The episode: “Santa Claus,” ep. 521
The riff: Insisted by Tom during the riffs of this clearly Mexican-produced children’s movie about Santa Claus.
The explanation: Seeing that the film is Mexican in origin, Tom is cleverly combining Santa with the name of “El Santo,” the most legendary Mexican wrestler (or luchador) in history. It is difficult to overstate El Santo’s popularity or level of fame in Mexico–over his five-decade career, he appeared in comics and dozens of movies in addition to his wrestling accomplishments, never taking off his famous silver mask. These colorful, silly films gave birth to the entire subgenre of “Mexican wrestler vs. monsters” B-movies. MST3k even features one of these films–“Samson vs. The Vampire Women” as the season 6 finale. “Samson” is actually El Santo himself. I already did a riff from it.
Novelty factor: Recognized it immediately as both a fan of wrestling and cheesy Mexican wrestler movies. Long live El Santo’s legend.