Hi-keeba! Mystery Science Theater 3000 Has A Kickstarter!

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Joel and the bots need two million dollars to make new episodes, but what exactly does this KS include? Much like fat cop Mitchell, we clumsily investigate…

Here’s the short version: A Mystery Science Theater 3000 Kickstarter just went live. The show that invented mocking of cheesy movies debuted decades ago, and now creator Joel Hodgson is looking for $2,000,000 (minimum) to bring back the series with new episodes, new hosts, old friends, and hopefully prove to stingy television executives that MST3K is worth bringing back. Obviously the crew at LT are huge MST3K fans, but in case you need more explanation, here’s the KS pitch video.

This is all very exciting, and very well timed around MST3K’s newly re-annualized Turkey Day marathon of classic episodes, but this has left me with a ton of unanswered questions. (In the interest of transparency, you should know I’ve already pledged $25.) Here are my biggest concerns:

1. $2 million for three episodes sounds like a lot. As someone experienced with crowdfunding, I know everything costs more than you think it should, and I’m glad that Joel doesn’t appear to be asking for less than is needed just to hit a goal. That way of thinking has hamstrung a number of major KS projects. My bigger concern is that there aren’t many Kickstarters that ever break a million in support, so I hope they aren’t setting their sights too high.

2. Is Joel the only original cast member involved? I couldn’t be the only one who had a moment of “huh” when Crow and Tom didn’t sound like Crow and Tom, and that led me to the bigger realization that seemingly Joel is the only original series worker involved. With Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy, and Bill Corbett busy with their Rifftrax enterprise, I didn’t expect them to be involved, but where were Mary Jo Pehl, Frank Conniff or Trace Beaulieu from Cinematic Titanic – I feel relatively certain that other human in the video was alum Josh Weinstein. It’s great that Joel is spearheading this whole endeavor, but it doesn’t really feel the same, ya know. And just who are the new people Hodgson wants to cast?

3. Is there still room for MST3K in this world? With Rifftrax, over a dozen Cinematic Titanic films, and virtually every episode of MST3K available to stream (legally or not), is there room in this world for MST3K: The Next Generation? I’ll treasure any new chance to see those puppets jabber next to a man in a jumpsuit, but thanks to MST3K’s major impact on pop culture, it seems like everyone mocks movies now, LT included. I’ve been wanting a true rebirth of MST3K since its cancellation over 15 years ago, but now that it’s here, I wonder if they waited too long. I don’t want to blame easy scapegoat/shadowy owner of Best Brains Jim Mallon, but…

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All those issues aside, I’m still super jazzed that Joel Hodgson has ended years of speculation of bringing back MST3K, and is finally doing it for real. If you’re a believer too, do as the video says and keep spreading the URL BringBackMST3K.com. Though if you have similar concerns as myself, let’s talk them out in the comments, ok. Just watch out for snakes. (Whew, was worried I’d end this without another reference.)

11 thoughts on “Hi-keeba! Mystery Science Theater 3000 Has A Kickstarter!

  1. Hmmm without Mike, Kevin, and Bill, I don’t know if it would feel like MST3K for me. I started watching the show during the Mike era, so those are my go to episodes, and while I’ve never watched a movie with rifftrax that felt quite like the old show, I think it would do a better job than completely new people.

  2. EW has a follow up artical on this
    About the cast Joel said
    “Basically, I’m trying to blend the old with the new,” says Hodgson. “Mystery Science Theater has already refreshed itself once with a completely new cast, so I think it deserves to do that again. The original cast is going to be invited back to write, produce, and do cameos as their mad science characters, and then there’s a new cast with new talent.”

  3. I love Mystery Science Theater 3000, but it does feel like its time has passed, given that commentary has become the bread and butter of YouTube “content creators”. Not only that, but I think Joel’s style of riffing is the more widely copied, so he will be facing real competition. Still, I hope he can make a go of it, if only to try and see what could have been. As for me I think I will pass, as I am more of a son of Nel, and, really, prefer to bet on Corb.

  4. I’m sure the number of original guest stars and contributors from the original show will all depend on how much they raise. Mike Nelson just dismissed his involvement in the most passive-aggressive-Minnesota way possible, and it’s possible Murphy and Corbett or on his side. So it’s doubtful we’ll see them. Still, I wanna see the legacy carry on.. and as much as it pains me to hear new voices come out of those puppets (I hope to god those aren’t the official casting decisions in that demo), I don’t mind if it’s recast. Servero, Crow, and the host all changed at some point. it was jarring at first… but it got better. So fingers crossed they make this happen.

  5. As a fan who much prefers the Mike Nelson episodes, and who thinks of the show synonymous with Mike, Kevin, and Bill in particular, I find myself not entirely won over. I’ll certainly think about it, but I think if this had been the latter host of the show initiating this idea, I’d have signed up immediately.

  6. This is a very unpopular opinion from a proud MSTy, but I think they need to let it go. Unfortunately, I’m not going to back it simply because of the points raised in this article. I’m not saying the article pushed me that way; just that you’ve conveyed exactly what I was worried about. But if Joel asked me for $100, I’d give it to him with a big kiss on the cheek as thanks for the late night laughs as a kid and teenager.

    I’ll happily eat my shoe if this takes off and becomes successful.

  7. No Kevin as Servo, no buy (or donation, whatever). Sorry but if I’m meant to donate for a few new Joel episodes, I want the REAL experience. Joel and Trace alone would almost be enough but Kevin Murphy is so synonymous with Servo that it just doesn’t work without him. Frankly, I still haven’t even watched every single MST3K episode so I’d rather just have some way of seeing them all that isn’t on youtube or expensive DVD box-sets.

  8. Mmm, yeah, I’m sad but I’m echoing the other thoughts here: no Mike, Bill, Kevin or any of the others, no deal. I love Joel and Mike equally as hosts, but Bill and Kevin were even more the heart.

    I could let that go and still back, but then I saw that in order to get the full season downloadable the minimum tier is $100. You have to get a T-shirt before you have digital access to the episodes. No way.

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