There are few things in science fiction and fantasy history which I enjoyed more than Mystery Science Theater 3000. On the surface, I enjoyed the humor and banter of the human and robot casts as they were forced to watch and comment on the most horrible and cheesy genre movies of all time. But more than that, I really enjoyed the take no prisoners raise the black flag attitude of the show. Nothing was sacred and everything was delivered with wink and a nod – more than anything, MST3K was the wittiest show around and I miss it dearly.
But I don’t have to miss it so much anymore because one of my new favorite podcasts, Hadron Gospel Hour, is setting the standard for wit and hilarity.
Hadron is a high productions value series which styles itself as an audio science fiction/comedy adventure hour for weirdos and other living things – and boy it’s not lying. It follows the exploits of mad scientist, Doctor Francis Oppenheimer Valdini and kidnapped IT guy and part-time indie filmmaker Mike Wilkinson as they try to save the multiverse. There is an entire cast of bizarre companions who join them on their journey but I would remiss if I didn’t mention my two favorites, an acerbic tongued AI named Ashley and an overly enthusiastic ‘just happy to be here’ Higgs-Boson particle named Higsby whose oft-stated tagline is ‘this pleases me’.
The show lists it’s influences as The Monkees, Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Doctor Who, Thrilling Adventure Hour, Aqua Teen Hunger Force, The Young Ones, and 70’s Hanna-Barbera cartoons – and I would be remiss if I didn’t add MST3K. The show is chock full of one-liners, throwbacks, storylines, and references to the entire panoply of science-fiction/fantasy fandom and culture. It isn’t afraid to poke fun at all of it with a gigantic stick. However, it is done from a place of love. They want you to laugh along with them as we journey through not just the multiverse but the entire culture of Geekdom.
This show isn’t for everyone but if you’re reading this blog, I strongly suspect you might be exactly the target audience to join Oppenheimer and Mike. This show is full of gracefully delivered wit and irreverence – something which the world needs.