The show first aired in 1988 and quickly gained a cult following. The series features a man and his robot friends who are stuck in space and forced to watch bad films as part of a psychological experiment. The group provide a running commentary on the movies in order to stay sane.
Created and first hosted by Joel Hodgson, and later hosted by writer Mike Nelson, each MST3K episode could feature an average of around 700 jokes in later years.
Mystery Science Theater 3000 ran for eleven seasons, and aired its last episode in 1999.
The series will make a return to television for a new TV special, Total Riff-Off, with former cast members Michael J. Nelson, Kevin Murphy and Bill Corbett, who continue riffing movies through their project RiffTrax.
Murphy was the second puppeteer and voice behind the robot Tom Servo during the series, and Corbett voiced the robot Crow during the show's later seasons.
Total Riff-Off will consist of three hour-long episodes, in which the trio will resume their banter and joking commentary as they are "forced" to watch classic clips from National Geographic programs. Honey Badgers, Man v. Monster, and Swamp Men are among the NatGeo shows to be lampooned.
Total Riff-Off's first episode will debut at 8 p.m. ET on the National Geographic channel on April 1, in recognition of April Fool's Day.