Trace Beaulieu (born November 6, 1958) is a puppeteer, writer, art director and actor who is best known for his roles on Mystery Science Theater 3000.
For the first seven seasons of MST3K, Beaulieu operated and voiced the Crow T. Robot puppet. He also helped designed the various film sets and played the role of Dr. Clayton Forrester, who was the head mad scientist, or "mad", for the first seven seasons. Initially Dr. Forrester was assisted by Dr. Laurence Erhardt. His second assistant was TV's Frank. Following the departure of Frank at the end of the sixth season, Mary Jo Pehl joined the cast in his place, playing Forrester's mother Pearl. At the end of the seventh season, Trace left the series.
Pehl's Pearl Forrester character replaced him as the head "mad" and Bill Corbett took over the voicing and operation of Crow.
According to a 1999 Satellite News interview, Trace's least favorite movie he had to endure on the show was The Incredible Melting Man. In a 2014 interview with Spreaker.com, Trace later confirmed that The Unearthly was also one of his least favorite movies to experience during the show's run and also commented on the fact that the the most painful films ended up being the funniest due to the crew having to actually suffer through them.
Trace appeared as a semi-regular in Freaks and Geeks as the school's biology teacher, Mr. Lacovara. He also appeared in The West Wing episode "Bad Moon Rising". For the last few years, Trace has been a writer for America's Funniest Home Videos and in 2002 he was the head writer, producer and host of the pilot episode of the Animal Planet show People Traps. Outside of acting, Trace also wrote the script for the One shot comic book "Here Come The Big People" published by Event Comics.
Trace has recently released a illustrated book entitled Silly Rhymes For Belliberent Children, which features off-color poetry among other things.
In fall of 2014, Trace directed and appeared as mad Frankenstein-esque scientist in the music video comedy short The Frank along with other MST3k members.
- TV's Madam (voice) - Cave Dwellers
- Jackie Mason jar (voice) - The Unearthly
- Winston Churchill (voice) - The Dead Talk Back
- "In the first season on KTMA we basically went in cold without watching the films. If you look at those episodes, they’re real hit-or-miss. It was just off the top of our heads."
- "Our budget for the show was microscopic. I think Josh and I were pulling down $25 a show, and I think Joel’s budget was a little higher, because he had to build props. We thought, well, let’s see how far this goes. We didn’t really know how long the show would last or if anyone was even watching it."
- "Then we put the station’s phone number up on the screen and started getting feedback. That’s when we realized, hey, there’s more than just four or five people watching this."
- "Since Joel’s character created the robots, his relationship with them was kind of parental. Then when Mike’s character came in, it was a completely different dynamic. He had to keep those guys in line, but he was also one of the gang. The onscreen persona was like a pizza restaurant manager who’s only like maybe a couple of months older than the staff is."
- "One of the most frustrating things for me was finally realizing that all we were going to produce out of Best Brains was Mystery Science. We had such a beautiful environment, we had our own studio, our own production facility, we had a shop, we could build anything, we had the talented people. But the way it was structured, from a business standpoint, it was just impossible to produce anything else and be fair to everyone involved. Jim Mallon was going to own any new show produced. And that didn’t really sit well with a lot of us."
- "The younger generation is full of riffers."
- (on the distribution of Cinematic Titanic) "This is the one we've been to the most. This is our third year. This one fits our sensibility more because our MO has always been do-it-yourself, and this one is all that. It's really people-powered. Comic-Con is really just Hollywood blowing you away with how much money it has and awing you with its giant displays and you really are, as a fan or an observer, you're really put in this category. Here it really just, like, flows everywhere. You just can see people being creative and kind of doing their own thing. I think this one fits much better, I prefer this con way more than Comic-Con."
- (on the difference between geeks and nerds) "Geek is more intense than nerd."
- 2012 Trace Beaulieu interview for MentalFloss.com
- 2014 interview on Spreaker.com
- WIRED Magazine|Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Definitive Oral History of a TV Masterpiece
- 2010 CNN Interview with CT gang
- 2007 FRED Entertainment Interview
- Trace Beaulieu's 2015 interview on his Kickstarter-funded puppet show program Vermin