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You did it: you brought back MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000! Thanks to you, MST3K shot FOURTEEN NEW EPISODES in 2016, including a new holiday special, and returned in 2017 on Netflix!
You did it: you brought back MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000! Thanks to you, MST3K shot FOURTEEN NEW EPISODES in 2016, including a new holiday special, and returned in 2017 on Netflix!
48,270 backers pledged $5,764,229 to help bring this project to life.

The Next Host of MST3K. Plus: a 24-Hour CHALLENGE!

Posted by Joel Hodgson (Creator)

Good morning, MST3K Revival Leaguers.

How was your weekend?

I hope it was less hectic than mine. I'm doing my best to keep up with all of this, but my life is usually a bit more, I don’t know… serene? But we gotta "make hay while the sun shines,” so we'll plow on. (See what I did there?)

We've got 25 days left in our Kickstarter, and I've still got so many surprises planned. In fact, I think I might send another update later this afternoon, giving you that sneak peek at the new artwork I promised.

So maybe this is, like... your breakfast update?

  • IMPORTANT: Just 24 HOURS LEFT to reach $2M during our first week! 
  • BONUS OFFER: Free episode downloads if we get there in time! 
  • REMINDER: on Kickstarter, you always PLEDGE NOW but PAY LATER! 
  • PLUS, BIG NEWS: Joel reveals his choice for MST3K's next host!

Can we reach the first $2MM before 11am tomorrow?

Our Kickstarter launched last Tuesday at 10:30am PST. That means that with just 24 hours left in our first week, we're 91% of the way to our first goal. 

That's pretty amazing, huh?

But if we want to shoot a full 12 episodes – and prove that the world is ready for more MST3K – we need to send a message… and that message will be even louder if we can raise the first $2MM in under a week.

That's why, if you're on the fence, today is the day to jump down onto the "Yes, I Want More MST3K" side. We're depending on the support of fans like you. 

Yeah, I know. I sound like PBS. But hey, maybe this will help:

1. If we reach $2M in the next 24 hours, we'll add in a free bonus reward – downloads of three classic episodes – for all pledges at $35 and up!

That's right, friends! If we can raise the first $2,000,000 by tomorrow at 10:30 AM ET, we'll UPGRADE THE REWARDS for all pledges at $35 and above to include a downloadable "Thank You" collection of three classic episodes. I'll hand-pick them, just for you! 

Just think: that's an extra $30 VALUE for FREE: 270 classic minutes of MST3K… and that's if you only watch each episode once!

If you're at a lower level, TODAY is a great time to INCREASE YOUR PLEDGE TO $35 or higher. 

Plus, when you do, you'll be helping us reach our first goal and unlock the bonus downloads! Everyone wins, huh?

2. On Kickstarter, you actually PLEDGE NOW but PAY LATER!

One thing a lot of people don't realize about Kickstarter is that you're not paying when you make your pledge… you're just pledging to pay later! So if you've been waiting until you can save a little more, but are already planning to pledge later in the month, please consider pledging today.

No matter when you pledge, your credit card won't be charged until the Kickstarter ends on December 11th… so there's no need to wait!

If you think you'll be able to swing it, and want to make (or increase) your pledge now, that would be great. (Just be careful. I have a feeling this is how this is how America's debt crisis began.)

Now, let's get to the worst-kept secret elephant in the room.

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Don't worry, Joike. You get used to it after a while.

Like I said in the video, the same disclaimer still applies here: until we reach $2MM and know we'll be able to #BringBackMST3K, I can't make any formal offers to actors or writers – not the old team, and not the new team. But if everything works out, here's my plan:

I'm hoping Jonah Ray will suit up as "Jonah Heston," the next host of Mystery Science Theater 3000.

If you listen to the Nerdist podcast, maybe you already know about Jonah. He's one of the co-hosts, along with Chris Hardwick and Matt Mira.

I probably met Jonah about three years ago, when I did the podcast and we talked about MST3K. It was a fun gig, and two things were really clear: I liked all three of those guys very much, and they all seemed to really love MST3K. They knew all about it, which always makes interviews easier. We had a great time and I left with a really good impression of Jonah.

Later that night, I went out with my buddy Rob Schrab to see our friend Dan Harmon record his wonderful podcast, Harmontown, in the backroom at Meltdown Comics. Jonah came along, and I found out that I liked the guy in real life too. He was a good hang.

In a move that may have been the most instinctual thing I've ever done, I asked Jonah to come help me write jokes for an awards show gig. He did, we started working on jokes together, and it just clicked: He was just incredibly funny and easy to write with – there was flow, really – and who can ask for anything more? I guess I also just felt like his heart was in the right place, and I could see how much he loved and understood MST3K. I think that's when I started thinking about inviting him to be the next host on MST3K, if we ever got to come back.

About a year after that, I asked him what he thought about it. He said "yes" right away, without a second of hesitancy, and we've been talking about it ever since.

Since this is the internet, I guess some people will hear this news and rush to declare – for better and for worse – "what this means for the future of MST3K." (In fact, since a lot of people guessed that it was Jonah's voice in our first video, that's already happening!)

I can't really tell you what kind of host Jonah is going to be, but I hope you'll give him a chance to show you. And even if you're familiar with Jonah's career, remember: that doesn't mean he'll bring the same exact approach to MST3K. I think a lot of you may be surprised. Plus, like the previous members of our cast, I think Jonah has great instincts and a lot of range. He's funny, he's wicked smart, and like I said, his heart's in the right place. He loves MST3K, he seems to understand what makes it so special, and most important, I know he takes the role seriously.

At the end of the day, he's just another regular guy in a yellow jumpsuit – not so different from you and me. I'm excited to see what he can bring to the next hundred episodes of Mystery Science Theater, until it's time to hand the jumpsuit over to someone else.

Okay, now that that's done, I'm going to go work on the next update for you, where I'll give you a first look at what we're planning for the OFFICIAL CAMPAIGN POSTER and the COLLECTIBLE POSTCARD rewards. 

And remember... if we reach $2MM by 10:30am ET tomorrow, all pledges at $35 and up will get a FREE BONUS REWARD: three classic episode downloads, yours to keep. If you've been waiting to increase your pledge, today's the day!

I'll be back this afternoon, but until then…

Keep Circulating The URL!

Cheers and Thanks,


Tom Servo, internet guru. While you're finishing your second pumpkin latte, help make sure we reach $2MM by tomorrow morning and unlock those BONUS EPISODE DOWNLOADS.

Just copy one of these messages to Twitter & Facebook:

  • InterSTELLAR news! @JoelGHodgson has revealed that he'd like @JonahRay to be next host of @MST3K. #BringBackMST3K
  • If we reach $2M to #BringBackMST3K by 10:30am ET tomorrow, all backers @$35+ get 3 FREE BONUS EPISODES. Pledge now!
  • Want to help #BringBackMST3K but waiting to get paid? No need! Pledge NOW and you won't be charged until Dec 11th.


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    1. Missing avatar

      Christopher Ogden on

      I fear that with the Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and the Christmas Holidays it will become more challenging for those of modest means to contribute enough for 12 episodes before this kickstarter ends.

      I also fear that after the Holidays and an extra paycheck plus whatever Christmas monies are doled out by parents, grandparents, and other relatives or back in Spring may have been a more opportune moment to start this month long kickstarter so that everyone would have more disposable income to give to a full Season.

      Hey Joel, assuming you don't get a full Season of MST3K with one lone kickstarter campaign, have you considered augmenting it with a backstarter or even a patreon campaign too?

      In spite of my fears about it reaching 5.5 million dollars so close to the Holidays, I wish you, yours and everyone else supporting this a Happy Holidays and great success on this kickstarter revival.

      You see I really loved MST3K when I was a kid growing up and was happy to hear you were bringing a piece of my childhood back to me. Thank you so much, Joel! Have a great month!

    2. Harold Dalton on

      Maybe.. I'm uninformed on such matters, but I don't understand why in 2015 MST3K needs to depend on network support. Rifftrax has succeeded entirely via the internet, we have youtubers making millions of dollars from ad generated content, sponsors definitely have no problem backing internet based shows, Netflix has their own original series now 100% online. Cable TV is going to die. Why isn't Joel focusing on jumping onto cutting out the middle man of network television and getting onboard with where we're inevitably heading with home entertainment?

    3. Missing avatar

      Donald Gerbracht on

      Please please please get as much of the original cast and writers. I love to support new talent, but this project is about reviving the past. Keep the up the good work Joel.

    4. Missing avatar

      Koosh on

      I'm so excited for new MST! I grew up watching it and have supported Cinematic Titanic and Rifftrax in my adulthood. I'm in for $100 so far, but I really hope that the new MST cast aims higher/wider than the "white dude" fan base. The original MST was basically just a bunch of white dudes with an occasional lady Mad. I'm embarrassed at some of the easy misogynist humor that seeped in to the old episodes (and sometimes even Cinematic Titanic and Rifftrax too). Since you cited SNL and Doctor Who as inspirations of shows that manage to evolve with new casts, I hope you also learn from the criticism they've received over a lack of diversity, and the creepy Doctor-companion dynamic that makes most female fans uncomfortable. Basically, I'd love to be proud of the new MST for being more inclusive, and doubling down on your diversity would more-than-double the number of fans who can enjoy and see themselves up there on the Satellite of Love. More fans = more $$$, and I know I'd happily double my donation if more double-X chromosomes find their way into the cast!

    5. Missing avatar

      Curt Campbell on

      I want to add a little love for Jonah here. Jonah is a PERFECT choice as the new host of MST3K. He's fast, funny, charismatic, and names his comedy albums after riffs from MST3K for cryin' out loud! He's a super-fan in the best possible way and I can't wait to see what he brings to the show.

    6. Jon Sheffer on

      I've been away from social media recently, but was so excited to come back and see that this is happening. I really like Jonah. I think he's super-funny, I love hearing him on the podcast, and I think he'll do a great job!

    7. Eubie Butt on

      Interesting, not really anything I would have gathered from his podcast work, but at least tapping Ray makes some kind of sense now; apparently, he turns into a nice, interesting and funny person once Hardwick goes home for the day. I'm upgrading my outlook from Biblical Disaster to Mildly Perturbed.

    8. Missing avatar

      Ed Ruddom on

      @ Daniel DiManna I couldn't have said it better myself.

      When I threw out the idea of the lost three KTMA episodes being the 3 episodes on offer, I hoped that others would say the same, but I think Danny here hits it perfectly.

      We know the KTMA era isn't perfect, far from it, but it was that little scrappy, $250 budget per episode show which started it all and the KTMA era showed that even back then, MST3K had a fanbase. I bet if it wasn't for those people viewing the KTMA episodes when they broadcasted and joining the fan club that the show wouldn't have made it past the intitial 13 episode order.

      The KTMA episodes have charm. Like Danny, I really like them, I occassionally pop in an episode or two to watch and there are some really great moments there. My personal favourite episode being #17 Time of the Apes because the whole idea of the bots having trapped Joel out of the SOL and watching the movie by themselves is great.

      In this day and age of sharing, the KTMA episodes will never be forgotten. Fans have access to 17 of the episodes already, with some of them being in fairly bad quality, I'd love to see those episodes released in the best quality possible, but I would trade in having those 17 episodes in top quality for the 3 unreleased episodes in a heart beat because it's vintage MST3K fans have not seen in over 25 years.

      I've been hoping for a MST3K revivial for a long time and I've been hoping to see those lost KTMA episodes for an equally long time. We've got MST3K coming back now because of all of us backers, so perhaps a special reward of seeing some rare vintage MST3K to all of us who made this possible please?

    9. Missing avatar

      KW on

      Couldn't agree more!

    10. Bryan Howie on

      Girl's Town. Girl's Town. Girl's Town.

    11. james "Space Chief" hynes on

      So, joel... do you guys have an idea as to which three classic's we'll get or is this something we can discuss later?

    12. We are Fabio! on

      Wow. $2 million in the first week. Number of comments doubled here over-night. I don't know any of these new actors, but I'm excited as heck. I hope the campaign manages to get funded beyond the initial three episodes. Congrats MSTies.

    13. John Fiala

      "So what happens when we blow through the $5 million mark?"

      Three words: Solid - Gold - Servo

    14. Justin "it's been fun" McLargeHuge on

      Wonder if there will be visibility into how Jonah gets captured and sent into space, other then in the opening music sequence. Would be cool if the first episode started with Jonah on Earth. Like, and Im just spitballing here, maybe he does a bad job cleaning up the place. (brilliant I know) PS No word on who's going to play Cambot ?

    15. Johnny W on

      Is it just me or do the three voices sound a bit too similar? I wasn't always aware who was talking when I rewatch the vids. So looking forward to today's update!

    16. Punxnbutter on

      Jonah is a funny dude...I'm on board with this and if you like writing with him it's a slam dunk. People need to chill out and see how it actually fits together. Watching the Internet freak out on casting before seeing product is so silly.

    17. Missing avatar

      gadfly85 on

      Eeeeeep! I'm so excited! The beauty of this show, in my opinion, is that it is done with such love for comedy and the fans that every corny or ridiculous moment is positively endearing to us. It is a show that revels in nonsense. We love you, Joel, and we are happy to suspend our disbelief in order to spend a little more time on the Satellite of Love.

    18. Steven Lord

      er $5.5 million mark, since I don't think this is going to stay on the low end of the projection curve.

    19. Steven Lord

      Funded! And Kicktraq projects $5.4 million as the low total for the campaign. So what happens when we blow through the $5 million mark?

    20. Missing avatar

      Bob Michaud on

      Joel, please keep close to the same formula. I identify as human.

    21. Kevin Bacon on

      Watch out for snakes!

    22. Patrick Gerard on

      Is that Rob Schrab as Crow? Because if not, he's totally the disposable assassin for the job, Lego sequel filming schedule allowing.

    23. Tucker Livingston on

      I gotta say this guy is a great pick. I've always loved his sarcastic wit on the Nerdist Podcast. Also being a fan I'm sure he'll be like JJ Abrams with Star Wars, and put tremendous pressure on himself to get it right. That being said, I have qualm about who's going to play Tom Servo. Even with new blood (which Im down with) I think the new actors/puppeteers takes on the bots should at least partially resemble the robots former personalities. This is a 'why use the name if they're going to be completely different personalities' kind of thing, just use new bots for the new guys if your going to go that direction. Anyway, I'm very happy with the host, but you better pick a great Tom Servo(Kevin Murphy please please come back!!!) and Crow if your going to use those names. You got this Jonah!!

    24. Jazz on

      "He's too white" "He's too male" "He's a hipster"

      If he's offending these kinds of people, I like him already! Welcome to the future (Next Sunday, AD) Mr. Ray.

    25. Daniel DiManna on

      Excellent news! Welcome to everyone's favorite cow town puppet show, Jonah! We are gald you're along for the ride! Its funny, just earlier today I was thinking about what color jumpsuit the new guy would wear (my mind is an odd and busy place...), and the first thought I had was yellow! And not an hour later, I read this update! And Johah "Heston"? Awesome, Joel... I see what you did there, and I hope I'm not the only hardcore MSTie that gets that reference and its significance. ;)

      On the subject of the three episodes, I've heard it mentioned a few times around here, but I wanted to reiterate my own hopes for this to become a reality. The second I heard "3 episodes", I thought "well golly, it has to be the three lost KTMA episodes, the first three episodes ever made for the show we love, that should get released!". Now I know that you and the team behind these prototypical MST adventures are adament that they ought not be seen/circulated because of how primative they are compaored to what followed, but from the perspective of us fans, its like dangling the proverbial carrot. The fact that there are three whole episodes of our favorite show that we have literally NO WAY of seeing is an absolute bummer, and a real shame. I for one adore the KTMA episodes, and not only do I appreciate them for the fact that they allow me to see my favorite show grow, coalesce, and develop through tial, error, and natural growth, I honestly find them hysterical! They are all truly treasures, and, like it or not, fans have the ability to watch and share the majority of them, and there is little that can be done to stop that these days. For fans who believe in MST3K, and in you, allowing these three lost treasures to be seen and enjoyed by the backers who have made the return of the show possible would be an incredible gift to the fans, and more special to us than could ever be put into words. You may not think too highly of the work done in those episodes, and thats okay. But to us fans, they are pivotal and neccessary components in enjoying the FULL story of the show that we simply have no way to enjoy at this time. Its a big thing to do on your part, and you may not even have to ability to just magically make those episodes available, but... think about it, wont you? Thank you! ;)

      Best wishes,


    26. Missing avatar

      Jason Cook on

      This comment has been removed by Kickstarter.

    27. Missing avatar

      Samuel Snay on

      A download code from...what site?

      Rifftrax has committed to seeing that the bulk of the money from purchases of MST episodes goes to the cast involved, including those who hadn't been getting residuals in the past, like Bill. Will whatever site is hosting these "free" episodes do the same if we decide to purchase more?

      Also, I actually found myself chuckling at Jonah and the bots in this update. That's a good sign!

      But please, make Jonah less of a whipping boy for the bots. That was Mike's role! He was the teased sibling and Joel was the beloved father. Jonah can be the surly drunken uncle. Or something.

    28. Joseph Robert Longoria on

      Looks like a good kid to me.

    29. Missing avatar

      David Ruic on

      Hey, as long as he gets the flow of the show the rest will fall into place.

    30. Missing avatar

      S G Matthews on

      Welcome aboard Jonah!

    31. Missing avatar

      Arthur B

      Joel, once you are in a position to actually give Jonah the job, you should have him demonstrate his and the puppeteers' singing voices to us with a rendition of "Hired! - The Musical"...

    32. Jenny and Maria on

      @HomeyJackMaestro He is a safe white guy from Hawaii.

    33. Missing avatar

      HomeyJackMaestro on

      @ LorrianeLynn His birth name is Jonah Ray Rodrigues.

    34. ginger j fitts on

      Could we please have the new guy shave? I'm too old to be into the hipster grunge look.

    35. Jenny and Maria on

      Little disappointed the MST3K is going whitewashed and with another guy. Truly with all the options MST3K you went with another white guy.

      Not a woman? Not Asian. Not African American. Not Hispanic. Not Native American.

      You had an opportunity to do an actual reboot .... I am not investing more. Disappointed.

      I am hoping that the next surprise will prove me wrong that there isn't a white group of guys on a committee to produce a show that represents more of the same.

    36. Nick Cyronek on

      C'mon everybody! About $35k to go!

    37. Dave LeFevre on

      I'm Josh Heston for Contell...

    38. John Skeel, Double Double 007 on

      Just $40K to go! Come on peoples, I smell 3 extra downloads in the wind. Oh, wait that smell might be something else...

    39. Missing avatar

      psim on

      Well, alright, I increased my pledge to 35$. I hope you're happy now.
      (I am.)

    40. Johnny W on

      Ah, I feel bad for being overly critical. I think Jonah is an inspired choice.

    41. Sam Kimpton

      Also, I'll bet Gypsy gives Jonah a sweater that says "Joikenah" for Christmas.

    42. Sam Kimpton

      Jonah Heston...oh wow, why did I never see it before...ROBINSON, NELSON, HESTON...all names of people who were stranded in one form or another...nice.

    43. J. Nathan Couch on

      I don't watch cable anymore, so I've never heard of Jonah, but I like his interaction with the bots. And his voice should be easy to adjust to--he sounds a lot like J. Elvis!

    44. Johnny W on

      Jonah could be the perfect choice! He's pretty funny in that video... And can be great elsewhere, but I hope he losens up a bit. He's quite combatative and moany in that video, when MST3K has always felt like buddy show to me. They're his robot friends, right?

      Also, yeah. Yellow is really not his colour. I hope you still have the receipt, or it just looks worse in that photo :)

      Don't mean to nitpick too much, really looking forward to this and just upped my pledge!

    45. zacH on

      Jonah seems cool. I'm down with this. Though to be honest I think yellow is not a good jumpsuit color... I know that's a silly quibble, but a dark blue/green/red would be a much better choice. He looks like a lemon drop.

      Anyway, seems like the casting has already been decided, so I will also hope that Ashly Burch is our new Mad. She's amazing. :D

    46. John Skeel, Double Double 007 on

      @Michelle D - $2M creates 3 new episodes. If $2M is reached by 10:30AM EST everyone pledging $35 or more gets the 3 classic episodes.

    47. michelle D on

      Just to clarify, we are SURE there will be 3 more MST3k episodes if this KS hits 2M? or just the 3 episode downloads of the previously broadcast shows?

    48. legolad

      I was already maxed out on my pledge at $100, but now I'm doubly excited. Jonah will be an excellent host. I'm sure I'm in the minority here, but I'd prefer not to cast Felicia Day. I know she's popular and she seems like a very sweet person. I've just never found her to be all that funny.

    49. Missing avatar

      deleted on

      This user's account has been deleted.