Thanksgiving: 'Mystery Science Theater 3000' marathon looks at movie turkeys

On several Thanksgivings past, the TV show 'Mystery Science Theater 3000' aired marathons of episodes on Turkey Day. This year, the tradition is returning via the Web.

'Mystery Science Theater 3000' episodes included those centered around the movies 'Jack Frost' and 'Future War.' These posters include the two robots from the show, Crow and Tom Servo.

Does watching a less-than-stellar film with snarky commentary from a man and two robots say Thanksgiving to you?

For some, between the years of 1991 and 1997, the Pilgrim holiday meant cutting a slice of pumpkin pie and settling down to watch the “Mystery Science Theater 3000” Turkey Day marathon, which aired on Comedy Central. The channel aired a marathon of episodes of the show, which consists of a man named Joel (or later, Mike) and robots Crow and Tom Servo watching a film of dubious quality and making jokes about it. Joel was put aboard a spaceship by scientists and forced to watch terrible movies as part of a scientific study.

“Mystery Science Theater 3000” debuted in 1988 and hopped around to a couple of different channels before its cancellation in 1999, but it gained a cult following and many episodes live on via DVD and the Internet.

The show starred “MST3K” creator Joel Hodgson from 1988 to 1993 (head writer Michael J. Nelson would replace him for the rest of the series’ run) and Hodgson will be hosting the event which will stream from the website MST3KTurkeyDay.com this year. Six episodes of “MST3K” chosen by Hodgson will air on the site beginning at 12 p.m. Eastern time on Thanksgiving Day. 

Hodgson took suggestions from fans via Twitter as to what films would be best to include in the new marathon.

He told Entertainment Weekly he was amazed to hear what an important part of Thanksgiving the “MST3K” marathon had become for some fans.

“I’d hear all these stories about Turkey Day,” Hodgson said. “People would say, ‘Yeah, we still watch Mystery Science Theater on Thanksgiving. It’s a tradition, like the Lions playing.’ I was kind of amazed that it was in people’s lives like that.”

What will be included in the first “MST3K” marathon in 16 years? Check out the website for the streaming event if you’re in the mood for some sci-fi B-movies and deadpan humor.

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