Remember Turkey Day the MST3K Way

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I sincerely hope there is no reason for me to explain what MST3K is and was… but just for the sake of those reading this who grew up in a secluded basement somewhere, MST3K is the abbreviated title for the classic show Mystery Science Theater 3000. The show featured hosts (Joel, then Mike, plus Crow and Tom Servo the bots) who were forced to sit through horrible films while they relentlessly mocked and riffed them. It was a humor goldmine and it lasted for a good number of years on various channels. If you’d like to know more, I suggest a trip to RIGHT HERE.

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As a huge fan of the show (I own every episode I am able to and some are impossible to find), the one big thing I remember during the Thanksgiving holiday is the Turkey Day marathons. From 1991 to 1995 (and an unofficial day in ’97), Comedy Central ran non-stop Mystie episodes typically leading up to the premiere of a new episode. It was goofiness heaven for those of us who’d rather not watch sports (and I’d still take MST3K over NFL any day); we could just plop our butts in front of the tube and let he laughter take us away. In recent years (and again this year) the tradition has been brought back, and there is even a kickstarter campaign underway to bring back MST3K. So in honor of Thanksgiving coming later this week, let’s relive those six years, shall we? And let’s rediscover what Turkey Day is all about.

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Turkey Day 1991

Aired from midnight, November 28 to 6:00 AM on November 29

Fun Fact: Commercially released on VHS by Rhino Entertainment in April 1996, the tape of The Amazing Colossal Man was later recalled due to rights issues. This is the only VHS release that has never been re-released on DVD by Rhino.

Turkey Day 1992

Aired from 6:00 PM, November 25 to 12:30 AM on November 27, 1992. This was the first Turkey Day to feature episode premieres

Fun Fact: Penn Jillette of Penn and Teller hosted the 'Making of' segment because, at the time, he was the voice of Comedy Central.

Turkey Day 1993

Aired from 6:00 PM, November 24 to 2:00 AM on November 26, 1993, making it the longest of the Turkey Day marathons

Fun Fact: Sixteen episodes were shown in all. Comedy Central offered the Brains a miniscule amount of money to make the sketches shown between episodes that had been featured in the previous years, and the Brains turned them down.

Turkey Day 1994

Aired from 8:00 PM, November 23 to 12:00 AM on November 25, 1994

Fun Fact: In each of the movies intros, Adam West would cook up a turkey theme to the episode, much as the Mads had done during Turkey Day '92. He also appeared in some of the bumpers shown during commercial breaks.

Turkey Day 1995

Aired from 9:00 AM, November 23 to 12:00 AM on November 24, 1995, making it the shortest of the Turkey Day marathons

Fun Fact: Because of the interest surrounding the premiere of the documentary The Beatles Anthology on ABC around the same time, Comedy Central gave this Turkey Day and the early episode showings a corresponding theme.

  • The Crawling Hand
  • Manos: The Hands of Fate
  • Mitchell
  • Outlaw
  • The Skydivers
  • The Starfighters
  • Poopie Parade of Values
  • Night of the Blood Beast

Turkey Day 1997

Turkey Day '97 was the only Thanksgiving marathon of Mystery Science Theater 3000 episodes run on the Sci-Fi Channel. It aired from 7:30 AM, November 27 to 4:00 AM on November 28, 1997

Fun Fact: Oddly, at 6 pm, there was a break in the MST3K's for two Star Wars movies.