Crowdfunding campaign revives ‘Mystery Science Theater 3000’

WASHINGTON — The Satellite of Love is set to fly again.

After a Kickstarter campaign headed up by creator Joel Hodgson, new episodes of “Mystery Science Theater 3000,” the TV show that made fun of cheesy B-movies, will be produced, most likely next year.

The new episodes will be available for download to supporters of the campaign; the number of new episodes is yet to be determined and depends on how much money comes in to the fundraiser, which ends at 1 a.m. Dec. 12. So far, the campaign has raised enough for nine.

In a video on the Kickstarter page, Hodgson explains — to the movie-theater audience of three that typified the show — that “MST3K” doesn’t have to end there.

The show was canceled after nearly 200 episodes between 1988 and 1999 on Comedy Central and The Sci-Fi Channel, but Hodgson explains, “If we team up with the fans to get this show up and running again, it’ll prove there’s a real audience” for even more new episodes, which might run on cable or an online platform.

The crowdfunding campaign goes to the roots of the show, Hodgson says.

“We could have gone straight to a big network, but instead we started on local TV in Minneapolis, where we had a lot of freedom to figure out the show.”

“Yeah — also, you didn’t know anybody was watching you,” he’s heckled.

So, the big question: Who’s the host — Hodgson or his successor, Mike Nelson? Neither.

Hodgson says the honor will go to Jonah Ray, of the Nerdist podcast. He said that the strict “Team Joel” vs. “Team Mike” delineation was disappointing.

“If ‘MST3K’ hadn’t gotten canceled fifteen years ago, it’s possible we could have had 4 or 5 hosts by now, and it would be just like Doctor Who: even if you had ‘your Doctor,’ you’d still be able to appreciate the different flavors that each new Host or Mad or robot added to the show,”  Hodgson writes on the Kickstarter page.

Donor rewards include T-shirts and old episodes of the show; some of the more deluxe rewards including visits to the set when the new episodes are produced, a chance to get your own inside joke into a script and even the actual Tom Servo and/or Crow puppets used in the new episodes.

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