The Nerdist’s Jonah Ray chosen to be new MST3K host


Joel Hodgson wants the Nerdist’s Jonah Ray to host Mystery Science Theater 3000 when it inevitably comes back.

First, a refresher: Mystery Science Theater 3000 creator Joel Hodgson wants to bring the beloved cult classic TV show back, and it looks like he’s going to succeed. As of this writing, he’s raised over 90% of his $2 million Kickstarter goal, and with nearly a month left on the clock, it seems very likely that we’ll be back on the Satellite of Love watching robots crack wise about bad movies before too long.

But who will they be cracking wise with? During its decade on the air, the show always had a human host, first Hodgson himself and then head writer Mike Nelson. Hodgson wants to reboot the series again for its revival, and has tapped Nerdist co-host Jonah Ray to be kidnapped, shot into space, and made to watch terrible movies to the delight of audiences everywhere. On his Kickstarter page, Hodgson talked about how he started thinking about Ray for the position when the two of them were working on an “awards show gig.”

"[W]e started working on jokes together, and it just clicked: He was just incredibly funny and easy to write with – there was flow, really – and who can ask for anything more? I guess I also just felt like his heart was in the right place, and I could see how much he loved and understood MST3K. I think that’s when I started thinking about inviting him to be the next host on MST3K, if we ever got to come back.About a year after that, I asked him what he thought about it. He said “yes” right away, without a second of hesitancy, and we’ve been talking about it ever since."

In addition to his Nerdist duties, Ray hosts a comedy show called The Meltdown at Meltdown Comics in Los Angeles, and created and starred in a pilot called “Jonah’s Arcade” that unfortunately was not picked up by Comedy Central. He’s completely on board with hosting MST3K, if his Twitter account is any indication.

Not lightly do you get yourself an MST3K-themed avatar. Okay, actually, it’s probably pretty easy, but in this context it’s significant. In another tweet, Ray said that he got excited when he put on the (yellow!) Gizmonics jumpsuit, worn by all the MST3K hosts, and began to cry when the Gizmonics patch was affixed. As caustic as the show could be, it also had a lot of heart, so that sincerity should come in handy. Here’s Hodgson on what we can expect from the new host:

"I can’t really tell you what kind of host Jonah is going to be, but I hope you’ll give him a chance to show you. And even if you’re familiar with Jonah’s career, remember: that doesn’t mean he’ll bring the same exact approach to MST3K. I think a lot of you may be surprised. Plus, like the previous members of our cast, I think Jonah has great instincts and a lot of range. He’s funny, he’s wicked smart, and like I said, his heart’s in the right place. He loves MST3K, he seems to understand what makes it so special, and most important, I know he takes the role seriously."

That’s good enough for me. Bring on the new MST3K!

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