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

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Weekend Discussion Thread: Favorite Narrartor-Insipired Riffs

Alert reader Ken notes:

I was thinking about how the narrators in the movies tend to inspire great riffing (“The Creeping Terror: and “The Dead Talk Back” immediately spring to mind), so how about favorite narrator-inspired riffs? One of my favorites occurs when the narrator of “The Dead Talk Back” performs a running commentary on how many minutes the murder victim has to live (“she had 23 minutes to live”), and at one point Crow responds, “I wonder if I could get a pizza in that much time?” I love it!

I think a lot of these are going to be from shorts. Such as mine, from “A Day at the Fair,”
Narrator: First prize goes to a girl!
Crow: The cows are furious!

Your pick?

95 Replies to “Weekend Discussion Thread: Favorite Narrartor-Insipired Riffs”

  1. EricJ says:

    Bacon truck driver:
    Alphabet Antics is full of them:
    D is for dancing. See the children dancing. Tom: “D is for damned as in “Village of”.
    F is for fun. Fun in the sun. Joel: “Fun on the hot slide and burn your buns!”
    J is for jumping a fence. J is for jumping a wall. Joel: ” And you break your back, neck, pelvis and all!”
    And so on…

    P is for pelican, whose beak can hold more than its belly can. (Joel: “P is for Plagiarism, from Ogden Nash!”)

    Y is for young. And Y is for you. (Crow: “…Get it??”)

       8 likes

  2. ck says:

    Then there’s Space Mutiny:
    (13 generations have been in the ship. They like the ship’s goal of getting to a planet to colonize it).

    Mike: “They are known as dupes.”

       9 likes

  3. GizmonicTemp says:

    eegah: I always thought that was “… other than the father of atomic conception.”

    Do you mean in an “Einstein”-way or a “Lois and Clarke”-way?

       2 likes

  4. Jacob says:

    From “Uncle Jim’s Dairy Farm”:

    Narrator: “The corn was knee high on George when he came. Now it’s taller than he is.”
    Servo: “George is clearly shrinking.”

       15 likes

  5. Dr. Batch says:

    The Creeping Terror.

    The narrator is talking about the couple getting back from their honeymoon…

    Mike: “Yes, they did the nasty.”

       12 likes

  6. GizmonicTemp says:

    I should also take this opportunity to mention “Boggy Creek 2” that had much narration riffing due to, well, MUCH narration.

    Movie: “Here, the air is clean reminding me that much of this country is still and should remain unspoiled…”
    Tom: “As blue smoke poured from my motor.”

    and

    Movie: [The swamp] is ever alive and alert.
    Mike: And it’s got a gun, so don’t try anything.

    are both classics!

       14 likes

  7. Jay says:

    Please don’t stone me, but isn’t this WDT simply the very core basis of MST3K? In a sense it feels like a bunch of church ladies sitting together and quoting bible verses to each other. We all know the riffs (and love them), but …

    PS – I am filled with admiration at the ability of Sampo and this group of MSTies in keeping the WDT tradition alive for long. It’s still great after all these years. Thanks!

    PPS – I guess now I will have to change my online name to “Crow Getting His Arms Ripped Off”.

       3 likes

  8. Jacob says:

    From “Last Clear Chance”:

    Narrator Cop: “It was hard to believe that just a few days ago-
    Mike: “I was being spanked by Rodney King”

    Narrator Cop: (continues) “The Dixon family had been as happy and contented a group of people you’d find anywhere.”
    Servo: “And then I showed up”

       4 likes

  9. Professor Gunther says:

    #57: This week’s WDT is mine, and I have no desire to stone you — you’re probably right! I like trying to come up with (potentially new) angles and ideas, though, to keep the discussion going. I’ve come up with some I’m rather proud of (favorite bands featured in the movies, for example), and I’ve come up with some that have wound up on the bottom of the ocean floor.

    So I won’t stone you, but I AM looking forward to knowing for sure if you’re made of molybdenum. :)

       8 likes

  10. Blonde Russian Spy says:

    Another one from “Snow Thrills”

    Narrator: “It’s the biggest one man thrill in Jack Frost’s show.”
    Joel: “I know a better one.”

       7 likes

  11. DarkGrandmaofDeath says:

    Jay, you’re right, and that’s okay. It doesn’t change my attitude toward talking about this silly little cow town puppet show. I think it’s a relief to turn away from all the harsh news and the ugliness, and remember Tom Servo’s “ENNNNDDDD!” and Crow’s Sir Giggles von Laughsalot, Joel’s phone bits, Mike getting into a femmy movie contest with the bots, riffs about narrators, and whatever else we all want to discuss. MST has always been comfort food, and it will stay that way for many people.

    And I hope you bring your MST bible and keep adding to the discussion. Hikeeba! (Women of the Prehistoric Planet, Chapter 6, line 10.)

       11 likes

  12. Ro-man says:

    It’s an interesting topic… it does seem that the interplay with narrators really provides some great fodder for riffing. “Speech: Using your Voice” has some great ones, as the narrator is just classic and J&tB really play off him well. “Do I please you? Do you find me pleasing?” “Always use a wire rack.”

    For me, one that sticks out is not a riff, but the host segment in “Attack of the Mole People” where Mike poses as the professor/scientist narrator guy who introduces the movie (presumably to give it some credibility… seriously!?) Mike’s great, even though the robots dis’ him. “Down, down, down….”. That one’s always stuck with me as a hilarious bit. :laugh:

       8 likes

  13. David Mello says:

    Watching the Cheating short:

    “Was there a shadow of doubt in Miss Grandby’s face as she looked at you?”
    Or was it lust?

       8 likes

  14. Bacon truck driver says:

    EricJ: P is for pelican, whose beak can hold more than its belly can.(Joel:“P is for Plagiarism, from Ogden Nash!”)

    Y is for young.And Y is for you.(Crow:“…Get it??”)

    Tom: “Well Y is for Yanni as far as I’m concerned.” :silly:

       5 likes

  15. Jason says:

    Any from “The Days of Our Years”- they are all hilarious, but especially the narration of Joe’s fateful drive and crash (narrator- “You went through a stop sign- better take it easy Joe”
    Crow- “Get out of my head, Reverend!”

       7 likes

  16. Charlie says:

    From Why Study Industrial Arts?

    Main Character Voiceover:”I love the smell of fresh woodchips and sawdust…”
    Tom: “And I put them in my underwear!”

       7 likes

  17. Sitting Duck says:

    A Couple of years back, we had a similar weekend discussion which has a fair amount of overlap with this one.

    http://www.mst3kinfo.com/?p=17924

       0 likes

  18. Gobi says:

    How about a Weekend Discussion Thread about your favorite Weekend Discussion Thread?

       9 likes

  19. Blowie the Dolphin says:

    in SPEECH: PLATFORM POSTURE AND APPEARANCE, when the narrator states that the young lady keeps her ankles together, Crow responds, “’nuff said”.

       5 likes

  20. Grandma Blob says:

    @70 – Is that also the short when the narrator tells the guy to make the knee test and Mike says “I will not make the knee test”?

       5 likes

  21. Murdock Hauser says:

    Another one I like is from the short “X marks the spot”.

    Narrator: A guy named Joe Doaks. Yeah he looks familiar. Sure he lives on your street.
    Joel: In fact he’s under your bed right now.

       8 likes

  22. Hotchka! says:

    Another from “Uncle Jim’s Dairy Farm:”

    “It will be many years before either George or Betty…”

    -“…Learn to forgive.”

       7 likes

  23. MSTie says:

    Yes, Jay, you’re right. It’s like the church ladies repeating well-known Bible versese. It’s like guys sitting around retelling their favorite Super Bowl plays or hunting stories. It’s like kids recounting the jokes on last night’s Saturday Night Live. They all know them already.

    It’s not about being original or ground-breaking; it’s about camaraderie and being in a place where we know everyone else gets our obsession with this cow town puppet show. And I want to know if you’re made of molybdenum, too!

       10 likes

  24. Jay says:

    MSTie:
    Yes, Jay, you’re right.It’s like the church ladies repeating well-known Bible versese.It’s like guys sitting around retelling their favorite Super Bowl plays or hunting stories.It’s like kids recounting the jokes on last night’s Saturday Night Live.They all know them already.

    It’s not about being original or ground-breaking; it’s about camaraderie and being in a place where we know everyone else gets our obsession with this cow town puppet show.And I want to know if you’re made of molybdenum, too!

    Sorry, folks. No molybdenum (cue the Viagra jokes). Just injection molded plastic and a touch of Crow’s lack of social skills. By training I am a scientist (retired) and sometimes forget that peer review is not appropriate in other situations. Pardon em moi, cie vous plait? — Crow With His Arms Ripped Off

       7 likes

  25. Cherokee Jack says:

    Also, please remember that new fans are created all the time. It’s good to hear from the newbies!

       9 likes

  26. MSTie says:

    No pardon necessary, Jay/Crow With His Arms Ripped Off. Personally I can occasionally use a reminder of why I’m here and why I keep bringing up well-known riffs. I could also use reminders of why I walked into a room, but that’s another story.

    I’m so thankful you’re not That Guy Who Thinks He’s Smarter Than the Rest of Us, btw. And now, riff on!

       6 likes

  27. Steve Vil says:

    “Always remember to use plenty of lip and tongue action.”

    Joel & TB: “ahem, *coughs*, *nonchalant whistling*”

       9 likes

  28. Gentle Ben says:

    The “Gesture Professor” will do as a narrator for this if a full host segment can count as a riff.
    Down. Down…

       8 likes

  29. Jason says:

    Narrator: This story…is only…
    Servo: A first draft.

    (Phantom Planet)

       9 likes

  30. Hotchka! says:

    Also from Phantom Planet:

    “Well, that said, here’s your crappy sci-fi movie.”

    Pretty well sums up the pretentious opening.

       11 likes

  31. Lavendare says:

    There’s a bunch of new stuff available at rifftrax.com.

    1) A new Bridget and Mary Jo short: “Nobody Tells Me What To Do!”
    2) A new “Just the Jokes” from Mike, Kevin, and Bill: “Road House (2016 Three-Riffer Edition)”
    3) “Mad Monster” has been posted at the “MST3K Episodes on Rifftrax” section.

    Enjoy!

       2 likes

  32. Bellerian says:

    Terror from the Year 5000
    Narrator : Now in an isolated area in Central Florida, man struggles to penetrate the most imposing barrier of all.
    Tom : Dames!

    this one from Circus on Ice always gets to me:
    Narrator : A volley of shots bravely fired, disintegrates the menace.
    Joel : Bravely ? that thing was grazing!

    and obviously : N is for float.

       6 likes

  33. ck says:

    Offtopic:

    When you hear Rudy and Christie wax poetic over Trump being a GENIUS! for using real estate loopholes
    to not pay any taxes anyone think of Nick of Time Chasers fame?

    Crow: “I’m a GENIUS. A crop dusting GENIUS!”

       3 likes

  34. littleaimishboy says:

    “Sargassum … the weed .. of DECEIT …”

    – That’s what I smoke!

       8 likes

  35. Jay (aka Armless Crow) says:

    littleaimishboy:
    “Sargassum … the weed .. of DECEIT …”

    – That’s what I smoke!

    I have seen sargassum weed lines pushed together by the wind in the Gulf of Mexico that we’re so huge they looked like islands from a distance, so I guess sargassum really can be “a weed of deception”. I would not recommend smoking it. In fact, I would not recommend smoking anything except maybe a nice brisket. Ha!

       5 likes

  36. Terry the Sensitive Knight says:

    TERROR!!! From the YEAR FIVE-THOUSAND!!!!!!!!!

    “I’m sure you’re wondering when the Terror will show up! It is taking rather long, but we’re trying to pace ourselves!”
    “Folks, I just checked the stocks and Terror’s on back order!”

       6 likes

  37. Gare.Chicago says:

    Jacob:
    From “Last Clear Chance”:

    Narrator Cop: “It was hard to believe that just a few days ago-
    Mike: “I was being spanked by Rodney King”

    I’m pretty sure he was getting spanked by Rod McKeun.

    Anyhoo, Last Clear Chance and Days of Our Years are probably my favorite shorts of all time.

    Gare

       3 likes

  38. Jacob says:

    #88

    Thanks for the correction. I only posted that because I liked the second part of that riff and had forgotten about the first part. I just decided to post the whole thing and I had heard the riff as Rodney King.

       2 likes

  39. Ro-man says:

    Jacob: From “Last Clear Chance”

    How did I forget this one? Certainly one of the best narrator-riff shorts ever! Case in point:

    Narrator cop: “Next time… don’t tell me you were only speeding a little, only breaking the law a little, doing something a little bit wrong. Save that for somebody else, mister!”
    Crow: “Oh my God, he’s SNAPPED!”
    Tom: “He’s a bad cop on the loose!”
    Narrator cop: “…end up with someone a little bit dead.
    Mike (as Narrator): “Now I’m going grab a little bit of lunch!

    Jacob: Narrator Cop: “It was hard to believe that just a few days ago-
    Mike: “I was being spanked by Rodney King”

    Yeah, I always thought it was Rodney King, too.

       4 likes

  40. new cornjob says:

    any short with “ice” in the title, is usually a primo one to look at for narrative-folly bliss. :) (if anything then, counting the mads in for a bit of pre-riffing, then my fave still is frank’s delivery of “circus… -on ice!-” he makes it sound so venomous, it still makes me cackle madly like dr. f!)

       3 likes

  41. Mr Sack says:

    “A Date With Your Family” has the one time the episode played off a riff. When “Daughter” comes in to the living room to tell “Mother” about dinner preparations, Mike riffs “Mom, I’m pregnant.” The narrator immediately follows with “Mmm…is it that late?” There’s no reaction from Mike & The Bots, but I swear that was a set up to make the narrator talk about her period.

       4 likes

  42. ck:
    Offtopic:
    When you hear Rudy and Christie wax poetic over Trump being a GENIUS! for using real estate loopholes…

    “Honey, I’m a genius! You could kiss me! Thank you!”
    -Crow T. Robot, Manos

       4 likes

  43. crowschmo says:

    (From Johnny at the Fair).

    Narrator: Johnny can’t read the words “Chemical Wonderland.”
    Joel: Oh, we’ve all been THERE.

    (Monster a Go-Go)

    Narrator: The long wait began.
    Joel: And you’re going to see every MINUTE of it.

    (Creeping Terror)

    (When the narrator says something about a special unit)
    Servo: We’re the Special Unit – Hel-LO!

    (when the narrator mentions Dr. Bradford’s arrival and it takes a moment)
    Crow: I SAID Dr. Bradford arrived!

    Crow: What’s the narrator talking about?
    Mike: He’s way off script.

    Mike: Sorry, folks. Should’ve told you about the subplot, it even caught me, the narrator, off-guard.

    (Keeping Clean and Neat)

    Mike: In the Fifties, people responded well to authoritative, disembodied voices.

       3 likes

  44. Terry the Sensitive Knight says:

    “Remember, folks, if you die of boredom you do NOT get a free coffin. Sorry.”

       2 likes

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