Which MST3K Christmas episode is the funniest?

While I love Santa Claus Conquers the Martians and find The Christmas That Almost Wasn’t to be interestingly dreary even non-riffed, for me nothing beats Mexican Santa Claus.

The film is so bizarre on its own, but Mike and the ‘Bots just up the ante and deliver on the comedy gold.

I will admit that Martians has better skits and a funnier song. (well, except for when Gypsy awkwardly gives Mike the sweater she started knitting for Joel. Love that bit)

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Back when I got into my first batch of MST3K episodes through the syndicated Mystery Science Theater Hour, one of the first few installments that I saw was Santa Claus Conquers the Martians. I loved that episode, played the hell out of my VHS recording, and turned it into something of a holiday tradition.

This was long before I discovered Santa Claus and WAY before I first watched The Christmas That Almost Wasn’t. I bring that up because partly it’s a nostalgia thing and partly it isn’t, but I gotta go with Santa Claus Conquers the Martians.

The other episodes are excellent and I like to watch those around the holidays as well, but the first Christmas episode is the winner for me.

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Santa Claus is just baffling (and a hilarious riff) but Conquers isn’t far behind it in my book

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I’ll also add that Lupita (and her so depressing they’re strangely hilarious parents) do a lot to elevate Santa Claus for me. The bratty kids who want to kidnap Santa too. The bullseye riffs during their scenes really shine.

The squeaky clean stowaway tots in Martians were fun but didn’t provide as much material.

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I would need to go with Santa Claus Conquers the Martians. That was a movie I used to watch as a kid on KTLA 5 in Los Angeles on their Family Film Festival on sunday afternoons. Then I saw it in a completely different light when the boys riffed it. You have to love the Wham O Air Blaster guns.

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Did they ever riff Santa Claus: The Movie?

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No. And it SCREAMS MST3K treatment one day.

I imagine that one would need more legal clearance.

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Just to be clear, are we also counting the Rifftrax of the Star Wars Holiday Special in this?

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Probably not.

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While I love and own many RiffTrax (including most of their Christmas output) they are very much their own entity. I’m keeping to the MST3K Christmas eps.

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Who doesn’t enjoy fifteen minutes of wookiees howling and wookiee porn?

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As someone who grew up with the Rankin Bass specials and loved the classic ones while being a bit dubious about the late 70s-early 80s ones (seriously, Pinocchio’s Christmas is just plain terrible) I found Mike’s on target takedown of Nestor to be very therapeutic.

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Santa Claus Conquers the Martians is one of those films that appears across most of the MST3K alums output. It shows up in RiffTrax and Cinematic Titanic. Santa Claus is one of the films riffed by The Mads (Frank Conniff and Trace Beaulieu).

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Rifftrax did Santa Claus too IIRC…

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Gold: Santa v. Martians
Silver: Scratch’s Holiday
Bronze: WTF, Italy?!

To be clear, I enjoy them all. If I were to rank the first Nextflix season, I’d give TCTAW the silver medal, placing it right behind the wonder that is The Beast of Hollow Mountain. (Bronze would likely be Cry Wilderness.)

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Nestor also has some weird sentiments if you stop to think about any of it.

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I feel like this could apply to every Xmas story. (I even read a credible takedown of Wonderful Life once, and I don’t mean from the PoV of someone who thought Potter was a misunderstood hero. Though I’m sure that’s out there somewhere. But I no longer recall who wrote it.)

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SF author Connie Willis wrote an essay on why she feels Life is a deeply flawed work (while acknowledging talented people worked on it) that caused a bit of a stir some years back, but I’m unsure if that’s what you mean.

I don’t think Nestor fails because it is a Christmas story so much as it’s an attempt to force a formula that worked wonderfully in Rudolph into a context where said formula warps and breaks down.

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No, I had not heard of that one. I should look it up.

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