To say that Mystery Science Theater 3000 was ahead of its time is an understatement at this point: The philosophy underpinning the series (bad movies are pretty fun if you make a big show of making fun of them while you watch) is basically the philosophy underpinning a huge amount of Twitter and social media, at any rate. It influenced the culture enough that things like Sharknado exist solely to be the sort of movie that MST3K riffed on. As cultural impact goes, you could do worse.
The show’s creator and first star, Joel Hodgson, has kept busy since the series’ end in 1999; in addition to cameos on shows like Arrested Development and Freaks and Geeks, he’s currently starring in Yahoo’s Other Space and doing a voice for Cartoon Network’s Steven Universe–but his passion for making fun of cheesy movies (the worst he can find) has never wavered, leading to a six-year run with other MST3K alums on the touring live show Cinematic Titanic. And now, Hodgson intends to bring the original Mystery Science Theater 3000 concept back to your screen–with your help, via Kickstarter (naturally).
The campaign launched Tuesday morning, and, in a few short hours, reached 10% of its $2 million goal. The rewards for backers range–as per usual–from the ephemeral (digital wallpapers and ringtones, plus access to a livestream, for $25) to the uniquely tangible ($15,000 gets you both an original Crow T. Robot and Tom Servo puppet used in an actual episode of the new series). And fans who miss the series not just for the “making fun of movies” thing it was famous for, but also the weird, overarching narrative involving Hodgson being sent into space to watch these movies at the hands of a mad scientist, and building robot buddies to make fun of the movies with him, should be excited at the prospect. There are plenty of ways to make fun of bad movies these days, but only one that involved a janitor at Gizmonic Institute having his mind monitored as a malevolent science experiment.