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MST3K: Mike and the 'Bots

Mystery Science Theater 3000

In case you didn't know, Mystery Science Theater 3000 (or MST3K for short) was a very clever and long-lived cable television show about a man trapped on a satellite in space with only some intelligent robots for company. The mad scientist who sent him into space tries to torture him by forcing him to watch the worst movies he can dredge up.

That's just the premise, of course. The whole point of the show was that, while the man and 'bots watch the terrible movies, they make witty or smart-aleck retorts back to the screen the entire time. Mixing corny B sci-fi films with puppets and very sharp and irreverent humor was utter genius.

The show is cancelled now, and our chances of seeing many of the old episodes ever return into syndication are extremely slim, since the rights to broadcast the movies would have to be renegotiated. The fact that the show changed networks mid-stream complicates matters further.

Fortunately, this is a moot point, as the show's large base of rabid fans has a very active tape-trading system running, and the devoted MiSTie (as fans sometimes call themselves) can easily complete his or her collection of episodes thereby. Digitally coded copies of many of the episodes are also available for download on the 'Net in various places, to help ensure that the episodes never lose their original lustre no matter how many times they are recopied.

But anyway, another thing that MiSTies sometimes do in their spare time is to play the "MST3K home game". Anybody can do what Joel/Mike and the 'Bots do, after all - just get together with a few of your bestest friends, pop in a tape (or DVD, whatever) and riff away. And you can even do it in the electronic medium - ah, which is what brings us here:

On the Internet one can find many texts and stories that are just begging to get the MST3K treatment. There are many people out there who are willing to do the job, which leads us to text "MiSTifications". These are still being posted to UseNet and web pages regularly. Merely quote the original text, and insert the appropriate quips and quillets in their places. Easy as pie!

So, without further ado, here are examples of mine of MiSTifications. Just laugh, it's funny:

MiSTified: $50,000 in 90 DAYS!

TOM: The Internet makes mail fraud fun!
Oh, spam. Spiced meat product and amusing Monty Python sketch aside, what good is it? Junk e-mail is aggravating, invasive, and wastes the time of millions of people every day. Eh, no, I don't consider having made this MiSTification of a spam e-mail a waste of time. No, really. It was a way of striking back. Really. (If the spammers succeed in wasting our time, then THE SPAMMERS HAVE WON!)

MiSTified: The Rangers of NIMH II

"That Zena Bernstein thing is an homage to the MSTing of 'Rangers of NIMH II'. Just go 'n' read it, OK?"
- Shay Caron,, 01 Jan 1999

The thought that someone felt my Zena Bernstein reference was quoteworthy - even enough to use it in a "homage" - makes me pretty happy. This MiSTification was my first MST3K group effort. Edited by Håkan Svensson (whose MiSTification of the original Rangers of NIMH is hilarious) and co-riffed by Joseph Nebus, Kevin Pezzano, and.... me! I wrote my share of the quips, the cape sketch in the middle, and the ending "oompa-music" sketch. Terrible story, terrific jokes - that's all you need to know to dive into this one. What fun.

MiSTified: LeapTrek

CROW: Isn't Geordi a disease you get from drinking bad water?
A cross-over between Star Trek: The Next Generation and Quantum Leap. Just as exciting as it sounds. In four parts, so if you want to "leap" to one in particular: a link to part one, part two, part three, part four.
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