Mike Nelson at the What The Hell Con '05 at Guilford College, NC

Webmaster's Minute:
I briefly met Dustin McNeill at What-The-Hell?! Con 2005. Our exchange went something like this, "Nice shirt." "You too." I was wearing my recently purchased Deep 13 Athletics shirt, and he was wearing a white shirt which he had sharpied 'Mike Nelson is a God' on the front of. In Mike's own words, it was, "frightening." Dustin wrote up an excellent accounting of the events that transpired, and quite honestly, his pictures are much better than those I have of the event.
This content was originally hosted on his geocities webpage, the Deus Ex Machina (no, not that Deus Ex Machina, but that's beyond the point.) However, after an assault on his website by MST3KInfo club members, I approached Dustin about mirroring the content, and he gave me the go-ahead. I maintained all of his original formatting, text, and graphics, and so here it is, Dustin McNeill's account of one Saturday in January, 2005, in Greensboro, North Carolina.

-Toolmaster Jeff Zehnder


Mike showing off his bag.

A signature most msties will recognize.

Myself on the left, and Mr. Nelson on the right

First off, the What The Hell Con '05 was put together by the Guilford Yachting Club (which has nothing to do with yachts.)  It was your typical geeky convention - science fiction, anime, comic books, etc..  Mike Nelson was scheduled to speak on the second day of the convention.

The event began at 1:00 PM in the Dana Auditorium.  It pays off to be early because Mike entered the building through the front doors to an already growing population of msties.  He posed for some photos and told us how Northwest Airlines had lost his luggage.

All those attending the convention had to list their name on a sign in sheet for reasons unknown to me.  When Mike came in, he jokingly signed his own name to the list.

"Dustin, you look a little nervous" - Mike Nelson

"You are correct sir!" - Mike Nelson

The first thing Mike did was hold two seperate trivia contests to win some of his books.  And by "his books", I mean books he owned, not books he wrote.  I was picked to compete against another audience member to win "Happy Cat - A Keepsake Journal for your Cat."  "I don't own a cat, I don't need the book anymore..." - Mike Nelson

Before Mike began, he asked me some questions about myself and my car.  ("Do you like flies?" - Mike) 

Contestants: Dustin (me) and Sarah

(1) What is the full-name of Patrick Swayzee's character in the smash-hit epic, Roadhouse? 
(answer: Dalton, I won)

(2) Of the many hundreds of bad Rob Schneider movies, which is the worst? 
(answer: The Hot Chick although would've accepted down periscope as well.  I won)

(to Sarah, in losing place) "Sarah, where the hell are you?  You've got one last chance.  Basically, there's no way you can win.  At least you can LOOK like you're on the ball."

(3) Which film was worse: Matrix Revolutions or Star Wars: Attack of the Clones? 
(answer: ATOTC, Sarah won.)

Scroll down to see Mike autographing the book after the show.

Mike is completley air-borne in this snapshot.

The second round was for Fun with Numbers and a Kitchen book
"Gregg, where do you pick your nose?" - Mike Nelson

Contestants: Greg and Chris

(1) In what film does Carrot Top get out-acted by Courtney Thorn Smith? 
(answer: Chairman of the Board, Greg)

(answer: don't know, Greg got it)

(3) "What is the name of the orangoutang that poops all over Matt LeBlanc's room?  And it's not David Schwimmer." - Mike Nelson
(answer: Ed, but nobody knew)

(4) Picard or Kirk?
(answer: Kirk, Chris got this one wrong)

"...If you don't know who I am.
...thanks for coming anyways...." - Mike Nelson

He then spoke about bad movies being the fault of monkies and some funny experiences with the MST cast and crew and such.  He also made fun of the airline for losing his luggage.

Next, Mike read a passage on The Bridges of Madison County from Mike's Movie Megacheese and then read Portal to Hell: The Radio Shack Experience from Mind Over Matters.

It's about fifty times funnier when he reads it.

"After MST3K, Crow got a job at......." - Mike Nelson

After reading from his books, Mike stepped into character as Mike Nelson (not much of a stretch, eh?) from the show and updated us on what happened to Crow, Tom, Gypsy and Bobo after the show ended it's production run.

I think this segment is much funnier if you can see it for yourself - so I've compressed this into a tiny quicktime file and hosted it over on a craptastic geocities server.  It's 726 k.

Watch this part.

(by the way - if someone wants to host this or other files I could make on their own superior web server - I'd be happy to put links up here because I know the geocities one is going to run out of transfer.)

The Bad Movie Generator
Next - Mike did three stand-up bits.

The first is pictured to the left and was called the bad movie generator where lots of crappy elements like Martin Lawrence and train robberies were put together to make a new bad movie.

The next act he did was called "THE AMAZING RONDO" (borrowed from MST: TM, no doubt.)  Mike asked audience members to give him an animal or noise and he would recreate it using his mouth or body.

Hilarious.  I'll try to get a clip of it on here sooner or later.

The best was when he discussed the Lephrechaun film series.  He found a lot of crappy Amazon.com user reviews and read them to us and disected them - side-splitting.  He also bashed Jackass the movie.

Mike taking questions as he says "Maury-style"

Mike answering questions "Maury-style"


About an hour and a half after he took the stage - it was Q&A time!

I won't retype all questions, just the best ones.

My Question:  What were some of the better movies of 2004?
"I went to see The Day After Tomorrow with my son.  (pause)  And now I hate my son."
Mike said he hadn't seen Shaun of the Dead and didn't like Sideways.  He said he loved LOTR and Spider-man 2 was the only comic book film he's ever really enjoyed.  He said he took some friends to see Van Helsing and they nearly killed him in mid-film for it.

What were your favorite episodes?
The Leech Woman, Girl in the Gold Boots, and Space Mutiny.  He mentioned the heros girly scream from Space Mutiny.

What is your favorite moment from a MST3K film?
In The Brute Man where an old man just starts screaming at a young clerk. (he impersonated this until the audience laughed themself into a coma.)

Weirdest fan encounter?
The Bloody Molars the show was sent during the CC era.

Any new projects?
Yes, the cute book mentioned on MST3K Info and a new book with Bill Corbett as well as audio commentaries.

Ofcourse, someone had to ask about new MST episodes and Mike said "Maybe........but it's really slim.  If they asked me to come back, I would."

Mike welcoming the fan to a fight.

This remind anyone of the Catch Me if you Can poster?

Mike could tear this guy in half.

One of the questions near the beginning was if anyone knew where the Real Estate conference was (a joke.)  Mike then offered to fight the fan for such an insult and the fan chased Mike off-stage.

Mike signing my cat book.
After the show - Mike went into the lobby and was swarmed with fans wanting autographs.  After signing some boobs (and declaring he would only sign female boobs) he signed a few items of mine, pictured to your left.

I'm guessing that says Mike Nelson...?
First item I had signed was the new release of Night of the Living Dead featuring a pretty funny commentary track by Mike.  The colorized version of NOTLD isn't bad either - but the black and white will always have my vote.

"I don't have a cat, I don't need the book anymore" - Mike Nelson

Here's the book I won from Mike and his signature.  You can see him signing the book in the above photo.

Quite a good read.

The man does have a big face.

And ofcourse, I had to get Mike to sign my favorite book of his (although the cat one may be my new favorite since he gave it to me.)

I figured I was pushing it having him to sign three items with a massive army of people behind me.

And that.....was my Saturday with Mike Nelson at the What-The-Hell Con '05.

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Dustin L. McNeill