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James Joseph "Jim" Mallon (born March 19, 1956) is an American television and film producer and writer, most notable for being executive producer of the Peabody Award-winning series Mystery Science Theater 3000 (MST3K). He is also president of the series' production company, Best Brains, Inc., directed more than 75 episodes of MST3K, and played the role of Gypsy from the first season until the middle of the eighth season.
Early career and education
At Madison, Mallon was elected President of the Wisconsin Student Association on the Pail & Shovel Party ticket. Along with WSA Vice-President Leon Varjian, Mallon oversaw the redirection of the group's budget away from various social causes in the direction of artistic projects, including several startling and amusing public Neo-Dadaist stunts. One morning WSA filled Bascom Hill with hundreds of plastic pink flamingos. Perhaps the most memorable stunt created by Mallon's crew was the creation of a replica of the top of the Statue of Liberty. Placed on the frozen ice of Lake Mendota unannounced, it gave the appearance of the statue standing at the bottom of the lake and frozen in up to its nose. (Pail and Shovel had made a series of apparently ridiculous campaign promises, including installing escalators on campus hills, changing the school's name to The University of New Jersey, and bringing the Statue of Liberty to Madison.) The original Mendota Liberty was burned by vandals, reputedly a protest by campus feminists against WSA funding such projects instead of giving additional support to an agency that provided safe rides to women after dark. In response, WSA had the statue rebuilt, and placed back on the lake the next winter.
Mystery Science Theater 3000
In 1986, Mallon became the production manager of a new independent UHF television station, KTMA, in Minneapolis. There Mallon hired future MST3K cohort, Kevin Murphy. In 1988, Mallon met series creator Joel Hodgson and Mystery Science Theater 3000 was born.
As MST3K began to gain national attention, Mallon and Hodgson began to disagree on the future of the series. Hodgson said in a 1999 interview with The Onion A.V. Club that the reason he left the series was due to creative infighting between him and Mallon, presumably over the possibility of a movie based on the series. As a result, Mallon ended up with majority ownership of the program. Mallon later directed Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie, released by Gramercy Pictures on April 19, 1996.
- Phipps, Keith (April 21, 1999). "Joel Hodgson". The Onion A.V. Club. Retrieved 2015-12-08.