Comedian Writer Paul Chaplin

Paul Chaplin.

Paul Chaplin (born Paul Schersten in 1955), writer and actor for Mystery Science Theater 3000, is best known for his recurring characters Ortega, an inarticulate minion with hygiene issues, Pitch the Devil, and as one of the Observers.


The Chicago-area native wasn't always a comedy writer. He earned a Masters Degree from the Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs and began his career as a community organizer in St. Paul, Minnesota. Eventually, finding little reward in his work, he decided to shake the job of "world savior" and pursue his notion of "always wanting to do something rowdy."

Chaplin made his first steps toward a career in comedy by performing standup at an open-mic call at the Minneapolis Comedy Gallery. Thinking that he'd get by on wit alone, Chaplin got on stage without a thing prepared and bombed miserably. Learning from past mistakes and not looking forward to a second lesson in absolute humiliation, Chaplin made his second standup appearance after writing his act first and, according to him, "killed."

While working the comedy club scene in Minneapolis, Chaplin eventually met Mary Jo Pehl and Mike Nelson. Nelson approached Chaplin about becoming a writer for MST3K during Season 3 and submitted him to a test in which he had to take home 10 minutes of the movie Daddy-O and give it the MST3K treatment. Chaplin's submission impressed Nelson and Chaplin was hired.

In a 1999 interview on, Chaplin talked about what he had originally written for the official MST3K movie, the distribution and handling of which he found disappointing. In the same discussion, he also talked about his contributions to the MST3K book The Amazing Colossal Episode Guide.

When Best Brains head Jim Mallon relaunched the official MST3K site in 2007, Chaplin voiced Crow T. Robot in four brief Flash animations.

Paul was a returning writer and performer for Season 11.[1]

Guest appearances[]


  1. Stamato, Philip (March 16, 2017). "Building on Sacred Ground with the New Cast of MST3K". Retrieved on 2017-03-16.