MST3K will come back with a brand-new cast, Kickstarted by 30,000 fans already to the tune of $3.5 million and counting.
Original creator and star of Mystery Science Theater 3000, Joel Hodgson, launched the Kickstarter in November. Hodgson said the money raised so far will fund six new episodes. If the campaign raises $5.5 million by its completion on Dec. 12, the season could double to 12 episodes.
MST3K premiered in 1988 on KTMA in Minneapolis, made it to The Comedy Channel, which begat Comedy Central, went off the air in 1997, was revived by fans and picked up by SyFy for another three season. In all, until now, 11 seasons, 197 episodes, one movie, and two different crews providing the voices. Michael J. Nelson and the second crew roam the country performing live and live via satellite shows as RiffTrax.
Jonah Ray, who hosts The Meltdown with Jonah and Kumail on Comedy Central, co-hosts The Nerdist Podcast, and hosts the upcoming Hidden America series for Seeso, will be the new host, blasted into space to watch bad movies by evil MADs played by Felicia Day and Patton Oswalt. Day will play Kinga Forrester, while Oswalt’s character may be called TV’s Son of TV’s Frank, in a nod to former cast member Frank Conniff. Stand-up comedians Hampton Yount and Baron Vaughn will become the next voices of Crow T. Robot and Tom Servo.
Hodgson said in making the initial announcement about Ray: “I can’t really tell you what kind of host Jonah is going to be, but I hope you’ll give him a chance to show you. And even if you’re familiar with Jonah’s career, remember: that doesn’t mean he’ll bring the same exact approach to MST3K. I think a lot of you may be surprised. Plus, like the previous members of our cast, I think Jonah has great instincts and a lot of range. He’s funny, he’s wicked smart, and like I said, his heart’s in the right place. He loves MST3K, he seems to understand what makes it so special, and most important, I know he takes the role seriously.
Ray told friends and fans on Nov. 16: “Hello from the satellite of love, call me Joike. I can do stupid things. This is an insane thing to happen and I want everybody to know that this show means the world to me and I will do my best for fans of MST3k because more so than anything else, I am one.”
Here’s a clip of Baron Vaughn and Hampton Yount as their MST3K characters auditioning for the upcoming Star Wars movie, The Force Awakens. Roll the clip!