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In A Not Distant Database, Next Sunday AD...
August 29, 2011 9:12 AM   Subscribe

MST3kdbx: Six Degrees of Peter Graves. Did you know Coleen Gray was in The Leech Woman and The Phantom Planet? Like the IMDB obsessive cinephile friend you never friend MST3Kdbx indexes and connects together every actor in every movie shown on Mystery Science Theater 3000 [via mefi projects]
posted by The Whelk (84 comments total) 36 users marked this as a favorite

 
Which way to the natatorium?
posted by DU at 9:20 AM on August 29, 2011 [2 favorites]


Please tell me at long last we have an answer to the age-old question: "WHO IS MERRITT STONE?!?!?!"
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 9:20 AM on August 29, 2011 [5 favorites]


Joel 4 Lyfe
posted by shakespeherian at 9:22 AM on August 29, 2011 [6 favorites]


William Sylvester Trivial Pursuit?
posted by thescientificmethhead at 9:24 AM on August 29, 2011 [2 favorites]


we don't MENTION THAT ARGUMENT shakes
posted by The Whelk at 9:25 AM on August 29, 2011


It's not an argument it is a fact. People who prefer Mike are the equivalent of climate change deniers.
posted by shakespeherian at 9:26 AM on August 29, 2011 [8 favorites]


Oh yay, I was counting down the seconds until this got made in to a FPP. :)
Awesome.
posted by Theta States at 9:26 AM on August 29, 2011


Fucking of course I did. But this site looks wonderful.

First people I checked: Pernell Roberts and Touch (Mike "Touch") Connors, both of whom I thought were in more than one MST3k episode. Wrong on both counts!
posted by penduluum at 9:27 AM on August 29, 2011


Oh my favorite bit of MSt3K actor-lore - I'm pretty sure Daran Norris, of Hobgoblin's Club Scum MC fame, is one of the few actors in these movies to go on to actually have a career.

He was also the gimp in Pulp Fiction.
posted by The Whelk at 9:38 AM on August 29, 2011 [5 favorites]


Oddly enough, "Manos": The Hands of Fate doesn't seem to lead anywhere...
posted by Gee Your Hair Smells Terrific at 9:40 AM on August 29, 2011


*dun den dun den den dun dun*
posted by The Whelk at 9:41 AM on August 29, 2011 [2 favorites]


Another piece of trivia - -which I just learned from my initial skimming about the site (because I've never seen this particular episode so I had to look it up on Wikipedia)

Marooned -- which was covered on MST3K as Space Travelers -- is only movie they've ever done which one an Academy Award (Best Visual Effects)

(It also has quite a well-known, non-gimp cast: Gregory Peck, Richard Crenna, David Janssen,
Gene Hackman. Lee Grant, Mariette Hartley -- with Janssen being the only one who appears elsewhere in the database.)
posted by MCMikeNamara at 9:44 AM on August 29, 2011


Robert "Catcher's Mitt With Eyes" Z'dar was only in two MST3k movies, sure, but he filled the screen.
posted by DU at 9:44 AM on August 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


Marooned -- which was covered on MST3K as Space Travelers -- is only movie they've ever done which one an Academy Award (Best Visual Effects)

I saw this without the assistance of MST3k. I only saw a portion, but wow was it ever boring. A lot of floating in space.
posted by DU at 9:45 AM on August 29, 2011


He was also the gimp in Pulp Fiction.

Michael Landon, who starred in I Was A Teenage Werewolf played the blob in the 1988 remake of The Blob. (In the original 1958 version, it was Vincent Price.)
posted by griphus at 9:46 AM on August 29, 2011


If you watch the series in reverse you can see John Phillip Law's career sputter and die.
posted by The Whelk at 9:47 AM on August 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


He was also the gimp in Pulp Fiction.

IMDB and Wikipedia both say it was Stephen Hibbert.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 9:47 AM on August 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


Don't forget The Band That Played "California Lady"...
posted by Oriole Adams at 9:48 AM on August 29, 2011 [4 favorites]


Wikipedia is unaware of the Daran Norris/gimp connection.
posted by DU at 9:48 AM on August 29, 2011


'Phase IV' is one of my favorite movies ever. Let's just say that a story about a mathematician and a biologist living in a dome fighting an unstoppable horde of intelligent ants really hits close to home, and really kind of gives an alternate description of my years in graduate school. Anyway, thanks MST3K! Never would have seen it without'cha.
posted by kaibutsu at 9:49 AM on August 29, 2011 [2 favorites]


Well, DU, I can't help but recall that Wikipedia is only as good as its user base... Fix it!
posted by kaibutsu at 9:50 AM on August 29, 2011



IMDB and Wikipedia both say it was Stephen Hibbert.

Booo! My cocktail chatter starter story is much more interesting.
posted by The Whelk at 9:52 AM on August 29, 2011


I would definitely go to any party where the Gimp and Hobgoblins were topics of conversation.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 9:53 AM on August 29, 2011


I would definitely go to any pub called the Gimp and Hobgoblins.
posted by griphus at 9:55 AM on August 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


It's not an argument it is a fact. People who prefer Mike are the equivalent of climate change deniers.

Whoa, whoa, whoa. You just sit through KTMA or Series 1 of the Comedy Central years. You'll come crawlin back, begging for Mike.

posted by robocop is bleeding at 9:55 AM on August 29, 2011 [5 favorites]


Flat-earther
posted by shakespeherian at 9:58 AM on August 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


Pig Liquor?
posted by The Whelk at 9:59 AM on August 29, 2011 [2 favorites]


Skipper was in 3 movies!

doesn't anyone prefer Joike?
posted by TedW at 9:59 AM on August 29, 2011


When you are sick, do you still bleed yourself to release the bad humors? Times change. Embrace modernity.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 10:01 AM on August 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


Everyone I know thinks Mike is a better host than Joel. And they're right.

But can't we all just unite in love for TV's Frank?
posted by thescientificmethhead at 10:04 AM on August 29, 2011 [4 favorites]


Guys we can fight when we're drunk.
posted by The Whelk at 10:04 AM on August 29, 2011


Wow, that's fantastic and amazing! Thank you so much!

Is there any documentation about how you wrote this thing? I'd love to learn how to do that kind of relational mapping.
posted by jasper411 at 10:08 AM on August 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


This makes me want to organize a MST3K movie night/drinking game for my dorm.

Grad student dorms are pretty awesome.
posted by smirkette at 10:08 AM on August 29, 2011


I think that for Pulp Fiction, y'all may be thinking of Duane Whitaker, who played Road Rash in Hobgoblins, and who also played Maynard in Pulp Fiction. (Maynard wasn't Zed, he was the other one.)
posted by cereselle at 10:10 AM on August 29, 2011 [3 favorites]


(But like Zed, he was dead.)
posted by cereselle at 10:10 AM on August 29, 2011


Mike/Joel is basically my favorite thing to fight about when I'm drunk. So yes, let's all agree to meet back here when I'm off work, with a Mason jar of slivovitz in my hand.
posted by penduluum at 10:13 AM on August 29, 2011 [2 favorites]


Daran Norris wasn't the Gimp, but he was a doctor in Knights of the Old Republic. So, that's pretty cool, actually.
posted by dirigibleman at 10:14 AM on August 29, 2011


and Veronica Mars!
posted by The Whelk at 10:20 AM on August 29, 2011


Peter Graves?

This thread will self-destruct in 5 seconds.
posted by jonmc at 10:30 AM on August 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


I would definitely go to any pub called the Gimp and Hobgoblins.

If memory serves, wasn't this the pub where the Inklings gathered?
posted by BigHeartedGuy at 11:05 AM on August 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


(walks up to lectern, nods to the dean, then the audience, then begins)

1. Mystery Science Theater 3000 spawned both Cinematic Titanic and RiffTrax.
*. Frank Conniff of Cinematic Titanic co-created Cartoon Dump with animation historian Jerry Beck, but that's off the subject.
2. RiffTrax has been a veritable touchstone of geekdom. They've done tracks with Paul and Storm, "Weird" Al Yankovic, Chad Vader, James Lileks and Jonathan Coulton.
*. Jonathan Coulton, of course, wrote "Still Alive" for Valve's meme-heavy game Portal, but we can find a more obscure chain of connections than that.
3. Jonathan Coulton is friends with, tours with, and does hilarious audiobook readings with John Hodgman. (Not "Hodgson.") Hodgman is also the PC in the "I'm a PC and I'm a Mac" commercials for Apple, which puts him in striking distance of Steve Jobs.
4. John Hodgman is a sometimes-correspondent for The Daily Show, which is rather a higher tier of awesome and brings us into contact with Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert. Worry not, we won't be up here long.
5. The people who play the theme song for The Daily Show are They Might Be Giants. Your mind = blown.
6. TMBG had a promiscuous period where they did theme songs for some unexpected things like Malcom in the Middle. Notably, they have performed with the Homestar Runner puppet from homestarrunner.com (now sadly on hiatus), and the HR guys did a music video for them starring Strong Sad.
7. Among other connections, Homestar Runner and Stong Bad are the focus of a series of adventure games made by Telltale Games.
*. Telltale Games did a game called Poker Night at the Inventory that has Strong Bad playing poker with Tycho of Penny Arcade and the Heavy from Team Fortress 2. I told you we could find a more obscure connection to Valve. Telltale also does games based on Wallace & Gromit and Back to the Future, from which we could extend still more tendrils if we chose.
8. More "relevant," Telltale did the new Sam & Max games and recently concluded a series that continued the Monkey Island games.
9. Both Sam & Max and Monkey Island are properties of, and were originally made by, Lucasfilm Games.
*. From here we could make a vertical move up to George Lucas and from there to Star Wars, but that would be so banal.
10. Lucasfilm Games also made Maniac Mansion.
11. There was an obscure TV show made for the Family Channel obstensibly based on Maniac Mansion, called "Maniac Mansion," natch. It starred Joe Flaherty.
12. Joe Flaherty's best-known show was probably SCTV.
13. Many of SCTV's players went on to be on the early years of Saturday Night Live.
14. Saturday Night Live played host once to a bright young comedian from the midwest named Joel Hodgson.
15. Joel Hodgson would go on to create a wonderful show about making fun of bad movies called Mystery Science Theater 3000.

Thank you, and good night. (Pulls pants back on, leaves the stage.)
posted by JHarris at 11:05 AM on August 29, 2011 [29 favorites]


Let me interrupt this thread to say:

I think you mean Minnesota native Peter Graves.

--Signed,

A Guy from Minnesota
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 11:39 AM on August 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


John Hodgman also apparently appeared in Battlestar Galactica. So now we're totally off the rails and into the wilderness.
posted by Naberius at 12:02 PM on August 29, 2011 [2 favorites]


> 5. The people who play the theme song for The Daily Show are They Might Be Giants. Your mind = blown.

...said theme song composed by Bob Mould, cofounder of Hüsker Dü. Your mind = blown right back.
posted by ardgedee at 12:02 PM on August 29, 2011 [6 favorites]


we're gonna need a mop and bucket
posted by The Whelk at 12:04 PM on August 29, 2011


...and if you want to go way off into the wilderness, you can note that Bob Mould was also a script consultant for the World Wrestling Federation for a couple years.
posted by ardgedee at 12:04 PM on August 29, 2011


JHarris you are my relevant pop-culture equivalent of James Burke. Mind most definitely blown.
posted by gofargogo at 12:05 PM on August 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm not seeing a Slab Bulkhead or a Thick McRunfast anywhere here...
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 12:09 PM on August 29, 2011 [4 favorites]


And of course They Might Be Giants have toured with Frank Vilardi on drums, who has also toured with The Bacon Brothers, featuring Kevin Bacon.
posted by shakespeherian at 12:09 PM on August 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


Bob Mould, cofounder of Minnesota's Hüsker Dü
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 12:14 PM on August 29, 2011 [4 favorites]


Metafilter: totally off the rails and into the wilderness
posted by Greg_Ace at 12:43 PM on August 29, 2011


Minnesota's Metafilter: totally etc.
posted by shakespeherian at 12:50 PM on August 29, 2011 [3 favorites]


** waves to MSTIES & Synthies, clears throat and steps up to the mic**

"He learned, almost too late, that man is a feeling creature and, because of it, the greatest in the universe. He learned, too late for himself, that men have to make their own way, to make their own mistakes. There can't be any gift of perfection from outside ourselves. And, when men seek such perfection, they find there's only death, fire, loss, disillusionment, the end of everything that's gone forward. Men have always sought an end to toil and misery. It can't be given; it has to be achieved. There is hope, but it has to come from inside, from man himself."
posted by isopraxis at 1:40 PM on August 29, 2011 [5 favorites]


One of you people better be a fleeeethy peeeeg.
posted by The Whelk at 2:01 PM on August 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


Mike French-kisses a cardboard Sean Hannity stand-up and his delivery is farts.

Joel is teh one tru Master Blaster.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 2:03 PM on August 29, 2011


This site is awesome. If you try to link movies that don't link, you get special error pages!

Blame Gamera
Z'Dar and Joe are not allowed outside the corridor
Your brain has performed an illegal operation and will be shut down
AHHH, PRINCE OF SPAAACE
This isn't charming at all, it's creepy

Very cool!
posted by subdee at 2:11 PM on August 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


subdee - Thanks, glad you noticed those!

There's also a special 404 for flagrantly invalid requests.
posted by lx at 2:18 PM on August 29, 2011 [3 favorites]


I thought I knew everything there was to know about Coleman Francis*, but I had no idea he had a bit role in This Island Earth. Neat!

Dear God, I've wasted my life.
posted by Rangeboy at 2:19 PM on August 29, 2011 [3 favorites]


*stares hypnotized at isopraxis*
posted by cereselle at 2:34 PM on August 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


John Hodgman also apparently appeared in Battlestar Galactica. So now we're totally off the rails and into the wilderness.

And Space Muntity used the SX shots from the original Battlestar Galatica.

EVERYTHING IS CONNECTED
posted by The Whelk at 3:14 PM on August 29, 2011


Come on now, Mike and Joel each have their strong points. And Mike is admirable at least in that, although he might lean conservative, you'd never know it from his material. He's really professional about it.
posted by JHarris at 3:49 PM on August 29, 2011 [2 favorites]


By this time my lungs were aching for air.
posted by gc at 3:52 PM on August 29, 2011 [5 favorites]


I never like to take a side in the Joel/Mike thing. I do think Mike is better, but come on, Joel created the whole show, and I'll always love him for that. Also, I love every single time he says, "Oh, I don't know..."

And I love TV's Frank, but I'll take Bobo and Observer any day, won't we?
posted by gc at 3:55 PM on August 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


Here I am, home after work with my jar of slivovitz (authentic! illegally snuck in from Poland!), and I don't think I have the energy to fight about Joel and Mike anymore. Because you know, everybody, every year of my life I grow more and more convinced that the wisest and the best is to fix our attention on the good and the beautiful, if you just take the time to look at it.
posted by penduluum at 4:00 PM on August 29, 2011 [7 favorites]


And I love TV's Frank, but I'll take Bobo and Observer any day, won't we?

This opinion is invalid. INVALID
posted by shakespeherian at 4:32 PM on August 29, 2011 [3 favorites]


EVERYONE BEHAVE
posted by The Whelk at 5:03 PM on August 29, 2011


Kind of an underatted episode

DO YOU NEED A PUSH MOVIE LADY?
posted by The Whelk at 5:04 PM on August 29, 2011


Also this furthers my belief that PRINCE OF SPACE and INVASION OF THE NEPTUNE MEN are actualy the same movie, re-cut.
posted by The Whelk at 5:21 PM on August 29, 2011


Oh my favorite bit of MSt3K actor-lore - I'm pretty sure Daran Norris, of Hobgoblin's Club Scum MC fame, is one of the few actors in these movies to go on to actually have a career.

I met Daran and his wife at an anime convention. (we were doing cosplay from Cowboy Bebop, which they both participated in)

I made a special point to congratulate him on his stellar performance in "Hobgoblins."

Also, this morning I watched "Riding With Death," which I'm guessing has a connection between William Sylvester (Gorgo, Devil Doll) and Ed Nelson (Swamp Diamonds, Night of the Blood Beast)

It was a little surprising at first to see Experiments that literally had no connection to any others, until I remembered that we're dealing with films like "Manos" here, which represented most of the cast's first and last film appearances.
posted by ShutterBun at 5:35 PM on August 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


also the clumps are a window into how they got the movies, the Werewolf-Soul taker corridor, the bunch of Kajiu stuff from the same houses, the little clump of Mexican Fantasy, the bulk being actual B movies to real Studio jobs, and then just far and strange Madagascar of bad like Manos.
posted by The Whelk at 5:39 PM on August 29, 2011


Less mind-blowing MST3K trivia: the main guy from "Future War" (Daniel Bernhardt) went on to "fame" as one of the albino twin assassins in "The Matrix Reloaded."
posted by ShutterBun at 5:44 PM on August 29, 2011 [2 favorites]


Idea for upgrading the database: include actors from the short subjects. (granted, tracking these down would likely be a lot tougher, as most of them don't have credits, etc.)

For starters, the narrator of "A Date With Your Family" was Hugh Beaumont, who appeared in "Lost Continent", "Human Duplicators", and "The Mole People."

Then you've got "The Phantom Creeps" with Bela Lugosi, etc.
posted by ShutterBun at 6:10 PM on August 29, 2011 [2 favorites]


Ok, settle down people. Here, put some flav-o-fives in your pieholes, adjust your Zubaz there Chad Slabbody, and gather around me.

Don't sit down, just get into the leg-up position, and we can all look into the geometric nucleus and see what the real answer to all this whole Joel/Mike thing is...

'Joike' Huh? Oh wait, maybe it's more of a metaphysical thing like this. Maybe we should just chalk it up to a 60's thing.

Still wanna fight? Well, if we're gonna play, we're gonna play by my rules.

Anybody still with me?... Helloooo?... Dad?... Mr. Douglas?... Huma?... Chief?...

posted by chambers at 6:11 PM on August 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


Jean-Claude Gosh Darn.
posted by The Whelk at 6:11 PM on August 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


Also the man from A Case Of Spring Fever is the dad in A Christmas Story.

Where does Coily fit in God's plan for us?
posted by The Whelk at 6:14 PM on August 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


Also the man from A Case Of Spring Fever is the dad in A Christmas Story.

What? No, Darren McGavin played the dad in A Christmas Story, he was too old by then possibly be the guy from A Case of Spring Fever. He was Kolchak the Night Stalker, though!
posted by JHarris at 6:16 PM on August 29, 2011


Wait, yes you're right, Darren McGavin was in an mst3k short tho? I seem to remember that.

I AM A FONT OF MISINFORMATION
posted by The Whelk at 6:18 PM on August 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


also the Kitchen sequence from Design For Dreaming is a very popular bit of stock footage for Food Network shows and the like trying to show THE 50s! and women lovingly caressing cake plates.
posted by The Whelk at 6:19 PM on August 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


Don't sit down, just get into the leg-up position

Shall we make the knee test?
posted by ShutterBun at 6:25 PM on August 29, 2011


the main guy from "Future War" (Daniel Bernhardt) went on to "fame" as one of the albino twin assassins in "The Matrix Reloaded."

Negative. Bernhardt played Agent Johnson.
posted by thescientificmethhead at 6:37 PM on August 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


ShutterBun - that's a great idea if the data can be tracked down. I'll make a note to attempt that next time I get a chance to work on improving the data set.
posted by lx at 3:37 AM on August 30, 2011


OK, ya caught me. The Whelk has made such an illustrious career out of semi-misinformation, I thought I'd give it a try. (that, and I posted without checking first)

Having watched at least part of an MST3K segment every day for the past 19 years*, I will happily over-participate in any related thread here.


* now includes The Film Crew, Rifftrax, and Cinematic Titanic (but yes, literally every day)
posted by ShutterBun at 3:52 AM on August 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


The Whelk: "I'm pretty sure Daran Norris, of Hobgoblin's Club Scum MC fame, is one of the few actors in these movies to go on to actually have a career. "

Clint Eastwood's first role is in ep 801, Revenge of the Creature.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:51 AM on September 3, 2011


This is clearly his first and last movie
posted by The Whelk at 8:53 AM on September 3, 2011


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