WE WANT YOUR STORIES: Tell Us About the First Time You Saw MST3K!

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For many of us, finding MST3K for the very first time is often a memorable experience — certainly it was for me, as in my case it happened in a pre-internet world where finding like-minded oddball friends was a much more challenging task than it is today (we had to walk ten miles uphill, in the snow, both ways, just to make friends who got our jokes in those days).

I have a few hazy memories of running across a TV show with inexplicable little silhouettes in the bottom right corner before I actually stopped to watch it. I was 12 or 13 and on a weekend visit to my mom’s house, after everyone else had gone to bed. The episode was Rocketship X-M, and I laughed so hard and so loudly that my mom got up to ask if I was okay.

One of the compelling things about MST3K is its relatively accessible entry point — who among us is not occasionally guilty of loudly mocking a bad movie in our own living room? The experience of watching MST3K quickly separates those who find this sort of behavior fun and those who find it annoying, and on that first viewing, something about the camaraderie of Joel and the bots and the obscurity of many of the jokes, at least to my limited young brain, didn’t feel out of reach. Lines like “by this time my lungs were aching for air!” managed to be funny to me in their delivery and their absurdity, even lacking the original pop-cultural context.

The tragedy of my new discovery, and I know this is one that some of you also shared back then, was that the cable company at my dad’s house, where I lived, inexplicably split Comedy Central with another channel, such that from 7am to 7pm it played old sports or somesuch, and from 7pm to 7am it played Comedy Central’s admittedly kinda redundant original programming.

For awhile, the MST3K schedule meant that I only got to see the back half of a bunch of episodes, because the channel swapped over in the midst of the show’s usual air time. Until Comedy Central got its own dedicated channel, this meant I spent a lot of time at my mom’s trying to tape as many episodes as I could. Video streaming is a real gift, kids!

I, for one, love hearing people’s stories about how they first discovered a series or other art that they fell in love with, so today I am asking YOU: do you remember the first time you saw MST3K? Was it in the long-ago, as my experience was, or was it more recent? Feel free to share your story in comments below, or if you’re more apt to be more verbose, email your tale to info@alternaversal.com (just in the body of the email, please, no need to send a separate file) and maybe we will run it in its own post here on MST3K.org for the cozy MST3K community (including all of us at Alternaversal Productions!) to enjoy.

Thanks, team! We look forward to hearing your memories!

265 thoughts on “WE WANT YOUR STORIES: Tell Us About the First Time You Saw MST3K!”

  1. The first time I watched MST3K, I was in college and experiencing the worst hangover of my life. I’m talking on the couch the full day and night levels. I turned on some episodes and it made me feel a lot better! Well, as much as laughter can heal a college night. I’ve been hooked ever since.

    1. It was the winter of 1993. I had just gotten out of the Navy and spent a night at my brother’s place. Comedy Central aired you on Friday nights. “Manos, Hands of Fate” was my induction into the world of Gizmonic Industries. I’ve been hooked since,

    2. For some reason, in the mid-90s in RI, we only had UPN on the weekends. My boyfriend (now husband) Josh and I were in high school at the time and we’d hang out and watch movies. One night, after staying up kinda late, we discovered this guy and his robots making fun of (dare I say “cheesy”) movies, and suddenly, we had a weekly ritual. There were Saturdays where we couldn’t hang out, or didn’t make it late enough, but that’s what the VCR was for! (I wish I still had those VHS tapes).

      Eventually we started catching the show on a newer station (or new-to-us) called Comedy Central, and later, Sci-Fi Channel, when we’d laugh alongside friends and relatives. At this point, we’ve watched MST3K with our teenage daughters in every incarnation, including the live shows and the broadcast reunion. It’s not only a show my husband and I grew up on together, but one we share with our girls now, too.

  2. I actually never got to watch MST3K when it was airing the first time. My cable company didn’t have the channels. But when I was wandering the isles at my local video rental place, I came across Cave Dwellers. I dont know why I picked it up, but I’m so glad I did. My sister and I laughed til we cried and watched it like, 4 times before we had to return. We still quote it back and forth to this day. “Ding, Dong”

  3. My dad had an extensive collection of VHS recordings he made of MST3K episodes that he watched over and over again. They were playing in the background of my childhood from so early on that I don’t remember a time when I hadn’t seen the show—it was just always there and I always loved it. My husband and I bonded over them when we started dating and now they are constantly in the background of our son’s life, too. MST3K is a family affair for us.

  4. The first episode I remember seeing was “The Beginning of the End,” although based on the schedule, “Alien from L.A.” had been the previous episode and perennial favorite “The Brain that Wouldn’t Die” was just a few weeks earlier, so I can’t be sure that was the first episode I saw. What I know for sure, though, is that I was hooked immediately.

    Watching old science fiction and horror movies and making fun of them was a thing my mother and I were already doing, and watching MST3K was like having a whole new group of friends to do that with, who didn’t shush me when I laughed at dramatic scenes in monster movies. A group of friends who would reference Gymkata as a joke.

    There was no turning back.

  5. I remember when we got “real” cable for the first time when I was in either fifth or sixth grade, and we all shortly afterwards discovered Comedy Central, and the joys of Kids in the Hall, SNL reruns, Whose Line Is It Anyway, and, of course, the magnificent MST3K. It was something that I could enjoy with my parents (who have excellent senses of humor), and it was something I could enjoy with my cool friend Adam, who also thought weird things were funny and didn’t care about dumb stuff like sports and being popular. By Thanksgiving of that year, I got to tape at least part of the Turkey Day Marathon off the TV. I kept those tapes well into college. I joined the fan club, and one year convinced my mom to buy me a Tom Servo pin for my birthday. By the time the show finally went off the air in 1999, I was a senior in HS. I’m still friends with Adam, and we still quote Mitchell and Manos and I Accuse My Parents as we approach 40.

    1. Our cable company picked up The Comedy Channel on day one. I’d heard about Ha!, and heard it was the better of the two, but I was perfectly happy with CC. Higgins Boys and Gruber! Clutch Cargo! Onion World!!!

      One Saturday morning in January (I think?) 1990, I flipped over to CC to see what was on. Three silhouettes were cracking jokes during Robot Monster, a movie I’d seen in parts before and had loved laughing at.

      Like everyone else, my first reaction to the show was “what IS this?” It was like a secret transmission from an alternate universe. By the end of the show I was hooked, so much so that I – a high school teenager! – actually set my alarm to wake up early on Saturdays.

      I did my best to spread the word to friends. But even then, it felt private, a weird corner of subculture nobody else knew. It wasn’t until a few years later, in college, I met anyone else who not only knew the show existed but watched it religiously. My people! I found them!

  6. I don’t remember exactly when I saw my first MST3K, but the episode itself was Cave Dwellers on Comedy Central. I definitely remember not getting what this show was all about at first, but after seeing more episodes it finally clicked for me. It was unlike any show on TV, and I was glad to learn later that I was not the only one who was watching it. It remains one of my favorite TV shows of all time.

  7. I’m old now. Well, middle-aged. So it’s a little difficult to think “way back when” to the early 90s. I’m pretty sure the first time I became aware of MST3K was seeing ALIEN FROM L.A. either on Comedy Central (or whatever it was called) or even MTV. Maybe I’d caught a couple of errant clips of other episodes here and there, but it was Kathy Ireland that really did it for me—and got me into MST3K. I think I fully became a consistent watcher of the show with SAMSON VS. THE VAMPIRE WOMEN and then we were off to the races. THE STARFIGHTERS was an early favorite as well, just because I was amazed that they could get so much sustained comedy out of what is surely one of the most boring movies they’ve ever riffed!

  8. My parents installed a dish in our yard in the late 80’s. I’d stay up exploring every possible feed. I didn’t know what I was looking for, but I knew it was MST3K when I saw it. I definitely “got it”, I just couldn’t believe it existed. Untamed Youth might have been my 1st?

  9. I saw mystery science theater 3000 listed in the TV guide many times and had no idea what it was. being a huge Godzilla fan the first episode I tried out was Godzilla vs Megalon …loved it and became a lifelong fan.

    1. It was 1996 I first saw MST3K . The movie was Laserblast. I remember catching it a night I was allowed to stay up late because I was sick at the time with a bad flu. I was 7. A majority of the riffs went over my head but I was completely in the moment. I was hooked from that point onwards and took any chance I could to watch an episode. It wasn’t until my adult life that I was able to go back and see all that I missed.

      My little brothers first time was quite different than my own. He was 25 and the movie was Mac and Me. He got about 25 minutes in and stood up and walked away saying “I…I dont know what this is..I can’t …oh I can’t watch this”. He did laugh several times but I feel he his threshold of weird and bad movies isn’t quite near mine. I wS however, amazing seeing someone watch it for the first time. Whether they got it or not.

  10. It was during the fall of 6th grade. We’d gotten a satellite dish the year before, and I eventually discovered the then Comedy Channel. The first episode I remember seeing was Sidehackers (Season 2, episode 2). At first, I was a little confused as to what I was watching but eventually got into it. By the time Joel said “Hey, he’s all bendy and floppy,” I knew I wanted to see more episodes. Without any programming guide, I just started checking the channel whenever I could hoping I would catch an episode.

    I showed it to friends, some who got it and loved it and some who just didn’t. Two of my close friendships started from bonding over MST3K.

  11. The very first time I was ever introduced to MST3K was when I was just walking by the living room TV while my Dad was watching it. The episode was Hercules and the Captive Women and the first riff I ever gave a gigantic guffaw at was when all of the clones took off their helmets and they sang “We represent the lollipop guild!”

    As for the first full episode I ever watched, that honor goes to the movie! That’s right! Before I watched Leech Woman on its debut showing on the Scifi channel, I rented the MST3K riffing of This Island Earth! It was a little strange to see the show was a completely different set up and quality of video but that was not a problem.

    After that came the golden days of my fandom with the franchise. I taped so many episodes and continued to watch them, growing more and more in love with the show and being more than happy to pledge 100 dollars to the new series coming to Netflix. My name is in the episode “Starcrash.”

    My love for MST3K can’t be overstated. I will watch it until the day I die and I’m okay with that.

  12. I’d just moved into a new apartment and got cable. One Saturday morning, I was about to go out and turned on Comedy Central to kill a couple of minutes. I recognized Joel from Letterman and SNL, but I was confused by the weird looking puppets. Then Sidehackers started, and I realized what they were up to. Then I started laughing, and kept laughing. I sat down and didn’t bother going out until the show was over. I was hooked, and started taping the shows, eventually taping them all.

  13. In the 90s, my cable provider didn’t carry Comedy Central or SciFi Channel when it came out. So the first experience was when USA Network was doing a promo weekend for CC or SciFi (don’t remember which) and showing their programming instead of its regular stuff. That weekend I got to watch Alien From L.A. later I rented a VHS copy of MST3K: The Movie. I’ll always remember the chant “MIKE BROKE THE HUBBLE, MIKE BROKE THE HUBBLE…”. Our cable later picked up both Comedy Central and SciFi and the rest was history.

  14. I had known of the show for quite a while before I ever got to see to it. In college in the early 90’s, I was part of a Rocky Horror shadow cast at my local theater, so we were aware of the new trend in riffing movies, but at the time, our cable system didn’t have the “Comedy Channel” and I wasn’t in on the tape sharing loop. By the time I finally was able to be at a friend’s house with the right cable when the show was on was well into Mike’s first year as host. I don’t remember exactly what the first episode was, but I do remember someone coming in and dropping a spoiler for the movie on me, not realizing I had never seen the show before and that it was a big occasion.

  15. One lazy Saturday morning in October 1990 I was flipping through the channels and came across this guy and two robots making fun of a movie. They left the theater and I figured this was just a one-off segment on some kids show parody the Comedy Channel was running. But then they went back in and kept going. And going. And I realized in surprised delight they were doing the entire movie. And that’s how “Catalina Caper” became my first MST3K episode.

  16. Comedy Central was showing a “Best of…” series late nights in mid-90s. I think “Pod People” was the first show my wife and I saw. We had heard about the show and this was our first chance to watch. Never turned back.

  17. Remember how the show used to have the message at the end, “keep circulating the tapes”? My first MST3K was a double feature: Fugitive Alien and Gamera vs. Guiron, on a Memorex VHS tape. We lived in the middle of nowhere and didn’t have cable, so I knew nothing about MST3K. I went home for Christmas, and my younger brother, who still lived at home, handed me the tape and said “You have GOT to see this!” A minute in, I was hooked. I laughed so hard that I did that thing where you aren’t even making noise any more, just sort of gasping. I have very fond memories of starting a new holiday tradition that year – watching Santa Claus Conquers the Martians.

  18. I grew up never having access to cable TV (we had what I liked to call “peasant-vision”) but during summer vacations we used to drive down to my grandma’s house in another state and stay for weeks at a time, and she did have cable, which was seemed like a miracle to me (more than 5 channels!).

    One night after my family went to bed I snuck out into the living room and turned on the TV super quietly. I randomly came across the old comedy channel and a black and white movie was playing with the silhouettes of some weird looking puppets. I was immediately intrigued and I became obessed (I don’t remember what episode it was) and for the rest of the trip I tried in vain to find the show again.

    A few years later my local video store had a few episodes available to rent (The Brain that Wouldn’t Die, The Amazing Colossal Man?) and I wore those out by renting them constantly. I was able to get some of my friends into MST and I’ve been a huge fan ever since. I love all the eras and all the hosts, here’s to hoping that the format survives and we can continue to get new content in the years to come.

  19. Back in the early days of the Comedy Channel, in between episodes of Tommy Sledge: Private Eye and the Higgins Boys and Gruber, we’d catch this odd show with two little robots sitting and watching old movies, talking the whole time. I recognized Joel from his stand up days, and decided to give it a watch. Our dad used to riff nature shows for us when we were young to get a laugh, so the approach and results really resonated for us. Been hooked ever since.

  20. Wish I had a first time religious experience, but I don’t. Early 90’s I I would flip around and see it on Comedy central. I didn’t give it time at first due to my impatience. I thought it was a kid show. Then my brothers friend mentioned that hilarious show with robot puppets in front of the screen. I admired his viewing taste, so I gave it another look. By 1993 I was a total convert. Saw the movie at the theater.

  21. My Dad and I were working on our new computer and getting it set up. We just happened to have Comedy Central on in the other room. MST3K came on at midnight and at the time, I wasn’t fully paying attention. Then I heard them mention that the “experiment” was Godzilla vs. Megalon.

    I am a huge, HUGE Godzilla nerd, starting back with the WPIX Godzilla marathons in NYC. So when I heard that movie was the experiment, my Dad and I grabbed a blank tape, popped it into the VCR to quickly record it, and we laughed our asses off until 2AM. It was one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen, especially when I’ve seen the source material quite a few times before that.

    From just that episode, I was absolutely hooked and watching MST3K became a family thing. We all loved it.

  22. It was a Saturday night in 1993. I was a seven-year-old who was obsessed with his Sega Genesis, but didn’t have very many friends, so my weekends were clear to play video games. We had gone down to the local rental place (Starstruck video, Rest In Peace) and I picked out a game that I thought I would love. Cyborg Justice, I thought it would have everything that I wanted, but I was wrong. After about half an hour, I turned off the game and decided to find something else to do that night. My mother had recently had the cable split to run to my bedroom as well, so I figured I’d search through the channels and watch something.

    My TV Sucked. I was 7, so naturally I got a hand me down. No remote, so I had to get up to change the channel. So there I was flicking through, my face 2 feet from the screen, when something caught my attention…silhouettes. A Gumball machine, a man, and what I used to think was a weird wire catcher’s mitt. It captivated me. I stopped. I was lucky enough to be introduced to MST3k with the episode Mitchell, on it’s premiere. Furthermore, I remember laughing so hard that my mother came in, and ended up watching the laugh half with me sitting on my tiny twin sized bed. It was love at first viewing! We started scouring the TV Guides to find showings, recording every single one we could on VHS. I started letting friends borrow them, and the rest, was history!

  23. I was in the Army in TX back in 93, just got there from Korea and first time having actual cable in the room. My roommate was watching MST3K. I think it was the Brain That Wouldn’t Die. I’m sure it was a Mike episode.

    I was hooked. Watched episodes at least once a week, including the MST3K hour. When I went back home to CA in 94 and found that my local cable didn’t have Comedy Central ( or was it still Comedy Channel?), I developed a plan. (I didn’t tape any episodes, even though they encouraged it!) I started a club at the local junior college (1996) and after contacting Comedy Central to explain what I was doing, they were kind enough to send tapes! I still have most of them, including the entire season 7!

  24. I was in college in Texas and went for Thanksgiving holidays to another city to stay at a friend’s house. I slept on the couch in her living room and turned on the TV one night after everyone else was asleep. “Cave Dwellers” was on. I think I’d read something about the existence of MST3K but this was my first chance to see it and I just stumbled on it. It wasn’t hard for me to get hooked — I’d had an English teacher in high school, pre-MST3K’s existence, that always showed us terrible movies as a reward after big tests — Plan 9 From Outer Space and such. So this, to me, was brilliant. That episode was followed that same weekend by “Crash of the Moons” and I started seeking it out wherever I could from then on. It’s also always been associated with Thanksgiving for me for that reason.

  25. My first was Wild Rebels. I was staying at my uncle’s place around Christmas 1990 and was surfing through channels. He had cable, I didn’t. I fell on the episode right as the commercial cereal parody was showing and I was hooked. I knew Joel’s work from prop comedy and late night TV, but seeing him with these cute robots and such was just too much. Then when I realized it was a movie riffing show, I decided I absolutely HAD to continue watching forever and ever and ever.

  26. I don’t remember the exact episode I saw first, but the one that sticks out was Gamera versus Barugon on KTMA. I was in 5th grade and loved the weird stuff that channel did. Then I saw the strange puppets and was hooked.

  27. My family was on a ski trip in Tahoe, and my Dad ambled onto the show. He had heard about it at work, but we didn’t have Comedy Central yet at home, so this was our first exposure. I was rapt. I didn’t quite get all the jokes (being 10 or so) but I still enjoyed the heck out of it. It reminded me of a show on Nick we used to watch called Mad Movies (highly recommended for MSTies out there). It was enchanting in a way too, snow blowing outside, cozy with a fire on an old spare TV watching MST3K.

    The only chances I had for years to see it were at Grandma’s in Eureka or, eventually, a friend whose parents had some sort of special cable network available. I still remember seeing the MST3K movie with that same friend at a theater in Berkeley. Good times.

  28. Due to being extremely hungover after a New Years’ party, details are hazy. But I had crashed at a friend’s house. I woke up early and turned on the TV and found a Godzilla movie and started watching it. It took me a while to even realize there was a guy and 2 robots sitting there riffing it. But once I figured it out, I was hooked. Which Godzilla movie and even the year are very foggy.

  29. Saw Phase IV on the Sci-Fi channel back in the 90s and was hooked. Mike,Joel, Kevin and Bill made my me a lifelong fan, I still can’t help but riff every movie or tv show I watch. I constantly watch MST3K reruns and Rifftrax and have made it a personal goal to share it with friends and people I meet to share the hilarity. I love the gang for making my life happy and full of funny memories.

  30. We had just gotten The Comedy Channel on local cable, and I had it on for background noise. Then there was the sound of somebody singing Whole Lotta Love with bagpipes. “Who does Zeppelin jokes?” I said to myself, it stopped me in my tracks. There was this guy and two puppets doing weird stuff, and they started yelling about “Movie Sign!” Down the hallway of weird doors they went…. Ok, a bad b/w movie, and…it’s a theater. And they’re on the right, and the riffs started. I was hooked. The longer I watched, the funnier it got.

    You know, it’s 30 years now. And I still love it.

  31. I was in college (so, probably 1989-1990; don’t remember exactly which year). I was home for a long weekend or a holiday—might have even been the long Christmas break. All I remember is coming up the stairs on a Saturday morning, from where my room was in the basement (it was cool, it was like having my own little apartment), and at hearing my footfalls on the stairs, my dad called to me from the living room, “Hey, get up here, you’re going to love this.”

    Honestly, I don’t even remember which episode it was, but I loved it from the get-go. Now my dad’s gone, and every time I watch, I think of him. I love telling people that my dad got me into MST3K.

  32. It was November 1991. Several friends from college had got together to celebrate Thanksgiving. Our host had already discovered MST3K and put the Turkey Day marathon on her TV. We would drift in and out of the living room throughout the day. The only episodes I definitely remember watching that NDA were “Time of the Apes”’and “Wild Rebels”.

  33. I don’t remember the first episode I saw, but it would have been early in the Fall of 1991 because I was a dedicated full-blown fan by the time of the Turkey Day Marathon that year. It was my first fandom, even though I’m pretty sure that term didn’t exist yet. As you said, things were so different pre-internet. I would get so excited about any little blurb in the printed press mentioning this obscure show, and I’d cut them out to save. I introduced a lot of people to the show, but I can’t recall early on ever meeting someone and then learning that they were also a fan and having that cool feeling of making a connection with a kindred stranger. Around 1993 or 1994 I discovered the mst3k Usenet message boards, and that was so fun finding such a large community of like-minded folks.

  34. In my high school film society, one of the guys would always insist on showing a tape of the latest MST3k when we should have been shooting a movie, an act that lead to endless delays week after week. I have since warmed to the show in the past 30-odd years, but I’ve always resented him for doing that and for also incessantly lifting jokes. YOU FOOLED NO ONE, TIM.

  35. I was just out of college and living with two roommates, a film major and a computer geek. While channel surfing, all three of us were hypnotized by one channel’s 24/7 futuristic images and music with no rhyme or reason. We called it “the Rave Channel.” Eventually it revealed itself as the newly born Sci-Fi channel, and our reaction to most of the actual programming was “meh at best, except that one show with the robots and the cheese movies, which is pretty funny except why are they showing the backs of their heads?” We eventually got used to the backs-of-the-heads part, though. Thanks for being there for 30+ years.

  36. First time was when I was home at my parents for the holidays and one of the “Fugitive Alien” movies was playing. Totally confused — what are those shapes at the bottom of the screen? Who is talking? — but once it clicked for me what was going on I loved it. It was like it had been made for me.

    Went home to Chicago, where my cable provider didn’t have Comedy Central, and had to go cold turkey. Then Lifetime, of all channels, was the host of the Cable ACE Awards that year and had a day where it aired some of the nominees, including “Cave Dwellers.” I taped it and watched it over and over and over for a year, until I could finally move to a neighborhood where the cable provider had MST3k.

  37. I’ll never forget this moment.
    It was a Saturday morning, and my dad called me out of my room. I went to see what he wanted and he asked “You ever hear of this?” And pointed to the tv. “I think you’d like it” and it was MST3K Hobgoblins. What an episode to start on. I legit never saw anything like it and after 2 minutes I ran into my room, popped in a random VHS tape and hit record. I still have that recording today. Ever since that day I would always get up on Saturdays to record the Sci-fi version of it, even stopping and cutting out the commercials. Since that day I’ve always been a fan and never won’t be.

  38. Lazy afternoon channel surfing came across random crap movie. What made me stop were the silhouette across the bottom of the screen. The heck? Then movie character says “look, I’m hungry” then one of the silhouettes says “listen, it’s cold”. Been hooked ever since.

  39. My neighbors were telling me about this “really funny” show that was only on once a week around midnight. When I heard the name I remember thinking, “Well that sounds stupid,” and the premise seemed very odd. I finally go over to their place to watch it, at the time I was a kid living with my parents and there was no cable. I got there after it started and it was a Gamera/Godzilla flick. I’ll never forget the first joke, these Asian/alien ladies had two kids strapped to chairs while they showed them a series of images, one of which was a doughnut, and the line was, “Kids’ brains taste better when they’ve been thinking about doughnuts.”

    There has only been three times I’ve actually fell over to the floor laughing; one was the Black Knight scene from Monty Python and the Holy Grail, another (most recently) was the episode of Schitt’s Creek where O’Hara and Levy are trying to buy a used car, and this moment with MST3K. I was laid out on the floor and have been a loyal fan and apostle to the show ever since, even getting to see it live twice, the last time with Joel! Thanks for the trip down memory lane!

  40. I can’t remember which of the two dueling comedy channels our little borough of Mt. Oliver, PA had back in ‘89/‘90, but whatever it was, it was the one carrying the first nationwide season of MST3K – funny, I don’t remember much about that season itself as much how different everything (especially Tom Servo!) looked and sounded when the show came back for its second season (presumably after the two comedy channels finally merged into Comedy Central), and so now I’m hit with a kind of extra nostalgia whenever I see Joel offering the ‘bots RAM chips on the old cardboard first-season set.

  41. I was in New York. I’m a big Rolling Stones fan and have travelled from the UK to the US regularly for shows. September 2002 and I’m flicking through the TV channels and Mystery Science Theater 3000 came on, Timechasers and instead of going out I sat there and watched it, lapping up every moment.
    I was aware of the show from a Cinefantastique article many years before and the Roger McGuin album Live On Mars (which I bought on another Stones trip to NY in 1998).
    It was just pure fun and if a joke didn’t hit it didn’t matter as another would be along a few seconds later. I went out after the show finished to HMV and bought The Brain That Wouldn’t Die on DVD. I started collecting the DVDs from the internet and other trips to the US and now have them all except one. I also saw the 2018 shows by Rifftrax and The Mads in London and it was nice to meet the cast there, nice people all.

  42. I’d heard friends in junior high talk about MST3K and how it was filmed here in Minnesota but I didn’t have cable. I finally caught the tail end of Human Duplicators at my aunt’s house and I remember a scene with a guy pulling a gun on a lady when she walked in the door causing her to run and one of the bots saying “Wait dear, I was only kidding!” I caught other glimpses here and there but didn’t really get into MST3K until college when my friend and I noticed Hollywood Video had episodes on VHS in their Cult Classic section. They were perfect for movie nights and I started collecting the DVD sets soon after.

  43. we did not get mst3k in the uk i had to wait to the internet i was watching a show about 2008 i saw a show about british b movies and it covered devil doll i thought to myself “that looks so bad i need to watch it” after looking for it on line i found the mst3k episode instead been a fan ever since

  44. Late one night, probably 1991, I came across Sidehackers. I was 19 and laughing so hard, I jumped up and put a VCR tape to record it so I could show my sister. I quickly acquired many VCR tapes and it became (and still is) my favorite show. The first time a show captured exactly my sense of humor. I felt understood. Absolutely brilliant. Sidehackers (some people’s least favorite) still has a special place in my heart.

  45. I think I was a freshman in high school (‘92 ish), and my older sister’s friends taped MST3K on VHS and somehow we ended up with a couple of episodes. Even my mom, whose sense of humor is questionable at times, enjoyed some serious belly-laughs. The first time I dressed up as “another face in a red jumpsuit” for Halloween was much more recent, but once you make the costume, you have it forever (pro tip).

  46. In 1993, I was on a group trip to Chicago. We stayed north of there in Kenosha, WI at a hotel on Lake Michigan. My daughter was less than a year old. My (now ex) wife had gone to hang out in another room while I relaxed. She took our daughter so I had some rare new parent time to myself. I turned on the TV and saw what I later learned was MST3K. I was confused by the outlines of Joel and the bots, and the commentary, but started laughing. I ended up watching the rest of the episode. I know it was a Hercules movie and think it was Hercules Unchained. I was hooked.

    After that, I watched as often as I could. I would get very down when it ended. I was in school so could not afford the tapes. She was not a fan. As a result, I divorced her (okay, there were other reasons but I am sure it contributed). I remarried, this time to a woman with a sense of humor. One who lets me stream them, buy the DVDs, and knows it is my go-to whenever I want to enjoy life. We have some friends who are big fans as well and hang out with them watching and reminiscing about not only the show, but the memories of watching the show earlier.

    Over twenty years later, some friends of ours moved to Kenosha. We drove past the hotel and I pointed it out and said, “That is where I discovered MST3K!”

  47. My first time was back in the 80’s during the original run on KTMA, Channel 23 here in Minnesota. I don’t remember the movie but I loved them all and it made me feel like anything was possible. I miss those days. Thank you for all the joy and laughter you gave Minnesota and then the world!

  48. The first time I remember watching MST3K was when I would stay with my dad for the summer, he worked the night shift as a pressman (printing newspapers) and so I could stay up as late as I wanted while he was at work. Staying up late and watching MST3K episodes on Comedy Central at night with all the lights down and it feeling very quiet out and this little thing that at the time I didn’t know anybody else who watched. It was my own little private thing that I loved!

  49. I read in the ACEG that “Stranded In Space” was the episode no one remembered. I remember it well, as it was my first.
    I discovered MST3K one Saturday morning twenty years ago (!), back in 1991. Comedy Central was a fairly new addition to my cable tv lineup. Previously, we had had the Ha! channel, but not The Comedy Channel. Based on the age of this episode, I was around 16/17 years old. Eating Lucky Charms out of the box, or some such cereal, flipping through the channels, I for some reason or another, left it on Comedy Central. I tuned in about 30 minutes in, around the time of host segment 1, where the bots have their trading card discussion. This really appealed to me, since I had been big into trading cards, especially those of a non sports nature. (Talk about a psychic lawn dart, and they caught me with it right off the bat.) I remember thinking, is this the premise of this show? Robots and trading cards? And I didn’t realize they were joking about the cards. (On a side note, some of the cards were real, others a joke. But nowadays you can find card sets of just about anything, even MST3K!) The next thing that caught my attention was Joel talking about that’s where they shot Quincy episodes. I thought at the time, are they serious? Not knowing what I was watching still, I couldn’t tell if they we’re joking or not! Is this a kid’s show, or something more subversive? By the time they got to the “Next Time on …” jokes, I was laughing, and hooked. I liked this new program. It wasn’t until around late 1992 that I got hardcore into the show and wrote in. I was guilty of one of many generic “I would like to be a member of the MST3K fan club. Thank you” letters. The episode where they read that letter (can’t remember which that is right now) cracks me up, since I sent one just like it.

    1. (replying to myself): Twenty years since you first saw MST3K in 1991? Better make that thirty years! Wow!

  50. I graduated from college in the spring of 1988 and moved to Minneapolis. I had a cool friend who was in the local punk/garage rock music scene, and sometime in 1988 or 1989, when the show was still on KTMA, I stayed over at her place, and she told me I had to watch this show. I had the impression it had been on for longer, and I just didn’t realize because I didn’t have a TV, and hadn’t been in town that long. I was shocked later to find out it had only started recently! But she was right, it was love at first sight, and this was totally a show for me. Sadly, I don’t remember which movie it was, but I suspect it was one of the Gameras: still my faves.

  51. It was the early 90s, and I was 11 or 12 years old. My parents had my older cousin over to babysit me and my siblings overnight. I lived in Wisconsin and had never heard of MST3K as it wasn’t carried on any channels available to us. My cousin brought her boyfriend over to help watch us. He was from Tennessee, where the cable providers had the Comedy Channel, so his mom taped MST3K episodes and sent him the cassettes. He brought along a couple episodes, thinking it would entertain me and my three siblings enough to keep us relatively contained for the night. It turns out, that was a good bet. The first episode I ever saw was The Amazing Colossal Man, and I still remember rolling on the floor with laughter at the “On nice cannonball!” riff at the end. We all immediately demanded to watch another, and we stayed up pretty late going through tape after tape. The tapes were precious to him, though, so he refused to leave any with us, but promised to look for double copies and send us any. To this day I still thank for him introducing me to MST3K.

  52. I first heard about MST3k in a review published in the back half of an issue of Electronic Gaming Monthly. I have a strong memory of reading this capsule review and immediately wanting to see this incredible-sounding show. Unfortunately, my local cable company did not carry Comedy Central so I was out of luck.

    One day, while on vacation , I discovered that our hotel room TV had Comedy Central. I caught the second half of what I would later figure out was Invasion USA. For some reason, the “rat-a-tat-tat” bit during the endless stock footage combat scenes just cracked me up. I was hooked immediately. The hotel wasn’t the best, but every time we went back, I always wanted to stay in the same place since I knew they had Comedy Central.

    In late 1995, my dad bought one of those massive satellite dishes for our backyard and I finally had access to Comedy Central in my own home. I almost immediately started recording the midnight screenings on VHS tapes. My attempt to record The Day The Earth Froze was marred by technical difficulties (who knew that the volume on the satellite box had to be full if you were recording?!?), but I was much more successful the next night with Bride of the Monster, which is still one of my favorite episodes.

    Turkey Day 1995 was shortly thereafter and my tape with Manos, Mitchell, and Outlaw was one of my absolute favorites. The move to the Sci-Fi Channel was fortuitous since I had Sci-Fi on my bedroom TV and didn’t have to fight over the satellite dish anymore.

  53. I don’t actually fully recall the experience as I was young, It would have been the early 90’s though.

    I do remember somewhat though watching as a little boy like 3-6 with my mother (the big fan of my two parents) and loving the bots and the mads week after week with her. Later when I was old enough to remember specific episodes and actually get the jokes we watched the Sci-fi channel re-runs whenever we had the chance together in my early-mid teens.

    It was enough to set me up as a fan for life though and later on when I was out of college but out of work and trying to get on my feet and move out we would watch an episode wherever we could find it whenever she came home for lunch during the week and tried to watch as many episodes as we could find.

    It’s no stretch to say part of the reason my mother and I are so close and good friends is bonding over our love of MST3k over the years. She certainly gave me my appreciation of bad movies.

  54. Sometime in the early 1990s, I was flipping channels and landed on MST3K. I had seen this show before when flipping channels, and frankly, I thought it was dumb and would move on quickly. This time, I watched for a few minutes, and then something amazing happened. One of the characters in the movie (I forget which movie) said something about gold doubloons, and Joel and the robots started singing “…and pieces of eight, pieces of eight.” I may have fallen out of my chair! I thought I was the only person in the world who remembered the theme song from the Hardy Boys serial that was part of the original Mickey Mouse Club. Suddenly, I “got” the show. I became an instant fan and have been ever since.

  55. Home from college for Thanksgiving, 1989…drawn to this strange new Comedy Channel and its amateurish, low-key (to put it mildly) aesthetic. A whole lot of “clip shows” featuring hosts doing tiny skits between minute-long excerpts from comedy movies…and one long show where the hosts showed a whole movie and sat in the theater making fun of it.

    My mom, my sister and I were hooked instantly. The first MST3000 we saw was “The Crawling Eye”, and for all I know we may have seen the debut of MST on CC. It was as low-key as everything else on the channel, but the comedy was new — there was nothing else like it. Thus began the pile of VHS tapes which I have to this day.

    The line that got me was when Forrest Tucker inquired on the status of the passed-out psychic girl: “Any change?” and Crow replied “No change. Coupla bills. Went through her purse. Found my COMB…?”

  56. I had just started 7th grade in 93 (a whole new school) and kinda lost my whole friend group a few months prior. When lunch came I found a table of a few people I sorta recognized from a year ago.

    In my little town any sort of weirdo bonded together, so we had metalheads, punks, art kids, theater kids, weirdos, any type of outsider was welcome at this lunch table. Funny enough one of the things we all sort of bonded over was first Kids in the Hall and one girl brought up MST3K on Comedy Central. If she liked Kids in the Hall her taste was good enough for us, so all of us with cable went home that weekend and started MST3K, and MOST of us were totally hooked.

    The first episode I saw was Cave Dwellers and pretty much got the idea right away as I had been sorta prepped on the gist. We all started taping episodes and trading tapes along with other weird movies and fun stand-up comedy things from Comedy Central. One of the things I clearly remember was that none of us thought the movies were stupid, we were more amazed that there was a world of movies we didn’t know existed out there and were fun and weird. Most of us from that table went on to really dig all kinds of movies and it is 100% because of MST3K.

  57. It was mid-to-late summer of 93, and I was 12. I was staying up too late because I was hyped up on sugar from Crystal Pepsi and ButterFingers. I remember staying up to watch reruns of M*A*S*H, Night Court, and Cheers. I remember flicking over to Comedy Central back before it was called that. I think it was called Ha! at the time.

    Anyways, I remember watching the Gila Monster episode and being confused by what I was watching. I was blown away by the simple idea that you could make fun of the movie as it was happening on-screen. I remember the next morning excitedly telling my parents about the experience and them appreciating my enthusiasm for this new world-view, even if they weren’t as enthused about me being up so late. I promised I wouldn’t stay up so late if I was allowed to watch it Saturday mornings. The first “new” episode I watched that following Saturday, with the movie being “I accuse my Parents.”

    Anyways, it was a great way to end the summer, with late night sugar rushes and laughs care of Tom, Crow, Joel, and everyone else of MST3k.

  58. I was clicking around the dial as one does and tuned in on the middle of ROCKETSHIP X-M. I was agog. I sent an email to a similarly inclined friend asking her if she’d, um, seen that thing Saturday night? She replied YES! IT’S GREAT! And she was right.

  59. I first saw MST3K in 1991 or 1992, so I was 8 years old. At the time, I lived in a small town of 1,000 in SW Iowa. We were about an hour east of Omaha. The only way to watch Comedy Central at the time was if you had a satellite dish, which our family did not.

    But it turns out the NBC affiliate for Omaha would air MST3K on Saturday night/Sunday morning right after SNL.

    One of these nights, I had to wake up to go to the bathroom. On my way back to bed, I had noticed my mom was watching a show and laughing uproariously. So, being naturally curious, I went up to her and asked “What are you watching, mom?” I’m sure I also asked why she was still up around 1am, but she said it’s called “Mystery Science Theater 3000.” Being eight, I repeated back the title in question from (and probably butchered it) and asked “What is it about?” She said “It’s about a guy and two robots trapped in space who are forced to watch bad movies. And I’m pretty sure this show is made in the Midwest around us somewhere. They made a Shakey’s lunch buffet joke just a bit ago.”

    I was still a little groggy, but I sat next to my mom and watched the rest of the show. After it was over, she told me “Good night, Charles. I let you watch it tonight, but don’t make it a habit.” We watched it together every Sat night together for the about a year the channel had the syndication deal.

    With no means to keep watching, I unfortunately went on to almost forget about the show entirely. Then in 1997, we moved to a slightly bigger town in Iowa. At which point, MST3K had moved from Comedy Central to SciFi (which we did have with regular cable).

    So at 14 years old and one unusual Saturday morning of waking up around 7:30am CST, I was channel surfing and landed on SciFi where it said “Up next, Mystery Science Theater 3000.” And I say to myself, why does that sound familiar? After about the ten or so minute mark, Mike and the Bots make their way into the theater. That familiar silhouette appears on screen, and I was 8 years old again. And I made sure to set my alarm for 7:30am every Saturday morning from then on. It also helped that the first episode I had watched on SciFi was Prince Of Space, which I consider the perfect “gateway episode” of the show to introduce new viewers to.

    A couple months later, I had met my longtime friend John. He and his family had also moved to my town, but then I learned a couple of things:

    1) He was originally from Bloomington, MN
    2) His dad was an MST3K tape trader

    So, an extra special thank you goes to Mr. Hillig for dubbing his collection (at no charge!) to his son’s weird friend who was as obsessed over this goofy puppet show as he was.

    So that’s my story, as long-winded as it was 😆

  60. I was in middle school, scrolling through the TV channels on a Saturday morning when I probably should have been cleaning my room. I landed on a public access station, if I remember correctly. I don’t know what made me stop going. I think it was because it was a barbarian movie, and I loved those growing up. Then I noticed the shadowy figures at the bottom. Wait, they’re making fun of this stupid movie! (It was “Cave Dwellers,” to this day one of my favorites.) I couldn’t stop watching. The next morning on the school bus I told my best friend all about it, and we have been loyal fans ever since.

  61. I first encountered MST3K when I was babysitting in my early teens. I loved Comedy Central, and this weird show came on, and it was totally different from anything I had seen before. I loved it. It was like what I and my friends did while we watched Monty Python or bad movies on USA.

    Then, when I went to college, one of my friends had a whole bunch of episodes on VHS, and our college cable channel would show episodes on repeat a lot of times. I would frequently destress by cuddling into the armchair we had found and falling asleep while Joel or Mike and the bots did their thing in the background.

  62. Discovering MST3K was like my own personal Woodstock! I vividly remember the first episode I ever saw–Gamera vs. Barugon. I blundered into it while randomly surfing around and it was love at first sight (the “hello” “thank you” sequence in it is still one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen.) My father had recently died and MST3K immediately became a tremendous comfort. Gamera vs. Barugon immediately made a MSTie out of me!

  63. Caught the tail end of Final Justice on Sci Fi when I was at least 9 years old. Totally confused by the premise but remember laughing very hard. My first exposure to Pearl, Bobo and Observer were them dressed up in polka dots, a cop uniform and… leather. Later discovered the show properly years later on YouTube and the rest is history

  64. The year was 2014 the day was May 4th. I was 14 years old and a huge Star Wars fan. That day I was invited to a friends house to have a Star Wars watch party to celebrate Star Wars day. I went to the party and ended up eating something that gave me food poisoning. I got so sick that I had to go home early.
    When I got home my Mom and Dad were watching MST3K, I laid on the couch and watched with them. I had absolutely no idea what I was watching but I knew I loved it! Unfortunately I was so sick that I was zoning in and out and so I missed half of the episode, so I’m not exactly sure which one it was (it may have been Boggy Creek 2).
    The whole experience felt like a dream, but it was nice to have something to bring me laughter during my vomit filled time of misery. The next day I was finally feeling better and I immediately started my day by building my own Tom Servo.

    As miserable as I was that night, had I not gotten sick I may have never found MST3K.

  65. I was probably 14 at the time and I remember the short “A Case of Spring Fever” was the first MST3K I ever witnessed. My best friend’s dad had it recorded on a VHS tape we found in his basement. We watched “Squirm” on the same VHS tape and after that I was hooked. I then proceeded to buy the collection DVDs whenever I saw them at Best Buy and watched the movies with as many friends as I could gather. MST3K was a huge part of my high school years and I was so happy to see Joel and puppets live last year at WMU in Kalamazoo, Michigan. I got a huge kick out of Joel playing the theme song on a Gibson guitar and mentioning that Kalamazoo was the original home of Gibson.

  66. The first time I saw mst3k, our regular comic shop was showing it. This would have been in season 1 or ktma episodes they were showing as it would have that time period. I remember thinking the jokes were not at all funny and the bots were very very crude. For the next few years when I saw it mentioned I would think how could anyone watch that!

    Many years later, I was getting ready for work(still lived at home but an adult) and I come up stairs and my brother was watching it. I say “really? This?” And he goes “I know you don’t like it but this episode is actually funny!. (It would have been sci fi era). After that I was hooked and actually grew to love first season and Ktma for what they were.

  67. My first experience with MST3K was in the mid 90s at a friends house. Both he and his wife introduced me to an episode “Pod People”. I really didn’t know what was happening. I recall an overlay of silhouettes in a theater and banter at the film. The one aspect I remember were the skits between the movie experiment. In a very direct way Joel and company had a way of creating a type of magic which I think has lasted long after the show had its run. I count myself as late to the party, there are some great gems, good laughs, and for that hour and thirty minutes I feel like I’m part of a family who elicited great care and respect to the film but also poking fun at the inconsistencies, references to any matter of subject, all while keeping it engaging.

  68. My first taste of MST3K was the classic episode Gamera. My brother was the one who discovered the show and introduced me to it. We didn’t do a lot of stuff together back then (not in a bad way, there’s just a decade age gap between us), but this was something we could. Not only did I really enjoy the Bots during the Host segments (I was 10 at the time), but doing something with my big brother made it extra special, even when he had to explain some of the more topical or slightly more mature jokes. To this day, MST3K and its legacies (RiffTrax and Cinematic Titanic) holds a special place for us. So thanks, Joel, Mike and all the rest for helping create some of my fondest memories.

  69. I think the first episodes I saw were the split ones where Mike played Jack Perkins. I just remember my brother and I in a rare childhood bonding moment, laying on my brother’s bed late at night laughing constantly. Early favorite episodes were Danger! Death Ray and Manos, and my brother’s favorite is Mitchell.

  70. It was a Saturday in late September of 1990. I was a senior in high school living in a small town in North Carolina. I cannot tell you what I did earlier that day, or what I had for dinner, but I can tell you that I spent the evening laughing hysterically at a TV show I had discovered by complete accident. Unbeknownst to me at the time, I had stumbled upon MST3K, and I was watching episode 201, “Rocketship XM”. I was channel surfing, and stopped when I saw the now-familiar silhouettes at the bottom of the screen. I watched with amazement at the flurry of jokes and pop culture references, and laughed even harder when Joel and the bots left the theater for the interstitial sketches like “Things that are Funny or Not Funny Floating”. My parents were probably very confused by the continuous laughter coming from my room for the next hour and a half. It wasn’t until the show was over that I emerged to explain what I had just seen. I’m not sure they really got it. At school on the following Monday, I stopped my best friend to tell him about the show He had seen it as well, and we both thought it was amazing. But it wasn’t until I got to college and attended the Free Cheese College Tour that I realized how much of a cult following this plucky little puppet show actually had. I have been a fan of MST3K in all of its various iterations for more than 30 years, and will continue to be a fan for years to come.

  71. I was in middle school, and my friend loaned me her VHS of Pod People. I watched it four times in the next three days. I didn’t get a lot of the references, but I laughed myself silly anyway. Soon I was posting on MST3K forums and dressing up as Forrester for Halloween. Good times.

  72. I remember it like it was 27 years ago. The year was 1994. I was mid-way through high school. People were wearing their overalls with only one strap, Elton John was asking us if we could feel the love tonight and Nine Inch Nails’ “Closer” wanted to…er…make it’s intentions known as well. I was bumming around at my best friend’s house watching cable TV because the Internet wasn’t really a thing for the common folk yet. The cable provider was doing some sort of cross-promotion special where MTV was showing samples of shows that were available on Comedy Central. And so, they aired an entire episode of MST3K, “Alien From L.A.” on MTV, which was the first and only positive thing MTV ever did for my brain. As a pop culture reference obsessed child of the 80s, I instantly connected with it. At one point the episode made a reference to the movie Highlander and I remember thinking “I can’t believe someone else has seen Highlander, and furthermore knows that I would laugh at it.” I knew that this was the show for me.

    When I got home, I couldn’t wait to tell my father about it. In the mid-80’s there was a show on a local UHF station called “Mad Movies” that would remix and overdub older public domain movies to hilarious effect, including Night of the Living Dead and random Shirley Temple movies. We always lamented how short-lived the show was. So I came home and said “Dad, there’s this show I just saw that’s like ‘Mad Movies’ except even better!” We found it in our TV listings and it became part of our must-watch TV schedule, and it remains so today.

  73. I was in the 7th grade, and my brother was in the fourth grade. We had just moved to Ohio from Nebraska, because my mom had started to date a pilot. It was our second Christmas and he pulled out an old VHS tape that had two of the Christmas specials on it, taped off of comedy Central. I remember my brother and me being so confused, as to why they were talking over the movie. That was about 22 years ago. The boyfriend came and went, but my brother and me kept the VHS tape and watched it every Christmas. Fairly certain we can quote santa claus conquers the martians from memory and we still quote santa clause to each other more often than is healthy. When we separated after moving out of our mom’s house, I kept the tape. I then bought the DVD version of both of them and gave the VHS tape to my brother, who was now since purchased his own copies of the DVD.for over 20 years mystery science theater 3000 has been my Christmas tradition, and I love finding new episodes every time I can. I also love watching it now with my two kids. When Netflix revived it my brother and I made a deal to not watch the Christmas one till we were together and held off for almost a year till we could.

  74. My very good friend had recommended MST3K to me. I tune into Comedy Central to watch, and there was Joel and the bots being subjected to the horror that is Sidehackers. I never experienced such joy and horror all at once. I was hooked and have been ever since. I’ve loved every iteration since and always will.

  75. I was 13 years old in 2003; I had a cold, and I had just gotten 4 teeth pulled (my teeth were literally too big for my mouth). To cheer me up, my mom put on “The Beginning of The End” to see if my bro and I would like it. Despite my physical misery and that I definitely didn’t get the majority of the references, I laughed pretty hard. The next one we watched was “I Accuse My Parents” and I’ve been hooked ever since.

    My parents had been fans of the series for awhile (I think my mom was flipping through channels in the late ’90’s and stumbled upon “A Touch of Satan”), so I was lucky enough to immediately have access to a collection of recorded VHS and bought DVDs to indulge in, and once my folks realized we kids liked the series too, the collection rapidly expanded. The Turkey Day marathon is still enjoyed by my family, and let me tell you watching the Mac and Me episode for the first time together on Thanksgiving was a whole new level of hilarity–I think it was the first time all of us experienced a new episode in the same room and BOY what a movie to do so with.

  76. My best friend from high school showed up during college break with a VHS telling everyone we HAD to watch it. So we did. (This was Christmas 1990, I believe.)

    And it was, as for you, a copy of “Rocketship X-M.” I was hooked in seconds, and that was just on the opening host segments—who could fail to love the goofy theme song, the BGC-19, or the Forrester-Frank dynamic? And then the movie started, the riffs started, and I could not. Stop. Laughing. “No, I’m a Lloyd. THAT’S a mune.”

    (That best friend, by the way, was David Leslie McGoldrick-Johnson, who went on to write the screenplays for “Orphan,” “The Conjuring 2,” and “Aquaman,” among others. Still a good friend to this day.)

  77. I had actually read about the show in Time or Newsweek and was eager to see it, since I grew up in Cleveland with wacky creature-feature hosts on the local channels, and I figured that type of humor never got old. When I got cable TV in 91-92, there it was. I taped several of the episodes and still have them. I can’t remember which movie was the first, but this was around Season 3 or 4, and there were some absolute gems, especially the shorts.

  78. I don’t know the exact circumstances of how this came about, but I know what I saw, and it took me several years to encounter it again.

    It was November of 1997, and I was 12 years old. One weekend, I sat in the family room flipping through TV channels. Now, we didn’t have cable at the time — which was increasingly making our household an anomaly — so this wasn’t me just coming across the Sci-Fi Channel on the dial. We lived in Miami, and I recall that it was either WBFS, WPXM, or WBZL; one of the channel 30-somethings. They were showing a film about some buff dude in a white tank top shooting up a bunch of people in ridiculous silver uniforms in what looked like a factory building, and some silhouetted figures were at the bottom of the screen, apparently talking back at the movie. At one point they cut away, and some woman, an ape, and a pale, hooded fellow were in a dungeon of some kind.

    I had no clue what the heck I was seeing. And I never saw anything like it on that channel again. I watched at the same time the next weekend, and there was no sign of it.

    Several years later, when I was in college, I happened across a description of Mystery Science Theater 3000, a show I had never heard of until then, and when seeing it described in print, I realized this was the sort of thing I would enjoy. This was back in the free and wild file-sharing days of the early 2000’s, so I started downloading random episodes on whatever P2P network they could be found on. I also found a video stream on Shoutcast TV (yes, there was such a thing at one time) that ran MST3K episodes 24/7. That stream was where I saw “Space Mutiny” in full for the first time… and quickly realized I had seen part of it before!

    I honestly have no clue how the 1997 incident occurred. I know now that it was the first run of the “Space Mutiny” episode. What I DON’T know is HOW I was able to see it. That episode, to the best of my knowledge, was never in syndication (only Joel episodes were, if I recall correctly). I can find no mention of any of those three Miami stations ever even carrying the syndicated episodes OR the MST Hour. As far as I know, first-run episodes were never at any point being shown on over-the-air TV. All three of those stations have signals powerful enough to get from the “tower farm” on the Dade / Broward county line to at least West Palm Beach with a usable signal, and I was only 8 miles away from their shared tower, so I know it wasn’t someone else’s signal sneaking in. The only assumption I can make is that, whichever of those stations it was, whoever was in the master control room at the time was a MSTie and (accidentally or otherwise) put the Sci-Fi Channel up on THEIR air to watch it. Which, being both a broadcaster and something of a rebel myself, I can’t help but smile at.

  79. After my parent’s divorce, I ended up every other weekend at my dads. Saturday morning for me was MST3k. The references were great! And the ones I didn’t know cracked up the other characters. When the internet started blossoming, I looked up reference after reference, hunting down old vhs tapes, and then in college met a fellow with a complete lovingly labeled set (up to season 4). We “binged” on weekend nights over weird foreign beer and laughed constantly. After i moved away, I watched until Mike and the bots made it back to Earth.

  80. My brother and I were flipping channels back in the days of the specialty cable channels actually trying to have specialized content (Comedy Channel, Sci Fi, etc)
    We landed on some black and white movie (boring), but quickly noticed that there were voices coming out of the TV that werent the movie itself. Next we noticed the silhouettes at the bottom of the screen.
    While still trying to work out exactly what we were watching, Tom Servo’s quip about “Gangs of chain-wielding priests, next on Geraldo” had us doubled up in laughter and we immediately got the idea. I was in love with the entire thing from that point on.

  81. It was Sidehackers. According to the MST#K Fandom wiki, it was September 29, 1990. I was a kid in high school flipping channels, and came across the gang just after they went into the theater for the first time. I got the shtick from the moment Joel said, “Postage Stamp Theater presents….” I watched the whole episode. A couple of times I called my dad into the room to show him what was going on (he didn’t get it).

    For some reason I missed Jungle Goddess the next week, but picked up again the week following with Catalina Caper. I rarely missed any episodes from that point on.

  82. It was sometime in the 80s, I was living in Minneapolis with my dad. We would watch Ultraman and MST3k on Channel 43. I only vaguely remember it, I was maybe 9 or 10. My dad passed away in 1990.
    I’ve watched this with all 3 of my kids, and they will watch it with theirs and so on down the line for generations to come.

  83. Growing up in rural central MN we had no cable, and needed a UHF “booster” to get KTMA, and even then it was sporadic at best and staticky even when it did work. Nevertheless, I enjoyed the channel and watched it whenever I could (I think I watched Knight Rider reruns a lot). Because of this, I stumbled across MST3K and absolutely loved it. Unfortunately, it went away. Then, fast forward a few years to my first college apartment where we had cable and -behold- MST3K on Comedy Central! I was awestruck seeing the same characters in an updated form and learning that the show never “went away” after all! I’ve been a fan ever since and have introduced most of my friends to the show, many of whom have become fans in their own right.

    PS. “Eegah” is usually my go to experiment for first time viewers.

  84. Pretty sure I saw a minute or so of “Viking Women” while flipping channels — wasn’t impressed, kept going. Didn’t even know what it was.

    Then, I actually saw an episode, Soultaker, in 1999 and loved it. Sadly, it turned out to be the last year of the show. Thankfully, as SciFi continued with reruns for quite a while, I was eventually able to watch almost all of those episodes.

    Subsequently, thanks to “trading the tapes,” etc., I filled in the missing eps, and began on the pre-SciFi years. I’ve been able to watch every ep except those from KTMA.

    Nevertheless, I purchased all the commercially released DVDs, so that I have the complete collection. I also have the episodes from the Return. If they ever make any others available, I’ll snatch copies as soon as I hear about it!

  85. I think I must have been 9 or 10. I was home sick from school, and I was watching Comedy Central. In my fevered haze, I remember this weird show come on with robots and bad movies!

    I was kind of transfixed. I also remember liking the sketches more than the riffs at the time. I had undiagnosed ADHD, so the skits were perfect for my attention span. Over time, MST3K became part of my tv watching ritual.

    Flash forward to the 2016 election. My dad worked with clients who’d been swindled by Trump and his family, so when he was elected, it was a major gut punch for me and my folks. MST3K was about the only media I could watch for a solid month or so. So I’m grateful to MST3K for keeping me sane and functional.

  86. It was the mid-90’s and I had access to cable for the first time, as a rural child. I had seen the silhouettes while flipping channels, but didn’t stop at first to see what was going on, until one day I decided to see what was up with those guys in the theater. The first riff I heard was Mike’s, “The whole building just lost the Price is Right!” as one of the characters topples off a roof and takes out a TV antenna. That was it. I was hooked. I started looking for the show’s air times, setting up the VCR and catching the MST3K Hour on my local ABC station and within a month, I was a huge fan. Joined the fan club, bought the merch, got the physical newsletter when that was a thing and begged my parents to let me go to the Conventio-Con Expo Festa-a-Rama II: Electric Boogaloo, but, being way down in Florida, there was no way it was gonna happen.

    That moment has stood out so well to me. It was totally the “Price is Right” joke that got me.

  87. I was 12. Rented a VHS of Mitchell from Hastings.
    Instantly “got it” and my friend and I planned to get “mitchell” tattooed on our fists. Still might someday.

  88. My first exposure to MST3K was through Netflix, but not streaming. I think it was late 1998, maybe 1999, and I had heard of MST3K but my cable company didn’t carry Comedy Central or Sci-Fi channel, so I had never seen it. I came across the MST3K episode “The Brain That Wouldn’t Die” on Netflix, added it to my DVD queue, and when it showed up to my house a few days later, I fell in love. I finally got the Sci-Fi channel, and even though the show had ended, I have very fond memories of watching reruns on Saturday mornings. I ended up buying copies of the tapes online, and it’s been a wonderful journey downhill into terrible movies ever since.

  89. November 16, 1991: The premiere of Star Force: Fugitive Alien II. I was 8 years old.

    For reasons that aren’t clear to me, I was in the guest bedroom of our house. It must’ve been some house rule to prevent us from playing (and fighting over) Nintendo all night; at 8PM we were to pry ourselves from Super Mario and come upstairs to prepare for (or more accurately delay) going to bed. The guest bedroom was next to my parent’s room, so they could keep an eye on/yell at us. The guest room had a TV, unlike our own bedrooms, so we’d usually watch inane family sitcoms until we were forced to go to our own beds.

    I must’ve been watching Growing Pains and felt restless during a commercial break, so I started switching channels. There was MST3K. It was just the tail end of the episode. I remember laughing at every joke. It just SEEMED funny even when I didn’t fully “get” it. I remember doing this a lot when I was little: laughing at jokes I knew I didn’t REALLY understand. I just trusted these guys were funny.

    The one joke that stands out in this viewing is significant. It’s so significant, that the next time I saw the show I said “oh, it’s the lady-on-a-stick show!”. In the movie, a woman is impaled by a spear thrown by an enemy combatant. I had no real context if she was good or bad, or what exactly this action meant in the full story of the film. One thing was for sure: she was dead. But the hilarity of the joke blew my mind.

    Previous brushes with macabre humor had shaken me to my core. There was a Letterman sketch where they showed either staged or b-roll footage of a child in a car innocently playing with a garage door opener while his mom scolds him not to press buttons on it. They cut to stock footage of a fighter jet overhead; the kid’s mindless actions causes the bomb doors to open, releasing a bomb that hits them. The mother and child are reduced to smoldering skeletons in a burned-out car. I had nightmares for weeks. On the flip-side, “lady-on-a-stick” made me howl with laughter.

    It turns out my dad also watched the show. He was watching it alone and laughing so hard I just had to run in and see what all the fuss was about. “Oh! This is that ‘lady-on-a-stick’ show!” I did my best to explain the joke to my dad, who was mildly puzzled. We started watching the show together. When the address for the fan club popped up, I asked what it was. He explained how you could write in and they might read your letter at the end of the show. My kid brain interpreted it incorrectly: I thought if you wrote them they might invite you to BE on the show. I immediately imagined myself in the theater seats, trying to keep up with Joel and the bots, and the thought TERRIFIED me. If I only knew I would’ve gotten some newsletters out of the deal I would’ve written in a heartbeat.

    It’s deeply ironic that later in life, I would actually join a command of inner-galactic fighters and would actually be impaled by a enemy combatant’s spear. At the time of my near-death I tried to quip “hey, look, fella-on-a-stick” but it didn’t get much of a laugh from the medics. I guess “lady” is just sonically funnier than “fella”. I guess I really would have bombed in that theater.

  90. I very vaguely remember watching the “Robot Monster” episode on Comedy Channel in 1989(ish). I was 14 years old, and MST3K quickly became my new favorite thing. “It’s better than the Simpsons,” I would often proclaim authoritatively. Of course, I was dumber than a bag of sticks then as I couldn’t quite figure out what “RO-MAN” meant.

  91. Late night, changing through channels. Some Hercules movie. A voice from the silhouette at the bottom of the screen says something funny. I’m hooked.

  92. I recall my dad watching the series when I was younger. The silhouettes remained chained to my brain for about the longest I could remember. My impression of the show, going off that this was a show my father watched, (and he always watched stuff I didn’t pursue tuning into) I assumed this one fit the criteria of being very…well, vexing. I eventually got curious and decided to check it out. The first episode I watched was The Day the Earth Froze, and by the time they finished riffing the short I was by then hooked. It was like, I don’t know what I just witnessed, but I think I enjoyed it, I’d love to see more please AND thank you. It has now since been dubbed one of my favorite shows ever. The show never fails to spew things that are so trivial, and that’s one of the key reasons I’ve grown to love it so much.

  93. For me and my brother, MST3K was fun time on Sundays at lunch when we were real little kids, like 5 or 6. Bologna sandwiches, tomato soup, and watching Gamera work the uneven bars like Mary Lou Retton. This was literally us learning what “funny” was, and we’ve been fans to this day. The earliest I can remember was probably Godzilla vs Megalon, with the guy that looked like Grandpa Joe from Willy Wonka in a toga, the famous tail slide, and Jet Jaguar. MST3K introduced us to Godzilla, which led to our family purchasing the utterly bizarre Americanized-version of King Kong vs Godzilla, along with several other Godzilla related products, including the pretty-ok NES game.

    And thus a lifelong love of rare imported cheese was born.

  94. It was February of 1991. My best friend/college roommate and I were at my parents’ house. We traveled there from college that day to go see The Cult that night at the Forum in Los Angeles. While we were hanging out, waiting to leave for the show, we flipped Comedy Central on, and there were these three silhouettes watching a movie with Christopher Lee (found out later it was Castle of Fu Manchu). We decided to watch for a minute, and suddenly we were laughing so hard we couldn’t breathe. We were blown away by how funny this concept was, even before we had seen a whole episode to understand the backstory about Joel and the bots. Needless to say, we were instantly hooked and sought out the show whenever we could. MSTies for life!

  95. I remember having heard about the show from a neighborhood friend while a bunch of us were playing touch football in the street. That was just before Thanksgiving and the very first Turkey Day marathon. When I had time on the family TV, I flipped it over to Comedy Central to check it out. The first episode I saw was “Time of the Apes”… and I was instantly hooked. The most memorable riff for me on first watch was Pepe peeking out of the back of the truck and Joel saying “Hi, we’ll be right back. Enjoy the film.” Just perfect timing.

    I’ve never regretted it and I’ve never looked back.

  96. No way I’m gonna remember which episode was my first, but I can guarantee it was an early Joel. What probably happened is I walked in on my college-age sister watching one, her eyes glued to that sandy-haired host, and when I asked, “What ya watching?” I probably got a glassy-eyed expression and a, “Mystery Science Theater 3000. Isn’t he adorable???” Am sure I agreed he was cute, and then sat down to find out what the rest of the fuss was about. The making wisecracks at everything hooked me from the get-go. (That how my family rolls! Well, us kids, anyway. Well, me.)

  97. For me, it was around 2010, I was recovering from having all of my wisdom teeth taken out, and was bored flipping channels when I came across “Soultaker” on a rerun. I physically couldn’t laugh because my cheeks were stuffed with gauze, but I couldn’t help it, I suffered, spitting gauze and blood, to die laughing through it! Curse your irresistible tortures, Forresters!!

  98. I was doing drywall repair in a home and turned on the tv. I didn’t get much more work done after that! MST3K was on and I was drawn in by the three shadows making fun of this awful movie! It was Mole People! My favorite part was when they all shouted, “Union, union, union!” It still makes me laugh to this day!

  99. Living in Canada there was no way to watch MST3K unless you had a satellite dish. We had TV networks that were comparable to Comedy Central and Sci-Fi but they wouldn’t pick up the show because of the rights issues with the movies.

    My first exposure was seeing a preview for MST3K: The Movie on the Pay-Per-View preview channel. I was curious and rented it when I saw it in the new release section of my local video store. Was hooked right away. I then looked it up on the internet and discovered it was a TV show. I later went on to babysit for a family that had a satellite dish. The only episode I managed to catch was The Thing That Couldn’t Die.

    Next thing I knew, the series was over and my life kind of moved oncfor a bit.

    During my last year of high school I used to hang out with a group that watched movies at lunch time and one day one of them brought in the Rhino VHS releases of Cave Dwellers and Pod People.

    By that point file sharing on the internet really took off and a few years later I downloaded videos of full episodes off the Digital Archive Project and got myself caught up on everything that I missed out on.

    Naturally, whenever Rhino (and later Shout Factory) released a new box set, i greedily snatched it up.

    My crowning achievement of the DVD era was when word got out that volume 10 was being pulled due to Rhino failing to obtain the proper rights to Godzilla vs. Megalon I was still able to snatch up a copy because Amazon Canada still hadn’t pulled it off their inventory, so for once it paid off being a MSTie in Canada.

  100. I was channel surfing while house sitting for a friend of the family and Comedy Central was running a 24 hour stunt called Channel of the Apes. It featured a lot of forgotten sitcoms, movies and specials featuring chimps, gorillas, orangutans and the occasional sock puppet. Anywho, after a few commercials and a couple of promos “Time of the Apes” came on and at first I thought, “Cool! Cheesy Planet of the Apes ripoff!” but it was that and so, so much more.

    I checked the cable guide, set the VCR to SLP mode and recorded the next three airings (and at the time MST 3K was frequently on the schedule). “Ring of Terror” would be my first full episode once I figured out how to program their less-than-user friendly Funai VCR since my father refused to pay for cable in an area where EVERYONE had cable (legally or otherwise).

    The rest is history. I introduced my future wife to the show several years later and she loved it. I introduced my son to the show and he loved it. My daughter had me sing the praises of pants to her entire pre-school class and THEY loved it (and when asked what she wanted for Christmas when she was 8 years old she said “I want to decide who lives and who dies!” without missing a beat).

  101. When I was 15, my family moved to Houston, and for the first time MST3K was part of our cable package. I was channel-surfing one night when I came across “Jack Frost”. I had heard vaguely of this show with the robots and the bad movies, but nothing could prepare me for what I was seeing: a truly bizarre foreign film with a man wearing a bear head being taunted by a little mushroom goblin-man, and three commentators in the lower right corner who were just as baffled as I was. By the time Crow decided he was a bear, too, I was hooked. Now I’m 39-year-old dad who can’t wait until his daughter is old enough to watch her first episode (which probably will not be Sidehackers). Thanks for the laughs, gang!

  102. It was late november, 2003, and I had recently moved to a small town to study. I was gaining weight, failing school and knew no one. And then my girlfriend dumped me. In a drunken rage I chased 50 sleeping pills with cheap burboun, although the pills were non prescription, so I woke up a few hours later. Or did I? Maybe this was heaven? The TV was on, broadcasting some wierd show about a movie theatre, in space. For robots? Pretty confusing, but very amusing, and a way better cure for the blues, proven many times since then.

  103. A friend’s girlfriend had taped 2 episodes, King Dinosaur and Lost Continent, after introducing him to the show he in turn eagerly showed me. This would have been back in 1992 or so. Lost Continent is still among my favorite episodes, the rock climbing segment holds a special place in my heart and never fails to crack me up.

  104. I went to a friend’s house and he had this weird show on TV where silhouettes made fun of a movie they were watching. I thought it was pretty funny and asked him about it. He said it was called Mystery Theater 2000 or something like that, and it was on every Sunday afternoon.
    Even though we lived 10 minutes apart, he had a different cable provider from me, and he had The Comedy Channel or Ha! or whatever showed MST3K at the time. And I didn’t.
    So every Sunday afternoon, I went to his house and we watched MST3K.
    The first one we watched all the way through was Catalina Caper, when it first aired.
    Never steal anything wet!

  105. A friend of mine had rented MST3K: The Movie one weekend- we watched it at least 3-4 times that weekend. Soon after I was commandeering the TV to record every episode that came on Sci-Fi. We were going to the mall to buy VHS episodes as often as we could afford them. It became a ritual to watch episodes every Sunday.

  106. I was 16 on a trip to El Paso with my family in 1992. I was channel surfing in the hotel when I came across Daddy-o. My life was never the same. I became obsessed. I watched whenever I could. I purchased almost all the original VHS releases. I was fortunate enough to see MST3K the movie in a theater the week of release. Now, I have two teens that have been raised on it.

  107. When did I discover MST3K? Oh, I was too young to really understand it, but I always had vague memories of a guy and two robots in the corner of a screen. Later, I was probably 12 years old, I managed to catch it while reruns were airing on Sci-Fi. Saturdays at 10:00am, if I remember right. A flood of nostalgia hit me, and I was finally able to put those silhouettes to names. The first episode I saw was Overdrawn at the Memory Bank, and by the time they got to the scene where the trio breaks down into making gross fat guy noises whenever the titular Fat Man was on the screen, I had literally laughed myself off the couch. From there, I would make sure to watch it every week.

  108. It was either 2006 or 2007, verge of me turning 13. I was really into kaiju and came across MST3K’s rendition of the Gamera theme online. I was interested in what this was about and read up on the show, becoming fascinated instantly. I’d watched clips online and eventually a full episode (Godzilla vs Megalon). I read up on all of the lore and purchased my first DVD in 2008 (The Movie). 15 years later and I’ve finally seen every episode, own almost every DVD, helped bring back MST3K, but still dream of one day owning my own Crow and Tom Servo models.

  109. I think I was 14 or 15. We didn’t get MST on Comedy Central in Louisiana, rather, we got the Mystery Science Theater Hour where mike Nelson donned the “old man” costume and hosted the intro/outro to the show. I remember being enthralled and engaged With the whole setup. The movie was “teenagers from outer space” amd immediately I fell into a deep love affair with these sarcastic robots and their human trapped in space. The concept of being a professional smart ass appealed to me on the intellectual level. That movie is my absolute favorite still to this day. I loved the concepts Joel put forth that the movies were bad but the hosts snd robots were rarely disrespectful. Even at that age I got that the characters had a certain amount respect for the film and it’s a lesson I carry with me now at 40 years of age. You can be a respectful smart ass.
    Joel made me want to become a comedian. To be creative. To become a film maker and puppeteer. He is Truly a hamdinger for all seasons.

  110. I’ll keep it brief. I was starting my senior year in high school and we had to move from Newport Beach, California back to our old home in Las Vegas. I was pretty bummed about it because I had fallen in love with Calfornia where I spent my first 3 years of high-school and now had to spend my Senior year with a bunch of people I didn’t know rather than with the friends I had made over the years. One time I was feeling particularly down and started channel surfing and saw this guy in a red jumpsuit standing in what looked like the cockpit of a spaceship with these two robot-looking puppets. Suddenlythey were talking to this mad scientist and his assistant who were sending them a movie called “Cave Dwellers” to watch.

    Needless to say, I didn’t feel so sad after that.

  111. I was a freshman in college and my RA was showing some strange black and white documentary on posture. But it was MST. And there were cheez ball posture pals trying to one up each other and the guys were making fun of them. Some people kept walking past his room but I camped out with a few others and we watched it and then Earth Vs The Spider. I believe even then he was circulating the tapes.
    I couldn’t believe there was a show made just for me. That was back in 1991. Been a MST-ie ever since.

  112. My introduction to MST3K was seeing Joel and company at a Denver Star Trek convention! Yup, had never seen the show before, but I went to their panel and after spending the entire panel in stitches, I was hooked! M y then-boyfriend actually crafted a mock up of their heads in seats that I added to my TV screen – it’s like Joel and the bots were always with me!

  113. I was about 12 or 13 years old at a friend’s house for a sleepover. It must have been 10:00 pm and we happened to turn on Comedy Central just as the opening theme song was rolling. Intrigued, we stayed there. The episode was “Daddy-O” featuring the short “Alphabet Antics.” We were rolling on the floor laughing. Many of the riffs became inside jokes between us in the months ahead. Eventually we lost touch and I honestly can’t tell you what became of my childhood friend. But I have been a lifetime MSTie ever since (I’m 41 now).

  114. My first Mystie Memory is a snapshot in my mind circa 1989/90. My Mom was sent down to work TDY at an Air Base in Florida for a few weeks and we went with her and lived in the hotel which had CABLE! My brother and sister and I were left at the hotel all day long to swim in the pool, go to the strip mall and play the Starfox demo on Super Nintendo at Sears AND watch Mystery Science Theater 3000 on the Comedy Channel. I had no idea what was going on but I knew I liked it. Thus began my life as a Mystie. Joel and the Bots were great companions while skipping school (or “feeling sick” as I liked to call it ) in the ’90’s. I dont remember the title of my first episode but it was an awful barbarian movie with tire tracks on the hillside where someone had clearly been 4-wheeling.

  115. I don’t remember the first time I saw MST3k, back in middle school or junior high. I do remember my dad sitting down with me, laughing. Telling me that it reminded him of going to the movies with his cousin David. When they’d often sit in the back row and make similar jokes, possibly to some of the same movies.

    In college, a friend and I decided to rent MST3k: The Movie one night. The next day, we went to a party, at her Fraternity Brother’s house (I was a pledge at the time). The three of us started talking and he brought out his copy of the movie. The next day, the friend and I were shopping and I bought the 6th set. We saw that guy later in the week and he told us he ordered every available set after the party. The three of us watched a lot of MST3k that semester. I like to joke that he was always one-upping me. We’ve been married almost 11 years now.

  116. I was 14 and home alone one Sunday morning during a free weekend of Comedy Central. Flipping through the channels I came across this weird show with Robots talking about a Kathy Ireland movie. I was literally falling out of my chair laughing. I’d never seen anything like it. Life long fan from then on!

  117. My best friend Dana and I were having a sleepover. We must have been in 7th or 8th grade. We already had developed a really bizarre (mature?) sense of humor at that point. We stumbled upon MST3K and to this day I have never laughed as hard as I did watching Mitchell for the first time. Dana and I still quote it to each other repeatedly and it’s been almost 25 years. The majority of our inside jokes will always revolve around Mystery Science Theater and our first crush will always be Joel. It’s a show that will always hold up to the test of time and to this day will make me pee my pants laughing.

  118. I saw MST3K listed in our local paper’s TV guide around 1990 when I was in high school. Being a sci-fi fan, I thought it was a show much like Svengoolie except old sci-fi movies instead of horror. I tuned in and wasn’t sure exactly what I was watching or what was at the bottom of the screen. But once the jokes started I couldn’t stop laughing. I called my friend who lived across the street and told him that I didn’t know how to explain what I was watching but that it was the funniest thing I ever saw. After I got to college I made life long friends because of our shared love of MST3K and we all remain friends to this day!

  119. I was a freshman in college in 1996. I was able to get into a “special interest” dorm called the Computer Interest Floor with a bunch of other computer nerds. A guy there had a group over to his suite and we watched MST3K’s Pod People. This was my first time watching MST3K at all, but apparently everyone else has watched this multiple times because everyone else knew ALL the lines and that was awkward. We rewatched ONLY Pod People over and over, I think it was the only MST3K that guy had. I didn’t really get the concept of MST3K and thought “Do they make all the same jokes to *all* movies? That doesn’t make sense!” I finally got it when I watched it when I crashed at my friends’ house and watched Comedy Central Saturday mornings.

  120. I was at some family gathering of sorts years ago. I think it was Thanksgiving. My uncle got really excited about a marathon that was coming on and said we had to watch it. We watched at least 3 or 4 movies back to back and I fell in love with the three guys. One of those was Pod People which remains to be one of my favorites to this day.

  121. I remember watching a late night ComedyCentral rerun of the episode Mitchell in late 1992 or early 1993. Cedar lattice still evokes a laugh from me every time I run into dated architecture. I was stationed at Fort Bragg, and was a nerdy odd man out. For quite a long time there MST3K helped keep me sane. They’re still keeping me sane. Thank you Mads. Thank you Bots. Thank you Joel, Mike, and Jonah. Thank you cast. Thank you crew. God bless each and every one of you.

  122. Came home from working 2nd shift and sat down to unwind before bed. What to my eyes should appear, but some movie with shadows in front of it! The move line ran “My beautiful Ilya!” immediately followed by the riff “Too bad he’s dumb as a hammer…”. After the initial shock, I was hooked!

  123. My dad’s buddy at work had cable in the early 90s and taped episodes, and in true MST3K fashion, passed the tapes around. Pretty sure one of the first ones I remember watching was The Creeping Terror, cause my sister and I put pillows in pillowcases over our heads and crawled around on the floor pretending we were the terror and laughing a bunch. Been addicted ever since!

  124. My boyfriend in high school had satellite TV, which at the time meant one of those giant dishes planted in the yard. He described it to me; I got the impression he had seen bits of it but wasn’t a dedicated fan. In college, I split cable with my suite mates, and finally had access to comedy central. I had forgotten about MST3K until a friend brought it up. Within a few weeks I was recording episodes on VHS (I now own all of them, though many are 2nd or 3rd copies), trolling the internet for related content, and creating my own MST3K-themed website. We even went to the MST3K ConventioCon Expo Fest-a-Rama 2: Electric Bugaloo later that year – the year SciFi picked it up. Been a fan ever since.

  125. Dad was home, a rare and special occurrence, as he had to work a LOT. He turned on the tv and began clicking through the channels, then gave a little jump when he landed on a black & white film. “Oh, this is a GREAT show!” he cried happily, and leaned back to enjoy it.

    I gave “Teenagers from Outer Space” a very skeptical stare. It looked like the kind of 1950’s sci-fi that daddy loved, but I did not understand.

    Dad took note of my hesitation, and pointed to the little figures silhouetted near the bottom of the screen. “It’s not the movie that’s funny,” he explained. “It’s what these guys say that makes it so funny!”

    A moment later, two men on screen shook hands. The 3 shadows in the corner make a loud hand-buzzer noise, and I burst out laughing. Fully won over, I climbed up on the couch next to Dad, and we had a ball.

    My mother was not particularly fond of MST3K. And, as she was our deciding factor in what was on tv, I did not see the show again for a couple decades. It was not until I was a mother myself, that I rediscovered the show and made it part of my family’s life. But that’s a whole ‘nother story.

  126. Back in early Mike Nelson era, my fiance at the time in Queens had Comedy Central, where mine in north Jersey did not. The first one I watched was Red Zone Cuba. Amazingly I came back for more. 🙂 Joel might remember me introducing that wife by saying “she created a monster with a zipper on the back”. Fast forward to a new wife (still friends with the original), and new digs in Bremerton, WA, still frequently enjoying MST3K from all seasons, and a few live shows.

  127. I got my start as a Mystie in 1989 I had just graduated from high school and started my first terrible job two months before I saw my first episode (which I believe was either the Crawling Hand or The Black Scorpion) and I was hooked. I loved the host segments right from the start…I followed every iteration since, always a good escape from stress, always a good laugh. From Clayton to Pearl to Kinga and now Cynthia may the Forrester’s experiments never truly end.

  128. The first time I saw MST3k was on Thanksgiving Day 1991. I had gotten out of the Navy the day before. After having to do the family thing, I went over to my Best Friends House and he was watching a T Day marathon and of course the one I wish i could remember the first episode, but I do remember watching a Godzilla and A Gamera.

  129. We had taped part of a Gamera episode and then I got Mitchell at Blockbuster. It was around the same time I discovered Monty Python. I was probably 8 or 9. Nothing made my dad laugh like MSTK3, it was the best. Weird how the references just seemed f

  130. I first saw MST by accident. I was flipping through channels and and was intrigued by the ‘oddness’ of what I was seeing. The movie was “Tormented”. I was confused because one of the actors looked a LOT like Phil Hartman, but it was black and white – way to old to be Phil.
    I heard a few mildly funny jokes that made me smile, and then there was a scene with the blind housekeeper. One of the bots said “She seems nice. Its too bad she’s wearing pink and green”.
    It was one of those moments when the soda you’re drinking shoots out your nose, and you know you’re onto something good. I’ve been a fan ever since.

  131. Oh wow. I want to say it was Pod People, somewhere on cable, early 90’s…? My friends and I would watch USA Up All Night because we lived for the crappy movies and one day we happened upon MST3k. I was hooked immediately. Everything about the show appealed to me. My dad and I already had our own funny commentary about everything from shows, movies, people walking around outside, so this was so amazing to watch. It’s like they were there with me, making fun of everything. <3

  132. The first time I saw MST3K was during its first season. I was either 11 or 12. The first episode I saw was “The Crawling Hand”. As soon as I saw the silhouttes, I figured out the premise of the show and didn’t change the channel. It was truly an epiphany!

  133. I was 11, staying at my Grandma’s house, and was flipping through TV channels way too late at night, probably after a sugar binge. I had seen most Godzilla movies at this point, and stopped on a channel when I recognized Jet Jaguar. Except for some reason, there were little people in the corner saying the little kid had wet his pants. Then they sang a song about it. I had no idea what it was, except that it was the funniest thing I had ever seen in my entire life.

    Still is.

  134. My first experience with MST3k was seeing one of the host segments from the episode High School Big Shot when I was very young and my family was in a hotel room out of state for…some reason I forget. I remember being immediately curious about the show, and my mom knew the name, but we weren’t staying in the room very long, so I couldn’t see more than a few minutes of the episode.

    As we didn’t have cable at home and this was a looong time before the internet as we know it, I couldn’t find anything about it again for a long time until my uncle sent me some video tapes when I was in high school, and I was hooked. Must have watched those tapes 100+ times, even though it was less than a dozen episodes.

  135. First time I saw MST3K was through my best friend from 4th grade opened my eyes to Monty Python, Faulty towers, Young Frankenstein and then…. MST3k – the movie…
    I was hooked. The Stuff they said was funnier and cooler than the movie it self. I was like – “So they just make fun of and almost glorify poorly made films to a level of fandom I hadn’t known before other then in sunday school about a guy and his 12 roommates.
    My friend would quote every line, in time, with accents and songs in key. I was floored. I was like “Wait, you can love something so much you not only watch it but participate as it goes on?”
    Then he’d do off the cuff stuff – and i was sold. I was like – I have opinions, i have jokes!
    And thus – My career as a mediocre comedian and runnier of my girlfriends favorite shows (Gossip Girl, Dawson’s Creek to name a few) began.

  136. I was in high school when our cable company in Appleton, Wisconsin got the Comedy Channel right when it started, and I liked the stand-up clip shows and Higgins Boys & Gruber. I would always flip past CC and see this show with old movies and these characters sitting in the theater — I didn’t understand what they were doing, I thought they were reviewing the movie or something. One Saturday morning I finally stopped and said “okay, what the heck actually is this show?” The movie was Robot Monster, and Crow said “Picnic by the slag heap? Thanks Mom!!” and I almost fell off the couch laughing as I suddenly GOT IT. I quickly became Info Club member #883 and MST3K is still my favorite TV show of all time.

  137. I was at my friend Josh Petersen’s house and it was when the show was syndicated and airing on KCRG. The episode was Space Travelers. After that I stayed up late and watched it most weekends. Eventually Primestar satellite added Comedy Central and I was able to see episodes there.

  138. In the 1990s I had a full-time office job, and a part-time job evenings/weekends cleaning a nearby office and public restrooms. While cleaning, I would often turn on the TV for company. I don’t remember the first episode of MST3K I ever saw, but I remember the whole show was so weird and outrageous, it was like nothing I’d ever seen before. I loved it. I do admit my work slowed down a bit once I found it, so I could watch a whole episode while scrubbing toilets or emptying trash cans. The annoying bit was that the TV station never showed the episodes in order, so I’d get part of a movie here, part of a movie there. (Sometimes my husband would come along to “help” me clean, but it was just to see this new show I kept raving about.) We didn’t see entire movies given the MST3K treatment until a couple of years later, when it was on Comedy Central and we could finally get cable. All the snarky wordplay kept my spirits up during those long hours, and we are still fans to this day. Thanks for all the fun!

  139. Summer of 1992. I came home from college and my parents’ cable provider had just gotten Comedy Central that year. I remember turning it on one Saturday night and Giant Gila Monster was about to start. I sat and by laughed my ass off the whole movie. MST3K reminded me of Mad Movies, which I had seen a little of in syndication. I went to college in Providence, RI, and there used to be a guy down there that screened crappy films every Tuesday night at a local club and we’d sit and make comments at them. So MST3K was right in my wheelhouse and I’ve been watching ever since.

  140. The Giant Gila Monster was my first experiment on Comedy Central (one that would go on to be a family favorite). I was the first in my family to start watching MST3K, eventually dragging my mother into the show as well.

    Since then I’ve expanded to my niece, nephews and wife (although admittedly she is often more watching the films and ignoring the riffs).

    I’ve said this before but its still true, MST3K ends up being one of the most funny and intelligent shows to date. For two reasons…the more you learn, the funnier it is. And its pan generational. There are always gonna be cheesy movies, so the riffs end up appealing to everyone.

  141. My local cable company didn’t carry Comedy Central until 1997, so I didn’t get to see my first MST3K ep until February 1996 when visiting another town. This was a few months after my dad died, and for the first time in a while I laughed my butt off watching “The Brute Man.” Shortly thereafter came the Rhino releases, which I bought and watched repeatedly. The show got me through a dark time and for that I’m eternally grateful!

  142. It would have been the spring or summer of 1998 that I was introduced to MST3K. I was assistant stage manager on a Toronto Fringe Theater production & our lead actor asked if I knew of the series. He told me to go find the episode where they reviewed Mitchell. I’ve never laughed so hard in my life, I actually fell off my couch. I’ve been a fan ever since.

  143. I was 10. It was a Turkey Day Marathon on Comedy Central.
    Cave Dwellers was on. It was the scene where Ator’s friend is fishing in the river.
    I didn’t understand what I was seeing at first.
    I thought it was an animal (Crow), a human, and a skeleton (Servo) each giving their unique perspective on what was happening.
    Once I saw who they were in the following host segment, I was hooked. It was funny, comfortable, unusual, and unqiue.

    I got my friends into it, too.
    Eventually, in 1996, we even built our own bots and sets to make our own version for our own fun, called “Mystery Movie Theater 2000”.
    In fact, we wrote a script and everything, filmed half of the host segments, but never could get outselves together enough for the riffing segments.
    Luckily, my parents saved some of those videos (while others sadly were recorded over by football games [nooooo…]). And I have posted them online for folks to watch and cringe.

    https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLOS8Le-hHimGCTF8YAlcZDYSLhSPFQx34

    Nowadays, my wife Yuriko and I enjoy the company of the bots in our bookstore, as replicas are stationed above the checkout counter, glaring at the customers and quietly riffing on their book selections. (I suspect Tom Servo is more well read than Crow.)

    Thanks for creating a memorable part of our culture, one that has left a positive impact on millions. It led to wonderful childhood memories for my friends and I which will last us a lifetime.

    Mahalo!

  144. I first saw MST3K the first weekend my family got cable when I was 12, probably the best age to discover a show like that. I was flipping through the amazing number of channels with my sister, and there it was, an old movie (Sidehackers?) I wanted to keep watching, but my sister thought it was stupid. She said, “You’re watching people watch a movie….I think that one’s a gumball machine.” I felt like I had found my tribe.

  145. I never got to see it live on TV, but it was in college, around 2007 or so. My boyfriend at the time and his friends started meeting once a week to watch a show he’d described to me as “a bunch of funny people making jokes during a bad movie” and I remember thinking that must be distracting. The group kept growing and he finally convinced me to give it a try one day and I was hooked after that! We didn’t watch in any particular order, back then it was just whatever we could find on YouTube, so my inaugural episode happened to be The Deadly Bees. I just remember laughing so hard, couldn’t wait for the next week. The most vivid memory I have is the dog popping up on screen and I believe it was Mike yelling “Avenge me!”

    Over a couple of years there became a set group of probably a dozen + of us, and we eventually started sneaking into the huge 400 person lecture halls in the evenings so we could watch it on the big screen. Only got thrown out by janitors once or twice! We moved to every Thursday and Sunday night, and it was the highlight of my week. Honestly, it’s one of my fondest memories of college AND one of my fondest memories period. Since then I’ve kept up with the projects of all the cast members and watched the episodes we didn’t get to by myself. I’m so glad I took a chance on it, MST3k remains one of my favorite shows of all time and it’s an awesome community to be apart of!

  146. First MST3K i saw was Manos- hands of fate. Then several Dutch movies i believe. I was amazed! I’d never seen anything like this before. Joel was amazing. I still use the phrase “char broiled hamburger sandwiches”.

  147. I was lucky to grow up in St. Paul without cable! Channel surfing as an 11 year old and caught an episode on channel 23. I don’t know which movie it was, but I remember my mom came to check on me I was laughing so hard after the characters put their car in ‘R for really fast’

  148. I was flipping through channels and I think it was Lifetime (of all places?!?) were showing shows that were up for the Ace Award (remember those?) Anyone, there it was. The Amazing Colossial Man only something was off about it and down in the lower right corner was a shadow of a guy and a couple of “toys” making comments to the screen. I found myself glued to the tv for the 90ish minutes and loving it and no clue what it was. Fast forward now about a year or so, I hadn’t seen the show since that time when the cable company in my town said that they would be getting Cartoon Network, Sci-Fi, and Comedy Central, and sure enough, there was my show in the commercial! I was elated when my family picked up the channels. And the rest is history!

  149. Wild Rebels. I was channel surfing one Saturday morning and stumbled across a show with silhouettes at the bottom of the screen so I kept watching. Once I heard Crow remark that the bikers were going to visit the Turd Museum I was hooked. Long live MST3K!

  150. The first time I saw MST was, I believe, some time in junior high. My sister & I were at home sick while our parents were out Christmas shopping. MTV was having a Comedy Central (or it may have been Comedy Channel then) weekend, showing programming from the brand new Comedy channel. We happened to change over to MTV when they were showing the MST episode Alien From LA. Since we had both seen Alien From LA without hilarious commentary (I know, I know), we decided to watch. It wasn’t long before we were literally rolling on the floor laughing (I fell right out of my chair!). I have been a HUGE fan ever since.

  151. Shoot! I was young…it may have been mid-later 80’s on some sort of public access channel in Green Bay. Was sleeping over at a friends house and we came across it. Been hooked ever since.

  152. It was March of 1998, and I was but a goofy love-struck eighth grader. I remember needing to take my mind off of my crush, so I started channel surfing. Goofy love-struck eighth grader me was also born blind, and maybe I was also blinded by love. Anywho, the most annoying laugh in the universe drilled into my eardrums. Sounded like a Halloween decoration’s batteries were dying. The laugher was ranting about some guy named Prince of Space, and Prince of Space kept repeating that the laughers weapons were useless. The rest, as they say is,”just a show.” Mike, Joel, and robot pals, thanks for welcoming me aboard your charming little SOL all those years ago. I still watch Prince of Space every March as a kind of wacked out anniversary. Phantom, you loon, may you live forever. And before anyone asks, yes, it was soap poisoning.

  153. It was 1994, and I was 29 years old. I didn’t have cable TV at my apartment (still don’t), but I would watch cable TV at my parents’ house when they were out of town, and bring blank videotapes to tape cool shows that I couldn’t watch at my own home. I was channel-surfing for something new to tape when I stumbled upon MST3K’s “The Day the Earth Froze” episode. I had no idea what the show was all about–didn’t even know what it was called–but I very quickly “got it”, and started recording right in the middle of that episode. I immediately thought it was the smartest, funniest, and most brilliant show I’d ever seen; it was as if it had been created specifically for my own tastes. Soon I was visiting my folks’ house while they were at work (I worked nights) and taping as many MST3K episodes as I could, and I amassed a respectable collection (thank you, Turkey Day Marathons!). Then when I joined the internet in 1999, I quickly found a trading post where MSTies could swap copies of their tapes via snail mail, and began trading tapes with fellow MSTies from all over the country; today I have a digital copy of every single episode of the original series on an external hard drive, including the early KTMAs. I often play favorite episodes whilst working on various projects, the same way one might replay a favorite album of music (there’s a videotape of “The Killer Shrews” playing in the other room as I type this). MST3K has been a significant part of my daily life for over a quarter of a century, and my life would be less colorful without it! Hi-Keeba!

  154. It was in the early-mid ’90s, and I was just a youngin. I was sleeping on the couch in the basement at the time, because for some reason I did not want to sleep in my room. I woke up around midnight and couldn’t get back to sleep right away, so I turned on the TV. We didn’t have cable at the time, so I flipped through the few channels we had, and I saw this black and white movie playing with a row of seats at the bottom of the screen. Sitting in those seats I saw the silhouettes of a person and two funny looking creatures. They kept talking during the movie and I just thought it was the weirdest/coolest thing. I’d never seen anything like it before, so I kept watching. I don’t remember which movie it was, but I think there were giant bugs or monsters of some kind. I think I eventually fell back asleep while watching it, but that’s a moment I’ll always remember.

  155. I was at my Aunts house in Erie,Pa ( also my home town) sometime in 1991 land. My Father and her we’re bs’ing and I was bored so I switched on the TV. Eventually I came across a cheesy movie. So, naturally I started making fun of it. Only a few seconds later I heard a voice also making fun of it. It was at that moment I looked at the bottom of the screen and saw the Silhouettes. My jaw hit the floor. ‘My god!’ ‘They’re making fun of this terrible movie!’ Time stopped. A light shone down upon me and my whole world was changed. I grabbed my Dad and told him we had to go home right now! I was able to find it on our cable network. It was the point when VHS switched over the the Comedy Channel. I was going crazy. “Mom!” I shouted “You have to see this!!!”
    We both have been fans ever since.
    Not a cool story? Oh bite, me it’s fun! 🙂

  156. November 1990 we got the Comedy Channel on our cable system, I instantly love it. Friday evening of the first week I turn it on and there are people riding motorcycles through woods and silhouettes making jokes, I’m intrigued by this unique comedy and the low budget biker movie, not a film genre usually shown on TV. I want to catch the show from the beginning to see the premise, on Saturday I catch it from the middle again. On Sunday finally I see it from the start, the film is Wild Rebels and me and my wife really enjoy the show, it’s so funny and unique. We begin watching it every chance we can, I record it if we can’t watch a broadcast, we quickly become diehard MSTies for life.

    1. It was 1991…
      I had just worked a full shift at the local hospital (graveyard) and had gotten home about 8am. I took a shower and had a bite to eat, and a beer or two (remember… It might be 9am to you, but it might as well been 5pm for me… ) Anyway I was flipping channels and hit Comedy Central, and MST3K came on at 10am. The episode was Jungle Goddess. I was in awe. Your rabid fire wit was outstanding and this episode (like all episodes,) was a museum of pop culture references. What immediately caught me was a reference to the drummer Gene Krupa! That was SOO obscure, or so I thought… And I felt that particular line had been written just for me!
      Been a major FAN ever since.
      Thank you, guys… From the first episode to the last, you guys were/are still great.

  157. Well, my story is weird and unorthodox. I grew up NEVER knowing MST existed at all. I remember seeing MSTings of fanfics and user names like Tom Servo back in the early 2000s and still had no idea there was a show like MST. Funny enough my family got Disney’s Brother Bear on DVD and, if you didn’t know, there’s a pretty blatantly MST-styled commentary track complete with silhouettes and my family and I just LOVED it. If you told me there was a show just like this, I would’ve been there in a heartbeat, but alas. I want to say I VAGUELY remember seeing it on the program guide, but as kid, I think I might’ve mixed it up with Masterpiece Theater and seeing it as a 2 hour block of programming on late at night, I figured it was probably a boring adult show anyway.

    Fast forward to around 2010 or so I actually saw a YT clip of various Rifftrax moments which caught my interest. And after watching and buying a few Riffs I learned how they were spun off from a show called Mystery Science Theater 3000 and started watching whatever I could. I watched a lot on Hulu but always thought it was weird how there were gaps. I think the first one to really tickle my fancy was Fugitive Alien. I just lost it at Forklift song. Loved it so much I bought Volume XXIV.

    Funny enough, my sister, who lives with me, said at the time “I kinda like Rifftrax more since it’s just the movie and none of those weird skits in between”. Eventually I took to Wikipedia and we made our way through every single episode in order that we could. We were wondering where stuff in the intro came from (like Godzilla and Joel with his Alien-inspired drum set)And I think it warmed us up to the show all the more. I brought this up to my sister just now and she says, “Yeah I love the host segments now’

    So here I am now, it’s become my go to filler/background noise. Watching Angel’s Revenge as I type this. It feels like I grew up with the show, but I’ll never be like most everyone here who ACTUALLY grew up with the show.

  158. I first heard about MST3K from some people I met at Dixie Trek in Atlanta in 1991. I got excited. I didn’t get to actually see it until I moved back to Vancouver (WA) in 1993 and finally had cable with the Comedy Channel. I think the first episode I ever saw was The Brain that Wouldn’t Die. Yep, first air date, October 30, 1993, so my memory was correct!

  159. I was in my early 20s, changing channels, and landed on “Pod People.” I had vaguely heard something about “that show with the shadows on the bottom of the screen,” but didn’t really grasp what the deal was. But when the “Chief?”-“McCloud!” running gag kicked in, I knew I had found my people, and my love of the show was born.

  160. First time I saw MST3K was around the time I got cable in the early 1990’s, One day I saw the MST3K episode “Santa Claus Conquers The Martians” and I absolutely fell in love with the series, I just loved the episode and when I first saw the MST3K Turkey Day Marathon and how many other episodes there were that I liked, I felt I hit the jackpot of what to do when I’m dealing with bad cinema and in my profession as an Internet Reviewer, I find myself thinking “What would Joel/Mike and the Bots do for riffs?”

  161. I was maybe 12 or 13. My dad had taken me over to his brother’s house to hang out, and my uncle was watching MST3K: The Movie. He and my dad were cracking up, and, even though I didn’t get half the references (particularly the Wilt Chamberlain joke), I thought it was hilarious and found myself quoting it for years after just one viewing. That’s a slam dunk, in my opinion.

  162. The first time I remember watching MST3K, I was around 7 or 8 years old. My dad would watch it on his computer and my brother and I would climb up on the bed with him, snuggle in with snacks and blankets, and watch with him. MST3K has always been a big part of my family life.

  163. The first time I saw Mystery Science Theater, was on PBS from West Virginia. This kind of mirrors how I discovered Doctor Who. This was before digital television. I had to unscrew the UHF and stick a letter opener between the screw and the plate and gently balance the opener to tune in this WV PBS station. Same thing for Doctor Who, which came on after. I think the first one I saw was Sword and the Dragon shown in two parts with Mike Nelson as the old bald guy–as I knew him then–doing the bumpers. It came in with immense static, but the picture didn’t need to be perfect. The riffs were all that mattered. I found it hilarious. Unfortunately, the show vanished. I didn’t get enough about it but the basics, but then the movie showed up at the Rex Theater, and I knew I had to see it. Since then I’ve been playing Mystie.

  164. Back in 1997, at the dawn of the internet “chat room” craze, I was in Jr. High School and made a penpal friend my age in one of these chat rooms. We exchanged letters and drawings and little trinkets, and one day he sent me a VHS tape of a couple episodes of his favorite show recorded from television. It was MST3K, and the episodes were “The Thing That Couldn’t Die” and “The Undead”. I watched them over and over and over until the tape wore out, and thought they were the most hilarious thing I’d ever seen. To this day, I still say “This is the worst Christmas, ever!” anytime something slightly inconvenient happens.

  165. I was 14, visiting my dad in Austin, and bored. Fortunately, he had cable, something we didn’t have back at my mom’s, so I was randomly flipping through channels when I spied a Gamera movie on the Comedy Channel (later to become Comedy Central). What caught my eye wasn’t the giant turtle and the pointy-headed pterodactyl clumsily duking it out on a foam playset, it was the row of chairs and the silhouette of a guy and two oddly-shaped robots at the bottom. I watched for a moment and realized they were cracking jokes, and holy cow was I laughing when I heard the comments! I was practically on the floor, these three were hilarious! Then the movie paused and they came out and I got to see Joel and his goofy bots do their schtick.
    Yup, I was hooked forever from that moment.
    My dad wondered what I saw in what he called “that stupid show,” but to heck with that, this was gonna be my go-to program from here on out. I thank Joel, Mike and the whole gang for helping style my comedic tastes for the rest of my life!

  166. The first episode I ever saw was Robot Holocaust.
    I was about 11 or 12 when I was channel surfing and came across a sci-fi movie. I didn’t know what it was called and didn’t even know what channel I had on. Throughout the time I was watching I kept hearing these voices and had no idea where they coming from or what was going on. I eventually noticed the silhouettes at the bottom of screen and became more curious about what was on and kept watching and I’ve been a fan ever since.

  167. I had first read about it in entertainment weekly, it was 1990, i think, i knew i wanted to see it, but i usually couldn’t stay up that late. But a friend of mine had started watching it and i stayed over at his house one night and we watched Fugitive Alien 2 and spent the next week singing the forklift song. I’ve been hooked ever since

  168. I honestly cannot remember my first episode I was quite young when it first came out. I know my dad watched a lot, great memories of singing the Gamera Song.

    The earliest and fondest memory I can recall, my dad was watching the Time Chasers episode, my sisters and I were watching with him. My and sisters were young but I got some of the jokes, a lot went over my head. I think I was maybe 9 when that first aired. The thing that got us all cracking up with laughter was towards the end of the movie. It was the line where the chauffeur of the limo was standing by the door, and the line “I’m Batman” was uttered. It cracked me and my sisters up so much. I think it was around then, that I understood what MST3k was about. It’s something that has stuck with me.

    I can honestly say, MST3k has shaped my humor my whole life. I am constantly riffing movies and love going to live shows with friends and family.

  169. It was the 90’s and I was depressed. My roommate and her 2 kids had scammed me out of a few thousand dollars. She stole the rent money, ran up hundreds of dollars on the phone bill, never cleaned, scammed her ex, was abusive to the kids (emotionally), she was a liar & manipulative, and I had just found out (by accident) that we were about to be evicted. I was depressed. I didn’t know what to do. My first foray into the world as an adult was ending in a lot of losses. I felt like a failure. I was working 3 jobs and trying to get my MBA. I came home really late one night and the Turkey Day marathon was on and showing Clash of the Moons. I laughed. And I realized at that moment I hadn’t laughed in a long time. MST3K became my lifeline to sanity. It has remained that way for years. I even got to attend both conversations as well. Thank you!

  170. Honestly, I was browsing YouTube looking for information on that new Batwoman show on the CW. I accidentally stumbled on the MST3K riff on The Wild World of Batman. A few years later and I’m still watching everyone I can find.

  171. Hello,

    I guesss I will share my “first time watching MST3K story”, but I’m hesitant because of how lame it is. Maybe not lame, but I’m sure the truth of it is a very common tale for many people. I am hesitant to bother, but perhaps the input may help your PR people, Marketing Department, Demographic Targeting Gang(or aka “The DTG”), Ad Zlangerz, or who/whatever may benefit. At the very least it could be compiled into some reading material for the Staff in an attempt to help pass a few hours of purgatory……sorry, I mean “social distancing time”.

    Anyway, as I mentioned it isn’t anything super interesting at all. In fact like I also said I would imagine it is quite a common story. If you can even call it a “story”, but here I go, why not?

    The first time I saw MST3K was about 92/93ish. I was just getting out of the street level crack game and started running weight. Mainly into OR ports from Bolivia via a decommissioned 4 crew Stealth Attack sub.

    I know, I thought it was overkill too until that day, when we had to blast our way out of Hu-wroag Bay. We had a tail forever and barely got out of that place alive! We wouldn’t have gotten clear of them if I didn’t fire off the entire contraband payload of 100 Armadillos. Each with multiple KGs of Coke balloons in their stomachs.

    Just for the record and before I go any further, although it does sound cruel to a layperson, Armadillos are the best and all around most sustainable Coke Mules. This is due to the symbiosis with the substance that they have developed over thousands of generations. Plus on top of that, they can fit a lot more in them than any human, their armor helps hide the balloon if they are x-rayed, and they are HUGE fans of the Yayo in the first place!! This cam be an issue potentially, but most are professionals and follow Rule#4 whilst on the clock. Their tolerance is amazing too, so the risk of them ODing is extremely low!!!

    One very important thing to keep in mind is that if more than three balloons break, they get can begin to roll around EXTREMELY fast! If you find yourself in a situation like that, especially in a small room, do your best to get above it! If it catches your leg and/or you fall down, you are most likely a dead person. The speed at which they ricochet around doesn’t give the average human enough time to get back up and out of the way. In fact an interesting footnote is that this phenomenon was actually the inspiration for the hard shell/helmet enemies in the Super Mario Bros Video Game series.

    When I this state they are basically unstoppable, but they don’t get hurt either because of that armor and those other aforementioned evolutionary adaptations. Ever wonder why you usually only see them in the desert by the boarder digging holes and running across the street?! They have to supply their needs somehow. That is actually how I got in contact with the team I had to jettison from the sub the first day I first saw MST3K. Once again this is what they do. They were all very well trained, with lots of in the field experience. They knew what we were getting into and what would happen in that situation. They all did a gagger and then we fired them out of the Starboard Torpedo launchers towards our Island rendezvous point. They got there in no time without showing up on our pursuer’s scopes due to their incredible cannon ball like velocity.

    Sorry for getting side tracked there, but I just didn’t want you thinking I was some kind of horrible vile person though. I realize most people have no idea, but I am getting sick of being baratted by people for who I choose to work with. The kids and teachers at my daughter’s School’s Career Day were relentless and refused to even try to listen or understand during my presentation. Because of that I felt the need to preface the context to hopefully clear that up before anyone started judging me as a morally corrupt person. I appreciate you bearing with me on that part it is very important to me.

    Anyway, since I didn’t have the payload and needed to go back for them as soon as things cooled down a bit, I had to get some cash fast. I went the rounds get my monies from my hoes. Luckily for me…and them, they had it! Between that and the money I was able to snatch from the kids cancer donation jars around town, I was ready to go rescue the Armadillas and really get paid for once. Hoes alone can’t make enough to keep uranium in the sub’s reactor let alone ostrich skin rims fo da Six Fo, yaknow?

    I knew they would be looking for a sub, so I rented big fishing boat, which oddly enough I heard was one of the boats that went down in the Trump Boat Parade thing. I packer her up with what I had and headed out straight away.

    I didn’t have Cable at home yet, so I never saw the show at that point. On my way out to get them, I took my time. I didn’t want to look suspicious in case I came across a patrol. It happened to be Thanksgiving that day. My folks were a little upset that I couldn’t be there, but I made some food, turned on the boat’s satellite TV, and there was the T Day MST3K marathon!! I was captivated and watched it all!! I taped it so the “Dillas”(my nick name for the bunch) could watch it with me on the way back to drop the package. They loved it too btw!

    We made it the rest of the way without incident and cashed out! They got their share and rolled back to Alamo TX(not The Alamo…). By the same time next year my folk’s house finally got cable and I was able to watch the marathon again. I have watched it on Tday ever since, even if it is off of DVDs and/or VHS. I’m 38, so let’s see……it’s been every year for about 27+/- years in a row now.

    Like I said it isn’t that interesting of a story. Especially the true bits about me not having cable until around 93ish, seeing it on Thanksgiving for the first time during the marathon somewhere else besides home, my folks getting cable in time to watch the marathon the next year, and watching it every year on Thanksgiving since then, rain or shine.

    Thank you for all of the laughs over the decades and all of the work that goes into them! This bit here was fun to pull out of my ___ too. It’s just kinda what came out of me after I resolved to share my story and realized there really wasn’t much to say about it….and I enjoyed it😁 Maybe I should see someone about that. Have a safe and funny 2021!!!

  172. My father mentioned having liked it and so, back in the days when Netflix came in the mail, I got the highest rated episode on the site- Space Mutiny! I was blown away. It was just the funniest stuff I had ever seen. I started getting all the episodes I could on netflix and from the library, all out of order, piecing together the host storylines and who the mads were and why there was more than one human trapped in space. I watched practically the entire show by the time I finished college, and I’m still hungry for more!

  173. We watched one of the Hercules movies in my Freshman English class during our unit on mythology. Teacher was a cool dude. A few years later when the show was on streaming I really got hooked. I’ve turned a few of my friends onto it since then.

  174. I was between, 11-13 and I was watching tv on the Sci-Fi Channel one morning. I caught an episode of “The Screaming Skull” towards the end. Then, I shared it with one of my school friends whose brother recorded all the episodes.

  175. When I was in high school, circa 2002, our local grocery store had this funky little section of movies you could rent, the titles were on these little index card sized things and you had to look at racks of them and pick out what you wanted. One night on my way out of the store, I flipped through to find something for my parents and sister and I to watch after dinner. I came across the MST3K movie on a little card, listed as COMEDY/SCI-FI. Well, we like both those things, I thought. Took home the VHS. We spent most of the movie gasping for air on the floor as we all laughed our collective asses off. It’s one of my favorite memories of us all together. I’d eventually go back and watch every episode of the show on my own, but some with my family. They will still occasionally randomly call me up and say “MITCHELL!” and then hang up.

  176. Like all good things I learned about this show on a bootleg at the local comic book store and After 90 minuets on a bootleg tape I was hooked and became one of my favorite shows ever…

  177. I was on vacation with my parents and I was a little kid. I couldn’t sleep, so I turned on the hotel TV, and it was The Day The Earth Froze. I tried to explain it to people later, but nobody understood what I was talking about several years later, it started showing on my local channels, and I immediately infected everyone who would sit still long enough to watch.

  178. My daughter was just born. New apartment and I just got cable. MST was on Comedy central. Watched it for the first time and I was hooked. That was 26 odd years ago. And I’ve been watching it ever since..lol

  179. It’s funny, despite being a 2000’s kid, I’m seeing my experience followed the pattern I’m seeing in a lot of other posts here. I first heard about MST3K in an ad on On demand, at age 11 or so, and lacking both context and attention span I jumped into The Crawling Eye with no real understanding of what to expect. I bounced right off of it inside of 15 minutes, thinking “god that movie was boring, and I don’t get why there’s small people on screen” and assumed it was something I just wouldn’t enjoy. 5 or so years later, someone in my DnD group brought MST3K up, and I was quick to dismiss watching it with a “gah, the one episode I tried to watch was really boring, didn’t even get to see the monster before I switched it off” to which she replied “Yeah, all the movies they do are terrible, that’s the point!”

    Suddenly, the format made a whole lot more sense, and I knew I should give it another go. Now I’ve seen just about every episode I can find, save for the end of season 10, and I adore the series.

  180. I think it was the early 2000s, my sister had caught an episode at a friends house (we grew up way out in the sticks of Vermont where there wouldn’t be cable or cell reception for another decade). We were at a rental store in town and she saw they had MST3K: The Movie. “This is that show I was telling you about.” I’ve never looked back.

    1. Not sure why this form decided to give me a middle name that’s just a lower case “a”.
      …Guess I’ll just have to roll with it.
      *Double thumbs up* “Aaaaaaay~!!”

  181. Mid 90s. I lived in rural Alabama with my mom and wasn’t particularly fond of visiting my dad’s house in Montgomery (the city!) because none of my stuff was there and I wasn’t crazy about his roommate/girlfriend. BUT they had cable. The good cable. One night she turned this strange movie-show on and asked “have you ever seen Mystery Science Theater?” From the name, I was pretty ready to walk my adolescent butt a few hundred miles away. Then came the opening credits and a love that has grown ever since. And I also don’t hate my now stepmother.

  182. I came late to the glory of MST3K, finding the movie late one night on a TV channel here in Australia around 2002-03. Friends and I had made fun of films in the cinema before, but this was an absolute art form with obscure references and observational humour taken to a whole new degree (“normal view….Normal View…..NORMAL VIEEEEWWWWW!”)

    I told an American co-worker about it and he said he’d been a huge fan for ages, and that there were dozens of other movies that the team had given the same treatment. It was a joy to find these online as well as the range of short films 🙂

  183. It was the winter of 1992-93 in wisconsin and I was at the house of a boy I liked. He was a sophomore and I was a freshman. As I sat next to him on his couch, he turned on the TV to the comedy channel, because “Mystery Science Theater is on!” I was a rural kid, no cable, no satellite. I was IMMEDIATELY HOOKED. No we didn’t end up dating, but remained friends, and I’m forever grateful to have found out about MST3k because then our friend group started making plans to watch it.

  184. July 27, 1991. I worked as a reporter for CBLT, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s Toronto flagship affiliate. One of my friends there was a tape editor (no longer alive, named Ross). We had similar taste in music and overlapping senses of humor. Ross could get the folks in the feeds-and- satellite department to spin one of the dishes and downlink whichever network he felt like watching during downtime when he wasn’t cutting tape for the next newscast. That afternoon, it was Comedy Central — not available anywhere in Canada. Mystery Science Theater 3000 was on. “Gamera vs. Gaos.” We got it immediately and we both loved it. Ross put a large Beta cassette in one of the Sony machines in his edit bay and hit “record.” We would record the show every chance we got, which was haphazard. After that, both of us watched MST3K every time we were near a television in the United States. We both received circulating tapes of varying quality and VHS cassettes our friends in the U.S. recorded. After “MST3K: The Movie” came out, the Rhino VHS releases found a Canadian distributor. I wrote a feature for The Globe And Mail newspaper about the show and interviewed both Joel Hodgson and Mike Nelson.
    http://justinsmallbridge.com/cable-cult-hit-lands-in-canada-(mst3k)-(the-globe-and-mail).html

  185. I was 14 years old, and I just broke up with the girl that my teenage heart was absolutely, positively sure was going to be the girl I was going to marry. I barely came out of my bedroom fortress of teenage angst for 6 months, much less laughed or smiled – until one insomia-fueled 2 AM channel surf stumbled upon Prince of Space. I don’t think I laughed that hard before, or since. I was hopelessly hooked from that moment on.

  186. It was around 1990 and I was about 8 or 9 years old. I came across MST3K on the Comedy Channel while channel surfing. I’m guessing it was during summer vacation, as I remember being up and watching TV relatively late. Joel and the Bots, along with the premise, piqued my interest and I was hooked from the start. Many of the references were over my head as a kid but the show definitely shaped my sense of humor (along with The Simpsons and another riff-show, Beavis and Butt-Head). Even if I didn’t get the references at the time, I recognized the cadence of the jokes and the timing of the riffs. It was funny! Not to mention, the host segments are pretty much accessible to everyone. I can’t necessarily recall the specific first-episodes I viewed as a kid but I’d get a sense of deja-vu and vague recollection when re-watching several years later. I remember preferring when the movies were in color (a preference that ironically faded as the years went on). I was a [now] Comedy Central junkie by the time the show was off that network; we didn’t get Sci-Fi so that original run was a blind-spot for me back then. Not to mention I was slacking as a MSTie…I never recorded tapes to circulate… I caught a handful of episodes in college but the only TV I recall watching consistently those years were re-runs of Seinfeld or The Simpsons while eating or before bed. But in the mid-2000s, I just happened upon a MST3K DVD Collection in Borders; the nostalgia came rushing back. I compulsively went and quickly bought-up all the DVDs I could, sometimes driving out of the way for the hard-to-find volumes. Since then, my love for the series has been re-invigorated. Kickstarter, live shows! Rarely does a day go by that I don’t have it playing/streaming in some capacity at some point.

  187. I remember it like it was yesterday. I was at my parents house on a weekend, flipping channels on the TV in my old bedroom where I grew up. I came across this movie where three silhouettes were talking back to the movie. It was Pod People, and after watching for about 30 seconds I ran into the other room where the vcr was. I had no idea what it was but I wanted to see it again. I franticly ripped off the plastic and slammed it into the old RCA machine. It took forever for the tape to wind around the the heads and start recording. I kept pressing that record button. Eventually it started taping just about the time that guy proclaims “It stinks” in the recording studio. I was worried it was some cable access like thing that would not be repeated or a pilot for something. I remember grabbing a pencil and scribbling down the Info Club address and I mailed off a letter the same day. I soon discovered the name of the show and found there were nighttime reruns of the first 2 seasons. I started taping them on an old Beta machine at my house, watching episodes like Project Moonbase and Rocketship XM. Even then there were some older episodes that they were losing the rights to show. But after seeing about seven more I switched to recording them in the 2 hour speed on VHS each week. And continued to do so until the end of the Sci Fi Channel era.

  188. I don’t remember my FIRST episode, but I do remember Saturday mornings in the 80s, maybe 7th or 8th grade, and doing these elaborate set-ups with mirrors in the living room and hallway so I could still watch MST3K from the living room while my mom made me clean my bedroom. I mean, why didn’t I clean it faster so I could just go into the living room? No idea. I still have my bright orange MST3K club membership card. I laminated it, because it was important.

  189. The first time I saw MST3K was back in the 1990’s. I walked into the family room on a Saturday morning and could not figure out what my little brother was watching. He was probably 9 or 10 at the time, and he and our sister were all in for the goofiness and sarcasm. I didn’t get hooked until several years later, thanks to multiple viewings of Space Mutiny. Our mom still isn’t sold on it, but the Space Mutiny joke referring to Dante’s Inferno ( “There’s going to be seven levels of hell in this movie too”) makes her laugh every time (she’s an English teacher).

  190. Not a lot to say. It was some time in 1992, I was just flipping channels and saw a show with puppets on Comedy Central. Sure, I’ll stop for puppets. The episode was season 2’s “Godzilla vs. the Sea Monster”, a film better known to kaiju fans as “Godzilla, Ebirah, Mothra: Big Duel in the South Seas!” Far from the worst movie MST3K ever screened, but the show was awesomely funny and clever, and I was glued to the screen. That was the same night, incidentally, that I first discovered the delights of chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream, and I devoured an entire pint watching Joel and his friends demolish the big monster showdown. It was some of the most fun I’ve ever had sober.

    “Cave Dwellers” was my second episode (what a classic) and from there I was a devoted MiSTie, and watched the rerun episodes faithfully each weeknight at midnight, never going to bed before Frank pressed the button. I taped several dozen episodes on VHS cassettes, and would run them while I did hobby activities: many hours I spent soaking and drying kiloware (postage stamps), with Joel or Mike and the bots delivering sassy zingers in the background. Oh, I loved the Master Ninjas and Mighty Jack and all the Gameras and even Manos — many films and “films” that I wouldn’t waste my time watching without the witty accompaniment of the Satellite of Love crew. It was an A+ show put out by A+ people: thank you for the memories and the many, many laughs.

  191. 1995. I grew up in a small town with lousy cable service and cheapskate parents, so I never knew Comedy Central even existed. But that year, I went to my first real science fiction convention with my best friend. Two 16-year-olds with money in our pockets and no adult supervision. We both wanted custom-fit vampire fangs, but due to health reasons, the vendor couldn’t make them in the Dealers’ Room; so he set up shop in his own room, which became something of a room party. Lots of other weirdos hanging out on a Saturday morning, waiting for their fangs to be done. Someone turned on Comedy Central, and I got my first taste of MST3K in an atmosphere of PEAK geekiness. Even now, 26 years later, watching MST3K still takes me back to that wild, perfect weekend.

  192. Hey guys!

    I remember staying the night at a friend’s house, and they had recorded an episode on VHS. It was probably ’92 or ’93. I remember asking, “What is this?!?” and they explained to me that I would have to get up EARLY ON A SATURDAY to watch it. This horrified me, but after debating the cost and deciding it would be too hard to program the VCR to record it, I made a decision. I would do it.

    Sometimes. I was still lazy and liked sleeping in. But It became the best way to start a day for years. I did a drawing when I was 11 or 12 of Joel and the bots, but I was afraid it wasn’t good enough. So I never sent it in. Even though I had Crow yelling, “It’s me! Crow! The star!” which I realize now was perfect, and I was a fool for doubting myself. I really wish I still had it!

  193. The first time I watched MST3K was almost 3 years ago when I was a junior in high school, and I came across the Netflix series with Jonah as host and I really didn’t get the whole show’s concept until a few riffs later on “Reptilicus” and that was the moment I found that MST3K was and is still to this day, my all-time favorite show. And later on, I caught up to some old Joel and Mike episodes that were also on Netflix and also loved their episodes. And my dad took me to see Joel, Jonah, and the bots when they came to North Carolina for the first time for their 30th Anniversary Live Tour and I dressed up as Dr. Forrester, and one guy asked me to give him a “Deep Hurting.” And a few months later to prove my love for the show, I painted a mural of Dr. Forrester and TV’s Frank on my school’s wall on the fourth floor while representing our school’s Trojans examples and lots of people loved it.

  194. In the far off times of those barely interneted days, I used to watch a lot of Comedy Central, and had the good fortune to be flipping through the stations one night when I caught an old black and white movie flash up. I was always a fan of old horror movies (my parents raised me on such things, and on Sundays we’d be cracking wise whilst Vincent Price dealt with skeletons) I recognized this one as Attack of the Killer Shrews. My father piped up after seeing it in the TV guide “Oh that sounds awful, this should be fun, not sure what MST3K is though…” Oh how little we knew. That was my first episode, my parents tolerated it, they remembered Svengoolie, Elvira, USA Up All Night and this was in the same vein, but to me, it was like my world opened up. I had never before heard the term “riff” on something, to make fun of it, before, and soon, like so many others, I found solace in those three little silhouettes. The crew of the S.O.L became part of my life, and honestly, I couldn’t have been happier. Thanks for letting me share this, being a part of such a wonderful fandom has been something truly great!
    Chris Gruendemann 

  195. It was the season 1 episode called “The Robot Monster”. This must have been 1989 or 1990. Comedy Central was still The Comedy Channel, and I had to be 7 or 8 years old. I’ll never forget the sight of that weird gorilla with the space helmet on his head, lumbering through the black and white mountains. I was so struck by it that I didn’t notice the silhouettes at the bottom of the screen until they started talking. I saw a human shape and then two other figures that looked so strange sitting in what looked like theater seats. I was fascinated by what I was watching, and I wanted to know more. Of course once they left the theater my interest increased exponentially. I was suddenly going down this colorful hallway with 6 unique doors until I finally got a good look at this man standing in a very colorful room (remember it was season 1) with his two funny-looking puppet friends. Crow was instantly by favorite.

    After that I made a point to look for that show (whatever it was) when I watched TV. I began watching the Comedy Channel a lot and really enjoyed it’s other programing too, like “The Higgins Boys and Gruber.” Despite my young age I really dug the DYI feeling of all those early Comedy Channel shows. It felt like I was the only person in the world who knew about this, and that was cool.

    Anyway, I attribute the sense of humor I developed to watching MST3K and all those early Comedy Channel/Central shows at a young age. I was psyched by Joel bring the show back and I hope it can still find a new streaming service or network someday soon.

    “Sometimes I go into my own little world, but that’s okay, they know me there.” – Joel Hodgson

  196. It was fall 1994. I was newly married and about halfway through college. My wife and I had a cozy apartment not far from campus and we had a pretty good cable package. My Fridays were pretty lite class wise, so starting around noon I could unwind with some TV.

    I remember coming across a show on Comedy Central that looked so dumb: silhouettes of people watching a movie. Whatever.

    But…eventually I would pause when this weird show was on. At some point I must have decided to make time to watch a whole episode. And so, probably in November, I either set a recording for or watched live episode 509 “Girl in Lover’s Lane.” It was a pretty good one for a first episode. Not in my top 10 now, but Big Stupid still has a place in my heart.

    A week later, perhaps, I watched 604 “Zombie Nightmare” and didn’t like it half as much. I think I still had to warm up to the show.

    In the summer of 1995 I was writing for the university newspaper and was able to interview Mike by phone; it was supposed to be Trace but he was busy. This was around the time they were starting to work on the movie. I have the article clipping somewhere…need to find it!

  197. My dad showed me my first episode of MST3K. Back in the day we’d flip through TV channels to find random movies to watch and we came across a MST3K marathon on I believe SYFY. He told me he’d loved it when he was a kid and we watched several episodes in a row together.
    Now, years later, he barely remembers that one moment. But when I saw the old MST3K episodes streaming on Netflix I immediately remembered being in the basement with my dad, taking advantage of our brand new projector and trying to find new movies on TV.
    It was so special to me that I even took him to Joel’s last tour since it passed through our home state.
    MST3K will forever be a fond memory for me. And something I continue to return to when I’ve had a rough time.

  198. I caught the end of Zombie Nightmare on a free preview weekend of the comedy channel. I loved it, but we couldn’t afford premium channels and I eventually thought I’d dreamed it up. Then I watched MST3k the movie and it came rushing back.

  199. Like so many people, I fell into the “local cable provider didn’t carry Comedy Central” camp.
    My first exposure to the show was at my cousin’s house, where it got turned on for just a few minutes while we were busy putting on shoes and jackets to go somewhere else. It was the ‘Ka-Bob and Ka-Steve’ bit from ‘Godzilla vs. the Sea Monster’ complete with goofy wind-up canoe, and I thought it was funny…. but didn’t realize it was an *entire show* based around cheesy movie riffing. I assumed it was just some short sketch comedy bit or something like ‘Who’s Line is it Anyways?’ where they showed an old movie clip and had some people make fun of it, which would eventually end and transition into something else.

    Fast forward a few months later, and our cable provider finally got Comedy Central. Which was great for wasting time in a hot California summer. Lots of reruns of classic SNL, Kids in the Hall, and SCTV always on tap, so I frequently switched over whenever I was bored or whatever else I’d been watching was finished. It was just that sort of situation that introduced me to experiment #301 – Cave Dwellers, although I’m fairly certain I missed Joel and the Bots gadding it up to the Sandy Frank style opening credits, and came in right at the point where Ator and the gang were wandering through the woods and about to encounter the eponymous dwellers of caves.

    I can still remember the riff that made me a lifelong fan was Tom’s “Whose woods are these, I think I know… will watch these woods fill up with fog.” For a 13 year-old, (mis)quoting Robert Frost seemed about as obscure a reference as you could make, and I was immediately transfixed. Somehow this this sleepy-looking guy and his puppets had managed to capture my love of cheesy low-budget movies, the kind I’d usually watch late at night on our local channel 58 ‘Frightnight Theater’, and turn making fun of them into an art. The humor was incredibly clever and esoteric, and there was nothing else even remotely like it on television. It was like somebody had poked around inside my brain and built a TV show just for me.

    30 years later, and I still feel the same way.

  200. I was introduced to MST3K about a decade ago through a fan group for a website of internet content creators where I was unfamiliar with a reference someone made in a comment to the MST3K theme song, so I ended up listening to the theme song after it was linked to me, the concept of the show (which is very succinctly told in the theme song) intrigued me so much that I decided to watch an episode and the episode I chose was MST3K: The Movie, because I figured it would be the most accessible, and while I wouldn’t really rank it as one of my all-time favorite episodes, I did enjoy it a lot, so I decided to watch more of the show and now it ranks as one of my favorite TV shows of all time!

  201. I was 8 years old (in the early 2000’s) sitting on the floor of my dad’s basement playing a board game. It was very late, and my dad was flipping through the channels when he stumbled across MST3K The Movie. He told me how he used to watch the show all the time. I don’t think we watched the whole thing, but I remember laughing my head off at the jokes, and having a good time just hanging out with my dad.

    Years went by and the weird movie I watched that night faded from my memory. Sometimes I could vaguely remember a gold bird… thing and the phrase “Start warming the breakfast syrup!”. I even almost had the name: Mystery Theater 3000? Or was it Mystery Science 3000?

    When I was 14, my hazy memories FINALLY became clear after my best friend invited me over to watch an old TV show that she recently discovered thanks to HER dad! (MST3K and Dads are like peas in a pod huh?) As soon as I saw the title, everything clicked, and I’ve been in love ever since.

  202. I first stumbled across it on YouTube in the late 2000’s after hearing stories about the show from friends who had been watching it since the 80’s. I had heard the title since the early 90’s, but the show’s name made it sound … weird and I thought it was genuinely some kind of science fiction show.

    It probably didn’t help that I may have confused the show’s title with MISFITS OF SCIENCE and/or MASTERPIECE THEATER.

    When I first started watching the show, I skipped past the SOL beats as I found them hard to understand and get the context of what was going on. I also thought that the lyrics for the theme song were important story beats and that there was some kind of complex meta-plot going on.

    But after watching just the riffing sections for a couple of years, I started not skipping past them and gradually grew to love the show as a whole.

    So yeah, definitely part of the YouTube generation who discovered the show thanks to the Internet.

  203. Mom was driving and as I was always into old horror movies mom taped an episode thinking I would like it and she was right. The movie was Robot Versus The Aztec Mummy. I was single digits in age. My dad and I loved it. John (my brother) got into it too. We watch old episodes to this very day. We told other family members. My paternal grandmother loved it too. My letter was read on the episode It Conquered the World. I still have that episode recorded.

  204. I was up late on a Friday night, channel surfing. I decided to check out Comedy Central. I was suddenly in the middle of “Earth Vs The Spider”, when the giant creature wakes up in the school gym and attacks the teens. I laughed my head off. The next afternoon, my ex said “What in the heck were you laughing at in the middle of the night?” I told him he HAD to see the show. He watched the Saturday Night MST3K Movie, but only laughed politely. I got my sister over the next weekend for a late night viewing and she fell off the couch laughing. Thus were sister MSTies born. Ex wasn’t into details, but sister listened carefully to her first theme song and totally got the concept. What a masterpiece Joel Hodgson made! I quote it almost every day, not that anyone understands me. It Stinks👌 We couldn’t love it more! In 2018, sister and I attended the reunion tour and in 2019, we were at “The Mads Are Back” live show. Highest Keeba!

  205. Being from Minnesota has its advantages, especially on Thanksgiving 1988. KTMA had been advertising the a new awful movie show hosted by Joel H. My family — well, myself and my brother — were in. So sometime after dinner (maybe 6 p.m.?) the theme tune kicked off. Cool, I thought. And the bots. Those were cool too. We drifted away, chatting as one does among family, until I looked back at the Gerry Anderson epic. “Hey. Are they in the movie theater?” Literally hooked at the moment — and have stayed that way for 32 years.

  206. The first time I saw MST3K, it was a Saturday or Sunday morning in college. I delivered papers those days, waking up at 3 or 4 AM, delivering the papers, and got back home 530 or 6, I guess. One morning instead of going to bed for a few hours, I flipped on the TV and saw the seat-row shadow for the first time, at the bottom of Cave Dwellers. I loved it. It was like being on the outside, listening to my sister and me as we busted on movies for fun. So much fodder handled so hilariously. The hang glider scene. The hang glider scene! From then on I timed my deliveries to return home in time for MST3K on that channel.

    I was already hooked, but the last host segment when they complained about continuity errors was the perfect ending, and I don’t remember what life was like before I accidentally found those affable nuts on the satellite and the most lovable evil scientists ever put on film.

  207. I was young, very young like five years old or so. I think that my uncle was the one who got everyone else into it. My grandma was the only one who had cable television at the time and we would watch it together at her place, me, my mom, my uncle, and one of our close family friends, and sometimes my dad. It was like an event! This was until my parents got cable. I couldn’t tell you what the first episode I saw was but I do remember it was early enough that it was still Joel. I would call the show “The funny guys who watch the theater” and say “Mom, I wanna watch the funny guys who watch the theater”. The episode I do remember and is still one of my all-time favorite episodes “The Giant Spider Invasion” because being from Wisconsin I remember when the Packers won the Superbowl in 1997 and one of the hallmarks of the episode is the Mike and the bots shouting “Packers!”. As a child, I was confused because Football and MST3K were two separate things and I was surprised that they were talking about the Packers. I have been a lifelong fan, I grew up with it and enjoyed the new iteration with Noah and Rifftrax. Recently due to the COVID-19 epidemic, I have had online get-togethers with friends where we stream movies together and I have introduced MST3K to friends who previously never heard of it.

  208. Because the precise reason is lost to time, I will make an educated guess and say The X-Files had just ended at 10PM and I decided to channel surf to SciFi and caught what turned out to be a rerun of The Final Sacrifice in the spring of 1999. That was some funny shit, and my favorite episode to this day. This show accomplished the otherwise impossible task of getting my ass up at 5:50AM each Saturday morning after to catch Season 10. On Sunday evenings I would channel surf in between X-Files and MST3k whenever one show went to commercial break and vice versa. Thank you for giving my mostly otherwise miserable and horrifying childhood a spark of joy.

  209. I first found out about MST3K from a review in TV Guide’s Cheers n Jeers column (it was Cheers, I think), but our cable provider had chosen HA over the Comedy Channel so I missed out on the first season as it aired, and some S1 episodes I didn’t even get to see until many years later. I picked up with Rocketship X-M in Season 2, but it was with Cave Dwellers that I knew the show was really special, and I have followed it closely, for the most part, ever since.

    Since then I have watched the show, kept the faith and, when possible, circulated the tapes. Turkey Days were, and are, especially nice. These days I don’t actually watch a lot of television, but I run a weekly episode viewing group, and Pluto TV’s MST3K selection is about the only “channel” that sees use on my flatscreen “smart” TV.

  210. Had recently moved at age 19 across country with my parents and sister in a last bid hope to save their marriage. Maybe 1991?

    I was without friends, and horribly depressed.

    I used to keep the opposite schedule of everyone else to save my sanity and so was up late one night and recognized the old 50s sci fi movie and unironically stopped to watch it.

    At first I thought something was wrong with the station, then I thought it was an ad, and while my brain was trying to figure it all out I caught a remark and literally laughed so loud my mother came down to see what was up.

    I was hooked.

  211. It was 1994 or 1995, not sure when, and it really wasn’t MST3K I first saw. I was living in San Diego and was flipping around the channels when I saw some Hercules movie on(It was actually the Mystery Science Theater Hour episode of Hercules Against the Moon Men), I noticed the silhouettes at the bottom of the screen making funny comments. When I saw a Roman guy get stabbed by Roman soldiers and heard the commenters say “Pizza pizza” over and over again, I literally laughed out loud. I kept watching and found out about the show. However, I would not get to see an actual episode because my cable company would not have Comedy Central for another year or so. So I may be unique in finding out about the show by not actually watching the show.

  212. In the fall of my second Freshman year of college (the first year /college did not take) I began hours of procrastination in my new dormroom, which was in a hotel on the other side of campus. Because the dorms were full and the college was expanding, some students were put in hotels- with amazing blackout curtains PERFECT FOR MST3K. The glow of the tv being the only light made me feel I was sitting two rows back from Joel and the Bots- each episode was an event. I bonded with my roommate and anyone who who watch with us. Later that year I was moved to the campus- and one night I was walking down the hallway of the girls floor in my new dorm- I heard the unmistakable lyrics about the not too distant future coming from one of the rooms. In it was a girl who I had met in one of my classes (it was a small arts college) and she invited me to watch with her. We spent several nights watching together before we eventually started dating. That was in the fall of 1995. 26 years later- I’m married to that fellow mstie! About 10 years ago she got a chance to meet Joel at a convention outside of Pittsburgh (Monsterbash). I was not in town with her (we lived in Chicago at the time but her fam was in the burgh) and before she went I told her- “Tell Joel, Thank you for our marriage!” she laughed and said ok, then went to the con. Later that night she told me “I actually, met Joel, talked to him, and I got a picture with him!” I asked if she had told him what I asked her to say… and she said “Oh, yeah, I didn’t mention it, I didn’t know what you meant.” I said “What do you mean?! Our hang outs ever were watching MST3K together!” “Oh yeah? Huh. I have no memory of that.” How romantic, eh? But we still have continued to watch the show together over the last 26 years, and saw Joel and the bots in PERSON when they toured to New London CT on Joels farewell tour. When Joel played his guitar, we held hands, sang , and cried.

  213. I was staying the night at a friends house back in 1992 I believe, and he had a few episodes of MST3K recorded on VHS.
    We stayed up all night watching them and I kept thinking, who is this Joel guy?? 🤣🤣
    I was laughing my🐴off, and we had a great time. Thanks for the memories, and the laughs Joel Hodgson.

  214. The very first MST3K I ever picked up was a classic, known for Joel’s singing segment that ends with “It stinks!” That’s right, Pod People! I bought it on a VHS tape out of a Blockbuster (really dating myself here) and absolutely loved it! I thought “What in the world?! PUPPETS! Robot puppets! YAY!” and absolutely enjoyed it.

  215. I was young but I remember vaguely watch with my Dad on the local KTMA station after he heard about it from my Uncle. We got really excited when we found it again on cable at my Grandma’s place a while later (she was the only one living in town who could) and she recorded me an episode! Ring of Terror, still my favourite episode from the original run!

  216. I lived in VERY rural NH, so to see Comedy Central or SciFi meant a trip to my mom’s or brother’s. My first memory of MST3K was the “She creaks she pops she’s so dang old” part as the old lady descended the stairs in “The Atomic Brain”. Laughed until I cried, and that was the beginning. Huge fan since.

  217. While hanging out in our dorms in college, my buddy Hans said ‘hey let’s go to my room and watch a movie!’ and with no warning of what we were getting into pops in Manos: the hands of fate.
    I nearly died laughing at the absurdity of it, and was hooked to the series ever since.
    Manos is still my favorite, and I like to repeat his trick of playing Manos when friends come over.

  218. My best friend and I had seen the ads on Comedy Central (“It’s all in the name of science!”) and we were looking forward to seeing the show! My friend was having dinner at my house. She was sitting at the dinner table with my parents and me. We could see the television from the other room. It was Gamera vs Gaos. We found out the hard way that you should not watch Mystery Science Theater 3000 with your mouth full, because we laughed our whole dinner through our noses!

  219. I’ll just say, and I can’t stress this enough, “I’m a chocolate bar!” has been a running joke in our family for 27 years.

  220. I was 22 years old visiting my Grandmother, with my parents, in October of 1991. It was a Saturday night and they were watching something I had no interest in watching, so I went to the basement to watch TV. I was channel surfing, and I saw something on “Comedy Central” that looked like it was in a movie theater that was showing a low-rent version of “Planet of the Apes.” After 5 minutes I was rolling on the floor laughing. I was hooked! I discovered the show was called “Mystery Science Theater 3000”. I was somewhat disappointed that our cable system in North Carolina didn’t carry “Comedy Central”, but everytime I visited my Grandmother that year I made it a point to videotape it. (The “Turkey Day Marathon” was like entering Valhalla!)

    Fall of 1993 my parents were getting ready for a nasty divorce, and I was suffering “Post-College” depression. My friends were not around but Joel (and then Mike) and the bots made me smile and I cannot begin to say how grateful was for that. It was a blessing from God! By the end of 1993 I accepted that my parents’ divorce, painful as it was to witness and know I couldn’t help, was the right thing for all involved and moved in with some friends from college. I still visited my Grandmother and always made sure to tape plenty of “MST3K” I even joined the info club (#30705).

    To this day, 30 years later I am proud to say I am a hard core MSTIE, and I am grateful that I am not alone in my devotion to the series.

    Thank you one and all for all the laughs and great memories.

  221. Late to the game, it was 1995. My boyfriend and I would get super stoned, gorge on fast food, and crash in our living room to Comedy Central. After one of these crashes I woke around 1am to a black and white movie with some silhouettes making fun of it. I don’t remember the movie, but I do remember laughing so hard. I didn’t even know what the show was called, but continued to hunt for it at that time until I found it and started religiously recording it (I still have the tapes!) It was a bad relationship I was in, and he hated the show. Needless to say, MST3K is still making me happy, and the guy is long gone.

  222. One morning I was flipping through the cable channels, and on the SyFy network(I think it had a different spelling then) there was a black & white horror film with these black silhouettes who kept talking over the movie. I was really irritated, since it was a film that had scared the wits out of me when I was a kid. The next week I decided to see if they would have another movie of the same ilk, and sure enough there is the same set=up, so I tried to watch and found myself laughing hysterically. They were pulling in stuff from everywhere, and I was hooked. Followed them to Comedy Central, bought VHS tapes and then dvds, and went to live shows. Share it with my 4 kids as well.

  223. In 1998, I saw the show listed in a TV schedule and decided I wanted to see what it was all about. I’d heard of it throughout the ’90s but didn’t really know anything about it, as I hadn’t had cable TV most of that time. I did know that it had something to do with movies.

    After the opening host segments, everyone went into the theater, and I figured it was just going to be for a little while and it would just be the movie by itself after that. But as it went on, it of course became clear that that the show was all about mocking the movie, and I got more and more into it and was pretty much dead from laughing by the time it was over. The episode was “The Pumaman”, and I’m not sure I could have picked a better one to start with (well, except “Space Mutiny”, I suppose).

    What a life-changing experience. I love it all. the Joel episodes, the Mike episodes, the Jonah episodes, the live shows, TimmyBigHands.com, The Film Crew, Rifftrax, Cinematic Titanic, The Mads… I still can’t get enough of it.

  224. Living in Inver Grove Heights and right before my birthday in 1991, I was switching around on a Sunday morning and found this weird local channel from St. Cloud. I watched and fell in love as Joel and the boys made fun of Gamera. Thus I was hooked for life.

  225. I was 12, I think. Around 1990. I remember lazily laying on the couch with Comedy Central on, and suddenly there’s this black and white movie with these three silhouettes riffing on it. It featured some dude wearing a fur suit and a space helmet, and was the most ridiculous thing, but it made me sit up and take notice. I specifically remembered the end…
    “Is this the end of the film Joel?”
    “You ever hear of deja vu, Joel?”
    “Huh? What?”
    It was years before they would air Robot Monster again, and in between those viewings I had become a huge fan.

  226. Probably around 10+ years ago when I was a teen I think my dad rented the episode Teenagers from Outer Space. I absolutely fell in love with it right off the bat, bits like “I will hug him and squeeze him and call him Geooooooorge.” still get me to this day, and have stuck with me since then. Ever since then I went on to watch every episode, and it’s my favorite show til this day. I’m really grateful my dad introduced me to it. <3

  227. I was dating this incredible tool named Jeff, and we were at his house, just hanging out, watching television when this strange but compelling show called Mystery Science Theater came on. I think it was 1994, I’m not entirely sure. I was instantly smitten. All I wanted to do was find out whatever I could about this weird show. When was it on? Who are these guys? It was definitely memorable other than me not remembering the episode. I think it might have been one of the Hercules episodes. Needless to say, the relationship with Jeff didn’t work out but my love affair with MST3K is still going strong to this day. Did I mention that he’s a gigantic dickweed? Anytime I need comforting or a good laugh, I put on an episode and things aren’t so bad. Rifftrax and Cinematic Titanic too. All great. Feels like family. The entire community. It’s all wonderful.

  228. I started watching mst3k when I was a very young child I lived in the Minneapolis St Paul area and it aired on our local station when Joel was young, and the robots were new and shiny! It was amazing and some of my favorite memories were the Gamera for cks, and the creepy Santa Claus movies. Anyway, hit the button Frank let’s go!

  229. I’m pretty new to MST3K, the first I saw of it was the new reboot on Netflix. My mom ha wathed it and thought I would like it too, and as soon as I watched “Mac and Me” I was hooked. Now I’m working my way back through the series through all the old episodes. I seriously don’t remember what I did with my free time before MST3K.

  230. I discovered MST3K way back when Comedy Central first launched. In Portland Oregon, CC started out sharing channel 34 with VH1, the programming flipping from one to the other in the afternoon. So one Saturday my aunt Patsy (the cool aunt who’d watch MONSTERVISION with me) and I were flipping channels and we come across a black and white film with a bunch of cave men running along a ridge as a voice said “Ooga chaka, ooga ooga ooga chaka!” (or was it “boom shakalakalaka! “boom shakalakalaka!”? I have only found that episode once since then) We were immediately intrigued! We watched until the commercial break and I flipped over to channel 00 for the programming guide (remember that!?) and waited for it to scroll around to get the name of the show. Because there was so little time left all it said was “Mystery Science Thea…”.

    Over the next couple weeks I had a heck of a time finding the show. The cable company moving the channels around, the channel moving the time slots around, being in middle school and not having an autonomous TV to watch when I wanted (or a VCR to record stuff I wasn’t there for). When I finally did have a Saturday afternoon when I could watch the show from the very beginning I don’t even remember what episode it was, but I remember being intrigued by the montage of invention exchange footage in the opening theme song. The vivid memory of the BGC-19 mobile drumkit in the opening is my only clue to narrowing down the date. I remember it taking along time for me to finally see the episode that featured that invention exchange (#201, Rocketship X-M).

    Thanks for all the other fond memories, the clear and the fuzzy!
    Keep circulating the tapes!

  231. The first time I saw MST3K was in November of 1991. I was flipping through the channels when I came across this horrible movie and I couldn’t look away. That’s when I noticed some silhouettes at the bottom of the screen and then I was hooked. The movie was “Robot Holocaust” and it holds a special place in my heart even though it really sucks. November ’91 was also the first Turkey Day marathon which happened the following week so I got caught up fairly quickly.

  232. Summer 1991. Home from college. Flipping channels for something to watch. Intrigued by a silhouette of movie seats and – what are those, puppets? – and Joel Hodgson – that guy who did the “Agent J” stand up routine on SNL years ago. Okay, so they’re watching a really awful movie Elvira, Mistress of the Dark, would show and making fun of it. But wait, these jokes are clever. And yeah, that monster does look like a carrot. “It Conquered the World”? It looks like it couldn’t conquer a salad. Whatever. Fine, I’ll watch a little longer. Okay, now I need to see the end of this. What’s this show called? Mystery Science Theater 3000? Odd, but okay. Is this like a one time thing? No? A whole series? I’m in. And from that point on, I’ve been watching, cheering for, laughing at all the jokes about living in the Midwest, references to Grateful Dead songs, watching out for snakes, McClouds, Torgo, Richard Basehart, and whatever else came out of a writers’ room somewhere in or around Minneapolis. I know the show has plenty of life left and an endless supply of terrible, unwatchable movies to keep it alive for years to come. Thanks for what was and what will be.

  233. The first MST3K episode I ever saw was Space Mutiny one late night on Youtube when I was in high school (2014). I don’t remember how I stumbled upon it, but I do remember how suddenly less alone I felt. I didn’t have friends freshman year, was struggling through an eating disorder & an abusive family situation and most nights I struggled to fall asleep thanks to the hunger pangs that kept me up. Watching MST3K distracted me from my problems. I liked how far away the Satellite of Love felt from the world, but also how cozy and safe it felt. I loved how the bots and Mike & Joel and even their captors had made themselves a found family and for 90 minutes, I got to be a part of that too. I’m in a much better place now, but I’m still so grateful for finding MST3K and watch an episode every week. I still haven’t actually seen the last episode maybe because I don’t want to see it end.

  234. The first time I saw MST3K was when a friend (Eugene/Gene) from High School here in Brooklyn was being handed a VHS cassette back from another friend and asked if I knew about it. Since I didn’t, he lent me the tape and I went home that night and laughed my ass off. I had to get more! So between some VHS recordings he had and catching it on cable TV on weekends, I finally got to experience the magic that is MST3K and the rest is history.

  235. It was the summer of 1992.
    A newly-sober me was visiting friends in LA (I lived in Ohio). When I arrived I brought with me a board game for the movie “Wayne’s World” that I got at Big Lots – it was horrible, but the highlight of the game was that it came with a VHS tape that you stuck in the player and let play – and at random times Wayne and Garth appeared on screen and screamed “HE SHOOTS – HE SCORES!!!” – at which point you grabbed one of a designated number of crumpled paper balls issued to you at the start of the game and chucked it at the game box top/bottom that had been “nested” in a poorly formed “Goal” on the other side of the room. If your ball went in you got points.
    It was horrible – and we played for hours.

    Being on East-coast time I woke up before anyone else in the house. So I decided to occupy my time with some channel-surfing.

    What’s this? People in silhouette talking over a movie?? Garbage props? Weird little puppets? What? And it’s hilarious?

    The movie was “Space Travelers” (later “Marooned”).

    And that was it – I was hooked. I watched, fascinated. It was like nothing I’d seen. I’m not positive but I think it was still “Ha!” at the time – I don’t think it was Comedy Central yet…..

    But I had to have more. I made my LA friends SWEAR to me that they’d send me tapes. And they did.

    In 1993 I moved to PA. We STILL didn’t have Comedy Central on local cable providers – but there was this new thing called Satellite TV. And SALVATION – USSB TV had Comedy Central!! But holy smokes – the systems were $800! (again – 1993 – that was A LOT).

    Low and behold – I hear wind of a seller in Detroit offering DSS systems for a mere $200 in a one-day sales event. I called to INSURE that there was no limit – because in my zeal to share the joy of MST3k I had generated a number of other rabid fans in my office. I needed 5 systems.

    2 of us made the long drive – and when I arrived they tried to limit me to TWO units. I was having none of that – I went FULL KAREN before it was even a thing – and it took a couple hours but we did return victorious!

    From that point on it was all re-runs and tapes and watch parties. Shortly after my own Satellite Receiver of Love was in place I had a “watch party” – and of course PA weather decided to make it 103 degrees that day – but no matter, my friends came and sweated it out in my garbage little rental house, laughing all the while….

  236. Oh man. 1996, I believe. Watching TV at my grandparents’ house and I stumbled upon “The Undead”, though I didn’t know it at the time, in fact I only just learned the name of the movie. I just thought “Why are these shadows talking during the movie?”

    And I “GOT” it immediately. My face hurt from laughing for so long. Now, 24 years later I’m still loving MST3K. It’s a style of show that was so unique, and is yet to be repeated in any form.

  237. In 1989, I lived in the sticks and our satellite was my best friend for a while. I was excited about an all-comedy channel, but disappointed it was nothing but clips. I tended to leave it there, since it was free at first, so it was on when I turned on the TV. One Saturday I saw a black and white movie and was trying to figure out what it was. I heard the commentary and it made me laugh. I didn’t notice the silhouettes at the bottom of the screen for minutes. I liked it enough to put in a tape and start recording right around the, “Boy, what a staircase!” bit—this is how I got about half of The Crawling Eye on tape. I’m not sure if it was the first airing or the first repeat, but I know it was early. By the end of the show, where I had learned there were robots, a guy trapped in space, and mad scientists, I was eager to come back next Saturday, VCR at the ready, and a lifelong obsession began.

    I have tried over the years to get other friends into the show, with varying degrees of success, but I don’t know many people who can play MST3K, RiffTrax, or Cinematic Titanic back to back without boredom like I can. They helped stoke a love of pop culture, old movies, and a dozen other things I’m still into. It was a show made for the internet, and only when the net came along did I realize other people took their comedy as seriously as I do.

  238. I was back in high school, so around ’91/’92. Me and about 4 friends were spending spring break at another friend’s house because his parents were gone for the week. Most of us had been awake for almost 2 days when we flipping through channels at around 2 in the morning and came across Women of the Prehistoric Planet with the little silhouettes in the corner. In our sleep deprived states we didn’t know what we were watching, but thought it was hilarious. We caught it again later in the week and we were all hooked from that moment on.

  239. The first episode I saw ran on MTV, back in the Cable Ace Awards days, and some of the stations carried a sample of nominated shows from other channels. Our cable system was still under local ownership and the word was out that the ownership did not want to carry Comedy Central so seeing “Cave Dwellers” on MTV blew my mind. For years the only way I could watch episodes was by having my sister in Iowa City tape them from her cable system and sending them to me. They didn’t pick up Comedy Central until after MST3K moved to the Sci-Fi Channel. When I went to the 1996 Convention I had only seen about 20 episodes but found a tape trader there and picked up copies of everything I was missing over the next few months, trading comics and anime tapes for most of them.

  240. I was a teenager back in the 90s, and my brother and I were up all night on our home computer digging through a CD of shareware to see if there was anything good and watching whatever came on TV. Suddenly my brother’s like “OH MY GOD, YOU HAVE TO SEE THIS!” He stayed up late more often than I did, so he already knew what was coming, but it was the first time I’d seen The Mystery Science Theater Hour on our local television (no cable in our household at the time).

    I couldn’t even get past the theme song without laughing my ass off. Then the back half of The Amazing Colossal Man started playing, and I was really in for it.

    I don’t even remember how I learned more about the show at the time; it was the early years of the Internet, but I wasn’t exactly a very online person (yet). I followed the show for a few weeks before I got the bright idea to start taping it, ending up with a collection of six complete movies (MSTHour only ran half an episode every week).

    I actually ended up buying cable for my household so that I could catch the last three seasons of the show’s original run. Good times.

  241. It was late winter or early spring of 1993. I was with my college’s choir on a tour of the East Coast, and was crashing on the couch of a random alumnus. (In hindsight I don’t get how the logistics of that worked out, but that’s not the point of the story.) I was not feeling well, and couldn’t sleep, so I thought I’d turn on some cable with the volume low and channel surf until I was tired enough. In the process, I briefly caught sight of three shadowy figures in the lower right of the screen while a dubbed Japanese movie played. I didn’t know what I was looking at, but then the lake started bubbling and a kid on a water toy started to panic, and the human-shaped shadow shouted, “Try not to get sucked into the Vortex of Hell, Billy!” And things just escalated from there. And I was trying to be SO quiet, but I was practically convulsing from laughter. I’d never seen anything like it on TV (except perhaps Svengoolie, but it never hit me the way this did.) And I was confused by the in-between segments but quickly realized I was watching something called Mystery Science Theater 3000. I watched the entire episode, and was hooked. The next day I asked people on the tour bus if they knew anything about the show, but nobody had a clue what I was talking about. But I knew my life had been forever changed that night. (I mean, not a LOT, but y’know, whatever.) The rest of the tour it was all I could think about. The next place I stayed at, I tried to find the show again, but apparently it didn’t air every night. Once back at campus a week later, I tried finding Usenet info on the show, with minimal success. I found out one of my friends was familiar with the show, and was able to quote out-of-context lines from an episode called “Beatniks.” From then on I searched high and low for purchasable VHS tapes of the show, and begged relatives who lived where Comedy Central was available to record episodes for me. I was obsessed. Eventually I’d cobbled together a meager collection consisting of Giant Gila Monster, City Limits, Cave Dwellers, and several months later, an episode just called “Santa Claus,” which confused me because the human looked a lot different. When I went online to find out what happened, I was treated to my first flame war. But that’s a separate story entirely.

  242. I was a fan of the old Toho Godzilla movies long before I knew about MST3K. While I was in college in 1992 our local cable company had just added the Comedy Channel (now Comedy Central) to our line up and one day I was flipping through channels at a friend’s house and I saw an old black and white Godzilla Movie playing on the Comedy Channel. I was puzzled as to why it was on there so I stopped to watch it for a few minutes. All through the movie I kept hearing people talking through the movie and as I looked closer I saw the little silhouettes at the bottom right of lower third of the screen.
    I was annoyed at first because I wanted to watch Godzilla fight the monsters and destroy stuff but then I started listening to what the silhouettes were saying and it was hilarious! I found on the TV guide what the show was called and then planned to watch it when it came on on Saturday Night. My first full episode was Manos and I was hooked after that. MST 3K became my Saturday Night ritual from there on out.

  243. 1989. First episode ever was season 1’s “the mad monster” and the show’s been with all me all this time.

    My God that was a lifetime ago!

    There’s so much more to the story, but given the length, I sent it over in an email- I don’t want to take up to much space here!

    Maybe they’ll use some of it somewhere else so you guys can see. 🙂

  244. Summer of 1995, I had just moved into with my first apartment. My roommates had gone to bed after Kids in the Hall was over and I was up snacking and watching late night TV. I was killing time waiting for something good to come on Comedy Central, but every time I turned back, it was some grainy movie with silhouettes at the bottom making fun of it. I finally gave up and decided to watch; I ended up waking up my roommates because I was laughing so hard at my first MST3K episode, Pod People. After that, I forced anyone over at my place to watch it when it was on. I’ll never forget my friends lying around my apartment floor in hysterics, especially when we saw Manos the first time. 26 years later I still watch MST3K almost every night.

  245. I must have been 7 or 8 when I first saw mst, young enough to not get a lot of the jokes, but just old enough to really appreciate the funny approach to something I previously thought unforgivable: a bad movie. I can’t even remember what the first one was, but I do remember the very first MST riff I ever heard:

    “Oh no, I’ve placed my foot against a rock.”

    I was sold.

    It fell off the map when I was a teen, of course, and being one of the last people to get the Internet, I didn’t rediscover it until I was a young adult. By then I was having some serious anxiety and depression issues, so MST came back into my life at a perfect time. It almost felt like divine intervention. The first one I watched after years of not seeing it was First Spaceship On Venus.

    Ten years after that and I’m still loving this show: it’s on 24/7, whenever nothing else is on, and I have to say it’s just as good at helping me manage Sad Stuff as it was ten years ago — it keeps me company, makes me laugh, and I like to think it’s radically improved my sense of humor.

    God Bless MST3K.

  246. I’m a young’n, so by the time I was old enough to watch more than Sesame Street, MST3K was long over. I vaguely remember encountering my dad watching it once when I was a teenager. He encouraged me to turn it on, and I did, but I don’t remember anything about it besides some people running around some tunnels and the weird little dudes at the bottom of the screen.
    My next encounter was in college. I started watching the Netflix reboot on a whim… for some reason I started with the Gauntlet. I didn’t finish either.
    Then quarantine came. I was bored and depressed because I missed all of my college friends and my now fiancé. My dad started turning on MST3K on random, and we found it on Pluto tv. This time, I was hooked. Over the course of less than a year I’ve watched most of the episodes available (and many of the more than once), This show got me through that separation and through a gauntlet of education classes and coursework. It’s a part of me now!

  247. I discovered MST3k after watching an episode of RedLetterMedia’s Best of the Worst back in 2015. Interested I searched the ol’ YouTube and bang, several years later, here I am. Every turkey day marathon since 2016 I have sat down and watched (despite being British and as such now associate Thanksgiving with MST3k marathons and not Turkey dinners. And I expect to keep doing so for a long time yet to come.

  248. I started watching at the beginning of Season 2 during the original airing. I was in ninth grade. I was a smart kid, so having a show that rewarded that was amazing. It was a show that helped shape my sense of humor and I never missed an episode (except one). Later, when Comedy Central started showing episodes at midnight, I would watch everyday. I wrote my entrance essay to college on MST3k (and got credit for Composition 101). Later, I had a chance to have most of the cast alone in an office and I got to tell them to their faces how important they were to me growing up.

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