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I only have one real Christmas tradition, and that is watching Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode 521, "Santa Claus." It's not just one of the best episodes in the series; it might be the best episode of any series (this thing will be full of unnecessary hyperbole). I originally recorded the rerun on Mother's Day weekend 1996, the last year Comedy Central ran the show. Don't ask me how I remember these details; all i know is that for the last 14 years I've faithfully watched this episode around Christmastime.

You should also watch it. Santa Claus is on DVD, Netflix Instant Watch, and here:

I think Santa Claus Conquers the Martians is the more popular of the two MST3K Christmas episodes, but that's mainly because the movie has a weird Baby Boomer cult thing going for it. But Martians is dull and plodding and grating, even if it still makes for a funny episode. (Cinematic Titanic revisited it 16 years later and improved things a little.)

Santa Claus involves the titular hero fighting the devil on Christmas Eve for the fate of children's souls, and it's mostly carried by this premise alone and its inherent creepiness. And just like in Martians, Santa Claus himself is insane and bipolar and terrible at his job. Then it gets weird. Just watch it so I have something to talk to someone about.


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Adiarratu Doumbia
Dec. 25th, 2010 07:10 am (UTC)
Do you even know anyone who hasn't seen it yet? I thought watching it was part of the "getting to know Bob Mackey" initiation ritual.
Dec. 25th, 2010 09:09 am (UTC)
i can't watch martians anymore. ran into the ground. it's such a terrible leaden grating film.
Dec. 26th, 2010 03:45 am (UTC)
nooooo lupita!
May. 31st, 2012 02:08 pm (UTC)
I just randomly ran across this thanks to some Twitter link and I must say that the Internet is not big enough to contain my rage. While Martians is annoying and Santa Claus far stranger, indeed, the riffing in Martians is far superior, particularly compared to the sad Cinematic Titanic version (from which I can't think of a single memorable line). Not to mention the incredible host segments, featuring Patrick Swayze Christmas and the Christmas Essay assignment.

Now that I think about it, though, these two episodes perfectly represent the differences between the Joel years, and the Mike years. I don't want to start that ridiculous argument, but, they are different, and these two episodes epitomize the ways in which they are equally good. Also, you are so wrong it hurts my children.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )