Last month — April 1, to be exact, which seemed fitting because it was a bit of a cruel tease — the National Geographic channel hosted a one-night event called Total Riff Off, which featured alums of the beloved cult series Mystery Science Theater 3000 cracking wise over clips of nature footage. If that didn’t satisfy your debilitating MST3K addiction, there’s some good news and bad news for you at the wayway bottom of Wired‘s big new oral history of the show. Good news: MST3K IS COMING BACK THIS SPRING! Bad news: PROBABLY AND/OR KIND OF!
Basically, the short version is that creator Joel Hodgson says there’s a reboot in the works that will feature a new host. The long version is this blockquote.
[Trace] Beaulieu: The younger generation is full of riffers.
Even the series’ creators kept riffing, albeit separately: In 2006, Nelson, Corbett, and Murphy launched RiffTrax, which creates downloadable commentaries for films ranging from Plan 9 From Outer Space to Twilight. The next year, Hodgson, Beaulieu, Pehl, Conniff, and Weinstein started a MST3K-like live show called Cinematic Titanic.
But this year Mystery Science Theater may finally get a long-rumored, heavily anticipated reboot. This spring Hodgson is hoping to start a new online incarnation of the show, one that will feature a fresh (and as-yet-unannounced) host and cameos from many MST3K alumni.
Hodgson: I’ve talked to a bunch of fans about their lives and what MST3K means to them. I’m overwhelmed by how people took to that show. It really affected them. I thought, if enough people still love it, maybe we can bring it back.
Even avid viewers sometimes don’t realize that every major role in the show had been swapped out over time. So in my mind, the show is built to be refreshed with new people and new ideas. It’s like Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle as it applies to MST3K: If it doesn’t change, it’s not the same show. And fortunately for us, as long as there are movies, there are always going to be cheesy movies.
So there’s that, which is either excellent news or terrible news, depending on how you feel about the creator of one of your favorite shows rebooting it 15 years later with all new people. No judgment here. In fact, all I really know is this: As an avid fan of both crappy movies and making fun of crappy movies, I find the phrase “as long as there are movies, there are always going to be cheesy movies” strangely comforting.