Mystery Science Theater 3000 creator reflects on Netflix reboot
(KMSP) - Nearly 30 years after blasting into cult classic status, Mystery Science Theater 3000 is back in the pop culture stratosphere.
"I'm just thrilled and very grateful to get to do this again. I love Mystery Science Theater and I'm glad to be working with it again," MST3K creator Joel Hodgson said.
The former Minneapolis standup comedian says he got the idea for the show after he read a book about the worst movies ever made while he was a student at Bethel University in Arden Hills in the '80s.
His creation, a low budget sci-fi comedy, first aired on then UHF channel 23 in 1988.
It was about a janitor for a pair of evil scientists, who shot him into space and made him watch bad movies with his wise-cracking robot sidekicks.
The show quickly gained a devoted following and eventually ran on what became Comedy Central and the Sci-Fi Channel until the late '90s.
"I will contend that Mystery Science Theater 3000 could only come out of Minneapolis because the people are so encouraging, and they loved comedy so much. I never felt like people wanted us to stop," Hodgson said.
Now, after raising $6 million in the most successful Kickstarter campaign in history, MST3K has a new batch of episodes on Netflix.
Along with a new host, Jonah Ray, there are also new villains played by comedian Patton Oswald and Felicia Day.
But there are still plenty of Minnesota connections like Har Mar Superstar, who sings the new theme song.
"I started thinking about it 10 years ago. It's inexpensive. Its powered by bad movies. They are always going to make cheesy movies. Why did it have to stop?" Hodgson said.
But for Hodgson, the mystery behind ST3K's enduring appeal has been solved.
"We're just super lucky that people find it and people like it, and I'm just thrilled and so grateful," Hodgson said.
Hodgson says he's up for a second season of the show on Netflix.
He's also setting up a 40 city tour of live shows with Jonah and the bots this summer.