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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.

Reaching Our First Goal! Why We Have To Keep Going! Plus: a sneak peek at the Official Poster!

Posted by Joel Hodgson (Creator)

Dear MST3K Revival Leaguers,

This update has been a lot harder to write than I imagined it would be.

It's also turning out to be a lot longer than I imagined it would be, so if you don't wanna read the whole thing, here are the most important bits:

  • We're 40% of the way to making twelve new episodes of MST3K
  • You beat the 24-Hour Challenge in just 12 HOURS: 3 classic episodes unlocked! 
  • But, if we don't reach $5.5M, this could still be the last MST3K ever! 
  • We've got 23 DAYS LEFT to help #BringBackMST3K for good! 
  • PLUS: your first look at the OFFICIAL Campaign Poster!

There's your Executive Summary.

Now, if you wanna read the full update experience, buckle up and let's get started.

First, if you didn't already hear, here's the really big headline:

At 8:42pm on Monday night – less than a week after we launched our Kickstarter to #BringBackMST3K – we passed our first goal.

That means two important things:

1. Thanks to you, there will be at least three new episodes of MST3K.
2. You beat the 24 HOUR CHALLENGE and unlocked the first BONUS REWARD!

If you're just joining us, that means that any backer who pledges $35 or more will also get a "THANK YOU" collection of 3 classic episodes to download and keep – a retail value, as the man on the TV says, of $30! (And don't worry, I'll pick some good ones for you.)

So actually, I guess that part of the update wasn't so difficult to write.

This next part is harder.

We've reached such an important moment, and what you've done is so incredible that it feels like I should have something big and inspirational to tell you, like a Gettysburg Address of MST3K. But, you know, I don't really think I'm an Abraham Lincoln/Tony Robbins/Eckhart Tolle kind of guy.

The last 36 hours have been pretty overwhelming. I've felt:

  • Grateful that we have so many friends who care enough to fight for MST3K
  • Bewildered (but happy!) to realize how much MST3K has meant to so many of you, 
  • Relieved that we'll get to make at least three new episodes of MST3K next year,
  • Excited that we're adding a new chapter to the long, strange story of MST3K, 
  • Hungry… but you know, I should probably just eat something and that will go away, 
  • Anxious that we might run out of steam before we get a full 12-episode season, and
  • Worried that if that happens, these might be the last new MST3Ks ever. 

With all of those emotions jumbling around, it's been hard to get a clear head and write the update it feels like you deserve. It's also sort of an awkward new challenge for me: trying to have fun with you and be heartfelt. 

When we started MST3K, I never thought the job would mean that I'd have to be emotionally available. I just wanted to make a show!

But this is a special occasion, so I'll get a little "gooey" and serious.

Just don't expect it to happen often, okay?

On Monday night, you made Mystery Science History.

In fact, if you're reading this, you were probably one of the 18,328 friends who helped us reach that first goal. If you were: Thank You! Hello! Thank You! 

I'm so glad you showed up in time to share this moment with us. I'm also really pleased that you'll be with us for all of the fun things that happen next.

The story of MST3K has been going for almost thirty years, but now – thanks to you – we're finally getting to throw out the ending that we’ve been stuck with for fifteen years, and start writing the next big chapter.

I've been reading all of your comments and tweets, and it's really fun to see you celebrating this moment together. The whole thing is really just amazing and humbling.

But wait! Before you crack open the Hamdingers and/or bust out the celebratory ramchips, I need to tell you: I'm even more nervous now than I was when we first launched our Kickstarter. In all of the excitement, maybe it feels like we've won -- but the truth is that the future of MST3K depends on what happens next.

So this next part is really, really important:

If we slow down now, this could still be the end of MST3K.

So far, we know that we'll be able to make three new episodes… but the most important goal of this Kickstarter was never to make a final three episodes, or six, or even twelve.

From the beginning, the goal has been to raise the $5.5 million we'll need to bring MST3K back for a full season and to send a message that tells those conference tables full of executives that you want MST3K back for good – and that you're willing to fight for it!

If we want Mystery Science Theater 3000 to keep going in the not-too-distant future, we need the world to know that this Kickstarter isn't about giving MST3K a few new episodes and a new ending: it's about giving MST3K a few hundred new episodes and a new beginning.

To do that, we need to make sure those executives understand that three, or six, or even twelve episodes isn't enough, and that if they invest in creating more seasons of MST3K, the fans will be there to support it.

If we can't fund these twelve episodes, how can we convince a network that they should fund another twelve seasons?

But maybe you're thinking, "Joel, we raised $2 million in a week! Isn't that enough proof to convince them?"

And if you are, here's where I tell you something I haven't shared yet. 

This summer we met with a lot of high-powered agents to discuss all of the ways we could #BringBackMST3K, and I told all of them the same thing:

"I don't want to do this unless we can do it right. We can't just sell MST3K to someone who doesn't get it... But I know our fans are still out there, and I know they'll understand. And if they do, they'll help us bring MST3K back the right way."

And guess what? Almost every single one of those agents said the same thing:

"Crowdfunding will never work. Fans just don't have that kind of power."

(You know, even the nice ones warned that we would be able to reach $2MM and make a few episodes, but guaranteed that there weren't nearly enough of you to raise $5.5MM, or to bring MST3K back for good.)

I think they were underestimating you. They think I'm delusional. I guess we're about to find out who's right!

Our Kickstarter page makes it look like we're above our goal, but here's the cold, hard truth:

We're only 40% of the way to our real goal: $5.5M and 12 full episodes.

After our first week, I'm more sure than ever that we can get there… but I'm also afraid that it could be harder than you think. I've been warned that this is where crowdfunding starts to get really tough, because a lot of people will think we've "succeeded," and that we don't need them anymore. 

New people who haven't heard about the project might discover it, see that we've raised more than our minimum goal, and think we're done… and if that happens, we are done!

Now, the good news:

We've still got 23 days left to show the networks that we deserve their help to #BringBackMST3K for good!

If we keep going, I know we'll make it – but we can't keep going without your help. That's why it's more important than ever to KEEP CIRCULATING THE URL, and to help explain why we're still going.

I know I'm asking a lot, but I believe that if any fans have the power to bring a show back from the dead, it's Mystery Science Theater fans. You've done something wonderful in our first 8 days. I hope you'll stick with us for these last 23.

Oh, one more thing. Before I go, I also want to keep the promise I've been making for the last couple updates and share something pretty neat that we've been working on here at #BringBackMST3K Headquarters.

SNEAK PEEK: The Official #BringBackMST3K Poster! 

If you own any of the great MST3K boxed sets that Shout Factory puts out, you've probably noticed the really wonderful mini-posters that are included for each episode.

If you haven't, here are just a few examples:

All of these wild and wonderful posters – and there are almost 100 of them so far! – are the creations of a terrific artist named Steve Vance. He's been so important to MST3K's growth and proliferation over the last seven years, with his style, composition and unique brand of hilarity.

Just like the Grateful Dead had Kelley/Mouse studios, I'm proud that we have Steve Vance. He's a wonderful, imaginative guy, and not just a hired gun. He loves our show too, and I'm happy to report that he's agreed to help us – along with some other killer artists, who I'll tell you about later this month – by doing visual development and concept art for the new show!

Anyway, when I started trying to figure out some cool rewards for our Kickstarter, Steve was one of the first people I thought about. His work is so great, even at small sizes, that we're planning to use some of the best posters on the COLLECTIBLE POSTCARDS reward. But I also really wanted to see what Steve could come up with for our full-size OFFICIAL CAMPAIGN POSTER.

It's not finished just yet, but I think it's a perfect start:

Steve is still hard at work finishing this, so I think we'll have a full-color version to show you in another week or two – but if your pledge level doesn't include Steve's poster, you might wanna upgrade to grab one while you can. We'll only ever offer this as part of the Kickstarter campaign, so this will be your only chance to grab one.

Plus, it just looks super cool.

That's enough updating for now, but I'll have some big news to share tomorrow morning about this year's MST3K TURKEY DAY MARATHON. We've got some fun things planned for you and your family on Thanksgiving, so be sure to leave some room on your plate for us – and remember that you can still send fan mail to for us to share on screen and online during the marathon!

I'm also working on another update answering a bunch of questions we're getting about all of the REWARD PACKAGES, so look for that soon too.

Until then, thanks again for everything you're doing, and...


Cheers and Thanks,


Tom Servo, viral video vigilante, reporting for service. Good work unlocking that BONUS REWARD. If you keep going like this, I bet Joel will add some more free stuff before the month is over. (He better: Papa needs a new pair of shoes.)

While you're waiting, help me make sure I don't ever have to get a real job.

Post one of these to Twitter & Facebook right now:

  • We've met our first goal, but need to keep going if we want to #BringBackMST3K for good! @JoelGHodgson explains why:
  • Some people think fans don't have the power to #BringBackMST3K. 23 days left to hit our final goal & prove them wrong.
Joel Hodgson, Colin Widmar, and 242 more people like this update.


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    1. Jeff Johnson on

      I'm doing my part in the Riff-olution! Tossed up some threads on the message boards I frequent. I have also contributed as much as I'm able to do so. I've even re-started my collection of the dvd sets.

    2. Missing avatar

      Kenneth Caruso on

      Honestly, I can't tell you how overjoyed I am that this is a thing. When I was a kid, a VERY young kid, I loved MST3K, and recently tried to marathon as many as I could find on Netflix... but they weren't listed in any kind of order, and even with a show where following continuity would be 100% pointless, I like to keep everything in order. And I eventually lost track of where I was and what I was doing, and I vaguely remember neglecting my laundry until I was sleeping on a bare mattress and dressing in insulated winter pants during the hottest days of summer.

      Aaaaand I've lost track of where I am again. Oh, right, MST3K Reborn, this is a good thing, the kind of thing that everyone needs. I'm going to alert my cousin, he could Money at this too.

    3. Jan Fennick on

      Barry Drennan, the answer to that would be "not at all"! I hear Joel's voice reading them too. :) (Uh oh -- Joel's voice in my head -- I'd better see a doctor about that!)

    4. Missing avatar

      Barry Drennan on

      I'm just curious whether I'm the only one who hears Joel's voice in my head reading these updates. :D

    5. Missing avatar

      HomeyJackMaestro on

      The ultimate reveals/stretch rewards would be announcements about previous MST3K writers agreeing to come on board for this new season(-ish-sort-of-thing-just-vaguely).

    6. James Jackson on

      I tried offering my soul to the devil in exchange for $3.5 million in funding toward MST3K, using the same chant from the end of "The Touch of Satan". Unfortunately nothing happened. Well, my elderly neighbor burst into flames, but I'm fairly certain that's unrelated.

    7. Richard Hallock on

      I am so excited. About two years ago I looked back at my life and thought about what was the most important TV series of the 90's. After some soul searching the answer was pretty simple. I started collecting all the DVD's (even the singles) and so I backed the project today and can't wait for more MST. I am hoping you get to make all 12 episodes. I hope at least one of the new movies you riff will be a science fiction movie of some sort. There are so many more bad movies out there to make fun of. I am glad Tom will be singing too! About a year ago I read an article about the Chinese answer to Avatar "Empires of the Deep" which was filmed back in 2010, but I do not think it was ever released. Looking at the trailer it might be a perfect movie for MST, a bad movie no one has ever seen or heard of really. It looks so bad just from this trailer alone. It is obvious they were trying really hard to make a big movie, but as Yoda tells us there is no try... Here is a link to the trailer on YouTube:…

    8. Richard Garrett on

      I don't know if this would work, but a good way to raise cash and provide good simple add-ons would probably be selling individual classic episodes at a discount. Say $7 for each? Basically 4 episodes for the price of 3 with giving an extra couple dollars after.

    9. Dave B on

      I'd gladly exchange some of my rewards for that poster! Hopefully you can offer it for sale separately.

    10. Brad on

      Great suggestion by looniverse!

    11. Daniel Leach on

      Hey Joel - make a gentleman's agreement with The Asylum! Their funding in return for MST3K showcasing their cinematic masterpieces like Sharknado, A Shark Once Bit My Sister, and Megashark VS Crocostimpy.

    12. Missing avatar

      Adam Shands on

      Even if we maintain this pace, we've got a shot at a full season and possibly a bit more...

      For some reason, I keep imagining the tagline "It Moves! It Breathes! It Riffs!" being announced with Tom Servo's voice.

    13. Jason McGrody on

      I'd be delighted, but surprised, if we hit $5.5 million in this Kickstarter. However, please consider a second Kickstarter if any further funds are needed. And... maybe... consider having rewards in that second Kickstarter that don't involve as much "stuff" for contributors who may have gotten lots of "stuff" in the first Kickstarter.

      That should limit the amount of money needed, I'd think.

    14. E. Irizarry on

      No matter what happens, I am happy that there will be at least 3 more episodes of MST3K.

    15. Justin Corwin on

      joel, I'm very excited and appreciate the heartfelt message. We can do this! if these are the last 3 episodes ever it will such as waste, It has to be more.

    16. Starius on

      Hi Joel. 2 questions for ya.
      When will we get a sneak peak at the mission patch designs? (I've recently had a reinvigorated interest in patches.)

      Also, what with these great perks you've got setup on this kickstarter, I was curious if you've seen what Axanar Productions ( ) have setup not only for perk fulfillment for their Kickstarter/Indiegogo campaigns - but what they hope to make available to others as an alternative to the somewhat lacking BackerKit standard:

      They're selectively picking clients at the moment until it's 100% ready, but I'd wager they'd be keen on working with you - on account of you being so cool and all.
      I've been watching Ares.Digital grow from the perspective of being a donor, and it's pretty slick how it can keep track of donor rewards & contributions across multiple services like Kickstarter and Indiegogo. Who knows, depending on how this Kickstarter turns out, maybe you want to keep the donation doors open after this duration ends - you know, for the "better-late-than-never" folks.

      Anyways, just my 2 cents there. But yeah, those mission patches... when do we get a peek? ;)

    17. Chad Sugg on

      I metaphorically love that poster design more than life itself. Seriously, can't wait to see that beauty in full color!

    18. aron aka jello on

      @Joel - Nothing but love for ya man, nothin' but. Just keep being awesome and makin' my favorite show in the visible universe.

    19. Joel Hodgson Creator on

      @Eubie: Like I said in Update #2, I hope you'll give the next cast a chance to do their thing before you decide you don't like them. There will always be time to complain about them later!

      @Henry: I hear you, man. We've gotten lots of questions and suggestions about that, and we ARE planning to introduce "Add On Rewards." I hope we'll be able to do that next week. But we'll also have an option to let backers "pass" on any rewards they don't want, if they would rather have us use that money for the show itself. We'll explain more in one of the next updates.

      @Michael: I understand your question, and I thought for a long time about where to set the goal... but David is right. Kickstarter is all-or-nothing, so they encouraged me to make our minimum goal the smallest one that would let us do SOMETHING worth doing. And even if we only get to make three more episodes, I think it will have been worth it. I just hope we can still prove that there's an appetite for a lot more episodes than that.

      @Steven: Thanks for that great suggestion. We can't change it ourselves, but we asked Kickstarter if they could change it for us. Maybe it will happen soon?

      @CM: Okay, I misspoke. That WAS the main goal. But bringing back MST3K would be pretty great too.

      @Taylor: I didn't mean the literal ending of the show. I meant the ending of the story of MST3K... that part where we got canceled. That's what we get to throw out now. We're not going to retcon anything!

      @looniverse: That's a great suggestion. I'll see if we can switch over and do that. There were some budget reasons it was easier to do in groups of three, but I'll find out.

      @David: We've added that math question to the FAQ, but the simple answer is that the more exact cost for each three episodes was $1,166,666.66. That's just a lot harder to remember, though, so we just put the loose change into Episodes 6-8.

    20. Missing avatar

      Eric Raible on

      (plunk) added $25 more to the initial pledge.

      I don't go map findin' behindin'.

    21. Eubie Butt on

      Oh I am just so conflicted now, I'd happily give my left arm to see the show revived in full, except it will also mean even more time with a host I find incredibly objectionable. Why must they make it so difficult to pelt them with money?

    22. Missing avatar

      Kenneth Caruso on

      "Crowdfunding will never work. Fans just don't have that kind of power."

      Oh yeah? Just threw in my pledge. I've seen Crowdfunding "fail" to throw MILLIONS of dollars to make videogames that publishers said nobody wanted. I've seen fans "not have the power" to resurrect long dead series time and again.

      Never listen to the Suits. If Crowdfunding didn't work, there would be no more Kickstarter. This will work. Tell your friends! Rise up and Lead us To the Light! Allueh Massata! Wait, no, that was Farscape. OH WAIT, FARSCAPE IS ANOTHER EXAMPLE OF SOMETHING THAT FANS RESURRECTED. BOOM. Much like MST3K did in this new transition, I JUST DROPPED THE MIKE. And Hired Jonah Ray. Tell him to get back to me, he hasn't been showing up for work.

    23. We are Fabio! on

      Good job, everyone. After the $2 million mark, we sat at 18K (or so) backers. After Update #6, we're now sitting at 20K. Keep spreading the word!

    24. Missing avatar

      psim on

      Good comment below from Looniverse, about adding intermediate stretch goals for each new episode, instead of having large gaps between 3, 6, 9 and 12.

    25. Andrew Brecht on

      You, sir, just scored an extra 50 bucks from ^^/ this guy \^^
      (The symbols are thumbs)

      Doing my best to spread the word...

    26. Matt Clemson

      Servo, you don't have *feet*

    27. Missing avatar

      David A. Tinsley on

      Joel, thank you for what youre doing, and I just wanted to put down a post telling you us fans know the kind of stress you must be going through. I've been checking this site like every 10 minutes, and I'm just a fan, youre running this thing so it must be double for you. I'm sure mst3k will make it to 5.5 million and the show will be back on air, keep up the good work!

      I've donated as much as I can, but I hope the rest of the backers can keep going to. That's what will bring mst3k back.

      And I'll keep sharing the urls!

    28. Johnny W on

      I'd also second the thing about the poster. That's the one physical reward I'd actually really like to get. The others I don't care about. Complicated, I know.

    29. Henry Swantner

      I wish there were more pledge level options. There is only a building scale with a bunch I couldn't care less about in the middle.
      I'd be really interested in the poster, but to get it I have to get the t-shirt which is just an OK option (only if it's a dark color, a light one and I'm out) and I could leave the mug & key chain behind entirely. So, I'll end up ... somewhere.
      Kickstarter may not officially support mix-n-match/add-ons, but if you look through the board game projects, it's common usage. Perhaps think about using after to track specific over-pledge/add-on rewards so people can choose what they want.

    30. Missing avatar

      Mancomb Seepgood on

      One last comment on that -- if they didn't hit the goal they get $0. Nada.

      They posted the bare minimum for a revival, and that is the correct amount. That's why Kickstarters have stretch goals.

    31. Missing avatar

      Mancomb Seepgood on

      This is a common misconception -- his real goal can't be posted on Kickstarter. Remember: start a new beginning, not one last season.

      $2 million was correct, you don't want to shoot too high or no one will want to back it. If they indeed only got 3 episodes it's still _possible_ - however unlikely - possible that a network would take them on. The more episodes they get, the more likely it is. $5.5 million is the "real goal" only because it is a full season which gives them plenty of time to build up support and convince executives.

    32. Michael Kremer on

      @Joel: I am looking forward to the new episodes (I CAN'T WAIT!), but this update leaves me puzzled. If your funding goal of 2 million was never going to bring the show back for good, why bother with that number? If your "real" goal was 5.5 million, you should have started with that. You probably should have thrown in the merchandise as add-ons with the reward tier pledges going fully toward producing the show. That way your funding goal for producing all 12 episodes could have actually been lower since you could build the extra costs into the add-on prices - and you wouldn't need to be begging people to keep pledging and circulating the URL through updates that a lot of people ignore.

    33. MadJo

      I wonder if the turkey day MST3k marathon will also be available to us across the pond. The Satellite of Love also reached the Dutch internetwaves and last year I felt decidedly left out. :P

    34. Missing avatar

      Steven Lansingh on

      Hi, Joel. It is possible in Kickstarter's coding to change the language of the reward tiers to mention that people donating $35 or more will get the downloads of three old episodes of MST3K?

      Because that perk might entice a lot of newcomers to the campaign to aim higher than the $10 or $25 level, but they might not know about it unless read carefully through all the updates and comments.

    35. Missing avatar

      Weston Pierce on

      We just need a dynamic frontman to assist with the Eddy Van Halen bolt on to finish off the kickstarter. :P

    36. Henrik 'Snout' Isacsson on

      I'd like to add to Johnny Walker's comment about 'convert awards to digital downloads'; I'd be fine with changing the postage and production of physical stuff in my pledge ($15 just for shipping!) towards the main movie production goal, if it's needed to convert/boost x percent of the already pledged amount to quickly hop closer to the 5,5M goal.

      Of course I also know that some _do_ want Shiny New MST3K(tm)! memorabilia, so the logistics for who has what preference might be a nightmare. ;)

    37. We are Fabio! on

      @Lynn Knott - that's exactly what we have to do. Sharing this across the intertubes is nice and all, but there MSTies out there who don't care about Facebook or Twitter. We gotta find a way to reach them...

    38. Henrik 'Snout' Isacsson on

      Which goal involves digging up 'The Green Slime' mystery tape? >:)

    39. Donald and Ashli Williams on

      Joel, seriously look at doing Titanic 2 if you ever get a chance to make more episodes. I would pay good money to see that. Just think about it!

    40. Lynn Knott on

      We gotta think outside the box. I just wrote to our local Green Bay newspaper (Joel went to school there..) trying to promote that "local boy does good & now needs help" angle. If it does nothing, well, at least I tried.

    41. Duane D Drew on

      We can do this, 10, 25, 35 Every dollar brings the Satellite of Love back from the far reaches of the universe to Earth!

    42. master_shemp on

      @teal123, I don't think there's anything specifically "magic" about getting to 12 episodes -- I just think it will increase (1) the number of partners that will be willing to look at reviving the show on a permanent basis, (2) increase the likelihood of the past cast members looking seriously at taking part in the new show, (3) really show Shout! that they did the right thing by coming aboard the MST3K train, and (4) show the power of crowdfunding to the television/film industry.

      So, not "magic". But something pretty darn special.

    43. ~CM~ on

      Joel, hold up a second, so you're tellin' me that raising a billion and adopting that teenage boy to truman show into believing he's the pumaman WASN'T THE MAIN GOAL????

    44. Lynn Knott on

      There should be 18,328 backers just from Wisconsin alone! We back the Pack; we're pros at backing!

    45. Duane D Drew on

      Would really like one of the Classic episodes to be downloaded to be "Horror of party Beach"

    46. Mike H on


      Great point, totally agree. That would keep the excitement at a fever pitch the entire month.

    47. Not TV's Frank on

      @Talyor - I think Joel disliked the ending of the show because it ended :)

    48. Not TV's Frank on

      Part of my illogical brain wishes I'd pledged less so I could pledge more, but I tapped myself out from the start. I like @Zack's suggestion below, keep accepting funding indefinitely! Every completed episode could result in a new wave of funding. I know that's a ways off, but this is about the long game, right? In the meantime, let's crush 5.5!! If you pledged some, but thought you might do more, now's the time! Top it off!