Mystery Science Theater 3000 is maybe the most revived series in history. After seven successful seasons on Comedy Central, the show moved over to Syfy. Then, famously, after 18 years away, a hyper-funded Kickstarter campaign brought it back; Netflix picked up this season as well as a second. But after Netflix gave the series the axe, creator Joel Hodgson turned back to Kickstarter. This gave us the Gizmoplex, a way for the show to go directly to fans. And for more people to get a chance to host. Along with Jonah Ray and Hodgson himself, Emily Marsh has joined the hallowed ranks as main host/riffer for season 13 episodes.
Here’s an exclusive look at Marsh in action in her first episode, Beyond Atlantis. She sits middle chair, along with Kelsey Ann Brady as Crow and Conor McGiffin as Tom Servo.
Marsh began riffing with the bots on the Mystery Science Theater 3000 live tour. However, this will mark her first official episode. Even still, she already has a new generation of fans. The performer told Nerdist the gig is more than a professional dream come true.
“[To] be a part of the show that I grew up watching with my dad and then to now have dads reaching out to say how much it means to watch with their daughters and have a female host, it’s hard to put into words how much that means to me personally. Also just as meaningful is long-time fans reaching out to welcome me to the MST3K family. This series owes so much to its fans and for them to be so welcoming of my inclusion in it, it truly is the highest praise I could hope for. Hands down my favorite MST3K moment so far: getting to see my smirk on a patch. 10 year old Emily would have lost her mind!”
Series creator Joel Hodgson explains how Emily ended up in the show’s weird orbit.
“I think we initially met her as a puppeteer, and I think that’s important because with puppeteers, I’ve noticed over the years, they collaborate in this fantastic way. They’re basically unseen. It’s an invisible art, in that you can’t really see what they’re doing behind the scenes. Emily brings that aesthetic with her, which is really a collaborative way of working and really an ensemble way of working which is very important in MST3K because if you look, even though you’re hosting, you’re really sharing with these other comic performers who are really talented. She brought that.”
“She was very irreverent about MST3K from the start,” Hodgson continued. “She mentioned to me she was telling her mom that she was auditioning for MST3K, and she said that her mom said: ‘That stupid show has got a live tour?!'” For a self-effacing Midwesterner like Hodgson, that was the moment it all clicked.
“It just really made me like her so much, that she was so honest and so kind of, unattached to worrying about it with me, I just liked her right away. She’s very available and great…I don’t know how else to explain it other than she’s really great on camera, she’s really great on stage, and she’s very willing to bring it. It’s hard work and she’s willing to do it. She’s really funny, and just fun to hang out with and joke around with, which makes it much easier too.”
Netflix-era host and friend of Nerdist Jonah Ray, who plays Jonah Heston, explained Emily has a style like another longtime MST3K host, Michael J. Nelson.
“Emily brings back that perfect dry delivery to the show. She reminds me of Mike in that way in both her riffing and sketch performing. And much like most of the folks who have ever made MST3k, she’s an old soul. But since she’s young, she lands right in the pocket of where both old fans and new fans reference points are gonna hit. She really is the perfect direction for the show as she’s put in the work night after night on the tours. And her chemistry with Conor’s Tom Servo, Kelsey’s Crow, and Yvonne’s Mega-Synthia is already solid. I’m excited for people to see them. But even more excited for me, as I can finally watch the show again and not have to look at myself!”
Season 13 of Mystery Science Theater 3000 will drop episodes all year long. The first three of which, including Emily’s first episode, Beyond Atlantis, are available beginning May 6. Check out the Gizmoplex site for membership information.