Fans are ecstatic over the possibility of cult classic series ‘Mystery Science Theater 3000’ returning thanks to a Kickstarter campaign. The original series aired on Comedy Central and starred creator Joel Hodgson as a human guinea pig, launched into space and forced to watch terrible movies along with his two robot companions Tom Servo and Crow T. Robot. The trio pummeled these pieces of celluloid refuse with barbed, pop culture-laced commentary and gained a legion of die-hard fans. Half-way into the show’s fifth season, Hodgson departed the Satellite of Love after creative differences and was replaced as the human face of the show by the series’ head writer Michael J. Nelson.
While both hosts were brilliant, over the years fans have seemingly divided themselves into either Team Joel or Team Mike. Hodgson and Nelson have generally refused to chime in on the debate, but recently, with the Kickstarter campaign in effect, Hodgson did open up, offering a unique insight:
When we first imagined Mystery Science Theater 3000 back in 1988, my hope was to launch a show that, in success, could be as enduring as Saturday Night Live. We had a simple format that could evolve over time, with each new generation of actors and writers finding their own take on the basic concept.
If MST3K hadn’t gotten canceled fifteen years ago, it’s possible we could have had 4 or 5 hosts by now, and it would be just like Doctor Who: even if you had “your Doctor,” you’d still be able to appreciate the different flavors that each new Host or Mad or robot added to the show. It’s part of what makes a show like Doctor Who or SNL last. I’m a Tom Baker fan myself, and no one is funnier than Dan Aykroyd. (To me.)
The problem is that MST3K got canceled after just two hosts, and instead of becoming a proud tradition, some audiences started to see it as a competition between “Team Joel” and “Team Mike.” I think that if MST3K had lasted long enough to have a third host, this wouldn’t have happened. It makes me sad that it did.
Obviously, Hodgson is the mastermind behind the return of MST3K, but considering that part of the reason for his leaving was his discomfort in front of the camera, it’s unclear if viewers may actually see this concept of new hosts rotating in over time.
One thing that fans are dubious about is an MST3K sans so many of the other creative folks from the original. After the show’s original cancellation, Nelson, Kevin Murphy (Tom Servo) and Bill Corbett (Crow) continued heckling movies with the Rifftrax series. And there has been no mention of any of them returning to the reboot as of yet.
It’s unclear what format the new incarnation will take, but part of the package released includes silhouetted images bearing the phrases “Future Host?” and “Future Mad?” Does this mean that the new MST3K will have an all-new cast? If so, will they be able to recapture the magic of the original?
Personally, I never had a distinct preference between Joel or Mike and while I can see how one might prefer one over the other, their comedic sensibilities were fairly similar, so I can’t image being 100% pro one and 100% con the other. For me, it was sort of more about the movies and what the cast and writers did with them. Both hosts had side-splitting episodes but they both had weaker episodes as well.
Do you strongly prefer Joel over Mike or vice versa? What do you think of new faces stepping in for a new generation of MST3K?
Source: Daily Dot