Mystery Science Theater 3000 (abbreviated as MST3K) is an American television comedy series created by Joel Hodgson and currently produced by Alternaversal Productions, LLC. The show premiered on KTMA-TV (now WUCW) in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on November 24, 1988. It later aired on The Comedy Channel/Comedy Central for seven seasons until its cancellation in 1996. Thereafter, it was picked up by The Sci-Fi Channel and aired for three seasons until another cancellation in August 1999. A 60-episode syndication package titled The Mystery Science Theater Hour was produced in 1993 and syndicated to stations in 1995. In 2015, Hodgson led a crowdfunded revival of the series with 14 episodes in its eleventh season, first released on Netflix on April 14, 2017, with another six-episode season following on November 22, 2018. As of 2019, 217 episodes and a feature film have been produced.
The show initially starred Hodgson as Joel Robinson, a janitor trapped by two mad scientists ("mads") on the Earth-orbiting Satellite of Love, and forced to watch a series of B movies as a part of the scientists' plot to take over the world. To keep his sanity, Joel crafts a number of robot companions—including Tom Servo, Crow T. Robot, and Gypsy—to keep him company and help him humorously comment on each movie as it plays, a process known as riffing. Each two-hour episode would feature a single movie in its entirety, sometimes with various shorts and educational films, with Joel, Tom, and Crow watching in silhouette from a row of theater seats at the bottom of the screen. These "theater segments" were framed with interstitial sketches called "host segments". The show's cast changed over its duration; most notably, the character of Joel was replaced by Mike Nelson (played by Michael J. Nelson) in the show's fifth season. Other cast members, most of whom were also writers for the show, include Trace Beaulieu, Josh Weinstein, Jim Mallon, Kevin Murphy, Frank Conniff, Mary Jo Pehl, Bill...