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Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Thanksgiving Traditions-My Turkey Day Watch List

As we all know Thanksgiving is the time for family

and for family traditions.

Now it's not something I really share regularly on the blog, but I don't have a big traditional family.   I'm an only child and my husband and I are child free, so they'll be no big family gathering for us.  This is not something I'm sad about, in fact I love celebrating Thanksgiving with my husband and pets.   I even  have a specific non-traditional tradition that I follow every year. 

Before my dad passed away five years ago he used to visit us every year for Thanksgiving.  Now my dad is the reason I love the kitschy-vintage things I do.  Like me he loved silly old movies and one of his favorite shows, and one we watched together when I was in high school, was Mystery Science Theatre Three Thousand.

The hilarious sci-fi show about a man and his robot palls who are stuck in outer space and forced to watch bad movies.  I hadn't seen MST3K, as it's known by fans, for years when shout factory started releasing the box set DVDs.  Needless to say my dad and I started buying them and when he would visit on Thanksgiving we'd watch them.

Just imagine less people, more dogs and cats, and robots in space on tv and you have the idea.
At the time I didn't realize that we weren't the only people following this "tradition."  Unknown to me MST3K premiered on Thanksgiving day in 1988.   Since then fans have watched the show on Thanksgiving to celebrate "turkey day"

The turkey in this case being the terrible movies.  These days you can even stream an MST3K turkey day marathon on Thanksgiving.  I just wish my dad where here to see it.

I myself don't usually stream the marathon because I have specific MST3K episodes I like to watch on Thanksgiving, mostly the Holiday ones.   Here are my top 5 favorites.

1) Santa Clause Vs. The Martians, 1964-This is a great starter episode for MST3K newbies.   The movie is truly terrible, and bizarre.  The basic incomprehensible plot is that Santa has been abducted by martians because the martian children are too serious to have any fun.  Never fear though, to Earth children are on hand to help Santa out. 

 The movie is so awful it would be hilarious even without the MST3K's casts jokes too.

The host segments in the episode are also great.   My favorite being the Patrick Swayze's  Road House inspired Christmas Carol they sing (remember this was the 80s.)

2) Santa Clause 1959- Another incredibly weird mid-century children's film, this episode doesn't quite achieve the brilliance of Santa Clause vs The Martians, but it's still very funny and perfect for the Holidays.  It's a Mexican film about a poor little girl who desperately wants a doll from Santa, the devil is also involved.

The weirdest part is definitely the beginning when the children from different lands serenade Santa from what look's like a snow globe prison.

3) Mr. B Natural, 1956-Mr. B Natural is technically not a movie, it's an educational short.  MST3K riffed alot of educational shorts and this is one of the funniest  Mr. B has nothing to do with the Holidays, he/she is supposed to be the spirit of music.  A creature who hops out of lockers and materializes in the bedrooms of 1950s teens to lecture them on instruments,  but there is something very elf like about him/her.

4) Santa Clause and  The Ice Cream Bunny, 1972-This is actually an episode or Rifftrax.  Rifftrax is a sort off follow up to MST3K with some of the same hosts.  You can purchase episodes on their website.  There are actually two versions of Santa Clause and The Ice Cream Bunny.  I wrote about the first one last year in this post.  The second version is the same except instead of the bizarre Thumbalina story there is a version of Jack and The Bean Stalk.  Both versions are an advertisement for the now defunct Pirates World Amusement park which if these films are to be believed must have been terrifying.  

5) Fun in Balloon Land, 1965-I would say this is the worst movie I've ever seen, and  I'm kind of an expert, except like the Rifftrax hosts (this is another Rifftrax episode), I'm not sure if it technically qualifies as a movie.

Basically someone took amateur, very amateur, footage of a 1965 Thanksgiving parade in Pennsylvania and added some sort of bizarre story about a fairy tale balloon land.  It has to be seen to be believed.

If you only see one episode of Rifftrax make it this one, it's worth the ten bucks.

Happy Thanksgiving!  Enjoy Your Traditions Whatever They Are!


  1. I love that we all have different traditions. Thanks for holiday movie ideas and happy Thanksgiving.

  2. I luffs snuggling up to the peeps while they watch films so I'm gonna tell them about these
    Happy Thanksgiving….I wish we had it here 'cos I hear there's wonderful foodables!!!
    Loves and licky kisses
    Princess Leah xxx

  3. Seriously one of the best shows ever created! Now I want to watch all the episodes you suggested :)

    Have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family!

  4. That sounds fun tradition and lovely memories with your dad :-) Have a happy Thanksgiving!!

  5. Those old photos are so cool. Have a happy day
    Lily & Edward

  6. It's the THANKS and your tradition that matters. Have a Happy Day!

  7. what fun! have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
    Mr Bailey, Hazel & Mabel

  8. What a great post, Kate. I love it that people are making their own traditions, even if they might seem strange to others. xxx

  9. I've never seen Mystery Science Theater but it looks like I will have to check some of these out! I still want to see Santa Claus and the Ice Cream Bunny! Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!


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