2016 MST3K Club No-Stress Christmas Video Marathon December 21, 2016 10:50 AM   Subscribe

For the third year running, those of us in MST Club are planning a holiday marathon of video festialities. (Jonathan Harris voice: "That's not a word!") On the menu: MST3K Christmas movies, a few other riffing delicacies, a wide assortment of Christmas specials and episodes both good and bad, and some other short oddments thrown in. Once again, the purpose is to be the good-natured background radiation to your Christmas rituals, taking the edge off the hard moments and adding extra cheer to the soft ones. Come by whenever and however long you want. Official times: 6 AM Eastern Christmas Eve through to 6 AM December 26. As usual, the site of this madness is the MST Club cytube page.

A lot of stuff is returning from last year, but we're aiming to have less repetition this time around.

We are also planning to have a schedule, so you can see what's coming and catch your favorite things. We do reserve the right to switch things up though, if some item isn't working with the audience at that moment, or in the event of technical difficulties. As always, the motto of MST Club is "Doing things that we're surprised are even possible, with a minimum of backup failsafes."

We're still working on getting everything encoded and set up, more information will appear in this thread as we get closer.
posted by JHarris to MetaFilter-Related at 10:50 AM (18 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite

Try to get the Christmas special with the mice, that's pretty nutty.
posted by Chrysostom at 12:21 PM on December 21, 2016 [1 favorite]

Ah, we showed that one last year! I think it's online, will look for it.
posted by JHarris at 1:37 PM on December 21, 2016

I still sing the stupid Even A Miracle Needs a Hand from that thing every year.
posted by JanetLand at 2:01 PM on December 21, 2016 [3 favorites]

I was only able to check this out briefly last year, but I really enjoyed the added riffing in the chat window.
posted by Greg_Ace at 2:19 PM on December 21, 2016 [1 favorite]

[checks to see if Emmet Otter is on YT; sets reminder to look at schedule]
posted by mintcake! at 6:40 PM on December 21, 2016

See you thereā—
posted by Room 641-A at 11:28 PM on December 21, 2016 [1 favorite]

Huzzah! I'll probably have it on for much of Christmas Eve while puttering around the house. Comments will be as likely to come from me as from my husband.
posted by tchemgrrl at 11:11 AM on December 22, 2016

We're not having our usual MST3K showing tonight because of the impending marathon, but we'll offer a random sample of the things we've got saved up for anyone who shows up anyway.
posted by JHarris at 4:36 PM on December 22, 2016

Here is our provisional schedule!
posted by JHarris at 11:34 PM on December 22, 2016 [1 favorite]

If I were smart I would have lied to my well-meaning friends that I was fine to be here by myself. Then I'd watch this with y'all and have quesadillas for dinner and have a grand old time. Instead, I'll be sitting on my hands and gritting my teeth so I don't use them to dismember and eviscerate the enemies I'll likely find around the table I'll be sitting at. I'll be with y'all in spirit though! If I get a chance, I'll tune in and join in the festialities.
posted by ob1quixote at 10:47 AM on December 23, 2016

In the not too distant future,
Christmas Eve 2016,
There was a guy named JHarris [alias rodneylives, it's a long story]
With a totally NOT evil scheme.
He runs the MeFi MST3K Club,
A social media Satellite of Love,
He set out to make Christmas fully awesome
With a 48-hour marathon!
"I'll use some MST episodes,
And some Christmas Rifftrax too,
And some awful TV shows and movies
The riffers never got to do
The built-in chat at the cytube site
Will let us add our own riffs, awright!
And just for a change of pace we should
Toss in some Christmas stuff that's actually GOOD."
Ice Cream Bunny!
Star Wars!
K! Gordon! Murrrrrraaaaayyyyy!!
If you're worried you'll miss something cool,
This schedule has the facts.
Come and go whenever you want
And really just relax
With the 2016 MST3K Club No-Stress Christmas Video Marathon!!!
posted by oneswellfoop at 3:03 PM on December 23, 2016 [4 favorites]

And the playlists are all ready! 8 playlists, one for about every six hours of show. I kept to the schedule pretty well, but if you want to be absolutely sure you catch the beginning of something you're really looking forward to, you might want to drop in a few minutes early.

There are a few surprises scattered throughout as well, including a couple of things long-time MeFites will certainly remember....
posted by JHarris at 6:01 PM on December 23, 2016 [1 favorite]

John - Ipad update.
When you are streaming raw video to the cytube page, I lose the volume but get the picture. Youtube stuff works fine.

I'm only telling you this in case there is a clever easy solution to this I am not smart enough to know.
posted by wittgenstein at 1:58 PM on December 25, 2016

cytube tries to use an HTML5 player for as much media as possible these days. I'm at a loss for how to solve that issue. valkane also reported that some videos played with weird audio (those that, before I encoded them into mp4s, were once flvs), but that doesn't seem to be consistent between people.

I'm not sure what I can offer regarding these problems. cytu.be isn't perfect, but it is better than our old solution, at least, in terms of reliability.
posted by JHarris at 7:20 AM on December 26, 2016

No worries, John. I just mentioned it in case there was an easy solution. You guys are more tech savvy than me.
posted by wittgenstein at 9:17 AM on December 26, 2016

Thank you so much for this! It was a nice boost to our last-minute holiday prep. I checked in again last night after a full day's bacchanalia. Does Super Mario Bros. make more or less sense if you're sober?
posted by Orange Dinosaur Slide at 9:48 AM on December 26, 2016 [1 favorite]

I couldn't say, but it's not hugely bad. It's mostly just another weird 80s action-fantasy, but it also has little to do with the games other than some namechecks.

Notes from the whole affair:
  • Highest concurrent population was 15 viewers. Highs tended to happen around 6-10 PM, lows seemed to be in the early mornings.
  • The Christmas specials seemed to be slightly less popular than the riffing this year.
  • valkane reported some problems, with some videos, of high-pitched, distorted (as if over-compressed audio) that didn't happen on my machine. Reports from other users as to whether it happened to them were inconclusive. Experimentation is needed to figure out what's happening. One thing is that the videos affected all seem to be re-encodes from FLV.
  • Further into the marathon we started to get issues with individual users experiencing network errors. In most cases, it seems that this only affected one user, although at least it affected several at once. In this event, the best solution turned out to be reloading the page. A note to this effect made it into the MOTD. Notably, this issue only occurred with streaming from files, not from services like YouTube.
  • We finally discovered how to scrub forward and backward in a cytube video while it's playing! It turns out a mod has to make one user into a "Leader" (which is not an automatic mod power itself), who can then adjust playback. It's best if leadership only be granted temporarily, to avoid playback accidents.
Thanks once again to valkane and oneswellfoop for assisting with the event, and foop additionally for providing web space. See you all next year!
posted by JHarris at 11:53 AM on December 26, 2016 [6 favorites]

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