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Sampo & Erhardt

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Sci-Fi Archives


Visit our archives of the MST3K pages previously hosted by the Sci-Fi Channel's SCIFI.COM.

Goodbye Sci-Fi

Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy and Bill Corbett reflect on MST3K's final broadcast.

Social Media


Visit these!


Visit mst3k.com, the official site of Mystery Science Theater 3000.

And don't forget about RiffTrax, the place to find commentaries by Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy and Bill Corbett.

And be sure to visit The Mads are Back to see Trace Beaulieu and Frank Conniff live!

And check out the official web site of Joel Hodgson.

This Date in MSTory

BORN ON THIS DATE
1887: Hank Mann, who played Barney in the movie in episode 307- DADDY-O.
1903: Oliver Drake, one of the screenwriters of the season four serial UNDERSEA KINGDOM.
1904: Russell F. Schoengarth, editor for the movie 615- KITTEN WITH A WHIP.
1917: Marshall Reed, who played a bruiser in the movie in episode 520- RADAR SECRET SERVICE.
1942: Robert Lyden, who played Bobby on the TV series “Rocky Jones, Space Ranger,” episodes of which were seen in episodes 413- MANHUNT IN SPACE and 417- CRASH OF MOONS.
1947: Sally Strutters, who was mentioned in a host segment in episode 502- HERCULES.*
1961: Roland Gift, who was mentioned in a host segment in episode 820- SPACE MUTINY.*

DIED ON THIS DATE
1960: Ramon Gay (age 42), who played Dr. Almada in the movie in episode 102- THE ROBOT VS. THE AZTEC MUMMY.
1960: George Zucco (age 74), who played Dr. Lorenzo Cameron in the movie in episode 103- THE MAD MONSTER.
1972: Phil Patton (age 61), who directed the short MR. B NATURAL, seen in episode 319- WAR OF THE COLOSSAL BEAST.
1986: Lurene Tuttle (age 79), who played Anna Noble in the movie in episode 811- PARTS: THE CLONUS HORROR and Judge Cecilia Steele Tropp in the movie in episode 112- UNTAMED YOUTH.
1997: Sydney Guilaroff (age 89), hair stylist for the movie in episode 510- THE PAINTED HILLS.
2003: Peter MacLean (age 67), who played the sheriff in the movie in episode 1012- SQUIRM.
2003: Helen Carscallen (age 86), who played Dr. Darwin in the movie in episode 822- OVERDRAWN AT THE MEMORY BANK.**
2010: TV child star Gary Coleman (age 42), who was mentioned in a host segment in episode 305- STRANDED IN SPACE.
2014: Maya Angelou (age 86), who was mentioned in a host segment in episode 815- AGENT FOR H.A.R.M.

EPISODE PREMIERE ON THIS DATE
1989: Episode K21- LEGEND OF THE DINOSAUR first shown.

EVENT ON THIS DATE
1969: The movie THE GREEN SLIME, riffed in MST3K’s pilot, is reviewed in Variety.


This Date in MSTory is written and compiled by Steve Finley, Chris Cornell and Brian Henry. Copyright © 2016 All rights reserved. Please do not reproduce This Date in MSTory items in any form without express written permission from the authors.
* = According to the IMBD this person is alive. If you can supply evidence that he or she has died, and when, please let us know.
** = If this appears next to a birthday, the IMDB indicates that the person has died, but the IMDB does not have a full death date (probably just a month and year or just the year he or she died). If you can give us the exact date (with some sort of proof we can check), please let us know.
** = If this appears next to a death date, the IMDB does not have this person’s full birthday. If you can provide it (with some sort of proof we can check), please let us know.

Episode guide: 509- The Girl in Lovers Lane

Movie: (1960) A whiny runaway is befriended by a world-weary drifter, but the duo’s arrival in a small town spells trouble for a local waitress.

First shown: 9/18/93
Opening: Tom and Crow are retrofitting themselves with bellybuttons; Joel approves
Invention exchange: The Mads present evil baseball promotions, Joel presents “Don Martins”
Host segment 1: J&tB sing “What a Pleasant Journey”
Host segment 2: The bots want to reenact the pool hall scene
Host segment 3: Crow is Crow Elam
End: Furious about the ending of the movie, the bots devise new endings, Joel reads letters, Frank devises endings too
Stinger: “Are you waiting for a bus?”
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (62 votes, average: 4.65 out of 5)
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• This is what I used to call a “little” episode. The movie has a very narrow scope. The host segments are fun but nothing spectacular. The riffing is decent but workmanlike. It’s good, not great. But, like practically every episode, it has its moments…
• This episode is included on Shout’s Mystery Science Theater 3000 Collection: Vol. XV.
• Once again they’re doing stuff to the bots in the opening segment. This time it’s belly buttons. I do love the way Joel thinks it over and decides to go for it.
• Something I never noticed before: In the opener, when they turn on the electric drill, the lights dim a little for a second. A great subtle little touch.
• The baseball promotion invention exchange is as dark as Frank predicts it will be, at least for any baseball fan. I’m old enough to remember when my dad took me and my two brothers to “bat day” at Connie Mack Stadium in Philadelphia: every kid got an actual regulation wooden bat, and yet we behaved. I suspect there’d be mayhem in the stands if they did that today.
• Why does Joel’s jumpsuit come equipped with ONE kneepad?
• One of the best things about this episode is the songs. The song Tom makes up to go with the movie’s theme during the credit sequence is just marvelous. Joel and Crow add a line or two, but of course it’s dominated by Tom.
• This episode also features the “Camera three get off the tracks!! Arrgghhh!” sequence, which was later used in promos for the show.
• The other great song: “What a pleasant journey.” What can you say? One of the funniest songs of the series. The impression they’re doing, by the way is sort of a vague Woody Guthrie.
• The Mary Jo influence: Mentions of Appleton and Circle Pines.
• Callbacks: o/` “Leather coat…” o/` (The Beatniks) “To live like the E-lam…” (Robot Monster) “You’re stuck here!” (Fugitive Alien)
• One I didn’t get lat time around: Her neck looks like Randy Johnson’s. Commenters explained it to me.
• Elam does look like Garrison Keillor, which they point out at least twice.
• There are several references to the “This Side of Paradise” Star Trek episode again.
• Crow notes that Jack Elam was a fine character actor, “and for all I know he still is.” He was indeed still alive when this episode first aired … not so much now, sadly. He passed in 2003.
• I lost count of the “Carrie, you’re so very…” riffs, which did NOT get funnier with each iteration. For those who have no idea what it’s about: Check it out here.
• Yes, the truck driver does look a little like Gene Kelly, if you squint. I counted SIX riffs to that effect.
• The bots are upset about the ending of the movie in the final sketch, and there is also some outrage expressed in the ACEG, but J&tB don’t seem that upset in the theater when Carrie’s brutal and completely undeserved murder actually occurs.
• Cast and crew roundup: Art director Dan Haller also worked on “Attack of the Giant Leeches” and “Night of the Blood Beast.” Set designer John F. Burton also worked on “12 to the Moon” and “High School Big Shot.” Score composer Ronald Stein also worked on “It Conquered the World,” “Attack of the the Eye Creatures,” “Gunslinger,” “The Undead” and “The She-Creature.” In front of the camera Brett Halsey is also in “Revenge of the Creature.” William Coontz is also in “Bloodlust,” and Patricia Dean” is also in “Beginning of the End.”
• CreditsWatch: Host segments directed by Joel. The music for “The Train Song” a.k.a. “What a Pleasant Journey” was by Michael J. Nelson; the lyrics are by Frank Conniff.
• Fave riff: “This is a great date. I always wanted to be nuzzled by a hobo.” Honorable mention: “Did his head just turn into a big sucker?”

‘The Mads’ Thursday Night in Pensacola

https_proxy Trace and Frank, aka ‘The Mads,’ will make an appearance in Pensacola, Florida, tomorrow, May 26, at 7 p.m. (doors open at 6:30) in the WSRE Jean & Paul Amos Performance Studio on the Pensacola State College campus (building 23) at 1000 College Blvd. Admission is free!

More information here.

Bob Barrett of WUWF.org has a story about their appearance, including an audio interview.

Burt Kwouk, RIP

burt-kwouk LONDON–Burt Kwouk, perhaps best remembered as Inspector Clouseau’s manservant Cato Fong in seven of Blake Edwards’ “Pink Panther” movies, has died here. He was 85.

Other movie appearances in his five-decade career included James Bond films “Goldfinger” and “You Only Live Twice,” as well as Fred Schepisi’s “Plenty,” Steven Spielberg’s “Empire of the Sun” and Roger Spottiswoode’s “Air America.”

MSTies will remember that he appeared in the movie The Brides of Fu Manchu (his character’s name in that movie was Feng), scenes from which were reused in the movie in episode 323- CASTLE OF FU MANCHU.

Variety has the obituary.

Thanks to Timmy for the heads up.

‘Vol. 2’ Re-release Reviews

It’s due out 5/24, so we’ll start off, as we so often do, with our buddy Bruce Westbrook.

Justin Remer at DVDTalk.com has a review

Adam Frazier at GeeksOfDoom.com has a review

Weekend Discussion Thread: The STOOOPIDest MSTed Movie Character

In one of our recent Episode guide comments sections, we were discussing how STOOPID Jimmy from “I Accuse My Parents” was, when alert regular “Littleamishboy” suggested:

Gee, there’s a lot of competition though … Crayola Hat Guy, Doctor Ski Bum. the entire Japanese military/scientific establishment (“The monster called Godzilla is destroying the city! Quick, find an eight year old boy to tell us how to react!”).
Maybe a good discussion topic.

Indeed it is. I must begin with John Forsythe in “Kitten with a Whip”–the stupid against which all other stupid must be measured. Other than that, have at it.

Catching Up with RiffTrax…

Two recent titles since last we updated you…

Arachnia_Poster

Get it here

HillbillysHauntedHouse_PosterA

Get it here.

Elliott Kalan Named Head Writer for the New Series

Elliott_Rooney_400x400 He’s been in the job a couple of months already, but today Joel announced that former ‘Daily Show’ head writer Elliott Kalan is the head writer for Joel’s MST3K revival. “I’m the luckiest man in recorded history,” he said in his statement to the backers.

And before the political back and forth begins, Joel took time in his announcement to explicitly state that his presence “doesn’t mean that we’re planning to make MST3K more political.”

So please be kind and observe the NO POLITICS rule in the comments. Thank you.

Frank Joins the Cast of ‘Renfest’

CgB4cIVUYAA3lb6 Frank has announced that he has joined the cast of the prospective TV series “Renfest,’ which already stars Mary Jo, Trace and Gruber. If you haven’t backed the kickstarter yet, go, do.

Episode guide: 508- Operation Double 007

Movie: (1967) A famed plastic surgeon/hypnotist/championship archer, whose brother is a “top agent,” is recruited to stop a villain and his scheme involving radioactive rugs.

First shown: 9/11/93
Opening: Tom is enjoying Joel’s home movies; Crow is scared
Invention exchange: The Mads show off Frank’s Lederhosen-hosen, Crow has invented Sara, the bobbin’ buzzard
Host segment 1: Joel’s is an evil supervillian! “I know!”
Host segment 2: J&tB parallel the lives of Sean and Neil
Host segment 3: While Joel tries to hypnotize Tom, Torgo returns in Deep 13
End: Dr. F. uses his magnetizer, much to J&tB’s dismay
Stinger: Mr. “Thunderball” pushes the button
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (67 votes, average: 4.81 out of 5)
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• When I converted my ancient VHS tapes to DVD, the one containing this episode was the only one that failed to function. A pal of mine (now, sadly, no longer with us) provided me with a fresh copy. Thanks, buddy. (The last time around, this item led to a discussion of my rickety computer set up. If you’re interested, I did eventually get that mac mini — which, about a year later, died one morning and I had to get a newer one, which is working splendidly, thank you — but I am still struggling with slow and spotty Verizon DSL.)
• This episode appears in Mystery Science Theater 3000 Collection: Vol XXV, as “Operation Kid Brother.” They had to use the alternate title to get the rights.
References.
• This is episode is fun, and funny, but I don’t love it quite as much as the previous couple of shows. The host segments are hit and miss, for one thing. But an even bigger problem for me is that I never understood the bad guy’s plan. Or is it plans? The last time through I pointed to this site, which does a pretty good job of explaining what the heck is going on, but even he gets confused.
• I previously claimed that this is the first mention of swing choir. A commenter proved me wrong.
• Frank really commits to the lederhosen bit. You have to wonder how they felt doing some of those bits, without any audience to tell them if it was hilarious or dreadful. In the absence of feedback, they just committed.
• The Bobbin’ Buzzard is a lovely prop. Kudos to Jef Maynard or whoever was responsible.
• This movie may very well have the greatest theme song of any MSTed movie.
• Callbacks: “Hooray for Santy Claus!” (Santa Claus Conquers the Martians). Tom does the “That must be one of those [fill in noun here]s I’ve heard them talk…about…so…much…lately…” bit twice (Gamera). “There WAS no Yashuko.” (Monster-A-Go-Go). “To see your land!” (Magic Voyage of Sinbad).
• Obscure reference: “Michael, I want all the episodes of Captain Nice burned.”
• If you think this was Neil’s one and only film role, you’re mistaken. He was also in “The Body Stealers” in the 1970s, then he “retired” for a while, but ten years later he returned to movies and has been working intermittently since then. Once you get show bidness in the blood…
• Literary riff: “She thinks she’s in Dresden during the war.”
• The Rodney King incident is still on the writers’ minds.
• Joel makes a rare entrance through the “G” door in the first segment. This segment is a good example of what I call an “aren’t they adorable” sketch. It only works because, at this point, all Joel has to do is look at the camera and arch an eyebrow and we laugh. If you showed this sketch to somebody with no knowledge of the show or its performers, they’d be probably be baffled as to what’s funny about it. But fans who know and love the characters get it. I think it’s hilarious.
• Kevin really tapped into his Catholic upbringing during the nun scene.
• Crow does his Phyllis Diller impression twice, using the same line: “I’m looking for Fang!” (Fang was an invention of Diller’s from her standup days: a boorish husband she could mock. The reason he does it is because the lady’s wacky hat looks like something Diller might have worn in those days.)
• Segment two reminds me of one of those long, over-written, complicated sketches from season two. But you can sense Mike Nelson’s influence: it makes reference to a cheese factory.
• During the weird hijacking scene, Tom notes that the melody in the score sounds very similar to the classic kids’ hymn “Jesus Loves Me.” But what’s interesting is that this mockery displeases Joel, who makes him stop singing it.
• The last time around, I wondered why Beta wants to kill his own henchbabes. A commenter set me straight and this time I realized that Beta himself explains this during the party scene. I must have missed it in a previous viewing.
• Mike returns, eight episodes later, as Torgo. With the lag time these episodes had, I’m guessing the Brains had only recently picked up on the rave reviews from fans about “Manos.”
• Yet another “wha-happa?” “Wha happa” is to season 5 what “I thought you were Dale” was to season 8.
• Dr. F. is nice and evil in the closing segment. Oh, and nice job of building the magnetizer, which looks a LOT like the one in the movie. This was one of those prop-heavy episodes Jef Maynard talked about in the documentary about the show.
• Cast and crew roundup: Director Alberto de Martino also directed “The Pumaman.” Scriptwriter Frank Walker also wrote “Devil Fish.” Costumer Gaia Romanini also worked on “Hercules.” Score composer Ennio Morricone also provided music for “Diabolik.”
In front of the camera, Adolfo Celi was also in “Diabolik.” Lois Maxwell did voice work for “Invaders from the Deep.” Guido Lollobrigida was also in “The Pumaman.”
• Host segments directed by Kevin Murphy. Manager of Business Affairs Heide A. LeClerc becomes Heide A. LeClerc-Becker. Alpine horn provided by: Josef Diethelm. (Diethelm was the front man for a Twin Cities polka band.)
• Fave riff: “Do I have enough time to beat up the band?” Honorable mention: “Oh, who’s the sign for?”