“The Definitive Oral History of a TV Masterpiece”

Ever since I was first introduced to the one-of-a-kind “Mystery Science Theater 3000” in college — by my future wife, no less — I’ve been a proud MySTie. (I didn’t realize there was an official, universally-recognized term for my particular brand of insanity until today. I’m pleased.)

Talk about a show that was destined for my wheelhouse. First, of course, because movies — sort of. And because super-super sarcastic, which is ever how I roll. And, perhaps most of all, because I’m glad to know that there are people out there who like making sarcastic comments during a film viewing almost as much as I’m glad to know that there are people out there who like listening to people making sarcastic comments during a film viewing. (I…think I got a little lost in there. Just keep swimming…)

This piece from Wired — “Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Definitive Oral History of a TV Masterpiece” — is pretty much as fantastic as you’d imagine. And also, as you’d imagine, rated at least PG (for language and bad behavior, among other things):

To celebrate the 25th anniversary of MST3K’s national debut, WIRED presents an oral history of the greatest talk-back show ever made. It all begins in the late ’60s in rural Wisconsin, where there was this guy named Joel, not too different from you or me …

Read it. It’s a great bit of work on a show with (unsurprisingly) a heap of strange “behind-the scenes” moments, and one whose impact was shockingly disproportionate to what anyone could have expected. It’s also a bit sad …which, again, shouldn’t surprised, I suppose. But a fact that made it all feel a lot more real to me. (Also great? The term “talk-back show.” Why can’t I think of things like that? Genius.)

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to finish off this long-raging, internal debate of mine as to whether their greatest achievement is The Final Sacrifice or if it’s actually Pod People. (That’s me. Making the tough choices, so you don’t have to.)

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About Joseph Susanka

Joseph has been doing development work for institutions of Catholic higher education since graduating from Thomas Aquinas College in 1999. A grateful resident of Wyoming, he spends his free time exploring the beautiful Wind River Mountains, keeping track of his (currently) seven sons, being amazed by his (currently) lone daughter, and thanking his lucky stars for Netflix.