Mystery Science Theater 3000: Joel Hodgson Launches Kickstarter Campaign to Revive Sci-Fi Series

It’s time to dust off the old Satellite of Love: Mystery Science Theater 3000 is staging a comeback in the not-so-distant future.

A Kickstarter campaign was launched on Tuesday by the series’ creator and original star Joel Hodgson to revive the beloved cult program, which ran a combined total of 11 seasons and 197 episodes on a local Minneapolis television station before finding life on basic cable networks Comedy Central and Syfy. A feature-length film was also released in 1996.

Though the initial goal of $2 million would be enough for Hodgson to produce three full-length episodes, reaching $5.5 million would allow for the creation of a complete 12-episode season. (As of Wednesday, the campaign has already reached over $935,000.)

As you might remember, MST3K was sort of like the original How Did This Get Made?, except with a scripted, science-fiction twist: Janitor Joel Robinson (Hodgson) — and later Mike Nelson — were launched into Space and forced to watch enough poorly-made cinema to determine how much consumption it would take to drive people crazy in Dr. Clayton Forrester’s scheme for world domination.

Thankfully, in this new age of unlimited streaming options, finding a dozen B-level movies should not prove difficult.

While no online or cable network has agreed to air the revival should the campaign reach its goal, select episodes from its original 1988-1999 run are available on Hulu.

Excited about the prospect of more MST3K? Excited enough to make a donation? Sound off below.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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16 Comments
  1. Nicole Pelletier says:

    Saw this last night and it bugs me.

    I am a huge MST3K fan. What bugs me is this:

    1) Joel left the show about halfway through

    2) He was not the only creator – it was a collaborative effort

    3) Riff Traxx – the other guys from MST3K launched Riff Traxx years ago and it is AWESOME and maintains the tone of the show Just Fine and they did it without crowdfunding.

    • jmble says:

      Joel is in fact the creator of MST3k. It was his concept. He certainly had people help him in achieving his creation, and yes, there are certainly others who were involved in turning his original concept into what we know it as now. But it is correct to call Joel the creator of MST3k.

      • TiredofTripe says:

        MST3K was created by both Joel Hodgson and Jim Mallon.

        Mr./Ms. Jmble, try to use Google.

        Or check mst3kinfo.com

        • jmble says:

          http://www.wired.com/2014/04/mst3k-oral-history/

          I said it was Joel’s concept. That’s all I said. Joel and Mallon both say that right here.

        • jmble says:

          Read the wired MST3k oral history. Mallon himself credits Joel and Joel discusses coming up with the concept. Hodgson casted himself and came up with the idea to do the show in space. I didn’t say nobody else helped him bring the show to life.

          • TiredofTripe says:

            Okay. I’ll read the “Wired” article.

            Sorry about my tone before. It’s already been a long day.

            Are you a fan of either Cinematic Titanic and/or Rifftrax?

          • jmble says:

            Sorry for the seemingly double post. My first comment didn’t post at first and I thought it was because of the link. But yes, Tired. I love both CT and Rifftrax. Rifftrax’s Live presentation of “The Room” is one of the best theater experiences I’ve had in my life! Great stuff. (It wouldn’t let me reply to you below. Not sure why)

    • Lavendare says:

      It’s Rifftrax. It consists on Michael J. Nelson, Kevin Murphy, and Bill Corbett.

      They riff on blockbusters, B-movies, and film shorts.

      MST3K alums Mary Jo Pehl and Bridget (Jones) Nelson are also occasionally involved.

      Go to the Rifftrax website, Hulu, and/or iTunes for further info.

  2. Et al. says:

    As long as Mike isn’t involved, I’ll happily chip in.

    • Lavendare says:

      Boo!

      You do realize that Mike was the head writer for MST3K from Seasons 2-10?

      Many of the jokes you laughed at were his.

  3. Win says:

    Haha! Thanks for posting about this here. I love MST3K!

  4. Twokeets says:

    Loved Joel as host. Didn’t care for the other guy as host.

  5. Angela says:

    If they can make their goal, I’d definitely check out the revival :). I loved this show as a kid, it’d be nice to see it return.

  6. Brian Seiler says:

    This seems…weird at best, given that Rifftrax literally JUST started releasing MST3K episodes every Monday with new introductions. At first, I figured it would just be the SciFi seasons, but the latest one was Mitchell, which most definitely had Joel and Trace and Frank and so on.

  7. John says:

    Seems like a natural idea these days.
    Plenty of on-line funding sources and plenty of networks/distributors.

    But what’s today’s “Teachable Moment”?
    In show business, NEVER leave a good thing too early. Now he has to compete with Rifftrax.