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Recap: Mystery Science Theater 3000 S 05 E 21 Santa Claus
Film watched: Santa Claus 1959
In the words of the MST3K
producers: "Just when we thought it couldn't get any more bizarre, it did." Its dramatic departure from established Santa Claus legend, combined with B-movie production standards and an awkward dub provide ample source for mockery. MST3K
's send-up first aired on Christmas Eve 1993 as the show's second Christmas Episode
(following Santa Claus Conquers the Martians
two years earlier). The devil Pitch became a recurring character for a while, played by Paul Chaplin, who notably was one of the rare ones to even appear in the Sci-Fi Channel episodes. Plus, it's the true Trope Namer
for Nightmare Fuel
The Mystery Science Theater 3000 presentation has examples of:
- Actually Pretty Funny: After Santa uses the toy cannon to shoot Pitch in the butt:
Servo: This is funny. I don't care what anybody says.
- An Asskicking Christmas / Badass Santa: In the last host segment with Kevin Murphy as Santa Claus (credited as "Krusher Kringle").
- Biting-the-Hand Humor: Crow makes a wise-crack during the movie about how the Comedy Central competitions are a waste of time.
- Hypocritical Humor: MST3K had just run its Turkey Day Contest on Comedy Central.
- During a scene of Santa pulling various things from his sack, Servo jokes that one of them is a CableACE award, and "worthless". MST3K got nominated for CableACE awards 8 times during its run, but never won one.
- Call Back: In one segement, Tom's head is replaced with a snow-globe... the same snow-globe he replaced it with in the Santa Claus Conquers the Martians episode.
- And they make a quip about Gamera during the movie.
- "Why don't they look?"
- Gypsy's gift for Mike is a sweater that reads "Joike." She started knitting it for Joel, but changed it after he left.
- Celebrity Resemblance: With his head shaved TV's Frank looks like a real-life adult Charlie Brown.
- Christmas Songs: Mike and the Bots start singing Jingle Bells, before immediately going to the typical variation:
"Jingle Bells, Batman
smells, Robin laid an egg..."
- Evil Laugh:
- Santa's laughs already sounded like this, so the riffing plays it up even further.
- Paul Chaplin is able to mimic Pitch's perfectly.
- Fantasy Kitchen Sink: Merlin is one of Santa's helpers.
Crow: I didn't know Santa and Merlin were buddies.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar
Santa: (reading letter) Dear Santa Claus: Please bring me a little brother.
Crow: (as Santa) O-ho-ho-ho! Can do, can do!
- "Gift of the Magi" Plot: Horribly subverted for TV's Frank; He buys a watchfob for Dr. Forrester and, unclear on the concept, shaves his head just for the heck of it.
Dr. Forrester: Oh, you sold your hair to get me this beautiful watchfob.
- You'd expect Dr. Forrester to have sold his watch and get Frank a gift certificate to a hair salon, but instead he gives him a savings bond—in Forrester's name, no less—that will mature into $25...in thirty years. Poor Frank.
- Heävy Mëtal Ümlaut: Santa Kläws
- He Knows Too Much: As two kids are about to see Santa deliver some presents:
Look out, Santa! They'll see you! Crow: (as Santa) Ha ha!
Well, that's the last thing they'll ever see!
- Homemade Sweater From Hell: Gypsy makes Mike a sweater with "JOIKE" on it. She explains that she started knitting it back before Joel's escape earlier that season. Mike seems to actually like it, though.
- I'm Going to Disney World
- Laughing Mad: Mike and the Bots' reaction to the Laughing Nightmare Reindeer.
- Lemony Narrator: The narrator calls out to the characters a couple of times, such as urging Lupita to resist Pitch's influence.
Crow: Ah, the classic battle between evil and the narrator.
- Let There Be Snow: This happens right at the end. In space.
- Moral Dilemma: Underlined when Lupita is thinking of stealing a doll from a street vendor, looking between her mother and the vendor.
Mike (as Lupita): I'm at a moral crossroads, Mummy!
- My New Gift Is Lame: The gifts that Mike and the Bots give each other are pretty lame, but they genuinely love them anyway.
- Never Say That Again: Mike's reaction to Pitch's strange frustrated mumbling.
Mike: Don't you ever do that again!
- Nightmare Fuel: The reaction to the animatronic Santa is the Trope Namer.
- Notable Original Music: "Whispering Christmas Warrior"
- Shout-Out: Mike and Crow do a quick re-enactment of a Hogan's Heroes bit when the children of Germany are shown.
- Special Guest: Santa Claus and Pitch, at the end of the show.
Dr. Forester: Oh Frank, think of it. A full tilt battle between pure evil and Santa Claus in our own home!
- Tastes Like Diabetes: The SOL crew identify Lupita as this.
Mike: She is aggressively cute.
- The Devil Is a Loser: Pitch gets mocked for a lot. Crow sings, "The Devil is a wiener." Servo also belittles Pitch's goofy theme tune.
- With Lyrics: Servo does this to Pitch's theme.
"It's the Devil's theme, his goofy little song.
Even though he's the embodiment of evil, he's still got a goofy song.
In his tights he brings death, despair, destruction and disease.
Now, let's all join him and a-laugh along."