Little-known sci-fi fact: The weird reason MST3K got its odd name

Contributed by
Nov 27, 2013

It’s almost Turkey Day, and what better way to celebrate than with an intriguingly goofy tidbit about a series that became a Thanksgiving tradition — Mystery Science Theater 3000?

The snarky little show that built a cult audience making fun of ridiculous sci-fi flicks is timeless fun, but where the heck did it get that strange title? Turns out, the reason is just as ridiculous as the series itself.

Series creator Joel Hodgson explained the wacky story in a 2011 interview with Art of the Title. Basically? Everything was being named “2000” at the time, and Hodgson thought it’d be funny to toss a “3000” in the title. Turns out, the joke endured — and became a key piece of the weirdness that made the title so memorable.

Here’s an excerpt from his comments:

“The 3000 was a joke on all the people that were attaching the year 2000 to various programs. In the late ’80s it was everywhere: ‘America 2000’ was something that George Bush Sr. was talking about a lot so I thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be cool if I name it 3000 just to confound people?’ But there was a lot of confusion about it. I never meant for the show to take place in the year 3000. That simply makes no sense!

If it is the year 3000, then why are all the films and the references about the end of the 20th century? For the concept of the show, it’s just a series number like Galaxie 500 or HAL 9000. Fords aren’t from the year 500 and the HAL wasn’t from the year 9000. In hindsight, I think it’s likely that the Mads were trying to snazz up the name of the show by tacking on the 3000.” 

So, there you have it. Of course, the only thing missing is the good ol’ TV marathon to celebrate Thanksgiving. Luckily for us, the tradition will return this year with an online marathon streaming some of the greatest eps. So, snark on.

(Via Mental Floss)

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