Mystery Science Theater 3000 broke several Kickstarter records thanks to the efforts of devoted fans to crowdfund an eleventh season of the cult classic comedy; now they're set to do it again with a fund-raising drive for season 12 of the popular Netflix revival series.
Mystery Science Theater 3000 (or MST3K as it is known for short) was originally centered around a hapless janitor named Joel, who was shot into space as part of an mad scientist's experiment to find the worst movie ever made and use it (somehow) to take over the world. With the help of his self-constructed robot friends, Joel responds to the movies that he is forced to watch with the only weapons he has - wit and sarcasm. This backstory was just a frame for the true conceit of the show - i.e. truly funny people watching truly rotten movies and making fun of them. The brainchild of comedian Joel Hodgson (who also played the role of Joel) MST3K returned with a vengeance thanks to a record-breaking Kickstarter effort, which raised $6.3 million to pay for a new season of the show before Netflix picked up the distribution rights.
The new fundraising drive was announced on the Kickstarter page of the MST3K Revival League. Hodgson thanked the show's fans for their continued support, in a post explaining the reasoning behind the new pledge drive.
"Creating Season 11 with you didn't just make the show possible, it made it better. The shoot was more fun with fans on set, laughing at jokes. We've gotten so many messages about how it felt good to be part of something – and hey, we felt the same way."
Technically there is no need for a crowd-funding effort for season 12. The series had already been picked up for another season by Netflix and the new season has already ended filming. However, given the devotion of MSTies everywhere and the success of the original crowd-funding effort, it was decided to offer fans another chance to become a part of the show they love so much and offer up some limited-edition swag in the process.
To that end, the new pledge drive offers similar rewards to the original, offering fans the option to purchase t-shirts, posters and tote bags emblazoned with a new piece of original artwork by Gary Glover. Those fans with deep pockets can purchase one of the puppets or props used on the show or have their name included in the credits of one or all of season's 12 episodes. The truly devout can pay to become an Associate Producer or Executive Producer on the show and earn a whole host of privileges and special gifts.
While this may seem excessive to some, this effort to let MSTies own a piece of their favorite show is a testament to the devotion that the show's creative team feel for their fans and vice versa. While MSTies may not be the most numerous fandom in all of science-fiction, they are rivaled only by Trekkies and Browncoats in their fervor. Hopefully season 12 of Mystery Science Theater 3000 will be on Netflix in the not-too-distant-future.
Source: MST3K Revival League