Before They Were Stars (2-for-1 Special): Billy Crystal and John de Lancie in “SST: Death Flight” (MST3K Version)

I love doing “Before They Were Stars” features on famous actors who had early roles in bad films that were featured on Mystery Science Theater 3000, whether it be Clint Eastwood, Demi Moore or Tia Carrere. The MST3K movie featured here is a 1977 made-for-TV disaster flick called SST: Death Flight, which tells the story of a commercial airlane flight being infected by a deadly influenza virus. Unfortunately, this episode is from the initial season of MST3K on KTMA, when they were ad-libbing all their material and didn’t have their timing down pat, so this isn’t MST3K at its best. However, this clip is still worth watching for its cast: you’ll get to see a young Billy Crystal as a steward, and a pre-Star Trek John de Lancie as one of the passengers. You’ll also notice none other than Peter Graves in this scene. Three years later, he would find immortality by appearing in the ultimate satire of these cheesy disaster films: Airplane!.

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