(Photo: Getty Images)

Reinforcing MST3K’s continued commitment to nerds, Joel Hodgson has named Jonah Ray as the man he’d like to kidnap, shoot into space, and torture with bad movies for days, weeks— years, hopefully—on end. In other words, Ray is Hodgson’s choice for the new host of MST3K, where he will go by the name of Jonah Heston. The anointing took place on Kickstarter earlier today, where Hodgson posted in an update on the Bring Back MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000 page:

I probably met Jonah about three years ago, when I did the [Nerdist] podcast and we talked about MST3K. It was a fun gig, and two things were really clear: I liked all three of those guys very much, and they all seemed to really love MST3K. They knew all about it, which always makes interviews easier. We had a great time and I left with a really good impression of Jonah …

I guess I also just felt like [Ray‘s] 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 …

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.

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Of course, this is all pending the success of the MST3K Kickstarter, which as of this writing is at $1,863,541. (That’s more than 90 percent of the way towards the campaign’s goal of $2 million, and there are still 25 days left to go, so it‘s probably going to happen, though.) Ray is currently the co-host of the Nerdist podcast with Chris Hardwick and Matt Mirah, and recently wrapped the second season of Comedy Central’s The Meltdown With Jonah And Kumail with friend and fellow comedian Kumail Nanjiani. We’re sure they will all miss him very much while he’s in space.

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