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The Reboot Moves Forward. Step One: Crowdfunding.

Here’s the press release:

Joel Hodgson, Creator of Mystery Science Theater 3000, Announces Kickstarter to #BringBackMST3K For a New Generation

For more than 25 years, the award-winning comedy television series Mystery Science Theater 3000 has been known as one of the best cult TV shows in history. The story of a human host and his robot sidekicks, trapped aboard a satellite and forced to watch cheesy movies by his captor, MST3K has maintained its reputation thanks largely to its fervently devoted fan base, known as MSTies. This morning, Joel Hodgson, creator and former host of the beloved show, announced that he is turning to the fans to bring back Mystery Science Theater 3000 for a new generation.

“I don’t think there’s ever been a show more dependent on its fans than Mystery Science Theater 3000,” Hodgson says. “Twenty-five years ago, we asked our fans to ‘Keep Circulating The Tapes’ and sharing MST3K with their friends and family to help the show find its audience. Now, I’m hoping the fans will join me again to “Keep Circulating the URL” of our Kickstarter, so that we can bring MST3K back to life for a new generation.”

Through Kickstarter, Hodgson hopes to raise at least $2 million – enough to make three brand new, feature length episodes – with an ultimate goal of raising the $5.5. million needed to make a full season of twelve episodes. While Hodgson will be involved in writing and all facets of production of the new series, the new episodes will feature a new host, new Mads and of course, new cheesy movies to riff.

To contribute to the campaign and for updates, visit www.bringbackmst3k.com, and follow MST3K on Facebook (facebook.com/MST3K), Twitter (@MST3K) and Instagram (@MST3K).

More info here.

332 Replies to “The Reboot Moves Forward. Step One: Crowdfunding.”

  1. Prime Minister Jm J. Bullock says:

    I’m totally down for Master Ninja 3-7!

       2 likes

  2. Johnny's nonchalance says:

    BathTub:
    Yeah my bet is on Felicia Day for the Mad.

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/toddkenreck/2015/09/14/felicia-day-opens-up-about-living-with-anxiety/

    I watched this short clip of Felicia Day talking about anxiety and all I kept thinking was she looks like she could play crazy (mad)

    and

    Overbite!

    I could probably stop staring at her teeth and enjoy the show. She has that rubber-face look that would fit if she was Dr. F’s offspring

       0 likes

  3. itsspideyman says:

    Very late to the game, but just me talking……

    I’ll really miss Bill, Mike and Kevin if there isn’t any space for them somewhere. It should be noted that Mike was the head writer and kept the franchise alive for half its life.

    As for another Servo, Tom is more than a voice coming out of a puppet. In many ways Kevin was Tom Servo. He generated that naive, caustic, urbane, crazy Tom, and I will really miss it if he’s not there.

    I’m not saying I won’t watch because I will, but there, I had to put my thoughts in.

       7 likes

  4. mnenoch says:

    My thought of this for a long time when they originally were trying to get the reboot going (circa 2005,2006) was that they could do mini seasons that have different combinations of hosts, mads, and voices of the bots.

    I think it would doable to do say 3 episodes with that cast and then move to the next set of characters. This could even work with new characters and voices if they wanted to. I don’t understand why we’re doing another female mad considering the last three years of the show was done with a female mad. Plus I understand having a male host since by far MST3K is way more popular with the male crowd than the female crowd. I don’t know how many females I’ve known that have watched MST3K and said something like “I don’t get it, that’s not funny, that’s stupid”. Additionally not all change is good change, too much change and we’ve gone too far away from what made MST3k great.

    I don’t see why a majority of the old cast and crew couldn’t at least contribute to writing/riffs for an episode. I think that what made MST3K is that you had a combination of the writing crew that brought different perspectives and talent. I think that is why a lot of people feel that either CT or Rifftrax feels a bit off then MST3K.

       4 likes

  5. skier_pete says:

    mnenoch:
    I think that is why a lot of people feel that either CT or Rifftrax feels a bit off then MST3K.

    I was felt the main reason they feel off is the continuousness of the movie. I really MISS the sketches when I watch their stuff. The movies often weigh down after a while, and I feel that taking a break from them and not watching the whole thing is the only way I can get through it. With MST3K, when the movie/riffing was starting to drag, I always knew I was 20 minutes from a “break”, and I didn’t at all mind watching all the way through.

       2 likes

  6. JCC says:

    mnenoch:

    Plus I understand having a male host since by far MST3K is way more popular with the male crowd than the female crowd. I don’t know how many females I’ve known that have watched MST3K and said something like “I don’t get it, that’s not funny, that’s stupid”.

    I’m sorry your bad experiences have skewed your thoughts on Women and MST3k, but I’ve watched tons of episodes with my sisters. They love the show! We don’t get to watch together much anymore, work/family/geography getting in the way, but when we do I always try to get at least one episode in. Usually split up in half hour chunks. We watched The Horror of Party Beach while sis was visiting last week and laughed tons!

       6 likes

  7. Dr. Leonard "Bones" McCoy says:

    Regarding female fans, my experience has tallied up a 1 in 6 or 7 females who like the show.

    But I believe that is weighed by the fact I hang out with so many wonderfully brainy nerdy type females. You show me a woman who reads Nabokov and attends comic book conventions and I will show you a woman who likes MST3K.

    Otherwise, I would guess 1 in 50 or 100 females would be solid fans.

    On the surface, my speculation may sound bad, but it’s much better than the 1 in 10,000 ratio of women who think the Three Stooges are funny or the 1 in 40,000 women who like heavy metal.

    (which is why Spinal Tap is such a hard sell all way ’round)

    But I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that I’ve also tried to turn male friends onto the series and I did not succeed. It was one of those things where a certain group of my male friends were already fans while another group of them were not and remained uninterested no matter what I did.

    To the latter group, I would sometimes ask, “What did watching Captain Kangaroo or Kukla Fran and Ollie DO to you?! What have you got against puppet shows and skits!? Mein Gott, just give Pitch a chance!”

    MST3K is a weird wonderful beast, for sure, and I love meeting/talking with fellow fans.

    Keep circulating the Apes.

       0 likes

  8. dave says:

    I was going to donate until I read update#2 with his snide political comment. When I want politics I’ll seek it out.I don’t want smug assholes from the right or left shoving it down my throat. It will be successful without me anyway so that’s good for the people who want it. I’m glad they will have it to enjoy. I’ve got more unwatched Rifftrax on my hard drive than I can binge watch in a year,all the MST DVDs and shows that haven’t been released on DVD yet,many of which I haven’t seen so I don’t need,or even have time for a new one.If it’s awesome I’ll make time,But if they start dragging politics into escapist entertainment I’ll go elsewhere.

       4 likes

  9. Droppo says:

    dave:
    I was going to donate until I read update#2 with his snide political comment. When I want politics I’ll seek it out.I don’t want smug assholes from the right or left shoving it down my throat. It will be successful without me anyway so that’s good for the people who want it.I’m glad they will have it to enjoy. I’ve got more unwatched Rifftrax on my hard drive than I can binge watch in a year,all the MST DVDs and shows that haven’t been released on DVD yet,many of which I haven’t seen so I don’t need,or even have time for a new one.If it’s awesome I’ll make time,But if they start dragging politics into escapist entertainment I’ll go elsewhere.

    Um…..slight overreaction, perhaps?

       13 likes

  10. JCC says:

    MST3k was ALL ABOUT the hard hitting political humour! Who can forget Supercalifragilisticexpiali-Wacky or the searing expose on Rutherford B. Hayes?

       3 likes

  11. cvbwe says:

    lol just wait until he gets to Day The Earth Froze and the joke about the Reagan / Bush administration. His head will literally explode.

       3 likes

  12. BoB3K says:

    So, I know everyone is talking about Felicia Day as the new mad, but I was just watching an episode of Other Space last night (if you haven’t you should watch it–very funny and has Joel and Trace.) And, I realized that the character Karen (played by Bess Rous) would make a perfect Mad, and obviously has a link to Joel, and would possibly fit the profile on the Kickstarter image.

       0 likes

  13. Johnny's nonchalance says:

    Fer cryin’ out load, dave, Droppo, Christmas comes just once a year– can’t we all just get along?

    I do really wish entertainers would keep the politics out of it. It has that tendency to alienate half the audience. The creative types tend to lean to a particular ideology. I can make peace with that. Just don’t make a habit of proselytizing about it.

    Make jokes about politician behavior all you want, that’s different than mocking ideologies or parties.

    John Sununu gets another haircut.
    Hillary who, baby?

    Those were jokes about politicians, not ideologies. Just don’t make fun of people’s sincere beliefs, please. Other than that, Trump’s behavior is a target rich environment for comedy.

    (besides, he’s changed his stance on so many things it’s hard to believe he HAS any sincere beliefs… other than self-importance)

       1 likes

  14. jaybird3rd says:

    So anyway, about that fundraising campaign …

    Progress has been slow today (just over $55K so far, according to Kicktraq), and I’m sure at least part of it is because of the gloomy pall that has been cast over the world by the events in Paris. It’s totally understandable to me that people may simply not be in the mood to put their money behind the new MST3K just now, and one also has to remember that even successful campaigns start with an initial burst of activity and then slow down to a steady build to the end. The key will be maintaining the momentum, and with the Turkey Day marathons coming up and other events that Joel has planned, there are many opportunities for the campaign to gain a second wind. Yesterday’s total was about $141K, and if the campaign can maintain that average through the remaining days, it will be enough to put them past $5.5M. I’m prepared to increase my pledge if the campaign seems to need a little extra push to bring it past one of the stretch goals.

       0 likes

  15. Thad says:

    dave:
    I was going to donate until I read update#2 with his snide political comment. When I want politics I’ll seek it out.I don’t want smug assholes from the right or left shoving it down my throat. It will be successful without me anyway so that’s good for the people who want it.I’m glad they will have it to enjoy. I’ve got more unwatched Rifftrax on my hard drive than I can binge watch in a year,all the MST DVDs and shows that haven’t been released on DVD yet,many of which I haven’t seen so I don’t need,or even have time for a new one.If it’s awesome I’ll make time,But if they start dragging politics into escapist entertainment I’ll go elsewhere.

    Somehow I think you weren’t actually planning to donate at all.

    Making a joke about “the imminent Trump/Carson administration” isn’t exactly a hatchet job, dude; it’s about as gentle as a reference to current events can get. And I don’t even read it as partisan; a good joke is a good joke. The Academy of Robots’ Choice Awards Special is built around one big “Al Gore is boring” joke, and Rifftrax’s Grocery Witch short ends with a joke about Christine O’Donnell. Acknowledging that politicians exist and are sometimes laughable is not at all the same thing as ramming a partisan political stance down the audience’s throat.

    MST3K’s always made references to current events, and sometimes hot-button ones — remember the lyric about Stacey Koon in Gypsy Moons? I could fetch the fainting couch and the smelling salts because the show was making light of a very serious subject — or I could accept it as a one-liner using the name of somebody who was then making headlines, chuckle, and get on with my life.

    Obviously you’re not obligated to donate to this or any other Kickstarter (and I haven’t donated yet either). But maybe come up with a less silly reason.

    In closing, here is a short, not-at-all-comprehensive list of other escapist entertainment that contains references to politicians:

    The Simpsons
    Looney Tunes
    The Three Stooges
    Back to the Future
    Doctor Who
    South Park
    Monty Python’s Flying Circus
    The Drew Carey Show
    Life on Mars
    Forrest Gump
    Bad Dudes
    Watchmen
    The Tick
    The Dark Knight Returns
    Futurama
    X-Men: Days of Future Past
    The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
    Captain America
    The X-Files
    Street Fighter 2
    A good big chunk of the works of William Shakespeare
    Sesame Street (seriously; the 25th Anniversary special featured a villain named Ronald Grump)

    I trust you will never watch/read/play/otherwise consume or support any of these things again, either.

       12 likes

  16. JeremyR says:

    The thing is, people identify with politics. When you attack a politician just because of politics (as opposed to something they did), you are attacking that person. Instead of being able to escape from politics and reality, they get it shoved into their faces all the time. Just enough with it.

    And speaking as a Republican, I get awful tired of humor that basically consists of “Hur hur, Republicans are dumb”.

    That’s why I will never buy another Rifftrax with that British guy, that’s basically all he did during his Terror Train riff.

    The regular Rifftrax (and old MST3K in general) is good about generally avoiding it, or balancing it, I guess because Mike might actually be a moderate Republican, but I don’t think this will have any constraints.

       2 likes

  17. Herandar says:

    Well, *I* was going to pledge, but then Joel said that THERE IS A SANTA CLAUS, and obviously the show is supporting the religious right and hates Starbucks coffee cups and there’s no guarantee that all of the riffs of the new series aren’t going be unconstrained Young Earth Creationist jokes at the expense of secular humanists like myself because what’s to stop them, ya know?!

       8 likes

  18. mnenoch says:

    skier_pete: I was felt the main reason they feel off is the continuousness of the movie. I really MISS the sketches when I watch their stuff. The movies often weigh down after a while, and I feel that taking a break from them and not watching the whole thing is the only way I can get through it. With MST3K, when the movie/riffing was starting to drag, I always knew I was 20 minutes from a “break”, and I didn’t at all mind watching all the way through.

    Actually that is a very astute observation. I totally agree that the commercial breaks and skits help a lot. I made a comment to my wife that I hope the new mst3k has commercial breaks as they give you brain a rest from trying to concentrate on the show. It’s also why most of the RiffTrax I own are either shorts or the natgeo episodes.

    @jcc

    Not really bad experiences and there are about 5 women I know that actually like MST3k. My wife will watch episodes with me and go to RiffTrax live shows. Just saying of the people I know that liked and watched the show at least 90% were male.

       0 likes

  19. bread says:

    JeremyR:
    The thing is, people identify with politics. When you attack a politician just because of politics (as opposed to something they did), you are attacking that person. Instead of being able to escape from politics and reality, they get it shoved into their faces all the time. Just enough with it.

    And speaking as a Republican, I get awful tired of humor that basically consists of “Hur hur, Republicans are dumb”.

    That’s why I will never buy another Rifftrax with that British guy, that’s basically all he did during his Terror Train riff.

    The regular Rifftrax (and old MST3K in general) is good about generally avoiding it, or balancing it, I guess because Mike might actually be a moderate Republican, but I don’t think this will have any constraints.

    Mike did an interview in 2004 and he is quite conservative actually. He never seems to let his ideology show in his riffing though.

    That said, a joke about the imminent Trump/Carson administration is not a big deal at all, you weenies.

       4 likes

  20. Johnny's nonchalance says:

    bread: Mike did an interview in 2004 and he is quite conservative actually. He never seems to let his ideology show in his riffing though.

    That said, a joke about the imminent Trump/Carson administration is not a big deal at all, you weenies.

    Saying Trump is a clown is one thing. Joel said: “I will always support good riffing, and the world will always need more riffing – especially under the imminent Trump/Carson Administration.” Saying the Trump/Carson administration will make the world need more laughter, or be deserving of additional criticism crosses the line from criticizing personality to criticizing ideology:

    You use Mike as a perfect example. You can’t tell from his riffing what his ideology is. That’s the way it should be. What Joel said implies his belief that a Trump/Carson administration would be worse than the current one. He’s entitled to that belief. You’re right, it’s a very mild barb. But he risks alienating a part of his audience, and that should be the last thing one does when they come begging for money.

    Weenies? I know a wiener man. He owns a hot dog stand.

    I know a wiener, man

       1 likes

  21. Johnny's nonchalance says:

    Thad:

    The Three Stooges (Can’t stand ’em, never watched)
    Back to the Future
    Doctor Who (Fictional politicians, not the same)
    South Park
    Monty Python’s Flying Circus (Saying an MP’s name in a sketch does not take an ideological stand)
    Forrest Gump (JFK appeared, so what? He was an observer in a historical drama )
    Watchmen (Won’t read Gaiman because of it)
    The Dark Knight Returns (Fictional politicians)
    Futurama (Richard Nixon’s head? Well that’s just funny. Also, once it goes far enough in the past (or future) it becomes less polarizing)
    X-Men: Days of Future Past (fictional, but annoying)
    The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (fictional)
    Captain America (I’m okay with Hitler being the bad-guy)
    William Shakespeare (he had a royal patron, he wanted to keep his head connected to his neck)
    Sesame Street (I’d expect publicly funded TV to be against people who want to cut the funding)

    I trust you will never watch/read/play/otherwise consume or support any of these things again, either.

    Many of those things I wouldn’t read or support.

    There’s a difference between discussing public figures and calling their IDEAS stupid. Back to the Future, for example, makes fun of having a president that was an actor. In no way does that dismiss the ideas of Ronald Reagan. It’s funny because of course it would be unbelievable to someone from the 1950s that a low-grade movie actor would become president. And like Marty’s grandpa said, “Who the hell is John F. Kennedy?”

    Go back in the past and tell yourself that a reality TV star was the front runner for his party’s nomination, wouldn’t you laugh at the idea?

    I just think Jeremy makes a really good point about people wanting to have a safe place to escape to. Do not bring ideology into our little puppet show.

    South Park is also a really good example. I think the creators tend to identify with libertarian ideas, as do I. They at least have the decency to be critical of EVERYONE.

    I want my MST to be a haven. If they have to make those sorts of jokes, then they should make fun of all ends of the spectrum. If the new show goes the way of the Daily Show, then I’ll have to move on.

    I’ll always have Pod People. Trumpy won’t let me down.

       1 likes

  22. scenario says:

    I don’t have any problem with making fun of thing that are just plain silly. I remember Ted Kennedy once saying that he is working for a time where every child is above average. Mathematically it can’t happen. Its silly. Its fair game.

    Political jokes for MSTek should be one where you don’t have to be of one political view or another to laugh at it. I laughed when I heard what Ted said even though I am a liberal. I put the jokes like we could never have an actor/reality show host as president in that category.

    The Trump/Carson joke works that way. People against them would laugh because they don’t believe that either could be president. Trump or Carson supporters would laugh because they wouldn’t believe that a ruthless businessman and a very religious surgeon could possibly work together.

       0 likes

  23. Politics Killed The Video Star says:

    dave:
    I was going to donate until I read update#2 with his snide political comment. When I want politics I’ll seek it out.I don’t want smug assholes from the right or left shoving it down my throat.

    Joel said nothing that even comes near eclipsing what Trump willingly did himself – to himself! – on SNL.

    So don’t donate.

    Big whoop. But making some self righteous issue out of an innocent jab, and to then announce on a FAN forum that this is the hill you’re willing to die on and not show support, is patently ridiculous.

    I’m curious as to if you felt such umbrage when watching the riffs against Rondo Hatton’s real life deformities in The Brute Man? You damn well better have, since you cultivate such a high moral authority, because we’re all going to hell for that one.

    When I come here, I TRY to be lighthearted, I really do.

    But I really get sick of my fellow Americans every damned election year and I can see this coming cycle will be no different.

    When “mommie Liberty” gives us the keys to the electoral college to justifiably shut that institution down, thereby allowing the total popular vote to declare the winner, then maybe I will believe ANY of this type of bickering even matters!

    But as it is, she won’t, so we can’t, and it doesn’t!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

       8 likes

  24. Johnny's nonchalance says:

    Hitler read Cat Fancy!

       1 likes

  25. jaybird3rd says:

    According to Kicktraq, the campaign brought in just over $64K on Sunday, slightly less than Saturday’s $65.2K, but not bad for a slow weekend. Kicktraq’s latest projection ranges from $5.4M to $10.1M, so a full twelve-episode season is still within grasp, but it will probably depend on the formal announcement of the cast, the Turkey Day marathons, and other surprises I’m sure Joel has in store for us. It seems likely that the campaign will meet its initial fundraising goal within the first week, so all in all, a promising beginning!

       1 likes

  26. Droppo says:

    If every existing backer, ups their pledge by $220 (or $9 per day), we will hit the full 12-episode season goal.

    Based on that math, I’m increasing my pledge by $9 per day so I can know I did my part. Just trying to cut $9 of spending out of each day for the next 26 days!

       0 likes

  27. BathTub says:

    Never use kicktraq for the projections, it just doesn’t work, it’s trying to fit a straight line to a curve.

       2 likes

  28. jaybird3rd says:

    Well. Joel certainly knows how to turn around a sputtering Kickstarter campaign, doesn’t he?

    Early this morning, the campaign was hovering around the $1.82M mark. I knew the total would eventually surpass $2M and reach at least one of the stretch goals, but after this past weekend, I was afraid we’d have to suffer the indignity of watching it slowly accumulate like sedimentary rock, $64K per day, one day at a time, right up until the last day or two. But then, your hero and mine came back with an exquisitely-timed reveal of the new host and a motivating 24-hour challenge, and less than ten hours later, here we are … FULLY FUNDED!!!

    HUZZAH!!!

       4 likes

  29. BathTub says:

    If you thought the campaign was sputtering, you can’t have seen to many Kickstarters. It’s going fine. A very significant portion of your money is pledged on the first and last days.

       1 likes

  30. jaybird3rd says:

    Perhaps “sputtering” was too strong a word. I was just disheartened that the initial dropoff was as steep as it was.

    Looks like today has gone well, too! We’re rapidly closing in on 20,000 backers!

       0 likes

  31. Crow T Robot KJM says:

    Anyone else notice that the new host is pictured on the still frame video for the MST startup wearing the yellow jumpsuit & a name tag that says “Heston”? ?:-)

       0 likes

  32. jaybird3rd says:

    I noticed that, too. I figured it was a reference/tribute to Charlton Heston in “The Omega Man,” which was one of Joel’s early influences in the conception of MST3K.

       0 likes

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