mystery science theater 3000 kickstarter

Mystery Science Theater 3000 is an institution. Just about everyone with a passing knowledge of modern comedy is familiar with the image of three silhouettes — one human and two robots — making fun of bad movies. The widely beloved movie-mocking show has left a permanent thumbprint on modern popular culture before it was cancelled in 1999. But now it’s trying to stage a comeback.

Original series creator Joel Hodgson has launched a Kickstarter campaign to resurrect Mystery Science Theater 3000 and he needs your help. Yes, you. The MST3K fan with the disposable income. Do you want another season? Put your money where your mouth is and receive a new batch of episodes. And maybe some additional goods, depending on which tier you choose to back.

Hit the jump for more details on the Mystery Science Theater 3000 Kickstarter.

Fans need to get organized and fast: Hodgson needs $2 million to hit his goal and while backers have been steady all morning, the campaign still has a long way to go. If fans manage to properly rally and pull together enough dough, the number of episodes Hodgson can produce will increase significantly. $2 million will pay for three new MST3K episodes, but $3.3 million will pay for six episodes, $4.4 for nine episodes, and $5.5 for 12 episodes. Those numbers aren’t unheard of on Kickstarter, but reaching them would put them in the upper echelon of crowdfunded film projects.

Mystery Science Theater 3000 originally premiered as a public access show in 1988. It eventually moved to The Comedy Channel (soon to be known as Comedy Central) and later, The Sci-Fi Channel (soon to be known as SyFy). It was cancelled after 11 seasons and 197 episodes, which is a terrific run for such a bizarre show whose every episode was literally the length of a movie.

For those unfamiliar with the series, MST3K told the story of an ordinary man launched into outer space by a mad scientist, who tormented him by making him watch awful B-movies for the rest of eternity. Thankfully, he had two robot buddies on hand to help him make fun of those movies. The bulk of each episode is spent literally watching a terrible film in its entirety while smart-ass characters, visible at the bottom of the screen, drop wisecracks. The vague story was just an excuse to make fun of many truly awful movies.

Hodgson, who originally left the show after its fifth season in 1993, spoke with Entertainment Weekly, where he confirmed that the new episodes will blend the original creative team with fresh faces and names:

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

He also says that the Kickstarter, if successful, will be the start of something bigger. If the show can prove that it has an audience and can sustain itself, the revival could continue indefinitely;

We want to make a show that is sustainable so we can do another 100 episodes. We don’t just want to take a shot at doing six.

The MST3K Kickstarter arrives during a time when old shows are being brought back to life in a regular basis. Veronica Mars got a big screen outing after fans crowdfunded a new movie, and revivals of The X-Files, Twin Peaks, and Gilmore Girls are on the way. Other shows, like Arrested Development and Community, were revived by other entities after their cancellation. In the year 2015, your favorite TV shows are like cats – they have to burn through a few lives before they’re done for good.

So if you’ve spent the past 16 years bemoaning the lack of new MST3K, it’s time to put your money where you mouth is. It’s in your hands now.

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