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Sampo & Erhardt

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.

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Episode guide: 317- The Saga of the Viking Women and their Voyage to the Waters of the Great Sea Serpent (with short: The Home Economics Story)

Short: (1951) Four college girls major in home economics.
Movie: (1957) Viking women set sail to rescue their men who have been enslaved by barbarians.

First shown: 10/26/91
Opening: Joel says: Consider the lowly waffle
Invention exchange: Joel continues to consider waffles; The Mads demonstrate their meat re-animator, Joel shows off an iron that turns waffles into pancakes
Host segment 1: Joel has reprogrammed the bots to love waffles and asks them to suggest new uses for waffles
Host segment 2: “Waffles!”
Host segment 3: Willy the Waffle gives a spirited defense of waffles
End: The Waffle song, Dr. F is “re-animating” Frank
Stinger: “But you don’t understand! I’m a PRINCE!”
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (95 votes, average: 4.48 out of 5)


• Let me just say: waffles. Things get into the heads of the Brains during the course of doing an episode, and sometimes it just leaks out. I think this is one of those times. All in all, this one is lots of fun. The movie is, if such a thing is possible, even lamer and sillier than “Teenage Caveman” and the riffing is solid. As for the host segments, well: waffles.
• This episode will be included in Shout!Factory’s “The Mystery Science Theater 3000 Collection, Vol. XXXIV.”
• The clip from “The Crawling Eye” that has been part of the intro since the first season has been replaced with Godzilla’s tail slide attack from episode 212- GODZILLA VS. MEGALON.
• Dr. F calls Joel “Aunt Jemima” twice in one segment.
• Trace’s expressions during the invention exchange are priceless.
• Tom and Crow both make LOTR references at the beginning, though Crow says “I’m ashamed I know that.”
• Callback: Tom rediscovers the Creepy Girl (Catalina Caper). It’s a calamity! (Gamera vs Guiron) “The law is the word…” (Teenage Caveman)
• In segment two, after Joel delivers his line, he throws the plate up in the air, and then has to duck out of the way of it.
• Tom and Crow are already in theater when Joel arrives after segment 2.
• How many now-middle-aged people had the problem of not being allowed to stay up and watch “Love, American Style”? I know *I* did.
• As has been chronicled, the Willy the waffle bit is based on the “Case of Spring Fever” short, which they watched during this season but never riffed until season 10.
• Joel’s line “We got a party to go to” at the end of segment 3 is a “Laugh-In” reference.
• Crow still has his Willy the Waffle outfit on when entering the theater after segment 3.
• Then-current reference: Rosie Ruiz.
This commercial is referenced again. I thought I would let younger viewers know where it comes from.
• The show ends with a great song, but how come there’s no “lyrics and music” credit for it in the credits. Guess it was a group effort?
• Backstage stuff: In far shots, the sea serpent was actually special effects guy Irving Block’s finger, covered with clay, with a fin stuck on it. Really. And, of course, this is yet another Corman movie largely shot in Bronson Canyon.
• Oh, and just for the record, Jonathan Haze does NOT play the prince, as some, including whoever wrote the episode summary in the ACEG, think.
• Cast and crew roundup: cinematographer Monroe P. Askins also did “The Human Duplicators. Special effects guy Jack Rabin also worked on “Robot Monster,” “Rocketship X-M and “Invasion USA.” Special effects guy Irving A. Block also worked on “Rocketship XM” Special effects guy Louis DeWitt also worked on “The Phantom Planet.” Makeup guy Harry Ross also worked on “The Mad Monster” and “Lost Continent.” Assistant director Robert Kinoshita also worked on “The Phantom Planet.” In front of the camera, Sally Todd was also in “The Unearthly.”
• CreditsWatch: Andrea DuCane came in to do makeup for the only time this season. Trace and Frank are still “villains” and Dr. F’s last name is still spelled “Forrestor.”
• Fave riff from the short: “Kegs will be tapped. Men will be used.” Honorable mention: “…while Kay struggles with basic motor skills.”
• Fave riff: “…and no time to figure out how we saw all that!” Honorable mention: “Not a chest hair among ‘em” and “I’m Todd the Baptist!”

107 Replies to “Episode guide: 317- The Saga of the Viking Women and their Voyage to the Waters of the Great Sea Serpent (with short: The Home Economics Story)”

  1. schippers says:

    The Home Economics Story is one of my absolute favorite shorts shown on MST. I love how much trouble the narrator takes to establish some characterization of the ALMOST TOTALLY MUTE WOMEN – why bother? That kind of failed attempt in film interests me. It suggests that the makers of the short were aware the women on film were essentially just Woman 1, Woman 2, etc., and they were trying (and failing) to ameliorate the problem.

    Also, a wonderful glimpse into a world that no longer exists.


  2. Crow Tom Baker says:

    I’m not a medium, I’m a petite:
    I had always assumed that ‘five pound party’ was the large ( weighing five pounds ? ) box of chocolate that has just showed up for one of the gals,

    Elsewhere on the internet it seems that it may refer to a particular kind of Bridal shower. But I’ll stick to the box of chocolates theory.

    I think it is just bad/old audio and what the narrator is saying is “a fine prom party” or something like that. I went to Iowa State and after that comment they show the girls in formal attire and they are in the Oak Room which is in the Memorial Union and regularly had dances like that back then.


  3. Tad Eustace Ghostal says:

    Fantastic episode, particularly for the time and how young the show was. They were really trying some new things here.

    I value differing opinions and can see how this ep isn’t a favorite for many, but it always leaves a bad taste in my mouth when people criticize the “Waffle” segments, or suggest that it was a lack of creativity in the writer’s room. If anything, I think this was the most creative period of the show. I’ll take waffles over literally ANY Sci-Fi skit. Season 3 was this true synthesis of Joel’s original concept of a “wrap around movie show” where he and his robots watch the movie with you, and the original comedy brought to the table by people like Mike, Trace, Frank etc. They put work into the host segments and got adventurous outside the theater. The “broken button” bit at the end of “Daddy-O”, the “Joel Robinson is dead” intro from “Mighty Jack”, the entire “waffles” gag in this episode…there’s something really refreshing about it! By the time we get to 401 in the next season, it feels like the brains built their sandbox and rarely stepped outside of it.

    Not to ramble…the reason I love the waffles bit is because it’s so experimental and it’s so Joel. He’d always play that bit where he was Mr. Nice Stoner Chill Guy, parental, teaching the bots the ways of the world and being a grounded mentor…until all of the sudden he wasn’t, and he’d start going crazy in some kind of mental loop, much to the dismay and confusion of the bots. There was this running theme that the Mads were trying to break Joel with the movies week after week, and he just took it with respect. But then he’d go crazy and start torturing Tom and Crow, or not being able to quit doing a song or bit. It’s so funny and puts an edge on Joel’s character. His obsession with waffles is confusing and as Crow put it, “Joel I think the butter slipped off your waffles a long time ago buddy.”



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  5. mnenoch says:

    What can I say? Waffles! I really love the them sketches this time, the Willy the Waffle part is great and the song is down right fun. The short is one my favorites with guys really riffing. The movie is kind of boring and brings down the episode to me a bit but it is still good.

    @103 – I have to disagree with you that “I’ll take waffles over literally ANY Sci-Fi skit”. I like how you complain that later episodes and I’m guessing you specifically mean SCIFI episodes don’t get out of the box. A great example of them thinking outside of the box is the worm hole sketches in Price Of Space, specifically the first break from the movie where they are all of of time with each other. That sketch has a great bit of creativity to it and perfectly timed that the never did in the show before. I think it’s really easy for people to trash those sketches without looking at them critically.


  6. Tad Eustace Ghostal says:

    Hey mnenoch #105, very good point. Season 8 has some fantastic, hilarious sketches for sure.

    While I do prefer the CC skits to the Sci-Fi skits, I actually think the show built it’s “sandbox” starting during the heyday of the Joel era in the 4th season. I would say starting with Space Travelers, you just saw a more defined format for the show and its comedy in general. So it’s not a Joel vs Mike thing, or a Sci-Fi vs CC thing, it’s really just my opinion that the 3rd season was a lot more experimental than the ones after it.

    All that said – the 8th season did have some pretty cool stuff that they had never done before, and there are many exceptions to my observation throughout the series!

    Also…my opinion on the Sci-Fi sketches and why I said what I said about taking “waffles” over any of them is definitely extreme, but my reasoning is best saved for another thread. :)


  7. IluvMamieVanDoren says:

    Hi, everyone. Love this website and reading the different comments about the show.
    One of my favorite riffs from the movie at the beginning when the brunette throws the spear (can’t remember her name):
    Crow: It’s Kate Bush!
    I’m a big Kate Bush fan so that was fun to hear.


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