MST3K Is Back! Yay!   Leave a comment

Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know, I know this news hardly pales in comparison to the other big release occurring at the end of this week. But hey, those who can really claim to be sci-fi geeks and connoisseurs of wit know where the good stuff is.

Who doesn’t remember the iconic show from the latter part of the last century? I used to catch it on Comedy Central, and later on, the former Sci-Fi Channel (now SyFy).  It was just so silly, part film commentary, part comedy sketch. I latched on to each episode just to watch a kidnapped janitor and his ‘bot buds watch absolutely horrible films (a goodly portion I had already seen) and wisecrack nonstop.

MST3K’s story reads like a movie plot too. Begun in Minneapolis, MN in 1988 on KTMA, it later moved to Comedy Central and ran for six years until it was cancelled in 1997. A fierce letter campaign to bring it back revived the brilliant show until 1997 on Sci-Fi, when it met its cable demise in 1999. Recipient of the Peabody award in 1993 and named by Time Magazine in 2007 as one of the best television shows of all time (in the top 100), it leaves you wondering why this show was cancelled in the first place. Chalk that up to network execs usual interference with what they want vs. what the creatives envision, and the result is a battle that never ends well, at least for someone.

After the airing of “Danger: Diabolik” on August 8, 1999, MST3K went out of business, although it did go into syndication and if you were lucky, you could pick it up again here and there.

But, like anything worth remembering and savoring, this show had life in it yet. By the modern miracle of crowd funding, the show’s originator/creator, Joel Hodgson, raised $5,764,229 in a month. Add $425,000 raised outside of Kickstarter et voila! We’ll be seeing  14 new episodes in the near future. What’s telling about all of this is show never really went away, it only drifted out to space. Facing a fierce gravitational pull by its devoted fans both old and new, money flowed the instant the Kickstarted campaign started and in the process, broke all crowd funding records.

It still hasn’t been announced when the new episodes will air, but they’ll feature the likes of Patton Oswalt and even Jerry Seinfeld might to do a cameo. So stay tuned! Whether you’d like to revisit old episodes or keep in touch with MST3K happenings, an official channel lives on YouTube.  If you’d like to contribute, here’s their dot-com site. It has all the latest information, merch for sale and all the FAQs you’d ever want answered.

Happy viewing!

 

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