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Crowdfunding campaign could bring back 'Mystery Science Theater 3000'

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Can the same TV lightning that struck in Minneapolis 27 years ago strike again?

Comedian Joel Hodgson, creator of Mystery Science Theater 3000, sure hopes so, and he's counting on the show's fans to make it happen.

The original host of the zany sci-fi-tinged comedy – where a hapless janitor is forced to watch (and mock) really, really bad movies with a pair of wisecracking robots in outer space – has launched a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign to bring the cult show back from TV oblivion.

The goal? $2 million. Hodgson writes that the money would buy three new episodes of the series, affectionately referred to by fans as MST3K.

Looking to the not-too-distant future

Hodgson is hoping to reach a long-term fundraising goal of $5.5 million, which would be enough not only for a new "season" consisting of 12 episodes, but also to convince the television gods that MST3K ought to be brought back for even more, the Kickstarter site says.

"I know this Kickstarter idea isn’t for everyone," Hodgson admits, but "neither was Mystery Science Theater (3000)" when it premiered.

Indeed, its success – which eventually led to multiple Emmy nominations and even a feature film, not to mention a dedicated following – was certainly of the "unlikely" variety.

It aired for the very first time on KTMA TV in Minneapolis in 1988 and eventually caught the attention of the network that would become Comedy Central – where it spent most of its life before ending after 11 seasons on what is now SyFy.

Hodgson, a Wisconsin native and an alumni of St. Paul's Bethel University, says fans have been clamoring for its resurrection for years, but now that some legal issues regarding the rights to the show have been cleared up, it's ready to come back.

As of Tuesday afternoon, the Kickstarter page had pulled in over $500,000. The fundraising goal must be met by Dec. 12.

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