Best Brains Incorporated Studio Tour 1994

Our Little Story

In April of 1994, several months before the first Conventio-Con, I was sent by the company for which I work to install a computer system in our office in the Minneapolis area. Along with me was Byron O'Brien, (Bobo) my then-SysAdmin who has since gone on to work at the ISP hosting this site. We were already big fans of MST3K. I knew they were in the area, but I had no idea they actually gave studio tours. On a whim, I called BBI just to say "hi" and found out that we could get into a studio tour. Joy!

BBI informed me that video cameras were not allowed, only still photos. I had a camcorder on this trip, but no still camera! We set out in search of a store in the area where a disposable or cheap camera might be purchased. It was during this fruitless search that we discovered what a strange world the Minneapolis suburbs really are. We covered miles and miles of elegantly named communities, many comically enough including words like "heights" or "valley" when in fact the variations in elevation are barely perceptible, yet we found no stores of any kind. No convenience stores, no grocery stores, nothing. Mile after mile of nice houses, nicer churches and downright elegant schools. Do these people grow their food in their back yards?

As it turns out, the only evidence I have of my visit in 1994 is video tape I shot on the exterior of the BBI building, some snaps of which appear here. Fortunately, the system we installed failed to be reliable, due to shipping damage courtesy of UPS, so Bobo was sent back to effect repairs just a week or two later. He brought a disposable camera with him and all of the interior shots found here were made by him and his anonymous assistants during his second studio tour.

The tour itself (the first one) was great. Our tour guide was none other than the legendary Jef "Scrotar" Maynard, Toolmaster and Art Director, who has since left BBI to operate his own production company, which was contracted to spiff up the SOL set for Season 8. One of best parts of this tour was the workshop, where the bots and invention props were created and maintained. I'm glad I had a chance to see this, becuase when I returned in 1996 the workshop was not included in the tour. Even better, they gave us all genuine MST3K waffles, as seen on TV, and I was able to talk Jef into giving me a Basil Rathbone.

Photos and Snaps
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Portions Copyright 1997 Michael Anthony Kepler
Portions Copyright 1997 Byron O'Brien
Portions Copyright 1997 Best Brains Inc.