Christmas on Mars (recorded in 2010, released in 2011) is an special episode of The Thrilling Adventure Hour. In addition to wraparound segments from Sparks Nevada, Marshal on Mars, the episode contains three stories:
- Winter of the House of Usher, the 11th published episode of Beyond Belief
- Jumbo Saves Christmas
- Coal for Christmas, a Christmas edition of Down in Moonshine Holler
- Sparks Nevada - Marc Evan Jackson
- Croach the Tracker - Mark Gagliardi
- Frank Doyle - Paul F. Tompkins
- Sadie Doyle - Paget Brewster
- Cindy Louise - Autumn Reeser
- The Red Plains Rider - Busy Philipps
- Quincy the Palm Tree - Hal Lublin
- Jumbo - Mark Gagliardi
- Barlok the Wise - John Ennis
- Banjo Bindlestuff - Craig Cackowski
- Gummy - Hal Lublin
- Helie - Annie Savage
- Von Piper - James Urbaniak
- Sebastian Ernst - Nathan Fillion
- Mr. Ernst - Michael Hogan
- Monster - Michael Sinterniklaas
- Wyatt - Samm Levine
- Cloudly C Cloud - Mike Phirman
- Another Cloud - Chris Hardwick
- Sheb - Susan Hogan
- “Nerd Sparks” - Martin Starr
- A special guest from the North Pole - Kevin Pollak
- Melody Faagerveste - Alison Brie
- Curious Pete - Chris Hardwick
- Mr. Grandpa - Toby Huss
The show opens with the WorkJuice cast singing "Christmas on Mars".
Sparks Nevada Wraparound Story Part One
Sparks Nevada and Croach, by a campfire out on the plains of Mars, and talk about the weather. Sparks attempts to talk about Christmas and roasting chestnuts. Croach tells Sparks Nevada that coming into contact with any Earth nut will kill martians. In the War of Two Worlds, it was the martian hypersensitivity to walnuts that caused the martians to lose. Croach does not understand what Christmas is, and so Sparks Nevada attempts to explain it via metaphor. He tells Croach a story about Frank and Sadie Doyle.
Please see the entry for Winter of the House of Usher for complete episode description.
Sparks Nevada Wraparound Story Part Two
Croach says that the only thing he learned from that story is that there's a reverence held for the holiday of Christmas. Sparks says he's halfway there.
The Red Plains Rider arrives, and they do an in-character commercial for Patriot Brand cigarettes. Red then asks if she can tell a Christmas story around the campfire to help teach Croach about the spirit of Christmas.
Jumbo the Elephant
Please see the entry for Jumbo Saves Christmas for a complete episode description.
Sparks Nevada Wraparound Story Part Three
Croach says that Red's story increased his understanding of Christmas.
In exchange Croach tells his own story about his tribe and one of their holidays, Han-oo'Kah. Shortly after the conclusion of the newst Human-Martian war, the Martians were near a victory with superior forces and numbers. During the migration to their new lands, Barlok the Wise, the chief of the tribe, lead the procession. Sparks was on that trip to make sure the Martian's space oil wasn't stolen.
Barlok the Wise summoned Sheb the Comptroller to confirm that they have just enough space oil to last them their journey to their new lands. Soon, "Nerdy" Sparks Nevada (a younger, wimpier Sparks in Croach's story) arrived, declaring the oil had been stolen. "Sparks" says that two little kids stole the oil from him, and one of them had a wheelchair. In the present day, Sparks and Croach argue loudly about what happened, with Sparks arguing that the outlaws were a gang of giant robots.
Barlok had Mern the Martyr bring the remaining Space Oil, and Sheb said that they only had 1/8th the oil that they will need to make it to their new home. Then-Sparks began to cry, and had to take his asthma inhaler. Now-Sparks argues that he doesn't have asthma. Sheb said they had enough oil to travel one unit of distance, so Barlok suggested they change course to intersect with the Air Whales. Barlok says they'll hunt a whale and use all parts of its body, including its oil.
In present day, Croach says that the air whale hunt was unnecessary because it turns out they had enough space oil to last for eight nights. It was an actuarial error. "Sheb the Comptroller" was not Sheb the Comptroller, but rather Chulp the Imposter, and he was terrible at discerning at how much space oil they needed or how long it would last. The real Sheb took a pistachio in the war.
Croach says that Han-oo'Kah translates to "The First Sunday of Every Month". Sparks clarifies that he did hunt down the robots and reclaim the oil. Croach says this earned him his designation from his tribe: Sparks the Human.
Sparks decides this is awesome. Croach says it was not a positive designation.
They then hear a hailing frequency and answer it. It's Kevin Pollack, from Earth. He hocks Patriot Brand Cigarettes and wishes a Merry Christmas to all.
Sparks says there's time for one more story, by musical guest, HoneyHoney, who sing the Down in Moonshine Holler theme song.
Down in Moonshine Holler
Please see the entry for Coal for Christmas for complete episode description.
Sparks Nevada Wraparound Story Part Four
Croach wishes Sparks a positively perceived Christmas, Sparks and Croach exchange gifts, which end up being to read the end of the credits of the episode together, and singing the WorkJuice Anthem as a Christmas Carol.
- Croach refers to the other denizens of G'loot Praktaw as Martians in this episode, the only time he has done so
- At the end of Spiders, Man (TAH #24), Folksy Hal calls Christmas on Mars an out of continuity special.
- This show was performed twice on December 4 and 5, 2010 with a slightly different cast. The episode released on the podcast is dated December 4, but it contains some elements from the December 5 show:
- December 4 show:
- December 5 show:
Christmas on Mars is the 52nd episode of The Thrilling Adventure Hour. The previous episode, both in release order and in Sparks Nevada canon, is A Mind is a Terrible Thing... In Space!, and the next is War of the World.
This episode was recorded at Largo on December 4, 2010 and released on December 19, 2011.
- Writers: Ben Acker and Ben Blacker
- Director: Aaron Ginsburg
- Music: Andy Paley & the Andy Paley Orchestra
- Sparks Nevada theme: Eban Schletter
- Musical Guest (Moonshine Holler theme) - honeyhoney
- From Work Juice Tumblr