One of the many joys of Mystery Science Theater 3000 is catching a particularly obscure riff that seems custom-made for only you. Jokes about little-seen films abound. Nods to half-forgotten moments in history are plentiful. From its beginnings at a low-budget television station in Minneapolis to its current revival on Netflix, MST3K has long delighted in the random and the unnervingly specific.

And then there are the jokes about Wisconsin. The show’s ties to our great state are well known: series creator and original host Joel Hodgson was born in Stevens Point; original series director Jim Mallon and longtime Tom Servo performer Kevin Murphy both attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison; the character of second host Mike Nelson hails from Little Chute. The list goes on.

So, before Hodgson, new host Jonah Ray, and the ‘bots crash land at Riverside Theater Thursday, November 15 for a riff-filled screening of the 1988 Canadian horror movie The Brain, Milwaukee Record assembled a sizable (though not exhaustive) list of Wisconsin references found throughout the run of Mystery Science Theater 3000. (We’ll leave the Minnesota references to the Minneapolis Record.) Buckle up for jokes about Menards, Ed Gein, Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin Dells, and Wisconsin Dells. And the Packers, of course. [via The Annotated MST]

K19 – Hangar 18
“Probably be Bob Uecker.”

K20 – The Last Chase
“Is this like old NFL highlight music? ‘But for Vince Lombardi and the Green Bay Packers, there would come another day…'”

108 – The Slime People
“A slime field outside of L.A. and Milwaukee, Wisconsin, are a thousand miles apart. But they both mean one thing to these guys, and that’s cold Milwaukee beer.”

109 – Project Moonbase
“Nobody touches my Snap-on tools.”
“Kinda looks like the Upper Dells. Yeah. Wisconsin’s a beautiful place to be.”

112 – Untamed Youth
“Filmed in America’s Tractor Pavilion. Scenic Shawano, Wisconsin.”

113 – Black Scorpion
“Huh. Looks like a decoupage Hummel. I like it. Looks like Wisconsin Dells.”

203 – Jungle Goddess
“Hey, a petting zoo. Now we’re at the Dells.”

206 – Ring Of Terror
“They got a Buddy Squirrel’s Nut Shack, 1 Potato 2, Hot Sams, RadioShack. This mall’s got everything.”

212 – Godzilla vs. Megalon
“Hey, this is better than the Dells!”
“You know, Monster Island and Milwaukee are a thousand miles apart. Monster Island means mutated lizards and bugs four hundred feet tall. Milwaukee means beer. And on Monster Island, they don’t take any crap, and they don’t take American Express.”

301 – Cave Dwellers
“But enough of this. Let’s escape to Wisconsin.”
“Ator and these cave dwellers and Milwaukee are a long way apart. But they have one thing in common. Caveman means the best human hearts available. And Milwaukee means sacred wine.”

302 – Gamera
“Escape! Escape to Wisconsin!”

306 – Time Of The Apes
“It’s the House on the Rock!”
“Any of you guys ever been to the Dells? This kind of reminds me of it.”
“Ride the ducks.”

307 – Daddy-O
“Smile! You got a Blatz beer comin’, the heartiest, heartiest flavor in the land!”

324 – Master Ninja II
“Grantsburg, Wisconsin. Workers chafing under the spiked heel of capitalism.”
“Sunday, at Great Lakes Dragaway in Union Grove, Wisconsin!”

402 – The Giant Gila Monster
“One-Adam 12, what are you doing in Wisconsin?”
“Meanwhile, at Grandma’s lake cottage in Frederic, Wisconsin…”

415 – The Beatniks
“Oh, Hudson, Wisconsin?”

416 – Fire Maidens Of Outer Space
“This is not Spooner, Wisconsin. It’s still London.”
“Jupiter, America’s dairyland.”

421 – Monster A-Go Go
“Oh, they decided to go to Shakey’s.”
“So, another Leinie?”

424 – Manos, The Hands Of Fate
“Shot on location in Spooner, Wisconsin.”

506 – Eegah!
“Visit Cave of the Mounds, Dodgeville.”

510 – The Painted Hills
“It’s Old Milwaukee. Tastes as great as its name.”

512 – Mitchell
“Schlitz will listen to me now.”

513 – The Brain That Wouldn’t Die
[“I’ll be right back.”] “With a Milwaukee Sawzall.”

523 – Village Of The Giants
“Go to the Dells. Ride the ducks.”
“Look, Ed Gein’s the driver.”

605 – Colossus And The Headhunters
“The tribe lives in a gravel pit outside Spooner.”

606 – The Creeping Terror
“So, anyway, we didn’t see much of the Dells. We saw the House on the Rock, which was neat.”

607 – Bloodlust
“On, Wisconsin!”

609 – The Skydivers
“I have offers to model for Fleet Farm.”

619 – Red Zone Cuba
“But there’s always a stop in Wausau.”
“And thus, the Battle of Door County raged on.”

704 – The Incredible Melting Man
“I’m a dried apple head. You’ll find me in a shop in Door County.”
“Calumet Harbor means two things to these guys: stunted bullheads and Old Milwaukee beer.”

802 – The Leech Woman
“Uh-oh, Ed Gein!”
“Okay…threw my endocrine back in Tomah.”
“M-80s, man. Got ’em in Wisconsin.”

803 – The Mole People
“Oh, sound and welfare reform by the governor of Wisconsin.”
“He’s modeled his hair after the Dickeyville Grotto.”
“I was in the top three-quarters of my class at Cardinal Stritch.”

804 – The Deadly Mantis
“It’s a magma flow of savings at Menards!”

806 – The Undead
“I saw the Undead at Un-Alpine Un-Valley.”
“Gettest thou a cemetery full of savings at Menards!”
“We’ll get a burger basket and a couple of Leinies.”

810 – The Giant Spider Invasion
“Ah, Bill Rebane, one of the finest directors ever to come out of north-central Wisconsin.”
“They saved a lot buying the old Gein place.”
“Of course, we are dumb cheeseheads.”
“Packers fans: the horrible truth.”
“You can see why Frank Lloyd Wright wanted to live in Wisconsin.”
“It’s a giant spider invasion of savings at Menards!”
“Thrill as he doesn’t reduce speed when approaching Elroy, Danbury, Tomah.”
“When this is over, they deserve a lot of Leinies, deep fried cheese curds, and some funnel cakes.”
“This can’t be Wisconsin, there’s no billboards for Tommy Bartlett’s water show.”
“It’s Suicide Days in New Richmond.”
“Too late. Insurgents overthrew the Baraboo regime.”
“By the way, this is Wisconsin’s National Guard.”
“Let’s you and I go up to Rhinelander and roll on each other.”
“Let’s go have a nice dinner at the Gobbler.”
“The filmmaker gratefully acknowledges the cooperation of the Gobbler, the G. Heileman Brewing Company, the Doughboy Corporation, Fort Howard toilet paper, Plochman’s Mustard Company, the BoDeans, the American Dairy Association, and the Wisconsin chapter of Wisconsin Dairy Farmers. And the Violent Femmes.”
“PACKERS WON THE SUPER BOWL!”

811 – Parts: The Clonus Horror
“This movie was really a promotional film for UW-Stout.”
“Old Milwaukee. Blatz. Huber. Hauenstein. Chief Oshkosh.”
“The bullet caused a Kettle Moraine.”

812 – The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed-Up Zombies
“Hayward, Wisconsin’s Devil Worshipping Days.”
“Ah. Look familiar, Mike? Morning after the UW Stout Spring Fling?”
“Morning in South Beloit. The pigeons are a little less diseased.”

813 – Jack Frost
“Ivanushka! Try me on a Plazaburger!”

818 – Devil Doll
“Ladies and gentlemen: Siegfried and Gein!”

819 – Invasion Of The Neptune Men
“We bring you now to Brule, Wisconsin.”

821 – Time Chasers
“Filmed in Vermont: the other, smaller Wisconsin!”

907 – Hobgoblins
[credit for actor Tom Bartlett appears] “Ah, the king of the Wisconsin Dells finally gets a movie.”

908 – The Touch Of Satan
“Oh, and go Packers, too, but mostly burn the witch!”

1003 – Merlin’s Shop Of Mystical Wonders
“Maybe a cheesehead hat, a long plastic horn.”

1013 – Diabolik (original series finale)
“WTMJ-TV in Milwaukee presents our Saturday afternoon movie, The Crawling Eye.”

About The Author

Matt Wild
Co-Founder and Editor

Matt Wild weighs between 140 and 145 pounds. He lives on Milwaukee's east side.

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