MST3K Cast Reunion:
A Report on the 2001 Toyota Comedy Festival's MST3K Reunion!

By Dannielle

For a dyed-in-the-wool lifelong Midwesterner such as myself, the thought of going to New York for this reunion was a little unnerving, but with the prospect of seeing Joel as my driving force, I made the arrangements, packed up and flew out to New York on Friday June 8th.

As I approached Columbia University a little after 7:00 p.m., I could already tell where the entrance to the auditorium was - just go to the end of the block long line and wait for the doors to open! The line moved very quickly once the doors opened after 7:30.

Once you got inside the Auditorium, there was a large stage up front with 7 large black leather chairs lined up in a row and a very large display screen above them, which kept rotating photos from the series: some well known publicity photos, other not-so-well-known publicity photos, and some still shots from different sketches.

Right on time at 8:00, the lights went down, cheers went up, and Lizz Winstead came out to the podium to give a short scripted intro about the series and then she said "Let's welcome Best Brains!" At that point, all the cast members walked on stage, waving and smiling. Most of the audience stood up and cheered, but everyone sat down quickly so the fun could begin.

For those who are interested, I'll try to describe what Joel looked like: his hair was cut very short, he had his wire rimmed glasses on, a tan dress jacket, a shirt with thin red and white stripes, possibly green khakis (hard to tell with the lighting), and tan dress shoes.

On the stage, from left to right, it was Josh Weinstein, Kevin Murphy, Trace Beaulieu, Lizz Winstead, Joel, Frank Conniff, and Mary Jo Pehl. To start things off, a montage of Joel's opening credits, plus multiple clips were played: changing Joel into Arch Hall Jr., Joel as the Master, Joel's escape from the SOL, the Bots imitating the Mads, Mike as Carol Channing, clips from Amazing Colossal Man, Eegah, Manos, Mitchell, Red Zone Cuba...the list goes on and on, but that's all I could write down! Everyone got a big kick out of watching these and cheered for their favorites. What was really great to see was when Joel was watching himself in his openings (played over the theme song), he just laughed and shook his head in seeming disbelief!

To begin, Lizz had each cast member introduce themself and tell what they did on the show, plus what they are doing right now. Kevin Murphy said "I played the gay Servo" (which is a reference to a statement by Josh Weinstein about the difference between his version of Servo and Kevin's). I loved Kevin's follow-up where he said "I like to think that we are all gay Servos inside." Joel got tremendous applause when he introduced himself and he was slumping so far down in his chair that he said "I feel like that guy in the Maxell ad." He said that "I am currently working on a movie project with Sam Simon of "The Simpsons"." He didn't elaborate, so once again we'll have to wait and see.

Click here for part 2!

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