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Goodbye Sci-Fi

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

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Episode guide: 512- Mitchell

Movie: (1975) A slovenly cop is determined to bring a mob kingpin to justice.

First shown: 10/23/93
Opening: Joel’s unveils his toothpicky creation; the bots know what they have to do
Invention exchange: The Mads are being audited, so they’ve hired a temp by the name of Mike; J&tB present the Daktari stool
Host segment 1: Gypsy overhears the Mads plotting and thinks they’re talking about Joel
Host segment 2: A worried Gypsy tries to think of a way to get Joel off the SOL; Crow and Tom are no help
Host segment 3: Mike learns of a hidden escape pod, and gives Gypsy control
End: Joel is ejected into the escape pod, leaving behind a plaque and a final word; Dr. F. is furious … until Mike presents his time card
Stinger: “Your lying through your teeth!” “Buzz off!” “No, you buzz off!” “I SAID BUZZ OFF, KID!”
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (203 votes, average: 4.79 out of 5)

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• It all starts so normally. Just another episode, right? Wrong. This is, of course, the most famous of the show’s “transition” episodes, and I’ve seen it perhaps a dozen times now. What sticks out is how well the whole thing falls together. There’s a lot going on here, but it’s all accomplished in about 15 minutes. Tight scripting, tight performances, tight editing, it’s a marvel of precision. It’s sentimental, but it doesn’t get mawkish. And it’s very funny all the way through.
• This episode was first put out as a single-disk release on November of 2001.
References.
• You want a metaphor? How about Joel building an extremely fragile creation, certain in the knowledge that it will be destroyed? Now, that’s a metaphor.
• Mike makes his first appearance as, well, Mike. Wow is he young. (Recently I saw a movie starring a young Tab Hunter, and I’d never noticed before how much a young Mike and young Tab vaguely resemble each other. Maybe it’s the square heads.)
• The Daktari stool sat in the hallway of BBI for years. It was still there when I visited the set in 1999.
• What does Joel have against Harlan Ellison? Besides the obvious, of course…
• Segment 1 features a parody of the scene in “2001: A Space Odyssey” in which computer Hal reads the lips of the astronauts. Interesting that “2001” is again parodied in another transition episode at the end of season seven.
• Segment 1 is pretty much as close to Dr. F and Frank as most of us will ever get. I remember some female fans of Trace rather enjoyed it.
• Jim does a great job in segment 2. “Breathe through your nose”?
• I love the moment when Mitchell says: “Sh—.” and Joel finishes his line with: ‘…ugar?”
• Want a connection from this movie to the Robert Blake murder case? Sure, we all do! Gary McLarty and Ronald (Duffy) Hambleton, both of whom testified against Blake when he was accused of killing his wife, had small roles in this movie. McLarty played one of Mistretta’s henchmen and Hambleton played mob boss Edmondo Bocca, who gets dropped by Mitchell just short of the green. Both testified that Blake explicitly discussed killing his wife. But, unfortunately for the prosecution, both of these guys had somewhat checkered pasts. Blake’s defense team successfully undermined the credibility of both witnesses, introducing evidence of mental illness, drug addiction, etc. In the end, their testimony may have actually helped Blake get off.
• Not mentioned in the references list, because they only do references during the movie and not during the host segments, is the “OPE” thing Gypsy is muttering. It’s a reference to the movie “Dr. Strangelove.”
• The presence of that Christmas tree in John Saxon’s house — and pretty much no other references to it being Christmas — is one of the many odd things about this movie.
• Joel seems to lose it during the “Adam Rich” scene. (Actually, the kid is played by a Todd Bass, in his second and last role in show business, according to the IMDB. It would be fun to find Mr. Bass, who must be in his 40s by now, to see what he remembers of this shoot. By the way, according to Wikipedia the kid is supposed to be the son of Linda Evans’ character! Who knew?)
• Then current reference: the forgotten movie “Cop and a Half.”
• Hamdingers suddenly took over the MSTie consciousness after this episode, but it was funny how Gypsy and Mike (and, by extension, BBI) seemed very clear on what Hamdingers were … but nobody else seemed to be. It was hard to nail down just what they were, and descriptions seemed contradictory. Some said the Swift-Premium folks made them (I believe Kevin invoked Swift Premium during an online chat). Not true. At long last, I can point to this site, which seems to solve the mystery at last.

Hamdingers were a short-lived meat product produced by the Patrick Cudahy Co. out of Cudahy, WI, in the mid ‘70s … The product was sliced ham patties, about the size of a hamburger patty, and it came in a round can. Like Spam, it became a great meat to fry up with some eggs for breafast, but the great thing about Hamdingers is that it came in individually sliced portions, so you could grab a patty and fry it up for that perfect Hamdinger sandwich.

The entry doesn’t mention that they were reportedly great fish bait as well.
• I love that DOS command Mike has to type in to the “techtronic panel” (apparently this was the one and only time that the control panel in Deep 13 was called this).
• Movie comment: Toward the end of the movie, Mitchell inserts a portion of his handkerchief (there’s a lesson, kids!: always remember to carry a handkerchief; you never know when you might want to blow up a drug dealer’s car!), then screws the gas cap back on over it, so that the rest of the handkerchief is hanging down. He then drives to the meeting place and when the deal goes south he, all in a split second, whips out a lighter, lunges forward and holds the lighter to the handkerchief, which INSTANTANEOUSLY lights up. Now maybe, just maybe, the tank was very, very full and the handkerchief got nice and soaked with gasoline on the ride over. But the tank might also have been mostly empty, meaning the handkerchief could have been bone dry. That seems far more likely, doesn’t it? Which would mean it would have taken maybe ten seconds for Mitchell to light it, plenty of time to stop Mitchell. What I’m saying is that it seems unlikely that the handkerchief would immediately burst into flames in a fraction of a second like it does here. The whole thing is about as implausible as a young, sultry callgirl falling in love with Mitchell.
• Callbacks: Several references to “Eegah”; reference to rock climbing.
• Toward the end of the movie, we get Joel’s last bit of fatherly control during the bit where Tom and Crow get a bit dark and suggest Mitchell should turn the gun on himself.
• Naughty riff: “I’m huge.”
• I love the classic, low-tech use of confetti to simulate static in the Hexfield. Very Joel.
• When fans on the internet weren’t obsessing about Hamdingers, they were arguing about the correct pronunciation of “Lao” as in “Dr. Lao.” The consensus was that Joel blew it.
• Tom and Crow fall apart during the PANIC, but I think this may be one time it was on purpose.
• I love Mike’s expression as Dr. F and Frank laugh about his fate.
• Cast and crew roundup: Sound mixer Herman Lewis also worked on “Teenage Caveman,” “Viking Women and the Sea Serpent and “Night of the Blood Beast.” Score composer Jerry Styner also worked on “The Side Hackers.” In front of the camera, Buck Young also appears in “Stranded in Space,” Rayford Barnes also appears in “Beginning of the End,” Jim B. Smith also appeared “San Francisco International and Alan “Mustang hood” Gibbs did stunts for “Hangar 18.” And, of course, Joe Don Baker also stars in “Final Justice.”
• CreditsWatch: Host segments directed by Kevin Murphy. Jim Mallon is listed as a contributing writer for every episode in season 5 except this one, where he is listed as an “additional writer.”
• Fave riff: “We’re going to control the ghetto, you and I, young man.” Honorable mention: “BABY OIL??? NOOOO!!!!”

232 Replies to “Episode guide: 512- Mitchell”

  1. Sitting Duck says:

    Mitchell fails the Bechdel Test. None of the female characters converse.

    The oldest prop I saw in Deep 13 was the Life-Size Operation Game from Ring of Terror. Was there anything from earlier?

    I don’t get the point of Mitchell’s first encounter with Cummins. All it does is let him know that he’s under police surveillance.

    Callback of sorts to Master Ninja I: “He’s no Claude Atkins, but what a butt!”

    Continuing on the Harlan Ellison/Doctor Who kerfuffle I mentioned back in post #179, I find it vaguely hypocritical of him To go after Terminator for allegedly ripping off his Outer Limits episode Soldier, yet ignores how the Doctor Who serial Day of the Daleks isn’t that different.

    @ #25: It can be argued that Final Justice is Mitchell II in spirit if not in name.

    @ #132: There have been other times we’ve seen his bare calves. Such as when showing off his jester shoes in Magic Voyage of Sinbad and during the Invention Exchange in The Girl in Lovers Lane. There are probably other I can’t recall right off.

    Favorite riffs

    Thanks for driving me to my car. Nice to have it pre-parked at the stakeout.

    But I’m not a salesman. I’m the chubby blue line.

    Reynolds Wrap. Keeps freshness in, can’t keep Mitchell out.

    Hot merging action!

    This makes Driving Miss Daisy look like Bullitt.

    The new Chrysler Fury. The car that thinks it’s a house.

    “Forget the heroin!”
    That’s for desert.

    Sorry, bud. We thought you were Rockford.

    “I need help from any source I can get.”
    So I’m down to you.

    “How do you like your Scotch?”
    By the quart.

    “I admire a man like you.”
    Not you specifically.

    You’ll never take me alive, coppers!

    Mitchell: Licensed to Slouch.

    “My, my, my, my, Mitchell, what would your mama say?”
    She’d say, “He’s not mine! You can’t prove it!”

    You know, Joe Don Baker would be perfect for Elvis. The dying days.

       4 likes

  2. maclen says:

    What I find most ironic about this episode is the Joel/Gypsy storyline. In light of what Joel revealed a few years ago regarding the true reason he left the show, that clashes with co-producer Jim Mallon over the direction of the show and the potential film being the true reason. And in this episode Gypsy who is still being voiced by Mallon, is eavesdropping on Dr. Forrester and TVs Frank’s conversation about “getting rid” of Mike, mistakenly believes they are talking about Joel. She then goes into hysterics saying among other things, “I’ve gotta get rid on him.”

       1 likes

  3. Bruce Boxliker says:

    Sitting Duck:
    Something I personally have against Harlan Ellison is how he turned me against Doctor Who for many years. To clarify, way back when I tried out a novelization of a Fourth Doctor adventure for which Ellison had written an introduction. In it, his praise of Doctor Who primarily consisted of ripping just about every other piece of science fiction he hated. You could have filled a fleet of tankers with the bile he unleashed in that introduction. Adding in the fact that the novelization itself wasn’t very good and it was a long time before I was willing to give Doctor Who a fair shake.

    I can see that. It’s always sad when someone is completely & vehemently slamming something or SOMEONE for no good reason other than their own overblown ego. I mean, imagine if someone here was doing something like that. I’d hate to see something like that lessen anybody’s love of any part of MST3k .

       13 likes

  4. Bruce Boxliker says:

    A great episode! Well, except for the Joel leaving part. But we got Mike, and he was funny too!
    I have to say, I’ve never understood what’s-his-name’s (the guy Mitchel! is watching) plan at the end. OK, so he’s set up Mitchel! to get killed, keeping the other gangsters/whatever busy with Mitchel! while he runs off with the money & drugs. But why call the police & warn them? More confusion (it worked – I’m confused)?
    Also, I think we can all agree that Mitchel! is probably not mechanically inclined. At the end, he’s stuck on a boat that he sabotaged in the middle of nowhere with a bag of money & drugs. Did the helicopter come back for him? If they know Mitchel!, why would they want to do that?

    Re: The Handkerchief scene – Let’s not forget that the handkerchief was in Mitchel(!)’s pants, so it HAD to be soaked in some kind of oil….

    FordPrefect: Actually I thought it was clever that Joel makes it clear that he has no intention of leaving the ship without the bots and doesn’t even know about his escape until he’s already in the ship heading towards Earth. What made less sense for me was when he leaves them behind a second time at the end of Soultaker.

    I’m guessing Joel had built newer, better bots & didn’t want Tom & Crow to know.

    David J: Is Mitchell supposed to be his first name or last name?

    Both. Mitchel Mitchingham Mitchel

       4 likes

  5. littleaimishboy says:

    So many other things wrong with this movie, but the way Martin Balsam (a real actor) and Merlin Olsen (well …) drag the thing down with their dead eyed phoned in doing it for the paycheck performances makes it even worse than it would be otherwise.

    The dinner scene in particular reaches levels of claustrophobic uncomfortable why-isn’t-anything-HAPPENING-ness unique in MSTed movie history.

       3 likes

  6. jjk says:

    All you need to know about Mitchell. Joe Don Baker+Baby Oil. Nothing more needs to be said, nothing more can be said. Watch at you own risk.

       3 likes

  7. thequietman says:

    “Are you Mitchell? Can I NOT have your autograph?”

    As someone who didn’t become a true MSTie until well into the Sci-Fi years, it’s hard to grasp the impact this must have had on those who saw it premiere. I found the plugs for this episode on Youtube and was sort of surprised that Joel would so casually blow the ending of the episode until I read through the comments here today and saw that the transition had already been announced well in advance.

    But this will always be one of the all-time greats. It’s given me so many little phrases I find myself using in my everyday life, particularly the confused ‘Why did I do that?’ after Mitchell puts the handkerchief in the gas tank.

    As for the byzantine plot, I don’t think anyone here’s managed to map it out, so to quote “A Date With Your Family,” let’s go to the flow chart for this:

    Gallano, the head mob boss, backs Mistreta (who may or may not be a blood relative) in stealing a cache of drugs which now needs to be smuggled into the States. Cummings is pulled in because Gallano set him up with a cushy operation at the port where Mistreta wants to bring in the drugs. Having made all possible attempts at having other mobsters convince Gallano otherwise, Cummings decides to use the fact that Mitchell is such a dupe to double cross Mistreta. So he stashes the real drugs, and sets up Mitchell with a fake shipment so Mistreta will kill him, and tipping off the cops so they will arrest/kill Mistreta.

    Whaddya think sirs?

       4 likes

  8. Be Right There says:

    The scene where the gun falls out of Mitchell’s pants (plus Joel and the ‘Bots confusion/horror) is one of my all time favorites. It also would be an excellent alternate stinger.

       4 likes

  9. Droppo says:

    They never made a better episode. Brilliant.

       2 likes

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

    #201: None of the female characters converse.

    Weren’t the, uh, “dates” in the limo at the beginning talking to each other? Or was it just one talking to everyone else in the limo?

       3 likes

  11. Kieran Cowan says:

    Regarding 201 and the Ellison/Terminator suit, the core issue wasn’t just plagiarism, it’s that when asked, James Cameron actually told people where he got the idea from that “I ripped off a couple of Harlan Ellison’s old Outer Limits episodes”. He repeatedly said this, using Ellison’s name. Then, after a settlement involved all TV airings adding a credit for Ellison, someone deliberately cut it out of the prints at Cameron’s behest. Defying the court settlement was where the real money came in. I agree, Day of the Daleks has a similar paradox plot, but the King of the World didn’t go around bragging he’d stolen from Louis Marks.

       1 likes

  12. Thomas K. Dye says:

    touches no one’s life, then leaves:
    #201: None of the female characters converse.

    Weren’t the, uh, “dates” in the limo at the beginning talking to each other? Or was it just one talking to everyone else in the limo?

    They were… but “What does he think I am, an acrobat?” qualifies as talking about a man, so it still fails the test.

       2 likes

  13. Sitting Duck says:

    @ #210: The definition I give for conversing for the purpose of this little experiment is that the characters direct their words to each other. I can recheck that scene (though I’m not able to at this moment) to be sure.

    @ #211: Could you provide sources to back that up?

       1 likes

  14. Kenneth Morgan says:

    Kieran Cowan:
    Regarding 201 and the Ellison/Terminator suit, the core issue wasn’t just plagiarism, it’s that when asked, James Cameron actually told people where he got the idea from that “I ripped off a couple of Harlan Ellison’s old Outer Limits episodes”. He repeatedly said this, using Ellison’s name. Then, after a settlement involved all TV airings adding a credit for Ellison, someone deliberately cut it out of the prints at Cameron’s behest. Defying the court settlement was where the real money came in. I agree, Day of the Daleks has a similar paradox plot, but the King of the World didn’t go around bragging he’d stolen from Louis Marks.

    Personally, I think it’s closer to the “Outer Limits” story “The Man Who Was Never Born”, which was written by Anthony Lawrence and starred Martin Landau, than any of Ellison’s episodes. I have no idea if that episode was the basis for any legal action. In any case, it seems like both Ellison and Cameron can be major league jerks when they wish to be.

       0 likes

  15. EricJ says:

    maclen:
    What I find most ironic about this episode is the Joel/Gypsy storyline. In light of what Joel revealed a few years ago regarding the true reason he left the show, that clashes with co-producer Jim Mallon over the direction of the show and the potential film being the true reason.

    I remember Joel, on the last Titanic Q&A, genuinely asking the audience “So, can someone explain, what is it with ‘Mitchell’, why do fans get into this whole big thing whenever it’s brought up?”
    Which is sort of like saying “So, how did the fans react to the changeover, were there, like, any debates?” Think it’s fair to say, with everything going on behind the set, Hodgson had other things on his mind than paying attention to the last few episodes of his S5 stint and the changeover, and his memory of what a colorful head writer that young Mike kid was in the riffing room does tend to cloud his judgment a bit. Someone ought to break the ugly news to him, and even then, it probably won’t do much good.

    Kenneth Morgan: Personally, I think it’s closer to the “Outer Limits” story “The Man Who Was Never Born”, which was written by Anthony Lawrence and starred Martin Landau, than any of Ellison’s episodes.I have no idea if that episode was the basis for any legal action.In any case, it seems like both Ellison and Cameron can be major league jerks when they wish to be.

    Ellison, coming from the world of atheist sci-fi warriors, can out-Jerk the best of them. (And can we please stop calling Cameron “The King of the World”? He was just pimping a catchphrase, he wasn’t being Francis Ford Coppola after Godfather Part II.)
    I remember reading about Ellison storming off of the 80’s Twilight Zone, because they wanted to turn his Santa-doesn’t-exist story into a racial-harmony metaphor, and didn’t want to keep the “important” message he intended. Poor baby.

       0 likes

  16. Lex says:

    In regards to the Terminator there’s no Skynet in ‘Demon with a Glass Hand’ or ‘Soldier’, which have to be the 2 episodes of the Outer Limits he would be talking about. There’s No John Conner, Sara Conner nor anything about Kyle Reese being a father to the savior of humanity. The closest thing you have to it is Soldier which is about 2 soldiers coming from a terrible war in the future and maybe trying to stop it. ‘Demon with a Glass Hand’ was about a robot from a future where the Earth had been invaded by aliens so they encoded people onto a wire and put into this robot’s hand and sent him back in time to wait until a future date. I forgot why. When you rip off a story, you have to change it and make it your own. Even if you think you are original, you’re probably not.

    Look at Mitchell, how man ‘Cop’ or ‘detective’ shows were there in the 1970s. Literally 200,000 on them and they on had the movies and 3 networks. :-)

       1 likes

  17. Cornjob says:

    I thought Demon with a Glass Hand was the book Westworld was based on.

       0 likes

  18. Kenneth Morgan says:

    Cornjob:
    I thought Demon with a Glass Hand was the book Westworld was based on.

    No, “Westworld” was an original screenplay by Michael Crichton; “Demon with a Glass Hand” was an episode of “Outer Limits”, starring Robert Culp and the Bradbury Building.

       1 likes

  19. Ro-man says:

    ???????:
    ? ????????? ?????????, ??? ????? ??????????? ????????????? “???????? ?????????”, ???????? ???????? ?? ?????? ???????????????? ????, ??? ? ????????? ????? ???? ???????? ??? ????? ? ???????? ????????? ????. ?????????, ???????? ????????, “????? ?? ????? ??????”, ? “??????????? ?? ?????????? ??????????? ?????-?????????? ?? ????? ????”.????????, ??? ?????? ???????????? ??????? 16 ?????? ??????????? ?????????? ?? ????? ?? ??????? ?????? ? ????? ? ???, ??? ?? ???????????? ????? ???????? ????????? ?? ????? 12 ????????? ????????.

    TOTALLY agree.

       4 likes

  20. maclen says:

    EricJ: I remember Joel, on the last Titanic Q&A, genuinely asking the audience “So, can someone explain, what is it with ‘Mitchell’, why do fans get into this whole big thing whenever it’s brought up?”
    Which is sort of like saying “So, how did the fans react to the changeover, were there, like, any debates?”Think it’s fair to say, with everything going on behind the set, Hodgson had other things on his mind than paying attention to the last few episodes of his S5 stint and the changeover, and his memory of what a colorful head writer that young Mike kid was in the riffing room does tend to cloud his judgment a bit.Someone ought to break the ugly news to him, and even then, it probably won’t do much good.

    Honestly don’t have any idea what point your trying to make.

       9 likes

  21. Matt Croc says:

    EricJ: I remember Joel, on the last Titanic Q&A, genuinely asking the audience “So, can someone explain, what is it with ‘Mitchell’, why do fans get into this whole big thing whenever it’s brought up?”
    Which is sort of like saying “So, how did the fans react to the changeover, were there, like, any debates?”Think it’s fair to say, with everything going on behind the set, Hodgson had other things on his mind than paying attention to the last few episodes of his S5 stint and the changeover, and his memory of what a colorful head writer that young Mike kid was in the riffing room does tend to cloud his judgment a bit.Someone ought to break the ugly news to him, and even then, it probably won’t do much good.

    http://www.funnyjunk.com/funny_pictures/3365252/Talking+stupid

       7 likes

  22. Cornjob says:

    #218 Thanks, what was I thinking of?

       1 likes

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

    They even made a point of not giving Mitchell a first name, like Columbo and however other many TV cops.

    ***

    Another thing about Harlan Ellison which I didn’t mention last time:

    Back in the funky seventies, author and comic book writer Michael Fleisher wrote three “encyclopedias” — for Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman — going into details about plots, villains, and so on, and he allegedly had plans to continue with Green Lantern, Hawkman, the Spectre, and others. Supposedly, well, I’ll quote Wikipedia:

    “Writer Harlan Ellison in a 1979 interview praised Fleisher’s comics work, while also describing Fleisher and his work as “crazy”, “certifiable”, “twisted”, “derange-o”, “bugf*ck”, and a “lunatic”. He also claimed that a Publishers Weekly review called Fleisher’s novel Chasing Hairy “the product of a sick mind”, and that Fleisher’s Spectre run on Adventure Comics had been discontinued by DC Comics because the company “realized they had turned loose a lunatic on the world.” While Ellison stated that some of what he was claiming was said “in some humor”, Fleisher, saying his “business reputation has been destroyed” and believing he was falsely portrayed as insane, filed a $2 million libel [that was a lot of money back now] suit against Ellison, publisher Gary Groth and the magazine in which the interview appeared, The Comics Journal. The case came to court in 1986, and resulted in a verdict for the defendants.”

    So it’s arguable that, by getting Fleisher so bent out of shape, Harlan Ellison ultimately cost the world several more super-hero encyclopedias. So there’s that, too.

    (FWIW, I perused Amazon’s description of “Chasing Hairy” and, uh, yeah, I totally get how the phrase “sick mind” might have occurred to someone at Publishers Weekly…)

       1 likes

  24. Johnny Drama says:

    No way that kid is Linda Evans character’s kid. Freakin’ Wikipedia lmao
    The kid is saying his mom thinks Mitchell is a bill collector, or such. ;)

       1 likes

  25. Johnny Drama says:

    And say what you will about JDB’s appearance in Mitchell, the guy’s 80 years old and still going strong! (Because he eats his oranges!)

       2 likes

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

    #212:

    I meant in the backseat of the limo, though, where one woman was talking about her teenage manicurist who had a different lover every week and told her (the woman in the backseat of the limo) “all the hot and juicy details” OSLT. So, apparently, teenagers of 1975 were even more “decadent” than teenagers of today. Who’d have thunk it.

    And then Deaney told her to shut up. However, she was talking to the people in the backseat in general, and there was another woman there. So, uh…?

    I suppose that talking about the girl’s lovers constituted talking about guys (although…), but she wasn’t talking about the girl’s lovers, she was talking about the GIRL talking about the girl’s lovers, so technically and I’ve lost interest. ;-)

       1 likes

  27. Sitting Duck says:

    @ #226: As I noted in post #213, to count as conversing for the purposes of this experiment, both female characters must direct their words at each other. From your description of the scene, only one female character spoke.

       1 likes

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

    Someone might want to look at this if this is the sort of thing they might want to look at:

    http://www.agonybooth.com/mitchell-1975-part-1-720

       0 likes

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

    BTW…

    “This is the Circus of Dr. Lao.
    We show you things that you don’t know.
    We tell you of places you’ll never go.
    We’ve searched the world both high and low
    To capture the beasts for this marvelous show.
    From mountains where maddened winds did blow
    To islands where zephyrs breathed sweet and low.
    Oh, we’ve spared no pains and we’ve spared no dough,
    And we’ve dug at the secrets of long ago,
    And we’ve risen to Heaven and plunged Below,
    For we wanted to make it one hell of a show.
    And the things you’ll see in your brains will glow
    Long past the time when the winter snow
    Has frozen the summer’s furbelow.
    For this is the Circus of Dr. Lao.
    And youth may come and age may go
    But no more circuses like this show!”
    ? Charles G. Finney, The Circus of Dr. Lao

    Eat your heart out, Willy Wonka…

       1 likes

  30. Dracula says:

    Oh hey, I caught up to the episode guide comments! I’ve been making my way through the series, having started on season 1 back in, oh, January? My experience with MST3K up to that point had been many scattered episodes – most of them Mike ones, I believe. I managed to catch many of the last episodes on Sci-Fi, possibly when their aired, but more likely as reruns. My first was Pod People, rented from Blockbuster in the late 90s.

    Anyway I’d always heard Mitchell was a good one, but I never knew of its significance until I watched it tonight. I honestly found the movie inscrutable and the riffs not quite up to the par of some of the previous season 5 eps. (My wife fell asleep around the time Mitchell was driving around with the older woman). But the outstanding host segments and historical significance overruled all of that.

    So yeah, it’s great to be catching up on this show I’ve loved for decades, and I’m eager to move into the Mike era – and for that matter, I’m very excited about the MST3K revival and the reunion show happening next week.

    Keep circulating the comments! :D

       1 likes

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

    I suddenly wonder…WHO was auditing The Mads? What kind of temp job was that for Mike (other than, you know, his LAST…)?

       1 likes

  32. Gare.Chicago says:

    On the MST3K message boards, I posted this a while ago – it was a thread about really obscure, missed details that I’d never heard anyone mention before – enjoy it, won’t you? http://forrestcrow.proboards.com/post/973267/thread

    In any event, regarding “Mitchell” – In my post, I’d written this about when he’s picking up the nice old lady at the port:

    In “Mitchell”, when our.. ahem.. hero is posing as a chauffeur, and he picks up a nice old lady and her bags at the port (“You and I are going to rule the ghetto, young man!”) – the ship that is right next to the car in this scene is called the “Kef Falcon”. (Sadly, it didn’t make the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs).

    In any event, this ship had a short life; only 22 years. It was built in 1955 and was sent to the breakers in 1977. It was only named the “Kef Falcon” for about a year, from 1974-1975. So it just happened to be at the port near LA during that short time frame while this scene was filmed, and while it still had this name.

    Yes, I’m oddly interested in minutiae like this. I suppose it speaks to my odd fascination with Urban Exploration as well. Anyhoo, *that’s* obscure too, baby! :)

    If you’re remotely interested in it’s short history, here’s the link to the ship and it’s life: http://www.shipspotting.com/gallery/photo.php?lid=2347050

    “My, my, my, my apartment.”

    Gare

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