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C'mon, man. We've seen like eight ghosts, none of 'em have been even close to my dad.
- Mike Nelson


Hamlet is the 9th episode of the tenth season of Mystery Science Theater 3000 and the 193th episode overall. It premiered on June 27, 1999.

The Movie[]

Main article: Hamlet (film)

In medieval Denmark, the prince Hamlet is told by a ghost that Hamlet's uncle Claudius has murdered Hamlet's father and married Hamlet's mother as a way to seize the throne. Hamlet must decide what action to take.

The Episode[]

Host Segments[]

Hamlet

Tom introduces his new name

Prologue: Tom reveals that he's changed his last name from Servo to the identically pronounced but differently spelt Sirveaux. He also reveals he's added a h to his first name, changing it not to the expected Thom but to Htom. Crow suggests Htom hlick him.

Segment One: While Crow introduces his new name change, Pearl puts the finishing touches on her deadly virus. Fortunately Mike is able to distract Pearl with playing three card monte to decide the choice of today's movie. Easily winning the rigged game, Mike selects Hamlet by William Shakespeare. Mike fails to specify which version, leaving Pearl to select the production of her choosing.

Mst3khamlet

Crow pretending to be Mike's dad

Segment Two: Crow & Tom's plan to scare Mike by pretending to be the ghost of his dead father fails because his dad isn't dead. Neither are any of the other relatives that the bots can name.

Segment Three: With the dreary German version covered, Tom & Crow attempt to come up with their own specialized productions of Hamlet. Their percussion version isn't any more successful than their scuba diving, buckethead, or all-furniture versions.

HamletCastle

Fortinbras (Kevin Murphy) visits Castle Forrester

Segment Four: Mike hosts "Alas Poor Who?", the game where players have to guess the identity of the person based on bones from their body. Crow loses because he guesses accurately but keeps forgetting to answer in the show's proper format.

Segment Five: The Bots have made their own Hamlet action figure, with a voice box that has a really, really long string to activate it. Meanwhile down in Castle Forrester the character Fortinbras resents being dropped from this movie's version of Hamlet and demands his scene be re-enacted, giving Pearl a worthy test subject for her virus.

Stinger: Claudius does a double take.

Obscure References[]

  • "San Quentin Prison presents Shakespeare."
San Quentin State Prison is a California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation state prison for men, located north of San Francisco. It is known for being austere.
  •  "Night fever, night fever/We know how to do it!"
"Night Fever" is a 1978 song written and performed by the Bee Gees. It first appeared on the soundtrack to the film Saturday Night Fever.
  • "He's memorizing Tim Allen's book."
In comedian Tim Allen's 1996 book I'm Not Really Here, he shares his observations on why things are the way they are while sharing his offbeat opinions about the meaning of life and his personal role in it. It is heavy on the topics of philosophical thinking and quantum physics.
  • "Oh, man. Me and Horatio got blasted on aquavit — woke up on the express bus to Copenhagen."
Akvavit (aquavit in English) is a Scandinavian distilled spirit.
  • "Hurray! Garrison Keillor's leaving Denmark!"
The soft-spoken and dry-witted Garrison Keillor is best-known as the creator of the Minnesota Public Radio show A Prairie Home Companion. In 1987, Keillor moved from his hometown of St. Paul, Minnesota, to Copenhagen, Denmark, due to unwanted media coverage of his personal life. Two years later, he left Denmark to live in New York City. In 1992 he moved back to St. Paul.
  • "Run-D.M.C. Everett Koop!"
Run-D.M.C. is one of the most influential acts in hip hop culture and one of the most famous of the 1980s. The group pioneered new school hip hop and often wore prominent neck chains and jewelry. C. Everett Koop was the Surgeon General of the United States during the Reagan administration. He had a beard similar to the character here.
  • "Rap artist, The Notorious K.I.N.G."
A play on words referring to the rapper The Notorious B.I.G. (aka Biggie Smalls) and to Claudius' large chains and necklaces.
  • "Woah is me..."
Tom Servo gives the "Woah" inflection similarly to actor Joey Lawrence from the 1990s NBC sitcom Blossom.
  • "And now, the tragedy of King Vitaman."
King Vitaman is a brand of sweetened breakfast cereal produced by Quaker Oats from 19682019. The mascot was sometimes an animated king and at other times portrayed by actor George Mann.
  • "Oh, shoot, Frank Rich is out there."
Frank Rich is an American essayist who served as chief theater critic of The New York Times from 1980 to 1993, earning the nickname "Butcher of Broadway" for his supposed power over the prospects of Broadway shows.
  • "Laertes immediately bites his ear off!"
On June 28, 1997, Mike Tyson was disqualified in the third round of the Evander Holyfield vs. Mike Tyson II boxing match after biting both of Evander Holyfield's ears, removing a chunk of the right ear in the process.
  • "Hamlet will return in Thunderball!"
A reference to the "James Bond will return in..." taglines that frequently appear during the closing credits of James Bond movies. Thunderball is the fourth Bond film, released in 1965.

Callbacks[]

Memorable Quotes[]

Servo [as the Ghost]: SCROOGE! Oh, wait, wrong story.
[Hamlet talks with Ophelia in her "closet".]
Ophelia: My prince…
Servo [as Ophelia]: ...are back from Fotomat.
Hamlet: To be or not to be...
Mike: The literary equivalent of "Da-da-da-dunnn!"
Hamlet: That is the question.
Crow: I'll take "to be" for 50, Alex.
Hamlet: Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune...
Servo: Starring Shelly Long and Bette Midler!
Hamlet: Or to take arms against a sea of troubles, and by opposing end them?
Mike: Ow, my shin's right on the edge of a stair.
Hamlet: To die: to sleep.
Crow: Yeah, that's what we're doing right now, Bub.
Hamlet: No more; and by a sleep to say we end the heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks that flesh is heir to...
Mike: Okay, we need a predicate, now.
Hamlet: ...'tis a consummation devoutly to be wish'd.
Crow: Especially with Ophelia, man! [snickers]
Mike: Oh, you...
Hamlet: To die, to sleep.
Servo: To SLEEP!
Mike: Whoa, that's an old chestnut.
Hamlet: To sleep...
Servo: To SLEEEEEP
Hamlet: Perchance to DREAM?
Servo: The impossible DREAM?
Hamlet: Aye, there's the rub.
Mike: I knew I had some rub left...
. . .
Hamlet: ...When he himself might his quietus make with a bare bodkin?
Crow: Heh, he said "bare bodkin," hehe.
Hamlet: Who would fardels bear...
Mike': Ha, fardels...
. . .
Hamlet: And makes us rather bear those ills we have than fly to others—
Servo: SUM UP!
Hamlet: —that we know not of?
. . .
Mike: So I'm a chicken for not stabbing myself—that's all you needed to say!
[Hamlet and Laertes prepare to fence.]
Hamlet: Give us the foils.
Servo [as Hamlet]: We shall some potatoes bake.

Behind-the-Scenes[]

MST3K Cast[]

Regular Cast

Guest Cast

MST3K Crew[]

  • Principal crew goes here, with the rest in the collapsible area below
  • Here's where everyone else goes.

Songs[]

Credits for any songs performed during the episode

Notes[]

  • Unusual Credits: The "to be or not to be" speech plays over the ending theme.
  • This version of Hamlet was originally 152 minutes, requiring significant cuts to fit the runtime for the show. Kevin Murphy said, "...we found some relief in the fact that [this] play is astoundingly overwritten."
  • At the time this episode aired, all the individuals mentioned in the "Alas Poor Who?" sketch were still alive.
  • In 2016, the episode came in at #74 in the official Top 100 Episodes of MST3K poll, as voted on by donors to the Bring Back MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000 campaign.

Goofs[]

  • Actual errors in production that made it to air, not "happy accidents". Those go in "Notes".

Video Releases[]

Mst3khamletDVD

MST3K DVD Cover (2011 single version)

Gallery[]

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