Joel Hodgson Launches Mystery Science Theater 3000 Kickstarter Campaign

16 years ago, Mystery Science Theater 3000 came to an end when Syfy (back when it was still called The Sci-Fi Channel) declined to renew the series. For over a decade, MST3K has been dormant while the show’s veterans went on to form RiffTrax and Cinematic Titanic. Now, MST3K may finally live again!

Series creator Joel Hodgson launched a Mystery Science Theater 3000 Kickstarter campaign on Tuesday morning, and it’s already reached nearly $750,000 of its $2 million goal. The stated ambition of the campaign is to revive MST3K as a new series, with 12 feature length episodes, a new host, a new cast, and an open invitation to writers and actors from the original Mystery Science Theater 3000 to return in some capacity.

Mystery Science Theater 3000 debuted on Minneapolis’ KTMA in 1988 before getting picked up by Comedy Central, where it quickly became a cult comedy classic. The premise of the series featured a host (Hodson for the first four and a half seasons, before Mike Nelson took over). The hapless human victim was forced to watch the worst movies in creation. To save his sanity, Joel and later, Mike, endlessly riffed on the films alongside two robots: Tom Servo and Crow. After Comedy Central passed on continuing the show past its eighth season, The Sci-Fi Channel picked up MST3K for another three seasons.

“We’ve been talking about doing this for five years now, so it’s taken a long long time to get it to happen,” explained Hodgson during an interview with Entertainment Weekly. “The crowdfunding is kind of this big gathering, and not only is it gathering the audience but it’s also gathering together the people who want to get involved.”

“Basically, I’m trying to blend the old with the new,” added 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.”

Given the strong response on the first day of funding, it seems likely that Mystery Science Theater 3000 will finally be back in the near future. The Kickstarter campaign will last until December 11. You can find out more information at BringBackMST3K.com.

Photo Credit: Shout! Factory