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Sampo & Erhardt

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Visit our archives of the MST3K pages previously hosted by the Sci-Fi Channel's SCIFI.COM.

Goodbye Sci-Fi

Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy and Bill Corbett reflect on MST3K's final broadcast.

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Episode guide: 321- Santa Claus Conquers the Martians

Movie: (1964) Determined to bring Christmas to their home planet, Martians kidnap Santa Claus.

First shown: 12/21/91
Opening: Crow and Tom are looking at Christmas catalogs
Invention exchange: The Mads demonstrate their wish squisher; J&tB offer up their own misfit toys
Host segment 1: J&tB sing: “A Patrick Swayze Christmas”
Host segment 2: J&tB look over tapes of cheesy Christmas specials
Host segment 3: J&tB read their Christmas essays
End: Caroling, stocking time, Joel reads a letter, meanwhile in Deep 13, the Mads are also exchanging gifts
Stinger: Bad martian’s derisive laughter
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (169 votes, average: 4.64 out of 5)


• This one is a genuine classic, and for a lot of MSTies it’s as much a part of the holiday season as “White Christmas” or “It’s A Wonderful Life.” All the host segments are gems. The riffing is solid throughout. It’s also another one I have almost completely memorized. But as good as it is, as much fun as it is, as much as “A Patrick Swayze Christmas” has become a yuletide tradition, well, I’ll just say it: Both the RiffTrax and Cinematic Titanic riffs are funnier. That said, this one’s guaranteed to get you in the holiday spirit.
• This episode was included in Rhino’s “Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Essentials.”
• This episode was the one they were working on when a crew from Comedy Central arrived at the studios to shoot footage for the documentary “This is MST3K.” Unfortunately, that led to several misunderstandings among some fans. MSTies had been told that bots painted black were used in the theater sequences, but in the special we could see that the regular bots were being used. “What gives?” a lot of fans asked at the time. The answer: The regular bots had been altered slightly with Christmas additions, and so those were used in the theater, this one time, for continuity’s sake, rather than the usual black bots. It’s just unfortunate that cameras were there to capture it.
• The invention exchange segment starts very abruptly, directly in Deep 13 rather than having the usual SOL intro. Were they just hurrying for time?
• What is a “video cassette cartridge game”? Frank seems to think kids would like to get one…
• Why isn’t the tree in the background in Deep 13 decorated?
• The image above was the best one I could get for this movie, because this version has no title card. The version you can download at also has no title card. For a while I thought this was the only print available, but the RiffTrax and Cinematic Titanic versions DO have the title card. So, a much cleaner version exists.
• There are a LOT of then-current topical references in this one: C. Everett Koop … “Twin Peaks” … the Thomas hearings … “Gates has been confirmed” … the notion that Drew Barrymore is a little kid … Eric Heiden … Donna Rice … and the first of several references to long forgotten commercial character, “Bonnie, your Time/Life operator.”
• At one point Servo says to Droppo: “You’re the Gilligan of your time.” Um, sorry, Servo, but this movie and “Gilligan’s Island” both came out in the same year.
• Callbacks: “Puma?” (Ring of Terror) “…the Robot Holocaust…”
• Right before they start singing “A Patrick Swayze Christmas.” Joel says “Paul…” Apparently that was meant to be a David Letterman impression, but almost NOBODY got it.
• That’s Mike on the keyboards.
• Note the reference to “suggestive refueling sequences”–we’d get more in season 6.
• In segment 2, Joel seems to “reading” the undersides of unpackaged VHS tapes. What could possibly be written there? They couldn’t have taken two minutes to fabricate little packages? Oh, and Burl Ives has since died.
• Frank’s present has little Shadowrama tape on it.
• The movie reportedly was filmed in some abandoned airplane hangars near the Roosevelt Field Mall in Long Island, New York.
• About Pia. For those who don’t get the “Golden Globe” reference, in 1982 Pia Zadora, who as a child played little Girmar, stunned Hollywood when she won a Golden Globe in the “best new female star” category for her bland performance in a terrible little movie called “Butterfly.” Hollywood whispers had it that her rich husband, many decades her senior, bought her the nomination and award through much publicity — and possibly other methods. Hollywood cringed again when she and her husband bought the former estate of movie legends Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks Sr. and she promptly started gutting and modernizing the historic home. That said, Pia does appear to be moderately talented, and apparently has a self-deprecating sense of humor, as shown in when she accepted roles in the movies “Hairspray” and “Voyage of the Rock Aliens.” As Joel says in the Cinematic Titanic riff, “You know, I remember thinking that the fact that Pia Zadora was in this was hilarious, but now I can’t remember why.”
• Cast and crew roundup: Executive producer Joseph E. Levine was also responsible for “Hercules” and “Hercules Unchained.” Makeup artist George Fiala also worked on “The Brain That Wouldn’t Die.”
• CreditsWatch: For some reason, this episode has a whole herd of “additional contributing writers”: Lynn-Anne Freise, Tom Wedor, Craig Tollifson, Bob Schrad and Christopher Whiting, whoever they are. It should be no surprise that the music and lyrics for “A Patrick Swayze Christmas” were written by “Road House” aficionado Michael J. Nelson. Trace and Frank are still “guest villians” and Dr. F’s last name is still spelled “Forrestor.”
• Fave riff: “Tonight I’m a space pirate! Permission to come aboard!” Honorable mention: Martian: “Crush him!” Tom Servo (robot voice): “You were adopted!”

135 Replies to “Episode guide: 321- Santa Claus Conquers the Martians”

  1. touches no one's life, then leaves says:

    “Why isn’t the tree in the background in Deep 13 decorated?”

    Because they’re evil?…EVIL?


  2. eegah says:

    I have to say, this episode is hard for me to get through. The host segments are classic, but the movie segments put me to sleep. I’d rather watch the later episode, “Santa Claus”.

    Perhaps I should give the CT version a whirl.


  3. robot rump! says:

    Another then topical remark was the ‘I protest” everytime they showed the wind up indian during the psychotic…..fight scene…i believe Joel and the writers were referring to the period when native americans were going around protesting the indian themed sports teams, primarily the Atlanta Braves who were making another failed world series run that year, against the Twins i believe. as was often mentioned in the weekend thread i too also get warm and fuzzy from the Gypsy manger scene. oh yes..elf DOES taste like chicken.


  4. snowdog says:

    I agree completely with eegah above. The host segments are indeed classic, but the movie is a slog for me. I found myself agreeing with Voldar much of time, but then I’m quite evil that way.

    @3 I suspect Joel was just protesting the stereotype of the Indian Chief in full head dress playing the war drum. Joel’s native American name would be “Protests Much and Often”


  5. dad1153 says:

    I know this is an ‘essential’ “MST3K” classic episode (among the most beloved in the show’s storied history) but it always leaves me cold when the ‘It’s a Patrick Swayze Christmas’ carol barely gets a chuckle from me (though I love that right they stop singing Joel grabs Crow by the net and drags him out for a beatdown! :pain: ). Then again, I’ve never seen “Road House” (or the Cinematic Titanic treatment of “SCCTM” even though I bought the CT DVD recently) and as an Atheist Christmas to me is just another day of the week. Watching this a few nights ago at 3AM in the middle of a hectic work schedule though, for some reason, “SCCTM” really hit me the right away and got me rolling. There’s a manic pace to the riffing but very few duds; the host segments have the soul and heart of Christmas right (love the nativity scene concealed in Gypsy’s mouth) and even the Mad scientists got big laughs (‘Sleep in heavenly peace!’). The flick itself commits the cardinal sin that most live action non-Disney flicks aimed at kids do of treating its audience like they’re as stupid and moronic as the on-screen characters. Joel and the Bots have a field day pointing the obvious (the giant polar bear that’s just a guy in a BEARly-concealed outfit… sorry! :struggle: ) and referencing the obscure (‘don’t play with your Golden Globe’ when we first see Pia Zadora as a martian kid) with the ridiculous (Bill McCutcheon’s so-called comic relief foil Dropo… ughh!) rightfully either scorned or put in its proper place. Movies like “Santa Claus Conquers the Martians” was the reason “MST3K” was invented, and The Brains lived up to their own high standards with this one. Just don’t ask me to see it often because, unless I’m really in the mood for it (or sleep-deprived from too much work), this is not one of my favorites.


  6. touches no one's life, then leaves says:

    #4: Well, regardless of whether Voldar was right or wrong, it wasn’t very bright of him to directly flout his commander/leader’s orders like that. To paraphrase from a Season One episode: “Why does he have to abduct and murder to prove his point? Can’t he just show them a pie chart or something?” I guess Mars isn’t much for political discourse. Of course, in another scenario, Voldar might have overthrown Kimar and made his own word law instead.

    Kind of uncanny that “Winky’s idea of a Martian” was 100% accurate. They just sort of skimmed over that…


  7. touches no one's life, then leaves says: offers these riffs from the Cinematic Titanic version:

    [As the quivery oldster’s pro-Santa rant finally concludes, J. Elvis concludes, “No piece of scenery left unchewed.”

    During a lengthy silence aboard the plywood Martian rocket, Trace advises, “In space, no one can hear you UNLESS YOU SPEAK!”

    During the barrage of stock footage implying Earthling military pursuit of the Martian kidnappers, Joel observes, “Even real military equipment looks fake in this film.”

    When green-painted Martian rebels engage in poorly choreographed fistfights with pro-Santa forces, Frank says, “You hate to see booger on booger violence,” while Mary Jo thinks it looks like “three Riddlers fighting an invisible Batman.”]

    If there are more quotes elsewhere, I don’t know about them.


  8. swh1939 says:

    I’m totally with Sampo on this one. Top shelf all around and a definite must during the Christmas season (often late night Christmas Eve / early Christmas morning. It never puts me to sleep. But if it ever should, I know that I would SLEEP … IN HEAVENLY PEACE!!!!


  9. swh1939 says:

    btw … Momar was code for Mom Martian, Bomar was code for Boy Martian, Girmar was code for Girl Martian, etc. So what about many of the other names?


  10. Sitting Duck says:

    I’m pretty sure that the MST3K version does have a title card, but it’s at the very beginning and can only be seen for less than a second.


  11. Joseph Nebus says:

    This is another of the episodes I first saw on the 60 Minute Syndicated Hour thing, and so, only saw the first half of.

    That Wish Squisher is a cute invention, and I like the stage magic bit used to make it work.

    I can’t help liking this movie, though. It’s goofy and ridiculous but, you know, I like goofy and ridiculous. And I like the idea that Martians need a Santa Claus too. There’s a good story to be made from that premise, although this might actually be the best treatment of the idea. (Don’t read Isaac Asimov’s “Christmas on Ganymede”, but if you must, remember he was very young and inexperienced at the time and magazine science fiction was … oh, just, don’t read it. Please.)

    Plus there’s a moment of real ingenuity in the film, where Santa reasons that the ventilation tubes into the airlock are enough like a chimney that he can slip through them. That’s good thinking, Santa. Well done. I imagine if the whole film were as ingenious as that this would be a classic without the qualifier of “among the many, many bizarre weird Santa-based movie film products.


  12. touches no one's life, then leaves says:

    #9: And Kimar for King Martian. I guess that was just for the “royal family” though.


  13. Sampo says:

    #6 touches no one’s life, then leaves: Blinky, sir.

    I didn’t want to get too much into the CT version in the main body of the review, but I wanted to add that one fascinating element of the CT version is that they do the entire movie, uncut, and if you’ve seen the MST3K version as many times as I have, you really begin to realize how much it was chopped for time.


  14. Matt D. says:

    Those “video cassette cartridge games” sure looked like Nintendo games to me, not that they were allowed to use the word Nintendo. I’ll assume that Sampo is being sarcastic rather than ignorant of Nintendo games.
    I am amazed that the first batch of people here are slagging on this film. I love this episode, and the craziness of the movie comes through and keeps things must more entertaining than other dramatic fare. Robots, polar bears, DROPPO and a fight scene with toys…what’s not to love? And as someone who wasn’t much into most of the host segments, all the segments work this time. 5 stars.


  15. Stressfactor says:

    I bought the CT SCCTM during the summer “Scratch and Dent Sale” but held off until I could watch the MST3K version since I’m watching in order too (just a little bit ahead of the curve here).

    It was worth the wait and it was actually a lot of fun to watch both versions back-to-back.

    I gotta agree with common concensus — the MST3K version has the great host segments but you just can’t beat CT’s five riffers.

    Some of my favorite lines from the CT version:

    Frank: “That’s the last thing any cop wants to see — a chalk outline of Santa.”

    Trace: “Do you think the wardrobe wife knows about the wardrobe mistress?”

    And I know that the CT-ers now prefer the live format but there’s something great about the opening gambit where Trace, upon finding out what movie they’re going to be riffing, screams and runs and then has to be dragged back by his legs.

    Either way, BOTH versions had me laughing my head off.


  16. Dan in WI says:

    Matt D #14> Hey it’s Sampo’s theroem in action.

    Actually in my opinion this episode over-rated as well. In my opinion it violates the rule of don’t use a movie that is “winking at itself as if it is in on the joke.”


  17. klisch says:

    Top 10 for me. This episode is a MST classic. Just a fun, goofy movie.


  18. Stressfactor says:

    @Dan in WI…

    I’m not sure the movie *was* “winking at itself”. It strikes me as something that was written off on a cocktail napkin by a bunch of people over a three martini lunch. A bunch of guys got together and basically went “Holiday movies are popular — let’s make one!”

    As Joel once said on “The Slime People” — all it takes is someone convincing someone else that this is a good idea.

    The movie just comes across as entirely too rushed and too cheap to actually be “winking at itself”. The filmmakers obviously didn’t give a crap as can be evidenced by the *several* times someone steps on another actor’s line and they don’t even bother to go back and reshoot the scene. I mean, that’s filmmaking 101 right there. If they actually cared they would have cut and reshot the scene.

    To me this movie is the ultimate in “looking to cash in on a quick buck and that’s all that matters.”


  19. dsman71 says:

    One of the best episodes which I hope gets a Shout Factory release similar to the one Manos received.
    I watch this every Christmas – its a great episode…
    Its funny, it seems like yesterday we were just talking about Cave Dwellers..has this year zipped by or what ???
    Joel really aged a lot this season
    Whats to say about this movie that hasnt already been said ?
    Joels Hair
    Joels Knees
    A Patrick Swayze Christmas
    Ho Ho Ho
    Ho Ho Ho
    Ho Ho Ho Ho Ho Hooooooo
    Droppo is the Christmas version of
    Torgo ho ho ho
    Therapy isnt working isnt :/


  20. Spalanzani says:

    A good episode to be sure, but I think Santa Claus is a much better Christmas episode overall. This one’s got good host segments and a wacky movie, but the riffing could be improved on, something the CT crew realized.

    In case Sampo’s serious with his question, “video cassette cartridge game” is just an overly fancy way of saying “video game”. Back in Ye Olden Days video games came in cartridges, which you stuck into a game console to play. These days video games come in CDs instead, except for the DS, which uses “game cards”. The Game Boy Advance was the last game console to use cartridges.


  21. Sampo says:

    Spalanzani: I think Frank may have misspoken in that scene. Calling them “video game cartridges” would have made sense (and perhaps Matt D is correct that they were just avoiding using the word “Nintendo”) but I have NEVER heard of ANY product called “video cassette cartridge game.”


  22. Jay says:

    My first episode. I came across this during the summer of 1992, I think CC was doing a “Christmas in July” themed block of shows and this episode was part of it. I was just channel surfing and came in at the scene where they’re approaching Mars. The first riff I ever heard was Joel’s: “It’s the Brunswick bowling ball planet.”

    I was fifteen years old. Nineteen years later, I still love this show.


  23. jjb3k says:

    “The Essentials” was the first MST3K DVD I ever got, and for a good four months or so it was the only one I had, so along with “Manos”, this was an episode I pretty much watched to death. I had to take a break from it for about a year before I could come back to it. It’s still a great episode, but I think I prefer “Santa Claus” overall. Haven’t seen the CT version, but the trailer looks hysterical. (“It’s official, they’ve made me hate fun.”)

    Joel and the bots seemed to really enjoy gunning down little children this season – it happens in “Time of the Apes” (“Should we have shot her that many times?”) and again here when everyone’s laughing. It’s a little disturbing.

    For a few years, I tried to turn this into a Christmas tradition at my house, alongside Rudolph and the Grinch and all them. My mom didn’t really go for it.


  24. Johnny Ryde says:

    Sometimes when I watch a MST3k movie un-riffed, I still “hear” the riffs in my head. For this episode, now when I watch it I can sometimes “hear” the CT riffs. (“Woah. I can’t believe he dropped the M-bomb like that.”)

    I watch this one every Christmastime although it’s not one of my favorites. The movie is trying a little too hard to be silly… It comes across as forced and I find that very painful to watch.


  25. Droppo says:

    The CT version is strong, but, there’s a magic to the MST3K version. The SOL characters, the host segments…it will always be the definitive version for me.

    Also, I just am not a fan of Mary Jo’s voice. Clearly, she’s a funny writer. But, the fact that she’s one of the riffers always takes me out a bit of a CT ep. I think it’s truly remnant hatred for the Pearl character…b/c Mary Jo seems like a cool, funny and talented woman. I just loathe Pearl with every fiber of my being so her voice ends up having nails on a chalkboard syndrome for me.

    I would pay unspeakable amounts of money for a CT lineup of:
    Joel, Mike, Trace, Frank, Kevin, Bill.

    It would be a fanboy’s dream.

    All that said….my name is Droppo for crying out loud….so obviously this episode is one of my all-time favorites and a no doubt about it 5 star exp. Droppo is neck and neck with Sid Melton in Lost Continent for my favorite failed comic relief role in a MST experiment.


  26. Matthew Shine says:


    This. This is one of the greatest episodes EVER. From the “Custume Designer” to “Santa Claus, killed in Vietnam”, the movie portions of this episode just have me rolling on the floor. I have to say, I don’t realise why Mars needed a Santa Claus in the first place, they were doing pretty all right for themselves being fairly tacturn to Christmas. I will never forget Dropo, the laziest man on Mars or Torg, the stepbrother of The Robot from The Robot Vs The Aztec Mummy fame. The host segments pretty much leave me cold except for Patrick Swayze’s Christmas and Gypsy’s Christmas speech.


  27. Johnny Ryde says:

    “You spell it S-A-N-T-A…”

    Why do people in pre-1970 (or so) movies say “Santy” instead of “Santa”? Is/was that some regional pronunciation?


  28. Mr. B(ob) says:

    Though not fond of seasonal or holiday films in the least, MST3K did such a good job tearing this one apart I can’t find any fault with it and the jokes made at the films expense are hilarious. The movie is certainly one of the worst used on the show with some of the lowest production values, poorest writing even by children’s movie standards and fairly weak acting and direction. The music is mind-numbingly stupid.

    Besides the obvious fun everyone will certainly mention with the Patrick Swayze song, the snow globe Servo head and more, the riffing is really strong in this one. Joel’s riffs on the names used in the film when he spews rapid triplets that include random names like “crank case” always get me laughing and are some of my favorite jokes in this episode. The terrible costumes and obvious, insipid dialogue certainly provoke a lot of good riffs as well. Droppo’s “more is more” comic relief is so bad it’s good for joking on. Usually failed comedy can make for a tough time riffing or watching (e.g., Hobgoblins) but it seems to work okay in this one. An excellent episode, the only thing that hurts it in my opinion as year-round fun is that it is seasonal both in choice of film and in many of the jokes and host segments.


  29. The DA says:

    Oscar Wilde 2000!


  30. monoceros4 says:

    Santa’s gonna cut you man! Santa’s a blade man man!

    OK, this isn’t the greatest Season 3 episode, but it’s quite strong and the host segments are all above average. Joel’s depressing monologue about office Christmas parties, steeped in liquor and joyless sex, is a particular favorite of mine. I do slightly prefer some of the CT riffing, especially from Frank Conniff.


  31. Fred Burroughs says:

    Ouch. When it aired, I remember the slapstick fighting scenes and not much else. Trying to re-watch it is hard because of Droppo and his ilk. Admittedly, JTB do a great job riffing and the host segments are classic, but the movie is hard to watch more than once a year. It reminds me of Gamera V Zigra in that anyone over 4, it insults their intelligence; this was made for VERY young and very dumb kids. I am embarrassed for the actors who are earnestly delivering their pathetic lines in character. The Kimar guy maintains dignity throughout, somehow; and even Pia Zadora is good in this (another fun role in Naked Gun II as well).

    I agree w Stressfactor: this was probably a way to make a quick buck with a kid’s Christmas movie; any plot, props, or acting is kind of an afterthought. And I didn’t know about their names being significant, reminds of Hebrew names from the Bible, which often have a meaning built in. All in all, its wonderful having experienced the pain, the joy, the tears and seething contempt together with the bots through the experiment.

    Still, the best Santa Claus is still “Fats” from Wild Rebels, when he showed up in Jean Shepherd’s Christmas Story.


  32. Cheapskate Crow says:

    Fantastic episode and a holiday tradition in my house. Love all the host segments and the riffing is good enough for me, I’m thinking of checking out the CT version this year though. The wish squisher gets my vote for funniest invention ever! About the video cassette cartridge games, it reminds me of when I was a kid and everything to my mom was a tape. Cartridges, 5.25″ disks, CDs, actual tapes were all tapes to her. I think the “video cassette cartridge games” was said to make TV’s Frank look like not the most technologically up to date person in the world. More likely, I am just projecting but that’s what makes this show fun, there are so many different ways to interpret it.


  33. Bat Masterson says:

    The nativity in Gypsy’s mouth is one of my favorite MST3K moments of all time. I’m not Christian, but I still love how horribly, goofily sweet it is.


  34. Brandon says:

    The scene with the polar bear is a classic.

    Servo: “You’ve GOT to be kidding me!”

    Psychic Lawn Dart: I always thought one of the Martians looked like Jaime Farr. Servo eventually mentions this towards the end of the film.


  35. fish eye no miko says:

    I have a little pedantic issue wit this episode: In Segment two, while going through movies, Joel mentions they have It’s A Wonderful Life, but then says that it’s the lame Marlo Thomas version. The problem is, the Marlo Thomas version isn’t called IAWL, it’s called It Happened One Christmas.

    I’m firmly in the “I love it” camp (though I can see why others don’t), and I love the CT version as well.

    Is it too early to watch it, you think?


  36. EricJ says:

    And now for some non-CT riffs that still get me giggling:

    – “OPEN, Koko the Clown room!”
    (villain gives strange scowl)
    Servo: “Why Voldar, you’ve been crying…”
    “No one will ever know that Santa Claus was kidnapped by Martians.”
    Joel: “…Do you realize what you just said?”
    – Girl: “He doesn’t like us very much.”
    Crow: “Ohh, who wouldn’t like you, princess?”
    “Ohh, Mrs. Claus is going to be so upset.”
    Crow (as Santa): “‘She’s going to HIT me with a frying pan!'”
    (four-note Robot theme)
    Joel: “Sounds like the Jeopardy theme in a minor key.”
    “Ho, ho, the poor man…”
    “He’s bleeding from the ears!”
    “There’s this little spring…And it falls downstairs all by itself.”
    “Just like Grandma!”
    – Drive-by Puzzlingly Apropos-of-Little Personal Editorial Riff:
    (kids peek out of toybox/radar)
    Servo: “C’mon, Cindy…I mean, Skipper…I mean–oh, heck, this shot’s been in so many sitcoms, I don’t remember which one we’re in anymore.”
    (Just let it out, Kevin, deep cleansing breaths…)


  37. AgentMom says:

    Santa Clause Conquers the Martians has a special place in my heart, because I first saw it when I was barely five years old, in 1966. At that age, I was quite transfixed by the movie, so I always watch the film with a severe bout of nostalgia. Joel and the Bots just add to the experience.

    That’s my favorite MST3K disc and I am sooooooooooo happy when October is over and I dig out that disc to enjoy for only two months of the year.

    After December, I put it back up (sadly so) and wait until next year. My fav part is when the Nativity is in Gypsy’s mouth. As a Christian, I love that Joel and Bots gave a little nod to what Christmas is really about.

    The only thing that ever put it better is a Charlie Brown Christmas!


  38. Valnastar says:

    Droppo, just… Droppo.


  39. Spector says:

    Love the host segments, and of course the Patrick Swayze Christmas is a classic, but of the two Christmas films, this is the lesser of the two. “Santa Claus” had much better riffing, and of course gave us the character of “Pitch”, who revisited the show several times courtesy of Paul Chaplin. Not that this one is a bad episode, far from it, it’s still pretty good, I just found “Santa Claus” funnier. 3.5 stars out of five.


  40. Zee says:

    When it comes to MST Xmas episodes, I feel this one has the better host segments, while SANTA CLAUS has the better movie segments.


  41. Mr. B(ob) says:

    Additional notes and favorite jokes and scenes:

    1)The movie’s robot. About as cheap as the one in Robot Vs. Aztec Mummy and it gets slathered in good riffs.
    2)The polar bear. Again, the cheap costume brings a barrage of hilarious comments.
    3)”We have children like you back on Mars.” Riff: “Only they’re worse actors.” Genius funny!
    4)The jokes about the “radar box” and other incredibly cheap props in the movie. Really good stuff.
    6)I prefer this to the “other” Santa Claus movie done on the show though that one is an excellent episode too. This movie is lighter fare and as usual I prefer the show before a spate of major cast changes ensued beginning in Season 5. Also, the poverty and child neglect in the Mexican import film make it a little tougher to watch and laugh off. Having a wonderful child in your life makes stuff like that tough going even in an incredibly stupid and poorly made film. Though I have to say the MST3K comments made about the cheap, short-sighted solutions offered in that second film certainly made it a lot easier and fun to watch. Both are extremely strong episodes of the show.
    7)Comments here, both my own and those of others, again emphasize one main reason why I dislike seasonal fare. Episodes should seem fun to watch all year, not just during certain seasons or holidays.


  42. Johnny Ryde says:

    No, Lupita!


  43. April de Wetpants says:

    This is one of those episodes I can quote word for word. But I’m still going to admit, I like “Santa Claus” more (!)

    Some fave quotes

    “Whoa, Lentils”
    “The kids the McGyver of his time”–another dated one, shows my age
    Droppo: my finger isn’t tired…”Look out nose”

    and probably my fave..
    “Santa Claus, killed in Vietnam”

    Also love when Crow boogies to the song

    I’ll stop there.

    RIP Patrick Swayze


  44. Blast Hardcheese says:

    SCCTM has become inextricably linked with Pia Zadora, although her part in it is relatively small. Her “big debut” film, “Butterfly” would have been MSTable, were it not too steamy for the show–and it features both Ms Zadora *and* James Franciscus, who starred in “Marooned”/”Space Travelers.” I still remember when her name was pretty much little more than a punchline, although I understand she’s since garnered some measure of respectability as a singer.

    At any rate, she’ll always be Girmar to me!


  45. lancecorbain says:

    Have you kids ever heard a grown man scream? Love that joke.


  46. JimmyBruce says:

    “Guns a blazin'”


  47. dsman71 says:

    I love the riff when Joel says “lets give them to the dyslexic kids
    I think Shout should release this with the CT version and an uncut version on DVD


  48. EricJ says:

    @31 – and even Pia Zadora is good in this (another fun role in Naked Gun II as well).

    (Ahem, I believe that’s “Naked Gun 33-1/3: the Final Insult”, thank you very much?)

    @43 – Droppo: my finger isn’t tired…
    ”Look out nose”

    Dropo dances into workshop
    Crow: “Ah, Ed Grimley’s here.”

    Just be glad we only got a little bit of Dropo in this movie, as opposed to those who had to grow up with five years of Bill McCutcheon as a regular on the late-80’s years of Sesame Street.

    As for other Christmas movies they could have done, we know they’ve at least heard of the Italian “The Christmas That Almost Wasn’t”, since we’ve gotten an official Ballyhoo documentary on it:
    but it just sums up the era of “Weird foreign 60’s kiddie-matinee” even more than the Mexican movie…Almost. AS much, maybe.


  49. senorpogo says:

    Here’s an interview with Pia Zadora from earlier this year. Seems like a really nice lady.

    She briefly talks about Santa Claus vs. The Martians. Sadly, she isn’t familiar with MST3K.

    PCC: And what did you think when you heard about the ‘Mystery Science Theatre’ take on the movie?
    ZADORA: The which?
    PCC:‘Mystery Science Theatre 3000.’ You haven’t seen it?
    ZADORA: No! [laughs]


  50. Ned R. says:

    All time great, could go on about it forever. Has perhaps my favorite all time MST3K bit:

    MARTIAN: “What soft, and round, and you put it on the end of a stick–”

    SERVO: “An elf?”

    MARTIAN: “–and it’s green?”

    SERVO: “Oh, a DEAD elf.”

    My friend M. has his own favorite moment from the show from this as well:

    KIMAR: “You’re coming with us!”

    JOEL: “You’re coming to town!”


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