Highlights from Mystery Science Theater 3,000 Creator Joel Hodgson’s Reddit AMA Ahead of Thanksgiving Marathon

Did anyone ask him how he eats and breathes and other science facts?
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Joel Hodgson, creator of the show Mystery Science Theather 3000, held an AMA on Reddit to give fans the answers to all of their burning questions as he prepares for the show’s Thanksgiving day web marathon. Take a look at some of the best answers and advice he gave, and attempt to keep your sanity with the help of your Reddit friends.

If you want to catch up on some classic MST3K and enrich your (and your family’s) enjoyment of Thanksgiving tomorrow, tweet the episodes you’d like to see on the web marathon @JoelGHodgson. Then, you can watch the fan-selected marathon presented by Hodgson on MST3KTurkeyDay.com.

Of course, you can look over the whole, multi-hour AMA on Reddit yourself, but we’ve collected a few of our favorite exchanges for you:

Did the show ever make a movie’s creators angry?

My son and I love watching re-runs of MST3K. Did you ever get any negative replies from writers/producers/etc of the movies you screened? I would think that some of them may have been pissed off at being on your show.

The only time I’m heard someone say something negative was one of the producers who said “I know my movie isn’t Citizen Kane but did they have to do this?” Ultimately he took the money and let us do our thing.

It’s apparently not always about whether or not a movie is “good.”

Did you ever riff a movie on MST3K that you thought was genuinely good?

I loved so many of the movies. A movie being bad has nothing to do with it really. In every movie you riff, you find really great moments regardless. Just saying they are bad movies is a coloring book version of what we do, really. As you know, you can riff on any movie. But the cheesy movies are easier to get. It was just the path of least resistance, to use cheesy movies.

Mocking movies brings families together and (maybe) increases intelligence.

I’m 34, my oldest brother is 53. He and I were distant until the fateful day I started quoting some of the movies I’d seen on MST3K. He used to watch some of those movies when they were on TV in the wee hours of the night (in the days before cable). You really helped bring me closer to my family.
Thank you so much for the show!

Thanks, that is so sweet. If you watch enough episodes, it’s like Mozart, and scientists have determined that it increases your intellect.

Joel gives his sage advice to those trying to copy the show’s format.

Hey Joel, we actually met at the Lakeshore Theater in Chicago back in 2008…you thought I was your friend’s son Ryan, which I was not. But I was pretty tongue-tied and forgot to introduce myself. So hi, I’m BJ, it’s great to meet you.
How do you feel about homegrown MST3K knockoffs? What advice would you have for a group who’s stealing the MST3K format for creating educational videos for kids?

I love it when people do movie riffs and my only advice would be don’t be disembodied voices on a video where no one knows who you are. If you don’t produce anything that explains why you’re riffing on a movie it’s very disorienting. You need to introduce yourself to the audience by creating a theme song or create an introduction on video so that the people who don’t know you will know you.

Joel is the greatest ever and everybody loves him (and his robot pals).

I love you!
Why is Servo so adorable?

I think he’s the universal passion being.

Why are you so adorable?

He’s the universal passion being.

Now we will forever think of Joel Hodgson as the universal passion being—no matter who else he tries to bestow that title upon.

(via Reddit, image via Joel Hodgson on Twitter)

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Dan Van Winkle
Dan Van Winkle (he) is an editor and manager who has been working in digital media since 2013, first at now-defunct Geekosystem (RIP), and then at The Mary Sue starting in 2014, specializing in gaming, science, and technology. Outside of his professional experience, he has been active in video game modding and development as a hobby for many years. He lives in North Carolina with Lisa Brown (his wife) and Liz Lemon (their dog), both of whom are the best, and you will regret challenging him at Smash Bros.