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Mystery Science Theater 3000: a Nostalgia Trip

Updated on February 15, 2015
Watch black-and-white movies while two robots and a guy criticized everything.
Watch black-and-white movies while two robots and a guy criticized everything.

A Classic

People enjoyed watching movies. There were usually hilarious moments that could have totally different meanings if interpreted differently. Mystery Science Theater 300 was a comedy that had three viewers watch a movie, and provide hilarious commentary for the entire viewing. Premiering in 1988 on KTMA, The Comedy Channel/Comedy Central in 1989, and on The Sci-Fi Channel in 1997 until finally going off the air in 1999, Mystery Science Theater 3000 provided a constant source of comedy through the host and two assistants, interesting commentary about classic movies not a lot of people in America watched, and even provided snappy commentary during shorts that were not movies, but were created at the same time as most of the classic movies reviewed on this show. Mystery Science Theater 3000 was funny without being too intricate about its comedy.

Our heroes, ladies and gentlemen. And a side-character.
Our heroes, ladies and gentlemen. And a side-character.
Our heroes, ladies and gentlemen. Note the new guy.
Our heroes, ladies and gentlemen. Note the new guy.

The Hosts

Mystery Science Theater 3000 had a rather simplistic plot. On a space station referred to as the Satellite of Love, a human and two robots were forced to watch B-movies in order to see which B-movie would be the best to use as a weapon for world domination. This weapon would have been so bad that a person could be driven crazy by its horrid content. Originally the human observer was Joel Robinson, and then Mike Nelson when Joel left the show. For either Joel and Mike, both of them had to deal with Crow T. Robot and Tom Servo, two robots who were created by Joel. Crow was the yellow robot, whereas Tom was the red robot. Together, all three were forced to watch various B-movies from various genres, only stopping yo entertain the viewer with small skits that were based around the movie being watched or were about something totally different.

Joel, being the creator of both Crow T. Robot and Tom Servo, received more respect from the robots and as a result was the straight man for most of the jokes. In other words Joel made the jokes himself at the expense of the robots. Mike, being the new guy on board the Satellite of Love, was the source of most jokes and caused some problems for Crow and Tom. Or in other words the jokes that occurred when Mike was on the Satellite of Love were made at the expense of Mike. Although, Mike had his own gimmick where he had a bad habit of causing entire planets to get destroyed by causing them to explode, whether directly or indirectly. However, when either Joel or Tom had to watch a movie or short, everyone was able to do so without any problems.

Watching Movies

The main source of comedy from Mystery Science Theater 3000 was the jokes that either Joel or Mike had with Crow or Tom while watching an old B-movie. Basically while a B-movie played all of the characters would either joke about a scene, interpret scenes as the complete opposite as they were intended, and generally making fun of a movies flaws. And for B-movies, there were a lot of flaws in their scenes. Additionally, after watching a segment of a movie, the characters would take a break and do skits that referenced as aspect of whatever film was being watched. When the viewer watched Mystery Science Theater 3000, every time the characters watched a movie, either Joel or Mike, Crow, and Tom had their silhouettes superimposed at the bottom of the screen. This gave the viewer the impression that the characters were inside an actual movie theater while watching a movie.

The jokes that were included with the movies basically made the entire film humorous. When a character was in danger, either one of the humans or robots would make a joke that would make the danger seem more humorous, titles of movies were sometimes commented upon for sounding silly, and even various plot points were interpreted humorously. As Mystery Science Theater 3000 progressed in its seasons, some of the films improved in that there was color included. Sometimes characters or references from whatever movie was being watched would make appearances during skits and act as annoyingly funny during the skits as in their films.


Mystery Science Theater 3000 also commented on shorts about mundane subjects. In one short titled A Day At The Fair, the commentary involved a family going to a fair. Some of the jokes included making two boys grooming cows sound like people working in a salon, joking about how a judge for a baking competition sucked all the fun out of the act of judging food, and generally making what was a boring short into a more entertaining piece of entertainment.


Mystery Space Theater 3000 was a show that managed to make watching bad movies fun by constantly making jokes about the bad content. Its cast and characters made watching bad movies actually entertaining with their dialogue, and the occasional exploding planet. The movies also showed that filmmakers had some strange ideas for plots. And the commentary for some shorts made what was a boring thing to watch into something legitimately hilarious.


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