Joel Hodgson Explains Why The New Mystery Science Theater 3000 Needs a New Cast

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When Mystery Science Theater 3000 came to Kickstarter earlier this week with the hopes of bringing a new season of original material to fans, social media exploded with delight...

...and then skepticism.

(We're still waiting for dull surprise.)

A good deal of the skepticism has revolved around the idea that part and parcel of the Kickstarter is the suggestion that there will be a new host (so, neither Hodgson nor Mike Nelson, who replaced him when he left the original TV series would be the main guy), new mad scientists and new puppeteers for Tom Servo and Crow T. Robot.

Hodgson addressed this concern, and a few more, in a new post at the Kickstarter page.

Here's the gist:

Until yesterday, I wasn't even sure this whole Kickstarter idea would work. I've reached out and spoken with some of the old cast and writers, but until I knew how much money we'd have to work with – and when we'd start writing and shooting – there was just no way to make the specific offers that I hope will bring many of them back.

Plus – as many of you know – so far, the old cast haven't been compensated as well as they (or I) might have liked. I wish I could go back and fix that, but if I'm going to ask them to participate in the next season, I want to be certain we can pay them what they deserve this time. As soon as we pass our initial goal of $2,000,000, I'm hoping to start making the invitations official, and I hope some of them will be able to join us before we start working in January.

But there's another thing I should say here:

As much as I love the old seasons, we're not just trying to make an "MST3K reunion episode." Even if we do get our entire old cast and staff to come help out, I think it's important – essential– that we bring in new talent to keep the show fresh, and to help it evolve.

MST3K has joined forces with Shout! Factory, who are already planning for the future.

Mystery Science Theater 3000 is a true cult-classic comedy series that continues to attract fans till this day. This is a momentous acquisition for us. We’ve been pursuing this deal for many years, and we’re thrilled that it’s finally coming to fruition,” said Shout! Factory’s founders in a joint statement. “We see that there’s still tremendous untapped potential for the MST3K brand. We’re looking forward to the next phase of MST3K with Joel.”

There's 27 days remaining on the Kickstarter, and with about $1.8 million already raised, it seems a fait accompli that the show will reach its $2 million goal for at least a few new episodes.