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Friday, May 11, 2007

Mythbuster Science Theater 3000

After leaving his hit show, Mythbusters, 10 months ago, Adam Savage visited the offices of Legend Films in hopes of talking to former Mystery Science Theater 3000 host, Mike Nelson. "I've always been a fan of MST3K," the enthused Savage said, "and meeting Mike is like a dream come true for me." After being routed through several offices, Savage finally got to shake hands with the former MST3K host. As luck would have it, Kevin Murphy, who was the voice and wrangler for the puppet, Tom Servo, was in the office at the time. "Adam came in and shook our hands," Murphy remembered. "He was so excited. As soon as we sat down he started pitching an idea to Mike for resurrecting MST, but with his own personal twist."

As Savage expounded on his idea, Murphy and Nelson became more and more intrigued. Yes, the show would still be called MST3K, but the M would now stand for "Mythbuster." "I had the idea one night as I was with my sons, watching a video of some horribley performed experiment on Youtube," said Savage, "I mean, these guys were doing everything wrong you could imagine, and when it blew up in their faces, they were shocked. I was making fun of the video beginning to end, pointing out what they were doing wrong, and cracking jokes the whole time. My sons were laughing their heads off, so I began to put two and two together." And so the seeds were sown for Savage's Mythbuster Science Theater 3000.

After the pitch to Nelson and Murphy, the trio went in search of networks so they could pitch the idea. "The goal of the thing, as I've gathered from Adam," Nelson said, "is to have a show where we point out the flaws in other peoples' experiments, in a funny way, of course. In the process, we are teaching the audience how to properly conduct the experiments they see. The host segments we used to have on the show will be replaced by scientific experiments." Bill Corbett, voice and puppeteer of Crow during the last few seasons of the original MST3K, came on board at the last minute. "Mike, Kevin, and I were already doing the Film Crew thing, and then they told me about this. I'm such a huge fan of Mythbusters, I just asked them, 'where do I sign?'" The quartet had a meeting with Discovery Network president, Billy Campbell, who quickly became intrigued by the idea. "I was actually pretty tired that day, having just flown back from Australia," recalled Campbell, "and I actually wasn't to thrilled with having to sit through a pitch. Adam is a pretty energetic guy, and I just wanted to sit in my office and sleep. As soon as Adam, Mike, Kevin, and Bill got through with their pitch, however, I was as excited as they were. I told them we should definitely go for it."

Two months later, they were busy shooting the pilot episode. Jamie Hyneman, Adam Savage's former co-star on Mythbusters, helped out with the production. "We're used to doing things fast around here," Jamie said, mustache blowing in the breeze, "so when Adam asked if the old Mythbusters crew would help out with making a new set and a bunch of puppets for the show, I couldn't say no. We worked round the clock for the better part of five days making a new Satellite of Love, and we turned M5 into a new Deep 13." In the pilot, Hyneman and Savage play a new set of evil captors for the trio on the SOL, Mary Jo Pehl having turned down the opportunity to reprise her role as the maniacal Pearl Forrester. "My MST days are behind me," said Pehl, "I was sad the show ended, but I've moved on, I'm doing other things. I wish these guys the best, but I think it will actually be a stronger show with those Mythbuster fellahs."

When the show aired for the first time on December 16th, 2008, it received rave reviews. "Everybody thought it was hilarious and informative," said Savage, a huge smile covering his face, "which is exactly what I wanted." The first episode centered around explaining the new premise, as well as how Mike, Servo, and Crow ended up back on the Satellite of Love. After coming back to earth in the final episode of Myster Science Theater, #1013 Danger: Diabolik, the crew was subsequently hijacked by an evil pair of scientists looking to get an unwitting temp worker to perform their experiments for them. "My character receives all this scientific training, and he's supposed to fix what's wrong with other peoples' experiments," Mike Nelson comments about his role on the show, "and I'm also supposed to come up with my own experiments. It's really a lot of fun."

When asked about the future and longevity of the show, creator Adam Savage is optimistic. "I think the show should last a long time," Savage said with a smile, "There's a never ending series of people who make fools of themselves performing experiments and Mike, Kevin, and Bill are never short of jokes. I think it could last eleven years, just like the original MST3k."

Here's hoping he's right.


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