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Credit: Comedy Central

Mystery Science Theater 3000 and Turkey Day, the best Thanksgiving tradition of all

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Nov 26, 2019

Let's be honest: American Thanksgiving is a bogus, garbage holiday. But rather than celebrate its white-washed origins, for one certain fandom, the day is merely Turkey Day, and its celebration is one of thanks for one of the greatest television shows of all time: Mystery Science Theater 3000.

In 1991, the newly created Comedy Central aired its first MST3K Turkey Day Marathon, 30 hours of episodes (the show was always two beautiful hours in length) and bumpers featuring the cast in original Turkey Day-themed sketches, famously featuring not-yet host Michael J. Nelson as Jack Perkins of Biography.

And a tradition was born, one that carried on in the hearts and televisions of fans, even when the show was canceled, first by Comedy Central then by what was then the Sci-Fi Channel and is now *checks notes* ... oh. *collar pull* And it continues today thanks to creator and original host Joel Hodgson and Shout Factory. You can tune in yourself, but if you're like me and a fan of curating your own perfect episodic playlist, I've done myself you fine people wholly out of the goodness of my heart the favor of compiling a list of the most appropriately thankful and meal-compliant episodes to enjoy your Turkey Day (no Mitchell here, we've got food to keep down, thank you). And all are available to stream!

Join me, won't you?

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Puma Man

Puma Man

Between Vadinho (who is an onion) and Donald Pleasance at his funky Butterball-headed best, Puma Man is the ultimate Turkey Day inclusion.

Where to watch: Tubi

I Accuse My Parents

I Accuse My Parents

Look, maybe your family isn't perfect, but at least you're not Jimmy Wilson. THEY DIDN'T CARE ABOUT HIS ESSAY CONTEST AND IT LED HIM TO MURDER.

Where to watch: Tubi

Devil Doll

Devil Doll

Not everyone likes turkey. Some people like ham. Hugo, the demonic Devil Doll, is those people. Give him some ham! He wants some ham!

Where to watch: Shout Factory

Eegah

Eegah

If we're talking family friendliness, no family is friendlier than Eegah's Roxy and her dad. Squick. Anyway, watch out for snakes.

Where to watch: Shout Factory

Space Mutiny

Space Mutiny

If you have nothing else to be thankful for, put your faith in Blast Hardcheese. After all, he has the power to bring back the dead.

Where to watch: Tubi

The Home Economics Story

Sometimes we only have a brief few moments here and there to get away from family (if you hide in the bathroom for two full hours there WILL be questions) and for that, MST3K shorts are the perfect addition to your Turkey Day marathon and YouTube has a ton. My personal favorite is The Home Economics story, an educational short urging girls into the home ec field.

A Date with Your Family

Another short, and a perfect one for this day of familial togetherness. Get valuable tips for how to take your family dinner to the next level.

Young Man's Fancy

Finally, another kitchen-focused short starring the deeply horny Judy as she navigates the importance of home appliances and feeling squishy.

Pluto-TV

A random assortment!

Pluto TV has a whole-ass MST3K channel! Let the dealer choose and you just soak up Joel, Mike, and the Bots like gravy to a roll.

Santa Claus Conquers the Martians

You did it, you survived Thanksgiving. Now it's the yuletide season and there's no way to kick it off for real than with aliens, Pia Zadora, and "A Patrick Swayze Christmas."

Where to watch: Tubi

Ben Murphy

Honorary Inclusion: Riding with Death

Tragically, this episode is as elusive as Robert Denby and as such is only available on DVD, but no Turkey Day would be complete without our favorite "turkey," Ben Murphy. Seek out the ep in the DVD set, or, if we're adhering to the "keep circulating the tapes" mentality, there are certainlY sOme UnconvenTional means yoU might find availaBlE.

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