We’ve (almost) got Movie Sign!

After 15 years off the air, Mystery Science Theater 3000 might finally return to TV (or television’s Internet equivalent). Today, MST3K creator Joel Hodgson launched a Kickstarter called “Bring Back Mystery Science Theater 3000.” It’s asking for $2 million, which create three brand-new episodes for MSTies everywhere. If the Kickstarter receives more money, they’ll make more; $3.3 million donated will result in six new episodes, $4.4 million will generate nine new episodes, and if enough people pony up $5.5 million, Hodgson and company will create a full 12-episode season of MST3K. If you want to see bad movies made fun of by puppets, this is relevant to your interests.

Hodgson initially left Mystery Science Theater in the middle of its fifth season; he was replaced by the show’s head writer, Mike Nelson, who hosted in his place through the rest of its run on Comedy Central and then the Sci-Fi Channel. After the show was cancelled in 1999, Hodgson carried on its movie-riffing tradition with a traveling troupe called Cinematic Titanic; Nelson and several other MST alums formed their own cinemockery operation called Rifftrax, which sells commentary tracks and does live shows of their own (and, by the by, just started selling classic MST3K episodes on their website).

Hodgson told Entertainment Weekly he plans the new MST3K to blend “the old with the new,” and will feature a “completely new cast” including a new host and new voices for Crow and Tom Servo, though he says you can expect the original cast to help “write, produce, and do cameos.”

Cinematic Titanic and Rifftrax are both great, but there’s still nothing quite like the magic of the old Mystery Science Theater 3000, which for a particular type of nerd in the 1990s who loved comedy and old movies (i.e. me) was basically the greatest television show of all time. I can remember vividly the first time I discovered the show (in a dingy motel in Belmar, New Jersey, where I stayed up until 4AM watching Joel and the Bots make fun of Ed Wood’s Bride of the Monster). My freshman year of college, I stayed in every single week to watch the premieres of all the final season episodes. (I was really cool in college!)

Which is a long way of saying that while I don’t donate to many Kickstarters, I will be kicking in a few bucks to this one. (In the time it took me to write this post, the campaign made about $75,000, so it seems like it stands a good chance of reaching at least the first of its goals.) And if you’re wondering where these episodes will premiere or how you’ll see them, just repeat to yourself “it’s just a show, I should really just relax.”

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