Fans of "Mystery Science Theater 3000
" are now one step closer to seeing the campy comedy series return with a new cast and star cameos.
The Kickstarter campaign, launched by show creator and original star Joel Hodgson, raised $5,764,229 in a month. That money, plus another $425,000 raised outside of Kickstarter, is enough to shoot 14 new episodes.
Premised on the idea that B movies are better with heckling commentary, the show debuted in 1988 on Minneapolis-St. Paul local television. Its low-budget charm attracted Comedy Central and, later, what was then called the Sci-Fi Channel.
Hodgson (and later Michael Nelson) starred as a janitor trapped in space, forced to watch corny horror and sci-fi movies with three robot companions. Each episode featured a B movie in its entirety with running commentary from the gang on the Satellite of Love.
The show ended its run in 1999, maintaining a dedicated fanbase over the years. Nearly 48,300 people pledged money to the Kickstarter project.
A campaign to fund a new movie based on the "Veronica Mars" character held the previous Kickstarter record
for most-funded project in film & video at $5,702,153.
"There's so much about the concept that's stood up over time, so there's not much I want to change," he said about the new incarnation.
Comedian Jonah Ray of "Nerdist Podcast" and Comedy Central's "The Meltdown with Jonah and Kumail" has agreed to play the new lead character. Comedian Patton Oswalt and actress Felicia Day
have also signed on to the project.
Hodgson said he invited Jack Black, Neil Patrick Harris, Jerry Seinfeld, Mark Hamill and Bill Hader to do cameos. Hamill tweeted his support for the campaign, and Seinfeld promised to make an appearance if the campaign reached its goal.
Hodgson said the campaign was not about besting "Veronica Mars" or "Super Troopers 2," another crowdfunded film. The goal is to revive the series for fans and introduce it to a new generation.
"It's about convincing a 'conference table full of executives' to give our show a home, so that we can make a lot more seasons," he said
Naturally, supporters of #BringBackMST3K welcomed the news of the fundraiser's success.