Michael John Nelson ,was born in St. Charles, Illinois. His ancestry is Danish, German, and Irish, is an American comedian and writer, most known for his work on the cult television series Mystery Science Theater 3000 (MST3K). Nelson was the head writer of the series for most of the show's eleven-year run, and spent half of that time as the on-air host, also named Mike Nelson. In addition to writing books, Nelson is part of the online movie riffing sites RiffTrax and The Film Crew with fellow MST3K alumni, Bill Corbett and Kevin Murphy.
Nelson was working as a waiter at T.G.I. Friday's and doing occasional stand-up comedy when he was offered a job on Mystery Science Theater 3000, typing the suggestions in the writing room. The writers told him to feel free to make some comments on the movies they were watching, and Nelson impressed them so much with his wit and comedic timing that they made him a staff writer, and, later, head writer. Nelson also appeared frequently in the show's host segments, often playing characters from the movies being mocked such as Torgo from the infamous Manos - The Hands of Fate.