What about everyone else, Joel? Are the other original MST3K writers and actors coming back?

I answered this with a lot more detail in Backer Update #2, but this is a really difficult question to answer, because there are several moving pieces involved. Right now, I don't know who will agree to come back and work on the next season of MST3K… but now that the Kickstarter has been successful, everyone is being invited to take part. 

Why is there a new cast? I want the old cast back.
It's not MST3K without them.

I answered this question in detail in Backer Update #2.

Who is going to host the next season? Is it Joel or Mike?

It's not me OR Mike, but I think that's a good thing... Wait, come back! Put down the pitchforks! 

Before you make up your mind, please read UPDATE #2, where I explained why I think the show needs to change its cast from time to time, to remain fresh  -- and then read UPDATE #4 to meet Jonah Ray, who I'm hoping will become MST3K's third host.

Cinematic Titanic and Rifftrax are great.
Who even needs new MST3K?

To me, this has been the weirdest question to try and answer, because some people are acting like we're asking you to choose between Cinematic Titanic, Rifftrax and MST3K, or to convince you that MST3K is the "one true riffing show."

Guys, this might be why we can't have nice things. 

Rifftrax and Cinematic Titanic are both important additions to the riffing landscape, and the world is better because of them. I'm glad both projects happened. But I know there's still a place for Mystery Science Theater 3000 right there next to them, because the world will be more fun – and more bearable – with Crow, Servo, the Mads, and more cheesy B-movies.

No one is asking you to pick between Rifftrax and MST3K, and no one ever will. There's room for both of them.

I answered this with a lot more detail in Backer Update #2.

Will the next season of MST3K still be family-friendly?

Yes: MST3K will definitely still be family-friendly.

I think that's an important part of the MST3K DNA, so I hope it never changes.

Actually, I think one of the big secrets of our ongoing success is that people feel comfortable watching it with their kids and their parents. I've gotten to meet so many people that have fond memories of becoming fans while watching MST3K with their parents or siblings. So, I know that has a lot of meaning for families.That's also one of the things I was most proud of, that we created a show that was an "all ages" kind of funny. It's pretty rare when that happens.

MST3K is a show that kids love, because they know it's subversive at heart, and kids are used to living in a world where they don't always get what people are talking about. So, if a riff is "over their head," they can easily roll with it. And a lot of the time, they can approximate the meaning and guess that it's a joke just by the way we say it. It’s what I usually do, anyway.  :)

Will the next season of MST3K still be filmed in Minneapolis?

In a perfect world, I'd love to bring MST3K back home to Minneapolis where it started… but right now, I'm afraid that's not possible. The problem is, we've been talking to a lot of great people -- actors, writers, artists, musicians -- and to get them involved, we'll need to shoot the next season in LA, so that it's convenient for them to fit MST3K into their schedules.

At the same time – and this is important – Minneapolis will always be responsible for making MST3K what it is. The tone you know and love was sort of a happy accident, but it was definitely shaped by the people of Minneapolis. After all, most of the original MST3K staff, including me, got our start doing standup in Minneapolis, where – compared to the big coastal towns – audiences were often a little more progressive, open-minded and kind. We didn't have to be mean to get laughs, and I think that really influenced our senses of humor. It kept us from ever becoming real mean-spirited.

You know, Jackie Gleason used to say, "Miami Beach audiences are the greatest audiences in the wohld!" I feel that way about Minneapolis. And actually, without the kindness of those audiences, I don't know if we would ever have gotten past our first year on Minneapolis's KTMA.

Early on – this is 1988 – we really had no way of knowing just who was watching our quirky little show. Jim Mallon had the great idea to set up an answering machine, and we flashed the number on the screen. (Yes, Virginia, there were actual answering machines back then!) We thought maybe one or two people would call… but by the next morning, the good people of Minneapolis had filled the hour-long tape completely up! That kind of generosity is just one of the reasons I'll always love Minnesota. And its 10,000 lakes, obviously.

Anyway: we won't be able to film the next season in Minneapolis, but we will always love it, and it'll always be part of MST3K's voice. You can take the show out of Minnesota, but you can't take Minnesota out of the show.