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Weekend Discussion Thread: Favorite Riff from the KTMA Shows

Alert regular Brandon suggests:

Since we’re reviewing the KTMA episodes again, I thought a good discussion would be what riffs from the KTMA era do MSTies find actually funny, since most of the time the material was hit-and-miss, and they were still figuring the show out. One riff that I love is from K13 – SST Death Flight, when the passengers start panicking and try to make their way to the back of the plane, and Servo callously suggests that they “form a conga line”, and then begins humming the conga-line music. It’s so dark, and so incongruous with what’s going on in the film, I totally cracked up laughing first time I watched this episode.

I have to pick the moment from “Cosmic Princess” when Joel sings a few bars of the Banana Splits theme song as our heroes climb into the ridiculous moon buggy.

What’s your pick?

30 Replies to “Weekend Discussion Thread: Favorite Riff from the KTMA Shows”

  1. Joel Lillo says:

    The whole mooing grandpa set of riffs from Gamera vs. Gaos just kept getting funnier as it went along.


  2. ern2150 says:

    WHO WON?!


  3. trickymutha says:

    Few years back (2002-2004) when my sons were young, we watched the entire KTMA/season one era a couple times through. Sort of a film study class on the evolution of the series. KTMA never generated belly laughs (well, like SHARKNADO did)- but, was wonderful comfort food. Honestly, I can’t think of standout riffs- but, I do find any KTMA episode wonderful nap material. I put one on, and, drift off with the not too distant sound of UHF TV in space. Thanks Joel.


  4. Sitting Duck says:

    In The Last Chase, When Servo refers to the female supervisor in the command center as a dragon bitch. After Joel reprimands him not to say that again, he smart-aleckly responds, “Dragon?”


  5. jjb3k says:

    From “The Last Chase”: “Suspect is driving a white dot.”

    If they’d done that movie again on Comedy Central, I guarantee that riff would have been kept. :D


  6. mst3ktemple says:

    Not that it’s in good taste, but the “skinny ant”/”Karen Carpenter ant” discussion during Phase IV (K09) is pretty funny. If Josh ad-libbed “ant-arexic” that was pretty good.


  7. radioman970 says:

    Also from SST Deathflight: Everybody form a line..! Love Boat on the left, Fantasy Island on the right!


  8. BlackRobbin says:

    Cosmic Princess. Brian Blessed says something to the effect “One of your crew members was injured. Allow us to see to his wounds.” And Crow says “We’re reattaching his head.”


  9. Kenneth Morgan says:

    One good one I remember is from “Gamera vs. Zigra”, when you see a group of fighter jets.

    JOEL: Tora, tora, tora!
    SERVO: Torah? There aren’t any Jews in this movie!

    Or, during “Million Eyes of Su-Maru”, when Frankie Avalon breaks the fourth wall and asks if he’s supposed to sing during a scene, and Joel indignantly answers, “Hey, we’ll do the funny comments, okay?”

    And, for my least favorite riff from a KTMA show, there’s the moment during a dramatic scene in “Superdome” when Joel says he just can’t think of anything funny to say. Had they re-done that movie, I’m sure he’d have come up with something.


  10. JCC says:

    Off the top of my very forgetful head: “Gowns by Miss Piggy Of Hollywood” and “Her eye needs some oxygen (air?)”. City On Fire/SST Deathflight.


  11. dsman71 says:

    I know I said this last time and hope the admins read this but I think either next Saturday the 19th or the 26th there should be a contest topic or just the topic of guessing the next Volume which will be XXI (31)
    It will be fun to see all the guesses… :)


  12. ryan says:

    I have two from humanoid woman. Not the funniest but i enjoy the musical references. When niya stows away on the ship and it takes off. Her wig falls off and she goes nuts. Joel says “looks like they are shooting a eurythmics video ”

    Also during one of the many electronic music bits joel starts singing kraftwerks autobahn.


  13. mst3ktemple says:

    OK. I’m probably the only person that this cracks up every time, but in Might Jack the team is chasing the bad guy and he drops something. They all stop and one of the team picks it up and looks it over. Joel says “Hmm…Zagnut.” I have no idea why, but Joel’s delivery puts me in stitches.


  14. Torlygid Racihmopt says:

    Phase IV, which I think is one of the best KTMA eps, and not a bad movie on its own, had a gem about the swarm of ants being an ant rock festival, Antstock. Crow throws out “They wanted to have Woodstock but then the termites came.” That’s about as good as they get in my book, especially when it was ad libbed.


  15. Cornjob says:

    Phase IV is one of my favorite episodes of any season. All the ant puns, the “she’s a babe” comments, the “just step on them”, or “get a giant shoe” riffs.

    “Big man. Going to take on a bunch of ants in a mental game of chess.”

    “Ants don’t drive.
    My aunt did. She drove my uncle crazy.”

    “I had a chicken leg once. I had to wear corrective shoes.”

    “If you didn’t want to play with the ants why did you go to their house?”

    And when the “babe” goes out so the ants will kill her instead of the two scientists Servo says, “Take me! Ravage me!”, in a very suggestive voice.

    I love that episode. And Josh is in my opinion the great unsung hero of the early years of MST. And he was what, 18, 19?


  16. Cornjob says:

    “This monster does not know the meaning of the word around”
    from Gamera v Barugan.

    “Oh no, they all have the flu and now they can’t use the bathroom.”
    from SST-Deathflight”

    “I’m the new psycho that just got transferred over”
    from City on Fire

    “Great, now they can die on solid ground”
    from Last of the Dinosaurs

    “I’ve never seen anyone so blase about a UFO appearing”
    from Time of the Apes


  17. Fart Bargo says:

    Gamera vs Zigra, during the first appearance of the Mads the camera switches back to J&TB after a string of insults from the good/bad doctors Crow states “What a pair of dickweeds!?” Not sure if this is the first time dickweed is introduced. Anyone know?


  18. Cherokee Jack says:

    Phase IV, where we see a steamy close up of white ant eggs popping out of the Queen Ant’s ovipositor and Joel says “I hope nobody’s eating rice right now…”


  19. torgo02 says:

    I haven’t watched any of the KTMA episodes since they actually aired. So my memory has not doubt gotten the details wrong, but… I was 11 years old and saw City of Fire. There was a scene of a public bathroom and a tremor or explosion rocked the room such that the walls to the toilet stalls fell out from a man sitting on the toilet (a la Jurassic Park when the lawyer is on the throne). Someone, I think it was Josh said “Whoa, he must have horrible gas,” or words to that effect. My 11 year old mind thought it was the most genius line ever and I was hooked for life.


  20. Brandon says:

    Interesting to meet someone who saw the KTMAs when they originally aired.


  21. jaybird3rd says:

    @#13: I like that one, too. I also like it when J&TB take an odd moment from the film and run with it. “Grandpa Mooing” from “Gamera vs. Gaos” is a good example, and so is Servo’s “… and now he’s dead” running joke in “The ‘Legend of Dinosaurs'”, whenever someone mentions the lead character’s deceased father.

    My favorite comes from “Mighty Jack”, when the movie spends an inordinate amount of time on Harold Atari’s breakfast order (toast, scrambled eggs, black coffee, oranges, etc). It’s almost like Johnny Longbow’s stew recipe in “Track of the Moon Beast”. J&TB have a good chuckle over it, and for the next few minutes they’re constantly making breakfast jokes: as the guys aboard Mighty Jack are turning dials and pulling levers, Joel says “Wow, all this just to make toast!”, and when the submersion begins, Crow says “Whoa, look at all that orange juice!”


  22. jjb3k says:

    I don’t know how I forgot about this one, from “SST Death Flight”…

    STEWARDESS: In the event of an emergency, place your head between your legs…
    SERVO: If I could do that, I’d never leave the house.


  23. Cornjob says:

    “Protect the legend.
    Alright, I’ll tell them you’re Bigfoot.
    From SST-Deathflight


  24. torgo02 says:

    @ Brandon #20:
    Thanks, good to meet you, too. Obviously I’ve been an MST fan for a long time and I’ve lurked on this site for many years, but I very rarely post anything. However, this discussion topic inspired me to break my typical silence.

    For many days after I saw City on Fire I was telling my friends about what a great show MST3k is and I would use that line to help sell the premise. I like to think I help create a few extra MiSTies in those early days. I just wish I had bothered to write in and become an official fan club member.


  25. Zeroninety says:

    One from City on Fire, when the explosions begin, and they cut to a random dog perking its head up:

    Joel (matter-of-factly): “That’ll wake the dog up.”


  26. Basil says:

    Gamera vs Guiron, at the 12:00 mark, when Joel and the Bots sing “We’re having Beefaroni!” to the Gamera music. It cracks me up every time. I was disappointed they didn’t reuse that riff in Season Three.


  27. BIG61AL says:

    I had always felt the KTMA era has it’s merits. While they are not the best written [or improvised] episodes they do have a few zingers in there.


  28. Feyd Rautha says:

    SST-Death Flight, Crow (as flight attendant): “You’re in the part of the plane that falls off”


  29. radioman970 says:

    Was just watching Hanger 18–

    shuttle extending the robo-arm with capsule on the end.

    Tom: It’s an easy to swallow caplet!
    Crow: It’s a surprise-a-tory!



  30. pondoscp says:

    My friend said it best last night as we slogged through K’s Fugitive Alien. “I feel nauseous, but every time Josh says something, I feel better.”


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