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.

MST3K Gang

  1. Are there any plans for a Mystery Science Theater 3000 reunion at any point?

Masked Reviewer's Tiny Picture of Mike NelsonMike Nelson: None.  None that I know of.

Masked Reviewer's tiny picture of Kevin MurphyKevin 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”. 

Kevin Murphy in a Neutral pose      Mike Nelson in a neutral pose

  1. Was there any movie you wish you could have done for MST3K that you didn’t get a chance to do because of licensing problems?

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.


  1. No contemporary movies you wanted to do?  Any big blockbuster uh….

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.


  1. DVDs.  Now the Mystery Science’s are coming out on DVDs.  Is [are]  there any special extras that come on those that people should be aware of? …why they would want to run out and buy them?

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.

Mike Nelson very happy

  1. Do you get a piece of that pie?

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.


  1. Now, do you both find yourself getting recognized from the show?

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…

MN: Never.

MR: And are you happy about that?

KM: Yes.

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.

MN.  Yes.

Tom Servo working on his tan in the desert

  1. Are you ever annoyed by other people talking in movie theaters, and if so, do you laugh at the irony?

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.

Kevin Murphy expressing his feelings

  1. Both of you are doing full time writing now; is that your primary gig, or are you doing other…stuff?

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?

MN: Rat-a-tat-tat!

Legs Diamond, the Musical

  1. What would you each say is your favorite film?

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.


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.

Kevin Murphy thoughtful and serious

  1. What would you say is the difference between a movie, a film, and a flick?

MN: Let’s see, a movie would be CASSABLANCA.  A film might be…


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!


  1. What are each of your favorite snacks in the theater?  Movie snack?

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.

Mike Nelson thoroughly enjoying himself

  1. How do you feel about the colorization of classic films?

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.

The miracle of colorization

  1. What’s the worst movie you’ve seen that didn’t involve Kevin Costner?

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.


]Kevin Costner and Battlefield Earth in one picture, together at last

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?


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.

Rob Schneider in a promo picture from DEUCE BIGALOW

  1. How do you feel about the trend of breaking films into multiple parts?

KM: I think it’s quite in the interests of marketing…


Kevin Murphy's bookContinued?  Oh man.One of Mike Nelson's many books


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:

Mike Nelson's homepage:

To buy the DVDs of "Mystery Science Theater 3000", try here:

The Mystery Science Theater 3000 Season 1

The Mystery Science Theater 3000 Season 2

The Mystery Science Theater 3000 Season 3


Copyright 2003, Michael D. Lynn