The Daily Suck
You may think you’re a comedy buff. You may think that you’ve seen all the funniest movies and tv shows out there, and are well acquainted with all of the major comedians. You may think that you know funny. But I’m going to tell you right now that you have not seen it all until you’ve watched a little show called Mystery Science Theater 3000.
Mystery Science Theater 3000 (MST3K for short) is not easily explained. Basically, a mad scientist and his partner are trying to find the best way to take over the world, so they send their temp, Joel (and later, Mike) up into space and force him to watch terrible movies in an effort to break his will. In the mean time, Joel builds robots Tom Servo and Crow T. Robot to keep him company. The premise of the show is that we as the audience get to watch the trio watch these horrible films and make fun of (riff on) them. It sounds silly, I know, but trust me, this show is one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen. Running from 1989 to 1999, MST3K has a dedicated cult following and a wealth of one hilarious episode after the next. In no particular order, here’s a list of some of my favorites!
1. Cave Dwellers
This Conan The Barbarian inspired film gives us one of my very favorite episodes of MST3K. Joel and the bots never miss opportunity to riff on its cast of goofy characters and inexplicable events, from the incompetent villain (the dude with the mustache) to hero Ator’s fight with invisible enemies. Hilarious from start to finish.
Riff that sums it up: “Tolkien couldn’t follow this plot!”
2. Boggy Creek II: and The Legend Continues…
Boggy Creek II is one of those movies that seems like it was born to be on MST3K. Following the journey of a researcher and his students and their attempt to find the legendary “Boggy Creek Creature” deep in the south, the MST3K crew (with Mike instead of Joel, who left the show in its fifth season) gives us riff after riff that made me cry with laughter. I’ve watched this episode a thousand times and it just keeps getting funnier.
Riff that sums it up: (Mike as the movie’s main character) “We’re goin’ camping and you’re gonna watch.”
3. Time Chasers
A nerdy inventor named Nick and his journalist girlfriend go on a trip through time to prevent an evil CEO from using Nick’s time machine to destroy the future. Their journey involves a trip to a futuristic (?) food court, bonding in the produce isle of a grocery store, and a very poor mixture of plaids. Mike, Tom Servo, and Crow pull no punches with this one, and their riffing is absolutely top-notch during Time Chasers.
Riff that sums it up: “The adventures of the average people!”
4. Manos: The Hands Of Fate
If you were to look at anyone else’s list of favorite MST3K episodes, I can guarantee that this one will be on that list. And for good reason. Manos: The Hands Of Fate is one of the worst movies to ever be featured on MST3K, making it perfect fodder for Joel and the bots. The only way to watch this film is to watch the MST3K version, and the guys ensure that it is one of the most hilarious experiences you will ever have.
Riff that sums it up: (Tom) “So we’ve gotta be, what, half an hour into this movie by now, right?” (Joel) “No, actually, it’s more like a minute.” (Tom, appalled) “…No.”
Werewolf. I can remember how horribly my stomach hurt after watching this episode from laughing so hard. The MST3K cast rip this movie apart like the werewolf does to his victims, except with much more ferocity than the wimpy monster in the film. Look out for Mike, Crow, and Tom Servo’s musical interlude during this one: it’s a doozy.
Riff that sums it up: (We hear a door slam in the background) “Oh, that was the sound of the director giving up and leaving.”
There are literally SO many hilarious episodes that I could never compile a complete list in one sitting, so stay tuned for part 2 coming soon! In the mean time, you can check out every episode of MST3K right here on this incredible website and fan community: http://www.club-mst3k.com/ Get ready for some serious laughs.