From: Twin Cities Reader*

Date: October 11-17, 1989

Headline: "Mystery Science Theater": A New Mission

Photo(s): [Joel with original Crow and original Tom.]

Author: Brauer, David

Page(s): 71

Note: MST3K picked up by HBO's Comedy Channel.


"Mystery Science Theater 3000", the locally produced show featuring comedians Joel Hodgson, Josh Weinstein, and Trace Beaulieu, will be picked up by a national cable channel beginning in mid-November. MST 3000, which spoofs bad films (usually Japanese monster flicks) in an outer-space setting, attracted an active local following on KTMA Channel 23. The show was in danger of expiring when the station closed this summer, but will now go national on the new Comedy Channel, a 24-hour HBO-sponsored project scheduled to debut November 16. "We're tentatively scheduled to air Saturdays and Sundays," says producer Jim Mallon. "We've signed for 13 weeks." All the cast members will return, and they'll probably have a wider selection of movies from which to choose. "We don't want to think of it as better movies," Mallon laughs. "Probably mroe of the same, but we can be a little choosier about what gets made fun of."

Although only cable subscribers will be able to see new episodes, Mallon says Paragon Cable (which recently bought Rogers Cable's Minneapolis-area franchises) will offer the Comedy Channel on the same basic service level as MTV and ESPN. "It shouldn't cost people any extra to see it if they're already hooked up," he explains. The deal won't exactly allow cast members to get rich. "HBO is making this a pretty lean and mean operation," Mallon says, but adds, "We now have enough to devote a full-time staff to making the show in Eden Prairie."