Friday, January 20, 2012

MST3K: Season One wrapup

I consider myself a fan of Mystery Science Theater 3000. However, I haven't seen all of the episodes. I've seen all the Mike shows, but not all the Joel shows. And, until recently, I hadn't seen any of the shows with Dr. Erhardt (Josh Weinstein, who also voiced Tom Servo).

We just finished Season One and are getting ready for Season Two. But, before we start MST3K's sophomore year, let's get a wrapup of Season One.

Between the KTMA season (Season Zero or Season K) and Season One, Josh (now J. Elvis) Weinstein met Michael J. Nelson and thought he'd be a good addition to the team. He was hired to "do some typing." That began as being typist for the existing crew of writers: Trace Beaulieu, Joel Hodgson, Jim Mallon, Kevin Murphy, and Josh Weinstein.

MST3K promotes Mike
They soon found out that Mike Nelson was a funny guy, and he became one of the writers. In Season Two, he was promoted to Head Writer.

Mike made his first appearance in the last episode of Season One, Episode 104 - Women of the Prehistoric Planet. Well, "appearance" isn't the right word. He provided the voice. He'll show up on-screen in Season Two.

Josh, who had originally suggested bringing Mike in, wasn't as happy with a scripted show as he was with the ad-lib nature of the KTMA season. After Season One wrapped, he left the show.

That meant that two openings needed to be filled: Tom Servo needed a voice, and Dr. Clayton Forrester needed an assistant.

MST3K gets a new Servo
Kevin Murphy, who had been with the show since the start, took over as the voice of Tom Servo. He's the only Tom Servo I ever knew until I decided to watch all the old shows. Now, after 31 straight episodes with Josh Weinstein (the 18 that still exist from the KTMA season, plus the 13 from Season One), I'm used to Josh in the role. Let's see how long it takes me to get used to Kevin again.

Frank Conniff, who was a comedian they crew was very familiar with, was hired as "Frank," a trainee to assist Dr. Forrester. He'll make his appearance in the first episode of Season Two. Frank Conniff was actually referenced in the KTMA season (Episode K14 - Mighty Jack). He'll be one of the writers, as well as the primary guy to pick the movies to riff.

Frank Conniff plays "Frank"
Joel went all of Season One going by the name "Joel." No last name. During the KTMA season, Joel went by his real name, "Joel Hodgson." I'm not sure when the character takes the last name "Robinson." I'll keep looking for that.

After one local season (on the former KTMA) and after one national season (on the former Comedy Channel), I've enjoyed the show and its dynamic. Prior to this project, I hadn't seen a lot of Joel, and thought of MST3K as Mike's show. Yes, I've know all along that Joel started it, but I was more familiar with Mike as the experiment subject.

Now, I'm used to Joel's character, as well as Dr. Erhardt, and Josh's Tom Servo. Let's see how the changes in Season Two change things.

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