Miscalibrated Internet Receptor Stalks
Miscalibrated Internet Receptor Stalks

Great news from the Gizmonics Institute! Mystery Science Theater 3000 creator Joel Hodgson has hired Elliott Kalan as the head writer for the show’s reboot, set to premiere later this year.

The name may not ring a bell for old-school MSTies, but you’ve probably seen or heard Kalan’s work before. In addition to being the former head writer for The Daily Show, Kalan is also one of the cohosts of the excellent Flop House podcast. He’s also written for comics, including the Spider-Man and the X-Men miniseries from 2014.


I was a longtime fan of the Stewart era Daily Show, but I first became directly aware of Kalan through the Flop House, which he’s hosted with Dan McCoy and Stuart Wellington since 2007. There are a lot of great “bad movie” podcasts, but Flop House is the one that comes closest to being an MST3k for the ears. The camaraderie between the three hosts feels totally genuine, and the humor is dense, allusive, and highly digressive, so complex in its internal mythology that it’s inspired its own wiki. It may be the only podcast which is just as likely to reference the novels of Gene Wolfe as the (alleged) “man rips off his own ding-dong” scene in the 1995 Stuart Gordon classic Castle Freak.

If you want a representative sampling of how rich and absurd the show can be, try this pitch for a Ziggy film. Or this in-depth exploration of an Internet debate about might happen if Inspector Gadget’s Penny met a dinosaur. Or the time Elliott recommended the nonexistent (but frankly fantastic-sounding) Rocket Crocodile and the World of Tomorrow (five out of five amazings!), featuring an original score by David Byrne and Glenn Danzig. (It was later autotuned and set to music by an enterprising fan.) Or you could just listen to one of the episodes: Delgo and Food Fight are great places to start, but frankly it’s all pretty wonderful.

Share This Story

Get our newsletter