Item Description
This is the complete first season on 4 DVD's Great
quality no artwork or case if you want a individual episode message
me thanks.
101- THE CRAWLING EYE
First shown: approx. 11/89.

Opening: None.

Invention exchange: Electric bagpipes, canine
anti-perspirant, welcome to Deep 13.

Host segment 1: Heads, you lose.

Host segment 2: Gypsy uncoils.

Host segment 3: The giant eyes have it.

End: Good thing/bad thing, the Mads are happy.

Comments and observations:
In the clips during the opening theme, you can spot Josh's and
Jim's head sticking up--it's during the section where Joel sings
"...because he used those special parts..." You can slso spot the
PVC pipe that was used to work Crow in some clips.
There is no opening host segment between the theme song and the
first commercial, something that became institutionalized
later.
We get as much information as we're ever going to get about
Deep 13 in that first host segment.
Note that there are no buttons on the table: At Movie Sign,
Joel just sort of slaps the table! Movie Sign is a somewhat
lifeless affair all the way around...no flashing lights, no camera
shaking, just a buzzer.
In Deep 13, Dr. F. appears to be controlling the camera with
some sort of remote control device that looks like a little
satellite antenna. In Season Two, they would create the notion of
the Mole People assisting on camera and such...and then they just
stopped worrying about explaining who was behind the camera.
Tom Servo is built slightly different from later eps--larger
shoulder thingies and a larger, somewhat disturbing, white
beak.
Trace is still using his "baby" voice for Crow, like he used in
KTMA and which he later slowly abandoned.
You can see the shadows of the puppeteers on the wall during
the second host segment.
Gypsy is as primitive and strange as she will ever be in the
second host segment--her mouth clunks so loudly when she talks that
you can barely make out what she's saying. And that whole comment
from Tom about discovering something that "narrows down" what
Gypsy's sex is--that's just odd. Also, her light isn't on. And this
is the one and only time Joel removes her "eye"--something that
seems to upset her quite a bit.
According to an informed source, BBI used the KTMA Crow for the
theater segments here--all they did was add an extra floralier tray
and clean him up a little.
BBI was using a "thinner" bluescreen level than they would use
later--the result is that Crow's "net" seems to vanish, and you can
see some odd gaps between Servo and the theater seats.
Tom Servo is positively immobile in the host segments--though
Josh never had the time with Servo to become as skillful as Kevin
later became, this was also due to the more primative construction
of early Servo, which limited his movement.
We get the origin of the "Richard Basehart" running gag in the
final host segment.
Tom walks into the theater by himself in the first movie
segment--demonstrating that this is not impossible; he's just
lazy!
On the desk is a vase with something Joel calls "vacuflowers."
These were supposedly flowers that Joel had managed to grow on the
ship--it's a concept left over from KTMA days, and was the subject
of an early host segment in the KTMA era.
The "electric bagpipes" used in the invention exchange were the
first of many props from Joel's old standup act that would
re-appear as inventions.
Favorite riff: "I'm Popeye the sailor man...I've got a guy's
head in my hand!"
102- THE ROBOT VS. THE AZTEC MUMMY

with short:

"COMMANDO CODY & THE RADAR MEN FROM THE
MOON"

--EPISODE 1

First shown: approx. 12/89.

Opening: None.

Invention exchange: The airbag helmet, the
chalkman, Deep 13's new security system.

Host segment 1: Demon dogs attack; Tom takes them
on, and fares poorly.

Host segment 2: Talks with Enoch, the demon dog
king, don't go well.

Host segment 3: Crow's attempt to impersonate
Enoch also fails.

End: Joel's trick fools the demon dogs...or does
it?

Comments and observations:
Again, no opening segment.
Again, the disturbing early Tom Servo design
Again, no buttons on table: table slapping
No Bots are present during invention exchange.
Say what you will about Josh, he was really "inside" Tom Servo;
Kevin never used a phrase like "You can look me in the bubble and
say that??" as Josh does here.
The thinner bluescreen level makes Tom Servo look very odd in
the theater--kind of elongated. Tom is also VERY animated in the
theater--a stark contrast to his wooden behavior in the host
segments.
The "demon dogs" were made out of a "Masters of the Universe"
toy called "Battle bones," painted red and black and added with
some contruction paper ears.
That is clearly Jim Mallon doing the voice of Enoch, the king
and charismatic leader of the dog people. Unfortunately, it's
really hard to make out what he is saying thanks to the incessant
clacking of the puppet's mouth.
Josh makes an odd comment during host segment 2, calling the
SOL "the 2525" and telling Cambot that the SOL's schematics are
under "2525" in his files. He appears to have flubbed a line here,
but it's still an odd thing to say.
Watch carefully early in the feature during the flashback of
the Aztec ceremony scene, as Joel covers the irritating singing
lady's mouth: Joel clearly has something in his hand--between his
two fingers, as one would hold a cigarette. Was Joel smoking in the
theater? Gasp! :-)
Historical note: The demon dog in the theater at the end is the
first of many unexpected guests who would invade the theater over
the years.
The "airbag helmet" was another bit from Joel's standup
act.
Favorite riff: "We're hitting people!"
103- MAD MONSTER

with short:

"COMMANDO CODY & THE RADAR MEN FROM THE
MOON"

--EPISODE 2

First shown: approx. 12/89.

Opening: None.

Invention exchange: Hell-in-a-handbag,
acetylene-powered thunder lizard.

Host segment 1: Tom hits on a blender.

Host segment 2: Crow and Tom have questions about
Jedro the werewolf.

Host segment 3: Joel switches Crow and Tom's heads
(it's Servo-Crow-ation!).

End: Good thing/bad thing.

Comments and observations:
Again no opening segment.
Again, no buttons: table slapping.
Again, no Bots during invention exchange.
Joel's invention, "hell in a handbag," is straight from his
standup as is the Mads' "thunder lizard."
One of the elements of season one that was later abandoned was
noting that a commercial was coming up during the movie. In this
ep, Servo says "He's going to fly into the commercial!" and then
the show breaks for commercial.
Host segment 1 is a first-season classic with Josh doing some
of his best puppetry (such as it is) as Tom Servo puts his best
moves on a blender (It's also an almost word-for-word do-over of a
KTMA segment).
Joel calls Servo "Crow" at one point...they both react with
irritation.
What is going on with Joel's hair in host segment 2? Looks like
a mohawk!
There are a lot of riffs here that clearly were not written
ahead of time--this episode has the improvised feel of a KTMA
episode. I think this episode may be the lowpoint of the national
series.
104- WOMEN OF THE PREHISTORIC PLANET
First shown: approx. 12/89.

Opening: Redecorating the SOL.

Invention exchange: Clay & Lar's Flesh Barn,
toilet paper in a bottle.

Host segment 1: During "This is Joel's Life," a
strange machine appears outside the ship, so Joel brings it inside.

Host segment 2: It turns out to be the Isaac
Asimov's Literary Doomsday Device.

Host segment 3: J&TB try to disarm the device,
but it explodes, with horrific consequences.

End: The effects wear off, letters, the winners of
the "name the plant guy " contest (see #110).

Comments and observations:
This episode was actually the last season-one episode taped.
Why it has this production number remains a mystery.
Before it was confirmed in the "Amazing Colossal Episode
Guide," fans had long suspected this was a late season-one entry,
partially because it features a number of innovations that would
come later in this season, including an opening segment before the
commercial, buttons on the desk in the SOL, and a Movie Sign that
looks much more like the Movie Sign we know.
Another major clue was the references to several LATER
episodes--most notably in the closing segment when Joel announces
the WINNERS of a contest that will not be announced until episode
110- Robot Holocaust. Also in that segment, a
letter refers to episode
105- The Corpse Vanishes and episode
109- Project Moonbase.
Tom twice refers to one of the leading men as "Johnny
Longtorso," a name that would later be used in an invention
exchange in episode
421- Monster a-Go-Go.
This episode contains the first original song on the national
series: the "Clay and Lar's Flesh Barn" jingle (and I would love to
know who that is playing the kazoo during that).
This show features the first speaking role for Mike Nelson
(he's the voice of the killer satellite).
Of course, this episode is where the oft-repeated phrase
"Hi-keeba!" came from. Listen up about an hour into the episode, as
Paul Gilbert, as moronic-engineer-comic relief guy Lt. Bradley (NOT
Wendell Corey, as the ACEG incorrectly states) relates a tedious
story about his martial arts training, cries "Hi-keeba! Hah!" and
does a pratfall.
Watching this episode, I noticed something sort of interesting.
While I understand Best Brains' decision not to air these episodes
anymore, there is a certain specialness about them...a kind of
leisureliness. Not as empty as the KTMAs, nor as hectic as the
seasons that would follow, there is a calm, languidness here that
soon departed. Perhaps it would never have succeeded if it had gone
on like that, and it may be that very atmosphere the Brains now
repudiate. But it has its moments.
Oh: this was the first episode I ever saw.
Favorite riff: "Ah, the Samuel Becket method!"
105- THE CORPSE VANISHES

with short:

"COMMANDO CODY & THE RADAR MEN FROM THE
MOON"

--EPISODE 3

First shown: approx. 12/89.

Opening: None.

Invention exchange: Foundation Trilogy gift set
for Larry, chiro-gyro, flame throwing flower.

Host segment 1: Crow and Tom are reading "Tiger
Bot" magazine.

Host segment 2: J&TB playing tag.

Host segment 3: Joel gets a haircut.

End: Good thing/bad thing (Tom's head
explodes).

Comments and observations:
No opening segment after the theme, no Bots present during the
invention exchange and possibly no buttons on the table (although
the table is not visible during movie sign).
The "chiro-gyro" and the "flame throwing flower" were props
from Joel's standup act.
Servo is slowly evolving into the Servo of later episodes; his
weird fat white beak has changed to the familiar silver one. Note:
working Servo arms in first host segment.
The end of the second host segment includes the rather
startling sight of Joel running down the doorway sequence and being
run over by Cambot!
The third host segment is another classic moment from season
one, a re-think of a sketch originally done for KTMA. "They're
STILL pickin' up clown noses!"
Tom Servo's head blows up for the first time in the final
segment.
Favorite riff: "Hey, lady, art exhibit in my nose!"
106- THE CRAWLING HAND
First shown: approx. 12/89.

Opening: Joel explains the premise.

Invention exchange: Safety saw, limb lengthener.

Host segment 1: J&TB bowl, but Crow and Tom
don't want to play any more games with Joel.

Host segment 2: J&TB do Shatner with the
crawling hand.

Host segment 3: Why is dismembered hand scary?

End: Good thing/bad thing, letter, Larry is very
happy.

Comments and observations:
THIS episode, not episode 104, is the REAL first time for the
opening segment and the buttons on the table. Joel explains the
show's premise--and he makes a point of gesturing to the buttons
when Deep 13 calls. Still, no Bots are on the set during the
invention exchange.
At the end of the second segment we see--for the first time, I
believe--Joel pop a grape into his mouth after tapping the buttons
during Movie Sign. Joel would later explain that the point of the
bit was that the Mads were doing a behavior modification thing by
rewarding him with a treat for pushing the button.
While the riffing is pretty good in this one, all three of the
host segments were relatively weak in this episode, particularly
segment three, where the arrival of Gypsy in a giant hand costume
is a rather unfunny end to a labored bit.
Joel starts to mention the "vacuflowers" again during the
invention exchange.
Favorite riff: "Yeah, well, you're stocky-tubby!"
107- ROBOT MONSTER

with shorts:

"COMMANDO CODY & THE RADAR MEN FROM THE
MOON"

--EPISODES 4 & 5

First shown: approx. 1/90.

Opening: Joel explains the premise.

Invention exchange: Methane whoopee cushion,
cumber-bubble-bund.

Host segment 1: Reality vs. Commando Cody (Tom's
head explodes--also Crow's and Cambot 's!).

Host segment 2: Crow and Tom play Robot Monster.

Host segment 3: Crow and Tom trying to understand
surrealism.

End: J&TB's tribute to Ro-Man baffles the
Mads.

Comments and observations:
Joel once again explains the premise in the opening segment;
the Bots are present during the invention exchange for the first
time since episode 101.
Josh sneezes in the theater during the first short! Joel
expresses some surprise at this, but Josh covers well. Trace just
says "'Zoont!" (Short for "gazuntheit," I guess.)
Servo's head explodes for the second time in the series during
the first host segment, while thinking about bumblebees--followed
by Crow and Cambot for the first and only time (I think).
And just what, exactly, ARE "the zacklies"?
Highlight: Joel's riotous narration of the love scene,
including Alice Cooper quotes.
Very funny riffing and decent host segments--one of the better
episodes of the first season.
Favorite riff: "Okay, now tilt the camera down a little."
108- THE SLIME PEOPLE

with short:

"COMMANDO CODY & THE RADAR MEN FROM THE
MOON"

--EPISODE 6

First shown: approx. 1/90.

Opening: Joel and Tom are sleepy, but Crow is a
morning bot.

Invention exchange: Cartoon eyeglasses, screaming
cotton candy.

Host segment 1: Crow and Tom take Commando Cody to
reality court.

Host segment 2: J&TB discuss how dumb the
movie is, and suggest ways to make it better.

Host segment 3: Inspired by the movie, the Bots
fill the SOL with smoke.

End: Joel bakes a pie, letter, Mads are
thrilled.

Comments and observations:
The first episode without any noticeable innovations.
Reasonably good riffs, fairly minimal "season one"-style host
segments.
Joel does the "Love-ly...love-ly" riff for the second time in
just a few episodes.
One thing about first season episodes is that they seemed to be
following the movie more closely than they would be in later
episodes. At one point in this episode, Servo points out: "Why are
the guys carrying guns? They have no effect on the Slime People! We
know that!" It's hard to imagine that kind of a plot-intensive riff
in later seasons.
No Tom Servo in the closing segment!
Favorite riff: "Honestly, Bonnie, the slime you bring
home."
109- PROJECT MOONBASE

with shorts:

"COMMANDO CODY & THE RADAR MEN FROM THE
MOON"

--EPISODES 7 & 8

First shown: approx. 1/90.

Opening: Crow and Tom have had a bath.

Invention exchange: Juggling water,
insect-a-sketch.

Host segment 1: Crow and Tom are playing "Commando
Cody & the Moonman."

Host segment 2: Neckties of the future.

Host segment 3: SPACOM!

End: Crow and Tom are upside down reading
letters.

Comments and observations:
Just before Movie Sign, the camera in Deep 13 pulls back, a
move that is accompanied by a lovely mechanical noise.
One of the few songs ever performed in the theater is a
highlight of this ep: J&TB singing the lovely lyrics to the
Commando Cody theme song.
It's interesting (to me, anyway) to compare "Project Moonbase"
in which a sinister nation is worried about America's pre-eminence
in space, and "Rocket Attack USA," (shown in season two) in which a
worried America frets about a sinister nation's pre-eminence in
space.
The word "hexfield" pops up in an odd spot in the second host
segment.
There's a very funny bit in the theater with Joel and the cue
cards, as Dr. Bellows does his little speech about gravity.
This ep also features the VERY first use of the riff "By this
time my lungs were aching for air."
An example of how casual things were back then: There's a
lovely closeup of Crow's hand during "mail call" and nobody has
bothered to fix the chipped-off paint on his hand.
Favorite riff: "You're over by a metric ton!"
110- ROBOT HOLOCAUST

with short:

"COMMANDO CODY & THE RADAR MEN FROM THE
MOON"

--EPISODE 9 (partial)

First shown: approx. 1/90.

Opening: Joel sings the Human Blues.

Invention exchange: Nitro burning funny pipe,
stocking mask of the future.

Host segment 1: Crow and Tom, in the "We Zone,"
make Joel do tricks.

Host segment 2: Cambot's sitcom simulator
malfunctions.

Host segment 3: J&TB play Robot Holocaust, but
Crow and Joel aren't having fun.

End: Brainstorm: Name the plant guy in the movie
contest, letter.

Comments and observations:
First of all, WHAT is that thing connected to Crow's jaw? Okay,
I know what it is--it's a very thick piece of twine--but sheesh!
It's very distracting. And he seems to be clacking a lot this
episode.
The whole "the film broke" thing serves as our farewell to the
Cody series. I assume they discovered the feature was JUST a few
minutes too short, and they needed a portion of the short to fill
the remaining time. In the ACEG, Kevin also says they sick of
"Radar Men" by this point. Personally, it's very unsatisfying,
though: I was actually wondering what would happen next! Couldn't
we have had another two minutes of Commando Cody rather than watch
the entire credit sequence of the feature?
It's clear that Best Brains thinks this is one of the better
episodes of season one; it was the one they chose to show at the
first Conventio-con in 1994.
I do enjoy Joel's Crazy Duck Face, but it's too bad we don't
get to see "Snow storm in China," which reportedly is a stunning
magic trick involving lots of confetti.
Take note of Tom Servo's comment as they leave the theater at
the end of the movie--"Hey Joel, you gotta come carry me over this
heating grid." That's one of two times where we have the "on
camera" explanation why Joel must carry Tom in the theater.
Favorite riff: "Hey!!! It's GREAAT!!"
111- MOON ZERO TWO
First shown: approx. 1/90.

Opening: Joel explains the premise.

Invention exchange: Teleporting food, celebrity
mouth to mouth toothpaste.

Host segment 1: The "history of men on the moon"
pagent.

Host segment 2: Games of the future (like
Moonopoly).

Host segment 3: Crow and Tom fight over women in
the movie, in zero gravity.

End: Good thing/bad thing, letter.

Comments and observations:
Crow still has that twine on his chin; they would later use
black string to control Crow's mouth--a vast improvement.
The Bots are uncharacteristically silent during the opening
segment and the invention exchange.
Joel says something curious as the invention exchange begins:
"Try not to look so happy, you guys." One of the interesting things
about the concept in the first season is that Joel never really
seemed to be that upset about being stranded in space. It was only
in later seasons that his character seemed to become more
unhappy.
This movie has, I think, the third reference in this series to
a movie called "Yards of Leather." Obviously, they're referring to
an adult movie, but I'd love to know if it really exists or is a
figment of the Brains' imagination.
Favorite riff: "Fourth floor: Tyrannical tycoons, loose
women."
112- UNTAMED YOUTH
First shown: 2/6/90.

Opening: Tom has a tape-worm.

Invention exchange: Never-light pipe, tongue
puppets.

Host segment 1: Tribute to Greg Brady.

Host segment 2: What Gypsy thinks.

Host segment 3: Gypsy's sick, and Tom is no help.

End: Understanding the goofy guy from the movie,
letters.

Comments and observations:
Crow still has the chin twine.
I never believed the stories about Joel being stoned on camera,
but, I gotta say, in the first host segment, Joel *appears* to be
utterly wasted (he also looks like he had a *very* bad shave that
morning). He also almost falls over as the segment starts (though,
to be fair, there was only a very small platform behind the desk
for the host to stand on--the rest was an open trench where the
puppetteers stood--and it would be very easy for even a completely
sober person to accidentally misstep and almost fall).
Very funny riffing in this episode and an extremely watchable
movie (if you know what I mean) make this probably the best episode
of season one.
The movie also marks a departure: It's the first
non-horror/sci-fi movie of the national series. In fact, all the
movies in Season One except this one would fit easily within the
restrictions Sci-Fi Channel would later impose.
Gypsy enters the theater for the first time: Joel calls her
into the theater to produce cotton in response to Tom Servo's query
about what real cotton feels like.
Gypsy's lips fall off during segmemt 3.
While we're used to Joel stumbling over his lines, in the last
half hour in the theater, Trace probably does his worst line flub
ever with "Hey, it's Grg-brg-grg-brg-Greg Brady!" Typically, they
left it in.
With this episode the MST3K "Fan Club" becomes the "Information
Club" in the end-of-show announcement.
Favorite riff: "Cotton gin and tonic."
113- THE BLACK SCORPION
First shown: 2/13/90.

Opening: A party.

Invention exchange: Giant party favor, the Mads
have mutated.

Host segment 1: Kind of a tribute to Mexico.

Host segment 2: Crow and Tom discuss human nature
while Gypsy becomes a scorpion.

Host segment 3: The Bots' puppet show; stop-motion
animation.

End: Letters.

Comments and observations:
Crow's last appearance with his chin twine.
Josh's make up in this show is remarkable! Quite a job.
The first segment starts slow and goes nowhere...hoo-boy!
Anybody who thinks the Sci-Fi Channel-era host segments were the
worst ever should take a look at this one! Yikes!
In the ACEG, Mike apologizes for the use of a peeing sound
effect in episode 102. But he fails to mention the applause sound
effect used every time Ramos is introduced in this ep, which is
also clearly edited in...it sounds exactly the same each time. And
how Crow and Servo are supposed to be applauding is beyond me.
Gypsy's tail falls off in host segment 2.
Crow's Bing Crosby sounds a LOT like his Dean Martin--and vice
versa.
This episode includes one of my all-time favorite Joel riffs:
"Remember that bad thing we saw? It looked just like this. This is
bad."
At the end of the closing segment, Josh simply says "Bye!" and
walks off the set. And he is never seen again.
Weinstein gets short-shrift by many and this is only partially
deserved, in my view. Looking back, Weinstein was (and is) clearly
a gifted young man with a sense of humor and style well beyond his
years. He certainly held his own in many ways with co-stars many
years his senior. And Weinstein deserves credit for one other
achievement--it was Weinstein that spotted struggling comedian
Michael J. Nelson and suggested he be hired.
Favorite riff: "Mrs. Butterworth! Help!"