THIS IS HAPPENING: Kickstarter Campaign Approaching Full Funding any minute now.
Oh, we have Giddy Sign. With the annual MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000 Thanksgiving Day Marathon upon us once more, we who believe in the Satellite of Love are within striking distance of crowd-funding a brand-new season about a decade and a half after its final cancellation.
Thing back to a time little more than a year ago. The prospect of brand-new episodes of MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000 was a pipe dream that seemed as imminent in coming true as a FINAL FANTASY VII remake, Guns N’ Roses reunion, or Fallout 4 hitting shelves before we could ring in 2016.
Yeah, about that….
It made sense at the time, sure, given that creator and original host Joel Hodgson had recently retired traveling live movie-riffing troupe Cinematic Titanic and successor Mike J. Nelson was still going strong alongside MST3K castmates Kevin Murphy (puppeteer and voice of gumball-machine robot Tom Servo) and Bill Corbett (the second voice and puppeteer of Crow T. Robot) with the madly successful live and download-distributed movie-mocking experience Rifftrax.
The Satellite of Love still orbited our memories, but thanks to bonkers copyright fees, it appeared memories were all we’d ever have.
That was before this week.
On Nov. 10, Hodgson took to the official MST3K website and the show’s legions of fans to achieve what neither Comedy Central nor The Sci-Fi Channel (now, SyFy) could: fund at least one more brand-new slate of episodes of a space castaway and his robot pals subjected to watching and mocking the very worst Z-grade cinema ever made. A full 27 years after the show’s Thanksgiving Day 1988 debut on local Minneapolis station KTMA – which at least one of our staffers who grew up there at the time actually remembers – and almost 16 years after its 199 cancellation from Sci-Fi, Hodgson asked fans to raise $2 million to produce three brand-new episodes to shop around to networks.
“In less than two years, I’ve watched fans use crowdfunding to bring back Veronica Mars, Reading Rainbow and Super Troopers – all cult favorites, like us – and it made me wonder how MSTies would respond if we had the chance to return,” Hodgson said in the introduction to the Greatest Kickstarter Campaign Ever Conceived. “Now we’re going to find out…and then maybe LeVar Burton can finally stop acting like he’s so much better than us.”
With a little help from friends at nostalgic media-purveyors Shout! Factory, Hodgson has been able to tidy up some ugly rights issues that previously tied his hands from chasing this dream sooner. He just needed $2 million for the first three episodes and an additional $1.1 million for every three episodes after. For the time being, though, he was only asking for enough to make three more.
As of the morning of Nov. 12, with 29 days to go until the Dec. 11 deadline, 12,146 backers have raised an unimaginable $1,375,748 toward the revival in about 48 hours. Naturally, this comes after both the announcement that Slash and Axl Rose have reconciled and that Square Enix would indeed deliver the long-sought return of Cloud and Friends to Nibelheim on current-gen consoles and with the mushroom cloud of FALLOUT 4’s official release still rising on the horizon.
“If we can raise even more than that, I’d love to shoot some (or all) of the new season LIVE in front of an audience – and maybe even stream the show live on the internet!” Hodgson wrote. “Finally, if we raise $1 BILLION – stay with me on this one – we’re going to adopt a real live teenage boy and ‘Truman Show’ him into believing he is the Pumaman!”
We might never get back FIREFLY. But we have the power to #BringBackMST3K for a new generation of avid riffers. Hit up the Kickstarter campaign today to check out Joel’s sweet perks ranging from the crew’s genuine expressions of gratitude, exclusive production updates and very-first-look access to the new episodes to, for a pledge of $10,000 (2 still available, as of this writing), being named an official executive producer of MST3K’s new season.
(NOTE, REGARDING THE “$10,000” EXECUTIVE PRODUCER PERK: This is no fault of Joel’s, but as a consequence of Kickstarter’s rules capping collected individual donations at $10,000, there’s a catch. The full details of the perk actually cost a whopping $25,000. As the terms state, Joel will contact donors personally to make arrangements for the remaining $15,000 after the campaign concludes.)