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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: 609- The Sky Divers (with short: ‘Why Study Industrial Arts?’)

Short: (1956) A explanation of why boys should take shop class even if they think they’ll never need it.
Movie: (1963) Conspiracy and adultery abound at a small skydiving school.

First shown: 8/27/94
Opening: Tom’s planetarium show is disrupted
Intro: M&tB and the Mads compete in a swing choir competition
Host segment 1: Mike’s shop class doesn’t go well
Host segment 2: Crow puts himself in a “double jock lock”
Host segment 3: Tom bombs Crow
End: Crow and Tom struggle in their parachutes, letter, the Mads have switched to dodge ball
Stinger: “I don’t know. I feel real free up there in the high blue sky.”
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (259 votes, average: 4.66 out of 5)


• I love this episode. We now begin our descent into the works of one Coleman Francis. Those wondering how he got the idea he could direct probably need look no further than the extensive list of bit parts he played in Hollywood over three decades. One begins to imagine Coleman, having spent so much time on movie sets, watching actual directors work, that he began to think he could do it himself. How wrong he was. That said, this movie is probably the best of Francis’ oeuvre, which isn’t saying much, but still. You almost get caught up in it. Not quite, but almost. Plus you’ve got a classic short and a series of host segments where poor Crow suffers one hilarious indignity after another. All in all, a winner in my book.
• This episode is featured in Rhino’s “Mystery Science Theater 3000 Collection: Vol. 1.”
• The Servo in the opening is the one they use in theater (or one like it), just as Timmy the Dark Crow was the Crow they use in the theater. When they paint ’em black they make better silhouettes.
• The swing choir sketch is a classic. I had never heard of “swing choir” growing up. Our choirs were more of the “stand stock still in a robe” variety. But with the advent of “Glee” everybody understands now.
• The achingly funny short was shown at the Museum of TV event in Los Angeles in ’95. I think mentioned in a previous entry that it was really an epiphany for me, since I had never watched MST3K on a big screen with such a large group before. The crowd was just roaring with almost deafening gales of laughter. I’d seldom been in a crowd of people all laughing so hard and loud before. It really was an eye-opener.
• Tom Servo is quite correct about the “I can’t pay you but I can put your name in the credits cast list.” Word is that is exactly what it was.
• Kudos to Jef Maynard for the sawn-in-half Crow. Another great creation.
• My theory on they “why” of this movie is that Coleman guessed that sport skydiving was so novel and exciting to watch, in and of itself, that it would captivate America, and they wouldn’t notice the almost total lack of a plot.
• The ditty “sex for sundries is fun” was an immediate hit among internet MSTies.
• In addition to swing choir, I had never heard of a double jock lock. Apparently none of the bullies in my junior high school had heard of it either, thank goodness!
• I like coffee. It became an immediate catchphrase.
• Callbacks: “He’ll never touch you, Terry.” (Teenage Crimewave) ”Manos!” “No Lupita!” (from Santa Claus). “Why don’t they look?” (Last Clear Chance).
• But beyond all the other internet MSTie sensations that this episode created, far and away the hugest was Petey Plane. For a few days there, it was almost all anybody could talk about in the forums.
• Tom’s dialog in segment 3 (“splash one!”) echoes videos of laser-guided missile strikes that were being shown on TV a lot at the time.
• Jimmy Bryant may have been the only moderately talented person in the entire movie. His stuff is actually kinda good!
• Mike assumes Ike didn’t know this was going on, but since this movie was made in 1963, and he hadn’t been president for years … well, maybe he still might have objected.
• Cast and crew roundup: Cinematographer Austin McKinney was production supervisor on “The Beast of Yucca Flats.” Art director Mike Harrington also worked on “The Incredibly Strange Creatures…” Score composer John Bath also worked on “Red Zone Cuba.” Choreographer Robert Banas was an actor in “Daddy-O. In front of the camera: Titus Moede was in “Incredibly Strange Creatures.” Marcia Knight, Barbara Francis, Alan Francis, Ronald Francis were all in “Beast of Yucca Flats.” Frederic Downs was in “Red Zone Cuba,” “The Hellcats” and “Terror from the Year 5000.” Tony Cardoza produced and appeared in all three Francis films, as well as “The Hellcats.” Eric Tomlin is also in “The Hellcats” and”Beast of Yucca Flats.”
• CreditsWatch: Host segments directed by Jim Mallon.
• Fave riff from the short: “And not a killer!” Honorable mention: “I can’t get this thing back in my pants, Earl.”
• Fave riff from movie: “This is typical of young directors: too many good ideas — or, in this case, none at all.” Honorable mention: “H.R. Haldemann on drums.”

179 Replies to “Episode guide: 609- The Sky Divers (with short: ‘Why Study Industrial Arts?’)”

  1. Dean says:

    Favorite riffs
    From the short:
    1.I cant get this thing back in my pants Earl
    2.The girls had to go to the gym and watch the other film. (Probably the Home Economics Story)
    3. And my favorite riff from the short: LET IT GO MAN, SHOP CLASS IS OVER!!!!

    From the film:
    1.Skinny guy dancing crazily: “Ow, Fireants Ow.”
    2. This guy makes Mick Jagger look beefy by comparsion.
    3. When Suzy walks away from the camera:
    Crow: Lumpy Butt
    Suzy looks back at the camera:
    Mike: Stop calling me Lumpy Butt.
    4. My favorite from the film: Coleman Franics takes aim with his gun:
    Mike: I see a hippie. GET YOUR HAIRCUT HIPPIE!!!!


  2. Rob Willsey says:

    I like coffee.


  3. crowschmo says:

    #101 – Uh, no. The “OTHER” film we girls had to watch was definitely NOT about Home Economics.


  4. Miqel says:

    It’s safe to say that Jimmy Bryant was the ONLY talented person in this entire film. When I first saw this episode I was impressed to hear such a good guitarist – a twangy Les Paul-ish sound but definitely influenced by some good jazz too (i play flute & sax and can recognize a player with good chops), I was sure he had more of a career than this movie & checked the credits to find out who he was. The Wiki article says “He was billed as ‘The Fastest Guitar in the Country'”
    Anyhoo – the short is Ultra-Classic, one of the best ever. Skydivers is a great intro for someone new to MST3K, the riffing is kick-ass and the film is both terrible and fascinating …
    With all the talk of putting ACID in parachutes i’m surpried there weren’t any LSD jokes


  5. Jacob says:

    There was an acid joke (comment) though. When Suzie is talking about how to kill Harry she mentions acid, and the Fankie says acid to which Crow responds:
    “That would be the ultimate high”


  6. John says:

    One last Jimmy Bryant comment: his other notable movie work would be the soundtrack recording for “West Side Story” and he was much in demand as a session player throughout the fifties and sixties. His recording of “Little Rock Getaway” is how he got the reputation of fastest guitar in the country.


  7. TBS says:

    This was one of my late mothers’s fovorite shorts.

    Mike imitating the creepy southern guy making the table. “I’m making it for the grand wizard”

    Mike imitating the gym teacher talking about how industial arts helped him when he had car trouble. “I can open the door.” with Servo imitating him whining “HELP! Help me I can’t do anything about it! Help!”

    The guy on the roof of a building “I forgot the door!”

    Were some of her favorite riffs form the short.


  8. Darthdemona says:

    So, which is more pathetic: the fact that I WANTED to be in swing choir, or the fact that I tried out for it in middle school and all through high school and was never accepted, even though I once practiced the choreography for one of the auditions so hard that I gave myself whiplash?

    On a somewhat related note, I too enjoy the musical stylings of Jimmy Bryant.


  9. This Guy says:

    I guess there was another joke about Babe Ruth on guitar. Teach me to do better research, I suppose.


  10. Brian Schlosser, Lurker says:

    There was a three or four month period after seeing this one where the phrase “But I wanna be a hairdresser” would pop out of my mouth, totally unbidden…


  11. bobhoncho says:

    Anyone else love that buxom redhead?! I couldn’t get enough of her! HOOOWWWWLLLL!!!! Also, the short has to be one of the funniest in the history of the series. “What about girls, young man?!”


  12. Petey's Biggest Fan says:

    I really loved all the Petey Plane riffs.
    “It’s Petey Plaaaane! It’s Petey Plaaa…”
    “Shut up and taxi, Petey.”

    “Send your postcards to me, Petey Plane, care of this station!”

    The last line with all the planes (Petey, Skipper, Proppy, and Wing-Wing) did make me a little sad though. Mostly because a huge chunk of my childhood was made up of shows like “Petey Plane” such as Thomas the Tank Engine (which I really loved), Theodore Tugboat, and Jay-Jay the Jet Plane.


  13. Petey's Biggest Fan says:

    Oh, I forgot to mention Petey’s Dad.
    “Is Petey off on another adventure?”


  14. Gary Bowden says:

    “Coffee? I like coffee!” “Her helmet shifted!” “Are you going to have a baby now?” “I’m thinking of cupcakes,but I don’t know why”. “It’s Petey Plane”.”Oh,look,the big one is back!”..From the short “I like to put them in my underwear!” “Oh,look,someone didn’t flush”..One of my favorite episodes.It has great host segments,a funny short and a Coleman Francis movie that’s more tolerable than the other 2..


  15. robot rump! says:

    there’s so many fundamental laws of nature broken in this movie. having said that i still love this episode. i agree with Sampo that this has to be Francis’s most coherent.which no is not saying much at all.
    ‘oh look the previous owner didn’t flush.’


  16. Dan in WI says:

    Let me open with a valid question: Are you ashamed of Uranus?

    I absolutely love the Tom Star Show. I guess it is sophomoric but here it is all in the heckling style of the sketch and Crow’s relentless questions that makes it great. In a way it is kind of meta. I a turn the tables kind of way Tom is the brunt of the treatment given to the movies in the theater. It was a great sketch.

    Frank has a good one describing how Dr. F. was scorned by swing choir. “It made you mad. It made you mean mad.”

    Frank also describes Skydivers well. “It’s kind of like Manos without the lucid plot.”

    You know it was this episode that inspired me to start my extruded plastic dingus collection. All I can say is thank god for eBay.

    During the opening dance party Crow riffs “This is just a typical Brainerd International Raceway party.” As a road racing/sports car racing fan this one hit home for me. I’ve been to this track in the late ‘70’s when I was quite young. I don’t remember a lot but I recall it being decent enough. It is a shame it never became all that big even as natural terrain road courses go. In the early ‘70’s it did host the original Can-Am series and not a lot (drag racing yes, but road races not so much) since then.

    Tom sure uses a lame excuse “my arms don’t work” for not completing his shop project. Meanwhile the Toolmaster sure had an ambitious project to create two working half Crow’s for this sketch.

    Anyway this episode closes with a strong revelation. “Turns out Frank here is a little puss.”

    Favorite Riffs:
    A lady is inspecting a bathroom in a home for sale: Tom “oh the previous tenant didn’t flush.”

    During an airplane action scene: Crow “Sounds like Superman’s out there.”

    Mike “Hey I can see my feet from here.”

    Mike as the wife praying at the diner table “Now I lay me down to eat.”

    A guy is riding a motorcycle and Crow sings in a slow droning tone “Get your motor running.”

    Two absolutely indistinguishable guys are having a fistfight.
    Crow “I want the dark haired guy to win.”
    Mike “The one in the dark cloths?”

    Jon Lovitz look alike is on screen. Mike “yeaaahhhh. That’s the ticket.”

    Crow during a jump “Hey I can see my Earth from up here.”


  17. Sitting Duck says:

    John M. Hanna #51: Also, anyone notice that in every one of Coleman’s films, there is a scene of lawmen gunning down unarmed people?

    And it’s usually from airplanes.

    Favorite riffs:

    I keep Popular Mechanics under my matress.

    If only he had taken an industrial arts course.

    Oh no, this is my camping gear!

    I get to be the stewardess this time.

    I’ll be the stain on the runway.

    Was this suppose to be attatched to my jockstrap.
    (Interesting that this one was made shortly before the double jock lock sketch.)

    Hey, where’s Squishy?

    I forgot my line. Let’s trash this scene.

    Frolicking has never been so depressing.

    Filmed in DespairVision.
    (So true.)

    Susan, don’t hit me but we need gas.

    If only she had slept with the paramedics.


  18. Tom Carberry says:

    If you look real close and quick you will notice that the Chemist/Pharmacist is played by Frederic Downs (born May 16, 1916 in Corpus Christi, Texas, died April 24, 1998 in Los Angeles, CA). We will see him in Season 8’s ‘Terror from the Year 5000’ playing Professor Howard Erling. He is also in Red Zone Cuba in a very small part. I’ll bet back in 1958 he couldn’t see this coming for his acting career. The airport featured was Quartz Hill (Elevation 2450 feet) airport near Palmdale, California. It is now a housing development.

    Favorite lines (Why Study Industrial Arts):

    [stitching leather purse] “…or in leather.” Who am I kidding? This will never go with my outfit.
    Any talk of Unions brings the threat of reprisals at this school.
    It looks like he made his shirt out of wood.
    This is the film the boys had to watch and the girls had to go to the gym and watch the ‘other’ film.

    Favorite lines (The Skydivers):

    So the Spruce Goose is chaperoning a teen party.
    This is an “I can’t pay you but I’ll put your name in the credits” cast list. The Ten Commandments had a smaller cast than this.
    Marlo Thomas [Beth] is that guy…Loretta Lynn in Co-Pilot’s Daughter.
    [Harry] Hey, here’s a tip, don’t buy the Tommy Kirk workout video.
    [serving dinner] The monitor lizard looks delicious.
    Doodles Weaver is Eraserhead.
    [Suzy] She’s got more pancake [on] than the IHOP.
    She’s got teeth like a Ferengi.
    [male dancer] Mick Jagger looks beefy compared to this guy.
    George Herman [Babe] Ruth on guitar.
    H.R. Haldeman on Drums.
    I still like this movie better than ‘Top Gun’…a lot better.
    [Coleman Francis] Pat Buchanan with a gun.

    Final Thought: This movie is as bleak as the scenery. I give this one 2 out of 5 stars.


  19. sol-survivor says:

    I love this episode. I have even watched the uncut version of Skydivers included on the flip side of the disc from Volume 1 several times.

    I have to pass a skydiving school when I go visit my brother in a different town. From the little research I did on the place I found out that it’s run by a husband and wife team. That may or may not be a requirement for this kind of business, I guess. I think of this episode every time I drive by and see the sign. I haven’t seen anyone actually skydiving but I have seen several small planes circling around. I think one of them might have been Petey Plane. Or maybe it was Wing-Wing.


  20. Mitchell "Rowsdower" Beardsley says:

    May be my least favorite episode ever. Not even worth sitting through. This is the low point for me.

    I’ll go now!


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

    Coleman Francis’s movies are one of the best types for MST3K because they’re movies that almost nobody would sit through under any other circumstances. And for every Coleman Francis, there are, heck, I dunno, FIVE crappy directors we’ve never heard of at all.

    Still, say what you want about the guy, at least he got movies MADE. That’s more than a lot of the rest of the world will ever be able to say…

    “Yeah, I made a crummy movie. >belch< What kinda }snort{ movie'd YOU make?"


  22. jjb3k says:

    This is unique among the Coleman Francis trilogy, in that the Brains don’t seem to know who Coleman Francis is yet – they never mention him by name, nor do they recognize him when he’s on screen. Thus, unlike “Red Zone Cuba” and “The Beast of Yucca Flats” where most of the riffing is aimed at what an awful director Francis was, the riffing on “The Skydivers” is more about the weird cast of characters and how odd the notion is that skydiving could carry a whole movie. It’s a lighter, more fun approach to a really dopey film.

    But before we get there, we have a couple of great intro segments (“Well over five hundred miles per hour!”) and my favorite short, “Why Study Industrial Arts”. I still show this one to people who’ve never seen the show before. It’s a great example of what they can do when they’re on full power. (“Okay, we can use the toaster or the lamp.”) Also, I think it’s the only time the show ever made a Hudsucker Proxy reference (“Extruded plastic dingus”), which is awesome.

    “Is Frankie here?”
    “Frankie’s not here.”
    “Frankie goes to Hollywood.” Right out of the gate, the movie scores a gut-buster. :D

    Ah, Tony Cardoza, the man with one facial expression. Even at the end when he dies, he still looks bored.

    Great goofy moment – Frankie drives his motorcycle behind a barn, but it looks like he’s driving through it, and Mike and the bots all make appropriate surprised animal sounds. Crow’s “Hey, you get that motorcycle outta this here barn!” makes me laugh like an idiot. :)

    “And Frankie, if I ever catch you around here again, I’ll break both your legs.”
    “What if I don’t bring ’em with me?”

    “It seems like they forgot to have things happen in this movie.” That may just be my all-time favorite riff. It’s so perfectly on the nose, and what’s more, there’s hundreds of other movies it can be applied to. :D

    Say what you will about Coleman Francis, at least he actually attempted to have characters and a story in this movie. That’s a hell of a lot more than I can say about his other two films. I love all the nutty supporting characters, like the loony photographer who just sits at home and looks at his pictures. “Will there be mashed potatoes?”

    Oh dear, how I love the Petey Plane stuff. Mike and the bots see that little mouth-shaped thing on the front of the plane and that’s all they need. “You know, without Petey, the whole town could have been flooded!”

    Titus Moede really does look like Jim Carrey from certain angles. It’s not the last time they’ll mention it, either – he shows up again in “The Incredibly Strange Creatures…”, prompting an “Alllllrighty then!” from Mike.

    “Now that there is the butt of choice.”
    “Yeah, it won the Palme D’Butt at Cannes.”
    “…Heh, can.” :D

    I love when Jimmy Bryant launches into “Ah-So” and Crow just goes “Thank you, that’s good, that’s enough.” Just what I was thinking.

    So what’s the deal with that ten-second scene where Jon Lovitz tells two old people how to skydive, then we never see any of them again? Was Coleman just trying to cram everybody he knew into one movie?

    “A stranger comes to town, touches no one’s life, then leaves.” Yep, pretty much. :)


  23. Cheapskate Crow says:

    I remember when this episode came out it was hyped as the best/worst thing since Manos. IMO this comes nowhere close to Manos just because the movie is virtually unwatchable. Characters come in and out and all look the same. Nothing happens a lot. At least Manos had a score, for crying out loud! The ep gets off to a great start with the swing choir and planetarium but just dies in the movie. And this is from someone who loves Manos.


  24. snowdog says:

    I enjoy this episode a lot. The movie is poorly shot, poorly edited, and contains what may well be some of the worst acting in MSTdom. Watch and listen as the two dark-haired, dark-dressed men try to talk to each other after their fight. Having said that, I find the movie strangely watchable. At least it doesn’t rely on narration to tell the story (although it might have benefited from small doses of it). It’s definitely the best of the evil Francis trilogy.

    Unusually high number of anatomy jokes in this one, almost reaching Rifftraxian levels.

    Crow takes a pounding in the host segments, all of which I enjoyed.


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

    #95: Uh…why a carhop at the jump party? Well, I guess it makes as much sense as the Scottsman. Just get as many goofy getups as possible, I suppose.

    She just got off work?

    Skydivers City was the Springfield before there was a Springfield…


  26. Stefanie says:

    One of my most favorite shorts ever done in MST3k, and I just love the swing choir bit!!


  27. ck says:

    The dining scenes with wifey and the (hero?) were classics,
    they hurt a whole lot…not as much as in college when the
    student union once featuring Virgin Spring and Wild Strawberries
    back to back (many then impressionable college students are said
    to still suffer from psychic scars).

    See, Dr. Forrester and Pearl could have been more evil.


  28. Blast Hardcheese says:

    I have to confess that it took me three tries before I finally saw this episode all the way through–definitely not one for a newcomer. However, now it’s one of my favourites, adding to the highlights of the already-wonderful Season Six. Petey Plane, Coffee, the thrilling chase scene through France…um, California at the end: it’s brilliant stuff. And you have to admit–while the film isn’t quite “like ‘Manos,’ only without the charm”, none of the actors in “Manos” was quite as wooden or expressionless as Tony Cardoza. On the other hand–would we have known anything about Love’s Pit Barbecue’s [sic] without this film? Wouldn’t that have been a bad thing?

    Soda crackers scare me, too. No, I don’t know why, either.


  29. Kitty Reed says:

    Poor dumb Frankie. He was born to be wild. His mom said so!


  30. schippers says:

    Has anyone mentioned how hair-helmet wifey is, um, not particularly feminine, in a slightly disturbing way? The more times I watch this ep, the more I find myself wondering if she was a transexual, or maybe had a little y in her xx. Or maybe it’s just the SAVAGE hair helmet and the coveralls.


  31. big61al says:

    Coleman Francis was weirdly obsessed with coffee. There is so much coffee in this film it should be listed in the actors credits.


  32. Rose from NJ says:

    Fave moment – when the huge woman bends the shirtless guy backwards a few times and Crow makes painful crunching noises.


  33. JohnnyRyde says:


    Is that riff a reference to something? It’s hilarious, but I can’t figure out why…


  34. losingmydignity says:

    Huh, no review from me earlier for one of my favorite eps?

    Okay, then. I’m a big fan of The Coleman. Let’s say I was hugely disappointed when I discovered he only made these three film that were msted. I wanted more. Skydivers is my second favorite, a nine in my scoring because it never has a moment that knocks me out of my chair, but it is one of the most consistently riffed and enjoyable eps of the show’s run (short included).
    The Coleman’s films occupy their own twilight world–one that is part existential angst and part b-movie trappings. The fact that he doesn’t get either right is what continually amazes me. He created his own genre. He is, in his own way, an accidental genius (that’s going to be the name of my Coleman biography, I guess, The Accidental Genius). Hence, the Bergman and Eraserhead references. Coleman, I love you.



  35. Watch-out-for-Snakes says:

    This is one of my favorite Mike episodes, I’ve watched it dozens of times, everything in it is funny. The swing choir opening, the FANTASTIC short (which happens to be my all time FAVORITE short), the Host Segments, and the weird, terrible movie that introduces us to the world of Coleman Francis and coffee as a major plot point.

    Things start with this great intro from Frank: “Hey Nel-stone. You know why I call you Nel-stone? ‘Cause you are so stoned, man… You wake and bake every day. You are so high…”
    Dr. F: “FRANK! What are you doing?”
    Frank: “I really don’t know..”

    -other standout lines from the great swing choir bit—–

    Frank: “It made you mad, it made you mean mad.”

    Dr. F: “My costumes were FABULOUS!”

    from the short, WHY STUDY INDUSTRIAL ARTS?:

    Crow: “Because you’re bad at math?”

    Mike: “Why, you can make your own bomb.”

    Servo: “..or skin, if you can get it.”

    Mike: “I thrust the nail into the soft YIELDING wood..”

    Mike: “The piercing screams of a freeshman.”

    Crow: “I keep Popular Mechanics underneath my mattress.”

    Mike: “I’m making this for the Grand Wizard.”

    Crow: “A new fangled bong. hehehe..”

    Mike: “Oh you would never believe where those Keebler cookies come from.”

    Servo: “Tool Operator.. Tooooool….”

    Crow: “Here, gimme this. Wrong! WRONG! Do it AGAIN!”

    Mike: “Don, there’s a lovely kill room in here.”

    Crow: “The semi-nude club.”

    Mike: “Say ‘body’ again, sir.”

    movie THE SKYDIVERS:

    Mike: “Hey, “Big J”….hehehehehe..”

    Crow: “Lumpy butt!”

    Crow: “Terror at Sea Level.”

    Crow: “Someone with attention deficit disorder edited this thing.”

    Servo: “I weeeeeeeeet ’em…”

    Mike: “Enjoy this tribute to white, white bodies.”

    Servo: “Harry Reems?”

    Servo: “The last 2000 feet is the quickest.”

    Mike: “Why I think they’re leatherboys, dear.”

    Crow: “A stranger comes to town, touches nobody’s life, and leaves.”

    classic episode, highly quotable,
    this is a great one to show newbies to the show,
    the short is killer,
    one of the tops of Season 6,

    :coffee: :coffee: :coffee: :coffee: :coffee:


  36. Creeping-Death says:

    A great episode, 5 stars all the way. A great short and a great movie to match. Suzy was the woman in Beast of Yucca Flats who Crow stated of: “That’s a hard face. That’s a face that challenges you.”. Coleman’s family was throughout the movie, Pete, the guy who died was a relative, his sons were in it, as was his wife and himself, of course.

    Anyone else think that Francis had the hots for the African-American girl in the dance at the end? He liked to have the camera focused on her and a lot of close ups of her nice butt.

    Almost all of the lines are great, but here are the favorites:

    For the short:
    Joe [voiceover]: You know, it’s fun to have an idea.
    Mike [as Joe]: There, wasn’t that fun?

    Joe: And you know, I like the feel of a board moving smoothly against a sharp saw.
    Mike [as Joe]: [luridly] …then I thrust the nail into the soft, yielding wood…
    Joe: I like the smell of fresh wood chips and sawdust…
    Servo [as Joe]: [nervously] I put them in my underwear!
    Joe: …the bright glare of a welder…
    Crow [as Joe]: [wobbily] I like to sneak in and lay on the table saw!
    Servo [as Joe]: Yes!
    Joe: …the sharp whine of the power tools…
    Mike [as Joe]: …the piercing scream of a freshman…
    Joe: …or the dull tap-tap of tools on leather.
    Crow [as Joe]: [wobbily] Tap ta-tap-tap… I keep Popular Mechanics under my mattress!
    Servo: The feeling of chaps with no pants!

    Servo [as Mr. Barnes]: [woodenly] We’ll need actors. People who can read. Lines with… and interact with others.

    Mr. Barnes: Tool operators.
    Crow, Servo: [singing] Tool operator… Tooooooool operator…

    For the movie:

    The Petey the Plane jokes

    Crow: What’s the point of a helmet in skydiving? In case you land on your head?

    Mike: Generic Plane. Cheaper than other planes.

    Bernie: …Feels good, making like a bird, floating around up there.
    Mike [as Bernie]: Poopin’ on people.

    All the Jokes at Frankie’s expense.

    Suzy: Well, Frankie, are you chicken?
    Mike: (as Frankie)Let’s see now, am I a chicken? Well I don’t have a comb, or a gizzard, but sometimes I ingest gravel to grind my food…


  37. not a hipster cheapskate says:

    @119–Since you’ve watched the unriffed version–is there anything left out of the film in the MST version? I doubted there was anything in there beyond what we saw but sometimes in the originals there’s a key scene or conversation that brings some element of the movie into focus at last.


  38. losingmydignity says:

    I forgot to mention how classic swing choir and the other host segs are. Ace.


  39. Fred Burroughs says:

    Count me as a Kevin Casey fan (the coffee wife of Tony Cardoza). She’s attractive, possesses an air of competence and compassion, and she can actually act. In short, she’s the only appealing character in any Coleman Francis movie. Her hairspray (which was fashionable at the time) and jumpsuit don’t bother me at all.

    I was saddened to hear that Coleman Francis never made a 4th movie; however, if he did, it would surely end with some deputized lawman shooting at fugitives from a light plane. BTW, that happens in a few MST films and it is science fiction: you have almost no chance of hitting anything on the ground from a moving plane. Unless you have belt-fed 50-caliber MGs spraying thousands of bullets in the general direction.


  40. sol-survivor says:

    @137-Nothing really earthshaking (not even by another jumper going splat). Mostly more shots of skydiving and some more bizarre onlookers. I don’t remember if anyone had some coffee.


  41. Cornjob says:

    And thus begins the descent into madness that is the world of Coleman Francis. Ahh, Coleman Francis: Writer, actor, director, high ranking minion of Satan, and maker of incoherent movies that make you want to kill yourself. And Tony Cardoza, a man so bored and boring that he’s been declared legally dead in several states. Filmed on location in the Twilight Zone, the insanity begins with The Skydivers. Enjoy.


  42. Opus says:

    I always laugh uproariously at MATB riffing the end credits, saying how each one died in a mysterious parachuting accident and are amazed there’s an actor named “Bob”.


  43. robot rump! says:

    the comparison had been made before that Tony Cardoza was Nicolas Cage before there was a Nicolas Cage. and that got me to thinking, Tony often played the role of the lethargic, sometimes overwhelmed by life trailer park hero. It could be said that many of Cage’s roles are more or less the same guy with a few exceptions where he is wildly over the top and occasionally chewing up some scenery. to my recollection, the most animated i ever saw Cardoza was his shockingly frantic take on a KGB agent in the Coleman classic Beast of Yucca Flats. has anyone noticed our laid back hero in another role where he approaches an emotion? just curious.


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


    I think it’s a reference to Lenny from Of Mice and Men, but I’m not sure.


  45. John R. Ellis says:

    “It’s the Dark Grandma of Death!!!”

    I love this episode. So many goofy inexplicable oddments, uneasily mixed in with adultery, murder, death, pain, and depression, all filmed in achingly low budget 1960s black and white, performed by flat, affected actors.

    It made for brilliant riffing.


  46. Canucklehead says:

    “I can’t get this thing back in my pants, Earl,” is the funniest line from the short. I tear up and giggle insanely every time I hear it. :-)


  47. Thomas K. Dye says:

    I think there should be a list of “songs you LIKE from MST movies…”

    For me, it would be…

    5) Motorhead, “Ace of Spades,” from Zombie Nightmare
    4) The Platters, “Wish It Were Me” from Girls Town
    3) The Kevin Danzig Band, “Happy Today” from Soultaker
    2) The Beau Brummels, “When It Comes To Your Love” from Village of the Giants


    1) Jimmy Bryant, “Stratosphere Boogie”


  48. Goshzilla says:

    @ #147: Off the top of my head, I’d add “Zombie Stomp” by the Del-Aires from Horror Of Party Beach to that list. In fact, I like all the songs they did in that movie.

    @ #133: I’ve wondered the same thing. It sounds very Lenny-esque but I don’t remember him saying it in of Mice And Men. One thing I am certain of – it makes me laugh every time.

    Opinions will differ, but I maintain that this is about as close to a perfect episode as MST3K ever got. 5 star movie, 5 star short, 4 1/2 star sketches.

    I LIKE coffee. :coffee:


  49. Cornjob says:


    Tony Cardoza did show a little animation as the painter being menaced by bikers in Hellcats. Or maybe it was Wild Rebels. Anyway, Tony was probably in the middle of a meth binge that day. Maybe he got into Mr. B’s stash.


  50. Sitting Duck says:

    Does anyone know who Dr. F. may have been impersonating in the way he said fabulous during the swing choir host segment?

    Funny thing. A few weeks ago I encountered a reference to Coleman Francis in (of all things) a column on Japanese video games. The columnist was talking about this deluxe release of a game (I think it’s one of the Tales RPG franchise) that comes with a tea cup. He remarked that he no idea why a tea cup, but that perhaps tea is to that game what coffee is to a Coleman Francis film.


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