MORE STORIES: Have You Ever Made Best Friends — Or Fallen in Love — Helped Along By a Shared Devotion to MST3K?

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Our first call for your stories about how you originally found MST3K generated a Big McLargeHuge response, a veritable deluge of your amazing, funny, heartfelt, and wonderful personal stories. You left hundreds of comments, and truth be told, far more of you emailed me directly (lesley@alternaversal.com) with your stories than I expected! I am having the time of my life reading them all, and I look forward to publishing some of them here on MST3K.org (with your permission — I’ll start emailing you individually in the coming days/weeks to discuss, so stand by!) as well as sharing them with the rest of the team.

I know many of you have stories of making friends or even finding romantic partners over the occasional episode of MST3K. I’ll admit to a period of time in my 20s when simply knowing a person was into this show was enough for me to consider dating them (in more recent years, dating nerdy types — my people — who eventually find out I work on MST3K has led to some… interesting interactions). That said, romance isn’t everything, and I’d argue that enduring close friendships full of inside jokes and shared knowledge are just as valuable as any romantic partnerships might be.

So this week, in honor of Valentine’s Day, and with a renewed appreciation for the simple joy of spending in-person time with the people we care about most, we’re inviting you to tell us your stories of interpersonal connections sparked or reinforced by shared interest in MST3K. Did you connect over a riff? Did you discover MST3K together? Tell us about it! (And wear your yellow dress, the one with the ruffles on it, so we know it’s real.)

You can share in the comments below, or email me at lesley@alternaversal.com if you’d rather get lengthy about it. Also, if you emailed me previously at info@alternaversal.com, don’t fret, I’ve got you.

Thanks again for being so generous with your stories, y’all. I hope reading and sharing them together is a bit of sunshine in your day — it certainly is in mine.

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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!

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