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Mystery Science Theater 3000 is in the middle of “The Great Cheesy Movie Circus” tour, which will be the show’s last outing with creator Joel Hodgson as the live host. The tour, which recently stopped by the Merriam Theater, has been extended to include two new dates in our area, with shows at the Santander Performing Arts Center in Reading, PA on March 3 and the Wellmont Theater in Montclair, NJ on March 7.

Hodgson created the offbeat comedy series in 1988 and starred as the show’s protagonist until 1993. He spearheaded a Kickstarter to revive the show, and a new season was released on Netfilix in 2017. On why he’s now leaving the show, “I didn’t want to leave anything on the field,” Hodgson told The Washington Post in an interview. “This is my last time to really touch it, and really kind of travel with it, and really feel it all these times. I feel like I’m going to know so much that, by the end of it, we’ll really be in good shape to keep doing it.”

Hodgson, as it turns out, has been an avid XPN listener since moving to the Philly area about a decade ago. Back in August he joined Kristen Kurtis as a guest on the XPN Morning Show to talk about XPN’s Woodstock broadcast, how he ended up in Philly, and the local puppet camp he runs. He also shared a song for the Turn It Up/Turn It Down segment. You can revisit their conversation here. Find more information on the upcoming tour dates here.

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