.

Why must you harbor such strange fauna, Roanoke?

I gotta get audio of this.

[Update: Internet user Jen M. helpfully provided me with the below image to assuage my apprehension.  (Thanks, Jen.)  Some trivia — Jen tells me that’s actually a still from “The Beginning of the End,” the film that MST3K expertly lampoons with Crow’s Peter Graves impression.]






“Stop playing that Rockford music. I’m Mitchell!!”

America is going through an extremely difficult time right now.  I think a lot of us need to take a breath, give one another some space, and try to relax.  Why not laugh a little?

Anyway, I only learned just yesterday that Mystery Science Theater 3000 had its own Youtube channel.  That’s good to know.

“Mitchell!! Pardon me!! Mitchell!!”



I almost typed “a short haiku,” but I figure that would be a redundancy.

The good folks over at Dead Snakes were kind enough yesterday to feature a haiku I penned.  Click the link for “Sideburns Haiku” by Ye Olde Nolan:

“Sideburns Haiku,” by Eric Robert Nolan

Anyway, every time I think of the word “sideburns,” I think of the Tony Travis song of the same name, performed in 1953’s “The Beatniks.”  Only Mystery Science Theater 3000 fans will know what I am talking about.



Photo credit: “John Raphael Smith by Francis Chantrey (with thanks to the V&A for allowing photography)” by Jonathan Cardy – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=29629944

Yeesh. Lotta nightmares last night.

Rescue a helpless little girl lying unconscious in the street during the vampire apocalypse?  The tiny one with golden braids and porcelain skin?  There’s a reason you couldn’t feel her heartbeat.  Her skin is porcelain because she’s undead.  Have fun watching her rise, slowly and ceremoniously, in the makeshift fortress of your living room.  For added fun, the lock on your bedroom door won’t work!  Ha!  The moral of the story?  No good deed goes unpunished.

Thrilled to see your childhood dog again?  She’s NOT thrilled to see you. Because she’d been buried in “Pet Sematary” or something, and she’s biting your fingers because she remembers all those times you pulled her tail when you were three.  (Mom TOLD you to stop, but you couldn’t resist.)  The moral of the story?  [In best Fred Gwynne voice:] “Sometimes dead is better.” Also: be kind to animals!

That wicked cool GIGANTIC snake you keep snapping pictures of when it drinks from the backyard birdbath?  The one with a head the width of a shovel?  It’s actually NOT harmless merely because you cannot see any fangs.  It all fun and games until it wraps its coils around you, and you realize it’s a python.  For added fun, your Mom can’t hear you in the kitchen and cannot respond to your pleas for her to throw you a butcher knife, and then shut the open back door to protect herself.  For added confusion, your childhood home NEVER HAD A F***ING BIRDBATH.  (We WERE the 99 percent.)  The moral of the story?  [IN best MST3K voice:] “Watch out for snakes!”  Also: if clothes don’t make the man, then fangs don’t make the snake.

Christ!  What did I EAT last night?