MST Club Christmas Video Marathon 2018! December 21, 2018 10:58 PM   Subscribe

"That's a number five!" As in, this is the FIFTH YEAR MST Club's been doing this! I guess the secret's out that we show far more than just MST episodes there, we have a huge collection of old and new, good and bad specials, movies and Very Special Episodes, in addition to other videos and riffing of multiple flavors. This year we're doing it for THREE DAYS, staring Midnight (Eastern time) in the morning of December 23rd and going through to the end of Christmas Day. It's all taking place here.

Previous threads: 2014 - 2015 - 2016 - 2017

We do this not just for our own amusement but to help provide a yuletide mood evener. Some people have tense family situations, or a need to escape for a while, or something to have on in the background while the turkey's cooking, or want something Christmassy to do in the absence of family, or just want some laffs for the holidays. I call it a "no stress" marathon 'cause no one really expects anyone (including ourselves!) to try to be there for every moment of the thing. cytube has a pretty good automation system to keep things rolling even when modless, although usually one of us will be there, unless we're all passed out or hopped up on nog.

In our second or third year we tried strictly scheduling it, but it ended up being far more more trouble that it was worth. We do try to show certain kinds of things at certain times though:

DEC 23 and 24:
Mornings - Bad and Weird Christmas Episodes & Specials
Evenings/Nights - Riffing, mostly Christmas themed with some wildcards thrown in

DEC 25:
Morning - Good Christmas Specials & Yule Logs
Afternoon - Our best riffing, culminating in our year long gaze-in-horror at the Star Wars Holiday Special
Evening/Night - Marathon wind-down time, showing things that are pointedly not Christmas-related.

Helping me out this year, as usual, is TheSnakeOfArgument, valkane and oneswellfoop. Snake particularly has been very helpful in getting this organized this year.

We do show riffing from places like Rifftrax and Cinematic Titanic, but all of our riffs are bought and paid for. If it makes you feel guilty to watch on our dime, you can shoot them a dollar or two (Rifftrax has a donations page). Or buy something from them, I'm sure they wouldn't mind that.

We have some interesting surprised this year. I found on a random site a large collection of computer graphics demos! Snake's made us some custom bumpers with marathon info and silly Christmas music backgrounds! We've got even more weird stuff than previous years! And we'll just have to see what else there is in store.
posted by JHarris to MetaFilter-Related at 10:58 PM (31 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite

So you rejected my suggestion to put the Star Wars Holiday Special on repeat for 72 hours?
posted by oneswellfoop at 11:17 PM on December 21, 2018 [5 favorites]

I'm here for this. I'll be working on the 23rd and 24th, so you've just made my day that much more bearable at work.
posted by Fizz at 5:59 AM on December 22, 2018 [1 favorite]

It’s beginning to look a lot like... Hi-Keeba!
posted by valkane at 8:48 AM on December 22, 2018 [1 favorite]

I've been looking forward to this ever since I missed the Thanksgiving event a month ago!
posted by Greg_Ace at 11:14 AM on December 22, 2018

foop, judging by the reactions to the SWHS thread a month or so back, once is enough, twice might kill some poor soul.
posted by JHarris at 11:58 AM on December 22, 2018 [1 favorite]

Open up your heart
And let the Patrick Swayze Christmas in
We'll gather at the Roadhouse
With our next of kin

posted by TheWhiteSkull at 12:08 PM on December 22, 2018 [5 favorites]

And Santa can be our reg-u-lar Saturday night thing
we'll decorate a barstool, gather around and sing

posted by JHarris at 12:10 PM on December 22, 2018 [2 favorites]

Are there instructions for how to watch this, asks the total newbie… This sounds like a godsend to my household, which happens to be in Sweden. If that makes a difference. Thank you all for your community service this holiday season!
posted by Bella Donna at 12:11 PM on December 22, 2018

Sure, just go here: sometime from the 23rd to 25th US Eastern Time. That's five or six hours behind yours I think, so for you the marathon actually starts at a more reasonable hour, around 5 or 6 in the morning. (I'll be up at midnight starting this thing!)

The site that provides for all this is, which is reasonably tested and open-source. The player is HTML, so it seems no Flash is necessary, although there might be individual videos that are exceptions, we're not sure. Our personal videos are encoded with MP3 audio, which should play in most browsers, but I think last year there was an issue with sound and Safari, so it might be worth watching the show in Firefox, Chrome or Edge instead.

There is a text chat window to the left of the video, which for us oldtimers a large part of the attraction, as this is where we can make our own comments and jokes about the show. There is no voice chat, which we view as an important part of it, as if everyone could talk it'd quickly drown out the show. (It's also easier to identify and ban an obnoxious intruder through chat.) Please keep in mind that it takes some seconds for someone to type in a comment, so jokes made are at a few seconds' remove from what happens on-screen.
posted by JHarris at 12:39 PM on December 22, 2018 [1 favorite]

I'd forgotten about this. Preeeeetty nice!
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 3:22 PM on December 22, 2018 [1 favorite]

Is it ok to include a bit of postmortem hanukkah relief?
posted by sammyo at 5:42 PM on December 22, 2018 [1 favorite]

Absolutely sammyo! In fact, during is fine too. "Christmas" here is not meant to be exclusionary, but just a general term for the season. "Holidays" might be a more appropriate name, but I figured the usual insanity we show should indicate what we're about.
posted by JHarris at 7:25 PM on December 22, 2018

You're a good egg, JHarris.
posted by Chrysostom at 7:43 PM on December 22, 2018 [3 favorites]

Hey, it gives me an excuse to avoid family, heh.
posted by JHarris at 7:48 PM on December 22, 2018 [1 favorite]

Sitrep: 21.5 hours. A lot of video has been consumed. A lot of folk have met and been met in kind. I know you’d like details, but it gets a little crazy when you only nap in a video-based marathon like this one.

We watched Santa’s Summer House. We watched this thing where Santa was a pirate. We woke up to a Pink Floyd 1970 concert that honestly, kinda hurt.

Then there was He-Man and She-Ra. And then those Holiday thingys I don’t pay much attention to. And then we started having fun. And we still are, as of 9:39 pm, est. And we’re planning on seeing it through till Midnight December 25.
posted by valkane at 6:41 PM on December 23, 2018 [2 favorites]

Special thanks to rodneylives (JHarris) for shifting Cosmic Princess to my morning mod shift and to The Snake of Argument for digging up a copy of Webb Wilder’s The Saucers Reign! Best Christmas Marathon Ever!
posted by valkane at 6:49 AM on December 24, 2018 [1 favorite]

Hey lurkers, you could have watched East Meets Watts. And laughed. And cried. No wait, just laughed. Maybe sneered a bit. I must leave the marathon because it is late here in Europe but you Yanks, and night owls the world over as well as potentially early bird, yes, you right there–you can keep watching and share in the joy, the laughs, and sometimes the odd horror as well such as when Harvey Korman played a bully who made fun of a friend who carved meet badly and then was in awe at his adult male friend's carving prowess and we learned from an actual home economist how to carve many many many different types of meat, often involving directions I could not follow even at the time.

You poor fools, I'm saying, you have no idea what you are missing. Do not be left behind.
posted by Bella Donna at 1:33 PM on December 24, 2018 [2 favorites]

There's a whole day to go, including the traditional showing of the Star Wars Holiday Special on the last evening! Good luck with that, by the way.
posted by JHarris at 1:51 PM on December 24, 2018

FYI - my ancient IPad does not allow me to chat but I am with you guys in spirit.
posted by wittgenstein at 5:42 PM on December 24, 2018 [1 favorite]

Sitrep- long time now. Like 48 hours. We sleep when we can, but, Santa With Muscles! Hulk Hogan earns a not so much at rotten tomatoes.

Then, while everybody slept, I indulged myself with Cosmic Princess, a really bad first season mst3k episode that was really a re-rolled two episodes of Space 1999.

Then we did, um, Santa Claus Conquers the martians, the cinematic titanic one.

We probably did some thing before that, but.

Oh! Then there was the rifftraxx Santa Village thing!

Anyway, the best part was this Max Headroom Christmas special that The Snake Of Argument found. That was amazing.

Still watching. Still awake.
posted by valkane at 8:35 PM on December 24, 2018 [1 favorite]

You people are the wind beneath my wings.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 8:40 PM on December 24, 2018 [2 favorites]

Hot take: the CT version of Conquers the Martians is better than the MST3K one.

(excepting "Patrick Swayze Christmas" of course)
posted by Chrysostom at 9:01 PM on December 24, 2018 [2 favorites]

I'm really enjoying this. We're having a quiet day at home, cleaning and doing laundry, trying to figure out what exactly we're going to have for dinner because somebody didn't go grocery shopping yesterday (ahem), so this is just perfect.
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 2:13 PM on December 25, 2018

Sitrep: 70.5 hours. Woke up to Michael Caine as Ebenezer Scrooge in The Muppets Christmas Carol, which was perfect. We got through a bunch of standard specials, Jack Frost, Frosty, you know the drill.

Santa Clause, Ice Cream Bunny and The Star Wars Holiday Special were on display, along with Hardware Wars and Donny and Marie doing Star Warsish stuff with Redd Foxx (!!) as a Ben Kenobi stand-in and Kris Kristofferson as Han Solo (!!!).

There were many MST3k Club Christmas Miracles this year (car repair, no one took the brown acid, and the babies that were born were all named rod), so we can thank Dropo for another year in the Radar Box.

I’ll leave it to our patron saint and best riffer ever JHarris to write the wrap-up (nyuk nyuk).

We’re watching 5th Element right now, and maybe we’ll do something after that.
posted by valkane at 7:44 PM on December 25, 2018 [2 favorites]

Shoutout to fenlings, profreader, Runcibleshaw, Bella Donna, breadcrumbs, loriginedumonde, serin, zengargoyle, and, of course our usual gang of idiots, oneswellfoop, TheSnakeOfArgument, ilana and the boss, rodneylives.

Anybody I missed, you rule as well. Happy Christmas.
posted by valkane at 8:01 PM on December 25, 2018 [3 favorites]

It's 4 AM December 26 and we're still watching some minor stuff. Thanks for making our 5th annual show a success! We had a solid average of 13 people in the room, which at times got up to 17, and one time I think up to 21.

We're thinking about maybe doing two of these a year, but I'm not sure when the other one would be, or even if we should do two. It wouldn't be for some time, definitely, but it would give us a chance to do one that focused on something other than holiday material.
posted by JHarris at 1:26 AM on December 26, 2018 [1 favorite]

Thank you all for putting this together! I had a jolly time!
posted by vespabelle at 9:06 AM on December 26, 2018 [1 favorite]

My compliments for everything in the long marathon (except getting my wifi cut off in the middle of Olive the Other Reindeer); it was a lazy, hazy, crazy Swayze Christmas. And thanks for including my suggestions, including the Bullwinkle serial when Boris Badenov dressed up as Santa. That did more to inform my holiday opinions as anything. A sincere and festive THANK YOU.

As for doing another marathon, besides Xmas and Turkey Day, we have coming up Groundhog Day (probably too soon and nobody has dared to riff it yet), Easter (a Good Friday to Easter Sunday marathon? And on the third day we were exhausted), May Day (symbolic as a distress signal) and 2019 will see the 50th Anniversary of the First Moon Landing (and I BELIEVE IT). But right now let's just use New Year's Eve to rest our old lang sines...
posted by oneswellfoop at 2:50 PM on December 26, 2018 [2 favorites]

Giant 24/8 Passover marathon!
posted by sammyo at 7:39 PM on December 26, 2018

If Good Friday to Easter is exhausting, then a full Passover will be more like Pass-Out...
posted by oneswellfoop at 9:43 PM on December 26, 2018 [2 favorites]

We had so much fun at the marathon this year that Snake's working on a smaller, unofficial kind of thing (not that the Christmas thing is "official"), in the same room, for New Year's Eve. And since midnight is kind of a rolling thing as the night continues, we can expect to celebrate the new year once an hour for quite a while!
posted by JHarris at 11:44 PM on December 29, 2018 [2 favorites]

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