Not since the time Joel and the robots had to sit through and endure the film “Mitchell” (which also is my favorite “MST3K” episode) and passed the hosting torch to Mike has there been a changing of the guards on “Mystery Science Theater 3000.” But with the recent announcement of the show’s return, and the fact the Kickstarter campaign has surpassed the $2 million mark — which means we will be getting at least three new episodes of the show — they have announced who will (potentially) be sitting in the dark, riffing on terrible movies with Crow T. Robot and Tom Servo (see Joel’s answers on this at the bottom of this blog).
And the new host — who will not be Joel, Mike or any hybrid we can come up with between the names “Joel” and “Mike,” so just get use to the fact neither Joel or Mike will be hosting this thing — will be comedian Jonah Ray. Which means we have
finally settled furthered the flames of the “who was the best host debate” for this show by tossing another comedian to the blood thirsty lions of pop culture that have been at war on this topic since 1993.
So now that we have a new host, next up will be finding out who will voice Crow and Servo and who will be the next Mad (mad scientist) who torments Jonah Heston (yes, he already has a fake last name for the show). I’m guessing it will be — based on the rumor mill — Felicia Day. Either way, we are getting more “MST3K” and we have a new (see below) host.
It is still up in the air who may be returning from the show’s original run (many have said they are not a part of this, but things change over time so who knows). I’m just glad we will have more “MST3K.”
According to Joel on the Kickstarter page: Like I said in the video, the same disclaimer still applies here: until we reach $2MM and know we’ll be able to #BringBackMST3K, I can’t make any formal offers to actors or writers – not the old team, and not the new team. But if everything works out, here’s my plan:
I’m hoping Jonah Ray will suit up as “Jonah Heston,” the next host of Mystery Science Theater 3000.
If you listen to the Nerdist podcast, maybe you already know about Jonah. He’s one of the co-hosts, along with Chris Hardwick and Matt Mira.
I probably met Jonah about three years ago, when I did the podcast and we talked about MST3K. It was a fun gig, and two things were really clear: I liked all three of those guys very much, and they all seemed to really love MST3K. They knew all about it, which always makes interviews easier. We had a great time and I left with a really good impression of Jonah.
Later that night, I went out with my buddy Rob Schrab to see our friend Dan Harmon record his wonderful podcast, Harmontown, in the backroom at Meltdown Comics. Jonah came along, and I found out that I liked the guy in real life too. He was a good hang.
In a move that may have been the most instinctual thing I’ve ever done, I asked Jonah to come help me write jokes for an awards show gig. He did, we started working on jokes together, and it just clicked: He was just incredibly funny and easy to write with – there was flow, really – and who can ask for anything more? I guess I also just felt like his heart was in the right place, and I could see how much he loved and understood MST3K. I think that’s when I started thinking about inviting him to be the next host on MST3K, if we ever got to come back.
About a year after that, I asked him what he thought about it. He said “yes” right away, without a second of hesitancy, and we’ve been talking about it ever since.
Since this is the internet, I guess some people will hear this news and rush to declare – for better and for worse – “what this means for the future of MST3K.” (In fact, since a lot of people guessed that it was Jonah’s voice in our first video, that’s already happening!)
I can’t really tell you what kind of host Jonah is going to be, but I hope you’ll give him a chance to show you. And even if you’re familiar with Jonah’s career, remember: that doesn’t mean he’ll bring the same exact approach to MST3K. I think a lot of you may be surprised. Plus, like the previous members of our cast, I think Jonah has great instincts and a lot of range. He’s funny, he’s wicked smart, and like I said, his heart’s in the right place. He loves MST3K, he seems to understand what makes it so special, and most important, I know he takes the role seriously.
At the end of the day, he’s just another regular guy in a yellow jumpsuit – not so different from you and me. I’m excited to see what he can bring to the next hundred episodes of Mystery Science Theater, until it’s time to hand the jumpsuit over to someone else.