One of my favorite holiday traditions is to watch the “Santa Claus Conquers the Martians” episode of Mystery Science Theatre 3000 as many times as possible. If you want an entry point to this wonderful, wonderful show, watch this episode around the holidays and thou shalt be hooked. It starts off on a high note, with the robots telling Joel what they want for Christmas (Tom Servo wants “a Ted Williams signature inflatable bathtub pillow” and Crow wants “to decide who lives and who dies”), and just keeps going up from there.
This episode has many highlights, but if I had to pick one, it would be Crow’s stirring new Christmas carol, “Let’s Have a Patrick Swayze Christmas”, inspired by his love of the movie Roadhouse. It is probably the only Christmas carol to include an action sequence, unless you count that one deleted verse of “White Christmas”. (Irving Berlin thought it’d be fun to have a few lyrics where the singer karate chopped guys in the junk, but Bing Crosby wasn’t into it.)
Sadly, the real Dalton passed away earlier this year, which makes this song so much more poignant. But where he’s gone, pain don’t hurt. And really, he hasn’t gone anywhere! Dalton is still ripping dude’s throats out–in our hearts.