Gypsy is one of the robot characters on the show. Gypsy normally only appears during the host segment parts of the series, but briefly took a seat in the theater to watch the movie in episode #412 Hercules and the Captive Women, and regularly inserts a joke or two in every episode of Season 11.
According to the MST3K storyline, Gypsy takes care of the higher functions on board the Satellite of Love. She needs to use most of her computing power to handle this responsibility, which generally makes her appear slow-witted when dealing with others. Episode #207 Wild Rebels demonstrated a much brighter Gypsy when the demand on her systems was temporarily reduced. (She also made a quick appearance in the theater during this experiment when someone mentioned Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea.) As the show progressed, she became a more frequent participant in the host segments and appeared somewhat more intelligent.In #112 Untamed Youth, her brain was once X-Rayed, and found to contain RAM chips and a photo of Richard Basehart, of whom she is a big fan. In the same episode, Gypsy was shown to have the ability to copy any material if she was told, she'd make copies by coughing them up, much like hairballs. She made copies of cotton, saltwater taffy, paper towels, Tom Servo even asked her to cough up another Tom Servo, and a partially-built Tom Servo fell out of her mouth. After Untamed Youth, she was no longer seen using this ability, though it might explain how Tom Servo made so many copies throughout the years.
Gypsy's physical form does not have any arms. Her ingenuity and control over the higher functions of the ship makes up for this, though. She often finds ways around not having arms, whether it be to make herself a foot in Episode #1004 Future War or suddenly growing a temporary arm to wrap around Servo's shoulder in Episode #1007 Track of the Moon Beast.
As the only "female" aboard the SOL, Gypsy is often portrayed as a mother figure to Crow and Servo while treating either Mike or Joel as the abusive older brother they need to be protected from. This behavior can be seen in Episode #415 The Beatniks where she crushes Joel after he cruelly dominates a game of Rock-Paper-Scissors with Crow and Servo (despite the fact that he was punishing them for a prank they pulled on him earlier that morning). This protective trait is carried on in Episode #603 The Dead Talk Back when she tries to execute a proper fire drill. Also, she fixes ship-wide decompression when they break a window in Episode #306 Time of the Apes and sternly reminds Joel and the robots not to play ball on the satellite. Her parental nature is explicitly depicted in Episode #320 The Unearthly when Tom chides Crow for his failure to appreciate all that Gypsy does (in a parody of the short Appreciating Our Parents). This motherly nature is forgotten from time to time though, such as when Servo is inspired to ask her out on a date in Episode #503 Swamp Diamonds, in which she is openly bored and indifferent to all of Servo's insecure attempts to impress her.
The pressure of being the only "female" robot doesn't seem to weigh her down, and she does her best to demonstrate that she is a strong and independent artificial person. Whether performing "Gypsy Rose Me" or dressing up as Gigi (as opposed to Demi Moore), she's not bashful about strutting her stuff and doesn't let anyone tell her not to.
In the unaired KTMA pilot, Gypsy was considered to be a male robot, but was later considered female sometime in the KTMA season. Her name also alternated between "Gypsy" and "Gypsum". No explanation for this inconsistency has ever been given.
During Experiment #420 The Human Duplicators, Gypsy mentioned that she had single-handedly redecorated her room, indicating that she had her own room just like Tom and Crow did.
In season six, the show introduced a device usually referred to as the Umbilicus (though in some episodes it's referred to as either the Umbilicon or Umbiliport). A long tether connecting the Satellite of Love to the underground lair Deep 13, the Umbilicus allowed objects to be sent back and forth between Mike and the Mads. In its first appearance on the show in episode #601 Girls Town, the Umbilicus was directly connected to Gypsy's snake-like body, with objects being sent and received through her mouth. This was later changed to an oven-like hatch on the bridge of the Satellite of Love, (where the Airlock used to be.)
After the Satellite of Love crashed into the Earth in the final episode, Gypsy was not present with Mike and the Bots in their shared apartment. Tom is seen reviewing a "ConGypsCo Annual Report," and the guys reflect on their failure to have taken up new corporate mogul Gypsy on her public offering.
In season 11, Gypsy returns, this time with a midwestern feminine voice. She now lowers from the ceiling as opposed to rising from the floor, and drops into the theater to drop off "the payload," and throws in a joke or two in the process.
Behind the scenes
During the KTMA season, Gypsy's voice and operation was handled by Josh Weinstein. From the first to eighth nationally telecast seasons, Gypsy was voiced and handled by Jim Mallon, who was one of the producers and writers on the show. For seasons eight through ten, she was voiced and operated by Patrick Brantseg, who also performed most of the puppetry during filming of Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie so as to allow Jim Mallon to focus on directing rather than working the puppet.
Jim Mallon returned to voicing Gypsy for The 'Bots Are Back, a series of web cartoons that appeared on MST3K.com in 2007.
In February 2017, it was confirmed that Gypsy would be a character on the new season. Joel Hodgson announced (via a message to the Kickstarter backers) that Gypsy would be voiced by Rebecca Hanson. The Gypsy puppet is operated by Tim Blaney.
Gypsy's head was built out of a now impossible-to-find "Century Infant Love Seat," an infant Car Seat from the late 1970s to the early 1980s; the inner seal of the seat was used for her jaw. Parts of an Eveready "All American Lantern" flashlight were used for her eye. Foam pipe insulation was used on her lips, and her neck was made of long 4-inch drainage tubing over a skeleton made from 1 1/2 inch CPVC pipe. She was painted with Testors Purple Metalflake Hobby Spray Paint. In season 11, her eye is now made from a RAYOVAC-EFL6V-BA Flashlight.