Apr 17, 2017

The Bulging Android of MST3K

This weekend I've been binge-watching the new reboot of Mystery Science Theater 3000: 20 years after the original MST3K, Jonah (Jonah Ray) and his robot chums are being forced to watch "cheesy movies" by the children of the original mad scientists (Felicia Day, Patton Oswalt).

The second episode that Jonah and the bots riff on, The Time Travelers (1964), sends the hapless scientists Dr. Von Steiner (Preston Foster) and Steve (Philip Carey) into the future, along with dumb blond "What's a proton?" Carol (Merry Anders) and comic relief "What does this button do?" Danny (Steve Franken).

They find a wilderness occupied by barbaric mutants.  The last survivors of humanity live in caves, where they are assisted by androids with weird faces.

The surviving humans are trying to build a spaceship to go to Alpha Centauri before they're killed by "the creeping death" or the marching mutants.  Meanwhile the scientists try to find a way home.

The plot is topheavy, cliched, and horrible -- which is why MST3K chose it, after all -- but take a look at the androids as they march in to confront the startled time-travelers.  Apparently it's important to for the surviving humans to gawk at android pecs.

And #32, on the left: that's quite a package for loose-fitting green dungarees.

The only male android listed in the credits is "Wayne Anderson," who was primarily known as a special effects artist.

And, apparently, for his Kovbasa+++.

Here he is again, after being wounded in battle, getting a new head.  I could swear I saw it getting bigger, as if someone was fluffing him on that operating table.

But it's not just Android #32.  Here's Danny on another operating table.  I don't know what's happening -- it doesn't really make much sense.  But apparently he was getting fluffed as well.

Steve Franken was a comedic fixture of the 1960s.  Here he is starring in The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis.  But I never heard anything about a big basket.

I wouldn't recommend the movie without Jonah and the bots making wise-cracks.  But I'd definitely like to know who was doing all the fluffing.

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