2A. Patches and Pins on Joel's KTMA Jumpsuit
When Joel was preparing his persona for the pilot episode of MST3K he decided to model the host on Bruce Dern's character Freeman Lowell in the 1972 film Silent Running. Therefore, he let his hair grow, bought a blue jumpsuit and covered it with patches. Even when Joel switched to his beige jumpsuit he used the same patches and pins.
As it turns out his choice of decorations is kind of interesting. There's nothing space related about them. Instead they all turned out to be related to Webelos and Boy Scouts. For those that may not know, between Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts young men go through a transitional program called Webelos.
Anyway, here we go. I'll use the beige jumpsuit picture from above as a guide, since it's the clearest when I zoom in.
A. (Unknown) - Right Sleeve
OK, I hate to start out with the one patch I haven't figured out yet, but here it is. I believe it's a scout council patch from somewhere in Minnesota, but I haven't been able to locate the exact patch yet. Is it just me or does it sort of look like a Monarch butterfly? By the way, if anyone can tell me what this patch is I'll be eternally grateful.
B. Webelos Compass Patch (modified) -
Again, we have something a little unusual here. This patch only comes with a blue background. If you look at Joel's blue jumpsuit picture above you can tell that originally his patch was blue too. Somehow when he switched to the beige suit the color was modified to a tan background. This makes me wonder if somehow they just dyed the blue jumpsuit to make it beige and the fabric backing of the patch changed at the same time. Oh, yeah. One more thing. If you compare the patch with the picture you can see that he actually sewed it on upside down too (South is at the top).
Original patch Patch with color adjusted and inverted as on jumpsuit
This one is fairly straight forward. The Viking ship design represents a Minnesota based scout council. There are a lot of variations to this patch, but this it the one on the jumpsuit.
D. Engineer and Craftsman Webelos
- Left Pocket Flap
During a young scouts stay in Webelos they were required to earn a number of small pins that represented different disciplines. Here we see there are two Engineer pins and one Craftsman pin, but of course Joel wears the Craftsman pin upside down.
Engineer Pin Craftsman Pin (upside down)
E. Boy Scouts US Flag - Left Pocket
There are various flag patches available, but this one is the one with a blue border. In every picture of the beige jumpsuit this patch looks pretty dark compared to this original. I wonder if somehow it picked up some tan dye like the compass patch (shown above) did.
I'm not sure if these items belonged to Joel before he created the jumpsuit. They all appear to be from the Minneapolis. MN area so I think they may have belonged to someone's son and were "loaned" to the MST project. Perhaps someday I'll get the opportunity to ask Joel himself to see if he can recall.