Joel Hodgson

Joel Hodgson

Infobox actor

name = Joel Hodgson
caption = Current image of Hodgson from Cinematic Titanic
birthname = Joel Gordon Hodgson
birthdate = birth date and age|1960|02|20
birthplace = Stevens Point, Wisconsin, USA
othername =
homepage =
spouse =
footnotes =

Joel Gordon Hodgsoncite web | url = | title = "Biography for Joel Hodgson" | publisher = Internet Movie Database | accessdate = 2007-04-10 IMDb cites "Joel Gordon Hodgson" as his birth name.] (born February 20, 1960) is an American writer, comedian and television actor. He is best known for creating "Mystery Science Theater 3000" ("MST3K") and starring in it as the character Joel Robinson. In 2007 MST3K was listed as "one of the top 100 television shows of all time" by Time.comcite web | url =,28804,1651341_1659192_1652619,00.html | title = "Mystery Science Theater 3000 - The 100 Best TV Shows of All-TIME" | accessdate = 2008-07-22.] Joel is currently "movie riffing" with fellow cast members of MST3K under the name "Cinematic Titanic", performing live and producing content for DVDs and direct download.

Early life and career

Hodgson was born in Stevens Point, Wisconsin in 1960. [cite web |url= |title=Joel Hodgson |accessdate=2008-07-24 |publisher = Internet Movie Database] He began his career in seventh grade as a magician and ventriloquist. Joel performed for local events in his hometown of Green Bay, Wisconsin, and attended Ashwaubenon High School. Upon graduation, Joel moved to Minneapolis to attend Bethel College to study Theatre and Mass Media. At Bethel, Joel further developed his magic act by adding comedy and began opening for musical acts at Bethel as well as performing in coffee houses and comedy clubs. Joel cites a Theatre of the Absurd class at Bethel for helping him crystallize the meaning of his comedy. In 1981 he won the Campus Comedy Contest and then the first annual Twin Cities Comedy Invitational in 1982. [Citation | last =Strickler |first =Jeff | title =Funnymen Fight to Knock Out Competition with Punchlines | newspaper =Minneapolis Tribune | year =1982 | date =October 1, 1982 | url =] In November of the same year Joel moved to Los Angeles where he became a regular performer at the Comedy Store and the Hollywood Magic Castle as well as the Comedy Magic Club. At the Comedy Magic Club, Joel was spotted by "Late Night with David Letterman" producer Barry Sands and three months later at age 22, would have his network television debut. He would later make four other appearances on the Letterman show, as well as four on "Saturday Night Live" as a guest act. Joel also was a featured performer on HBO’s “Eighth annual Young Comedian’s special hosted by John Candy” along with Bill Maher, Paula Poundstone and the Amazing Jonathan.

He worked at the Comedy Store while in LA, also doing traveling stand-up in San Jose, San Francisco, Detroit, Kansas City and Minneapolis. Joel left stand-up after 1985 citing the need for a creative sabbatical and moved back to Minnepolis.

Between 1984 and 1988, Joel's 'official' return to comedy, he built and sold sculptures, worked at a T-shirt factory, designed toys and he began designing and building props (including robots) for other comedians. In 1986 he co-wrote an HBO special with Jerry Seinfeld. [Citation | last = Covert | first =Colin | title =Comics Team Up for Cable Special | newspaper =Minneapolis Star and Tribune | year =1986 | date =May 5, 1986 | url =] He met Jim Mallon in 1987, and Mallon became production manager at the St. Paul UHF station KTMA Channel 23 in 1988. Hodgson was the first choice to portray "Philo" in the film "UHF",cite web | url = | title = "Trivia for "UHF" (1989)" | work = Internet Movie Database | accessdate = 2006-09-05] but at the time of the filming (1988), he had begun the production of a new form of television program for KTMA. [Citation | last =Matheny | first =Dave | title =TV Supplies Witty Companions to Help Watch Bad Old Movies | newspaper =Minneapolis Star and Tribune | year =1988 | date =December 19, 1988 | url =]

"Mystery Science Theater 3000"

Building on his gift for designing toys and other gizmos, Hodgson built three robot puppets and created "MST3K" in 1988. He starred as the show's long-suffering but inventive protagonist, Joel Robinson, who in the backstory is the character responsible for creating his own robot companions.

"MST3K" originally aired on KTMA, before becoming one of the first two shows to be picked up by the Comedy Channel, the forerunner of Comedy Central. The other show, also created and written by Hodgson, was the shortlived "Higgins Boys and Gruber", a sketch comedy program that starred Steve Higgins, David Anthony Higgins and Dave Allen.

Hodgson surprised many fans when he left the show after its 100th episode in 1993. In contemporary interviews, Joel said he was uncomfortable with acting and being in front of the camera, citing that as the reason he quit the show.cite web | last = Henry | first = Brian | url = | title = "MST3K FAQ -- West Brains: Aliens in L.A." | publisher = "MST3K Info Club" | accessdate = 2007-05-24] During an 1999 interview with "The Onion A.V. Club", Hodgson added that he and producer Jim Mallon had been fighting over creative control of "MST3K". His departure allowed the show to continue and gave him the opportunity to focus more on his preferred creation and production work than on performing, which he did only reluctantly.cite news | last = Phipps | first = Keith | title = Joel Hodgson | pages = | publisher = "The Onion A.V. Club" | date = 1999-04-21 | url = | accessdate = 2007-07-12 ]

Hodgson later made a surprise guest appearance in the season premiere for the final season of "MST3K" ("Soultaker", episode 1001).

In a 2008 Slashdot interview, Hodgson admitted that he felt leaving "MST3K", "was a bit of a personal tragedy," and that he had, "...created the appearance to the press that I had other plans, but I didn't. It was all to keep [MST3K] alive." He also stated that he felt his run on "MST3K", "...was the perfect job."cite web | last=CmdrTaco | url = | title = "Joel Hodgson Answers" | publisher = "Slashdot" | date = 2008-01-25 ]

In a 2008 interview with Public Radio International's "The Sound of Young America", Hodgson said of his departure from "MST3K", "I was like totally happy at Mystery Science Theater. I loved it. I wanted to stay, but I was basically having a fight with my partner, Jim Mallon. So we weren't getting along and so I just felt like -- I thought it really could possibly jeopardize the show. It would have been easy to create factions out of the group. And by that time it would not have been a fun show to work on. And so, I felt like I saw it coming and I just thought [leaving] was the best thing at the time." []

Work after "MST3K"

After "MST3K", Hodgson formed Visual Story Tools (VST) with his brother Jim Hodgson. They created a special for an interactive sketch comedy program called "The TV Wheel" for HBO, which Joel produced and title | id=0112187 | title=The TV Wheel] It aired only once, on Comedy Central, after the last new Comedy Central episode of "MST3K".

Hodgson's other post-"MST3K" projects and contributions include "Honey, We Shrunk Ourselves", "You Don't Know Jack", "Jimmy Kimmel Live", and "Everything You Need to Know".

Over the years Joel and his brother Jim maintained a side project that utilized the repurposing of movie footage with digital effects; code named "jollyfilter".cite web | url = | title = YouTube - Jollyfilter Test Video]

Joel also played a recurring role as a disco-loving clothing store owner and DJ on the short-lived series "Freaks and Geeks".

In 2007, he portrayed Blackbeard the pirate in two episodes of "The Radio Adventures of Dr. Floyd" and recently joined fellow "MST3K" alum Frank Conniff's monthly comedy revue "Cartoon Dump", helming his self-created puppet "Dumpster Diver Dan."

Joel was featured as the cover story in the November 1996 issue of Genii magazine.

Cinematic Titanic

On October 30, 2007, Hodgson announced he was starting a new show with the same "riffing on bad movies" premise as "MST3K" called "Cinematic Titanic", together with former "MST3K" cast and crew members Trace Beaulieu, J. Elvis Weinstein, Frank Conniff and Mary Jo Pehl. [ [ Cinematic Titanic - Homepage of MST3K alumni Joel Hodgson, Frank Conniff, Josh Weinstein, Trace Beaulieu and Mary Jo Pehl ] ]


External links

*imdb name | id=0388273 | name=Joel Hodgson
* [ Interview with Hodgson, Frank Conniff and J. Elvis Weinstein] on public radio program The Sound of Young America
* [ Official Cinematic Titanic website]

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Joel Hodgson — est né le 20 février 1960 dans le Wisconsin. Il est réalisateur, scénariste, acteur et producteur de film américain. Il a tourné des comédies, et des films de science fiction Sommaire 1 Biographie 2 Filmographie …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Hodgson — is a surname. In Britain, the Hodgson surname was the 173rd most common (766 per million) in 1881 and the 206th most common (650 per million) in 1998. [ [ British Surnames and Surname Profiles | British Surnames… …   Wikipedia

  • Joel Robinson — Infobox character colour = colour text = name = Joel Robinson series = Mystery Science Theater 3000 caption = Sleepy eyed Joel Robinson first = K01 Invaders from the Deep last = 512 Mitchell (later returned for a guest appearance in 1001… …   Wikipedia

  • Joel (given name) — Infobox Given Name Revised name = Joel imagesize= caption= pronunciation= gender = Male meaning = region = origin = related names = footnotes = Joel (יוֹאֵל Yahweh is El , usually interpreted as meaning Yahweh is God or Jehovah is God , Standard… …   Wikipedia

  • Brett Hodgson — Infobox Rugbyman Brett Hodgson …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Mystery Science Theater 3000 — Also known as MST3K MST 3000 Format Comic science fiction Created by Joel Hodgson …   Wikipedia

  • Cinematic Titanic — logo Written by Joel Hodgson Trace Beaulieu Frank Conniff …   Wikipedia

  • Mystery Science Theater 3000 — Seriendaten Deutscher Titel Mystery Science Theater 3000 Produktionsland USA …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • MST3K — Seriendaten Deutscher Titel: Mystery Science Theater 3000 Originaltitel: Mystery Science Theatre 3000 Produktionsland: USA Produktionsjahr(e): 1988 1999 Episodenlänge: etwa 100 Minuten Episodenanza …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Mst3000 — Seriendaten Deutscher Titel: Mystery Science Theater 3000 Originaltitel: Mystery Science Theatre 3000 Produktionsland: USA Produktionsjahr(e): 1988 1999 Episodenlänge: etwa 100 Minuten Episodenanza …   Deutsch Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.