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Goodbye Sci-Fi

Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy and Bill Corbett reflect on MST3K's final broadcast.

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Jonah Ray Tapped to Be Next Host

JonahIn an update to his backers, Joel has revealed that – if the Kickstarter to #BringBackMST3K succeeds – he plans to invite Jonah Ray, comedian and co-host of the Nerdist podcast, to become the next host of “Mystery Science Theater 3000.”

Hodgson writes:

I can’t really tell you what kind of host Jonah is going to be, but I hope you’ll give him a chance to show you. And even if you’re familiar with Jonah’s career, remember: that doesn’t mean he’ll bring the same exact approach to MST3K. I think a lot of you may be surprised. Plus, like the previous members of our cast, I think Jonah has great instincts and a lot of range. He’s funny, he’s wicked smart, and like I said, his heart’s in the right place. He loves MST3K, he seems to understand what makes it so special, and most important, I know he takes the role seriously.

At the end of the day, he’s just another regular guy in a yellow jumpsuit – not so different from you and me. I’m excited to see what he can bring to the next hundred episodes of “Mystery Science Theater,” until it’s time to hand his jumpsuit over to someone else.

178 Replies to “Jonah Ray Tapped to Be Next Host”

  1. tref says:

    & I suspect that is exactly why people have been offering up their hard earned money to Kickstarter. To not get what they expected.

       4 likes

  2. Tarantulas says:

    People balking at this announcement forget that the show survived a host change, multiple changes of support cast, a change of network, and two cancellations….

    If you think Jonah Ray is going to kill MST3K, you’re putting a lot of stock in Jonah Ray’s ability to kill a franchise, and must not know anything about what the show has been through over the years. :

    Congratulations, Jonah!

       19 likes

  3. Goshzilla says:

    Yellow jumpsuit?! Well, forget it then. I take back my pledge. Worst. Recast. Ever.

    tref:
    & I suspect that is exactly why people have been offering up their hard earned money to Kickstarter. To not get what they expected.

    Which part of “entirely new cast” did you find misleading?

       23 likes

  4. dakotaboy says:

    Joel Hodgson and Jim Mallon co-founded the show to begin with. Both are involved in the reboot. I trust their vision for the future of this show. It may not be exactly what me, or you, or anyone else expects, but they have made a wise decision in letting the show grow and change over time. Trying to exactly replicate the past would have been a mistake.

       3 likes

  5. inturnaround says:

    Jim Mallon is not involved in the new version of the show as far as anyone has said. This is Joel’s project.

       4 likes

  6. Tarantulas says:

    inturnaround: Jim Mallon is not involved in the new version of the show as far as anyone has said. This is Joel’s project.

    Technically, it’s Shout! Factory’s project since they recently bought all the intellectual property associated with MST3K from BBI (who is now called “Consolidated Puppets Incorporated”).

       2 likes

  7. John Seavey says:

    My view is that I’d never heard of Joel before MST3K, I’d never heard of Mike before MST3K, and both of those guys did a great job. I’m willing to see what another guy I’ve never heard of can do as the host.

       34 likes

  8. A.J. (A Jerk) says:

    That guy stinks.

       6 likes

  9. Chuck says:

    *singing*

    All we are saying
    Is give Joel a chance!

    *bows, acknowledging lit lighters held over everyone’s heads*

       7 likes

  10. dakotaboy says:

    I stand corrected. Jim is not involved. Even so, I trust what Joel is doing with the show. This is his baby, so to speak, he wouldn’t mess it up.

       3 likes

  11. MSTJon says:

    I like Jonah, his personality does seem like a natural fit for the show. I’d heard leaked memos had named Idris Elba so this comes out of left field for me. And, stupid as it is, I like having a different color jumpsuit. Makes it easier to tell the hosts apart when talking to the unwashed masses.

    Any hint of the Mad yet? I’d be guessing Janet Varney, but Maria Bamford already has a connection and would make an interesting choice. I hope Joel is wise enough to keep steadily tricking information all the way to the bank. We’re ready for it!

       7 likes

  12. Brandon says:

    Oh, lord. All I want now is Maria Bamford as the next Mad. I want this to happen.

       7 likes

  13. Quasimoto says:

    Yes but how good does he look standing next to puppets!

       1 likes

  14. AwfGooMov says:

    Actually, Entertainment Weekly says it’s Felicia Day who’s been tapped to play the Mad.

       7 likes

  15. Quasimoto says:

    AwfGooMov:
    Actually, Entertainment Weekly says it’s Felicia Day who’s been tapped to play the Mad.

    I was hoping Milana Vayntrub from “Other Space” would be the mad. :-(

       4 likes

  16. Jake says:

    I HATE JOEL’S NEW VOICE!!!

    Just kidding. I wanted to beat everyone else to the punch. I wish Jonah nothing but the best. I think he’ll do an amazing job. :)

       13 likes

  17. Droppo says:

    I’m really excited about the choice. I like Jonah and love the fact that he’s such a die-hard MSTie. Plus, the tone of all the Kickstarter videos has been perfect.

       4 likes

  18. Captain Cab says:

    And we have Host Sign! Cool to see this confirmed, I’ll need to familiarize myself with Jonah more but I swear I have listened to him before somewhere, not standup so must have been a random Nerdist podcast I heard ages ago.

    dakotaboy:
    Joel Hodgson and Jim Mallon co-founded the show to begin with. Both are involved in the reboot.

    Do you have a source you can post here stating that Jim Mallon is working on the reboot with Joel? Otherwise this is 100% incorrect as Shout bought all intellectual property rights (which included Jim’s rights) to MST3K which basically had to be done in order to even make rebooting the show a possibility since it’s widely known neither Joel nor any former member of the cast would ever want to work with Jim again in an environment where he has any kind of creative control or tangible influence.

       0 likes

  19. Dan in WI says:

    Tarantulas:
    People balking at this announcement forget that the show survived a host change, multiple changes of support cast, a change of network, and two cancellations….

    You hear this argument thrown around a lot. But here’s the thing: The show never had a complete turn-over of on screen talent all at once. (If you can call the 1999 to 2016 gap between episodes “at once.”) Now I’m not jumping into the automatic haters club. I’m just saying this is not the same as when the original show had the entire on-screen roster gradually change over an eight year period. This is more jarring.

       11 likes

  20. Green Switch says:

    A quick razor-sharp wit, a knowledge of pop culture, a great comedic delivery, a deep appreciation and understanding of the show, and someone who gets along with (and gets high praise from) Joel himself?

    Excellent choice! MST3K’s future looks very bright!

       6 likes

  21. Josh says:

    Called it! I’ve been saying for years that if we were ever in a world crazy enough to revive MST3k that Jonah Ray should be the host.

    For those not familiar with him, he has a quirky, riff-oriented style of comedy. He’s also very much a DIY guy, like Joel. He’s self-published his own comedy albums (all of which are named after MST3k riffs), and has even started his own indie record label (Literally Figurative Records) that specializes in split 7″ vinyls pairing stand-up comedy with punk music. For those worried about the “tone” he presents in his comedy sometimes, he’s shown on many episodes of The Nerdist Podcast that he can be less “adult” depending on the guest.

    In case you can’t tell, I’m excited.

       5 likes

  22. MSTie says:

    Although not familiar with him, what little I’ve found out in the last day makes me say, “Works for me!”

    Let’s face it, what I REALLY want is for it to be the mid-1990s again. Literally. I’d be 20 years younger and less wrinkled and gray-haired, my kids would be little and think me & their Dad are awesome, and people wouldn’t be attached to cell phones 24/7. But it ain’t happening. I used to think I’d want Joel back as host, but seeing “Other Space” made me change my mind. Don’t get me wrong — he was good in that, and very funny, but how dare he age? When I see how he and others have aged, I feel like Norma Desmond in “Sunset Strip.” Except I am not ready for a closeup.

    So bring on Jonah!

       8 likes

  23. dub city says:

    That video makes me happy. I’m glad the style of humor is staying true to mst3k. I think Joel is the reason for that. I don’t listen to the Nerdist, and I really don’t care for the overly snarky and self-satisfied internet humor that currently pervades, but I’m optimistic that Joel and this new cast will stay true to the original series and be lighthearted more often than not.

       3 likes

  24. SoCalChevy says:

    A.J. (A Jerk):
    not related to mr. jonah “nerdist” ray but:

    http://flavorwire.com/547225/somethings-not-right-about-the-new-crowdfunded-mystery-science-theater-3000

    Did anyone else see the article on the side about Jason Momoa being in some Western, and think that he looks like Torgo?

       0 likes

  25. Christopher says:

    Yeah, EW scooped these updates… Felicia Day is the Mad. Baron Vaughn & Hampton Yount are apparently the Bots. (I’m sure people will be happy to see some diversity in the ranks & it will be become a topic of discussion.)

       3 likes

  26. Mr Sack says:

    Also the incentive to reach $2 million by tomorrow: 3 free episodes of Classic MST3K!

       1 likes

  27. skierpete says:

    OK – I’ll say it before anyone else does…”I HATE JOIKE’S NEW VOICE!!!”

    Whatever, I’m up for it. I guess we’re back to writing J&tB.

       4 likes

  28. Quasimoto says:

    A.J. (A Jerk):
    not related to mr. jonah “nerdist” ray but:

    http://flavorwire.com/547225/somethings-not-right-about-the-new-crowdfunded-mystery-science-theater-3000

    … and many of his objections were answered by Joel here: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/mst3k/bringbackmst3k/posts/1413188 Now with color coded charts and everything!

       1 likes

  29. Mr Sack says:

    skierpete:
    OK – I’ll say it before anyone else does…”I HATE JOIKE’S NEW VOICE!!!”

    Whatever, I’m up for it. I guess we’re back to writing J&tB.

    Which means after he leaves, they’ll do “M&tB” again…and since my name starts with M… :laugh:

       1 likes

  30. cvbwe says:

    Yellow?

       1 likes

  31. John Seavey says:

    A.J. (A Jerk):
    not related to mr. jonah “nerdist” ray but:

    http://flavorwire.com/547225/somethings-not-right-about-the-new-crowdfunded-mystery-science-theater-3000

    Every concern raised in this article was addressed in the first Kickstarter update. Joel even did pie charts!

    Back to more exciting and happy stuff…Felicia Day?! Seriously? Like, THE Felicia Day?! Like, as in ‘Dollhouse’ ‘The Guild’ ‘Buffy’ ‘Doctor Horrible’ Felicia Day, that Felicia Day?!

    My day. It is now made.

       2 likes

  32. Captain Cab says:

    A.J. (A Jerk):
    not related to mr. jonah “nerdist” ray but:

    http://flavorwire.com/547225/somethings-not-right-about-the-new-crowdfunded-mystery-science-theater-3000

    That article is from 11/12, weren’t most of the concerns with cost in the article basically addressed by Joel’s answers that he gave in his “5 Burning Questions” update? Although I do agree with one point the article made regarding that Joel can insist all he wants that everyone is invited back for occassional cameos and writing, but when almost everyone is saying they’re not returning (with Trace even emphatically saying “Sorry. That’s not happening” in his case)…well, as Jerry once said to George…”That’s a pretty big Matzah ball hangin’ out there.”

       1 likes

  33. Jason says:

    Dan in WI: You hear this argument thrown around a lot. But here’s the thing: The show never had a complete turn-over of on screen talent all at once.

    We’ve never had a decade and a half long hiatus before either.

    What happened in the transition to the Sci-Fi era was probably dramatic enough to qualify as a “soft reboot” – and that was in the space of less than a year. In that light, a full cast refresh in 16 years really doesn’t feel beyond the pale.

       5 likes

  34. WeatherServo9 says:

    I wanna stop talking about it and start seeing it! And motorcycles.

       6 likes

  35. Mark Honhorst says:

    I wonder what kind of sidekick the new Mad will have.

       0 likes

  36. gorto says:

    I have to do some research on Mr. Ray, not familiar with his presentation… but all I’d ever desire is for the host to be weird, like Joel. That’s what made MST3k stand out from rifftrax and cinematic titanic. Also, make use of more obscure, smarty pants writing; less emphasis on contemporary pop-culture.

    Can this be done? It would be much obliged.

       0 likes

  37. Th1rt3eN says:

    Damn it! this is gonna suck, couldn’t Joel get someone funny or talented not just some jerk from you tube, trust me I’m a jerk from you tube and it takes one to know one. I’m glad you all seem to be happy about this casting choice. I so wanted to be wrong about this, whatever I refuse to refer to this project as MST3K. I shall just call it “Disappointment” instead.

       5 likes

  38. EricJ says:

    Tarantulas: If you think Jonah Ray is going to kill MST3K, you’re putting a lot of stock in Jonah Ray’s ability to kill a franchise, and must not know anything about what the show has been through over the years. :

    Siskel & Ebert had been though a lot in thirty years, and replacement Ben Lyons killed it almost overnight. It can happen.
    (You could look at ANY S&E replacement to see a veritable House of Horrors for “replacement hosts”.)

    As for Jonah, he was born out of our current satire-impaired generation that thinks Random Is Funny and Epic Fails on YouTube Are Immortality, but his instincts seem to rebel at it and he wants to put something funnier and wittier on top of it when other Millennial comics make jackasses of themselves:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ki-Uzim4k2c
    That’s near enough to the Joel Spirit for us to trust Hodgson’s judgment (which didn’t quite work out for judging standup comics the last time…) We won’t know which denomination of Riffing Ray belongs to until he actually sits down and riffs a movie, but at least we can breathe easy for the moment that he isn’t Ben Lyons.

       0 likes

  39. John Seavey says:

    Th1rt3eN:
    Damn it! this is gonna suck, couldn’t Joel get someone funny or talented not just some jerk from you tube, trust me I’m a jerk from you tube and it takes one to know one. I’m glad you all seem to be happy about this casting choice. I so wanted to be wrong about this, whatever I refuse to refer to this project as MST3K. I shall just call it “Disappointment” instead.

    I think I speak for all of us when I say, “Just repeat to yourself, ‘It’s just a show, I should really just relax.'”

       8 likes

  40. Captain Cab says:

    gorto:
    I have to do some research on Mr. Ray, not familiar with his presentation…but all I’d ever desire is for the host to be weird, like Joel.That’s what made MST3k stand out from rifftrax and cinematic titanic.Also, make use of more obscure, smarty pants writing; less emphasis on contemporary pop-culture.

    Can this be done?It would be mush obliged.

    Joel has said before that his take on riffing the movies was that he didn’t want you to actively *hate* them, but to feel more like you’re on a ride with Joel and the ‘bots as they take you on a weird “tour” of the movie, I’m sure that same fun, laid back mentality will carry over to the reboot.

       3 likes

  41. Mark Honhorst says:

    Looks like the nametag says “Heston”. Charlton Heston made his fair share of post apocalyptic sci fi movies, so (I’m just going way out on a limb here) maybe the new series will take place after the apocalypse?

       0 likes

  42. Ralph C says:

    I can’t say if he will be good or bad until episodes are completed and I get to watch them. Too practical a stance, huh?

       13 likes

  43. H says:

    cvbwe:
    Yellow?

    My thoughts exactly. What shade of yellow would we call that- mustard, dandelion, dare I say saffron?

    Jonah’s pretty good, so is Felicia. Be interested to see how this all pans out.

       0 likes

  44. For some reason i kept thinking, “Isn’t he the voice of Olaf from ‘Frozen’?” Nope, I’m thinking of someone else.

    One thing of note is I think he’s done a lot of work related to Comedy Central. I have a strong feeling now that he’ll be associated with MST3K he just earned himself a ‘banishment card’.

    We’ll see how it works out. If Joel thinks he’ll be a good host, that’s good enough for me. Joel did approve of Mike Nelson after all.

       1 likes

  45. H says:

    Brandon Pierce:
    For some reason i kept thinking, “Isn’t he the voice of Olaf from ‘Frozen’?” Nope, I’m thinking of someone else.

    Nope, that’s Josh Gad.

       1 likes

  46. JeremyR says:

    At least now I won’t feel guilty for not backing.

    It seems like there’s a shift in the tone of the show. Rather than aiming to be a funny show that nerds might like, they are trying to cater to internet hipster nerds by going with internet “celebrities” like him and Felicia Day.

    At least it’s not Wil Wheaton.

       8 likes

  47. GornCaptain says:

    A.J. (A Jerk):
    not related to mr. jonah “nerdist” ray but:

    http://flavorwire.com/547225/somethings-not-right-about-the-new-crowdfunded-mystery-science-theater-3000

    I guess someone had to be the wet blanket in all of this. He blew his whole argument the moment he made the comparison to the New Monkees. ;-)

       4 likes

  48. GornCaptain says:

    Brandon Pierce:
    For some reason i kept thinking, “Isn’t he the voice of Olaf from ‘Frozen’?” Nope, I’m thinking of someone else.

    One thing of note is I think he’s done a lot of work related to Comedy Central. I have a strong feeling now that he’ll be associated with MST3K he just earned himself a ‘banishment card’.

    We’ll see how it works out. If Joel thinks he’ll be a good host, that’s good enough for me. Joel did approve of Mike Nelson after all.

    Aren’t you forgetting Mike, Kevin, and Bill did After Midnight several months ago? And Shout was able to include Turkey Day promos with the Comedy Central logo intact?

    I think that rusty old hatchet has finally been buried.

       3 likes

  49. monsterzero says:

    Gizmonics is back!? :-D That is awesome! Wonder what Jonah’s job is.

    I suspect it’ll take 20+ episodes to get into the groove. Going to be rough going for the first few episodes.

    Takes years to find your footing. Took Kevin awhile….Bill was pretty quick, but not 3 episodes quick! I hope Joel is running them through a bunch of old MST scripts(in front of a camera).

       0 likes

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