Joel Robinson

Formerly a janitor and inventor for Gizmonic Institute, Joel was launched into space by his boss, Dr. Clayton Forrester, and a co worker, Dr. Laurence Erhardt (later replaced by TV’s Frank), as part of an experiment to see which bad movies were capable of destroying the human mind. While stranded in space on the Satellite of Love, Joel built the bots, Tom Servo, Crow T. Robot, and Gypsy to keep him company. In doing so, however, he used special parts that apparently caused him to lose the ability to control when the movies would begin or end.

Though bombarded with many horrible films, Joel tended to take his captivity in benign stride, commiserating with the bots while interjecting clever, off –the-cuff cultural riffs in connection to the screen. Joel Robinson managed to escape the Satellite of Love in episode 512 (Mitchell), with the help of Gypsy and temp worker Mike Nelson.

Mike Nelson

Mike is a likable temp worker from Wisconsin who comes to work for the "Mads", Dr. Clayton Forrester and TV’s Frank, in Deep 13 while they prepare for an evil scientist audit. When Joel Robinson escapes from the Satellite of Love, the "Mads" knock Mike unconscious and shoot him up to the satellite as their new experimental guinea pig. Mike finds that he is also forced to watch bad movies with robot companions Tom Servo and Crow T. Robot, finding it impossible not to add his own witty take on what they’re being subjected to.

Unlike Joel, Mike would make repeated attempts to escape the Satellite of Love and return to Earth, only to be thwarted by the͞ "Mads" or sometimes by his own doing. Mike and the bots finally manage to escape in the season 10 finale, Diabolik.

Jonah Heston

Jonah Heston is the new host of MST3K, and also the latest test subject of the maniacal Mads’ continued experimentation on the limits of human sanity. While on a mission to salvage Gizmonic Institute from financial ruin, Jonah is duped and trapped on the dark side of the moon by self-proclaimed supervillain Kinga Forrester. A regular good-hearted guy just trying to do his job, Jonah is a true maker, a creative thinker and a resourceful dude who can and will build whatever he needs from whatever materials he can find.


Crow T. Robot

Crow — like his fellow robots Tom Servo, Gypsy, and Cambot — was built by Joel Robinson, who created them to help him withstand the torment of watching bad movies on the Satellite of Love. On the Satellite, Crow was forced with the rest of the crew to watch horrible B-movies sent by mad scientist Dr. Clayton Forrester and his assistants.

Crow's middle initial stands for "The". In episode #K19: Hangar 18, Joel stated that "Crow" was an acronym for "Cybernetic Remotely Operated Woman", giving Crow a brief identity crisis until Joel revealed he built Crow specifically to play this joke on him.

In episode 814, "Riding with Death", Crow describes himself as being made from molybdenum.

Tom Servo

Tom is one of two wise-cracking, robotic main characters of the show, built by Joel Robinson to act as a companion and help stave off madness as he was forced to watch low-quality films (ironically, he, along with the other bots, is made from the parts that would have otherwise allowed Joel to actually control the film).

He has a gumball machine for a head, a body composed of a toy "Money Lover Barrel" coin bank and a toy car engine block, and a bowl-shaped hovercraft skirt (a Halloween "Boo Bowl") instead of legs. 

At least during the Comedy Central era, he was somewhat more mature and cynical than his companion Crow T. Robot. Tom, more often than the others, signals the need to exit the theater to perform host segments.


Cambot acts as the eyes of the Satellite of Love, allowing us —and the Mads— to check in on the crew's antics.


Gypsy helps out around the Satellite of Love, making sure vital systems are running smoothly. Because she keeps so busy, she rarely makes appearances in the theater but often spends time with the crew when they're not busy riffing.


Dr. Clayton Forrester

An employee of Gizmonic Institute working in the sub-basement Deep 13, Dr. Clayton Forrester is the epitome of the mad scientist. He kidnapped and shot prisoners into space on two separate occasions (Joel and Mike) to force them to watch cheesy movies in a cruel mind experiment.

Dr. Laurence "Larry" Erhardt

It was thought that Forrester's assistant Dr. Erhardt may or may not have suffered a grisly fate after Season One to pave the way for longtime henchman TV's Frank. No one really knew for sure... Until he returned in Season 12: The Gauntlet with Clayton and Frank's remains!

TV's Frank

Capitalizing on the advantages of being a television personality, Dr. Forrester's henchman Frank would become known to all as TV's Frank until he moved on to Second Banana Heaven in Season Six. He was an adept button-pusher and had a habit of miraculously recovering from death.

Pearl Forrester

Clayton Forrester's mother, Pearl, carried on the family human experimentation tradition in the name of avenging her son's death (never mind the fact that she was the one who killed him). Though she would eventually move on from her torturous ways, there always seems to be another Forrester waiting in the wings to pick up where the last left off.

Professor Bobo

Pearl's henchman. Professor Bobo is an evolved ape from the future dedicated to the scientific study aspect of the cheesy movie experiment.


Also known as "Brain Guy," Observer is Pearl's alien henchman who uses his psychic abilities to send movies to the Satellite of Love

Kinga Forrester

The daughter of Dr. Clayton Forrester—who originated the evil experiment she is now conducting—Kinga Forrester lives on the abandoned Moon 13 base. Composed of equal parts Cruella De Vil and Kim Jong-il, she is loud, often imperious, and occasionally terrifying. In quiet moments Kinga wonders if she can live up to the standard set by the proud mad-scientist pedigree set by her family. Her greatest dream is to polish the MST3K concept into a billion-dollar corporate empire and sell it to Disney.


TV's Son of TV’s Frank, Max wants to be the very best subservient lackey he can be. He believes strongly in Kinga’s project, and will do whatever is necessary to assist her—however, at his core, TV’s Son has a good heart. Although Kinga prefers to call him by his real name, Max, he has adopted the TV’s Son moniker to better reflect his henchman ambitions. TV’s Son is secretly in love with Kinga.