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Sampo & Erhardt

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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.

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Episode guide: 313- Earth Vs. the Spider (with short: ‘Speech–Using Your Voice’)

Short: (1950) Prof. E.C. Buehler explains how to be a good public speaker.
Movie: (1958) A teen discovers her father has become a meal for a giant spider, which then attacks the small town where she lives.

First shown: 9/14/91
Opening: Crow hosts Tom in “Inside The Robot Mind.”
Invention exchange: The Mads have invented the cheese phone, while Joel shows off his CD blow drier
Host segment 1: J&tB read through Crow’s screenplay, “Earth vs. Soup”
Host segment 2: A rehearsal of J&tB’s rock band Spidorr brings a visit, on the Hexfield, from the custodian of 7th galaxy
Host segment 3: J&tB discuss Creeple People and other dangerous but fun toys
End: Crow and Tom present their reports on Bert I. Gordon, Tom reads a letter, Frank is sick
Stinger: From the short, the mush-mouthed speaker is not pleasing.
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (116 votes, average: 4.58 out of 5)


• As we begin the second half of this season, there is a lot to love about this one. Hokey movie, classic short, familiar faces, great riffing, great host segments. This is one of those “firing-on-all-cylinders” episodes.
• As noted elsewhere, it seems like they had season one and Josh Weinstein on the brain during this episode. In the opening bit, the Mads reprise the season-one catchphrase “Thank you!!” then look embarrassed. Later, as the deputy (who looks a little like Dr. E) is devoured by the spider, Joel yells: “Dr. Erhardt! No! So that’s what happened to him!” (a reference to the fact that Dr. E’s fate was never really spelled out when he was written out of the premise). And at the end, in another homage to season one, Joel offers ram chips to the bots as rewards, something he has not done in ages.
• Jerry and Sylvia get a mention in the opening.
• The short became an instant classic, with instant catchphrases like “Plenty of lip and tongue action.” I think it really showed them the riffing potential of this kind of short. This could have been one of those episodes where the short overpowered the movie, but they managed to rise to the occasion with the movie as well.
• Incidentally, the speaker standing by the American flag is none other than Herk Harvey, director of this and four other MSTed Centron shorts (and director of “Carnival of Souls.”)
• Callbacks: “…and a good friend” (Rocketship XM), “Joe Doakes…” (X Marks the Spot), Crow sings “Hike your pants up…” (Daddy-O), “the spider is either missing or he’s dead!’ (Phantom Creeps)
• After the spider attack in the opening, Crow says, approximately “Heyhepullhefilalayvava.” They keep going. By the way, once and for all, THAT is Merritt Stone driving the truck and being killed by the spider in the beginning of the movie.
• I love how, in segment 1, Crow’s “lips” move while the others read their parts. Classic Trace.
• A little Firesign Theatre reference, I think, when Joel says “Oh Porgie no!” while reading through “Earth vs. Soup.”
• I just love Joel’s skeleton voice. “I’m famished!”
• Gross riff: “Does your dad like bran?” Ew.
• Tom Servo twice pronounces Gary Busey’s last name “bussy” instead of “byoosie.” Had Kevin not heard of him? Thry keep going.
• Joel brings up, and then defends the reputation of, the Ashwaubenon High Jaguars, from his real-life Wisconsin high school.
• The ELP bashing is interesting. That feels to me like it came from Mike.
• Geek alert: In the Rocket Number 9 shot, the spaceship is a badly disguised TOS Klingon battle cruiser model. I’m so embarrassed that I know that.
• This would not be the last time Mike played a janitor…
• Mike says “What the Hector Alonzo is goin’ on?” I think he meant Hector Elizondo. They keep going.
• As Paul points out in the ACEG, the second host segment is in the wrong spot. But they seemed to know it at the time–as they’re coming back to the theater Joel says: “I don’t know what that janitor has to do with anything.” Later, when the janitor finally appears, Joel says: “Ohh! THAT’s how it fits in.”
• An odd moment as they re-enter the theater, Joel says “We’re comin’ out of the game thing.” In some of the outtakes that have come to light in recent years, we sometimes see them reminding each other what host segment just appeared in the show. Filming schedules were such that host segments were filmed on one day and theater segments another day, so it was sometimes easy to forget where all the pieces fit in the puzzle. I think that’s what Joel was doing here, but they didn’t bother to start over.
• Character Mike mentions wanting to see Bert I. Gordon’s “Attack of the Puppet People.” You can see the lobby cards for it in the background, and a poster appears outside the theater. Lobby cards and posters for the movie in episode 309- THE AMAZING COLOSSAL MAN also appear, not-so-subtly. Originally titled, “The Spider,” this movie was retitled to cash in on the name of another successful movie with a similar title, 1956’s “Earth vs. the Flying Saucers.”
• I can’t find it on the Web anymore, but we used to have a link in the Umbilicus to an odd web site by a guy who was REALLY into the Thingmaker and Creeple People. The page had a transcript of segment three, because he found it so moving.
• Segment 3 is weird–for most of it, they seem to be championing these toys and blaming the “careless” kids who got them taken off the market, but then Joel ends it with a saccharine little homily about the toymakers of tomorrow. I don’t get it. Not quite sure what’s supposed to be funny about that. Were they just desperate for an ending?
• Note the “Movie Sign!” bumper sticker on the desk in the ending segment.
• There’s an interesting “call-forward” to “Beginning of the End” in Crow’s report. Had they seen it? It was two seasons away.
• Cast and crew round up: Scriptwriter Laszlo Gorog also wrote “The Mole People,” while scriptwriter George Worthing Yates also wrote “War of the Colossal Beast” and “Tormented.” Cinematographer Jack Marta also worked on “War of the Colossal Beast” and “Beginning of the End.” Costumer Marge Corso also worked on “Teenage Caveman,” “Tormented, “The She Creature” and “Bloodlust!” Production designer Walter Keller was an assistant director for “War of the Colossal Beast” and “Beginning of the End.” Assistant director John W. Rogers also worked on “War of the Colossal Beast.” Sound man Al Overton also worked on “The Screaming Skull,” “Attack of the Giant Leeches” and “The Phantom Planet.
In front of the camera, Merritt Stone was in “War of the Colossal Beast,” “The Magic Sword” and “Tormented.” Gene Roth was in “Attack of the Giant Leeches,” “Tormented” and “The Rebel Set.” Jack Kosslyn was also in “The Amazing Colossal Man,” “War of the Colossal Beast” and “The Magic Sword.” June Kenney can also be seen in “Viking Women and the Sea Serpent” and “Bloodlust!”
• CreditsWatch: Paul Chaplin becomes a full-time writer. Tim Paulson is back as online editor. Cindy Hansen begins her stint as an intern. Someone named Mary Flaa does the first of two shows as hair and makeup person. Trace and Frank are still “villians” and Dr. F’s name is still spelled “Forrestor.”
• Fave riff from short: “Here’s George Patton, a patriot and into high-grade weed.” Honorable mention: “We’ve had him put down.”
• Fave riff: “Everybody’s afraid of these crane shots!” Honorable mention: “We’ve got bugs!”

102 Replies to “Episode guide: 313- Earth Vs. the Spider (with short: ‘Speech–Using Your Voice’)”

  1. PondosCP says:

    Ah, She’s The Sheriff. Off the air and forever in our nightmares. Good times.

    And my money’s on the spider….


  2. swh1939 says:

    Scared yet?


  3. Dan in WI says:

    I love how Frank gives the phone to Clayton mentioning the call is long distance. Remember when that was a big deal? Remember when long distance calls were 25 cents a minute or more? Now they are either a part of your cell phone minutes or maybe a nickel a minute on a landline.

    As Sampo mentions that is a very Larry and Clayton “thank you” delivered by Frank and Clayton. It was well done and respectful of the past. The odd look they shoot at each other is just icing on the cake.

    A cheese phone. Speaking personally I know I wouldn’t want to live in a world without cheese. It sounds like a winner to me. I’d point out that much as the “thank you” is a nod to the past, this stolen cheese phone is as well. It’s been a while since the Mads stole a Joel invention. That returns but this time they steal one Joel is yet to present. Another new twist on an old running gag.

    That first bad speaker in the short, the one who paused too much, sure reminded me of the scientist press conference in Gamera vs. Guiron. Only this time we can’t blame it on poor dubbing.

    That DDT spray guy who dies really did look like Dr. Erhart.

    I have to disagree in a big way with Crow. Kiss is, was and always will be cool. (At least the classic stuff. They also put out some garbage which I ignore.) I’ll take that over King Crimson any day. And Paul Stanley himself once mocking like said, “you listen to Emerson, Lake and Palmer” as a comment on their boring pretentiousness. Kiss was fun and sometimes fun is all we need. It sure wasn’t femme. Nuff Said.
    With that said, who wants to see RiffTrax take on something Kiss should be ashamed of: Kiss meets that Phantom of the Park?

    Hey the movie does an Amazing Colossal Man callback for Joel and the bots. That was awful thoughtful of the movie to save them the effort.

    The stinger is from the short. I’m pretty sure that is the first time this happened. Does that ever happen again?

    Favorite Riffs:
    Crow “This man is wearing a pushup bra. Now he is pleasing.”

    A guy dies gruesomely in a car in the opening scene. Tom “I’m guessing this film is not about him.”

    Joel “Industrial Light and Magic you’ve done it again.”


  4. Sharktopus says:

    The three keys to being a successful public speaker:

    1. Always be pleasing.
    2. Provide plenty of lip and tongue action.
    3. Get a good wire rack.

    The three keys to being a successful streetwalker:

    1. Always be pleasing.
    2. Provide plenty of lip and tongue action.
    3. Get a good silicone rack.

    It’s a subtle but vital difference. :-P Seize the bone!


  5. touches no one's life, then leaves says:

    >>>Who remembers the TV show “She’s the Sheriff”?

    As with anything else, “The right people [who] will get this.” :-)


  6. snowdog says:

    I watched this after returning from Rifftrax last night, so I’m full of riffage this morning. Great ep. I agree, things were firing on all cylinders here. Also loved Crow moving his lips as the others read their parts, one of the details about the show that drew me in the in first place. Five Stars.


  7. Sharktopus says:

    Trace made sure Crow used plenty of pin and beak action. As someone who’s tried his hand at puppetry, the amount of humanity Trace squeezed out of that pile of plastic and hot glue boggles my mind.


  8. I'm not a medium, I'm a petite says:

    I give it 5. I was watching the DAP and I just kept re-running it… ultra watchable. Sampo is 100% correct when he says firing on all cylinders.

    I miss the mid-century concept of the universal scientist. The epitome of which of course is the Professor from Gilligan’s Island, but is well represented here by Mr Kingman who is ( like the Professor ) a high school science teacher that knows physics, biology, chemistry AND is a man of action.

    Not a huge Season 1 fan but I thought the Erhardt references were sweet and very funny.

    The turn around at the end of the thingmaker bit is different for them… after venting he comes back and finishes up with a pro-establishment, grown-up and apparently sincere statement. It does play out a little oddly but I do think he really does want children to have high quality, creative, imaginaitve toys ( who doesn’t ? )

    I wish I had taken some notes because I haven’t gotten much else to say.


  9. Fred Burroughs says:

    I remember seeing Puppet People after this (not knowing whther MST covered it yet or not) and getting a littl annoyed because it’s basically the same cast of actors. How could they not know about the movie? They just ACTED in it weeks ago.

    The favorite part of this experiment was all the jokes about Carol’s dad. He dies a grisly death in the opening scene, and right away the rest of the characters brush him off as a worthless drunk; the police are nonchalant about finding is body at all, and they don’t even care about his mangled truck in the ditch. “Venerate the corpse, it’s a hoot…” and I love Joel’s delivery as a girl. “dad’s dead and everyone’s making jokes *snif.* (ps – Did Merritt Stone play ‘Monk’ in “Racket Girls”?)

    And I think I have to agree, yes, Emerson Lake and Palmer were pretentious and dull, and KISS was never really cool.


  10. Thomas K. Dye says:

    Re: Gene Roth. The right people will understand when I say “Giff me dat fill-em!”

    ELP never wrote a rock opera. The closest was “Karn Evil 9” but calling that a rock opera’s a stretch.


  11. Manny Sanguillen says:

    Speech! Speeeech!


  12. Laura says:

    This one of my favorite Joel episodes (from Amazaing Colossal Man and War of the Colossal Beast). Great riffing, host segments, memorable short. I even burned a copy of this for my boyfriend one time since he’s such a big fan of the short.

    I can watch this one over and over and not get bored. 5 stars!


  13. I'm not a medium, I'm a petite says:

    ( OT: Sampo, did we lose the like buttons ? )


  14. Sampo says:

    INAMIAP–Oh, huh, I guess so. Must have happened when the site went haywire earlier this week. We lost a couple of little bits of functionality — and we are shopping for a new host.


  15. Creepygirl says:

    Overall a really good episode. The short was/is an instant classic. The film riffing and host segments are also top notch. The movie itself kind of drags for me but the riffing does keep it alive and fun.

    The first season callbacks were very entertaining. I had forgot they were all from this episode. Really cool overall.

    4 out of 5 stars.


  16. Tom Carberry says:

    Bert I. Gordon’s “Earth vs. the Spider” is a pretty typical B.I.G. movie. Rear projection, split screen, matte paintings (well, photographs), and forced perspective of enlarged critters are the trademarks of Mr. BIG. Like with the “The Amazing Colossal Man” the scale of the creature seems to change from shot to shot which seems to reinforce the reality of just how low was the operating budget of these movies. Rear projection has pretty much gone the way of the dinosaur, and one of the major reasons was the washed-out effect when filming. Griffith Park and Bronson Cave figure prominently in the outdoor filming.

    We do get to see some BIG regulars in this experiment:

    Gene Roth—“He’s the sheriff of everything” (according to Joel).
    June Jocelyn: She was the nurse in “Amazing Colossal Man” (say, something is much bigger than we expected); The hysterical mom worrying about her daughter, Laurie, on the bus up at Griffith Observatory in the sequel, “War of the Colossal Beast”, and of course Carol’s Mom in this one. She was also the Brownie troop leader in “Attack of the Puppet People” (too bad that one wasn’t riffed by J&TB or M&TB).
    Hal Torey: He played Mike Simpson’s Dad, and a Health & Welfare cabinet secretary in “War of the Colossal Beast”.
    Jack Kosslyn: He played in ACM, WotCB, and AotPP.
    Hank Patterson: what would a BIG movie be without Mr. Ziffel (of Green Acres)
    Merritt Stone: Carol’s Dad who is killed in his pickup truck during the opening of the movie. In another experiment there is a running gag trying to identify Merritt Stone and Gene Roth (who look nothing alike, by the way).

    Favorite riffs about Merritt Stone:
    I’m liquid metal.
    Let me tell you a little about myself—I drive a truck, I’m butt ugly and I hate spiders…My lips are big.

    Other favorite riffs:

    Carol and Mike encountering two skeletons in the Batcave/Carlsbad Cavern: I can’t go without…checking to see if there’s any meat left on ‘em.
    (of Gene Roth) I think that’s Gary Busey’s Dad.
    (the mummified remains of Carol’s Dad) It’s Rose Kennedy…Looking good.
    No…Dr,. Erhardt, No. So that’s what happened to him. (a reference to Josh, now J. Elvis Weinstein.) He died as he lived, with jelly all over his face.

    Remarkable thing about the “teenagers” in this movie is how very, very old they are. The oldest (based on a little IMDB research) is Joe played by Troy Patterson (nee Ettore Corvino in 1923). That makes him about 35 (ok, 34 because he was born in December) during the filming. The rest are in their 20s, making them typical of 50s movies. Oh, by the way, we’ll see Troy again in Season 6 playing the drunk captain Tony of the boat that takes Robert Reed and party off the coast of the island in “Bloodlust”. Age appropriate this time—you make the call.


  17. redklisch says:

    This episode I missed during the shows run. Looking forward to seeing it someday.


  18. Spalanzani says:

    Love the short. I think the movie itself is a bit of a comedown in comparison, but it’s got lots of good parts too, and I love cheesy giant insect movies. This was also one of the few MST3K episodes where I’d seen the movie in advance, having caught Earth Vs the Spider on the Sci-Fi Channel when I was very young.

    I watched Rifftrax’s Maniac for the first time recently (what with it now on Hulu and all), and the mumbling morgue attendant guy sounds exactly like the mumbling guy from the short. I almost thought it was the same guy, but they don’t look very similar.

    You know, Season 3 really seems dominated by franchises, probably more so than any other season. Well, not necessarily “franchises” per say, but also movies by the same director and whatnot. Just think: it’s got 9 Sandy Frank movies (including the 5 Gamera films and the 2 Fugitive Alien ones), 3 Bert I. Gordon ones, 3 Roger Corman ones, and the 2 Master Ninja episodes. That’s 17 out of 24 episodes that are part of something bigger in one way or another.


  19. frankenforcer says:

    I can’t remember if it’s this one or Speech: Platform posture where it happens, but I love Servo’s Sinbad reference with the old man on stage “Women be different then men.” Everytime they did that I laughed, it such a stupid saying and they make the most out of satirizing the heck out of it.

    The movie is kind of meh with me. It’s funny but not a favorite. I love Joel starting to get annoyed with his inventions being stolen after Disco cumber-bubble-bund. I love it.


  20. Colossus Prime says:

    This episode holds a certain place in my heart. My brother and I were watching it when it first aired when our mom walked in the room and just stared at the movie for a while. She was familiar with the show so it wasn’t her trying to figure out what we were watching, it was her realizing she had seen the movie at the drive in with her family when she was a kid, and she hid under a blanket because it scared her. Sign of the times.


  21. Alex says:

    Haven’t watched this one in awhile, but I LOVE the Speech – Using Your Voice short. The cheese phone sounds yummy, but at the same time, rediculous. Overall, pretty decent ep.


  22. Mr. B(ob) says:

    Great episode all around with a memorable and fun short and feature film. Really love this one and hope Shout! Factory can release it one day on DVD.

    I’m sure EVERY Star Trek fan spotted the Klingon battle cruiser model in the host segment in less than one half second, it’s just so obvious. For me it was always another case of MST3K catering to a big chunk of their fan base. Lots of cross-over interest between shows like Trek and MST3K.

    Earth Vs. The Flying Saucers is one of Ray Harryhausen’s most iconic films. It not only influenced the title of this film, it influenced the spaceship design in Tim Burton’s Mars Attacks as well as scenes of D.C. being destroyed in Independence Day. It has been a long-term influence on SF film making now for about 6 decades.

    I’m about the same age as Hodgson and crew, so a lot of their references really “got in my head”. The host segment about the toys that got hot was one of those moments. I had something called the “Strange Change Machine” that depended on getting hot to morph little monster figures and I also remembered the similar toys mentioned in that sketch though I hadn’t thought about them for 20 years till seeing this episode 20 years ago when it first aired.

    The rock band Spidorr sketch always cracks me up and hearing them say the elongated version of the word “spider” has stuck in my head for decades now. Every time I see a spider it pops in my head.

    Five stars for this episode and hope we can all buy this one some day!


  23. Matthew Shine says:

    Probably one of the most underated episodes and in my top ten list of episodes. The short is one of the best with the wire-rack professor, although it’s a shame they didn’t make a Margaret Dumont reference with the old woman speaker. The movie itself is perfect 50’s cheese, with it’s thermin soundtrack and rotoscoped monster. For god’s sake, at least Attack Of The Crab Monsters could afford to build puppets!

    Earth Vs. Soup would be ten times better than Cowboys Vs Aliens. Maybe Crow wrote the screenplay for Cowboys Vs Aliens and went uncredited.


  24. Matthew Shine says:

    Oh yeah, and I forgot to say:


    I would pay for a Spi-Dor album.


  25. touches no one's life, then leaves says:

    #19: It was “Speech.” Pretty sure it’s the same guy in both, though.


  26. WeatherServo9 says:

    Laszlo Gorog is my favorite Gorog.


  27. April de Wetpants says:

    Like the movie, love the short.

    Talking about call-forwards…which episode is it when Crow dresses up in the waffle costume and they do the bit on no advertising? That is a call-forwad to Coily for sure.

    BTW, are you sure that really is Merrit Stone?


  28. fish eye no miko says:

    @#3: Yes, we do see Stingers from the shorts a few more times. If you go to Wikipedia’s article on MST and click on “No. of episodes”, you can scroll down and see all the Stingers listed. There’s about 3 or 4 that came from the shorts.


  29. robot rump! says:

    something that came to me…it’s been mentioned about the Brains not going back and editing out some botched lines, failed props and odd behind the scenes comments. i never noticed this, just took it in stride actually. but it got me wondering if this really bothered anyone else or if it was just part of the charm?


  30. Fred Burroughs says:

    @29, Yes rump, that is definitely part of the ‘charm’ of MST that they themselves have cheap props but make the most of them, which makes them funny. AND that they are so loose about the acting out the skits that they step on each others’ lines, or ad-lib and it doesn’t work, and they leave it in. I think the principle was quantity of jokes, rapid-fire delivery, quality of jokes, but not quality of delivery, being too stuffy would stifle the fun.

    I think they were most loose in the ending segments, reading the letters, etc. because by that time, after 2 hours, you needed to relax and digest that great big bolus of a movie you just shared with J&TB, and song or educational exercise helped provide closure. The Mike years were much less given to leaving in flubs, maybe they weren’t on such a rush schedule with fewer episodes. Guitarist Al DiMeola said ‘if youre not making mistakes every performance, youre not really trying.” I agree.


  31. JCC says:

    Yay! I get to say how much I love June Kenney again! Great episode too. “UH GOROG WRITE SCREENPLAY UUUGGGHHH!” is in my Top Ten Riffs, it just never fails to crack me up.


  32. JCC says:

    “>>>Who remembers the TV show “She’s the Sheriff”?

    As with anything else, “The right people [who] will get this.” Smile”
    Here’s one of the cases where I wish I was one of the “wrong people”.


  33. losingmydignity says:

    Not their best. The short is a classic but the riffing of Spider drags at times.



  34. bad wolf says:

    I wish this ep was released on DVD! Fond memories, and ever since i have wanted to open a little soup cart called Earth vs. Soup.

    Trivia note: Laslo Gorag was radio host Adam Carolla’s step-grandfather. His podcast show just finished playing an hour-long interview with him from the 90’s, as part of the Ellis Island project. An interesting tale of immigrating from Hungary to avoid the Nazis, becoming naturalized and working in Hollywood!


  35. dsman71 says:

    Another great episode that Id love to see on DVD but since its owned by Susan Hart Forget it…
    If you were to ask Bert I about this, he wont remember anything sorry to say…
    I have nothing more to add than what’s been said …except
    Joels Hair
    Joels Knees
    Plenty of Lip and Tongue action
    Therpy for me please


  36. Professor Gunther says:

    One of my absolutely favourite episodes. Period.

    “They’re driving in a hot tub!”


  37. Lisa says:

    Fantastic episode! Great short, great riffing, wacky movie, and funny host segments. One of my top 10.

    I remember She’s the Sheriff. IIRC, the networks were doing this thing where they were trying to start prime time shows at 730pm, and this was one of them.

    And Joe looked every bit of mid 30s. Speaking of which, I can’t believe Joe Doakes really was 35 (his birthday was recently listed on MSTory).


  38. fonyo says:

    Haven’t seen this episode since CC days. I’m remembering Suzanne Somers right now. Gotta Go.


  39. EricJ says:

    “Well, we were, uh…traveling for several days through the, er…”

    (Just the short setting itself up so simply and earnestly puts it in the Top 3 Shorts of all time. :)
    The Joel era could capture the ephemeral-film absurdity, Mike’s knee jokes in the second short just didn’t seem to cut it.
    “This man’s wearing a push-up bra, now HE’S pleasing!”)

    As for EvtS, I…don’t really remember any riffs after “Earth Versus…By Walt Whitman”. And that was in the opening credits, which should be saying something.


  40. Carson says:

    I loved the mention of the awesome band King Crimson…not the most easily accessible music, so I was surprised that someone amongst the MST writers listened to them.


  41. JCC says:

    “Mike’s knee jokes in the second short just didn’t seem to cut it.”
    Your opinion of course. The Knee Test is legendary in my household.


  42. MarcusVermilion says:

    They’ve mentioned King Crimson several times over the years. Somewhat dirty riff: When the couple are in the spider’s web in the cave Mike says “How do we get loose?”. Servo then says “Have a little wine maybe?”.


  43. DICKWEED 1 says:

    Great episode, at least 4.5 out of 5. Missed riff in the short. When the old ladies were talking flowers,I was waiting for a MANCHURION CANDIDATE reference.


  44. Spector says:

    Another one of my all-time favorites, and of course, it would be another Bert I. Gordon pain parade, or as Crow called him, “Bert I. Goron”. The host segments are solid, especially the reading of Crow’s now-classic “Earth vs. Soup”, which contained Tom’s famous questioning of the mutant soup slithering on all fours, and the prog rock band “Spidorr”. The short is one of the best they’ve ever done, with so many great lines, of which my favorites were, “Use plenty of lip and tongue action”, and “This man is wearing a push-up bra; now, he’s pleasing”. And the riffing throughout the main feature was simply outstanding. They never missed a beat in this one. A great episode from start to finish. Five stars.


  45. Jeff says:

    I’ve wondered for years, why do they care who Merritt Stone is? From the IMDB he seems like a pretty minor actor. What led them to do a whole host segment on him? Am I missing some event from the 50’s that brought him fame?


  46. Kouban says:

    I only got one question… What’s up with all of the Munsters riffs?!


  47. One of my favorite eps. It’s a horrible pun, but “We’re working on the curdless phone” gets me every time.

    Jeff – Merritt Stone isn’t anybody, except he was in so many MST’d films, and they turned it into a little bit of a game to figure out who he is. I suspect he’s not really that hard to identify – they were just reaching for a joke, I think.


  48. Watch-out-for-Snakes says:

    This is a solid episode, a 4/5 in my book. Why not a 5? I dunno. . .it just doesn’t quite make it over the hump, but you never know, future viewings may be able to bump it up.

    I like everything in this one; the movie itself is big-monster-fun, one of the best Bert I Gordon episodes, and the short is classic, great stuff! All the Host Segments are solid, the opening and Invention Exchange too. So, wait. Why am I only giving this a 4/5? Hurmmmm….? I guess maybe because it doesn’t stack up to other 5/5 episodes; but that’s not fair is it?. I should judge the episode by its own merits. mmmm. Nah, I gotta stick to my guns. 4/5, all the way.


    during the Invention Exchange,
    Dr. F’s horrible pun, of working on a “curdless phone,” is rather bad, but I love it. Also I love his and Frank’s reaction to his punage.

    Dr. F always has pet nicknames for Joel; in this one he sends it back up to the SOL and says, “Well what do you think, hockey-puck-to-the-face?” Totally random!

    The tribute “THANK YOU!” to Dr. Erhardt that Frank and Dr. F do is great, but it’s sold by their follow-up expression of shame.

    during the short:

    Crow: “Do I please you? Do you find me pleasing?” ——-Catchphrase!

    Joel: “He’s got it all wrong, he’s the dummy AND the ventriloquist.”

    Servo: “First, don’t open beer bottles with your teeth.” ——–Similar riff as to one at the recent LIVE RIFFTRAX, during the ‘What is Nothing?’ short.

    Joel: “Here’s a young George Patton, a patriot and into high grade weed.”

    Joel: “Firm and yielding to the touch.”

    from the movie:

    during credits,
    Crow: “Gorog writes screenplay, ugh-ugh-ugh.”

    Crow: “Dad?” ——callback to ‘Cave Dwellers.’

    Joel: “It’s Carol’s dad’s Cavern.” —–another bad pun. (Carlsbad Caverns)

    Crow: “This is a really neat date, we’re on an adventure just like The Goonies!”

    Crow, as the unbelieving cop: “Nonsense! A circus act from out of town did that.”

    Joel: “NO! Dr. Erhardt, no! SO that’s what happened to him…”
    Servo: “Wow.”
    Crow: “ENJOY!” ———-GREAT sendoff for Josh, no more explanation is needed!

    during Host Segment #2,
    CROW: “KISS was never good.” ———AMEN brother!

    Joel: “So I left for ‘Frisco with my (VW) Bug and a pound of high grade weed.”

    Joel: “I saw this on ‘Beastmaster’ about 60 times on cable.”

    Crow: “Stay off the moors.” ——‘American Werewolf In London’ reference. One of my faves!

    and for the record, I am a fan of King Crimson. Emerson, Lake, and Palmer?….eh, not so much.


  49. touches no one's life, then leaves says:

    On another note, IIRC the “dowager” speaker in the short also appears in “Carnival of Souls” as the landlady, with Mike making a comment about not at all remembering the short but noting that he was sure she did a great acting job in it.


  50. touches no one's life, then leaves says:

    Mike made the comment in the one-riffer Rifftrax version of “Carnival of Souls.” Not sure if he repeated it in the three-riffer version. It’d be nice to be able to remember everything…


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