After seventeen years, the Satellite of Love is back with a whole new crop of cheesy movies to riff in Mystery Science Theater 3000.
Runtime: 90 minutes
Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Return - Mystery Science Theater 3000 - Netflix
Mystery Science Theater 3000 (MST3K) is an American television comedy series created by Joel Hodgson and produced by Alternaversal Productions, LLC. The show premiered on KTMA (now WUCW) in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on November 24, 1988. It later aired on The Comedy Channel/Comedy Central for seven seasons until its cancellation in 1996. Thereafter, it was picked up by The Sci-Fi Channel and aired for three seasons until another cancellation in August 1999. A 60-episode syndication package titled The Mystery Science Theater Hour was produced in 1995. In 2015, Hodgson led a crowdfunded revival of the series with 14 episodes in its eleventh season, released on Netflix, in the US, on April 14, 2017, with another season to follow in the near future. To date, 211 episodes and a feature film have been produced. The show initially starred Hodgson as Joel Robinson, a janitor trapped against his will by two mad scientists on the Satellite of Love and forced to watch a series of B movies as a part of the scientists' plot to take over the world. To keep his sanity, Joel crafts a number of robot companions—including Tom Servo, Crow T. Robot, and Gypsy—to keep him company and help him humorously comment on each movie as it plays, a process known as riffing. Each two-hour episode would feature a single movie in its entirety along with associated public domain films, with Joel, Tom, and Crow watching in silhouette from a row of theater seats at the bottom of the screen. These scenes were framed with interstitial sketches. The show's cast changed over its duration; most notably, the character of Joel was replaced by Mike Nelson (played by Michael J. Nelson) in the show's fifth season. Other cast members, most of whom were also writers for the show, include Trace Beaulieu, Josh Weinstein, Jim Mallon, Kevin Murphy, Frank Conniff, Mary Jo Pehl, Bill Corbett, Paul Chaplin, and Bridget Jones Nelson. The revival features a primarily new cast, including Jonah Ray as the new human test subject, along with Felicia Day and Patton Oswalt. MST3K's original run did not garner high viewership numbers, but the show's popularity spread through word-of-mouth over the Internet from its fans known as MSTies (or “Mysties”), frequent repeats and syndication, and home media offerings produced by Rhino Entertainment and currently Shout! Factory, who along with Hodgson now own the rights to the show and supported the revived series. MST3K was listed as one of Time magazine's “100 Best TV Shows of All-TIME” in 2007, and TV Guide has noted MST3K as one of the top cult television shows. The show won a Peabody Award in 1993, was also nominated for two Emmy Awards in 1994 and 1995, and for the CableACE Award from 1992 to 1997. The show was considered highly influential, contributing towards the practice of social television, and former cast members launched similar projects based on the riffing of films, including RiffTrax (ongoing as of 2018) and Cinematic Titanic. MST3K also brought to light several older movies that had fallen into obscurity or had received little or no public attention when originally released. Many of these films were subsequently identified as among the worst movies ever made, most notably Manos: The Hands of Fate.
Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Return - Other appearances - Netflix
In 1996, during promotion for the film, Nelson and the bots were interviewed in-character on MTV, and seen in silhouettes heckling footage from MTV News. Also that year, Hodgson was a featured guest on Cartoon Network's Space Ghost Coast to Coast. In 1997, the E! network's Talk Soup show, starring John Henson, featured guest appearances from Mike, Crow and Tom Servo. In 1997, the videogame magazine PlayStation Underground (Volume 2, Number 1) included a Best Brains-produced MST3K short on one of their promotional discs. The video opened with a host segment of Mike and the Bots playing some PlayStation games, only to go into the theater to riff on some videos from the magazine's past. The feature is about seven minutes long. An Easter egg on the disc has some behind-the-scenes footage of Best Brains filming the sequences. In 2007, a new online animated web series, referred to as “The Bots Are Back!”, was produced by Mallon. The series planned a weekly adventure featuring Crow, Tom Servo and Gypsy, with Mallon reprising his role as Gypsy and Paul Chaplin as Crow. However, only a handful of episodes were released, and the series was abandoned due to budgetary issues. The general internet response to the webisodes was largely negative. Hodgson and the team for the 2017 revival announced an MST3K “Watch Out For Snakes Tour” during mid-2017 covering 29 cities in the United States and Canada. Jonah and the Bots riff on one of two films live for audiences, either Eegah (which had already been featured on the original run of MST3K, and which popularized the riff “Watch out for snakes”, but featured new riffs for this tour) or an unannounced surprise film: Argoman the Fantastic Superman. The tour featured Ray, Yount and Hanson reprising their roles as Jonah Heston, Crow and Gypsy/Synthia. Vaughan was unavailable to perform Servo due to the birth of his child and the role was covered by Tim Ryder. The tour also featured Grant Baciocco as Terry the Bonehead, pre-recorded appearances from Day and Oswalt as Kinga and Max, and a live introduction from Hodgson. Hodgson and Ray also have planned to tour in late 2018 on the 30th anniversary of MST3K in a similar format to the 2017 tour. Hodgson will reprise the role of Joel Robinson and riff movies alongside Ray and the bots during these shows.
Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Return - References - Netflix