‘Mystery Science Theater 3000’ Reboot Adds Former ‘Daily Show’ Head Writer

Elliott Kalan will lead writers’ room of Kickstarter-funded version of cult TV series

Last Updated: June 16, 2016 @ 6:17 AM

The “Mystery Science Theater 3000” reboot has added former “Daily Show” head writer Elliott Kalan as its new head writer.

Series creator Joel Hodgson made the announcement on the show’s Kickstarter page on Friday morning. “To a lot of you, Elliott’s name is familiar because he was the former head writer from ‘The Daily Show,’ but he’s written lots of other great stuff too,” Hodgson said. “He was at the top of my wish list, so I’m really happy to have him on board.”

Kalan served as head writer on the Comedy Central satirical news program under former host Jon Stewart. During his tenure, the show won four Emmys for Outstanding Writing for a Variety, Music or Comedy Series.

“For roughly two decades I’ve rued the fact that I was too young and too not-in-Minnesota to work on [‘Mystery Science Theater 3000’],” Kalan added. “But now it’s finally happening! This is so exciting! All those hours reading and rereading the Amazing, Colossal Episode Guide are finally paying off!”

Hodgson began a Kickstarter campaign to relaunch the show last year. It raised more than $6.3 million, surpassing the record set by the “Veronica Mars” movie, which raised $5,702,153. The “MST3K” campaign raised $5,764,229 off of Kickstarter and $600,000 from online merchandise sales, with more than 47,000 people contributing.

Jerry Seinfeld, Mark Hamill and Joel McHale have all agreed to cameo on the new season. Hodgson also tweeted that he had extended invitations to Bill Hader, Neil Patrick Harris and Jack Black to appear on the show as well.

In addition, “Mythbusters” star Adam Savage has agreed to join the show to consult on the practical effects that will be required for the new season. Dan Harmon, the creator of “Community” and co-creator of “Rick and Morty,” has agreed to serve as a guest writer on the show.

Patton Oswalt joined the project to write and play TV’s Son of TV’s Frank, the offspring of the character TV’s Frank from the original show, as played by Frank Conniff. Felicia Day will play the daughter of Dr. Forrester, who was played by Trace Beaulieu. Other new cast members include Hampton Yount, Baron Vaughn and Jonah Ray.

“Mystery Science Theater 3000,” which launched on a Minneapolis UHF station in 1988, featured Hodgson and, later, Mike Nelson and two robot sidekicks as they riffed on cheesy B-movies by providing their own hilarious commentary.

It then moved to Comedy Central and finished its run on the Sci-Fi Channel (now Syfy) in 1999 after 197 episodes. Hodgson recently acquired the rights to the show in a joint venture with Shout! Factory.