|Dr. Laurence Erhardt|
|Played by||Josh Weinstein|
|First appearance||K07 - Gamera vs Zigra|
|Last appearance||113 - The Black Scorpion|
Dr. Laurence Erhardt is Dr. Clayton Forrester's original assistant. He went missing after the show's first season, and was replaced by TV's Frank. Joel Robinson would later suggest that Erhardt was eaten by a giant spider. Then writer for the show J. Elvis Weinstein portrayed the character while at the same time voicing Tom Servo.
Dr. Erhardt is mad scientist and Dr. Clayton Forrester's first assistant. He is a very different character from Forrester's later assistant, TV's Frank. He is more high-spirited than Frank, speaks with a high, squeaky voice, has curly black hair, and thick glasses. Erhardt is himself a "mad scientist" like Forrester, whereas Frank is neither a scientist nor, for the most part, mad. Just like Frank, however, Erhardt goes through many tortures by Dr. Forrester. His catchphrase was to, after soberly describing a horrible movie's plot or some other dire scenario, cheerily proclaim "Enjoy!" Another catchprase of his, with Clayton, is to cheerily reply "Thank you!" whenever Joel or the Bots label their invention for the invention exchange as particularly evil (in episode #313, Dr. Forrester and TV's Frank do this, with both of them feeling awkward afterward). The Mads perform a commercial for their fictitious drive-in restaurant, "Clay and Lar's Flesh Barn".
Little is known of Erhardt's past save that he became a "mad scientist" while working at a zoo; he went mad when, in his own words: "...they promised me students, but all I got were monkeys! Monkeys! Monkeys! So I took off my wetsuit, dropped that hedge clipper, and walked out of that zoo forever!" Any additional details are left for the viewers to fill in themselves.
Eventually finding employment at Gizmonic Institute, he became Dr. Forrester's assistant and worked with him to launch Joel Robinson into space, where the pair conducted their movie-watching experiments on him.
Dr. Erhardt was only on the show for the KTMA season and the nationally telecast Season 1. When Frank was first introduced on the show and Joel asked what happened to Dr. Erhardt, Frank simply held up a milk carton with Erhardt's picture on it saying, "He's missing". Later, in episode #313, the featured movie (Earth vs. the Spider) includes a scene in which a policeman closely resembling Erhardt is eaten by a giant spider, and Joel and the bots speculated that this was the true fate of Erhardt (Although his condition at the final season 1 episode The Black Scorpion could contribute to the reason why he disappeared).
Behind the ScenesDr. Forrester and Dr. Erhardt first appeared outside the opening credits in episode #K06, during the show's original season on KTMA TV23. During this season, and Season 1, J. Elvis Weinstein held a dual role as both Dr. Erhardt and the voice of Tom Servo, and he also provided the voice of Gypsy during the KTMA years (replaced in season 1 by Jim Mallon). Weinstein, the youngest of the MST3K creators, left the show after its first nationally telecast season due to creative differences once the show began being scripted instead of being ad-libbed. His youth and relative inexperience was also said to have rubbed his older co-workers the wrong way. In an interview, he stated the show simply quit being fun for him when they moved from KTMA to The Comedy Channel because it became "a business".
|People||Dr. Clayton Forrester • Dr. Laurence Erhardt • TV's Frank • Pearl Forrester • Professor Bobo • Brain Guy • Kinga Forrester • TV's Son of TV's Frank • Mike Nelson (mirror) • Crow (mirror) • Tom Servo (mirror) • Gypsy (mirror) • Gerry and Sylvia|
|Locations||Gizmonic Institute • Deep 13 • Deep Ape • The Widowmaker • Ancient Rome • Castle Forrester • Moon 13|