At this point, it’s no longer a surprise per se when Shout Factory confirms the continuation of Mystery Science Theater 3000’s annual Turkey Day Thanksgiving marathon, but you know what? It’s still a pleasure, and an annual reminder of how one of TV’s greatest series managed to claw its way back from the dead thanks to an ardent fanbase.
MST3K will indeed return online this year as it has since 2014, marking the fourth year of Turkey Day’s return on Thursday, Nov. 23, beginning a six-episode block at at noon EST. As in past years, said episodes will feature new intros from series creator Joel Hodgson, who is joined this time by reboot stars Jonah Ray and Felicia Day. Maybe we can get a little Patton Oswalt up in here as well? Dude seems agreeable to turkey and potatoes, is all we’re saying.
They’ll be streaming none of the same classic episodes shown in the last few years, which eliminates a good number of potential candidates, including the following: Space Mutiny, I Accuse My Parents, Werewolf, Cave Dwellers, The Final Sacrifice, Mitchell, The Magic Voyage Of Sinbad, The Giant Spider Invasion, Lost Continent, Laserblast, Pod People, The Pumaman, Outlaw, Eegah, Gorgo, Teenagers From Outer Space, Danger!! Death Ray, Santa Claus Conquers The Martians, and Manos: The Hands Of Fate. Still, that leaves plenty of classics from the show’s initial 177 episode run, and I can’t help but wonder if Shout Factory will be able to figure out a way to show one of the new episodes from MST3K’s reboot series on Netflix as well.
2017 was obviously a hugely important year for MST3K, as it aired new episodes for the first time since 1999. The crew also embarked on a successful nationwide live tour during the summer, as we wait for some kind of confirmation that more MST3K will be ordered by Netflix. Our fingers are crossed as far as that one is concerned, as we look forward to seeing how the new cast would flourish in a second season on Netflix.
In the meantime, and as you prepare yourself for Turkey Day, reflect on the history of the show with several of our pieces of extensive MST3K coverage at Paste: Our ranking of the new season episodes, our interview with the revival cast members, and of course, our utterly massive, 55,000 word ranking of every single MST3K episode ever. Sometimes, it’s still hard to believe that one actually got written.
You can also watch a short promo for Turkey Day 2017 below. My personal request is The Brute Man, if only because its short “The Chicken of Tomorrow” seems pretty Turkey Day-appropriate.