Exclusive interview with Jim Mallon, Trace Beaulieu, and Joel Hodgson of Mystery Science Theatre 3000

Now that we’ve all recovered from post-SDCC fatigue and Pablo’s had a chance to edit and upload the videos, I’m thrilled to finally present tor.com’s exclusive interview with some of the key cast members and creators of Mystery Science Theater 3000. MST3K (as it’s been fondly nicknamed by its fans) rose from cult fandom to geek ubiquity over the course of eleven years, during which it moved from Minneapolis public access television to Comedy Central to the Sci Fi Channel. The show is beloved both for its unique premise—mad scientists ship their janitor to a satellite and force him to watch terrible movies; janitor copes by building robot companions out of ship components—and for some of the cleverest dialogue on television.

Now, nearly ten years after the last episode hit the air, the show has received a sudden surge in attention with the announcement that Shout Factory will commemorate the show and its legacy with a 20th Anniversary box set that includes four episodes never before released on DVD. Shout Factory kicked off its SDCC presence with a packed* reunion panel featuring Joel Hodgson, Mike Nelson, Jim Mallon, Kevin Murphy, Trace Beaulieu, Frank Conniff, Mary Jo Pehl, Bill Corbett, J. Elvis Weinstein, Paul Chaplin, Bridget Jones-Nelson, and stellar moderation by Patton Oswald. This assemblage of mad genuises resulted in a panel so good it almost seems cruel to pick out particular lines to highlight, especially given that the entire thing will be included in the box set (pssst: there’s an extremely low-rent version on YouTube now, if you can’t wait ’til October).

The second part of Shout Factory’s plan was to organize some interviews with traditional and new-media outlets, and they were kind enough to give tor.com a slot even though we were just over a day old. Consequently, Jim Mallon, the series’ executive producer and director of more than 75 episodes; Trace Beaulieu, who played Dr. Clayton Forrester and voiced Crow T. Robot for most of the show’s run; and (joining us for the second half) Joel Hodgson, who acted as the human presence on the Satelite of Love for the show’s first five years, sat down for a few questions with this upstart website.** The results are here…

…and here…

I’m told that we’ll be getting a review copy of the box set, so you’ll definitely hear more about it here if we do. In the meantime, you can satiate some of your cravings for good riffs on bad movies by checking out Joel and Trace’s work on Cinematic Titanic or Mike Nelson et al’s on RiffTrax.

* Really! I had to con my way in by pretending to be part of the film crew. Don’t let anyone say we never sacrifice anything for our stories…

** I’m especially grateful for their patience with this rookie fangirl reporter’s unformed interviewing technique.


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