I'm James Faraci The Last Of The Americans and the views that I'm about to express are that of my own and some of yours. Well, MST3K is back (Cut to the "Groundhog Day" clip of Bill Murray saying "Again!" Cut to James physically). The Gizmoplex is a success. As for the new episodes? (Cut to clips from the new episodes as James does a voiceover)
The "Gamera vs. Jiger" episode has one of the most hilarious endings to an episode; there have been some really great riffs. However, I have had a couple of Vietnam Flashbacks. "The Million Eyes of Sumuru" was produced by the same people who made "Castle Of Fu Manchu" and if I were to have done a "Top ten worst movies on MST3K" revised list, I would put "Munchie" in the number 2 spot, bump "Hobgoblins" down to third and keep "Fu Manchu" at the number one spot. But I also liked the secondary host of Emily and the return of a man to reclaim his crown and throne as the king of MST3K... Joel Hodgson, AKA Joel Robinson! And today, I am celebrating his return to the Satellite Of Love and ten of his best moments. (Cut to James physically)
So let's send Joel the Movie sign salute and celebrate the best moments of Joel Hodgson, AKA Joel Robinson of Mystery Science Theater 3000!
While the impetus of what the series would be was there, it was clear that one of the things that kept the series on the right track and that was Joel Hodgson, who plays Joel Robinson. And yeah, after KTMA had to reformat its programming, MST3K was off until Joel used the footage from this era to convince the Comedy Channel, which eventually became Comedy Central. It became a hit for the network. It was also the progenitor moment that would lead to many great things, including Internet Reviewing as we know it. Who knew that back at the end of the 1980s, a little low-budget show from Minnesota would make so much greatness happen. Joel Hodgson knew.
(Cut to clips of "The Crawling Eye." as James does a voiceover)
To many who saw this episode, they saw history in the making. The first time America saw Joel Hodgson as Joel Robinson, we were introduced to riffing on bad movies. This was when the series was starting to get its sea legs, and for anyone who saw it and where MST3K eventually did go, the foundation was set in this episode. While yes, J. Elvis Weinstein, who played Dr. Erhardt and Tom Servo in that first season and in the KTMA era, left at the end of that first season, the fertile ground was planted, and what grew out from this episode was the greatness, Joel had seen in this episode.
As Joel finishes up a Robot Haircut, an invention exchange, and a part of a serial short from "The Phantom Creeps." we get to see Joel and the bots show all the cold war paranoia in all its glory. From the mocking of the McCarthy hearings, A Cold War-based game show, and meeting with Sori Andropoli to the riffs on the movie, which are hilariously great. But again, in the end, like I said in my last Top ten on MST3K about Dr. Forrester and TV's Frank, it gave the MADs one of the biggest wins against Joel and The Bots. I liked it because Joel took to task the paranoia we need to get comfortable with again, especially with this world falling to pieces. And as Joel and The Bots say in disgust as the narrator says, "We Cannot Let This Be The End!" I agree with Joel and The Bots when they say, "OH YES, WE CAN!"
(Cut to clips of the "Gamera" movies as James does a voiceover)
These movies were put on the map thanks to Joel and the Bots riffing these movies from here to Japan. Seven movies featuring the gigantic turtle who happens to be friends of children everywhere. One of the best ones had Michael J Nelson as Michael Feinstein talking about how much the Gamera theme means to music and Michael is a great pianist. What else can be said or sung in this case except (Singing): Gamera! Gamera! Gamera is really neat! Gamera is full of meat! We just ate a Gamera!"
What can be said about this one is that it has some of the craziest riffs, and at the center of it is Joel Robinson trying to keep the riffs on track. While yeah, "Attack Of The Eye Creatures" is one of the worst movies ever shown on MST3K, the lack of technical competency, horrible writing, and acting are just a few things wrong with this movie; the riffs and the host moments are what keeps it entertaining. Even when Joel and the bots went over how much everyone in the movie didn't care, it was entertaining to hear how everyone in "Attack Of The Eye Creatures" didn't care. You have Joel to thank if you didn't know how good the riff was.
After a decade on the air, after Comedy Central gave it the ax, and some time on the Sci-Fi Channel, Barry Diller, the man who won both the USA and SCI-FI Channel, ended the series. But the first episode of the final season showed the Satellite Of Love starting to fall apart. Mike tries to keep the Satellite afloat, but Mike's efforts are like putting a bandaid on the Titanic after it hits the iceberg! All while riffing Soultaker, Another ship is trying to get aboard; it's in the third act of the episode that we finally see who it is that's been trying to get onto the Satellite, like an angel coming from on high; Joel returns to repair the Satellite. While yes it would've been interesting to see Mike and Joel riff the movie's ending. Joel was there to repair the Satellite of Love; he didn't have time to join in riffing a movie. Though I wish we did see the two riff a movie together on MST3K. But Joel's return to rescue the Satellite Of Love was a sign of what would eventually happen for Joel.
You will never forget the first episode of MST3K you ever watch. I SO love this episode! Set during the holidays, there was only one movie Dr. Forrester and TV's Frank could send Joel. "Santa Claus Conquers The Martians," and when they went to town, I laughed as they took this holiday ham to town! Then there is the Patrick Swayze Christmas song, which, thanks to YouTube's policies, has kept many of us from using it in the videos about this movie and the riff! But suffice it to say, Crow was right! It has become a Christmas standard as has this riff on the movie. If you haven't seen it, check this riff out, it's enough to get the Grinch and Ebenezer Scrooge in with the joyous parts of the holidays!
We all know Joel left because Jim Mallon and Joel's professional relationship went down the drain. But the thing is, the episode was such a perfect transition from Joel's era to Mike's; I dare say it's on par with how the producers of Power Rangers made the transition from Amy Jo Johnson's Kimberly Hart to Catherine Sutherland's Katherine Hillard. But the way Joel just handled everything behind the scenes for the transition was excellent. For Joel, he thought it was going to be another experiment when Gypsy, Oh, I'm sorry, it's not that anymore because people have the I.Q. of Yogurt said "IT SMART TO DO DAT! WE NEED NAMA CHENGE TO SOMETHING ELSE?! GPC?! DAT BETTER NOW I GO AND MAKE A NEW LAW TO STOP COMMON SNESE! I A POLITICIAM!", Sorry got off track! At any rate, Gypsy or GPC or Whatever it is overhears Dr. Forrester and TV's Frank saying they're going to eighty-six someone. G thinks it's Joel, so for the rest of the host segments, G has to devise an idea to get Joel off the ship. Working with Mike Nelson, who was working as a temp at Deep 13, helps G find the escape pod on Deck 14, and as the experiment ends, we say goodbye to Joel and hello to Mike in the best way possible.
(Cut to clips of "MANOS: The Hands Of Fate" as James does a voiceover)
Yep, going back to this well again. I enjoy this one because this was perfect fodder for riffing. We have Frank Conniff, AKA TV's Frank found this, Best Brains decided to see how it would work and it was set for the fourth season finale. What made it great was when Joel tried to keep everyone from cracking like eggs. Whether it was making fun of the endless driving scenes, helping the bots relax with a mid-movie massage, tried to make fun of "The Master", Screaming at the movie to "DO SOMETHING?!", or even just accepting the madness of the movie. While yes, both the MADs do apologize for sending them this movie. I found Joel being able to control himself during a movie that would've driven most to... (Static interrupts James as he says, "What's Going on here?" then the static breaks through to see Joel Hodgson)
Hi James! (Cut to James)
JOEL HODGSON?! (Cut to Joel Hodgson)
The one and only, and I was hoping that I could chime in before you went into what I was hoping would be the number one moment of mine on MST3K. (Cut to James)
I'll send you my list right now, Joel! (Cut to Joel as he looks over the list)
Wow, Okay, That's at Number one? Would you mind if I talked about Number one with you? (Cut to James)
I would be honored!
The Number One moment on Mystery Science Theater 3000 featuring me is...
Between this episode and "Hercules Unchained" this was MST3K at it's best. I loved every moment in both the riffing and the jokes in the host segments. Even the invention exchange was hilarious, partly thanks to Trace and Frank. Their energy when they were trying to rescue Rodney when their Invention goes south.
I loved it when you and the bots called out the lies and the (Cut to the clips of Joel and The Bots shouting "LIAR! LIAR! LIAR! at the right times in the movie.) Then of course, the moment you tried to make sense of the Psychological Hot mess of young Jimmy. (Show the clip in which Joel and the bots try to start to understand Jimmy as they have a diagram and a spinning diorama about Jimmy's mental illness. Cut to further clips of "I Accuse My Parents" as Joel Hodgson and James do voiceovers)
I love that this episode is your favorite moment of mine on MST3K.
And I love that this moment is the number one moment featuring you at the center of the experiments. Now while yes, your return on the recent season was a great moment. To me nothing will fully top the moment you and the bots tried to figure out why Jimmy said "I Accuse My Parents" for all he did in this movie and it is worthy of the number one spot of the best moments featuring Joel Hodgson on MST3K. (Cut to James physically)
Any other moments featuring Joel in any of the MST3K episodes he was in, then let me know in the Comment Section below. And Joel, thanks for being so appreciative for allowing me to do this list. (Cut to Joel)
Well I appreciate it when fans are honest with me and my work. So you really have been getting Vietnam Flashbacks to some of the seasons past from this season? (Cut to James physically)
Well, certain movies being riffed, Yeah! (Cut to James as the MST3K Turkey Day Hymn is playing.)
Gotta go! MST3K Turkey Day marathon calls! Next Month Holiday shopping gift guide and year-end Top 10. Until then I'm James Faraci The Last Of The Americans and That's my opinion. (Cut to Joel Hodgson)
Well guys, James finished his list, What do you think guys? (Camera pulls back to show everyone on MST3K as they give the OKAY signal then everyone shouts "IT STINKS!" as the camera shuts off in the same manor of an MST3K episode.)