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October 15, 2007 10:14 AM   Subscribe

So besides RiffTrax (prior) and The Film Crew (some time back), what else are former Mystery Science Theater 3000 alumni doing with their undoubtedly-copious free time? Frank Conniff is working with cartoon historian Jerry Beck on the charming stage show and internet flash video series Cartoon Dump, which presents extremely crappy 60s TV cartoons like Mighty Mr. Titan, Big World of Little Adam, and Bucky and Pepito sandwiched between segments of a dysfunctional children's show.

Sometimes Joel Hodgson plays along with puppet Dumpster Diving Dan. Mary Jo Pehl has returned to riffing, assisting Mister Pancake Theater in their treatment of Halloween in a live stage performance. And the Film Crew guys (Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy and Bill Corbett), when they're not mocking Episode III or Spider-Man in audio files, have been working with flash cartoonist Mike Salva on the animated short Max the Hero, which can be viewed online. Josh "J. Elvis" Weinstein, first season cast member, still sporadically maintains his website Stinkburger. Meanwhile, Dr. Forrester himself, Trace Beaulieu continues to draw obscene paychecks for his writing work on America's Funniest Home Videos.
posted by JHarris (27 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite

 
MST3K makeup artist Andrea Ducane teaches tango and Russian kettlebells in Minneapolis. She is a fabulous dancer.
posted by bobbarnesmn at 10:22 AM on October 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


Darkstar, a video game that features several cast and crew members, is supposedly still happening, though it's entering Duke Nuke'em Forever territory at this point.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 10:23 AM on October 15, 2007


America's Funniest Home Videos is still on the air?? Or is that in re-runs, godhelpus?
posted by DU at 10:34 AM on October 15, 2007


RiffTrax is hilarious. It has breathed new life into Star Wars: Episode III and The Matrix. They deserve a freaking Oscar.
posted by mullingitover at 10:49 AM on October 15, 2007


Joel and Frank are also part of the cast of The Radio Adventures of Dr. Floyd. Thanks for the links, JHarris.
posted by cog_nate at 11:56 AM on October 15, 2007


And Jim Mallon seems to have vanished from the face of the Earth.
posted by Chrysostom at 12:08 PM on October 15, 2007


Oh, and Satellite News is still the place to go for updates on what former MSTies are up to.
posted by Chrysostom at 12:09 PM on October 15, 2007


I had heard Bill Corbett wrote a sci-fi comedy script that got picked up and (gasp!) Eddie Murphy is supposed to star.
posted by Justin Case at 12:16 PM on October 15, 2007


I love, love, love MST3K...but it broke my heart to find out Mike Nelson is a hard-core right winger:

Well, let me say this, I read the National Review cover to cover. Check in at Townhall.com every day. Check the Washington Times daily. Listen to Dennis Prager and Michael Medved on a regular basis. Read Mark Steyn with regularity. Read the Weekly Standard. So, yes, I do vote Republican. As the pundit Hugh Hewitt has observed, there are indeed two Americas: Serious America and Silly America. The Democrats seem bent on turning this into Silly America, so I stick with those who wish this to remain Serious America.

Of course, in addition, as angry as it makes me, I check in with the monolithic press: the NY Times, the L.A. Times, the Boston Globe. One thing I can’t do, that makes me just insanely angry, is read my local paper, the Minneapolis Star Tribune, known to many as the Star and Sickle, or the Red Star Tribune.


If he were just a garden-variety Republican, that'd be one thing. But Dennis Prager? "Star and Sickle"? Whoa.
posted by PlusDistance at 1:17 PM on October 15, 2007


Mike Nelson is a hard-core right winger

I knew I liked Joel better. You can actually detect Trace Beaulieu's presence on Funniest Home Videos. My daughter loves the show, and some of the jokes actually make me laugh these days, and they can be quite MST-esque.
posted by Rock Steady at 2:00 PM on October 15, 2007


I knew he was a pretty staunch Republican, but that never stopped me from putting it aside for two hours to enjoy his work. He has a tendency not to get overly political in his commentaries, which is a nice change in the realm of comedy.

(When it came to MST3K I was and am still a Joel guy, but I do enjoy Mike's episodes and the post-MST efforts quite a bit also.)
posted by vanadium at 2:45 PM on October 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


I love, love, love MST3K...but it broke my heart to find out Mike Nelson is a hard-core right winger:

Wow, I just lost a lot of respect for him. Although it is nice that he can keep that garbage out of his commentaries.
posted by puke & cry at 2:58 PM on October 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


Well the thing about Mike is that he does an excellent job of keeping it out of his comedy, and that's partly because he's really not strident. He doesn't appear to be one of those "DON'T YOU SEE NATIONAL HEALTH CARE IS COMMUNISM YOU FOOLS" people.

In any case, as near as I can tell Kevin Murphy and Bill Corbett balance him out.
posted by JHarris at 3:05 PM on October 15, 2007


When I saw the link to "Mike Nelson, Republican", I was pretty sure it was going to be a joke.

I still find it a little hard to believe, but I guess it was true that Kevin and Bill balanced him out.

Shocking.
posted by wittgenstein at 6:37 PM on October 15, 2007


but it broke my heart to find out Mike Nelson is a hard-core right winger

Wow, that is disappointing. Again, it would be one thing if he was just conservative but his media choices make him a staunch Republican.
posted by Staggering Jack at 6:44 PM on October 15, 2007


If you've ever seen the "Truck Farming" short on MST3K, Mike Nelson being a Republican is even more bizarre.
posted by Pope Guilty at 7:17 PM on October 15, 2007 [2 favorites]


Mike Nelson has given me enough laughs to last several lifetimes; as far as I'm concerned he can actively campaign for broccoli-induced public flatulism, a military dictatorship or whatever. Just keep those MST3K DVD releases comin'. You're right though, it's hard to imagine a hardline Repub making those cracks during A Trip to Uncle Jim's Farm or Are You Ready for Marriage? Maybe 9/11 cracked him, who knows?

I know Mary Jo Pehl does some NPR commentaries. Paul Chaplin ran a site called IronMinds awhile back.
posted by Tim McDonough at 7:37 PM on October 15, 2007


PlusDistance writes "I love, love, love MST3K...but it broke my heart to find out Mike Nelson is a hard-core right winger"

Wow, what a kick in the nads. On the order of discovering Beck is a devout Scientologist.
posted by mullingitover at 7:38 PM on October 15, 2007 [2 favorites]


I can almost chart the thought process you're all going though, "He seemed so reasonable to me!"

MST3k is my favorite show, and I actually prefer Mike to Joel, which seems to put me in the minority. I love 'em both, but it seemed like Mike was more of a real host than Joel. I'm never gonna skip a Joel episode, but if I had to choose, odds are it'd be something from a later season.

But seriously, have you seen the Film Crew stuff? Only a Republican would wear pants that tight.

I kid.
posted by zerolives at 9:19 PM on October 15, 2007


Also, thanks for the update on the blue, JHarris. Keep circulating the tapes.
posted by zerolives at 9:21 PM on October 15, 2007


I enjoyed both Joel and Mike for their respective times on MST3K. For awhile I was a Joel supporter and thought Mike the upstart, but if one actually studies the history of MST3K behind the scenes, the argument is very asinine. Mike had been a writer for the series practically since the beginning. Some people left the show, and those who remained sincerely felt the show must go on. So those who were left just filled in the necessary positions. Mary Jo Pehl replaced the Mads, and Mike took the jumpsuit. Nature abhors a vacuum. I think that's the best way to explain it. Both Mike and Joel brought to the role their own unique talents. It's good to see that a decade after the series ended, they and all the Best Brains guys are still out there doing what they love to do and all that. Best of luck to the lot of them.

And the RiffTrax are really funny. I recommend them.
posted by ZachsMind at 12:45 AM on October 16, 2007 [1 favorite]


Oh... and Mike's politics are immaterial to appreciating his talent. Hell, it could be worse. At least he's not a scientologist.
posted by ZachsMind at 12:45 AM on October 16, 2007


MST3k is my favorite show, and I actually prefer Mike to Joel, which seems to put me in the minority. I love 'em both, but it seemed like Mike was more of a real host than Joel. I'm never gonna skip a Joel episode, but if I had to choose, odds are it'd be something from a later season.

A friend of mine claims that the real difference between Mike and Joel is that Mike gets up there and he's the best damn regular guy stranded on a satellite and watching shitty movies he can be, while Joel seems more like he rolled out of bed an hour before work, smoked a bowl, and came in.
posted by Pope Guilty at 2:56 AM on October 16, 2007 [2 favorites]


Joel seems more like he rolled out of bed an hour before work, smoked a bowl, and came in.

...which is why his bosses didn't like him, so they shot him into space.
posted by Spatch at 5:46 AM on October 16, 2007 [1 favorite]


I'm voting Joel for president because he's the candidate I'd most like to smoke a bowl with.
posted by acid freaking on the kitty at 10:55 AM on October 16, 2007


I think the reason a lot of people feel betrayed by the fact that Mike is a republican is that the thought of a funny conservative gives them cognitive dissonance.
posted by Durhey at 12:24 PM on October 16, 2007


I think the reason a lot of people feel betrayed by the fact that Mike is a republican is that the thought of a funny conservative gives them cognitive dissonance.

We've seen enough examples of conservatives trying to be funny to realise that conservative humour doesn't work. Mike Nelson's comedy works precisely because he doesn't bring his politics into it.
posted by Pope Guilty at 3:09 PM on October 16, 2007


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