Trace Beaulieu

Trace Beaulieu (born November 6, 1958) is a puppeteer, writer, art director and actor who is best known for his roles on Mystery Science Theater 3000.

For the first seven seasons of MST3K, Beaulieu operated and voiced the Crow T. Robot puppet. He also helped designed the various film sets and played the role of Dr. Clayton Forrester, who was the head mad scientist, or "mad", for the first seven seasons. Initially Dr. Forrester was assisted by Dr. Laurence Erhardt. His second assistant was TV's Frank. Following the departure of Frank at the end of the sixth season, Mary Jo Pehl joined the cast in his place, playing Forrester's mother Pearl. At the end of the seventh season, Trace left the series.


Trace with Kevin Murphy behind-the-scenes. The Crow puppet was reportedly very heavy and had to be rested against the sets and counters to make it easier to maneuver.

Pehl's Pearl Forrester character replaced him as the head "mad" and Bill Corbett took over the voicing and operation of Crow.

According to a 1999 Satellite News interview, Trace's least favorite movie he had to endure on the show was The Incredible Melting Man. In a 2014 interview with, Trace later confirmed that The Unearthly was also one of his least favorite movies to experience during the show's run and also commented on the fact that the the most painful films ended up being the funniest due to the crew having to actually suffer through them.

Other Projects

Trace appeared as a semi-regular in Freaks and Geeks as the school's biology teacher, Mr. Lacovara. He also appeared in The West Wing episode "Bad Moon Rising". For several years, Trace was a writer for America's Funniest Home Videos. In 2002 he was the head writer, producer, and host of the pilot episode of the show People Traps for the Animal Planet network. Outside of acting, Trace also wrote the script for the one-shot comic book Here Come The Big People published by Event Comics.

Trace released a illustrated book entitled Silly Rhymes For Belligerent Children, which features off-color poetry, among other things.

Trace joined many of his former castmates as a regular performer for Cinematic Titanic.

Trace's book Silly Rhymes

Silly Rhymes For Belligerent Children.

In fall of 2014, Trace directed and appeared as mad Frankenstein-esque scientist in the music video comedy short The Frank along with other MST3k members.

In 2015, Trace provided the voice of the robot Art for the webseries Other Space. This role reunited him with Joel Hodgson.

Also in 2015, Trace and Frank Conniff teamed up for a new, live riffing project, The Mads Are Back. [1]

In 2016, Beaulieu co-created the half-hour comedy series Renfest, which also featured Mary Jo Pehl and Dave (Gruber) Allen. He also began co-hosting the movie-themed podcast Movie Sign with the Mads, along with Frank Conniff and Carolina Hidalgo.

Trace and Frank appeared at the RiffTrax Mystery Science Theater 3000 Reunion live event in 2016 and the 2017 Summer Shorts Spectacular. They also contributed to the tag-team RiffTrax of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice in 2017.


MST3k Scrapbook pic 2

Beaulieu and Kevin Murphy in character while filming an episode.

Regular roles

Guest appearances

Personal quotes

  • "In the first season on KTMA we basically went in cold without watching the films. If you look at those episodes, they’re real hit-or-miss. It was just off the top of our heads."
  • "Our budget for the show was microscopic. I think Josh and I were pulling down $25 a show, and I think Joel’s budget was a little higher, because he had to build props. We thought, well, let’s see how far this goes. We didn’t really know how long the show would last or if anyone was even watching it."
  • "Then we put the station’s phone number up on the screen and started getting feedback. That’s when we realized, hey, there’s more than just four or five people watching this."
  • "Since Joel’s character created the robots, his relationship with them was kind of parental. Then when Mike’s character came in, it was a completely different dynamic. He had to keep those guys in line, but he was also one of the gang. The onscreen persona was like a pizza restaurant manager who’s only like maybe a couple of months older than the staff is."
  • "One of the most frustrating things for me was finally realizing that all we were going to produce out of Best Brains was Mystery Science. We had such a beautiful environment, we had our own studio, our own production facility, we had a shop, we could build anything, we had the talented people. But the way it was structured, from a business standpoint, it was just impossible to produce anything else and be fair to everyone involved. Jim Mallon was going to own any new show produced. And that didn’t really sit well with a lot of us."
  • "The younger generation is full of riffers."
  • (on the distribution of Cinematic Titanic) "This is the one we've been to the most. This is our third year. This one fits our sensibility more because our MO has always been do-it-yourself, and this one is all that. It's really people-powered. Comic-Con is really just Hollywood blowing you away with how much money it has and awing you with its giant displays and you really are, as a fan or an observer, you're really put in this category. Here it really just, like, flows everywhere. You just can see people being creative and kind of doing their own thing. I think this one fits much better, I prefer this con way more than Comic-Con."
  • (on the difference between geeks and nerds) "Geek is more intense than nerd."


  1. The Mads Are Back web site
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