Emily Marsh, who had been touring with Mystery Science Theater 3000‘s live show before COVID cut live performances short, has signed on to appear in some of the new episodes currently being funded via Kickstarter, marking the first time that a woman has served as permanent host of the beloved comedy series. Marsh, playing her character from the roadshow, Emily Crenshaw, appeared in last May’s The MST3K LIVE Social Distancing Riff-Along Special, giving fans a chance to see her in action for the first time. Jonah Ray, who has been hosting the series since it returned in 2017, will remain on board, and the two characters will be trapped in two separate locations with two separate sets of robots, each voiced by the performers who had voiced the Bots for the respective actor.
With Mystery Science Theater 3000 broadening the world to include multiple hosts, series creator Joel Hodgson revealed that one such host could be him. Hodgson, who hosted the first five seasons of the series, has promised fans that if the current Kickstarter campaign reaches the $4.4 million goal needed to produce 9 episodes of the series, he will return to host an episode, donning his iconic red jumpsuit and taking part in theater scenes with the Bots for the first time in years. It isn’t immediately clear which set of Bots he would riff along with. Should the campaign reach $5.5 million, Hodgson will return to host two episodes.
The campaign to make more Mystery Science Theater 3000 — you can see it here — has nine days left in a 30-day campaign. So far, they have earned just over $3.5 million. Earlier this week, Hodgson and Marsh hosted a livestream introducing her to new fans. In the next few days, there will be five new MST3K livestreams, including riffs on Untamed Youth, Quest of the Delta Knights, and Gamera vs. Guiron.
The decision to add an extra host was born out of the challenges and opportunities raised by shooting remotely during the pandemic, although during a recent livestream, Hodgson revealed that they had already shot some elements remotely, since the nature of Mystery Science Theater 3000 generally is not produced in a way that requires everyone to be in the same place.
As part of the new crowdfunding project, the series will be self-distributing (the revival was crowdfunded, but then brought to Netflix for two seasons before being cancelled), and part of the funds raised will go to the creation of “The Gizmoplex,” an interactive virtual theater that Hodgson says will be used to premiere episodes for backers and be a venue for buying and watching Mystery Science Theater 3000 content.