'MST3K' Creator Joel Hodgson Talks Bad Movies, New 'Bots, and 'Other Space' in His Reddit AMA

Joel Hodgson
Joel Hodgson

While most of you folks are busy polishing off another helping of turkey and mashed potatoes on Thanksgiving, comedian and bad-movie connoisseur Joel Hodgson will be re-entering the Satellite of Love, where he spent most of the '90s ridiculing Z-grade flicks with a trio of robots for company. That's right, Mystery Science Theater 3000 (or, as it's affectionately known, MST3K) will be streaming six classic episodes — with new introductions by its beloved creator and host — live on Nov. 27 as part of the MST3K Turkey Day Marathon. The festivities begin at noon EST, and can be viewed for free on MST3KTurkeyDay.com.

To promote the marathon, Hodgson participated in a Reddit AMA earlier today, and teased MST3K's possible return, as well as his participation in another outer space series, Paul Feig's Other Space, which will premiere in the spring of 2015 on Yahoo Screen. Here are highlights from that online chat.

He Used the R-Word
As in "reboot," of course. The writer and performer has been teasing an MST3K revival for several months now, but as some eagle-eyed Reddit commenters noted, this time he pointedly described its potential return as "the reboot" rather than "a reboot," suggesting that its resurrection is well underway. Whenever the Satellite of Love does wind up lifting off again, Hodgson said that he's adamant about bringing back his robot buddies Tom Servo and Crow T. Robot: "Obviously people would really want to see the original robots back. So I intend to do that. But hopefully we'll bring some new ones too." And like any proud father, he refuses to pick a favorite between his two metal children. "I love BOTH robots equally!"

Related: 'Mystery Science Theater 3000' Stars Reunite in Paul Feig's Comedy 'Other Space'

He's Selective About the Movies He Mocks
Whether on MST3K or its spiritual successor Cinematic Titanic (a live show with Hodgson and other MST3K veterans riffing on terrible movies), Hodgson is careful to pick films that aren't very familiar to audiences: "Part of the allure of Mystery Science Theater is that you kinda don't know what movie you're getting. It's like going on a tour of a scary house in your neighborhood; you don't know what's in there." Of course, there's also a practical reason to pursue more obscure titles: The replay rights are easier to secure. "[On MST3K] we'd get the movies when they were cleared already, so the lawyers already felt confident that they could license the movies," Hodgson explained. "Not the other way around, because it would take investment and manpower to go through them and riff them."

He Does Sometimes Worry About Hurting Peoples' Feelings
Generally, anything and anyone is fair game in an MST3K takedown. But Hodgson admits that, given a do-over, there's one film he would have treated more gently, particularly after he met one of its stars: "The movie was Eegah [Season 4, Episode 506], and the person I felt we were particularly tough on was Arch Hall Jr. I believe we called him a 'stiff with teeth and hair.' I met him this summer at a convention, and he couldn't have been nicer. And he's a wonderful guy and was very complimentary, and said he was really glad we riffed the movie. He said something like, 'It isn't lost on me that I get to work these conventions because you guys did my movie.' He was really nice about it. But I was pretty nervous meeting him, because I thought he was really going to hate me."

He's Desperate to Make Fun of Happy Feet Two
When asked to name the movie he'd most like to skewer, Hodgson didn't hesitate in naming the 2011 sequel to George Miller's Oscar-winning animated dancing-penguin movie. "Why? For obvious reasons," was the only explanation he provided, which makes lots of sense when you think about it (and even more sense if you've seen the movie).

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He's Excited for People to See Other Space
Hodgson took to Reddit just three days after wrapping his work on Other Space, a futuristic comedy created by Feig, set in the 22nd century when mankind has gotten worn out trying to seek out new life and new civilizations in the cosmos. He'll be playing Zallian Fletcher, "a ship's engineer who's been exposed to too much radiation." And this isn't just some guest-star stunt casting; Hodgson is in each of the first season's eight episodes, alongside his fellow former MST3K cohort Trace Beaulieu.