Joel Robinson’s Mystery Science Theater 3000 return date set for this weekend

Joel Robinson will return Mystery Science Theater 3000 This weekend, he donned his red jumpsuit and made his first episode appearance in almost thirty years as the main victim of “The Mads.” Robinson, played by Joel Hodgson, was the original main character of Mystery Science Theater 3000, but escaped the “experiment” in a 1993 episode after finding a getaway vehicle in a box that said “Hamdingers” on it. Hodgson, who created the series, remains involved MST3K in the years since and is responsible for the recent revival of the series, but hadn’t stepped into a film in years.

New episodes have appeared since the start of the new season, with watch events for subscribers MST3K‘s Gizmoplex app. This season, there’s not just one test subject, but three – played by Hodgson, Jonah Ray and Emily Marsh – and demon squadwhich premieres Friday at 8 p.m. ET marks Hodgson’s first episode in the suit.

“I think it’s really cool to have Joel back,” series star Felicia Day told “I thought, ‘Three different hosts this season?’ But the writing really works, and it expands the world in a way that feels like it enhances everything rather than just being a gimmick or taking it away.

“I directed the first episode he did and it’s a weird dynamic – because I was a fan, and then Joel and I were friends, and then we work together, and then he’s the boss, but it’s still a collaboration, but then all of a sudden I’m able to be like, ‘Hey, you really messed up that line. Let’s do it again,'” Ray recalled. “And he’s like, ‘I don’t know, I think I get it, man,’ and suddenly I’m in a position to have to tell him how to Joel Robinson does what doesn’t feel right….That was the hardest part because I didn’t want to mess up Joel when he came back!”

After the episode has been streamed live on the Gizmoplex, there will be a post-episode discussion with Hodgson, Mystery Science Theater Veteran J. Elvis Weinstein and demon squad Writer Erin Lilley Smith and Director Thomas Smith. Fans who are not yet subscribers to the Gizmoplex app can still subscribe to You can also buy a ticket for only this streaming event on

The series’ original run began on KTMA, a local Minnesota station, but when the station went bankrupt, Hodgon bought it into larger stations. At the Comedy Channel (now Comedy Central), a change that took place two seasons later MST3K‘s run) and then the Sci-Fi Channel (now Syfy), the series lasted ten seasons. A Netflix revival in 2017 and 2018 brought the total to 12 before Hodgson’s current 13-season run, co-hosted with Shout! Factory.

The series was a cult classic, with bootlegs of the episodes being so ubiquitous that the phrase “Keep Circulating the Tapes” (which featured in the early years of Comedy Central episodes due to the channel’s limited reach at the time) became a motto for fans , long after it was removed from the actual credits. The mentality would help retain some episodes MST3K from becoming lost media as many of the KTMA episodes were never re-aired or released commercially due to legal issues.

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