News & Blog

A Selection of YOUR Turkey Day Memories (Including One from Jonah!)

Hello friends! Last week I invited you to send me some of your memories of Turkey Days of yore. I've collected a few of them below -- including some familiar names from season 11. All of us here wish you a rifftastic holiday, and be sure to watch this year's marathon starting at 12pm ET! 


 

One of my favorite memories about Thanksgiving is watching and taping
the MST3K Turkey Day marathons! Growing up, the cable system at my
parent's house didn't have the Comedy Channel (later Comedy Central), so
I'd often request to go to my grandparents house the night before (who
lived a town or two over) to set up a VCR with an 8 hour tape or two.
I'd sneak back to the spare room to shuffle the tapes during the
commercial breaks and check up on what episode was airing.. and have a
laugh or two before returning the hellscape that is sometimes family
get-togethers.

For me, MST3K has always been a respite from whatever stress was going
on in my life. And always made me feel like I had friends.. even when I
didn't.

I grew up. In the years when MST was off the air, I made do with my own
little TD marathons. Re-watching my favorites, and sharing my love of
the show with friends... and later my wife and son who also became fans
of Joel, Mike, and the bots. This year, my family will be joining my
MSTie family at the Dino Hotel in Lakewood Colorado for the MST3K
Revival League's Turkey Day meet-up. It's 5 days of fun, friendship, and
laughing at the antics of the gang on the SOL.

And that's really what this show has come to mean to me... family and
friendship. It might sound silly to some, but I feel so lucky to be
part of the fan community that surrounds the show. A community has been
so kind to me over the years, even when I wasn't always kind in return.
It speaks volumes about the type of people the show drags in... the
right people get it.

So thank you MSTies for making me laugh at falling in love.. again.

Ron McAdams
Backer #14238


I didn’t have the good fortune of growing up with the MST3K Turkey Day Marathon, but I was very much aware of its legacy and association with Thanksgiving Day among MSTies. After meeting Joel Hodgson and getting to know him in 2012, it was an amazing honor and surprise to have him ask Seth and Mary Robinson and myself to help him bring back the tradition for 2013! Having Crow and Tom Servo make their cameo appearances in the finale will always make me feel those inconvenient things we call “feelings,” but it’s a memory I hold onto fondly, and something I’m very proud to have been a part of. Happy Turkey Day, all. Keep circulating the fixin’s!

Matt McGinnis, Writer/Associate Producer


I lived in Eureka between 1990 and 1997, and it didn't have Comedy Central on the local cable. That's why I missed Dr. F trying for 30 hours to take over the world or Adam West trying to cook dinner. However, when the cable finally added the channel in 1995 just in time for the Summer Countdown, I couldn't wait for the Turkey Day event. Actually, this was a good one because it aired first-season episodes for the first time in six years, and I've never seen Tom with a different voice. No one was circulating those tapes. Also,  the Turkey Day version of "Night of the Blood Beast" is much better than the other version. That, and the famous MST3K Scrapbook infomercial which I have.

As far as I am concerned, SyFy NEVER celebrated Turkey Day.

Then two years ago, Joel had the online Turkey Day when he found the girl who sent him the fan letter from "Fire Maidens From Outer Space". That was a special moment, and proof Joel loves his fans. He shook my hand at Comic-Con, too.

I plan to tune in Thursday's event after I get home from work (yes, Amazon has to prep for the holiday season by having a dress rehearsal for Black Friday). Good thing you guys  will be running it all weekend (I hope), and I might have the shows you'll be running that day. I do have Volume 31, with Thanksgiving memories. I'll certainly see that.

I just hope that we'll get news more episodes have been approved, from someone.

Happy Thanksgiving.

David Mello, Reno, NV
Revival League #59


I remember having no concept of time as a lad, and so the commercials for Turkey Day programming caught me by pleasant surprise every year. Sometimes I missed it, but when I didn't miss it I'd usually end up watching it with my friend, Justin Neri. We would both probably be wearing really long striped tube socks and hand me down skater shorts from his cousins. Yes, for some reason, I relied on another family's cousins for hand-me-down clothing. We'd also usually eat Bagel Bites and microwaved trays of Triscuits covered in american cheese (do we capitalize 'american' when speaking of cheese?). While watching in the family room we would multitask, building bases out of 2x4's for our action figures. 

Recent years were totally different.  I usually know when Turkey day was going to be on, and there are a few less toys strewn about. Also, I'm usually helping with the Turkey day production. For the one in 2013 I remember sitting in a room with Joel and some other writers the day we were filming it, workshopping jokes for the host segments and discussing the possibility of season 11.  I thought to myself that day, "who woulda guessed?" 

Seth Robinson, Writer/Associate Producer


Turkey Day 2015. I was still at my old private school, annoyed that I couldn't just stay home and just watch the Turkey Day Marathon, searching through YouTube to find it when near the end of the lesson, I found it. And it was playing the episode that made me a fan of MST3K, Santa Claus Conquers the Martians. I pumped my fists in the air, which did get noticed by the people next to me. Oops. During Lunch, I tried to find a place where I could watch the rest of the Turkey Day Marathon. I watched it until I had to leave where I was watching it, just missing the end of the song created by a long time fan of MST3K. That was a good day. Hopefully, I can watch this years marathon while being at my new school's formal. Fingers crossed.

Thank you.

Ben


I too remember the 1991 Turkey Day marathon with the hysterical bumpers. My wife and I spent that holiday with my folks, who happened to have Comedy Central on their TV lineup. There was no cable service back then where we lived, so it was always a treat to visit and watch more MST3K craziness, which I'd gotten hooked on the year before.

I tried to ensure that we spent Thanksgiving with my folks and did Christmas with her's so we wouldn't have to miss out on the marathon... Right up to the point where Comedy Central said "nah!" to more MST3K. 
During the dark years where where was no Turkey Day, I would make keep it in my own way by either playing tapes or DVDs of what bad films I owned, whether actual MST3K episodes, or just rotten films where I'd make the riffs up as it went along.
I was so happy when Turkey Day came back several years ago, and even happier to be able to help bring the show back. Life is rather lifeless without bad movie snark and little robots cracking wise, don't you think?
The marathons of the 90's make for very happy memories for my wife and I, since my folks enjoyed watching them as well, and they are no longer with us.
Happy Turkey Day!
Jim & Nancy Shepherd
Backer #6606

My brother, David, and I always watched MST3K in the early 90s when we were kids in San Diego, but when our family moved to Pennsylvania in 1993, we didn’t have cable or Jack-in-the-Boxes (I mean the fast food place, not the nightmare spring-clowns). It was a couple years before we got to see the show again, as it happened, one Thanksgiving Day at my Nana & PopPops’ place in Reading. Only now Joel was missing and there was this other another face in a not-red jumpsuit. My brother and I went more or less berserk until my dad pointed out that new guy was actually Gamera himself. We decided that if the new guy was good enough to fill Gamera’s shell, he was good enough for us.
I guess it’s a pretty good metaphor, or maybe even an allegory, or whatever and I don’t feel like googling the term, for the first Thanksgiving. You know, people meet new people but they all become friends and some of them have cool nature hats but the other ones have dumb buckley ones and you can bury a dead fish near some corn and it grows twice as cobbed or something.
Mary Robinson, Writer

When I was a kid, I got big. Really big. I was taller than anybody in my grade by a longshot and I also started to gain a LOT of weight. It made me feel VERY out of place and awkward. At Thanksgiving that year, I was very excited because my whole family was together for the first time in a bit. I had eaten a salad that my aunt had made, then started to make my way to get the main course. Upon seeing this, my great grandfather yelled so everybody could hear, "Already going back for more Fatboy? Go ahead and eat it all up."
I was devastated. I immediately responded with "No! No! I-I'm stuffed. The salad was good for me," as I retreated into the living room, away from the smell of all the delicious food. I sat in front of the tv and turned it to Comedy Central (one of my many escapes at that age) and no longer felt sad or alone. I had found that my other family, the crew of the SOL, was having an all day Thanksgiving day party and I was invited.
By the last MST3k episode of my first Turkey Day Marathon my curmudgeonly great grampa had fallen asleep. So I went and made myself an epic turkey sammich and laughed that bummer moment away. Family is important, but it can also be stressful and chaotic. Knowing that every Thanksgiving I was going to have an escape when things got to be too much for me was something that I'm grateful for to this day.
Jonah Ray, Host/Writer/Producer

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