Both Joel and Mike are subconcious reality-warpers.
This was the real reason the Mads sent them into space- to get them away from the rest of the populace before too much harm could be done to those around them and then trying to break their spirit with showing after showing of bad movies. This explains how Joel could "create" a team of super-advanced Ridiculously-Human Robots in no time at all, and why characters from the movies (Torgo, Krankor) appeared in the real world. In fact, Joel escaped by subconciously creating the Deus Ex Machina and riding back to earth. Mike was less experienced with his powers, so he could not try and do the same thing.
- Well, he did try and do the same thing, after watching Final Justice. He just didn't succeed. (And just what was the extent of the attempt? Do his reality-warping powers extend to mind control? Was he able to influence Pearl into sending up a Joe Don Baker-as-Cowboy Cop movie just to set the stage for his escape, to make the conditions match those of Joel's escape as closely as possible? Hmmmm...)
- So that means that Haruhi Suzumiya is next... actually, I'd like to see that... Kyon, Haruhi, and Yuki mercilessly beating up on terrible anime has quite a bit of an appeal to me.
Joel broadcasted the show to Earth to try and get help.
Joel specifically engineered Cambot with the ability to interfere with television broadcasts, and everytime an experiment was about to begin Cambot automatically broadcasted the goings-on of the experiments to the public in an attempt to get rescued. The Mads discredited Joel's plea for help by claiming that the broadcast was really a fictional televion show, and Comedy Central simply added a theme song to the show to reassure their viewers that the program was 'normal'. Later, Mike attempted to outwit his captors by changing to the Sci Fi, but Pearl stayed one step ahead of her captives and similarly lied that it was a fictional show.
- The main problem I see with this one is that the Joel episodes take place "next Sunday" -- presumably the Sunday after they air. Also, if you want to extend it to Mike, you have to deal with Season 8, which takes place in Roman Times and in 2525.
- Alternatively, the "next Sunday" part of the theme song refers to the date that Joel was launched into space, which would mean that he was launched in 1989. Joel could have also modified Cambot to send the broadcasts backwards and forwards in time, depending.
- Word of God states that Forrester sold footage of the experiements to cable--specifically, Comedy Central--to get funding, which makes sense as the show's final episode on CC shows Forrester saying they've lost funding. Forrester and Erhardt also complain about the show's high ratings ("we're mad scientists!") in the KTMA season.
- There's also an episode (I believe Angel's Revenge?) where the Mads turn Joel and the Bots into the cast of Renegade to increase their ratings.
- Could we then say that Joel initially tried to get help by broadcasting a week into the past onto KTMA (so that he could create a stable time loop by getting rescued before he had to watch the movie), but the Mads realized what happened, hijacked the footage, and sold it to the highest bidder (Comedy Central, in this case)?
- Can we also say that the first time the Mads intercepted Joel's footage was the week before they shot him into space, and that's where they got the idea to shoot him into space?
Both Mr. B Natural and A Case of Spring Fever are paranoid delusions of the main character, seen from different perspectives.
In Mr. B Natural, Buzz, a decently skilled trumpet-player, thoroughly confused socially and sexually, concocts an alternate history for his own life, creating a world that is entirely centered around school bands. In real life, he was introduced to the world of trumpeting by his school band leader, Mr. Bailey. Buzz found himself strangely attracted to him, but feels guilty about it, so he creates a new Mr. B who is actually a woman. At the same time, Mr. B represents Buzz himself -- he's male physically and socially, but he feels like he is actually female. Again, feeling guilty about having such feelings, he externalizes them. This, of course, adds a cruel irony to the name B Natural.
In A Case of Spring Fever, Gilbert is a 50- to 60-year-old middle manager at a large spring factory. He has created a multitude of hallucinations in an attempt to give his life meaning, including a wife, but none of them have managed to satify him. Finally, one day, while fixing the springs on his couch for the thousandth time, he snaps, realizing subconsciously that the only way he can make his life seem satisfying is if he can be forcibly made to genuinely enjoy the springs that he spends his entire day around. Once he crosses over, his imaginary wife disappears, no longer needed. The major difference between Mr. B and Spring Fever is that in the second half of Spring Fever, we see from outside the main character's point of view. He has created a world in his mind where springs are the most useful, beautiful, and glorious things in the world, but almost immediately after he creates this world, we are ejected from it, and watch as his friends, like us, consider him to be nothing but a lunatic.
- Alternately, he's a spring purchaser for Chevrolet Division, given how many of the cars in the filmstrip are new 1941 Chevys.
- Does that mean this all happens within the Hired! universe?
- There's a shared Jam Handy universe. Remember to keep your preserves conveniently located!
- Does that mean this all happens within the Hired! universe?
Mr. B Natural is:
A Cthulhu-esque abomination that would melt your mind if ever encountered in real life.
- You know it makes sense.
- So is Coily.
- Gender transition including hormone therapy and reassignment surgery, on Canadian
public health insurancesocialized medicine? How else would the ex-governor picture it turning out?
Loki, somehow imprisoned by Conn Music to do their bidding and sell their instruments.
Vadinho was the real villain.
So, this guy is strong enough to lift a car and is clearly the only one who has any idea of how to stop the Big Bad, but he somehow feels the need to find some ineffectual puss and give him a magic belt that will bestow him with less-impressive powers? And even though he knew the father of the one guy he needs to track down, he eschews any kind of rational searching for birth certificates of whatnot, instead opting to randomly throw people out windows, knowing that when -- or if -- he finds someone that doesn't die a horrible death from being thrown out a window, that's the guy he's looking for. And then once he finds the guy, gives him the belt, and trains him, he forces him to stay behind instead of letting him join him in fighting the Big Bad.
Let's face it: the only reason Vadinho looked for Tony in the first place is because he wanted to get some jollies out of random murder. It was a complete accident that he even actually found Tony, and he only trained him because he knew that, weak and ineffectual as Tony was, his powers prevented him from being killed. The whole Kobras thing was all Vadinho's doing: a big ruse to get Tony to think that his job was done and he wouldn't need to use his powers for anything other than "making love in the air", so he would leave Vadinho alone. Of course, Tony wasn't supposed to show up at the big fight, and Kobras, Vadinho's BFF, wasn't supposed to die a horrible fiery death. When that complication arose, Vadinho could no longer get any joy out of random murder, and, his spirit crushed, he left on the space plane to mourn his friend (and possible lover) -- and, eventually, find a new planet to kill people on, once he'd gotten over Kobras's death.
The Satellite of Love does not exist. Mike and/or Joel faked the whole thing from a TV studio on Earth.
Some sort of connection (or at least geographic proximity) to A Prairie Home Companion is also suspected.
- Trudging a little close to Truth in Television here, seeing as the Satellite of Love really doesn't exist, the show actually was produced in a TV studio here on earth, and Mike and Joel's first names really are Mike and Joel.
Mystery Science Theater 3000 was filmed in and around Lake Wobegon.
- Alternately, Lake Wobegon is closer to the Minneapolis/St.Paul metro area than Keillor lets on.
There is a logical explanation for everything that happens on the show.
Any suggestion otherwise was made to throw off various Forresters.
All characters played by the same actor are the same character.
- The Skipper used to be a smalltown sheriff, until an invasion of giant spiders traumatized him and, fearing for his sanity, he fled for the spiderless ocean.
- The Professor was leading the other castaways on the whole time. He knew he could get off the island, but he also knew that the helicopter he was building would only carry him, so he had to play dumb so as not to cause mutiny. He finally escaped one night, but the constant stupidity of the other castaways and the frustration of hiding his own genius led to some serious anger management issues with the new family he started. His wife's insistence that they move to the beach triggered constant flashbacks, which certainly didn't help matters.
- After taking the Great Vorelli's body, Hugo faked his own death, ending the Vorelli phenomenon, then disguised himself from his loyal fans by dying his hair orange so he could fly under the radar as a scientist. His goal was to develop a scientific way to transfer souls, so he could liberate all the ventriloquy dummies of the world. However, he lacked the patience and deliberation of Vorelli, abruptly ending his life and the project through his recklessness.
- Diabolik survived being coated in gold, but quite a bit of the lead in his suit soaked through to his brain, and so it is difficult to tell how much of Space Mutiny is the actual story of him aboard the space station he built with the money from selling all the gold and how much is hallucination.
- After botching a drug bust and killing lots of Maltese men, Geronimo Mitchell got a sex change and became a scientist specializing in shiny metal plates growing out of chest scabs. The relatively low occurrence of such a medical phenomenon meant s/he had a lot of free time, which s/he continued to fill with food, beer, food, porn, food, and farting.
Mike Nelson is Mike Nelson.
Just about ten years or so later. Considering that both Mystery Science Theater 3000 and Twin Peaks are set in a hardly definable time, it's entirely possible.
- If you take the theme songs literally, the Joel episodes are set on the Sunday following the original airdate, and Mike was hired by Dr. F and Frank shortly before the last Joel episode, which would have taken place on Sunday, October 24, 1993 (it aired on the 23rd). (After that, the timeline does get messy -- "somewhere in time and space...") Also, Mike had been doing various temp jobs since the 1980s, and he grew up in Wisconsin.
- Oddly, the theme song always opened with "In the not-too-distant future" even when M&TB were in 2525 (which is distant) or in Roman Times (which is the past!).
Joel Robinson is a mental patient.
Despite the theme song that paints him as an ordinary everyman, Joel Robinson is secretly criminally insane and undergoing rehabilitation through a more humane form of the Ludovico treatment. The "Satellite of Love" is how Joel envisions the ward in which he's confined. The "mad scientists" are mostly harmless, yet slightly twisted doctors seen through Joel's resentful perspective. Their invention exchanges are attempts to get Joel to do something constructive with his time. Joel's "robot friends" are purely imaginary, or possibly secondary, personalities, meaning that he talks to himself almost constantly. The frequent fourth wall-breaking is an acknowledgment of Joel's status as a person who is and should be watched closely; the "fan mail" is written by the doctors in an attempt to make their patient feel as though he has contact with other humans. Gypsy's finding the Deus ex Machina was Joel's triumphant breakout from the mental hospital.
This hypothesis falls apart with the introduction of Mike...unless you consider that he could have been deemed similarly dangerous and was even more insane for imagining that his new doctors were an ape-man and an albino space alien. Unfortunately, he managed to take out the best of the doctors, and the others (including the new ones) were a little more reluctant to interact with him. This is why the invention exchanges were dropped a few episodes after Mike came on board.
Expanding on the theory...
Joel was, in reality, an avid moviegoer and invented in his spare time, but one day, after having a patent rejected, he finally lost it. In his hallucinations, all the bad movies that he had watched came back to torture him. The "Mads", the doctors at the institute, had nothing to do with the films in reality, but Joel projected his hatred onto the closest available targets, and envisioned the doctors as evil, twisted scientists that tortured him with these films. Though he did briefly break out, he was eventually reapprehended. Unable to rationalize his capture, he created an alternate personality for himself, which he called Mike, who continued to suffer through the "movies".
- The movies could be shown by the doctors, or picked by other patients. Speaking as someone who works in a mental health facility, horrible movies are a constant feature. Guess how many times in a month they watched Matrix Revolutions. Go on, guess.
All (Or at least some) movies watched by Joel and Mike are fictionalized versions of real-life events in their own universe.
This would explain why characters such as Torgo, Mr. B, Pitch, Mothra, and Phantom of Krankor occasionally make appearances in the show. In cases where the movies take place in the future, the original writers were either psychic or encountered time travelers.
This means that their universe is a Crapsack World, but that's confirmed in canon, so...
The ending theme is loosely written around Lou Reed's "Satellite of Love" lyrics
Okay, kind of a boring Epileptic Tree, but the Lou Reed lyrics look like unused lyrics for the ending theme. Now, "Satellite of Love" sounds absolutely nothing like Mystery Science Theater 3000's ending theme; nonetheless, see if you can hear these lines being delivered to the music's tempo (Joel and the 'bots did perform the Lou Reed song during a live riff):
Satellite's gone up to the skies (to the skies)
I watched it for a little while
Satellite's gone up to the skies...
Satellite of love! Satellite of love!
Satellite's gone way up to Mars
I love to watch things... on TV!
- You gotta admit, that's quite fitting...
Dr. Erhardt is TV's Frank
Remember, from Laserblast, when Pearl finds Frank's spare head? It's not fully shown, and it's dark-haired. That means that it could be Dr. Erhardt's head.
- Dr. Erdhart was somehow eaten by a spider in the film Earth vs. The Spider (No, not during the experiment -- within the film itself. Time travel was presumably involved). But Frank has died plenty of times, so it could work.
- Maybe that was the first time he died, and Dr. F then built a more modular body for him.
- The fanfic 3000: A Space Odyssey explained Erdhart was the guinea pig for a device Dr. F created that traps people in movies.
The Satellite of Love is actually a Helium-3 mining station on the dark side of the Moon
The movies are the only form of entertainment other than building a model town and discovering the truth.
The Nostalgia Critic is really Dr. Forrester
He's tall and skinny, with a goatee. He changes his name often, and the place where he posts his videos is very non-descript.
He's Doctor Forrester. He's showing us these really horrible 80s/90s movies to find the one that drives us insane, and thus use it to rule the world. His comments are because, after seeing Joel/Mike and the Bots "riff" on movies, he decided to try it himself. And this "The Bum" guy? He's what happened to Dr. Earhardt.
- Or better yet, the Critic will become Dr. Forrester. After years of seeing bad movies, the Critic goes mad, and becomes evil, as he decides to show Joel, Mike, and the bots how it felt to be him.
== The EVE units were engineered from Tom Servo ==. Think about it- small arms, hovering ability, round head, similar body shape. After landing on Earth, Tom Servo and Crow lived the rest of their lives until the garbage crisis, when Buy N' Large used Tom Servo's design to create an advanced vegetation probe for the cleanup operation... you know the rest.
Futurama and Mystery Science Theater 3000 take place in the same universe.
After landing on Earth, the Bots outlived Mike Nelson and began frequenting movie theaters, where they graudally picked up movie etiquette.
Disembaudio is Cambot
Cambot's been rebuilt multiple times, and it's notable that Disembaudio's most notable physical feature is his eyes. Crow and Servo don't need Cambot anymore now that they're Flash animations rather than physical robots. I can't be the only one who finds Disembaudio's occasional riffs reminiscent of Cambot's riff on Sidehackers. Relatedly...
It actually happened
The Mike Nelson we know today really was the Mike Nelson on the So L, which is how Cambot can exist in real life as Disembaudio. Also, there were two Joels sent into space by Dr. F. The one we now know as Joel Hodgson was the first one to go up, in a much more primitive satellite, as a temporary test for the program. Later, he was replaced by Joel Robinson, another janitor at Gizmonic Institute who bore a striking resemblance to him and who also shared his aptitude for inventing useless comical things. Joel Robinson was last seen running a hot fish shop in Osseo.
Joel Robinson == Joel Hodgson
The previous WMG, except that there's only one Joel. He gets renamed for the same reason as the real-world one - because Hodgson is difficult to pronounce, and the experiment is specifically being broadcast to Comedy Channel. Joel was forced by the Mads to either change his name or read The Eye of Argon.
Magic Voice Never Returns From the Edge of the Universe
At the end of Laserblast, Mike, Crow, Gypsy, Servo, Cambot, and Magic Voice reach the end of the universe, and become beings of pure thought and energy. 500 years later, the SOL is finally pulled back into Earth orbit, forcing Mike, Gypsy, Servo, and Cambot to snap back into mortal existence; Crow had already returned earlier. But Magic Voice isn't mentioned, and the few times a computer voice is heard for the rest of the series, it sounds different, and lacks sentience.
Because she never had a physical form to begin with, Magic Voice wasn't able to be pulled back into reality when the SOL returned to Earth, and probably didn't want to go back to being an on-board AI after having independence for the first time in her existence. She's still somewhere at the edge of the universe, living it up.
- The Magic Voice did actually return to the satellite, and she shows up infrequently throughout season 9/10.
By the time the show starts, Joel (and by extension, Mike) have already become insane from the movies.
The show's real purpose is to drive the audience insane by watching the same movies. Since Doctor Forrester didn't set a control properly, he's not certain which movie caused insanity, and needs to play them all out again.
- And Joel only talks to the movies because he's insane; he initially just watched the movies silently, but after losing his mind, he thinks that movies are talking to him, and thus feels the need to respond.
The bad movies are powering the Satellite.
Drs. Forrester and Erhardt have found some way to convert human (and robot) misery into energy and need to feed Joel/Mike a bad movie each week to keep the SOL going. That energy feeds air recyclers and hydroponic farms and such, and that's how they eat and breathe. The part of the dog-bone below the theater is the power converter, and it has to be in that shape to keep the living quarters separate from the theater for safety. Keeping Laserblast in the internal memory was a fail-safe in case communication with Deep 13 was lost, like a spare fuel tank.
It's just a show.
We should really just relax.
- That's good, we should repeat that to ourselves.
Joel wasn't told about the special parts to make the movie begin and end
As the theme song tells us, he used those components to make the robots, and the lack of control over the movie would of course be inconvenient since you would need to stop it if you needed the toilet or something similar. However Joel used those components to make the robots but didn't know what they were for. Either Dr. Forrester never intended to tell him or didn't get round to it until the robots had been made.
The bots (except Cambot) only exist in the minds of Joel, Mike, and Pearl
Yes, in The Movie, Dr. F refers to "Ah, Mike...robots..." Note how he says 'robots'. With disdain, almost as if he was lowering himself to indulge in a child's fantasy.
That's not to say that the robots don't have FORMS; Joel could've easily built them from junk lying around, becoming the Wilsons to his Tom Hanks. Joel had gone insane from the movies, and imagined the Bots speaking to him. When Mike was sent up, he was, in fact, conked on the noggin. His imagining of the Bots is likely due to a head injury from said conking. Notice how no one else really refers to the robots besides the guest characters (obvious illusions on the part of Joel and Mike) and... Pearl. But, are you really shocked that she was nuts?
Joel Robinson is some kind of Idiot Savant
First Joel was a janitor. Then he was launched into space and proceeded to build a bunch turing-capable artifically intelligent robots to help him deal with the situation. Then he made it back home, and got a job at a Hot Fish Shop.
Apparently, the notion of doing something with his remarkable talent in the field of robotics never occurred to him. Presumably, this could be the result of some sort of bad-movie-induced psychosis, but if Joel was always this much of a Genius Ditz, it would go a long way to explain why the egotistical but incompetent Drs. Forrester and Earhart "didn't like him" to the point where they devised an elaborate scheme to destroy his mind.
- Maybe he was working as a Janitor to get through post-graduate work?
Mike and the bots would go on to work at Joel's "Hot Fish Shop"
After returning to Earth, Mike, Servo, Crow, and Gypsy move on, and decide to work with Joel at his fish shop.
What isn't his fault?
Dr. Erdhart is a Time Lord
That explains how he was eaten by a giant spider in the 50's.
Mystery Science Theater 3000 and Andromeda take place in the same universe, and Gypsy will become the prototype for Ship Avatars.
Bot building Order
The magic voice is the ship's computer, programmed by Joel as his first attempt in bot building. Gypsy came next, but he cannibalized much of the ship's computer parts to build her. She is built similarly to the magic voice (In some senses, a "twin"), but the magic voice was built on the communications systems, while Gypsy on the life support systems. During this, Joel recorded himself via a camera the Mads sent up. He reffered to it as Cambot, then built him off communcations parts left over from the magic voice. Armed with experience and some new knowledge of cheesy movies, he built Crow and Servo as the wisecracking bots.
The Mads shot Joel into space because they were jealous of him.
The theme song shows that Joel was working as a lowly janitor at Gizmonic, but clearly he has a ton of engineering and mechanical talent. I mean, he built multiple sentient, free-roaming robots out of spare parts and what amounts to a VCR remote. Dr. Forrester and co. saw that their janitor was talented enough to put them all to shame and decided to get rid of him to save face. They needed a test subject for their world domination project, so rather than just offing Joel they figured they'd kill two birds with one stone and experiment on him in the isolation of space.
Gypsy's voice is Joel doing falsetto.
Joel built and programmed Gypsy as a female but then realized that he needed her to talk. In order to give her voice program something to work off of, he had to supply it with samples. Rather than talk normally and have her sound like a man, he put on his best falsetto. Hence her "guy-imitating-a-woman"-like voice.
The Mads stole the SOL for their experiment.
In the first episode of the Comedy Central series the Mads mention having to move down into the Deep 13 area, a place that is pretty much shunned and avoided by the rest of Gizmonic because of how dangerous it is. Odds are that the SOL was meant for some other project but they decided to commandeer it for their own experiment, shoving Joel inside. Because of this they now more or less live down there because they're afraid of being caught by the institute and fired or arrested. Later on the institute shut down and now they just run the place as an independent project. Joel transforming some of the movie control parts into bots probably annoyed them but at least meant that it would be harder for Joel to resist the experiments (so they thought). The invention exchanges also were a means for them to try to find something marketable they could use to either get extra funding or get back in the good graces of Gizmonic.
Future!Crow inspired Joel.
In the episode "Time Chasers", after the first Crow travels back in time to stop Mike in 1985 from doing temp jobs, which would lead to him getting shot into space, but the new timeline led to Mike's death. The second Crow travels back in time to stop the first one from changing Mike's path, which resulted in the first Crow stuck in 1985 Wisconsin. Joel met Crow prior to the first episode, and inspired him to make the Crow of today. The future Crow gets killed off, thus preserving the loop.
Joel is actually an alien genius.
After all, Joel was "not too different from you or me", right? Plus there are a few indications throughout the series and in some meta info that he wasn't entirely as normal as he'd like us to believe.
Some examples of his being an alien:
The fact he survived the nuclear apocalypse (which was what happens before "next Sunday AD" according to Jim Mallon) with his mind intact.
One KTMA episode reveals he designed and built the very odd and nigh-indestructible Satellite of Love - along with the bots - by himself (which explains why his bosses "didn't like him"!). He also created his own spaceship afterwards despite being a manager at a fish fry store. Another KMTA episode has, if memory serves, Joel talking to "the people from Earth.
Upon leaving the Satellite of Love, Joel mentions that he's taught "everything" he knows of humanity to the bots; given how the bots tend to behave, we have to wonder what, if anything, he was teaching them off-screen.
The fact that, unlike Mike, Joel doesn't seem to mind being up in space all that much, doesn't really hold any grudge towards the Mads despite the conditions (most humans would try to at least escape like Mike did), and even says his time on the Satellite were among "the best in his life" and that it made him "a man". But maybe not just any man - a human.
Its true that the song says we should just relax about things like eating or breathing, but that's because, as an alien, Joel doesn't need to eat or breathe. Hence why we should relax and not worry!
- (and we know it's remarkable in-universe from the results of Mike's brief foray into the field, and from the fact that the events of the series will be taking place not in the far future but next Sunday)