She'd say 'He's not mine! You can't prove it!'
  — Crow responding to a lyric in the movie's theme song

The Movie


MST3k Mitchell conversation

The boys guffaw at Mitchell.

Mitchell is a 1975 film starring Joe Don Baker as an abrasive, alcoholic police detective. Very much an anti-hero, Mitchell often ignores the orders of his superiors in pursuit of his targets, and demonstrates disdain for by-the-book police work as well as normal social graces. The film also stars John Saxon and Martin Balsam as the criminals Mitchell pursues throughout the film. Linda Evans and Merlin Olsen appear in supporting roles as a prostitute and henchman, respectively. Additionally, Jerry Hardin (perhaps most famous for playing the character of Deep Throat on the TV series The X-Files) appears as the Desk Sergeant on duty when Mitchell busts Linda Evans' character for possession.

"Joe Don Baker is Mitchell!"

The soundtrack contains music from a variety of genres. The movie starts out with a Shaft-inspired rubber guitar solo, while the chase scenes have a lovely 2 bar light rock/corporate PR film melody, and interspersed with that is some improvisational piano that sounds vaguely similar to Nadia's Theme.

The film concludes with the 'Ma-ma-ma-ma-Mitchell' country music theme of Hoyt Axton (plot summary set to music here).


  • According to the Mystery Science Theater 3000 Amazing Colossal Episode Guide, actor Joe Don Baker was very angry at the MST3K treatment of Mitchell and threatened physical violence on any of the cast or crew should he ever meet them in person. This did not stop them from later featuring (and happily mocking) another Joe Don Baker film, Final Justice, and hurling even more vicious insults at Baker. Kevin Murphy later said Baker likely meant it in a joking manner. On the Shout! Factory disc of Future War, the subject of Joe Don Baker comes up in a video of their 2008 Comic Con panel. It was explained by Mike Nelson that "...we brought [Mitchell] up, we were doing a press conference, so every reporter called him. So he got like sixty calls in a row from reporters asking, 'Do you really hate the guys from Mystery Science Theater?' ...Finally at call thirty-two he's like, 'Yes! Die! I hate them!!' So it really is in quotes in the paper that he does actually want to kick our ass."(To which Kevin Murphy replied, "I say bring it on, sweet-cheeks. Yeah, you're gonna pull back to swing, spill your drink, and trip over your arm-candy. I know you, Joe Don.")
  • Final theatrical film of Merlin Olsen.
  • In front of Cummings' house, Mitchell honks in a pattern, twice. This pattern is "Hullabaloo, Caneck, Caneck", the first line of Texas A&M's Aggie War Hymn.

The Episode

Host Segments


First appearance of Mike

Prologue: Joel has painstakingly fashioned a replica of Monticello out of toothpicks. The Bots want to destroy it, though when Joel says that he wants them to destroy it, they lose interest... momentarily

Segment One (Invention Exchange): In Deep 13, the Mads are being audited by the Fraternal Order of Mad Science, so they’ve hired a temp by the name of Mike to help them get organized. Joel quickly shows his Daktari stool.


Daktari stool

Segment Two: While Joel, Crow, and Tom are involved in an Outward Bound-type exercise, Gypsy overhears the Mads plotting the most painful way to fire Mike, but mistakenly assumes they’re planning to kill Joel. This segment features an homage to the 'lip reading' scene in 2001.

Segment Three: A worried Gypsy tries to think of a way to get Joel off the Satellite of Love; Crow and Tom, on pogo sticks and singing old TV theme songs, are no help whatsoever.

Joel Escapes

Segment Four: Gypsy turns to Mike in Deep 13 for help. Mike learns of a hidden escape pod (in a crate marked "Hamdingers"), and tricks Frank out of his keys so that Gypsy can gain control.

Segment Five: Joel's letter reading is interrupted when he is ejected into the escape pod, leaving behind a plaque and a final word, a quote from The Seven Faces of Dr. Lao.[1] The bots panic. Joel is safely deposited on Earth, somewhere in Australia. Dr. F is furious and informs Frank that his towel and Frank's hinder have an appointment... until Mike presents his time card. The segment ends with Dr. F. inquiring of Mike of what size jumpsuit the young man wears.


The Mads get an idea on how to replace Joel

Stinger: "You’re lying through your teeth!" "Buzz off, huh?!" "Buzz off!" "BUZZ OFF, KID!!!"


  • As the bots panic at the end of the episode, Tom loses his head and Crow loses his net and eyes, although the crew seem to purposely go with the flow when it happens.
  • At movie sign, Joel throws the Daktari Stool in the air; you can hear Kevin Murphy yelling "OW!" when the stool lands on him.



Quotes & References

  • "It's a Daktari stool!"
From Joel Hodgson's Facebook page: "[T]he "Daktari Stool" in the invention exchange is a reference to a 60's TV show Daktari AND a question in the Meyers Briggs personality assessment test about a having "dark tarry stools"[1].
  • "My project from Evil-O's!"
A more sinister variation on Webelos, the highest level of Cub Scouting.
  • "The Martha Mitchell Story!"
Martha Mitchell was the wife of John Mitchell, the Attorney General of the United States under the Nixon administration. Before Watergate, her suspicions about her husband's unethical activities on behalf of the President were dismissed as symptoms of mental illness.
  • "Who’s the puffy guy who’s a big blurry sex machine?" "Mitchell!" "That Mitchell is one fat-" "Shut yo’ mouth!" "Just talkin’ bout Mitchell."
A spoof of the Academy Award winning theme song from the 1971 Richard Roundtree movie Shaft.
  • "It was the third of September/That day I'll always remember..."
The opening line from the Temptations song "Papa Was a Rollin' Stone".
  • "Mitchell's on the corner..."
Paraphrased from "Freddie's Dead", a song by Curtis Mayfield from the Superfly soundtrack.
  • Tom Servo: "We've hidden the Mitchell somewhere in this picture." Crow: "Mitchell, will you stand up please?" (makes gunshot noise)
A reference to the famous Monty Python sketch, "How Not to Be Seen ".
  • "The lunatic is on the grass (laugh)(laugh)..."
The opening line from the Pink Floyd song "Brain Damage".
  • "It's not for me to say..."
After Crow pegs the thief in John Saxon's house as Johnny Mathis, Tom sings a line from the popular 1957 song "It's Not For Me To Say".
  • "Al Noga?!"
Al Noga is a Hawaiian-born football player.
  • "Doctor Detroit!"
Doctor Detroit is a 1983 movie starring Dan Aykroyd in which he poses as a pimp.
  • "Hey! Lucas McCain lives here!"
Lucas McCain is the hero of the Western TV series The Rifleman.
  • "...oh, a GoldStar."
GoldStar was a brand of inexpensive consumer electronics manufactured in South Korea.
  • "Wait a minute, I think maybe The Snoop Sisters are in there."
The Snoop Sisters aired as part of the NBC "wheel" series Wednesday Mystery Movie in the 1973-74 season. It centered around a pair of elderly sisters who solved mysteries.
  • "Yeah, I'm gonna get a series before Stuart Margolin."
Stuart Margolin was best known for the recurring role of Evelyn "Angel" Martin on The Rockford Files. While John Saxon did have an extensive career on TV, he did not have a recurring role on a TV series until he played Rashid Ahmed on Dynasty in the '80s.
The police chief is talking on a red phone, much like the phone used to contact Batman in the hit 1966 Batman TV series starring Adam West.
  • "They arrested Harlan Ellison." "Good."
Harlan Ellison (May 27, 1934 - June 28, 2018) was a science fiction writer with a long list of credits and a reportedly difficult personality.
  • "I ought to buy him a pick-me-up bouquet"
Merlin Olson was a spokesman for FTD in the 80s. The 'pick-me-up' bouquet was a popular item from the flower vendor.
  • "Somewhere, an Indian is crying."
A reference to an anti-littering commercial from the early 1970s.
  • "Chico, don't be discouraged..."
Servo is singing the theme song from the 1970s sitcom Chico and the Man.
  • "I'm King Hussein!"
Hussein was the king of Jordan from 1952 until his death in 1999.
  • "Oh, you're a holiday..."
The opening line from the 1967 Bee Gees song "Holiday".
  • "Why are they playing 'Nadia's Theme'?" "He's young and restless!"
A comment on the music's similarity to "Nadia's Theme", best known as the theme for the soap opera The Young and the Restless.
  • "Keep your eye on the sammich..."
A slight modification of the song "Keep Your Eye on the Sparrow", sung by Sammy Davis Jr., and used as the theme to the 70s cop show Baretta.
  • "Sorry about the porn, there's a Kilgore Trout piece in there!"
Kilgore Trout, a recurring character in the works of Kurt Vonnegut, was a science fiction writer whose stories were typically published in "men's" magazines.
  • "Mobsters laughin', really smilin'/A man selling heroin..."
A slight variation on the actual lyrics of the Chicago song "Saturday in the Park".
  • "Hey, where's Ruth Buzzi?"
The 1960s TV comedy show Laugh-In often included sketches in which a frumpy spinster character played by Ruth Buzzi would receive unwanted amorous attention from a dirty old man character (typically played by Arte Johnson) in a public park setting.
  • "So, Merlin, do you know Roman Gabriel?"
Roman Gabriel was a former NFL quarterback & one-time teammate of Merlin Olsen.
  • "This way..." " Wall Drug."
Wall Drug is a tourist attraction in Wall, South Dakota, best known for billboards all over the upper Midwest giving the direction and distance to the store.
  • "Martin Balsam: The Dewar's Profile!"
A reference to a long-running series of magazine ads for Dewar's whiskey.
  • "Daryl Gates on his day off"
After having a disagreement with a man watching both Benton and James Arthur Cummings, Mitchell turns and shoots him in the back of the leg as he runs away. The comment is a reference to the scandal involving Daryl Gates, chief of the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) during the Los Angeles riots of 1992 and his views regarding criminality.
  • "Lee Trevino's been hit again!"
Reknowned professional golfer Lee Trevino was struck by lightning on June 27, 1975 playing in the Western Open at Butler National Golf Club in Chicago, Illinois.
  • "It's The Servant by Harold Pinter."
The Servant is a 1963 film written by Harold Pinter, which deals with the increasingly complicated relationship between a wealthy man and the butler he hired.
  • "You really think so?" "I'm turning Japanese"
The hook from the 1980 song "Turning Japanese" by The Vapors.
  • "Schlitz will listen to me now."
Schlitz is a beer originally produced by the Joseph Schlitz Brewing Company of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The brewery was acquired by the Stroh Brewery Company in 1982. Stroh's was subsequently sold to Pabst Brewing Company in 1999, who continue to produce Schlitz Beer.
  • "The inspiration for Cop and a Half."
A reference to the 1993 Burt Reynolds film Cop and A Half in which Reynolds' character (a cop) is paired with a small child to work on a case.
  • "Eischied. Eischied."
Eischied was a short lived TV drama starring Joe Don Baker as the NYPD Chief of Detectives Earl Eischied.
  • "We are two wild and crazy guys!"
The catch phrase of The Festrunk Brothers, a pair of Czechoslovakian playboys acted by Steve Martin and Dan Akroyd on Saturday Night Live.
  • "Oh, this must be Dateline NBC."
The NBC newsmagazine was sued for libel by General Motors after the show aired a report claiming that certain models of General Motors trucks had a production flaw that made them a combustion risk, though it was later proven that the show's producers had rigged the gas tank of one of the trucks they used in order to ensure that it would explode.
  • "Sweet Adeline..."
In the Marx Brothers film Monkey Business, the four brothers stow away on an ocean liner by hiding in barrels in the cargo hold. The crew suspects that there are four of them because the brothers can be heard singing "Sweet Adeline", a barbershop quartet standard.
  • "I am so stupid." "Thank you very much."
A henchman that is gunned down by Mitchell looks like the Andy Kaufman character Latka Gravas from the 1980's television sitcom Taxi.
  • "Benton!" "Harbor, Michigan"
Joel changes the character Benton's last name into the city known as Benton Harbor, Michigan.
  • "Mitchell will return in Where Angels Go, Trouble Follows!"
A reference to the "James Bond will return in..." taglines that frequently appear during the closing credits of James Bond movies (Joe Don Baker later co-starred in three James Bond movies). Where Angels Go, Trouble Follows was a 1968 comedy film about Catholic schoolgirls on a cross-country field trip.
  • MST3K 512 Promos

    MST3K 512 Promos

    "Wasn't John Saxon in this movie?"
The scene where John Saxon's character is killed was removed in the edited version used for MST3K. Ironically, the writers made fun of a loose end in the film's plot which they created. Other cuts include the scene where Joe Don is sucking on Linda Evans' toes.
  • "Counselor?"
Reference to the 1991 remake of the film Cape Fear which also had Joe Don Baker and Martin Balsam in prominent roles.
  • "You'll never die, you'll never grow old, and you'll always eat oatmeal."
Shared reference to the 1985 science fiction film Cocoon & Quaker Oats commercials featuring Wilford Brimley.
  • "This makes Driving Miss Daisy look like Bullitt!"
Bullitt is a 1968 movie starting Steve McQueen that features one of the most legendary and influential car chase sequences in movie history.  In Driving Miss Daisy, Miss Daisy initially refused to let Hoke, her driver, drive at more than a snails' pace.
  • "We've got to close the beaches!"
A reference to the character Chief Brody in Jaws. Later in this episode, when the guys hum the film's theme.

Memorable Quotes

[The character of Mike Nelson has appeared for the first time, as a temp worker in Deep 13.]
Mike Nelson: Say, what is the deal with this guy and these cute robots?
Dr. Forrester: Here it is. Mitchell, starring Joe Don Baker
Mike: You guys watch Joe Don Baker movies?
Dr. Forrester: Well, here it comes, Joel — Mitchell! It's a… super secret spy… uh, has a motorcycle… marooned in space… meets… Hercules… or not… uhhh… watch it and weep, Joel-Prole-Mole!
[The opening credits feature action shots of Mitchell to a disco beat.]
Servo [as Isaac Hayes]: Who's the puffy guy who's a big blurry sex machine?
Joel, Crow: Mitchell!
Servo [as Hayes]: That Mitchell is one fat s—
Joel, Crow: Shut yo' mouth!
Servo [as Hayes]: I'm just talkin' 'bout Mitchell!
[The camera slowly pans across a thickly tree-screened home at night.]
Servo: Ee-gah...
Crow: Shtemlo.
Joel: Watch out for snakes!
Servo [as Announcer]: We've hidden Mitchell somewhere in this picture...
Crow [as Announcer]: Mitchell, will you stand up, please?
Deaney [yelling at an intruder he has trapped in the house]: Hey!
Joel: What?
[Deaney shoots the intruder when he turns around]
Joel: Oh!
[Benton stops Mitchell from following Cummings into his home.]
Benton: No salesmen at this entrance.
Servo [as Mitchell]: But I'm not a salesman! I'm the Chubby Blue Line!
Mitchell (speaking on the radio): If I'm shot in the next couple of hours, I was unarmed when it happened. Log it, 55 out.
Crow [as Mitchell]: And speakin' of loggin' it, I better find a bush around here.
[Joel and the bots sing along to the Mitchell theme, playing as Mitchell runs away from Deaney after being in his house]
Joel: Mitchell, Mitchell
Servo: Eyeeeeee on the sammich...
Joel: Mitchell...
Servo: Heart's poundin...
Joel: Mitchell...
Servo: Veins cloggin'...
All: Mitchell!
[At the park, Mitchell shoots man in the leg.]
Crow: Daryl Gates on his day off.
Crow [as Golf Sportscaster]: He's landed just short of the green.
Servo [as Other Golfers]: Can you hurry it up, we've got a head wound back here!
[Mitchell offers Greta a can of beer.]
Greta: You've got me wrong, I'd like a glass.
Joel [as Mitchell]: Huh, OK, Your Majesty.
[A kid on skateboard skates up to Mitchell's car where he's sitting.]
Kid: Hi.
Mitchell: Hi.
Kid: Are you the man from the insurance?
Mitchell: Nope.
Kid: He came last night.
Mitchell: Yeah?
Kid: My mother doesn't like you.
Mitchell: I don't like your mother.
Kid: Why not?
Mitchell: Why not?
Kid: No, why not?
Mitchell: No, why not?
Kid: Why are you repeating what I'm saying?
Servo: Tonight on Crossfire.
Mitchell: Why are you repeating what I'm saying?
Kid: I'm not.
Mitchell: Well, I'm not.
Kid: You are.
Mitchell: Buzz off.
Kid: What?
Mitchell: What?
Kid: What did you say?
Mitchell: What you say?
Kid: Did you say something?
Servo[Frustrated] AHHHHHHHHHHHH!
Mitchell: You say something?
Kid: You said buzz off.
Mitchell: You're lying through your teeth.
Kid: You're lying through your teeth.
Mitchell: Buzz off, huh?
Kid: Buzz off!
Mitchell: Buzz off, kid!!
[In bed with Mitchell, Greta reaches out to return unopened beers to the bed stand, which also has a bottle of Johnson & Johnson's...]
Joel: Baby oil!
Servo[vomiting noises]
Crow: Why would anybody wanna do this with Mitchell, Joel?
[In the soundtrack, Hoyt Axton continues to sing the theme song.]
Axton: My my my my Mitchell...
Crow: My my my MY GOD, NOOOOO!
Deaney: How do you like your Scotch, Mitchell?
Crow [as Mitchell]: Uh, by the quart.
Cummings: Some friends down at City Hall said they saw you in court this morning with a hooker that you sleep with and occasionally arrest.
Mitchell: What else did they tell you?
Cummings: She's too expensive and you can't afford her on a policeman's salary. Now, somebody's picking up the check. Who could that be?
Mitchell: You.
Cummings: Me what?
Mitchell: You're picking up the check.
Cummings: No, I don't. I don't pay for your hookers, Mitchell.
Joel [as Mitchell]: Well, could ya?
[Hoyt resumes the theme song during the movie's closing credits.]
Hoyt Axton[singing] My my my my Mitchell, what would yo' momma say?
Crow: She'd say, "He's not mine! You can't prove it!"
[Mitchell spends several minutes silently committing some mysterious act of sabotage on a car. It is unclear to the viewer what exactly Mitchell is doing.]
Servo [as Mitchell]: Why did I do that?
[Mitchell tries to scale the fence outside Deaney's estate.]
Joel [as Mitchell]: Man, this is hard to do after six sour cream burritos!
[Mitchell shoots Cummings in the head with an M16, who is then heard collapsing and dying off-screen.]
Joel: I think it was one of those effects too expensive to show. [This was because the version of Mitchell featured here was the edited-for-TV version. The theatrical version graphically shows the resulting bullet hole in Cummings' head as he collapses and dies.]
[After Joel has escaped and the Bots are panicking, cut to Deep 13 where Frank is staring slack-jawed at the camera, then ponders his keys which Mike had borrowed earlier.]
Dr. Forrester[walking in from off-screen in a bathrobe, toweling his hair] Ahh, nothin' like a good shower to make one feel new again. I feel great! Nothing can get in the way of my good mood! What's going on, Frank?
Frank: Oh, not much... inventory's under control...
Dr. Forrester: Yeah?
Frank: Floor needs mopping... Joel escaped from the Satellite of Love...
Dr. Forrester: Well, I can see you've got the situation well in hand--WHAT?? Joel escaped from the Satellite of Love?
[Dr. F begins typing on the control panel.]
Frank: Well, I'd better get started on that floor...
Dr. Forrester: Frank! My towel and your hinder have an appointment, but first we've got to rescue Joel! Oh, no, nooo! Frank, he's landed safely in the Australian outback!
Frank: Well, let's just hope he landed on Yahoo Serious.
Dr. Forrester: Well, that's a good point, Frank, because--Frank! Can't you see we're ruined? What are we gonna do?
Frank: Yeah, well, we could send someone else into space.
Dr. Forrester: Who are we gonna find at this late date to send into space?
[Mike walks in behind them with his time card.]
Mike: Can you guys sign my time card?
[Dr. Forrester and Frank begin laughing maniacally; Mike, confused, nervously joins in.]
Dr. Forrester: Are you thinking what I'm thinking, Frank?
Frank: Yeah, you're not gonna sign his time card, are you?
Mike: C'mon, you gotta sign my time card!
Dr. Forrester: Of course I'll sign your time card, young man! In fact, I think you're going to be working for me for a long, long time. Push the button, Frank!
[As Dr. F puts his arm around an uncomfortable Mike, Frank turns to look at the camera, puzzled, as he pushes the button and the screen fades to black.]
Dr. Forrester: Say, Mike... what size jumpsuit do you wear?
Mike: Ehh...


Video Releases

Mitchell dvd

MST3K Mitchell DVD


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