Created by Joel Hodgson & Team MST3K

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48,270 backers pledged $5,764,229.38 on Kickstarter

You did it: you brought back MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000! Thanks to you, MST3K will be able to shoot FOURTEEN NEW EPISODES next year, including a new holiday special!

Raised in Kickstarter
$5,764,229.38 / 48,270 backers
Raised in BackerKit
$635,114.47 / 47,060 backers

Learn About Our Project:

  • DEC 10: MST3K's Next Big ... CAMEOS!
  • DEC 9MST3K's Next Big ... ARTISTS!
  • DEC 9: MST3K's Next Big ... WRITERS!
           • What will the new episodes look like?       
           • Will the new episodes be in HD? (And why does it matter?)
           • What kinds of movies will the new episodes riff on?
  • DEC 2: WE'RE AT $3.3MM = 6 NEW EPISODES!
         • Exactly how Joel will use the Kickstarter funds..
         • Why the old cast and writers haven't signed on... yet.
         • Why a new cast is so important for the next season!

Hello, People of Earth. 

Welcome! I'm Joel Hodgson. 

Once upon a time, a television series called MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000 was born. We debuted on Minneapolis' KTMA, local television, on Thanksgiving Day 1988, as the world was in the final throes of Teddy Ruxpin-mania. That was almost thirty years ago, but for some reason, people still seem to like the show – it’s a mitzvah!

Our show has had a long, strange run. Across a UHF channel, a cable network, cancellation, a feature film, then another cable network, the show lasted for 12 years, two generations of hosts and puppeteers, 2 Emmy nominations and a total of 197 episodes before we got canceled again for good in 1999. Sadly, it was just as Prince predicted.

But maybe that's not where it all ends.

Starting today, we finally get a chance to bring back MST3K.

With your help, we can create a new season of MST3K, prove there's still an audience, and maybe even convince a network to bring us back for more.

Great question.

The simplest answer is that there are a lot of cheesy movies left to riff, and a lot of people who would still enjoy watching them with us.

Plus, I think there's a place for us. Nowadays, riffing is everywhere! Many people claim that MST3K created a shift in the way people watch TV shows, and that now, as a result, the fields of entertainment have been plowed and readied for a riffing renaissance.

I mean, look at the influence it’s had... Everyone riffs on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. Hell, there are ten to twelve people who are still, unironically, riffing on MySpace and Friendster.

In a world where riffing has become as common as our national pastime, baseball, it makes sense: like baseball, everyone knows how to play, but sometimes it feels good to just sit back and watch the original movie riffing team take a whack at it. And if we came back, imagine all the riffs we could make about things like Uber or Cards Against Humanity!

Also, there’s a pile of scriptural evidence in whichever sacred text that you hold dear to prove that we need more seasons of MST3K… so when you share on social media, you know you’re not going to offend anybody.

You know, I just read that last sentence... and actually, I’m pretty sure you’re going to offend everybody. But at least you can rest assured that you’ll offend everyone equally.

We do, and here's why: I think it's because MST3K is more than just movie riffing. It's a stranger and denser recipe than just saying smart aleck things to a forgotten movie, but I think this is the secret ingredient: we believed that it's easiest to survive the cheesy movie that we're living in with friends who keep us from taking it all too seriously.

Now, I don’t want to get too maudlin about it, because being too serious is the enemy of comedy. We weren't trying to send a message: job #1 was always to make a funny show. But while we were doing that, I hope we also helped show the kids that society, and the stupid things we say and do to each other, are "just a show, and you should really just relax.”

Yeah, this is what I was afraid of. Now I’m starting to sound like the Dr. Bronner's label. Next question?

The simplest answer is: until now, we couldn't bring MST3K back.

I've been thinking about ways to re-animate MST3K for over a decade... and over the last 15 years, I've met thousands of you who said that you wanted MST3K back too. But two things have finally changed that make this the right time. And I'm not talking about the legalization of marijuana or the proliferation of water jet pack use.

1. Crowdfunding gives fans the power to get what they want.

In less than two years, I've watched fans use crowdfunding to bring back Veronica Mars, Reading Rainbow and Super Troopers – all cult favorites, like us – and it made me wonder how MSTies would respond if we had the chance to return. Now we're going to find out… and then maybe LeVar Burton can finally stop acting like he’s so much better than us.

2. We had to work through some complicated legal issues.

Even though we've always wanted to bring MST3K back, it wasn't that easy. Thanks to the Last Will and Testament of one eccentric old heiress, the rights were tied up for years. It took time to work those issues out, but with the help of my friends at Shout Factory, a special chokehold I perfected in WuDang that I like to call “The Persuader,” and a night I had to spend in a haunted house as a term of the the old lady’s will, we succeeded.

This summer, we finally got all of the rights cleared up… and now, like Orpheus, we can now descend into hell to hang out with a couple of wisecracking robots.

Now we're talking!

Our Kickstarter campaign has two really important goals.

As soon as we reach our minimum goal of $2,000,000, we'll be able to make three new feature length episodes of Mystery Science Theater 3000. But then, for each additional $1.1 million we raise, we can make three more... up to a full season of 12 episodes!

(If you're wondering why new episodes cost so much – especially the first three – keep going down the page to "HOW WE'LL USE YOUR MONEY," or take a look at the Backer Update where I explained the budget in detail.)

Here's a simple diagram to help you remember our goals:

If we can raise even more than that, I'd love to shoot some (or all) of the new season LIVE in front of an audience – and maybe even stream the show live on the internet! (Oh yeah: I just saw your eyes light up.)

Finally, if we raise $1 BILLION – stay with me on this one – we’re going to adopt a real live teenage boy and “Truman Show” him into believing he is the Pumaman!

Hear us out, because this goal is just as important: we're not just crowdfunding because we need funding. 

We're also doing it because we need the crowd!

If we want a lot more MST3K, we need to work together to prove that there's still an audience out there that wants MST3K – and that this isn't all some pitiable delusion – so that we can find a network or online platform who will agree to pick up the show and keep it going… hopefully for another 200+ episodes.

Even if you can only spare $5 or $10, every extra backer helps us send a message to the networks: it's time to #BringBackMST3K.


Okay. It's time for me to put away the grease gun and give you your marching orders.

If any of this rings true to you, we need your help now to spread the word. Back in the day, every episode of MST3K ended with a message that encouraged fans to “Keep Circulating the Tapes.” And you guys did.

Those grassroots efforts helped MST3K find friends and fans at a time when the rest of show business didn’t quite know what to make of us. It was social media in its most primitive form... and because of you, it worked.

Today's, it's time to update that phrase for the internet age. If you're with us, this is your call to action, MSTies.

And while you're at it, you can help out even more by taking a minute to follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. (Apparently those matter more than Nielsen ratings, now!)

Listen, I know this Kickstarter idea isn’t for everyone. Neither was Mystery Science Theater 3000. But just like MST3K itself, I know the right people will get it.

Thanks for reading. I hope you'll join us. 


Dear People of the Internet,

Welcome to my first-ever Official Crow-Funding Campaign. Tee Hee!

As #1 Golden Shiny Boy Champion, I need a place to shine bright and inspire. I want to be a part of your life again, serving in both a wind-beneath-your-wings and an ASRM capacity. You know you still want me, baby, but allow me to tell you why.

  • First, I like POP! Figures. I intend to roll most of the money into Funko stock. Plus a few hat parties.

  • Also, I’d like to open up a long-overdue public dialogue on Cee-Lo Green and his fashion choices.

  • Then, I plan on turning at least a thousand dollars’ worth of funds into pennies, which I will press into elongated souvenir coins at theme parks and fairs.

  • Finally, if you are still undecided, I ask you to consider this: after years of waiting, I will finally get to decide who lives and who dies. You don’t want to be on the wrong list, do you?

I look forward to your loyal service in the many years of the New Golden Age to come.

Your Future Supreme Being,
Crow T. Robot

Hello, Ladies.

I'm pleased to be with you again. It's been too long. Now that we're about to be a huge crowdfunding hit, I've got a few things I'd like to discuss with you.

It turns out that the last 15 years have been kind to our legacy: we're famous now. And not internet famous, either. Real famous. I have lots of female fans.

Angelina, Scarlett, and many women named Madison: I've got parts in the new show with your names on them. You can come over and we can run lines in my bungalow, and I’ll make us a curry. Then if things get “consensual,” so be it.

I’ll also pretty much be the “troubleshooter” on this Kickstarter campaign, because I understand how you think and I’m a master of social media. My god: you do realize that I’m the uncredited creator of both memes and avatars?


What are you waiting for? Get out to the Kickstarter polls and start voting.

Tom Servo

Hey everyone. It's Joel again.

Look, I know what you're wondering, so go ahead… just say it.

Believe me, man. I get it. If it cost $2 million just to make three episodes, we'd be spending almost $700K per show! And you're right: by itself, an episode of MST3K doesn't cost nearly that much. 

The real explanation is pretty simple.

1. We don't get to keep all of the money we raise on Kickstarter! 

  • CAMPAIGN FEES: Out of the first $2,000,000, we have to pay about 8% – that's $160,000 – in fees to Kickstarter and the credit card processor.

  • REWARD & SHIPPING COSTS: Then, we have to design, produce, print, sort and ship all of the rewards we're offering in exchange for your pledge. (Those t-shirts aren't free, you know!) That costs about 27%, so that's another $540,000.
  • (We're not charging you twice for shipping, I promise. Even though Kickstarter asks you to add more for shipping, they count that money toward the total we've raised, even though we still have to spend it on, you know… shipping!)
  • So, out of the first $2,000,000 we raise, we have to spend $700,000 just on the costs of this Kickstarter campaign!

2. Then, we have to spend a lot on startup costs just to get the show going. 

To shoot new episodes, there's a lot we'll need to do: creating concept art and designs, building sets, making models, creating costumes, adding new features to upgrade the robots, and all sorts of other things. All of that work costs money, which is why our first $2,000,000 includes $550,000 for startup costs. The good part is that every penny of that ends up on screen where you can see it.

3. But... the more episodes we make, the less each episode costs! 

We have to spend the same amount up front, no matter how many episodes we make. If we only make 3 episodes, these costs increase the budget for each episode by $183K… but if we make a full 12, they only increase it by $46K each!

Anyway, once you take out the CAMPAIGN, REWARD and STARTUP COSTS, there's a lot less than $2,000,000 left. In fact, that leaves just $750K for three episodes, which – I hope – sounds a lot more reasonable than $2,000,000!

At the end of the day, our goal is to make each episode for around $250K.

To put that in perspective, that means we're spending less to create 90 minutes of MST3K than even the low-end reality shows spend to make 22 minutes! (Really makes ya think, don't it?) 

Now, if you're as tired of reading as I am of writing, here are some wicked cool graphics that explain all of this:

I know not everyone will want this much explanation, but if I'm asking you to trust me with your money, I think it's important to be crystal clear about how we're using it. 

Plus, $750K for each set of three episodes feels a lot better than $2,000,000. 

(But man, I'd hate to try to sell a car to you people. Tough crowd!)

Hopefully by now, you're already on board. Maybe you're not even reading this. Maybe you've already made your contribution, selected your rewards, and are now rushing around the internet helping spread the good word to all of your MST3K-deprived friends!

But if you're still on the fence, maybe I can make it easier for you.

Personally, I think the most compelling reason to help out is that you want to see new episodes of MST3K… and not just for you. Think of the friends and family who you can finally introduce to the new MST3K: the one with a fresh new cast, fresh new riffs, and zesty new cheesy movies!

On the other hand, let’s not any of us forget: this is Kickstarter. I know that you know that that’s gonna mean some cool rewards for helping us out. And for a show that’s never really been about cool merch...I think we’ve finally got some!

UPDATE! We've gotten a lot of questions asking exactly what's included with each package, so we've put together another helpful little chart:

You can see all of the rewards on the right side of the page, but here are a few highlights:

All backers – no matter what you pledge – will be invited to join the new MST3K Information Club. (It's like the old MST3K Info Club, only better. And modern. And more exclusive. And wider in the hips.) Over the next year, we'll invite you to help us rediscover MST3K and get it oiled up and running smoothly. You'll be part of the process!

Read... Our Page-Turning Insider Updates 
We don't just want to take your cash and walk away: we want to take your cash and talk away! Most Kickstarter projects promise "exclusive behind-the-scenes updates," but this time, I mean it: I've already started planning things I want to share with you. It'll be like getting email from me, Crow and Servo for at least a year.

Possess... Amazing, Terrifying, Heart-Warming New MST3K Swag
Before the end of the campaign, we'll start sharing the designs we're planning for some of the #BringBackMST3K swag you can get, including the OFFICIAL T-SHIRT ($50+), OFFICIAL MUG ($75+), OFFICIAL KEYCHAIN ($100+), OFFICIAL POSTER ($150), and many more. We've got several amazing artists working on this stuff. I can't wait for you to see it.

Take Control.... of the New Episodes!Bringing back MST3K isn't enough power for you? Great! For real high-rollers, we're offering all sorts of ways to be part of the episodes themselves. You can…

  • Steal the hearts of millions when you... APPEAR IN AN EPISODE! 
  • Throw your weight around and… BECOME A PRODUCER! 
  • Kickstart your new riffing career and… HELP WRITE AN EPISODE!
  • Immortalize your favorite inside joke with… A PERSONAL RIFF!

Own and Command... Your OWN Robot Friend!
This one is difficult for me, but I want to make sure this Kickstarter succeeds, so I'm willing to make the sacrifice: a very limited number of you can KEEP THE ACTUAL CROW and/or SERVO FEATURED IN A NEW EPISODE! They'll record a personalized video for you, and then we'll ship them off to your doorstep. When we're done shooting.

1. FOLLOW "@MST3K" ON ALL OF OUR SOCIAL CHANNELS.Be sure to follow our official accounts on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Ask your fellow MSTies to follow them too! Tell them that those numbers have a really big impact when we start asking networks to #BringBackMST3K for more new seasons.

2. CIRCULATE THE MESSAGES AT THE END OF EACH UPDATE. At the end of each Backer Update, Crow or Servo will share a message or image that you can copy and paste to share with your friends, to help spread the word.

3. KEEP CIRCULATING THE FACTS… NICELY! I know there are still some fans out there who are skeptical about this Kickstarter, about why MST3K costs so much money and how we'll spend it, about bringing in a third cast, about who is and isn't going to be involved… So, like they say on the subway, "If you see something, say something!" If you hear fans insisting that $2MM is more than we need to make three episodes, or that the old team isn't invited back, I hope you'll share the facts with them. (Please be nice, though! The internet needs a lot more of that.)

The internet is great, but sometimes riffing is even better when you can meet old (and new) friends in person! There are already a lot of MST3K groups on, but if there's not one near you, start one now and invite your friends! We've got some events planned for this month, and we'll be calling on all the local groups to be part of them.

As long as we have the funds we need, we'll be able to produce new episodes. That part is easy! But over the last month, I've had lots of time to think about all the possible risks and challenges MST3K could face...

MST3K has been away for a long time. YouTube didn't even exist when we shot the last episode of MST3K. (Yes, Virginia, there was a world before YouTube. People laughed more back then. Colors were brighter. There were concerts in the park.)

I've imagined many hypothetical risks:

  • What if no one enjoys watching B-movies anymore? 
  •  What if you don't want us talking while you do? 
  •  What if there is an unknown virus that has killed mankind's ability to enjoy a good solid ironic viewing? 
  • What if kids playing in “Garry’s Mod” on Twitch have made the whole thing meaningless? 
  • What if robot-shaped puppets don’t have the overwhelming cultural significance they once did? 
  • What if our collective consciousness can’t take the excitement, and the entire world becomes a flash mob, and we all steal our own TVs?
  • What if all eight billion people on the planet become a single “Improv Everywhere” troupe, but don’t have anyone left to surprise?!?

As you can see, this whole endeavor is fraught with risks.

Latest Updates from Our Project:

Correction: Advance Screening is SUNDAY, APRIL 9.
3 days ago – Fri, Mar 24, 2017 at 11:39:43 PM

Hey All!

Quick update to fix two typos from yesterday's announcements:

1. The preview screening of Experiment 1101 will be available to stream starting at 12:01 AM PT on SUNDAY, APRIL 9th, 2017... not the 8th.

2. All release times – including the release of the new season on Netflix on April 14th – will be on PACIFIC TIME, not on EASTERN TIME.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled programming.

The Management

Netflix has an Official Teaser + 20 Classic Episodes! PLUS: Backer Access to Season 11, The Livestreaming Advance Screening, Download Access, And More!
4 days ago – Fri, Mar 24, 2017 at 12:05:14 AM


Dear MST3K Revival League,

Joel here. Man, there's a bunch of new information to share with you this time.

First off, things are getting really exciting. Can’t you just feel it? It’s good to have the new shows finished, and to feel like we did a good job on them. Thanks for believing, and for your patience while we took the time to get all of the details just right.

Also, I think I mentioned this last time, but I've been thinking about it a lot, so I wanted to mention it again: When we did the screenings in NYC, Chicago, and LA, I didn’t meet a single backer that didn’t like the direction of the new show, which was such a relief. So, I can’t wait for the rest of you to finally see the pilot – and today, I've got details on exactly when you'll get to see it! And, I’m happy to report that after the pilot, I really think we improved as we went, so I'm also excited for you to see the rest of the new episodes. I've got to tell you, now that we're on a roll – nothing's been guaranteed or discussed yet, but I’m already looking forward to what I think we could do with a twelfth season!

Anyway, we've got just over two weeks left until the new season comes out on Netflix. The gears are starting to turn, baby! So, let's get right to it.


First, if you didn't already see it yesterday, Netflix has released an official "teaser trailer" for the new season, which will give most of you your first real look at our new host, our new Mads, and – SPOILER ALERT – some hints about a few of our new movies, including the name of the first movie we'll be riffing this season.

If you really want to watch the season and be surprised, you might want to avoid watching this. And also maybe going on the internet for the next few weeks. But if you don't mind knowing a few things, then you can take your first look at some new footage right now:


We asked Netflix not to give away too much about the movies we're riffing, so as you can see, this teaser is more about setting up the basic idea and "tone" of the show, and hopefully getting a wider audience a little bit curious to find out what this "MST3K" is all about.

And, you know, if your friends and family are curious – or you just want to force them to find out more about the show – you don't even have to wait until April 14th to get started. That's because…


As some of you already know, last week our friends at Netflix started getting things warmed up for Season 11, by adding 20 of your favorite classic episodes of Mystery Science Theater to their library. We tried to pick a collection that would give people a good feel for the show, and a lot of our choices were based on your votes for the top episodes.

Here's what got added:

  • Exp 424 - Manos: The Hands of Fate (#1) 
  • Exp 820 - Space Mutiny (#2) 
  • Exp 303 - Pod People (#5) 
  • Exp 903 - Puma Man (#6) 
  • Exp 321 - Santa Claus Conquers the Martians (#7) 
  • Exp 904 - Werewolf (#8) 
  • Exp 821 - Time Chasers (#10) 
  • Exp 507 - I Accuse My Parents (#12) 
  • Exp 506 - Eegah! (#13) 
  • Exp 706 - Laserblast (#17) 
  • Exp 813 - Jack Frost (#20) 
  • Exp 1003 - Merlin’s Shop of Mystical Wonders (#22) 
  • Exp 404 - Teenagers from Outer Space (#25) 
  • Exp 204 - Catalina Caper (#29) 
  • Exp 202 - Sidehackers (#37) 
  • Exp 1004 - Future War (#39) 
  • Exp 402 - The Giant Gila Monster (#43) 
  • Exp 410 - Hercules Against the Moon Men (#48) 
  • Exp 604 - Zombie Nightmare (#60) 
  • Exp 1011 - Horrors of Spider Island (#94)

So, you can see that we were able to add 7 of the top 10 episodes from your vote, which is pretty good! (Remember, we don't actually have the rights to stream all of the original films we riffed, which meant we couldn't just include the entire Top 10.)

Anyway, even if you've seen all of these episodes before, I really suggest going and watching some of them again now. I think the new episodes might actually feel better if you take some time to watch your old favorites first, because then you'll be able to compare the new season to the actual old episodes, and not just your memories of the old episodes. I realize, it’s the perfect time to say, “This is reality, Greg”.

And, even more important, Netflix pays really careful attention to what everyone is watching, and how quickly and how often, so actually, watching all of the episodes – old and new – on Netflix, even if you have digital downloads or access on other channels, is probably the single biggest thing you can do to help increase our chances of getting another new season after this one. And, if you want to help more Netflix users discover Mystery Science Theater for the first time, it'll also help if you want to leave some reviews and ratings on your favorite classic episodes on Netflix. I don't know exactly what goes into the Netflix secret sauce, but I'm pretty sure that'll help!

So, if you're a Netflix member – or you want to try out a free month-long membership – you can see those 20 classic episodes right here.

Backer Access to Season 11

Next, I want to mention something really important, because I think maybe some backers are still confused about this. I know that a lot of you pledged for Kickstarter rewards that involve seeing some of the new season, including...

  • The livestream screening of Episode 1101 (Experiment 25+) 
  • The digital download of Episode 1101 (Experiment 35+) 
  • The digital download of Season 11 (Experiment 85+) 
  • The Season 11 Collector's Box Set (Experiment 200+) 
  • The Episode 1101 Collector's VHS (Experiment 250+)

Even though it will help us out if you choose to watch the new season on Netflix, you don't have to be a Netflix member to collect or watch the new episode rewards. 

Now, I know a lot of you have been wondering how (and when) you'll get the livestream screening and the digital downloads, and – even though it took us a little while to make all the arrangements – it was really important to me that we did everything we could to give our backers the chance to see the new season before other people can.

Here's what we're going to do.

1. The PREVIEW SCREENING of Experiment 1101.

If you pledged for EXPERIMENT 25 or higher, you probably remember that we promised:

"You'll be one of the first to see the first new episode when the movie sign sounds, with ACCESS TO OUR LIVE-STREAMING ONLINE SCREENING, where you can watch and riff the new episode LIVE with Joel, the cast and your fellow backers. It will feel like you're really here!"

Now, we've really been trying to figure out the best way to do this, because there are almost 40,000 of you invited to this livestream, and we want to make sure it all goes smoothly.

We also know that, because we have backers in so many different time zones, it's hard to schedule a single time for the livestream screening that will work for all of you. But, you know, I also don't want anyone to feel left out. So, here's what we figured out.

On THURSDAY, APRIL 6th, all backers invited to the livestream screening will receive a new VHX code through BackerKit, along with detailed instructions for redeeming the code. This will give you some extra time to make sure your VHX account is working.

Then, on SUNDAY, APRIL 8th, at 12:01 am ET, your VHX account will be updated with streaming access to EXPERIMENT 1101, which will let you stream the new pilot episode as much as you'd like for 24 hours, until 11:59 pm ET. 

That afternoon, we'll invite you to join me and Jonah in an online chatroom (exact time TBD) while we watch Experiment 1101 and share our thoughts. After we're done with the episode, Baron, Hampton and Felicia will join us for a live video Q&A, where we'll answer as many of your questions as we can.

(And if you can't make it for the live Q&A session, I'll make sure we save a video of it and add it to your VHX collection, so that you can catch up – or watch it again – later.)

Anyway, that's a lot of information, but don't worry: you don't need to do anything right now except mark your calendar. You'll be able to see the new pilot on SUNDAY, APRIL 8th, from 12:01 am - 11:59pm ET, and you'll be able to join us for a live co-viewing and Q&A sometime that afternoon. 

I hope you'll join us if you can. I really want to know what you think.

2. The DIGITAL DOWNLOADS of Season 11.

Obviously, that's just the first episode. But if you pledged for EXPERIMENT 085 or higher, then you know your rewards also included this:

"Watch MST3K whenever, wherever and however you want! We don't know whether we'll get to make 3, 6, 9 or 12 episodes, but however many it is, you'll own all of them with DIGITAL DOWNLOADS OF THE WHOLE NEW SEASON, in glorious HD, with no insulting DRM!"

Now, two important things happened after we came up with that reward:

First, you raised way more than we ever hoped we could, so we're able to give you not 3, 6, 9 or 12, but a full 14 NEW EPISODES of Mystery Science Theater. How's that for value, huh?

And, second, the show found a new home on Netflix, which – as you know – works a little bit different than a traditional television network. From what I understand, they'll decide whether to keep the show going based on how many people watch these new episodes, and how many times they watch them. So, even though many of you could watch the new season with your downloads and DVDs, I hope you'll also consider watching them on Netflix, especially at the beginning, so that they can see how many people are enjoying them.

To give you a little context, I just want to explain the dilemma we had. Like I said, it's really important to me that we do right by all of you who helped us make this season, and that we try to let you see the new episodes a little sooner than everyone else… but we also promised that your digital downloads would be nice and DRM-free, to make them easy to watch however and wherever you want. And that means that, if even one backer decided to share the new episodes on BitTorrent, and lots of other people started downloading them, and it kept people from watching it on Netflix… it's pretty crazy, but it basically means that even one careless backer could really hurt our chances of getting to make more seasons. And I don't think that's what anyone wants.

Anyway, I just wanted to explain all of that for context, because I think we found a pretty good way to handle this, and I hope it'll make everyone feel good.

On TUESDAY, APRIL 11th, at 12:01 am ET, all backers who get the new episodes will be able to start streaming the new episodes from your VHX accounts for 48 hours.

Then, on THURSDAY, APRIL 13th, at 12:01 am ET, all backers who get the new episodes will be able to start downloading the new episodes from VHX as well.

And, on FRIDAY, APRIL 14th, at 12:01 am, the new season will be released on Netflix, where all Netflix users will be able to stream all of the episodes.

Now, I know some of you were hoping to get the new episodes a lot sooner than everyone else, and you know, I wish there was a good way to do that… but it's like I said, we're trying to figure out the best way to give you a good experience and protect the show so that we'll get to make more new seasons after this one.

So, I hope you'll all see where I'm coming from, and feel pretty good about this solution. It's not perfect, but we're really doing our best for you, and Netflix is really doing something unprecedented for us – not just by allowing us to start watching the new shows three days before everyone else, but also by letting us include over 20,000 of your names names in the credits!

Getting the rest of your KICKSTARTER REWARDS.

Since we're talking about when you'll get to see everything, I thought it would be a good idea to also tell you about the rest of the Kickstarter rewards we promised you.

We're getting pretty close to finalizing the next wave of reward shipments now, and I've got to tell you, I'm really pleased with how everything is coming out. We want to get them to you as close to the premiere as possible, so we're just waiting for one final reward to arrive at our warehouse from China, and then we'll start packing it all up to send out.

Right now, we're on track to send the next wave of rewards out at the beginning of May.

Those packages will include all of the rewards that are ready to send now, including:

  • The Coffee / Tiki Mugs 
  • The Keychains 
  • The Stickers 
  • The Mission Patches 
  • The Posters 
  • The SoL Art Prints

Then, in a few more months – probably sometime in July or August – we'll send out one final round of rewards, with all of the rewards that we're still finishing and developing, including:

  • The "Season 11: Collector's Edition" DVD and Blu-ray Sets 
  • The "Experiment 1101: Collector's Edition" VHS Cassette 
  • The Official Mystery Gifts 
  • The Official MIMOBOT® USB drives 
  • The "Art of MST3K" 2017-2018 Calendars 
  • The "Making of MST3K" Coffee Table Books

Also, if you're still waiting on one of the "bigger" rewards, like a personalized video or voicemail, an original prop from set, or an invitation to lunch with the cast, we haven't forgotten you: we're finalizing the last details now, and our team will get in touch soon with more information.

PLUS: A "#WelcomeBackMST3K" Gift from RiffTrax!

Now, I know this whole update has been about rewards that are coming up, but before I finish, I'm happy to tell you that – thanks to our friends at RiffTrax – we've actually got another bonus reward that you can collect right now.

To help celebrate the return of Mystery Science Theater, they'd like to give all of our backers free access to streaming versions of three of their most popular titles:

  • A short film called Measuring Man 
  • Their full-length take on Manos: The Hands of Fate, and 
  • Their live riff of Plan 9 From Outer Space!

You can access all three bonus rewards right now – just go here.

And, if you haven't already, be sure to check out Rifftrax Live’s latest Kickstarter campaign, for Samurai Cop, Beach Party, a mystery title and more. It ends in just a couple of days!

I think that's all for today, but here's one more little tease: now that we're getting into the homestretch, I've got a few more backer-exclusive details and sneak peeks I want to share with you before the new season comes out. So yeah, I'll be updating you at least a couple more times as we count down to the official premiere on April 14th.

It's going to be a fun month, my friends. I'm excited to be sharing it with you.

Cheers & Thanks,


The #WeBroughtBackMST3K Kickstarter Screening Tour was a success! PLUS: Meet the NEW GYPSY!
28 days ago – Mon, Feb 27, 2017 at 10:44:23 PM

Dear MST3K Revival League,

Joel here. I'm just getting home from spending two weeks on the road for our Kickstarter screening tour, where we finally got to show over a thousand of you amazing backers a first look at what we've been working on for the last year, and man, I've gotta tell you: it's just been such a great experience for all of us, getting to meet so many of you and hear your reactions.

Also, I know it's been a little while since the last "big" update, so I really appreciate you all being so patient, and letting us put in the time to focus and get things right. Things have been really busy, between finishing up post-production on the final new episodes, and then running these screenings. I know it's hard to wait, but like I've said all along: more than anything, I want to make sure we get these new episodes right, and I don't want to spoil anything.

The good news is, once the new episodes are released, we'll still have plenty of time to talk about everything we've been doing, and also, I think it'll be easier to understand what I'm talking about once you've seen the episodes. So, thanks again for being so patient over the last year.

And, now that all fourteen episodes of Season 11 are "in the can," I should be able to spend more time writing updates again, so that we can all come together and count down the days until MST3K returns. (And hey, if you don't want to do the math... that's just 46 days away!)

So yeah: for today, I thought maybe I could tell you a little bit about our special Kickstarter screenings, and introduce you to someone I've been waiting for you to meet.


A new friend joined us on the road.
A new friend joined us on the road.


Before I tell you about those screenings, I want to tell you that these events weren't part of the "Livestream Screening" that we promised as a reward for backers who pledged for EXPERIMENT 025 and higher. You didn't miss the online screening reward! That's still going to happen before Netflix releases the new season on April 14. We're working out the details now, so I hope we'll have those for you in the next week or two.

Anyway, over the last two weeks, we got the chance to screen our first new episode – let's just call it "Experiment 1101" to avoid spoilers – for three really terrific crowds of backers, along with some of our family and friends, in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles. We also got to answer some really fun questions, and even do a little demonstration of how the upgraded Crow and Servo puppets work. (Don't worry: we recorded some of that for the special "Kickstarter Edition" DVD extras, so even if you weren't there, you'll still have a chance to see it!)


Now, before you start asking other backers for details, you should know that we had to ask everyone to sign a "Non Disclosure Agreement," promising to keep the details secret until the new season is released on Netflix:


But, even though I asked all the backers who joined us not to tell you what movie we riffed, or answer specific questions about the new season, I think it's okay for them to share some of their general thoughts and feelings with you.

(Actually, I know a lot of them have been doing that in the comments for a week or two, but maybe they'll do it again on this update, so you can ask them questions. Just don't ask them for specifics, because they're not allowed to share them yet.)

Anyway, for us, these screenings were just an incredible, encouraging way to "test" the new season out, and the reactions really reassured all of us that we're on the right track.

To tell you the truth, when we were first planning our Kickstarter, I was a little worried about the idea of taking the season pilot out for an early "test drive" like this, but Ivan told me it would be a really valuable way to get feedback and encouragement and know how things were going before we premiered it for the rest of the world. And man, he was so right.


Actually, even some of the most hesitant backers who came to our screenings came up to all of us afterward, and told us that they think we got the tone of the show "just right," and that they're really pleased to see how well Jonah, Baron, Hampton, Felicia and Patton picked up the tradition and kept it going. If you're still worried about the new cast, I hope that will help you relax a bit and enjoy the last few weeks of waiting a little more.

If you were one of the backers who came out and joined us, I just want to say "thank you" again – we had a really wonderful time, and I hope you did too.


Now, all of the screenings were a lot of fun, but I want to take a few minutes to share something very special that happened while we were on the road. See, we have one more cast member you haven't met yet, who actually lives in Chicago… so I thought that a screening in her own town would be the perfect time to introduce her.


Ever since we finished our Kickstarter, I know that one of the most common questions about the new episodes was if Gypsy would be back on the Satellite of Love. Well, if you saw the photo that Netflix released last week, then you've already probably put two and two together, but I'm pleased to make it official:

Gypsy is back for the new season of Mystery Science Theater 3000, and thanks to some design adjustments, and the wonderful talent of her new voice – Miss Rebecca Hanson – she'll be more involved than ever before!


Now, I want to introduce you to Rebecca and tell you a little bit more about her, but before I do, I also want to share a little bit of the thinking that we put into Gypsy for the new season.

The first thing I should tell you is that I know how loved Gypsy is, so I've always known we'd bring her back. But I've also got to tell you that, even though we love Gypsy too, I felt like there were some problems we had to solve, because when we created her for the original episodes, I think we just didn't spend as much bandwidth on developing her as we did with Tom and Crow, and it kept us from including her in the show more. But, as you know, she became this really beloved character, even though we didn't see her that often.

Anyway, personally, I felt obliged to give her a little more of a creative "hug" this time around, and to figure out how to solve some of the problems that kept us from using Gypsy more often, or in more interesting ways.

At the same time, I really tried to approach the new episodes of MST3K the way a designer would, and tried to make sure it was easy to understand from a newcomer's perspective, and not just for folks who knew the show. (That way, the new MST3K wouldn't just be a love letter to the past, but maybe also a love letter to the future.)

So, when you think about it that way, there are a few questions that a newcomer might ask about Gypsy based on the past episodes, like…

  • Why didn't Gypsy appear more often in the theater and sketches?
  • Why did Gypsy appear to be “slightly dim”?
  • Why was Gypsy always voiced by a man?

Let's talk about those questions one at a time, okay?

1. Why didn't Gypsy appear more often in the theater and sketches?

This is such an important question. The thing to tell you is, when I first thought up Gypsy, I was mostly just wanting to create a really big robot – kind of like Sweet-ums in The Muppets. To build her, we used a baby car-seat carrier. That was helpful, because she was very lightweight... but she was also very huge and unwieldy, which made it hard to include her in a lot of sketches or bring her into the Mystery Science Theater.

This time around, we spent considerably more time and energy "upgrading her" to have more flexibility, so that she can do more, and participate more in the show. By flexibility, I mean we've got some really cool new innovations that allow her to do way more.

I'll leave it at that for now, but you'll see what I mean right in the first new host segment – and after that, I can tell you more about how we designed her.

2. Why did Gypsy appear to be "slightly dim"?

As you might remember, the old Gypsy was also kind of… simple.  

Now, I realize that back in the day, we explained that by saying, "Most of her memory is dedicated to running the higher functions of the ship." So it gave her obvious mental challenges a little more context: Gypsy was very busy. Over time, though, I started to see how this was also keeping Gypsy’s personality from being able to grow, the way that Tom and Crow could grow.

The good news is that, since the old episodes, times have changed. Back then, it might have make sense that an individual robot wouldn't have enough processing power to do her job and also talk coherently… but now, the concept of "the cloud" has sort of solved that. So, I'm happy to say that while the new Gypsy is still busy maintaining the ship, she can also have conversations. That gave us the chance to pull her into more sketches, and to let her drop in to riff in the MST. I'm hoping that in time, Gypsy can become a little bit more of a "full" character.

3. Why was Gypsy voiced by a man?

There was one other problem, too. Over the years, I started to feel a little self-conscious that our “slightly dim” character was a female, but voiced by a man. Think about that for second. It sounds kind of weird when I say it, doesn’t it? And honestly, there was no good reason why she had to be voiced by a man, other than, "That's just the way we did it back then."

So, when we started making plans to bring back Mystery Science Theater, I became pretty invested in casting a woman to take on the new, fuller role of Gypsy. I wanted to find a performer who had the comedic chops and sense of self to embellish and build on what we already know about Gypsy, but also to take on new ideas from the creative team and writers. Just as important, I wanted someone I knew would be confident enough to "hang in there" and be part of the ensemble with Jonah and Baron and Hampton. And, of course, I wanted to find someone who was a fan of the show, and who I knew would help us care for it.

Well, man, I've gotta tell you… we found her.



Now, If you were one of the backers who received our "thank you" postcard from set, you may have noticed that there was an extra signature on the back, along with me, Jonah, Baron, Hampton, Felicia and Patton.

In fact, a few of you even wrote to ask me, "Who is Rebecca Hanson?"

I'm so glad to finally get to tell you more about her.

I met Rebecca about four years ago in Chicago, and simply put, I just really liked her. She was so funny, and talented, and a “good hang” too! Adding to all that, on a professional level Rebecca has been performing improv, sketch comedy, and singing and writing in Chicago for over a decade. She has toured all over the US and is a proud alum of The Second City National Touring Company and ComedySportz Chicago too.

And honestly, I think in the back of my mind, I was hoping to give Gypsy a hint of a Midwestern voice. Rebecca can do lots of voices and dialects, but deep underneath all that, she’s an Iowan!


At the same time, Rebecca also has a second ongoing role on the new MST3K as one of Kinga's minions, whose identity I will reveal in a later update! Plus, Rebecca is writing on several episodes of the new season as well. And she did so well that, next season – Lord willing and creek don’t rise – we’re hoping to give her even more writing assignments!

Also, now that we're on the other side of production and I've seen the finished episodes, I just have to tell you: Rebecca has already done an amazing job being Gypsy, and quite frankly, she’s added some great new wrinkles to the character that I simply couldn’t have anticipated.

Long story short, I’m really thrilled with her work and I think you will be too!

We're very lucky to have her on the Satellite of Love with us. So, now that the secret is out, I hope you'll go say "hi" to Rebecca on Twitter, or in the comments, and give her a warm welcome from the MST3K Revival League.

Of course, there's a lot more to share with you, because so much has happened over the past few weeks, but I kind of need to unpack.

Next time, I'll share more details about some fun new developments in our plans to bring MST3K off the screen and into new places, and if we can get a few more details locked up, I'm hoping to announce the date and time for our "Online Screening" of the first new episode and a live Q&A with me and our new cast. Our team is working on that now, so stay tuned!

Hope everyone had a great weekend. 

46 days until new MST3K!

Cheers & Thanks,


BIG NEWS: Mystery Science Theater 3000 will return on APRIL 14, 2017 on NETFLIX.
about 1 month ago – Tue, Feb 21, 2017 at 11:34:28 PM

Dear MST3K Revival League,

Joel here. It’s been a really busy couple of weeks, and we just finished our third (and last) “Red Carpet Kickstarter Screening” of the first new episode of Mystery Science Theater, Experiment 1101. I’ll tell you more about those very soon, but right now, I’m writing to share some very important news:

The new season of Mystery Science Theater 3000 will premiere on Netflix on April 14, 2017.

You know, I always promised that I’d tell you as soon as I found out, and Netflix actually just told me as we were finishing the Q&A session for our screening here in Los Angeles. So, I wanted to write and tell you right away.

Anyway, I’m off to meet some of the wonderful backers who came out for tonight’s screening, but I wanted to make sure you heard the news from me before you see it somewhere else. I’ll have more news for you soon.

And just so you don’t worry, we promise: if your rewards include the new episodes – or the livestream screening of the first new episode — we’ll make sure you have them by April 14, when the new episodes premiere on Netflix.

None of this would be happening without you. I’m really grateful.

Cheers & Thanks,


Some Notes on the "Lost" KTMA Episodes
4 months ago – Mon, Dec 05, 2016 at 11:03:09 PM

Dear MST3K Revival League,

I'm really pleased to hear that so many of you are enjoying the lost KTMA episodes! Now that you've had a week or two to watch them, I thought it would be nice to share some notes I wrote down a few weeks ago, when I was re-watching the episodes again for the first time.

Before I do that, though – I know that some backers have had trouble figuring out how to access the KTMA episodes, so Ivan asked me to share these reminders with you:

  • If you pledged $35 or more on Kickstarter (not on, your rewards include the lost KTMA episodes for free. You don't have to pay anything else. You'll find them in your collection of "Classic Bonus Episodes" on VHX.
  • The KTMA episodes are not available for purchase, but you can still make a $35 pledge on our MST3K BackerKit site. If you do, you'll get access to most of the rewards from that package, including the KTMA episodes. You can make a late pledge here, by choosing EXPERIMENT 035.
  • If you haven't activated your free VHX account yet, you'll need to do that first. If you're not sure how, Ivan sent instructions back in Update #34, so look there.  If you already finished filling out your BackerKit order form, you'll need to go look there. If you don't remember how, you can have the link sent to you again in email.
  • If you've got ANY questions or need help, please email so our support team can help you. Please do not contact Kickstarter or VHX support, because they won't be able to help. They'll just tell you to contact our team!

If you still haven't gotten to watch the episodes, I hope those instructions will help.

About the Lost Episodes

Also, before I share some specific notes about the "lost episodes", I wanted to point something out: Invaders from the Deep is considered Episode #1... but is it really?

Prior to this we made two other “tests” of MST3K:


This is called the “pilot,” even though it really isn’t. It was actually a fifteen-minute “proof of concept” tape we made to explain the premise to Donald O'Connor – not the “Francis the talking Mule” Donald O'Connor, but the station manager of KTMA. Fortunately, Don liked this brief tape, so we were off and running.

The movie was Green Slime, but actually, we never really riffed much of it, and then we never riffed the full-length movie later because we lost the rights to use it. So mostly, the “proof of concept” included the sketch ideas, along with a rough version of the doorways, plus Crow and me and the robot-who-was-to-become-Tom-Servo walking in and sitting down. I remember we only did a few riffs in that, and dropped a couple of references to Star Wars. (“That’s no meteor, that’s a battle station!”)

If you want to see it, it looks like there are some links on YouTube to a panel where we showed the "Pilot" at a convention once.


The weird thing is that there may also be a still-missing KTMA Episode ("Episode #0"), which was a full-length episode but without the theme song. I remember after we viewed it, it was obvious the whole idea of MST was probably hard to understand for a first-time viewer, and Jim Mallon and I agreed the show needed some more explanation in the form of a theme song like Gilligan’s Island. This was in lieu of doing endless exposition about who we were, and what we were doing in space while watching bad movies.

So, Josh (J. Elvis) Weinstein and I wrote the MST3K lyrics, and Charlie (Chuck Love) Erickson composed the music with me. The theme song emerged into the body of the show on this episode. We roughed out the rest of the concept with some new model shots as well as including Trace and Josh as “his Bosses didn’t like him, so they shot him into space” and me dusting in the control room of KTMA.

To tell you the truth, though, I'm not sure if there was a different "Episode #0", or if we just added the theme song to the beginning, and then called that Episode #1. What I mean is, I don't remember if there was another movie we riffed, or if Episode #0 was just Invaders from the Deep, but without the opening song.

I'm kind of guessing that's what happened, because I’m pretty sure I re-used the “Vacuum Flowers” narrative idea for the sketches from the fifteen-minute “proof of concept” pilot, which makes me think that there wasn't a different Episode #0. If we were going to use the vacuum flowers, why wouldn't we have put them into the next episode we made, and come up with new stuff for Episode #1?

Actually, I’m starting to think that if that episode ever emerges, it’s likely the whole “vacuum flower” sketch pieces are in that show too, and maybe, because the theme song turned out so nice we just treated this Episode #1 as a total “do over” and grabbed all the sketch ideas from 0 and plugged them right into #1. Maybe.

Anyway, here are some notes on these two “long lost” episodes, Invaders from the Deep and Revenge of the Mysterons from Mars, that I took while watching them for the first time in a long time.

Episode 1: Invaders from the Deep

It appears as if Trace wasn’t with us this day, as J. Elvis is running all the puppets. This was pretty common for us at KTMA. Sometimes Josh would have to leave for a family event, as he was still in his teens when we started. So we would find ways to work around his absence too.

Also, it’s clear I was trying to emulate some ideas from the Douglas Trumbull film, Silent Running, which was very inspirational to the show. If you ever check it out, you’ll see LOTS of connections.

Also, the idea of the “Vacuum Flowers” was inspired by the title of the science fiction novel by Michael Swanwick, though I have never read it. I just thought it to be a hauntingly beautiful couple of words.

I’m surprised how much the Show Open has remained pretty much the same throughout the almost 200 iterations of the show. Thanks Charlie, and thank you Josh!

I made the original SOL from some Christmas tree lights, a couple of badminton rackets, and a game called Gnip Gnop:


The Original “Mystery Science Theater” letters were pretty big, probably about 12 to 14 inches tall:

I carved those out of Styrofoam in my backyard on Snelling Avenue. I was trying to emulate some stuff I saw on Sid and Marty Kroft’s Land of the Lost – it was a bear. I used a carving knife with a serrated blade to try to make them look like rocks. Tough going. I remember bailing after constructing the words MYSTERY, SCIENCE, and THEATER, and asking Kevin if it was possible to just put the 3000 in during post:

(Also, just so you know, it was never, ever called Mystery Science Theater 2000, because, simply... that would be lame.)

The rocket is made of a traffic cone and one of those weird, plastic toy golf bags:

I was unhappy we had to use the “digital” looking background plate, which was an element we found at KTMA, as I felt it broke with the show’s “puppet aesthetic,” but it was a time/money consideration. We rented a Rosco fogger at a place in Minneapolis called Norcostco, and I rigged a big, vinyl tube connector to it with duct tape so the smoke came out in the right place on the rocket.

I was thrilled to be working with Invaders from the Deep because, like many people my age, I grew up loving the work of Gerry and Sylvia Anderson. But obviously, these types of films were pretty hard to riff on.

I think mostly there are no expressions for the puppets on screen, and it’s really hard to say anything other than, “Hey, that puppet does his own stunts.” I remember we had a chance to re-riff this film and Mysterons later in the Comedy Channel days but I decided against it.

(Also, in the body of the theme song we show a few shots from Invaders from the Deep, so that’s further evidence it’s the first time we used the theme song.)

There's lots of stuff intact from this version of Crow that we’re still using on the new MST3K: the lacrosse mask, the empire plastic bowling pin, as well as the Tupperware elements that made up his shoulders and chest area:

Tom is still made using the bubble gum bank and the “money lover’s barrel":

Gypsy is still made from an infant car seat carrier, though a different style.

The background “action” has some unique “kit bashing” elements too.

You may notice some of these same pieces ended up on the set in season two on Comedy Central, as I took many of the pieces from the KTMA set, saved them, and then built them into that set: Notably, a “slush-molded” reindeer I cut in two with a band saw, as well as a plastic snow saucer.

The man-eating flowers, airbag for motorcyclists, and reptile thermometer were things in various stages of development from my stand-up act:

Naturally, none of this would have existed without Jim Mallon and Kevin Murphy having the keys to the studio at KTMA. I really just did the conceptual stuff and art direction (what there is of it) and they supplied the technical know-how. Special thanks to them.

Episode 2: Mysterons from Mars

To quote David Lynch’s Dune: “The beginning is a very delicate time.”

I recruited Trace and Josh from the Minneapolis comedy scene. I picked Josh because, even as a teenager, he was a stone-cold joke writer. I picked Trace because he might be the funniest improviser I ever met. This remains true for both of them to this day.

I remember writing these initial sketches based on what I knew I could easily put together prop-wise, but after a while Trace and Josh got more involved, because frankly, I really don’t enjoy writing stuff by myself. Also, further downstream, Kevin and Jim started suggesting ideas for jokes in the sketches too.

Some nice themes emerging, and everyone figuring out their parts. Love that it’s so much about thanksgiving!

The first thing I notice is how few riffs there are. Also, we seem to be sort of whispering and timid, like we don’t want to piss anyone off or disturb them from the movie. Interesting: Thinking back, I’m remembering that I seriously didn’t know how many interruptions caused by riffing the audience could tolerate – what’s possible? It wasn’t obvious to me. So, as you’ll see, in the beginning, it’s very slow going. Still, I’m seeing a few riffs I really like.

Example: There are these timpani drums playing, and this sort of quick intercutting to this really funny looking model of a space station, and I just whisper, in awe: “Cloud Base!”

I’m also seeing some forgotten ideas I’d like to include back into the next iteration of the show, if we’re fortunate enough to get another new season.

The demon dogs in the show opening was a bit from my live show, “Spookfest ’87.” They were florescent because they were used in a “black art” music number:

They sang and danced to the song Uncorrected Personality Traits by Robin Hitchcock, which I believe Josh Weinstein was a puppeteer on.

Another example: 

Why do they call him Captain Blue? (Really long pause.) His language?

Also, these two films are spellbinding and intensely interesting, mostly because of the brilliant model work by the great Derek Meddings.

I also like it with us having nine seats across, so the silhouettes are smaller. To me, it allowed more screen area for the film, as well as emulating a wide screen of a movie theater. I think later, we made the adjustment to making the silhouettes bigger to accommodate a “TV safe” area, but I didn’t like it as much. Too much of the silhouettes, not enough movie screen:

I’m happy to report, with the new shows we now have ten seats across, so we are back to a very similar aspect ratio for the host and the bots.

Anyway, those are the notes I took. Thanks for reading, and have a good week everybody. 

Cheers & Thanks,