Joel Hodgson created a metaverse for New Mystery Science Theater 3000 episodes

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Since 1988, Mystery Science Theater 3000 has shaped our culture and understood as much as Seinfeldfriends or the simpsons† The venerable show has a simple premise: a man and his friends watch bad movies and laugh about it. That man is the creator of Mystery Science Theater 3000 (MST3K), Joel Hodgson. He plays Joel Robinson, a janitor at the Gizmonic Institute who is shot into space aboard the Satellite of Love by two mad scientists, Dr. Clayton Forrester and TV’s Frank. Every week, as part of their experiment, “the Mads” force him and his cunning robot friends Tom Servo and Crow T. Robot to watch a horrific movie like Manos: Hands of Fate, Santa Conquers the Martians, Godzilla art. Megalon and Mitchell.

Over the years, the Peabody Award-winning and Emmy-nominated show has aired on several cable television networks. After an 18-year hiatus and a successful Kickstarter campaign, Netflix aired two new seasons of MST3K in 2017 and 2018with Hodgson in the production chair, comedian Jonah Ray taking over the hosting duties and Felicia Day and Patton Oswalt play the Mads† A few live tours and a pandemic later, and MST3K is back for a 13th season, but this time it’s not on Netflix.

Hodgson is donning his red Gizmonics jumpsuit and will host Ray and actor/singer/puppeteer Emily Marsh. Lucky for me I was able to talk to Hodgson and Marsh about the new season on CNET’s I’m So Obsessed Podcast† Marsh, who kicked off the US MST3K live tour, explained that his father was a fan of MST3K, but his mother hated it.

“When I told her I was going to audition, she said, ‘Really? Did that stupid show do a national tour?'” Marsh said.

But Marsh’s honesty and authenticity remained in Hodgson’s mind and he cast her for the live tour and now for season 13. Still, the addition of Marsh as host isn’t necessarily the biggest news about MST3K’s reboot. Hodgson and his team developed the Gizmoplex as a place to watch it.

“A Gizmoplex is a web portal. Essentially, the Mads decided to take over distribution and have their own Cineplex on the moon,” Hodgson said. “The way you look at the movie is you’re actually renting a Cambot that’s already on the moon. It’s a kind of rent that you can steal through the Gizmoplex.”

Many companies have tried to metaverse trend† But the Gizmoplex is essentially a metaverse for MST3K fans, and you just don’t need a VR headset. Hodgson downplays the metaverse angle. He just wants an immersive space where people can watch new MST3K episodes or experience the classics.

Listen to my full conversation with Hodgson and Marsh in the podcast player above. I can’t remember the last time I laughed so hard during an interview. You can watch new episodes of Mystery Science Theater 3000 starting May 6 on the Gizmoplex website or via the Gizmoplex app on iOS, Android, and platforms such as Apple TV, Roku, and Amazon FireTV.

Subscribe to I’m So Obsessed on your favorite podcast app. In each episode, Connie Guglielmo or I meet an artist, actor, or creator to learn more about their work, career, and current obsessions.

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