Giving Thanks For 25 Years Of Mystery Science Theater 3000
By CNU Editor Kari Rogers
Mystery Science Theater 3000, or MST3K, premiered on November 24, 1988 (Thanksgiving Day) on local Minneapolis TV station KTMA. For those who aren’t familiar, it was a long-running cult TV show about a guy and two robots riffing on horrible B-movies they watch aboard a satellite at the behest of mad scientists. You’ve literally had 25 years to get with this program. For those who ARE familiar, you oughta check out mst3kturkeyday.com because it seems us MSTies are partying all week.
What makes MST3K so appealing to so many people? Well, you got puppets for the kids and pop culture jokes for the adults. Plus all that Midwestern charm and UHF production value will automatically give you the warm-fuzzies over time. And need I mention the space robots again? Despite its extraordinary comedic content, comedy nerds have let the regular nerds take this one under the couch with them. Like Monty Python, they’re positively batshit over it. What makes it so iconic? It’s got a great look.
The “Shadowrama” theater seats are instantly recognizable. And people ironically connect with the awful movies that are the destroyed centerpieces of every episode. We rubberneck bad films all the time. Kitsch is a subculture unto itself. B-movies have a history of being ripe for cult potential. And things that celebrate cult tend to become cult themselves.
Me, personally, if you bring up Mystery Science Theater 3000, you’re going to learn a lot about my life. I first saw it when I was six years old. It’s my favorite show because it’s always been a constant throughout my existence - a constant source of sentimentality with my family, a constant source of distraction and comfort when times are tough. I remember trying to save up for Rhino VHS tapes of it in 8th grade. I remember watching a shorts DVD late at night after a disappointing 14th birthday and reading The Amazing Colossal Episode Guide and Mike Nelson’s Movie Megacheese alone at school during the isolating teen years that followed. It helped me out when my mom was dying and when my dog ran away. My step-dad and I spent some rare quality time together watching The Skydivers episode. And, coupled with my hip family’s need to raise a precocious child, it designed the blueprint of my sense of humor, particularly my obsession with obscure references. I’m forever thankful.
It’s just a show. I should really just relax.
But how can you relax with all the internet events Reddit and Shout Factory have planned for us?! Series creator Joel Hodgson is doing a Reddit AMA this Tuesday at 1pm PST/4pm EST until 3pm PST/6pm EST. AND he’s participating in Reddit’s Black Friday livestream event along with other comedians this Friday (duh) from 9am PST/Noon EST - 5pm PST/8pm EST. AND YOU GUYS: Joel and Shout Factory are bringing the TURKEY DAY MARATHON back! A Thanksgiving tradition from the show’s tenure at Comedy Central that ended in 1997 will be revived on mst3kturkeyday.com on Thursday starting at 9am PST/Noon EST.
I encourage you to watch Mystery Science Theater 3000 today, remember when you discovered it, and think of what keeps bringing you back to it.
Kari Rogers’s earliest memory is having the Doobie Brothers explained to her.
Unanswered Questions About JFK’s Death
It was quite a sad day.
And, like the mystery of who shot Mr. Burns, there are many questions that linger to this very day. Here is a complete list.
- Who shot him? Who did this? Cubans, the mob, a rogue U.S. marine with nothing to lose, a time-traveler who knew JFK’s rugged good looks would ruin us all, the Illuminati? Who? We’ll never really know.
- Is he really dead? Or is this like that Andy Kaufman prank. Has anyone seen the two of them in the same room? Makes ya think.
- Why would someone shoot the president? Seems effed up, in my opinion.
- Why is the Magic Bullet being tossed under the bus here? The Magic Bullet is a great product. It blends, it crushes, it makes great margaritas. And yet Conspiracy Theorists insist upon accusing it as playing some part in killing JFK. This is not right.
- What does the F in JFK stand for? Is this like an F. Scott Fitzgerald situation, when the F. stands for nothing? Is it like Dwight D. Eisenhower, when the D. stood for “Dominantor?”
- Did anyone say “The president has been shot. j(F)k lol” when it happened? Cause that would have been very funny.
- Who is Zapruder? He has a name that sounds like a super villain. Like he uses electricity in a very rude way. Also he has some sort of film? Seems in very bad taste to be making a movie while the president was shot.
- Anyone else think Lyndon B. Johnson did it? Who else had the motivation to kill the president other than…the vice president? Messed up if true.
- What does “down and to the left” mean? It sounds kind of like someone describing how to do a move in “Street Fighter,” which was JFK’s favorite video game….it’s starting to come together.
- If JFK was a “Street Fighter” character, who would he be? I say Guile but could be sold on Ken.
By CNTributor JM Cook
Hipster #1: Man, I remember seeing Arcade Fire back in 2006 at a church in Brooklyn. It was life-changing.
Hipster #2: For real? I remember seeing Animal Collective in a ‘04 at a high school gymnasium in Somerville, Mass. Way before they were big.
Hipster #1: Nice nice. I saw Beach House play at a haunted graveyard in South Carolina in 2008. It was so intense.
Hipster #2: Aw man, that sounds great. Were you there for Interpol in 2001? In that abandoned warehouse in Columbus, Ohio? There must have been 10 of us + the band, that’s it. So intimate.
Hipster #1: Ohhh yeah, I posted flyers for that show, but had to go see Neutral Milk Hotel play in Cleveland at a condemned mental institution that night.
Hipster #2: Wowww not bad. Did you ever hear about the Sleigh Bells show in 2009? The one atop the ashes of a recently burned down two-story ranch house in Tampa? They think it was arson. The band played for like eight hours. So effing rad.
Hipster #1: I did! I actually lit that fire and @ messaged the band on Twitter to say it’d be a “pretty dope place for a show.” Were you around for Lorde’s first show? Was in — shit, 1996 I think? — in Devonport, New Zealand. I was studying abroad there and happened into Navy Hospital and bam — improptu show with newborn Lorde. Just me, her folks and the doctors. Her voice was tighter back then.
Hipster #2: My memory is foggy, but I -think- I was studying to be a midwife there and delivered her. You know what, it was Lorde. She was better in the ultrasounds, lemme tell you.
To the Kelly Oxford haters
The following is the opinion of CNTributor JM Cook, not the CNU staff as a whole. However, that does not make it any less correct.
Earlier this week, so-called “Twitter writer” Kelly Oxford sold a script to Fox. This is cool! Someone who built up a public presence via a free website, then actually monetized it? That is very amazing.
But some people (celebrity blog [barf] Defamer, mostly) hate this fact. A lot.
They point to the fact that she “recycles her own material” and is unfunny.
They are wrong.
Does Oxford re-post jokes she has written onto free-to-access website Twitter dot com? Yes. It has happened semi-regularly over the multiple years she’s been posting.
Why, Defamer even has copious evidence. How damning!
Except it’s not. Did you know there are no rules for Twitter? It’s true! You can post whatever you want (within legality), however you want. Neat, huh? Oxford has every right to re-post the same three jokes, should she want to. I doubt she’d sell a TV script or amass a half-million followers that way, though.
In their most recent slam-piece, Defamer used this lovely line:
"and no, Twitter is not standup, so please don’t use the argument that standup comedians reuse sets all the time."
Oh. I’m sorry. The Ruler of Twitter has spoken. My liege, is it OK to manually RT someone? Can I do #FollowFriday!? Please, oh wise one, tell me!
People use Twitter in a number of ways. To socialize or make jokes or look or relentlessly harass Donald Trump. Some people use it as a testing ground for comedy material, a testing ground they may not have access to otherwise for any number of reasons.
When your first reaction to the fact that a person sold a script (in part) due to the strength of a Twitter account is, “That person sucks.” You are a sad human being.
You have every right to not follow Kelly Oxford. But telling someone they’re using a free website wrong is a joke.
Americans Blame Beyoncé’s Pepsi Affiliation for Blue Ivy’s First Cavity
By CNtributer Dash Nye
NEW YORK—Early this morning, fans and oral activists began protesting Beyoncé’s latest Pepsi campaign after the story broke that Blue Ivy Carter— the famed 9-month old daughter of the R&B singer and Jay-Z— was found with a tiny baby cavity on her tiny baby tooth.
Naturally, the longtime presence of Pepsi soda in the Carters’ lives was blamed by Sony Music dentists for the baby’s sugary diet. Beyoncé has endorsed the brand since 2002.
Mindy Noble, a lifelong Beyoncé fan and and cavity survivor was one of the first to voice her outrage. ”It’s really more upsetting than when the royal baby got the flu,” said Noble.
Noble and ten thousand others took to the internet. Twitter users boycotted The Pepsi campaign, demanded that custody of Blue Ivy be taken from the parents, and even attacked Jay-Z’s recent albums.
"They have no concept of oral hygiene," explained Noble. "Beyoncé’s genetics make her immune to tooth decay. And if Jay-Z fucks up his teeth, he can just fix it with Illuminati insurance or wear his visor lower."
Stefani Allen, a longtime housemaid of the couple, confirmed that Pepsi beverages are in abundant supply at the Knowles-Carter estate.
"Only half of the garden fountains spray actual water now," said Allen. "They’re fridge is packed! They got Pepsi, Diet Pepsi, Pepsi Max, Pepsi Cherry, Lime Pepsi… which I never understood. Who wants to taste lime in their coke— I mean, Pepsi?"
Allegations that the parents added Pepsi to Blue Ivy’s baby formula are still unconfirmed. Allen said she was sure none of the house’s staff ever gave the infant Lime Pepsi because it “would be weird.”
The reigning king and queen of hip-hop and pop have 34 Grammys and several certified-platinum records between them. The negative reaction to Blue Ivy’s cavity is the biggest challenge the duo has encountered in their respective careers.
Dentist and father, Jared Plummer was one of the hundreds who marched in Times Square today to spread celebrity cavity awareness.
"Just because you text the Obamas and do humanitarian work does not mean you get to neglect your child," said Plummer. "I’m very frustrated, but it’s good to see people come together for something important."
Blue Ivy recently made #3 on Buzzfeed’s “10 Babies You Can’t Live Without” after Family Guy's Stewie Griffin and Honey Boo Boo.