MST3K Convention Report – Day 1

After flying in from Boston, I was pretty tired. I took the bus from the airport and met two fellow MSTies on the ride. They were going to a different hotel though, so I had to navigate a strange new city alone.
After walking 10 blocks or so, I arrived at the Convention Center. I hadn’t found the hotel yet so I still had my luggage with me. No lines, no waiting. By this time, it’s about 3:30pm or so. After grabbing my badge and signing up for a tour (3pm Saturday) and an autograph day (Sunday), I headed to the hotel.
Minneapolis is a neat city…all major the downtown buildings are connected by an indoor walkway. Pretty cool! I had been in town for a little over an hour and I was already impressed.
After checking in, I decided to see what was going on around the hotel. I grabbed my volunteer T-shirt, scoped out the movie viewing rooms, and dropped by the Internet MSTies room to advertise this web site a bit.
Then I headed over to “Gypsy’s Basement” to see what kind of MST3K merchandise I could buy. I had a MST3K CD (not CD-ROM…this was music!), Tom Servo poster, and other cool stuff in my hands. I was ready to buy it all when I realized my wallet was still in my room! Oops! I hoped the stuff I wanted would still be there Saturday.
By the time I got back to the hotel, there wasn’t time to go back to buy stuff. It was 6:00 and everyone was starting to go over to get in line for the keynote address.

After walking at my usually swift pace (I’m tall), I arrived to find a 50 yard line of people that was about 10 feet wide. Woah. After about 5 minutes of standing in line, the end vanished out of sight. When they finally opened the doors, it took at least 15 minutes for the final people to get inside.
I managed to grab a seat in the 7th row…out of about 150. While waiting for the stars of the show, fellow MSTies were busily wasting film on pictures of themselves and the crowd. Two MSTies had puppets there…Crow and Timmy (the evil Crow).
Then, the moment arrived! Jim Mallon walked out to a standing ovation. He talked for a bit and drew cheers and applause…until he mentioned “Comedy Central”. Those two words produced the largest gathering of negative emotions on the face of the Earth. After the booing died down, he introduced the rest of the cast one by one. Each entered to standing ovations.
A Sci-Fi Channel representative, Barry Schulman himself, was called to the stage by Mike. His speech was mostly a canned ad for the Sci-Fi channel…but it seems promising. They seem to love the show. Although he claimed his first MST experience was Queen from Outer Space (which has never been on MST3K), he did seem to like the turnout. (By the way, we all have to write the Sci-Fi Channel some “Thank You” letters ASAP!)
When Mary Jo Pehl took the podium, many MSTies seemed suprised to learn that Trace was leaving. Apparently the Brains never realized that it wasn’t in every paper (nor the last newsletter) and not everyone is on the Internet. Mary Jo introduced a tender video tribute to Trace as Dr. Forrester. It had slow motion clips from shows from season 1 through the final episode…all put to the song “My Way”.
Trace was clearly moved. The Brains presented him with a giant bottle of champagne and a box of steaks.
When Paul Chaplin took the podium, he introduced a new short…unseen by the public and never to be shown on TV. Assignment: Venezuela It’s not finished (there’s still some sound editing to be done for example) but it will be included on Voyager’s MST3K CD-ROM.
After the short, Bridget took the podium and complained about always being forgotten because she’s the youngest. She wasn’t assigned anything to say, so she took the opportunity to tell us to go to bed and get some sleep.

Back at the Hilton, a group of net MSTies gathered in Agent J’s room to celebrate the first anniversary of Agent J’s Workshop. We introduced ourselves, talked about IRC and, and watched videos.
I left after a little more than an hour to seek out food. After heading back to my room, I set a wake-up-call for 8am and updated this page.

August 30, 1996

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