Best Brains

From the Audiovisual Identity Database, the motion graphics museum


Best Brains, Inc. (first known as Hair Brain Productions) was an entertainment company based in Eden Prairie, Minnesota. It is best known for its creation and production of the comedy/sci-fi television program Mystery Science Theater 3000, aka MST3K. The company ceased producing the program in 1999 and closed its studio. Since then, its only functions were to sell MST3K-oriented merchandise and negotiate box-set releases through Shout! Factory. On November 5, 2007 Jim Mallon and Paul Chaplin of Best Brains revived the MST3K brand by launching a new series of Flash-based animated shorts featuring the robots of Mystery Science Theater 3000 on the official website. The series was ended after several months due to cost issues, in addition to unfavorable reception.

In 2015, Shout! Factory acquired MST3K from Best Brains and formed Alternaversal Productions with series creator Joel Hodgson to handle the property and create a revival series. With that, the company legally changed their name to Consolidated Puppets, Inc. and remains active to this day.

The In-Credit Logo (November 28, 1989-November 17, 1990)

Visuals: On a black background, the words “A BEST BRAINS PRODUCTION” are written in white.

Variants: Starting in the second season, the font was changed a few times; one is in Helvetica Italic, and the other is an italic sans serif font.

Technique: A still, computerized graphic.

Audio: Computer sounds, namely ambient noises for host segments in Mystery Science Theater 3000 that take place on the Satellite of Love's bridge. Sometimes, the logo is silent.

Availability: Seen on Mystery Science Theater 3000 episodes from the era, most of which have been released onto DVD by Shout! Factory and are available on streaming services like Tubi.

The Stinger (October 27, 1990-August 8, 1999)

Visuals: A short clip from that episode’s movie is shown. The words “A Best Brains Production” are written at the bottom. Sometimes, a copyright logo is seen on the left side of the text.


  • On the very first stinger, the name "A BEST BRAINS PRODUCTION" is written at the upper left corner, in a similar style as the first logo. The name disappears after a few seconds.
  • On "Mighty Jack" the name "A Best Brains Production" is on the top and not the bottom.
  • The font used for the name was replaced with a bolder one in season 4 starting with "Space Travelers".
  • On "Santa Claus Conquers the Martians" the copyright symbol appeared next to the name "A Best Brains Production".
  • "Village of the Giants" had the stinger replaced with a memorial card to Frank Zappa, who died on December 4, 1993, shortly before the episode aired.
  • When the show moved to SciFi Channel, the font became different.
  • Between season 8 episodes 5 to 7, the clip from the movie was replaced with a shot of the Observers (Mike Nelson, Bill Corbett, Paul Chaplin) staring ominously at the viewer while holding their brains. On episode 8, the stinger had a shot of Professor Bobo (Kevin Murphy) lying on the ground, moaning.

Technique: Live-action, alongside whatever “FX” (in the roughest sense of the term - an inevitability given the nature of the series) the clip has.

Audio: Whatever sounds the clip has.

Availability: Seen on many MST3K episodes starting with "Rocket Attack USA". For some reason, "The Wild Rebels" used the logo above. The Rhino Video release of "The Atomic Brain" strangely lacks the stinger, although the episode had one. However, the Shout! Factory release of "The Atomic Brain" has the stinger.

Legacy: This logo is highly beloved among Mystery Science Theater 3000 fans, to the point that the logo for Alternaversal Productions in the show's revival also functions as a "stinger".

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