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Mystery Science Theater 3000 is mounting a comeback on Kickstarter

Mystery Science Theater 3000 is mounting a comeback on Kickstarter

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If you ever saw the oddball, B-movie send-up series Mystery Science Theater 3000, odds are you loved the oddball, B-movie send-up series Mystery Science Theater 3000 — and thanks to Kickstarter more episodes could be on the way. Original series creator Joel Hodgson has launched a campaign to fund a revival of the show, aiming for a funding goal of $2 million for three new episodes. Additional stretch goals add more episodes to the mix, with $5.5 million allowing the team to produce 12 episodes. There's a ton of the usual Kickstarter swag in play — shirts, coffee mugs, and posters — with more generous backers making cameo appearances in the new episodes or receiving one of the robot puppets used in filming.

MST3K, as it came to be known by fans, started in the late 1980s as a cable access show in Minneapolis. Hodgson played a man shot into space by evil corporate overlords, where he was subjected to a series of "experiments" — basically, he was forced to watch really, really terrible movies, where he made a bunch of smart-ass comments alongside several robot companions. It was a bizarre concept, to be sure, but it worked, and Comedy Central (then just The Comedy Channel) picked up the show. MST3K caught fire, with VHS tapes of the show circulating and Comedy Central starting up an annual Thanksgiving marathon for the program. Hodgson ended up leaving several years later, and after some ups and downs — including a movie, cancelation by Comedy Central, and a three-year resuscitation from The Sci-Fi Channel — the show officially ended in 1999.

The core concept itself has lived on, however, with several members of MST3K moving on to similar projects like RiffTrax and Cinematic Titanic (and it should be noted that it's not clear if the comedians that originally played the show's robots will be returning at all). But outside of the Kickstarter episodes themselves, Hodgson states that the goal is to use the Kickstarter as a proof of concept in the hopes of getting a streaming service or cable network to pick up the series to show once again.

As somebody that spent college devouring episodes of Mystery Science Theater 3000, I'm not going to say this is the most important Kickstarter in the history of pop culture, but it's probably top five.