Since news broke of the possibility of a rebooted Mystery Science Theater 3000, my feelings have been…conflicted. MST3K is my single favorite television show of all time, one of the most important cultural touchstones of my existence and both the show and the people involved are hugely important to me. So, when we learned a reboot was in the works, thanks to a successful Kickstarter campaign from the creator and original host, Joel Hodgson, part of me was massively excited and happy.
But not all of me.
MST3K was Joel Hodgson’s creation. If anyone has the absolute and total right to do whatever he wants with it, especially after finally taking it back out of the hands of original executive producer Jim Mallon who through witchcraft, voodoo and some kind of bureaucratic wickedry possessed the rights to the show until very recently (and, granted, this is all me editorializing based on my limited understanding and admittedly biased perception of what went on), it’s Joel Hodgson. But the show was always more than just Joel. Regardless of the host, the show was wholly shaped by its entire team—Hodgson, Mallon, Michael J. Nelson, Kevin Murphy, J. Elvis Weinstein, Trace Beaulieu, Frank Conniff, Paul Chaplin, Bill Corbett, Mary Jo Pehl, Bridget Nelson and all the other crew members involved over the years. This was never a big Hollywood production—this “cowtown puppet show” was a mom ‘n pop TV show, literally handcrafted by a group of impassioned Minnesotans.
So, as much as I adore Jonah Ray and Felicia Day, it stings. I sting for the whole team of people who weren’t asked, involved or even alerted.
A number of people have asked, so just FYI, I'm not involved in the #MST3K reboot.— Michael J Nelson (@michaeljnelson) November 10, 2015
@Qrusher Thanks. No, I was not asked.— Michael J Nelson (@michaeljnelson) November 12, 2015
Sorry to disappoint but will not be involved. https://t.co/UXAoQ1nhdS— Trace Beaulieu (@TraceBeaulieu) November 22, 2015
That ship has sailed. https://t.co/uFQ1KZhZZX— Trace Beaulieu (@TraceBeaulieu) November 22, 2015
That said, I’m often the first to roll my eyes at those who lose their minds over pointless remakes of nostalgic favorites. Of course, it’s never been *my* nostalgic favorite. So, perhaps I follow my own rolled eyes over to Team MST3K Forever and enjoy the new bot voices, new mads, new host, new movies and new wonderfulness courtesy of at least one person who had such a big impact on me. And be grateful that at least other people I enjoy are involved, people I trust. And admit that if I was somehow asked to be involved in any way, shape or form, I’d drop every ounce of pretense and dive in headfirst.
So, I sting for the good citizens and former citizens of that Eden Prairie studio. And I hope for the new blood and the creator who brought all of them together. We’ve got movie sign, people. Here’s hoping. And, if nothing else, we’ll always have Trumpy.