Mystery Science Theater 3000 has long story. The show, about a bunch of goofballs who are trapped on a spaceship where they have to make fun of old movies, started airing way back in 1988 on a local Minnesota station called KTMA. From there, they jumped to Comedy Central, then the Sci-Fi Channel, then took the show on the road, then were revived by Netflix, and finally crowd-funding their own 13th season to quite a lot of success. The fundraiser for season 13 raised $6.5 million, and now it’s time to do it again.
The team, including original series creator Joel Hodgson, is raising money for a fourteenth season of Mystery Science Theater 3000, which makes its new home at the Gizmoplex, where Hodgson and company can be free from corporate demands; for instance, Hodgson has said that Netflix required them to make all their new episodes at once, which didn’t work for the format of the show and let to creative burnout. The cast and crew from the Netflix era has returned for this Gizmoplex era, led by comedian Jonah Ray. MST3K has had a few cast turnovers in its time, so this is nothing new. It’s truly the Doctor Who of people laughing at bad movies.
Mystery Science Theater 3000 will return for season 14, with your help
The team is now crowdfunding season 14 over at Showmaker, its in-house fundraising platform. And they’ve set up some clear benchmarks:
- If they raise $4.8 million, they can make six new episodes, six shorts, and 18 “surgically enhanced” classic episodes, meaning they’ll take old episodes of the show and bump them up to 1080p HD.
- If they raise $6.1 million, they can make nine episodes, nine shorts, and 27 surgically enhanced classic episodes.
- If they raise $7.4 million, we’ll get 12 episodes, 12 shorts, and 36 revamped classics.
It’s heartening to see them doing all of this themselves. “I’m thrilled that next year, MST3K turns thirty-five,” Hodgson said in a statement. “Someone recently asked me if I ever imagined the show would be around for thirty-five years when I created it, and I had to pause and say, ‘No. I didn’t.’ Our status as a long-running comedy series with robot puppets riffing on B-movies was ridiculous when it started, and now, thirty-five years later, it borders on ludicrous. That being said, in all seriousness, the enduring success of the show is a tribute to the collaboration between our many talented writers, performers, and craftspeople, and our generous, loyal audience.”
As of this writing, the fundraising page has been up for several hours and raised over $800k. You can donate here.
h/t The A.V. Club