It's a theoretical miracle, and a practical disappointment!
- Tom Servo

Carnival Magic is the 12th episode of the eleventh season of Mystery Science Theater 3000 and the 209th episode overall. It premiered on April 14, 2017.

The Movie[]

Main article: Carnival Magic (film)

A stage magician and his talking chimpanzee named Alexander help to revive a struggling carnival. They improve the lives of many of the carnival workers in the process.


  • Co-writer & Producer Elvin Feltner's only other film credit is as Executive Producer of Terror in the Night (aka Teen-Age Strangler).

The Episode[]

Host Segments[]

Prologue: The SOL hosts a "TomTalk" with Tom Servo's Five Principles of Counter-Intuitivity.

Segment One: Kinga announces her plans to marry Jonah for the giant media exposure it will give her, much to Jonah's shock and Max's disappointment. During the Invention Exchange, Jonah shows off Yeasta-Pet which turns bread dough into a beloved family companion. Kinga and Max show off Flavor-Sweat, a beverage which puts some taste in their perspiration.

Segment Two: Tom introduces his version of Markov and Alexander's carnival act, with Jonah as Markov and Crow as Alexander.

Segment Three: Crow and Tom imitate the two policemen who chased Alexander by calling out increasingly-ridiculous police CB-radio jargon.

Segment Four: Traveling showman P.T. Mindslap arrives to invite Jonah and the Bots to his Great Space Circus, an incredible realm of whimsy and wonder that conveniently takes place in total darkness. Despite his musical sales pitch, Kinga and Max aren't fooled by his scam and send him packing.

Segment Five: Kinga and Max announce the Carnival Magic parade as it passes through the SOL. A glitch in Kinga's liquid video reveals a strange specter of another host (!?) with the bots.

Stinger: The policeman who crashed his car chasing Alexander sits on the hood as a tow-truck carts it off.

Unusual Credits: Circus-styled music, including a reprise of Mindslap's Great Space Circus song, replaces the Skeleton Crew's usual musical fare during the credits. Also, Associate Producer/Writer Matt McGinnis (who appears very briefly as the phantom host) receives an on-screen credit as "Matt Claude Van Damme" even though his character does not speak (see "Production" below).

Obscure References[]

  • "No. As a nerd, I do not partake in games of chance. I understand they are rigged in favor of the carnival against the laws of probability."
Jonah is mimicking the vocal style of Toby Radloff (whom the man in the movie resembles physically). Radloff is a self-proclaimed "genuine nerd" who enjoyed some celebrity in the 1980s as a friend of underground comic book artist Harvey Pekar. The eccentric Radloff appeared on Late Night with David Letterman and MTV, and was later portrayed by Judah Friedlander in the film American Splendor. The voice and tone are also reminiscent of the character known as Comic Book Guy, a stereotypical nerd from The Simpsons.
  • "Mongo only pawn in game of life."
A quote from the brutish character Mongo from Mel Brooks' western parody film Blazing Saddles.
  • "Not the Mama! Not the Mama!"
The catchphrase of Baby Sinclair from the TV sitcom Dinosaurs.

Behind the Scenes[]

MST3K Cast[]

Regular Cast

Guest Cast


The mysterious "Matt Claude Van Damme"? (center)

MST3K Crew[]

Main article: List of MST3K Crew#Season 11


  • According to head writer Elliot Kalan on Twitter, the name "Matt Claude Van Damme" for McGinnis' character was Joel's idea.[1]


  • "Watch out for snakes." (Eegah)


  • Jonah's wig comes loose near the end of Host Segment Two.

Video Releases[]