Josh Weinstein (later known as J. Elvis Weinstein) was one of MST3K's original writers and cast members. He portrayed Dr. Laurence Erhardt, aide to Dr. Clayton Forrester, and was the original voice and puppeteer of Tom Servo and Gypsy. He departed from the show at the end of its first season, and adopted the name "J. Elvis Weinstein" to avoid confusion with a Simpsons writer named Josh Weinstein.
- "I met Joel after he came back to Minneapolis. I was 15 and had just started doing stand-up. He had an air of specialness about him, because he had been in the big time. He was definitely an artist among comics."
- "We eventually realized, hey, this might be funnier if we had some jokes in our back pocket."