Felicia Day, Baron Vaughn, and Hampton Yount Join the ‘MST3K’ Reboot

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Now that Joel Hodgson’s MST3K reboot Kickstarter campaign has reached its $2 million goal and The Meltdown’s Jonah Ray has been named the new host, Hodgson has added another update to the mix revealing some more newbie cast members. In the latest update, Hodgson announced that the next Mad will be played by Felicia Day, while comedians Hampton Yount and Baron Vaughn will take on the voice roles of Crow T. Robot and Tom Servo. Young and Vaughn were both recommendations Jonah Ray gave to Hodgson, who notes in his update that they’re bringing their own original takes to the characters:

During that shoot, I realized that Hampton did a killer impression of Trace’s Crow, but I actually cautioned him against it, because it could make it harder to evolve the part later, when he’ll need to do impressions and dialects – which is a pretty big part of the job. I also told both of them that it would take them some time to figure out their own versions of Crow and Servo. (If you watch anyone on MST3K when they start out, I think it takes at least a good 3 to 6 shows to get your movie-riffing legs. You just have to kind of feel it out once you’re in the room.) Baron even called me after he saw the first Kickstarter video, to tell me he already has ideas for how he wants to tweak his Tom Servo. So maybe they’ll sound a little different over time, but just watching them mess around on set, I know we’ve found the right people for the jobs. Also, before I go, I’ll tell you what I told Hampton and Baron: I don’t want them to make “sound-alike” Tom Servos and Crows. The bots aren’t like the Muppets: they’ve always been manifestations of the people running them. Kevin didn’t sound exactly like Josh, and Bill didn’t sound exactly like Trace. And the way I see it, the point of being a movie riffing robot is that you can do a bunch of voices and dialects – not just sound like the last guy. Plus, personally, it always feel a bit hollow to me when you have to cast people who sound like the original character. I think it’s much more important to have people have great comic instincts, the right chemistry, and who can be inventive with the character. With Hampton and Baron, we’re getting all of that and more.

When I started imagining the next season of MST3K, I knew we’d need the next Mad to be someone worthy of the Mad title and someone who could live up to the great work of Trace, Josh, Frank and Mary Jo. But I also thought we needed a new “flavor” – something that would lead to new situations. So, right away, I knew that I wanted the next Mad to be someone who could be both comedic and threatening… and if possible, both at the same time! I also knew, from the start, that the next Mad should be a woman. Part of that inspiration came from seeing what Mary Jo Pehl did with the role of Pearl Forrester. As Pearl, Mary Jo – or MJ, as we called her – could be funny in so many different ways… but while she was a woman, the humor never came from Pearl being female – that just happened to be a great coincidence, and a tribute to how great MJ was in that part. And I know her performance stuck with a lot of you too, because any time we did appearances for MST3K or Cinematic Titanic, there was always a long line of folks waiting for their turn to lavish praise on her! So, ever since I started thinking about the future of MST3K, I think I’ve known the next Mad needed to be another formidable woman in the Forrester family line.