#BringBackMST3K, New Hosts, and Me

Until about an hour ago, I didn't know how I felt about the Kickstarter to bring back Mystery Science Theater 3000. Which is weird.

Because in my life, of all the shows I love, fandoms I've been a part of, MST3K is the biggest. I was in pretty early on, stayed in throughout the show's run, argued Joel vs. Mike ont he Internet (and yes, my side was shut the fuck up and watch the show and stop watching if you don't think it's funny anymore), went to conventions (conveniently located down the road from my apartment), and when I was considering moving to Minneapolis, inquired with them about writing positions because, well, I was 24 years old and throught I was fuckin' funny.

But when the Kickstarter appeared, I didn't donate.

Why not? Because I'm not the kind of nerd who needs the thing I loved two decades ago to come back. I'm a different person. The world's a differnet place. Comedy has changed. One of the reasons I loved MST3K so much was that I love my content dense. Thick with things. Move as fast as you want, content, I'm very clever. I'll keep up. And in the 90's, MST3K was about as dense as it got. Jokes flying constantly!

But like I said, comedy's changed. There's as much jam-packed into 22 minutes of Archer as there is in most 90 minute MST3K's. I don't want MST3K back for nostalgia's sake. I don't want it back because the hole it left hasn't been filled. So why would I want it back at all?

I'd want MST3K back if it was back for a reason. If it had something to say. Something to offer besides a way to keep Joel in sammiches and furnace-heat. I mean, with the exception of Frank Conniff to some extent, the post MST3K careers of everyone involved. have stayed largely within the scope of "remember me from MST3K?" No shame in any of that, but it does provide a background motivation for "why bring it back" beyond pure creative concerns. So I was wary.

And then, today, they announced that, should the Kickstarter succeed, the host of the new show would be Jonah Ray.

What does that mean? Well, basically, it means that they're looking back AND looking forward. Ray's a longtime fan of the show, but he's also someone with his own voice and his own projects. It meant a lot that they were recasting in the first place. Making Jonah Ray the host says to me that they're thinking about how to make a Mystery Science Theater 2016, not a Mystery Science Theater 1997.

Is it a shame that, apart from Joel Hodgson, none of the old participants are involved, even behind the scenes, at least as of yet? Yes and no. If this is going to work, it can't just be nostalgic. It can't be what we had and loved, it has to be something new we can love again.

A Jonah Ray-helmed MST3K intrigues me. So I'm in. Not deep in, not expensive in, but i am no longer ambivalent.


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Looking forward in a few

Looking forward in a few years to vigorously taking the position of "Jonah's better."

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