Mystery Science Theater 3000 announces Kickstarter for new reboot

Last Updated on July 30, 2021

So this is exciting! While I usually like to leave well enough alone, Mystery Science Theater 3000 is one of my most cherished childhood shows, and later one of my favorite shows period (introducing me to great cinema classics such as Space Mutiny, Pumaman, and, of course, Manos: The Hands of Fate). I even loved the Netflix reboot hosted by Jonah Ray, which riffed the amazing Reptilicus, Starcrash, and even Mac & Me

However, unfortunately Netflix cancelled the show after two great seasons…but now it might be coming back, to be funded once again via Kickstarter!

Here's what creator (and original host) Joel Hodgeson had to say about the new project:

Joel Hodgson here. Before we get started, I know it's been a really long, strange, difficult 12 months for a lot of us, so I hope everyone is doing okay and staying safe.

So… where were we?

In the not-too-distant past – about 6 years ago, November 2015 AD – we ran a Kickstarter to BRING BACK MST3K after 15 years in hibernation.

It was a little bit stressful, and a lot of work, but I've gotta tell you… the whole experience went better than we had ever hoped:

  • Thanks to you, our campaign broke a bunch of Kickstarter records.
  • Over 48,000 of you took up the cause… and together, we raised over $6 million.
  • With your help, we got picked up on Netflix and made 20 new episodes!

And you know, you can't ever please everybody, but it seems like most of you were pretty happy with 'em…. and the critics were too:

Also, having those new episodes on Netflix, along with a lot of our "classic" episodes, helped a lot of folks discover Mystery Science Theater for the first time. So, if you weren't there to help #BringBackMST3K… Welcome! We're glad you're here to help  #MakeMoreMST3K.

Thanks to our Kickstarter, we also built up enough momentum to experiment with taking MST3K in new directions, including three live national tours, where we got to meet thousands of you in person!  Also, during our live tours, it became really clear to me that MST3K works best when you can experience it together, with your family and friends, or your fellow MSTies.

Anyway: as you know, nothing good lasts forever.  Sometime in late 2019, during our third live tour, we got word: even though Netflix liked how our new episodes came out, they wouldn't be renewing us for a third new season.

(Sometimes, business is just business, you know? Was it disappointing not to get renewed? Well, sure. But starting now, we want to focus on looking forward, not back. And when you see what we're planning now, I hope you'll agree that this could end up being the best thing for MST3K in the long run.)

Then, the day after we finished the live tour, the whole world shut down for a year. And you know, as terrible as COVID has been, it did mean that I had plenty of time to think about where Mystery Science Theater can go next.

When I thought about it long enough, I realized three important things:

 1. The world isn't done with MST3K yet.

  •  We still want to make more episodes of MST3K.
  • A lot of you still want us to make more MST3K.

2. It's time to try something new.

  • If enough of you want more MST3K, maybe we don't need anyone to renew us.
  • From now on, we want you to decide how long MST3K keeps going.
  • We don't need a network to "let us" make more MST3K. We can make it for you. 
  • When we do, you should be the first ones to see it.

3. We need a better space for sharing MST3K, and watching it together.

  • Without a network, we'll need a home for new MST3K, and…
  • We want it to be easy to enjoy MST3K live with other people, so…
  • We need our own online theater for live screenings and events! 

I'm glad you asked, friend… because that's what this new Kickstarter is all about.

Thanks to all of you, Mystery Science Theater 3000 has come a long way since our first Kickstarter.  Now, if you decide to get involved again, here's what we can do next:

1. MAKE MORE MST3K episodes with a new, sustainable model, that lets you decide how long we should keep going, and lets us bring new episodes directly to you, without depending on a network to distribute or keep renewing us for new seasons.

2. BUILD "THE GIZMOPLEX", our own virtual online theater, where we can host frequent live screenings, premieres, and community events – and you can host MST3K watch parties with friends whenever you want. More on that in a minute. 

Man… you're way ahead of me. 

If you were part of our first Kickstarter, this next part might sound familiar:

If our new Kickstarter can raise at least $2,000,000, we'll be able to make three more new episodes of Mystery Science Theater 3000…but we'll also have enough to build The Gizmoplex.

And then – just like last time – the more we raise, the more we can do! Here's what we'll be able to do at each of our goals, all the way up to our final goal of $5.5 million:

And you know, we don't want to get ahead of ourselves, but if things go well, we've got a lot of other ideas we'd like to add into the mix, including…

  • Riffing our first 3D MOVIE (with special KingaVision 3D Glasses)!
  • Extending the GIZMOPLEX INTO VR (accessible on computer and headsets)!

Now, I know this is already a lot of information, especially if you already watched our video, and I think I've told you most of the really important stuff.

But listen, there are a few more big details we're waiting to share over the next week or two, and I don't want you to miss them. As soon as you make any pledge, you'll start getting our Backer Updates through email, and we'll make sure to keep you posted.

So yeah: if you don't pledge yet, I hope you'll keep checking back to find out more!

And, if you still want more information now, there's a lot more detail below, so keep reading if you want to know more about…

  • Our new Backer Rewards!
  • How The Gizmoplex will work!
  • How The Gizmoplex can make MST3K better! 
  • How we set our funding goals!
  • How we'll spend whatever we raise!

Also, one of the things I like best about Kickstarter is that it's not just a "monologue," but a really great way to have a conversation with all of you who care about the show. So, if there are other things you want to know about, I hope you'll take a look at our FAQ… and if the answer isn't there, I hope you'll ask!

We'll also do our best to read and respond to all of your comments. But just so you know, I'm pretty sure that our first Kickstarter also got more comments than any project that came before it! So, if that happens again, please be patient if it takes us a little while to get to everything. We've got a whole month, and a lot more to tell you!

There's one more thing I need to say before you go, and it's pretty important:

Over the last year, as I was trying to imagine where Mystery Science Theater can go next, I also spent a lot of time thinking about how we got here.

(It's kind of crazy to realize that it's been almost six years since our first Kickstarter, and almost thirty-three years since we first aired on KTMA on Thanksgiving in 1988.)

Anyway, when I look back on everything that's happened, it's really clear that our first Kickstarter was one of the defining moments in Mystery Science history. For our first campaign, we asked you to help us make new episodes, and to prove to "the networks" that there was still an audience for MST3K… and you did!

But together, we've done a lot more than that. Thanks to you, Mystery Science Theater has been able to produce 2 new seasons, 20 new episodes, 6 comic books, 3 live national tours, and 1 record-breaking Kickstarter.

Today, I hope you'll join us again to write MST3K's next chapter: to prove that we can #MakeMoreMST3K without depending on a network to keep us alive, and to #BuildTheGizmoplex, a unique online theater where MST3K can continue to grow.

But – and this is the important part – I also want to be cautious. We're all just crawling out from COVID, and it's been a difficult year. I know that things are more difficult for a lot of people than they were during our first Kickstarter. If you decide to pledge, please: only give what feels comfortable, even if it's just a few bucks. And if you can't afford anything, that's okay too! We'll find other ways for you to stay involved, and to make sure you can still get access to all of our new episodes and Gizmoplex events.

That's all: more than anything, please just take care of yourself… and if you can't help out right now, don't think twice about it. We'll still be here when you're ready.

I guess that's everything, so… we've got 30 days. Let's see how this thing goes.

Cheers & Thanks,


Obviously no release date as of yet (or even where it will be distributed), but we'll definitely keep you updated!

So what do you guys think? Excited for another season of MST3k? If so, what's your favorite movie and/or riff? Either way, sound off below!

Source: Kickstarter

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