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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.

Meet our New Head Writer… Elliott Kalan!

Posted by Joel Hodgson (Creator)

Dear MST3K Revival League,

This just in: I can finally share that big introduction I've been waiting to tell you about!

I am happy to confirm that the incredible Elliott Kalan has officially joined Mystery Science Theater 3000 as our new head writer.

To a lot of you, Elliott's name is familiar because he was the former head writer from The Daily Show, but he's written lots of other great stuff too. He was at the top of my wish list, so I'm really happy to have him on board. 

Also, I think Elliott’s happy to be getting a break from topical, daily, humor, and is enjoying snuggling into cracking wise on some nice ripe cheesy movies. And I'm even happier to tell you that he's a few months into the job and he still hasn't quit, so… I think we found a good one!

Now, one thing I want to tell you: even though Elliott was also head writer at The Daily Show, it doesn't mean that we're planning to make MST3K more political. He'll explain for himself, but one thing I like about Elliott is that he's really "one of us." Elliott has been a MSTie since he was a teenager, and even more importantly – at least to me – he’s really fun to write with.

Anyway, since Elliott has joined MST3K to help supervise the writing, I thought it might be nice to let him write the rest of this update, and introduce himself to all of you.

Take it away, Elliott!

Hi MSTies and MSTettes!

I’m Elliott Kalan, and I’ll be performing head writerly duties for the new Mystery Science Theater 3000. You may know me as the former head writer of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, or as co-host of the bad movie podcast The Flop House, or as the writer of Marvel’s Spider-Man and the X-Men miniseries. Or you may not know me at all, which is okay, too.

Whatever the case, it’s nice to finally meet you! 

And yes, that means I’ve had the amazing privilege of working for Jon Stewart, Spider-Man, and now Mystery Science Theater. I’m the luckiest man in recorded history. Feel free to hate me for it. Even I kind of hate me for it. I’m so honored and so thrilled to be working with Joel and Jonah and everyone else on Team MST3K. This has literally been my dream job since I was an adolescent. Other kids were sneaking out of the house to go drink beer in the park. I was sneaking into the basement to watch the midnight MST3K rerun on Comedy Central.

For roughly two decades I’ve rued the fact that I was too young and too not-in-Minnesota to work on this show. But now it’s finally happening! This is so exciting! All those hours reading and rereading the Amazing, Colossal Episode Guide are finally paying off! 

It’s been a blast working so far, and while I can’t tell you what we’ve got planned I will sum up most of it in one word: silliness. Like, a lot of it. Which is a huge relief to me – after more than a decade of looking into our nation’s political system, it’s nice to only have to look at the worst movies we can find. 

Which is not to say these movies aren’t bad. They’re terrible. Just not as soul-crushing as, say, Congress. 

Thank you so much to everyone who supported the Kickstarter and, as a happy side effect, made one of my lifelong dreams come true. You have no idea how much I appreciate it. All I can promise in return is that I will try to make this show even goofier than you thought was possible. To me, that is a solemn trust.



Okay, hi everyone. It's Joel again.

Now that you've met Elliott... what do you think, sirs? Pretty good, right? If you've got questions for him, go ahead and ask them in the comments. Or on Twitter, if that's your thing.

That's pretty much it for this update, but we're finally making progress on some of the big issues that have been keeping us from sending out your Reward Order Forms… so yeah, we should have more news about that soon. 

Cheers and Thanks,


You heard Joel, people: there's a new boss in town! And also, we've hired some new guy to come up with more riffs for me. How about giving him a big hello?

Just post this message to Twitter & Facebook right now:

BIG NEWS! Mr. @ElliottKalan (head writer for Jon Stewart’s @TheDailyShow) has signed on as @MST3K's new head writer!


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    1. Missing avatar

      Steve Dauser on

      Everything sounds great so far! i know that weekly updates are unfeasible, but there hasn't been an update in over a month. Inquiring minds want to know...WASUPPPP

    2. Not TV's Frank on

      Been listening to the Flophouse podcast. Elliot is going to be a perfect fit. Can I preorder the next two or three seasons, please? Just to cut down on the paperwork and do it all at once.

    3. Missing avatar

      Brant Smith on

      So hope this doesn't turn political, if I want the latest Liberal Sermon I can turn on any current TV show.

    4. Celeste Hotaling-Lyons on

      Oh, this will be trouble. But, you know, the really GOOD kind of trouble.

    5. Missing avatar

      Loren Martian on

      Looking to be a talented collaborative effort. I got so caught up in the last live event at the finish of the funding that I really want to see a live via internet event that introduces me to Elliot and all the people that came on board afterwards, but maybe that's already planned. I'm a little apprehensive of all the new people because I'm conservative and don't like change but whatever happens I want it sooner than later.

    6. Missing avatar

      godnoble on

      Please never say MSTette again.

    7. William Bargo on

      Love the "Elliott Kalan" in that I am a huge fan of "The Flop House' I can only hope and pray that his assuredly fine work for MST3K is a apolitical as what he does for the podcast.

      Because politics in my riffing I do not want!

    8. Missing avatar

      Jonathan Pickens on

      Welcome to the the madhouse!

      I'm really happy to hear that this will be a mostly non-political show. I enjoy a good ribbing (even aimed at my side of the political spectrum), but it's nice to have some entertainment that has little to no political bent at all. So many things end up heading that direction, probably because it's so easy these days, but color me relieved!

    9. Heidi Ruff on

      That's some pretty good news ya got there. Welcome to the club, Elliott!

    10. Seth J. on

      Glad that fans of the original are working on the new one. That's going to make all the difference of making this long awaited return worth the wait. Thanks to everyone for making this happen! Kickstarters and staff alike! Stay awesome

    11. Anne-Marie Fogh on

      El li ot! El li ot! *cheer*

    12. Missing avatar

      William Dee on

      Welcome, young Elliott. It's obvious to your mother and I that your work speaks quite clearly for itself. Nevertheless, if you'd allow me just one word of fatherly advice; Manimal. I daresay that well shall NEVER run dry, young sir. The giggles are upon me now, just typing it. Hee, I say. Hee. Hee, indeed.

    13. The Rev Dr Sherwood Forrester on

      Joel: great choice! Elliott: welcome aboard! Me: can't wait!

    14. Richard Hallock on

      Welcome to the madhouse Elliott! I too recall recording the midnight showings of MST3k on Beta tape! So great to have a log term fan of the show working on the new version! I am excited that you will be the new head writer, I liked the Spider Man and the X-Men comics you wrote. But I hope that you stop ever so often to just enjoy the ride a bit. Things can go by so quickly. In so many ways working as a writer on a show like this is such a dream job, enjoy it for as long as you can! And when all the other writers suggest at 2 am, after an intense writing session, that you all get 'cut' together with a MST3k logo tattoo, just be sure to have it placed in a reasonable location, not on the forehead like the other junior writers will all suggest! Have fun!

    15. Patrick McLARGEHUGE on

      Listened to "The Flop House" ,when they are actually talking about a movie it is so-so, decent base for riffing.But much of the podcast reminds me of people who are either on Ritalin or forgot to take them Ritalin.ADHD Chemical Youth ,too much sugar ,caffeine or dry drunks giggling like 8 year olds.Hope the dumbing dumb of culture doesn't extend to the new MST3K.

    16. Missing avatar

      Toby Henry on

      Awesome! The new MST3K is gearing up to be epic!

    17. Missing avatar

      Patti E. on

      Welcome to the Madhouse, Elliott! Very excited that you're on board. But yeah, we're all MSTies here, whatever our gender. :)

    18. ginger j fitts on

      Well....he's not Michael J Nelson, but I guess he'll do. Seriously, I loved his work on The Daily Show. Joel has such a knack for surrounding himself with great people...well played, sir!

    19. bonuswavepilot

      Oh, and looking forward to seeing Elliot's work!

    20. bonuswavepilot

      Observing internationally, it always scares me a bit how polarised US politics gets - with neither side willing to concede any ground, and any association with the other camp ruining otherwise good entertainment etc... I can't say people making jokes at the expense of 'my side' in politics has ever bothered me that much...

      Probably it's a bit of an exaggerated view from seeing Internet flamewars as the prinicipal type of US political discussion that I encounter, though. Usually the zealots in either camp who have the loudest voices...

    21. Patti Lounsbury on

      I am totally jazzed about Elliot joining our favorite escape from reality. So let the no-holds-barred hilarity commence.

    22. John Eje Thelin on

      "Go get em Elliott!" Another one? They already have an Elliott.

    23. Nate on

      I can see why Elliot was #1 on the wishlist. New MST3k is getting better and better.

    24. Missing avatar

      nrs on

      p.s., "let 'em have it!"

    25. Missing avatar

      nrs on

      yayyy! :) let's have some more "non-political" humor... like, say, the marx bros, charlie chaplin and jaqcues tati were "non-political"... ;)

    26. Ryan Read on

      Looking forward to this more and more. Welcome to the SOL Elliot.

    27. Missing avatar

      Jacob L. Nelson on

      This is great news, can't wait to see what this team comes up with!

    28. Missing avatar

      Audrina Duprey on

      The master approves.

    29. Stephanie D Ramos on

      Super excited!!!! ���������

    30. slot9 on

      I laugh at the funny words. Write more funny words!!!! (Seriously, I'm excited. Elliot's writing in this post was funny!)

    31. Jonah Gregory on

      As a huge fan of The Flophouse, this makes me very happy! I'm sure it's been said in the comments before, but if you haven't checked out the podcast, you really should.

    32. ArkhamNative on

      When I got to the part of Elliott's message where he said, "it’s nice to only have to look at the worst movies we can find," I may have actually said "La la la" aloud.

    33. Robert Kubiak on

      This lineup, geez, can't really get much better.....then IT GETS EVEN BETTER! This is going to the the best show in the history of the known universe! Possibly the unknown universe as well, I don't know. Welcome Elliot!

    34. Sean Boardman on

      I knew I should have thrown my writing resume at Joel. xD
      I have enough on my delectable plate though like making an expensive pinball machine. ;)
      And you have the fans to please not just Joel. ;)
      No pressure at all though. :)

    35. Missing avatar

      Jonathan Howell on

      This is the best news. Two of my favorite things are now combined. Go get em Elliott!

    36. Missing avatar

      Forrest on

      Welcome aboard! Very excited and a little jealous.


      More new blood to crew, I hope Elliott that you pop in on crew to keep them on their toes Best of Luck now that you're here it will be great

    38. Missing avatar

      Don Paul on

      Okay, okay. I admit I only know your work through The Daily Show. And didn't you write for Pauly Shore???? Anyhow, welcome aboard. Even if some of us don't know you, we trust Joel's taste intrinsically. AM I RIGHT, PEOPLE??!! Welcome aboard, and thanks in advance for not going too political. Our politics are starting to go from absurd & silly to tragic and frightening. Best of luck!

    39. arf pinback on

      Once again, this project shows how you get....stuff....done.

      Or as Stewart often deadpanned: "well played, sir....well played."

      Congrats to all concerned.

    40. Ralph Carusillo on

      Elliot, we are happy to have you in our little puppet-show family. So welcome to the machine! :-)

    41. Brian Heinz on

      I loved SPIDER-MAN AND THE X-MEN. It was one of the best mini-series I'd read in years at Marvel.

    42. Missing avatar

      Ken "Penumbral Fromage" M. on

      FAN-TASTIC! Welcome Elliot, your sense of humor has been one of the corner stones of my circle of friend's lives for a long time now - so it's awesome that you're going to be part of another facet of our lives that I've drawn significant inspiration from. Turning cheese into gold is not just fun, it's IMPORTANT. We need to laugh at the ludicrous, and in doing so elevate the sanguine.

      Good luck sir Kalan, riff on!

    43. Johnny W on

      I can't believe it. I'm so offended. Oh wait, no I'm not. Elliot seems like the perfect choice: Smart minded and silly. Perfect for MST3K! Hurrah!

    44. Missing avatar

      Kim "Nuveena" McAllister on

      Welcome, Elliott! :D One of us! One of us! You are going to be AWESOME!

    45. Jennifer Holland on

      This is incredibly exciting news. Welcome, Elliott!

    46. Michael Gonzales on

      Welcome aboard Elliot! Another fan who is very happy to see you here.

      However, I must say... Elliot Kalan (age 34) Felicia day (aged uh... young-ish), Jonah Ray (aged 33). Are you youngsters going to do riffs we old-time MSTies can relate to?

      What does it mater who "ate all the Frusen Glädjé"? And what IS Frusen Glädjé anyway? Who is Clara Peller? Who is cousin Oscar? Why should we all shout "Manix" when somebody jumps down from a high place? Well?

      I suppose you're going to riff on all NEW movie references, NEW commercials, NEW pop culture icons like... like... uh I dunno! They're too new for me to know. (By crackie!)

      That's why the show HAS to be family friendly... so our kids can explain the jokes to us!

      Best of luck sir, to you, Joel and the rest of the team.

    47. Patrick McLARGEHUGE on

      Don't go Hollywood !or NYC I mean.

    48. Patrick McLARGEHUGE on

      Let me throw a please don't go PC or political hat in here.Rifftrax still does quite a bit of stuff that isn't PC ,go to keep that Midwest charm ,do go Hollywood totally.

    49. Missing avatar

      James Eccles on

      Bravo to avoiding the political angle. I watch MST3K and other diversions to get away from that stuff, not to mention that it gets dated fast.

    50. Missing avatar

      Steve Seck on

      THE BEST CHOICE. Thanks, Joel, and welcome Elliott! I saw your live riffs of Jaws: The Revenge & I Know Who Killed Me in NYC with Dan & Stu & I'm certain you're a perfect fit. I also strongly believe that Gypsy will make a great surrogate for your tuneless, endless improvised songs.

      To everyone not familiar with Elliott, check out the Flop House episodes "Foodfight!", "Nothing But Trouble", "Star Wars Episode II", or "The Oogieloves". He can keep it funny without going political & his reference well is as deep & obscure as the original MST3K writer's room. You have nothing to worry about.