The months from January to April are usually filled with theatrical Hollywood releases that aren’t exciting enough to make the summer blockbuster schedule, but also aren’t critically promising enough to find a late fall release. This year alone has had such clunkers as I, Frankenstein, Pompeii, and Renny Harlin’s Hercules, all movies with just the right amount of quality to land them in front of Tom Servo, Crow T. Robot, and whatever human happens to be hosting Mystery Science Theater 3000 that week. This far-fetched idea may one day become a reality, however, as MST3K co-founder Joel Hodgson has a plan to bring the cult series back to its rabid audience after 15 years of retirement. It’s like The Brain That Wouldn’t Die, if you replaced the brain with an amazing television show.
But you might not even need a TV to see the next incarnation of MST3K. Hodgson told Wired all about his plans to bring the series back to fans with an online reincarnation, complete with as-yet-unannounced new host. The pressure would then be on us fans to make sure and watch it ad nauseam so that everyone knows how much its return is appreciated. And before you start complaining about someone new stepping into the host chair, Hodgson has a reminder for you:
Even avid viewers sometimes don’t realize that every major role in the show had been swapped out over time. So in my mind, the show is built to be refreshed with new people and new ideas. It’s like Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle as it applies to MST3K: If it doesn’t change, it’s not the same show. And fortunately for us, as long as there are movies, there are always going to be cheesy movies.
It’ll be interesting to see if they return to the signature style and format that makes MST3K such a recognizable slice of pop culture, with goofy interstitial “plotlines” and the darkened silhouette of the bots and host as they riff the pants off of B-film characters. This won’t be Hodgson’s first trip back into jokey commentary, as he created the similar Cinematic Titanic, in which he’d knock terrible movies with former MST3K writers and performers. On the flip side of things, Michael J. Nelson, Kevin Murphy, and Bill Corbett went on to create Rifftrax, for which they record laugh-heavy DVD commentaries. Considering the success of both of these side projects, it’s beyond time to bring these guys back into the limelight.
Check out a clip of Cinematic Titanic below.
And what better way to celebrate the announcement of the planned return of MST3K than the gorgeous poster below, a Where’s Waldo-inspired creation from comic book artist Steve Seck? The poster, which you can find here for only $16, compiles characters from every single film that the series riffed on during its 198-episode run. Just in case you can’t quite remember who all of these guys are — since the jokes are almost always more memorable than the villains — Seck has included a two-page character key. Celebrate Mystery Science Theater 3000 today!