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

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

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Episode guide: 608- Code Name: Diamond Head (with short: ‘A Day at the Fair’)

Short: (1947) A country family has a fun day at the state fair.
Movie: (1977) A failed Quinn Martin TV pilot follows an undercover agent battling a nefarious villain in Hawaii.

First shown: 10/1/94
Opening: M&tB are living in their own filth
Intro: The Mads obsess over cleanliness, cleaning up the SOL
Host segment 1: The bots thinks Mike is too nice, then they see what it would be like if Mike wasn’t nice
Host segment 2: Then they are shown what it would be like to live with a Crash Test Dummy
Host segment 3: And finally, they are shown what it would like to live with the Frugal Gourmet
End: M&tB have embraced the authentic Hawaiian lifestyle, Tom hulas a letter (then Mike reads it), the Mads are still obsessing
Stinger: “Aaaahhh! Johnny! Down there!”
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (196 votes, average: 4.21 out of 5)

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• The short is another gem, and while the movie portion is okay, it’s hit-and-miss. The host segments are very memorable, and I recall they caused a bit of a stir when this show first aired. They caused a great deal of confusion for me: I had never heard of Canadian alt-rockers Crash Test Dummies (NOW I understand why it would be so horrible!–though actually I kinda like that “Superman” song) and I had never seen “This Boy’s Life” (NOW I know a thing or two about a thing or two). I was vaguely aware of the Frugal Gourmet, but not familiar enough to get the “don’t write in” stuff Mike does. Adding to my confusion, I had never heard of “Lovejoy” either. Just not something I had ever run across. So I spent a lot of this episode scratching my head wondering what the hell was going on.
• This episode is featured on Shout! Factory’s Vol. XXIII.
• Lots of props from previous eps are strewn about in the opener, but the smell was apparently coming from from a jester shoe from episode 505- THE MAGIC VOYAGE OF SINBAD.
• Callbacks: Frank references “Outlaw” with his mention of a “disgusting worrrm!” (Others: “This looks like Daddy-O’s room,” and “This is so Mitchell” and ”There’s a lotta money here, Mitchell!”)
• Tom’s o/` With an awful lotta lettuce… o/` is a reference to the musical “Guys and Dolls.”
• Non-Spaghetti Ball Bumpers: beaker, film canister, bulletin board.
• Mike needs to come down an octave if he’s really going to do Brad Roberts.
• That’s Alex Hentiloff, the poor man’s Stuart Pankin, as the government scientist.
• Turns out living with the Frugal Gourmet was more traumatic than the Brains guessed…
• Self-reference: TV’s Frank named that boat!
• The bit at the end is a reference to an old Hawaiian Punch commercial. THAT I recognized!
• Wouldn’t this have been a better episode to do the Quinn-Martin Nature Preserve sketch?
• Slam on the Coast Guard outta nowhere!
• Cast and crew roundup: Set designer George R. Nelson also worked on “The Magic Sword.” In front of the camera, Roy Thinnes was in those awful General Hospital shorts. Ward Costello was also in “Terror from the Year 5000.”
• CreditsWatch: Host segments directed by Kevin Murphy. “Controller” Tim Johnson appears for the first time and would remain for the rest of the series.
• Fave riff from the short: “The cows are furious!” Honorable mention: “Men are fools, dear. Remember that.”
• Fave riff from the feature: “Boy, it’s tough when ‘Barnaby Jones’ out-actions you.” Honorable mention: “This is Quinn Martin. We’re not going to series.” “…French, Italian, poppy seed, hot ranch…”

106 Replies to “Episode guide: 608- Code Name: Diamond Head (with short: ‘A Day at the Fair’)”

  1. GizmonicTemp says:

    Yes, I’m a guy, but Ian McShane is a good-looking man. There. I said it.

    Anyway…

    Through my adventures of tape-trading and whatnot, this episode just kind of got lost in the shuffle. Fast forward to when it was released on DVD in a box set. One night, I watched the NFL draft on my laptop and this episode on the TV. I just couldn’t get enough of it! It was like seeing a brand-new awesome episode that I never knew existed! Magical.

       6 likes

  2. thequietman says:

    Men are fools, dear! Remember that!

    After several dour B&W movies, this one feels like a breath of funky 70s fresh air. Didn’t remember much from the last time I watched it, but it was a lot of fun to watch again as everyone reveled in name-dropping forgotten 70s shows during the ‘breaks’.

    Fave riff from the short:
    These bass would make good fishing, too bad they aren’t in the creek back home.
    Mike: Well, you see they WERE in the creek but they’ve been CAUGHT and that’s why they’re HERE.

    Fave riff from the feature:
    Mike: When this originally aired, at this point everyone had switched over to ‘Carter Country.’

       7 likes

  3. Gare.Chicago says:

    I love Ian McShane in anything, so that was just a huge bonus for this episode. And those 70’s movies though – probably some of my favorites, outside of the Russo-Finnish triology and the Sword/Sandal/Herc/Cheese-steak episodes.

    Watching this, it’s almost like going back in time to when we had three channels and you’d lay on the shag rub in the living room and watch this because it’s what mom and dad put on that night. And those were good times, so I get very nostalgic for these episodes. :)

    Gare

       3 likes

  4. Atorgo says:

    Love it, plus it’s another MSTed movie where any potential danger/drama is severely undercut by goofy/funky music. That’s a really enjoyable and underrated ingredient for a MSTed film.

       3 likes

  5. Ray Dunakin says:

    I like this episode, especially all the priest jokes…

    “Father What-A-Waste!”

    “Lovejoy’s a hangin’ priest!”

    “You know, you only rent holy water.”

    When this episode first aired, I had no idea who Lovejoy was, and was only slightly aware of the existence of the Frugal Gourmet and the Crash Test Dummies. But I still got the basic gist of the jokes.

       2 likes

  6. Cornjob says:

    When I first watched this episode I hadn’t heard of a place called Diamond Head. The only Diamond Head I was familiar with was a Marvel Comics character from the late 70’s I encountered in Fantastic Four and Nova. He was super strong, invulnerable, and remarkably shatter resistant for a crystalline structured individual. Since he was from the Xandar System I’m hoping he will make an appearance in the next Guardians of the Galaxy movie.

       0 likes

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