If you've dug through the depths of Hulu or were watching Comedy Central during the early '90s, you're probably aware of Mystery Science Theater 3000—a comedy series in which a space janitor and several robots riffed on a screening of an old, so-bad-it's-good movie. The program was known for its sharp sense of humor, a biting awareness of B-movie tropes and infamously low production values before it was ultimately canceled in 1999. MST3K (as its known by fans) developed a cult following during its initial run—the show's following has multiplied in recent years, as episodes of the show found new life on various streaming platforms.
Last month, MST3K creator Joel Hodgson launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds to produce brand new episodes of the show, which will feature comedians Jonah Ray, Patton Oswalt and Felicia Day. As of this writing, the campaign has raised more than $4.4 million in donations—enough to produce nine new episodes.
MST3K's Kickstarter campaign is entering its final stretch (it ends on Friday at midnight), but organizers still hope to raise enough money to produce a full, 12-episode season of the show. To give the campaign a final push, organizers have arranged several official screenings of old MST3K episodes at venues all over the U.S. The screenings are free, but any donations gathered at the events will be contributed to the Kickstarter project. Emporium Arcade Bar in Wicker Park hosted a screening last night, but MST3K fans still have two chances to attend screenings in Chicago.
Tonight at 7:30pm, Comfort Station in Logan Square will show MST3K episodes that riff on Jack Frost and Teenagers from Outer Space, and you can get free popcorn.
Tomorrow at 5pm, the Irish American Heritage Center in Albany Park will live-stream two episodes of MST3K as well as the campaign's fundraising telethon, which runs until midnight. The event is BYOB and a donation of $10 is suggested.