Joel Hodgson – The creator of MST3K

Joel HodgsonI have to write a little about Joel Hodgson, the creator of Mystery Science Theater 3000, in which he starred as Joel Robinson.

Joel Gordon Hodgson was born in Stevens Point, Wisconsin in 20th of February 1960. In his early days he performed as a magician, an artform he developed when starting at Bethel University where he studied Theatre and Mass Media. He added comics and music to his performances and actually won prizes before moving to Los Angeles, where he was discovered by Late night with David Letterman producer Berry Sand. He then starred in both Letterman show and Saturday Night Live only at the age of 22. Joel Hodgson also worked in a comedy store and he has produced material for other comedians, including robots. That is also a background to MST3K which Hodgson created in 1988, in which Joel Robinson had built his robot sidekicks.

In the show, one of the robots, Gypsy, thought that the scientists that had captured Joel was planning to kill him, so she helped Joel to escape. And that’s when Joel was replaced by Michael J. Nelson in MST3K.

For Joel Hodgson it was a tragedy to leave the show, but it was to keep the show alive since him and the producer Jim Mallon was fighting for the creative rights of the series. Joel Hodgson made a guest appearance in the final seasons (which aren’t final anymore, since 14 new episodes will be made 🙂 Unfortunately not with Hodgson as the host, even if he has chosen the cast)

After MST3K Joel Hodgson has been working with other comedy projects as well, amongst others as a guest star on Jerry Seinfeld’s web show Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee and as the voice Mayor Bill Dewey for the show Steven Universe. He also did a tour with the same concept as MST3K which was called Cinematic Titanic and which casted some of the members from MST3K.

The picture on this page is taken by Timdorr.

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