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Cast & Crew

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The cast and crew on the Castle Forrester set during the SciFi Channel years.

In September 1988, Joel Hodgson enlisted Twin City-area comedians Trace Beaulieu and Josh Weinstein to help him shoot a pilot for the show. The robots and the set, in their crudest format, were built overnight by Hodgson. The next morning, shooting commenced on the 30-minute pilot. Joel watched the movie by himself, with Trace playing Crow T. Robot and Josh playing Gypsum (an early version of Gypsy) during the host segments. Camera work was by Kevin Murphy, who also created the first "doorway sequence" and theater seat design.

Once the show moved to The Comedy Channel, its format was changed: instead of ad-lib riffs in the theater, each show was carefully scripted ahead of time. Writer/performer Weinstein did not care for this new format, and subsequently left after the first season. Murphy replaced him as the voice of Tom Servo and Frank Conniff came on as Weinstein's replacement in Deep 13. At the same time, Michael J. Nelson was promoted to head writer.

BTS of MST3k

When Joel Hodgson decided to leave the show halfway through season five, Nelson took on the role of host from 1993 until the end of the series. Debates (sometimes heated) raged in fan forums about who was the better host for quite some time, but in more recent years a consensus has developed among the fanbase that acknowledges that each performer had his merits. Also distressing to fans was the departure of Frank Conniff, who left after completion of the show's sixth season. Trace Beaulieu later left the series as well, between seasons seven and eight, also to many fans' dismay.

When The Sci-Fi Channel picked up the show, Mary Jo Pehl took over the lead "Mad" role as Dr. Forrester's mother, Pearl Forrester, who had been featured as a regular in season seven. Her sidekicks were the idiotic, Planet of the Apes-inspired Professor Bobo (Murphy) and the highly evolved, supposedly omnipotent Observer (AKA Brain Guy), played by writer Bill Corbett. Corbett also took over Crow's voice and puppetry. In the middle of the the eighth season, Jim Mallon handed over the voice and puppetry work for Gypsy to BBI staffer Patrick Brantseg.

Writing Staff

Name Years On Series Jobs Notable On-Screen Roles
Joel Hodgson 1988-1993 Creator, Executive Producer, Writer, Music, Set Decoration Joel Robinson
Jim Mallon 1988-1999 Executive Producer, Writer Gypsy (Seasons 1-8)
Trace Beaulieu 1988-1996 Writer, Director, Set Decoration, Art Director Dr. Clayton Forrester, Crow T. Robot (Seasons K-7)
Josh Weinstein 1988-1991 Writer, Music Dr. Laurence Erhardt, Gypsy/Gypsum (KTMA), Tom Servo (Seasons K-1)
Kevin Murphy 1988-1999 Producer, Writer, Director, Set Decoration Tom Servo, Professor Bobo, Santa Claus, Kitten with a Whip, others
Michael J. Nelson 1989-1999 Head Writer, Director, Composer Mike Nelson, Jack Perkins, Torgo, Observer, and many others
Frank Conniff 1990-1995 Writer, Script Supervisor TV's Frank, Gooch
Christopher Wurst 1991 Writer, Intern
Bridget Jones 1991-1999 Writer, Music Nuveena, Mr. B Natural, Flavia, Lisa Loeb, others
Paul Chaplin 1991-1999 Writer Pitch, Observer, Ortega, Huggy Bear, Sandy
John Carney 1992 Writer
Mary Jo Pehl 1992-1999 Writer Pearl Forrester, Jan in the Pan, others
David Sussman 1992-1994 Writer
Ken Fournelle 1989-1995 Production/Post-Production Staff, Lighting Technician, Cinematographer
Colleen Henjum 1992-1995 Writer
Timothy Scott 1991-1994 Writer, Sound Editor, Technical Supervisor, Lighting Tech Miracle Growth Baby
Mike Dodge 1994-1995 Writer
Bill Corbett 1995-1999 Writer, Music Crow T. Robot (Seasons 8-10), Brain Guy, Krankor
Brian Funk  ? Writer
Mike Gandolfi  ? Writer

Other Staff

Name Years On Series Jobs Notable On-Screen Roles
Faye Burkholder 1989-1991 Make-Up Artist, Writer, Hair Stylist, Songs Studio assistant, Sexy Gypsy (voice)
Patrick Brantseg 1992-1999 Art Direction, Set Decoration, Props Assistant Gypsy (Seasons 8-10), Mike's Socksy, Rooster
Beth "Beez" McKeever 1996-1999 Toolmaster Steffi
Dave (Gruber) Allen 1996 MST3k: The Movie Trailer Theme
Julie Walker 1993-1996 Info Club Poobah
Barb Tebben 1995-1999 Info Club Poobah, Assistant Delta Knight Breakfast Extra
Jef Maynard Toolmaster Roadie, Timmy
Bradley J. Keely Sound, Lighting Tech, Production Coordinator, Technical Supervisor Exotic Dancer
Jeff Stonehouse 1996-1999 Director of Photography, Lighting Technician None
Andrea "Action" Jackson Ducane 1992-1999 Make-Up Artist and Hair Stylist Pancake Breakfast Extra (Season 9)
Jill Roozenboom 1997 Production Manager
Helena Espinosa 1996 Temporary Props Assistant and Toolmaster Preview Audience Member (Season 7)
Robert Lane 1996 Puppet Builder on MST3k: The Movie
Dean Trisko 1996 Temporary Prop Builder/Prop Assistant

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