This Kickstarter Campaign Aims to Bring Back Mystery Science Theater 3000

New life for a cult comedy favorite

A Kickstarter project to bring back cult favorite Mystery Science Theater 3000 is more than a quarter of the way to its goal.

The campaign, launched by MST3K founder and original host Joel Hodgson, has earned more than $560,000 of its $2 million goal and still has another month to go.

It's been a long, strange trip for this long, strange show. Here's the premise: Hodgson is a janitor who's sent to outer space and forced to watch crappy movies—and snarkily comment on them—along with robotic sidekicks he built himself using space junk.

Shout! Factory bought MST3K from Best Brains, a partnership between Hodgson and Jim Mallon, who was a production manager at KTMA, the Minneapolis TV station that was MST3K's home for its first few years starting in 1988.

The show went nationwide on The Comedy Channel (later Comedy Central) in 1991. It moved to Sci-Fi (now Syfy) in 1997 before it was ultimately canceled in 1999.

Shout! Factory's new agreement with Hodgson is to produce new episodes, and it's not making a profit from the Kickstarter campaign, the company told Adweek.

"The raised funds will go toward the production of the new episodes, backer rewards and cost associated with running the campaign," said Shout! Factory founders Richard Foos, Bob Emmer and Garson Foos.

Shout! Factory, which is in the business of "revitalizing the very best of pop culture," is looking into new digital media initiatives, live events, merchandise licensing programs and content syndication for the brand.

Hodgson hopes to produce 12 feature-length episodes with the funding.