MST3K Hosts Telethon, Announces Number of Episodes After Record-Breaking Crowdfund Campaign

As we reported a month ago, the campaign to #MakeMoreMST3K reached it’s initial goal in an impressive thirty-six hours. But wait, there’s more!

Friday night, Joel Hodgson and members of the new casts hosted a five-hour long telethon, featuring an eclectic collection of Very Special Guests (Dana Gould! Alex Winter!! Rockafire Explosion…?..!!!) which, in addition to being super fun, culminated in 36,581 backers breaking the old MST3K Kickstarter record and raising $6,519,019!

So we’re not just getting more MST3K, we’re getting a plethora of MST3K.

First things first, head over to the Kickstarter if you want to see what Hodgson and the team have planned!

I’m going to recommend that if you’re a MSTie and you have some time, watch the whole telethon. It’s not just funny, it’s also got that unique mix of warmth, genuine weirdness, and occasional spikes of dark humor that make MST3K such an enduring cultural experience. It’s also just a great telethon? There are points where the jokes lag and everyone’s sort of blinking at each other, waiting for the next big laugh, and points where the jokes are bouncing from cast member to cast member like a volleyball at a beach party in a surprisingly homoerotic ‘80s action movie.

Joel popped in and out, co-hosting with Matt McGinnis, one of the producers and writers from MST3K’s adventures on Netflix. Paul and Storm dropped by. Of the casts, the Netflix-era Jonah Ray (Jonah Heston!), Hampton Yount (Crow!), Baron Vaughn (Tom!), Rebecca Hanson (Synthia!), and Felicia Day (Kinga Forrester!), were joined by actors who came on for the 2019 live tour: Emily Marsh (a new host named Emily Crenshaw!), Nate Begle (Crow!), Connor McGiffin (Tom!), and Yvonne Freese (Gypsy and Mega-Synthia!) in a beautiful Voltron of riffing.

I don’t want to give anything away, but: Dana Gould has two appearances, and watching them was maybe the hardest I’ve laughed since COVID hit in December 2019. (The second appearance is so good that the cast members sat, slack-jawed and staring in awe and too happy to laugh, and reader, I was slack-jawed with them.) Matt McGinnis did the best Joel Hodgson impression I’ve ever seen? It was kind of scary. Hampton Yount channeled Alex Jones. McGiffin’s Tom and Freese’s Gypsy did an amazing show tune duet. At one point everyone started yelling “NO SPRINGS!!!” at each other in what I can only describe as a Battle of Coilys—which is most likely what I’ll hear on my deathbed. Rebecca Hanson played the accordion.

Okay, maybe I’m giving things away.

Now, as for what this means for the show! The original Kickstarter campaign that helped bring MST3K to Netflix raised $5.76 million. The show did a full season on Netflix, and then a second, shorter season, “The Gauntlet,” which was essentially posed as a challenge to marathon all of it over a weekend. Which was fun, but not really the ideal way to watch MST3K. The latest incarnation will return to a weekly release model, and will feature 12 new full-length episodes,two of which Joel has already announced (he also thinks he’s found a film to “out-Manos Manos), 12 new shorts, plus two (TWO!) new holiday specials. One of the episodes will be MST3K’s first-ever 3D movie! Joel, Jonah, and Emily will all host at various points! The live tour ’bots will make appearances! Deanna Rooney will join as a new Mad! Maybe most important, this Kickstarter is going to allow Hodgson to build the Gizmoplex, which will be able to host live events and watch parties and basically be the media utopia he’s been trying to build since the early ’90s, I think.

In the meantime, you can watch the livestreams on YouTube, which include watch parties of Untamed Youth, Zombie Nightmare, and Werewolf with various cast members and special guests—they’re hilarious, and a fascinating simulacrum of the experience of watching an episode with friends, since many of us still can’t physically hang out.


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