After a month of hype and puppets, the Bring Back Mystery Science Theater 3000 Kickstarter has successfully come to a close. The end result of all those tweets, campaign videos, and nostalgia-plucking MST3K reruns? A staggering $6.3 million, a number that includes hundreds of thousands in “add-on” donations, plus a record-breaking $5,764,229 on Kickstarter itself, the highest amount ever raised for a video project on the crowdfunding platform. (The new series just barely beat out the previous record holder, the Veronica Mars movie.)
As per a stretch goal introduced by creator and campaign mastermind Joel Hodgson in the final hours of the run, that means fans of the show will receive a full 14 episodes of the new series, including a holiday special sure to thrill the Patrick Swayze fanatics in the audience. The final push to meet that last goal apparently came in the final seconds of the campaign telethon, which—despite being troubled by numerous online glitches, eventually forcing Hodgson and company to switch over to old episodes of the show (to the complaints of pretty much no one)—boosted the total over the requested amount with a mysterious $100,000 donation. (Looking at you, Seinfeld.)
Anyway, now that all the fundraising hullaballoo is over, it’s time for Hodgson and his new cast and crew to get down to the messy business of deciding who riffs and who dies. He’ll be assisted by a pretty wide assortment of talent—including new stars Jonah Ray, Felicia Day, Patton Oswalt, Baron Vaughn, and Hampton Yount, plus a bunch of guest writers and Hodgson’s own hand-picked staff of relatively unknown bad-movie-slamming artisans—but it remains to be seen whether they’ll be able to overcome an almost insurmountable wall of expectations and maintain the level of nostalgia, good cheer, and just plain funniness required to keep the Satellite Of Love once again afloat.