Thanksgiving Just Wouldn’t Be Turkey Day Without A Big Helping Of MST3K

Greetings, geeks! If you were a cable teevee subscriber in the early 1990s, you probably acquired a taste for Mystery Science Theater 3000, the postmodern work of genius that featured a guy and two puppets talking back to awful B movies. And between 1991 and 1995, if you were a nerd stuck at home on Thanksgiving, you may have spent at least some part of the day watching the Turkey Day Marathon, Comedy Central’s holiday time-filler, hour after hour of MST3K episodes with Thanksgiving-themed host segments and bumpers. I spent one such Thanksgiving building a model airplane while Turkey Day droned on the teevee all day, which is just so nerdy it hurts. The best part was switching over to the evening news and feeling disappointed that there wasn’t a row of theater seats silhouetted at the bottom of the screen, with Joel and the bots mocking Tom Brokaw.

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And so, as a public service, we’d like to offer you the chance to re-create Turkey Day at home, via your computer and the YouTubes. A surprising number of full-length MST3K episodes are available on YouTube, and of course fans have also put together collections of all the host segments and bumpers from each year of the marathon. So really, all you need to do to make your own marathon is to load up the movie and stop it every 15 minutes to watch the bumpers — genius! You’ll have to provide your own commercials, however. If you want to get frighteningly obsessive about it, you could even use the MST3K Wiki to reconstruct the full menu of movies in the order they showed. We’d never actually do that…but it occurred to us.

If you’re in the U.S. or Canada, you could also drop by mst3kturkeyday.com today starting at noon Eastern, where the show’s DVD distributor, Shout Factory, will stream six episodes selected and hosted by MST3K creator Joel Hodgson.

Either way, you’ll have to provide your own model airplane kit.

To get you started, here are the host segments and bumpers from the 1991 Turkey Day marathon. (A highlight: “Dr. Forester, I brought your favorite side dish: Yams. Personally prepared by Karen Finley”) The other years are all on YouTube, of course; we had completely forgotten that the 1994 marathon was hosted by Adam West, in all his self-consciously puffed-up awesomeness.

And while we wouldn’t dream of embedding all 30 hours of movies from the 1991 marathon (again, it was tempting), here’s one of the features, Cave Dwellers, a confused sword and sorcery flick with one of the best opening title gags ever:

Joel: How much Keeffe is in this movie anyway?

Tom Servo: Miles O’ Keeffe.

This is immediately followed by another, less-remembered favorite of mine: “I’d shoot Donald Regan to prove my love for Lisa Foster.”

Enjoy, if that’s the word.

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