Usually when I think of TV shows that are about making fun of bad B-movies from the past, the first show that used to always come to mind was Elvira’s Movie Macabre. Then when I found out about Mystery Science Theater 3000 (1988-1999), that brought it to a whole new level.
Mad scientists Dr. Clayton Forrester (Trace Beaulieu) and his sidekick Dr. Laurence Erhardt (Josh Weinstein) launch janitor Joel Robinson (Joel Hodgson, who is also the series creator) into space in a satellite and force him to watch the bad movies that are either old sci-fi or horror. You can only imagine how those scientists pick them out and they use an old film projector to play them. I guess VCRs don’t work in space.
On the bright side, Joel is not alone. He has robots that watch the movies with him. They are Tom Servo that looks like a talking gumball machine, and Crow a golden robot with a beak and what appears to look like half a wastebasket on his head.
While watching each movie, you can see their shadows near the bottom right corner of the screen since they always sit in the same seats. What really makes this show funny is the commentary from Joel and the robots. I love it, especially from the robots. They are hilarious. It’s really the only kind of situation when it’s okay to talk during the movie.
There are two other robots on the satellite also, Cambot and Gypsy. They are hardly ever featured on the series and they don’t watch the movies with Joel, Crow, and Tom Servo. Why do you suppose that is?
Every half hour or so, Joel and the robots perform skits that parody the movie they are watching. Sometimes the villains participate also, but not too often. The skits are good, but I still prefer the funny commentary.
This is an interesting series that knows how to make fun of bad movies in order to make them funny. I couldn’t help but notice that one of those movies was Merlin’s Shop of Mystical Wonders. I didn’t think it was on that level of B-movies.