EDIT: Hey, thank you so much everyone. I've really enjoyed answering your questions.

Now I need to ask YOU something, because I really need your help.

If you like what I've been saying today, and you want to see a new Mystery Science Theater, we need your help RIGHT NOW to #BringBackMST3K. We've got just 30 days to raise enough money to make new episodes, and we'd like to make a full 12 episode season for you… but we've still got a long way to go!

To those of you who have already contributed, thank you! We've got a lot of fun surprises planned for you throughout the month, including a special edition of the MST3K TURKEY DAY MARATHON, and a lot of really fun rewards to thank you for your help. To those of you who haven't: if you want to see more MST3K, please visit BringBackMST3K.com and consider joining us! Even a few dollars helps us prove there's still an appetite for more Mystery Science Theater.

Okay, that's all. I'll try to come back soon and answer some more questions. Thanks so much for taking the time to hang out with me.

Keep Circulating the URL, Joel

People of Earth! If you haven't heard, I made a big announcement this morning: starting today, we're turning to Mystery Science Theater 3000 fans to help us #BringBackMST3K for a new generation of fans, with a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter.

Since the beginning, fans have been MST3K's greatest secret weapon. We used to ask you to "Keep Circulating the Tapes" so we could find an audience. Now we're asking you to "Keep Circulating the URL", and to spread the word that we need YOUR help to make up to 12 new feature-length episodes.

We’re off to a good start, but we've got a LONG way to go, so I hope you'll visit BringBackMST3K.com and consider joining us.

I'll be back at 4PM EST to start answering questions...

Okay...in the meantime, go ahead and Ask Me Anything!


AND A VISUAL: http://imgur.com/4pceUsu

Comments: 711 • Responses: 24  • Date: 

kennethwippleton135 karma

Hey Joel, I'm curious... are you planning on featuring modern movies on the new version of the show, or are you going to focus on 50s-90s films, like how it was originally? Kind of hoping for the latter.

Thanks and excited to see how this all turns out!

Joel_Hodgson_195 karma

Kenneth, I think we're gonna go after everything. But I have to tell you, I think movies from the 70's and 80's are part of what makes MST3K, MST3K. Those movies will be what feels familiar to people. There's just so many of them! We'll slowly work our way upstream. There are definitely some movies from after 1999 that are ripe for riffing.Thanks for your support and suggestions. There's a lot of moving pieces to this puzzle, but I'm excited to see how it turns out too!

ElectricBlanketFire96 karma

A number of people I've talked to are wary of backing the project without knowing who the host/mads are. Do you plan on revealing at least the new host at some point during the Kickstarter campaign or do we just have to trust you on this one?

Joel_Hodgson_151 karma

Yeah, this is a trust exercise. It'll be months before we...

Nah, I’m just kidding. In fact, I've already talked with the actors I'd like to bring onto the show as the next host and the next Mad, and you'll meet both of them in the next few days. In fact, the next host is in the video you've already seen… but I'll give him a proper introduction. I'll introduce you to the next Crow and Servo, too. We actually shot a few videos for the Kickstarter with all of them, since there was so much we wanted to talk about. Those will be out soon, and I can't wait, because I'm really happy about all of them. I think they'll do great.

SamcLocke78 karma

Hi Joel,

One of the things I've always loved about MST3K is the homemade look and feel to the sets, props and puppet bots. Will you be keeping that aesthetic for the new show, or is the higher budget in part to try to create a more "polished" look?

Joel_Hodgson_135 karma

Samc, I hoped someone would ask that. I've gotten the opportunity to watch MST3K journey through time over the last almost thirty years, and I think one of the reasons it has is because we did almost everything "in camera." To me, that means no computer effects and as little post-processing as possible. I intend to stick with this formula for the new shows, and yet, amp it up a little bit.

The way we made MST3K was the fastest way we knew how. We rapid prototyped robots and sets and props. It would be a mistake to not take advantage of CNC machines and 3D printers to accomplish our tasks this time. So, to answer your question, I still think it will look quaint compared to a movie like "Guardians of the Galaxy", but I don't want to arrest the look and keep it trapped in the nineties either, even though I love how it looked.

Hope that helps!

goninzo49 karma

Hi Joel! Huge fan.

Have you considered a reward of a cardboard cutout of you and the bots for my TV? I would love one for some of the turkeys I watch, like "Jupiter Rising" and "Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2".

Second question, if you were trapped on a desert island (or space station of love) alone and could only take one movie, what movie would it actually be?

Joel_Hodgson_62 karma

Hi Goninzo! I'm a huge fan too. I love the way you're thinking. That's a great idea for another reward. I'm so excited about all the cool things we can now do with MST3K, starting with this Kickstarter. I'm so excited to reveal the art we've been working on for the t-shirt and poster. We'll look into cardboard cutouts too!

If I could only take one movie, I guess it would be the Beatles' "Hard Day's Night." I'm just astonished at how talented the Beatles were, not only musically but comedically. For being in their early twenties, those guys were incredible. I mean, who does that?

AnimatedDavid46 karma

Why do you need so much money for the reboot?

Joel_Hodgson_113 karma

David, I'm so glad you're asking the "hard questions." We actually have a whole explanation about the money which I'm getting ready to add to the Kickstarter page. It was supposed to be there this morning, but the campaign launched a little bit before we expected, so we're still adding in some missing details.

First, about 8% of what we're raising goes to Kickstarter and credit card fees.

About 30% of what we're raising goes toward making and fulfilllng all of the rewards we're offering. That stuff can get expensive!

That means that MST3K itself only costs about 65% of what we're raising.

Plus, you'll notice that the first three episodes cost a lot more than the other nine. That's because there are a lot of "one time" costs involved in starting production. For example, we have to make props, design costumes and build sets. We also need special baby clothes for the robots. So all of that stuff adds up.

Here's the graph we're going to add to the Kickstarter page later today: http://imgur.com/5CvUy9B

For now, it's a Reddit exclusive!

Detta_Ven38 karma

Mike just announced he's not involved- please tell me Kevin & Trace are at least entertaining the notion? Mike was a HUGE part of the series & not having the main family on board will be severely disappointing ...

UPDATE: After scouring various social mediums, it appears this'll be a fresh relaunch of MST3K. As it saddens me it's not a proper reunion, I can not knock the attempt and possible outcome. Thanks for all the laughs, Joel :)

Joel_Hodgson_97 karma

Detta: I want to be really careful what I say here, because I know this is important to everyone. But first, this Kickstarter is really about making NEW episodes of MST3K, not making more of the old episodes, even though I love them as much as everyone else.

Holy cow! WE JUST HIT $500,000! That means we're already ¼ of the way to our initial goal to #BringBackMST3K for three episodes! Please keep spreading the word! Okay, where was I..

Mike's not hosting it, and I'm not either. I think it's important for the show to move on to it's next host, just like it always would have if it weren't canceled. That was always the idea for the show – it just wasn't clear because two doesn't make a pattern, and we got canceled before we ever had a third host.

I've invited everyone from the original cast to come back and participate creatively -- to write, and hopefully to do cameos as their Mad Scientist characters. I don't know yet who will and won't decide to come back. I think we'll know more after we see how this Kickstarter campaign goes. But this isn't a reunion show either. To keep the show fresh, I really believe it's important to keep bringing in new talent and keep looking forward.

ozonejl34 karma

Will the show still be produced in/around Minneapolis or will it move elsewhere?

Joel_Hodgson_66 karma

That's a really good question, ozonejl. You're a breath of fresh air. The show will be written and created from all over the place, because most of our writers work remotely. We'll source the props, robots and costumes from all over the country too. I think we'll probably be shooting the show in Los Angeles. I had a great experience working on another show in LA recently, and would love to hire some of that crew. But even though we might not produce the show in Minneapolis again, it'll always be where the show started. The idea probably couldn't have been born anywhere else. Minneapolis will always be the home of movie riffing.

In fact, I'll be out in Minneapolis to see friends at the beginning of December, and I'm hoping we might be able to do a meetup for MSTies.

IanGecko27 karma

Will the new show have old B- and Z-grade movies, or will they be more recent ones with various levels of obscurity?

Joel_Hodgson_51 karma

Yes! All of the above!

I don't like revealing what movies we're riffing ahead of time because I think it kind of spoils the whole fun of MST3K. I CAN tell you that all of the new films will finally be widescreen (or academy aperture 1.85), but we're still interested in maintaining their crappiness.

They'll be BETTER bad movies, if that makes any sense. Or BETTER-LOOKING bad movies anyway.

I'm on fire with these answers, I tell you!

Joel_Hodgson_25 karma

Yes! All of the above!

I don't like revealing what movies we're riffing ahead of time because I think it kind of spoils the whole fun of MST3K. I CAN tell you that all of the new films will finally be widescreen (or academy aperture 1.85), but we're still interested in maintaining their crappiness.

They'll be BETTER bad movies, if that makes any sense. Or BETTER-LOOKING bad movies anyway.

I'm on fire with these answers, I tell you!

BlakeMP23 karma

I notice you mention "the next" host and "the next" mad. Maybe it's just the English teacher in me overanalyzing word choice, but are you thinking of MST3K now kind of like Dr. Who, where every few years you can revamp it with new people involved?

Correlating question: I guess what I'm really getting at is, are you a Timelord?

Joel_Hodgson_48 karma

BlakeMP, that's SUCH a great question. I think I've ALWAYS thought of MST3K as being like Doctor Who. It was a huge influence on the creation of Mystery Science Theater. In college, Tom Baker was my Doctor. Just like Doctor Who, the idea has always been to keep reinventing MST3K so it stays fresh and interesting. I'm hoping the next host can do 100 episodes, just like Mike and I did, and then we'll be ready for the next one to come in. And yes, I'm a Timelord. Thanks for noticing. What gave me away? Was it the two heartbeats?

Metlover22 karma

Hey Joel! Huge fan, even though I'm too young to have seen the original episodes- my parents were big fans and I got hooked too!

My question: You guys riffed a lot of shorts in addition to the movies. Are you guys going to focus more on films, or keep the mix that you had?

Also, any plans to riff The Room? "I did not hit her! I did not- oh, hi Mark!"

Joel_Hodgson_55 karma

Hey Metlover! I love the Met too, whatever that is. I love what you love!

We'd love to do more shorts. They're such a key part of MST3K. I'm not sure whether they'll be part of this new season, but I'd love to include more of them in the future.

We love The Room, but I think MST3K does best when we steer away from movies that are famous for being bad. That's why we never did "Plan 9 From Outer Space" during our original run.

To me, watching Mystery Science Theater is kind of like going to a haunted house on the edge of town with your funny friends. It works best if you don't know what's in there.

supermattkelly22 karma

With the rights being cleared up, will we see more merchandise becoming available? I've always wanted a cool MST3K-themed statue/toy thingy.

Joel_Hodgson_24 karma

Have you been to our Kickstarter page, supermatt? We're already on our way.

(If you haven't, you can see all of that new stuff at BringBackMST3K.com.)

And I've always wanted a cool MST3K-themed statue/toy thingy too. That's a good suggestion.

harshcougar19 karma

Long time fan, thanks for working to make this happen.

My main question is, where will these episodes be placed? Is there going to be a dedicated MST3K site to watch them, are you going to bring this to a network to air, or maybe an online platform like Netflix?

Joel_Hodgson_45 karma

That's a really important question, harshcougar. The answer is that we don't know for sure yet. Part of the plan is to see how many people get excited about the Kickstarter campaign and want MST3K back, so that we can talk with broadcast networks and digital platforms about bringing MST3K back for another thirty years. There, I said it. Another 30 years.

I don't know who it will be, but we've already gotten some excited phone calls today from people in Hollywood who are watching what's happening. So it's working! Keep Circulating the URL, and maybe the next season of MST3K will be beamed straight into your eyes!

One other thing. It's really important to me that backers who help us make a new season get to ENJOY that season without spending more money, so all of the rewards above $100 include HD downloads of all of the new episodes with no DRM or copy protection. I just think that's important. It's the right thing to do. It's proper.

bbroad2518 karma

Hey Joel!

Will there be an invention exchange in the first new episodes of MST3k?

Joel_Hodgson_29 karma

I really hope that we can have some fun inventions in the show again. However, looking back at the show, I feel like they really started to get in the way of getting to the movie. Sometimes we'd make you wait 5 or 6 minutes before we started riffing, and I think that's too long. So, I thiI'd like to find a way to include inventions in other parts of the show and host segments.

InSuTruckyTrailer17 karma

Hi Joel! Thank you so much for doing this AMA, I'll try to keep this short.

Every year on my birthday, my family and I have dinner, eat some cake, and watch an episode of MST3K. Although I personally adore the show, several members of my family don't share the same love. It seems all the more fitting that I should force them to sit and watch cheesy movies and there's nothing they can do about it! MWAAHAHAHAHAAA!!!

Anyway, tomorrow is my 37th birthday and I haven't decided which episode I want to torture them with make them watch. I am torn between I Accuse my Parents and Pod People. Which should I choose?

Joel_Hodgson_38 karma

Happy 37th birthday, InSuTrucky. It's your birthday. If they love you, shouldn't they be willing to watch both of them?

But if you can only watch one, I'm going to change things up a little and suggest a different one. Why not check out "Final Sacrifice"? It's really good, and it's a perfect birthday movie.

Empigee16 karma

I know that the MST3K team passed on Child Bride because of its content, but are there any other "gems" that the writers decided were just too horrible to touch?

Joel_Hodgson_22 karma

You know, I honestly don't remember...

InvaderPet14 karma

Hello, Joel! I am excited about the news! Someone on Satellite News made a funny suggestion that YOU would be the new Mad controlling the experiment. What do you think about that?

Joel_Hodgson_31 karma

I think that's a hilarious idea. I really hope I can figure out a good character to do for my own cameo. I'd love to be a Mad for an episode or two. But I'm also really excited about the person we're hoping to bring on as the next Mad. You simply won't believe it when you hear. If you look at the outline of the "Future Mad" on our Kickstarter page, maybe you can guess who it is.

dlefevre14 karma

On a TOTALLY different note, are the DVD sets of the original run going to still come out regularly, or are the movie rights of the 30-odd episodes not yet released getting too hard to get?

Joel_Hodgson_28 karma

Don't worry, the old episodes aren't going anywhere. Or, actually, they ARE going somewhere, if you want them. Shout Factory is just about to release VOLUME XXXIV on December 1st., and they're planning to continue releasing classic episodes on DVD.

That's why we have to make more. Sooner or later, they're going to run out of old episodes. But if we act fast, the new episodes will BE old by then.

3Din3D14 karma

It's not MST3K without sometimes cheesy (but always funny) songs on a synthesizer. Will songs return? Please please pleeeeease.

Joel_Hodgson_37 karma

Of course! Music is such a big part of MST3K. The idea is to move the ball forward and try to improve, but you are right: that synthesizer really is part of the show. I'm gonna have to remember that.

I never felt like I was that good of a singer, but I love to sing. It was sort of wish fulfillment for me to get to do it on TV. Anyway, I made it a point to ask the next host and bots if they could sing, because it's really important to me.

The next host said, "Don't worry, I've got it covered. I've heard YOU sing." That made me laugh.

MySkull13 karma

Super-excited about the Kickstarter! already backed at the NYC premiere VIP level :) Here's my question:

Any chance that you'll allow the audience to vote on which movies get riffed in the new show?

Could be kinda cool!

Joel_Hodgson_26 karma

Hi MySkull. Look forward to meeting you in NYC. Thanks so much for your support. It's gonna be a blast!

And we'd LOVE to let fans help select the movies we riff in the new show, so long as the fans can pre-negotiate all of the rights to use the movie. ;)

Seryan_Klythe12 karma

Joel, I'm excited for MST3K coming back.

I'm curious on how much of the reboot is in terms of the background story/host segment portions. I mean, will the old show and characters be referenced or alluded to? Or is this a hard reboot where everything that happened prior doesn't exist?

Thanks for taking time to answer our questions!

Joel_Hodgson_34 karma

Seryan, thanks for taking the time to ASK questions!

Everything that happened in the old MST3K definitely happened. The show will continue in that same timeline. This isn't St. Elsewhere, and it's not the new Temperatures Rising starring Paul Lynde.

For example, the new Mad will be the offspring of Dr. Clayton Forrester, and the grandchild of Pearl Forrester, and therefore heir to the MST3K Experiment. Hope that puts you at ease.

ihatecomedy10 karma

Hey Joel, big fan here. Watching MST3K with my buddies as a kid/teenager/adult formed (warped?) my comedic sensibilities, and now I'm a stand-up comic, among other things.

My question is, how are you guys going about casting this new series? I'm no Hollywood big shot (I live in Dallas, after all) and I know you guys aren't either, so what's a guy like me got to do to get an audition? I'll go to Minneapolis if I have to. Hell, I'll go to one of those towns you only hear about on the show Fargo.

Joel_Hodgson_24 karma

Well, you've got the right name for being the next host of our show! :) I had to go ahead and make calls on the next Host, the next Mad and the next comedians voicing the Robots. Sorry about that. The main positions are already filled. But if you want to come join us on set, we do have a Kickstarter reward to come appear in an episode of the show! We've got some fun cameos in mind for backers and comedy-haters like you.

battleboybassist9 karma

You've probably gotten this question a million times, but where did the original idea come from?

Also, as soon as I heard you were bringing it back I pledged to the kickstarter. Good luck!

Joel_Hodgson_27 karma

Battleboy: I HAVE gotten this question a million times, and I've answered it a million times! And this is what I usually say: I stole it! :)

Not really. But you can find the real answer here: http://www.wired.com/2014/04/mst3k-oral-history/

ultranoodles5 karma

Hey Joel, I absolutely love the show, I have an MST3K moon stress ball on my desk. How do you feel about sitting behind the scenes instead of in front of the camera? Do you think you'll miss it?

Joel_Hodgson_18 karma

Hey ultranoodles. I'm Cup of Soup. We should get together!

I remember those stress balls. The truth is, I'm looking forward to being more behind-the-scenes. I enjoyed putting in my time as host, but that's a young man's game. (Or woman's!) There's such a great cast, and so many amazing creative people who are excited to work on the show. I'm looking forward to showing them the ropes, and then letting them do the heavy lifting for a while.

IBelieveTheChildrenAreOurFuture #TeachThemWellAndLetThemLeadTheWay