I recently had the completely surreal opportunity to talk about movies with Mike Nelson from Mystery Science Theater 3000 and RiffTrax. When I told Lora, a friend, coworker and fellow fan about it, she said something along the lines of “What do you even say to someone who is responsible for your sense of humor?”
I thought about that a lot; how big of an impact Mystery Science Theater has had on me and what makes me laugh. Growing up, I mostly liked the robot that looked like a gumball machine. When I rediscovered MST3K later in life, I realized all of the cultural and historical references I had missed, and the ones that continue to go over my head. It’s silly, but it’s intelligent, and you don’t have to be embarrassed to watch it in mixed company. It’s the kind of humor that makes you smarter.
I still like the robot that looks like a gumball machine. For about four years now, I’ve been hunting and collecting original parts to build my own working replica of Tom Servo. Side note: revealing this information on dates has been met with mixed results.
Even if you’re not familiar with MST3K, I encourage you to check out RiffTrax. The live riff of The Room would be a good place to start.
My conversations with Bill Corbett and Kevin Murphy (Crow and Tom Servo) will be posted soon.
*Lest I be mistaken for a professional, know that approximately 10 minutes of my fan-girling has been removed from this interview.