Riffin’ Large: MST3K Graffiti, Stickers & Stencils

Mystery Science Theater 3000 (or MST3K for short) was a
Nineties pop culture TV
phenomenon that endures through graffiti,
stickers, stencils and street art.

Mystery Science Theater 3000 debuted on Minneapolis TV station
KTMA in late 1988 and the final episode (#211 for those keeping
count) of its tenth season aired on the Sci-Fi Channel in
September of 1999. Skewering late twentieth century society and
culture along with the “cheesy movies” it riffed on every
Sunday A.D., the show featured Joel Hodgson (aka Joel Robinson)
and later Mike Nelson accompanied by their robot friends and
co-riffers Tom Servo and Crow T. Robot.

As seen in our lead image snapped by Flickr member huntingtherare in
2010 and the next one, captured by Flickr member Courtney “Coco” Mault in
2007, the show’s most identifiable trope is the silhouette of
Servo, Hodgson/Nelson and Crow in movie-watching mode.

Hands Down

One of the most famous MST3K episodes (and one of the worst
movies ever made, regardless) was “Manos: The Hands of Fate”.
The 24th episode of MST3K’s Season 4 aired in January of 1993
and was preceded by a short film – also mercilessly riffed –
called “Hired”. Just how bad was Manos,
a 1966 ultra-low-budget horror flick? To quote Joel, “Every
frame of this movie looks like someone’s last known
Flickr member Thomas
snapped this blood-red stencil of the Manos hands
on a Chicago street back in the fall of 2007.

Cambot, Is That You?

Besides Crow and Servo, the main human protagonist of MST3K
also enjoyed the company of robotic characters Gypsy (played by
producer Jim Mallon) and Cambot. We’re not sure if whomever
stenciled the sign above was inspired by the latter or if it’s
just coincidental. The sign is (or was, in September of 2009)
located outside the Electric Fetus, a renowned Minneapolis
record store, and was snapped by Flickr member 612 to

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