The Masked Reviewer
Some Members of the Cast
of Mystery Science Theater
and Interviews Them
Welcome to the EXCLUSIVE one-on-two interview between the Masked Reviewer and Kevin Murphy and Mike Nelson. You may remember Kevin Murphy as the writer and voice of Tom Servo, the loveable gumball machine robot, from "Mystery Science Theater 3000". You may remember Mike Nelson as the writer and body of Mike Nelson, the loveable guy who took over for Joel Hodgson, not coincidentally, also on "Mystery Science Theater 3000". The Masked Reviewer presents this interview in audio/slide format (click here for Part 1, click here for Part 2), or you can read the text of the interview below. Read some other interesting tidbits from a lecture they gave in Las Vegas (including their own Crystal Ball reviews) by clicking here.
Mike Nelson: None. None that I know of.
Kevin Murphy: If somebody would call us (somebody who has money and can write checks) and say “Would you give us a show?” we would probably say “yes”.
MN: Yes. BAFFLED. Leonard Nimoy. ESP. Racecars. Groovy green suits with flared legs. It was…it was awesome.
KM: CHARRO! With Elvis Presley, the western. We had it in hand. We were all set to go and then somebody, I think at Paramount, realized what it is we were going to do with it.
MN: Well we got a chance to take a few punches at TITANIC. We did a blockbuster special for the Sci Fi Channel and I thought, man, it was so good, if we’d had the whole movie it would’ve been…
KM: It’d be perfect. It would’ve been perfect. That would be the great Mystery Science Theater motion picture.
MN: Why, it’s funny you should ask! Yes, there are some. We’re doing a few interviews and introductions special for some of the next ones. Those that are out already, obviously, we can’t add the extras back in by stuffing them into the DVD, so the newer ones will have some new stuff…of us looking sort of puffy and older-like.
MN: Oh ho ho ho yes! Oh, do you mean the DVD releases themselves?
MR: Yes, yes.
MN: No, we get the “Gilligan’s Island” deal.
KM: We just get the pies. We don’t get any money, but we get the pies.
MR: Okay, well…
MN: Someone keeps building wings on houses somewhere. [laughter] We get nothing.
KM: Only on the phone.
MN: Or around here when you’re about to do an event where people have come specifically to see you, but no never…
MR: ..general population…
MR: And are you happy about that?
MN: Perfectly happy, yeah.
MR: Is this a comfortable level of fame where you can go places and get free coffee and stuff?
MN: Yes. You have to actually drive to your tiny little fame event and then you can drive away and never have to deal with it again.
KM: It’s nice, it’s like having nephews rather than your actual children…nieces and nephews.
KM: I always am annoyed at people talking in movie theaters.
MN: Remember, with Mystery Science there was no one else in theater but us, so we weren’t annoying anyone else. Actually I saw MANNEQUIN 2…MANNEQUIN ON THE MOVE, as you’ll recall…
KM: In a movie theater?!
MN: In a movie theater and there was no one else in there but myself and a friend, so, at that point we did comment on the film, so I admit I’ve done it once, yeah.
MN: Writing this and that…
KM: Writing, producing…being as creative as I can!
MN: Yes, various kinds of writing for me along with some small acting gigs and this and that.
MR: Anything we’ve heard of?
MN: Probably not.
KM: [incredulously] Ha-ha, no…Legs Diamond? Aren’t you doing Legs Diamond at the Chanhassen Dinner Theater?
KM: Ever? The one that sprang to mind for me was DR. STRANGELOVE because it’s just so damn funny.
MR: But that’s not your favorite overall film?
MN: I still enjoy LOCAL HERO so darn much. CASSABLANCA…come on, that’s easy.
MR: Yeah. Safe.
KM: I’ve got a lot and it changes all the time. For a while there it was.. CINEMA PARADISIO. It’s one of my favorite films.
MN: BEVERLY HILLS NINJA.
KM: I love CHINATOWN, even though it was done by a cadre of devil-worshippers. Robert Evans was involved. Jack Nicholson. Um…and what’s his name…Roman Polanski.
MN: Yes, so you know the man-goat was involved.
KM: We were just discussing that. The goat horns were out and the dancing around the bonfires in the back yard…
MN: Playing the pan flute…
KM: Sacrificing…each other and…
MN: Various small animals.
MN: Let’s see, a movie would be CASSABLANCA. A film might be…
KM: BICYCLE THIEF.
MN: No – yeah. And a flick would be…THE ANIMAL, with Rob Schneider.
KM: And you forgot “a porn”. It’s one of those, yes. A film, a flick, a porn.
MR: What would be one of those?
KM: These days? What would be a porn? PORKY ROMANO, I think.
MR: And that would probably do better than CORKY ROMANO.
KM: No doubt!
MN: I am vehemently anti-theater snack myself. I am somewhat monk-like in my theater aesthetic. I constantly berate my fellow popcorn munchers.
KM: I think you’re just completely distracting yourself. I mean, if you’re going to see something that is essentially valueless, then go ahead and eat all through the thing. But, I like to bring a bar of very good chocolate and a cup of coffee. And by the time the movie’s over I’m just vibrating I have so much caffeine in me. And that’s about it.
MN: Although I don’t like to eat snacks, I like to bring individually wrapped cellophane candies and open them one at a time…
KM: [makes loud noise of candy being unwrapped]
MN: Trying to do it like I’m not making any noise, and do it really slowly.
MN: Love it. …No, I haven’t seen any. But, I’m shamefully actually involved in a project like that though, so I’m waiting to see if I’m strung up by my thumbs.
KM: It’s evil.
MN: Boy that narrows the field.
KM: That really puts a boat anchor on us there.
MN: Um, let’s see…Well I didn’t see it but I know it’s the worst movie…BATTLEFIELD EARTH. So is it fair to count something I haven’t even seen?
MR: If you feel confident…
MN: I’m positive it’s the worst movie.
KM: Oh boy, you know…there are so many to choose from. It seems like the worst movie is quite often the last movie I’ve seen.
MN: Which was what?
KM: Geez, well actually that’s not true because I just saw KILL BILL and I quite enjoyed it.
MN: You’re so wrong about that.
KM: I know. I’m wrong…but I’m right. Anything that Rob Schneider has touched has that element in it. THE ANIMAL might be on my list. DEUCE BIGALOW…they’re neck and neck there at the finish line.
MN: DEUCE BIGALOW: MALE GIGOLO…or the other DEUCE BIGALOW who wasn’t a male gigolo?
KM: No just that one.
MR: Have you seen both of those?
KM: Oh yeah.
MR: All the way through?
KM: Yes. And…what was the third one, the one that just came out last year? Where he turns into a girl, or a girl turns into him?
MR: THE HOT CHICK.
KM. THE HOT CHICK. Neck and neck.
MN: The Adam Sandler devil movie, I forgot. LITTLE NICKY. Or was it LIL’ NICKY?
MR: And do you believe there’s some sort of curse with “Saturday Night Live” cast members doing films?
KM: Look at Bill Murray. Go see LOST IN TRANSLATION. I really admire him, because it’s really an enjoyable film, it’s a great story. He did an excellent job.
MN: It’s no ANIMAL, though.
KM: Oh, shit no.
KM: I think it’s quite in the interests of marketing…
TO BE CONTINUED IN PART 2 of THE MASKED REVIEWER INTERVIEWS KEVIN MURPHY AND MIKE NELSON OF MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000. Please go buy their books now.
Part II of the interview is here.
More of their wacky thoughts can be found here.
Kevin Murphy and Mike Nelson have both written amazingly funny books about movies. You can buy them and find out more here:
Kevin Murphy's homepage: http://www.ayearatthemovies.com/
Mike Nelson's homepage: http://www.michaeljnelson.com/home/
To buy the DVDs of "Mystery Science Theater 3000", try here:
Copyright 2003, Michael D. Lynn