Last month, when MST3K creator Joel Hodgson announced a Kickstarter to fund the cult-favorite show’s 13th season, I guaranteed it would get funded and make its third resurrection. But even I didn’t expect this.
When the new MST Kickstarter closed, it had earned more $6.5 million—not only enough to create a full season of 12 episodes, but so far over the $5.5 million target that Hodgson added a 13th episode to the mix—specifically, a holiday episode, to star the newest poor soul forced to watch bad movies, played by Emily Marsh. Even more excitingly for fans, Hodgson will return to the Satellite of Love as Joel Robinson for the first time since 1993, to host two of the episodes himself.
This means this will be the first time a season of Mystery Science Theater 3000 has multiple hosts. Jonah Ray, Hampton Yount (Crow), and Baron Vaughn (Tom Servo) are returning, while Marsh will be joined by Nate Begle as Crow and Conor McGiffen as Servo. Hodgson hasn’t revealed who he’ll be riffing with, but given that J. Elvis Weinstein, the first voice of Tom Servo, is a writer on the show, I suspect he might be picking up the puppet again. If Trace Beaulieu comes back as Crow, it’ll be the perfect reunion, and old-school MST3K fans will likely lose their minds, myself included.
The success of the fundraiser also means the Gizmoplex—the online portal that will host the new episodes, classic episodes, live events, and more—is on the way. One of the season’s 13 episodes will be the show’s first Halloween special, and another will be in 3-D (the classic red-and-blue cardboard glasses kind). Even better, Rifftrax’s Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy, and Bill Corbett, all MST3K alums, will be offering some of their riff, uh, tracks on the platform, as well as performing their own live event.
But the best news, at least for fans like myself, is that I don’t have to go through the heartache of seeing the show get canceled for a fourth time. This time, there’s no network involved, and it’s entirely fan-funded. When I talked to Hodgson a few weeks ago, he wasn’t sure if the show would continue via multiple Kickstarters for new seasons, but the fans have proven the audience for the show is still there, and in fact has never left. As I told him, I will happily keep giving him money in exchange for new episodes.
There’s no announced premiere, but the show is already in production, as Hodgson has announced the first two movies that will be mocked in season 13: the 1993 sci-fi bomb Robot Wars and the 2019 supernatural stinker Demon Squad. If you’d like to contribute to Mystery Science Theater 3000's 13th season, you can still do so here.
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