Dr. Laurence Erhardt is a scientist at Gizmonic Institute, who worked with Dr. Clayton Forrester at the beginning of the "Mystery Science Theater" project. He went missing a short time into the experiment (after the show's first season), with TV's Frank showing a milk carton with his picture on it.
Appearance and personality
Dr. Erhardt speaks with a high, squeaky voice, has curly black hair, and thick glasses. 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.
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 worked with Dr. Forrester to launch Joel Robinson into space, where the pair conducted their movie-watching experiments on him.
When Dr. Forrester took on Frank, Joel asked what happened to Dr. Erhardt. Frank simply held up a milk carton with Erhardt's picture on it saying, "He's missing".
- Dr. Forrester and Dr. Erhardt first appeared outside the opening credits in episode #K06, during the show's original season on KTMA TV23.
- Dr. Erhardt was referred to in Experiment #313 - Earth vs the Spider when Joel identified one of the Spider's victims as resembling Dr. Erhardt. He joked "So THAT'S what happened to him!"
- 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". According to Satellite News, when asked in an interview in the summer of 1990 why Josh was leaving, Mallon simply reiterated "creative differences." But Joel offered his own take: "Let me put it this way," he said with some weariness in his voice, "he's 18 years old."
|Principal||Dr. Clayton Forrester • Dr. Laurence Erhardt • TV's Frank • Pearl Forrester • Professor Bobo • Brain Guy • Kinga Forrester • Max|
|Secondary||Gerry and Sylvia • Dr. Peanut • The Observers • Synthia • Ardy • Skeleton Crew|
|Mirror Universe||Mike Nelson • Crow T. Robot • Tom Servo • Gypsy|
|Locations||Gizmonic Institute • Deep 13 • Deep Ape • The Widowmaker • Ancient Rome • Castle Forrester • Moon 13|