|517 - Beginning of the End|
|Air Date||November 25, 1993|
|Movie Director||Bert I. Gordon|
|Cast||Peter Graves, Peggie Castle|
|Preceded by||516 - Alien from L.A.|
|Followed by||518 - The Atomic Brain|
Beginning of the End features a wooden Peter Graves waxing philosophic about the effects of radiation on locusts (not grasshoppers), which have grown to varying sizes and are marauding through an oddly mountainous Illinois, dispatching entire towns. Graves is accompanied by a plucky female journalist (Castle) and a deaf-mute gardening assistant. 
Chicago residents will be happy to know that (at least in Bert I. Gordon's universe) a 3-star general can order the destruction of your city by atom bomb. The President and everyone else are too busy with other stuff.
- Some grasshoppers were harmed during the making of this movie: at the start of the movie, they had 200 grasshoppers (a flightless, hopless species from Texas). During the filming they began to eat one another, so by the time the last shots were done, only about a dozen were left.
- Peggie Castle (journalist Audrey Ames) also appeared in episode 602 - Invasion USA. Morris Ankrum (General Hansen) also appeared in episode 201 - Rocketship X-M.
- For you fellow Californians confused by Mike's comment, "This is so not Illinois!" I present to you... Paxton, Illinois , courtesy of Google Maps. Evidently you can tie down the wheel and take a nap while driving.
Segment One (Invention Exchange): Still getting calls from the wrong number woman on the SOL. Down in Deep 13 the Mads have come up with the Re-comfy bike, even more comfortable than the recumbent bike. Mike & the Bots finally present new playing cards.
Segment Two: While the Bots advise against it, Mike calls the Mads and catches them acting very "unmanly". He says won't be doing it, for a while.
Segment Three: Crow has written a screenplay: "Peter Graves Goes to the University of Minnesota". It gets somewhat repetitive.
Stinger: "Alright, men. Into the woods!"
- Premiered on Turkey Day '93.
- Unusual credits: Before the copyright, an additional credit was added: "Shot entirely in Minneapolis, home of the University of Minnesota".
- "Let's see what Benny and Joon are doing!"
A reference to the 1993 movie Benny & Joon.
- "Miss Mansfield?"
Urban legend said (mistakenly) that actress Jayne Mansfield was decapitated in a car crash in 1967. In fact it was only her wig that flew off.
- "Why is Walter Winchell in this scene?"
- "Must get Vivarin!"
Vivarin is a brand of caffeine pills.
- "Jimmy Jam does his thing!"
Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis are highly successful R&B and pop music producers.
- (Singing) "This is the army, Audrey Ames...!"
A riff on the 1943 song This Is The Army, Mr. Jones by Irving Berlin.
- It's a star city
Refers to a Minnesota rural economic development initiative. 
- "Suddenly it's turning into 'Topper'!"
Topper was a 1937 comedy film about a pair of ghosts.
- "This was no boating accident!"
- "Women on the Verge of an Atomic Breakdown."
A reference to the 1988 Spanish film Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown.
- "Coincidence? Read the book!"
- "Is this a snipe hunt?"
A snipe hunt is a type of practical joke that often involves sending the person on the receiving end to "find" a nonexistent animal or object.
- "Animals trained by Rudd Weatherwax."
Rudd (and brother Frank) Weatherwax trained animals for movies; they handled the training of dogs for the Lassie movies and Ol' Yeller.
- "...Just like they handled the Chicago convention."
The 1968 Democratic National Convention , held in Chicago, was the source for the phrase "police riot ." Members of Chicago PD and the Illinois National Guard were indiscriminate in their use of batons, fists, and tear gas, both outside and inside the convention center.
- "Bad Lieutenant!"
Bad Lieutenant was a 1992 movie starring Harvey Keitel.
- "And this is the 1910 Fruitgum Company!"
The 1910 Fruitgum Company was a 1960s pop band.
- "Hey general, where ya goin'?" "Decatur! I'm gonna shoot that paper-hangin' sonofabitch!"
A riff from the movie Patton : "... And when we get to Berlin I am personally going to shoot that paper-hanging son of a bitch Hitler."
- "Mister Mitchell!"
The newsreader has an uncanny resemblance to Dennis the Menace's dad .
- "They've got a picture of Russ Bender!"
- "I sing, whenever I sing, whenever I sing..."
A reference to one of singer/hot rodder/tow truck driver Chase Winstead's less-than-stellar tunes from The Giant Gila Monster (episode 402).
- Commercially released on VHS by Rhino Entertainment in March 1999.
- Commercially released on DVD by Rhino in January 2001, the DVD was later pulled in December 2005 due to rights issues with the movie.
- The single-sided DVD also includes the uncut/unMSTed version of the original movie, along with previews for episodes 506, 513 and 515.
- A new release of this episode will come out sometime in 2011 by Shout! Factory, still as a single disc, and only available in the Shout Select section of their website.
|preceded by: Season 4||MST3K Season 5||followed by: Season 6|
|1993 - 1994|
|501||Warrior of the Lost World||1993-07-24||509||The Girl in Lovers Lane||1993-09-18||517||Beginning of the End||1993-11-25|
|502||Hercules||1993-07-17||510||The Painted Hills||1993-09-26||518||The Atomic Brain||1993-12-04|
|504||Secret Agent Super Dragon||1993-08-07||512||Mitchell||1993-10-23||520||Radar Secret Service||1993-12-18|
|505||The Magic Voyage of Sinbad||1993-08-14||513||The Brain That Wouldn't Die||1993-10-30||521||Santa Claus||1993-12-24|
|506||Eegah||1993-08-28||514||Teen-Age Strangler||1993-11-07||522||Teen-Age Crime Wave||1994-01-15|
|507||I Accuse My Parents||1993-09-04||515||The Wild Wild World of Batwoman||1993-11-13||523||Village of the Giants||1994-01-22|
|508||Operation Double 007||1993-09-11||516||Alien from L.A.||1993-11-20||524||12 to the Moon||1994-02-05|