Movie: (1964) An air force pilot is eager to learn to fly the F-104 jet, and that means mid-air refueling.
First shown: 10/29/94
Opening: Crow tries to log onto the information super-highway
Intro: The Mads have cranial ports; but M&tB have Cowboy Mike’s barbecue sauce and it’s bold!
Host segment 1: While he and Tom reenact the refueling scene, Crow misses a call
Host segment 2: The bots “debrief” Mike
Host segment 3: The United Servo Academy Men’s Chorus performs
End: Crow finally logs onto the information super-highway, Mike reads a letter, the Mads are sharing their thoughts
Stinger: Lady elbows hubby
• This episode is especially near and dear to me. The movie is JUST. SO. BAD. The riffing is great, considering how little they had to work with, and the host segments are silly and endearing.
• This episode is included in The Mystery Science Theater 3000 Collection, Vol. 12
• Ah, 1994, the year that most people discovered the “online” world, and we began to hear a certain automotive metaphor. By the way, Al Gore didn’t invent the Internet, but he did coin the phrase “information superhighway.”
A personal story: In 1994 I was working for an electronics retailing trade magazine, and one of the big stories of that year was that some electronics retailers (anybody remember Circuit City?) were just starting to carry computers, though nobody (including my boss!) could really say why, exactly, a consumer would want one. And keep in mind that modems were often not standard equipment on many of the computers that were coming to market at that time. Having been online (mostly on Prodigy and AOL) for a couple of years at that point, I tried to explain that “going online” was going to be the killer app for these things. He had no idea what I was talking about and refused to let me do a story about it. He was fired a few months later.
• A quick whois lookup shows that one John Bresee in Park City, Utah, owns the domain biteme.com. No word if there is a “email@example.com” address working.
• In the comments, several experts explained the “looking for uart at fx1050” prompt–essentially it’s saying that there’s a hardware/software conflict, probably involving the modem.
• I love how Crow starts dancing slightly to the hold music as he waits.
• That’s Kevin as the first tech support voice. The next voice is Jim, I think, then the live voice is Paul.
• “It’s bold!!” became an immediate catchphrase.
• I sometimes note especially “naughty” riffs, but it would be impossible to do for this episode. There are dozens during the refueling scenes. My favorite is: “I think he has whiskey jet.”
• Non-spaghetti ball bumpers: datebook, beaker, film canister.
• I once showed this episode to my brother, who was an Air Force pilot. He hated it.
• There was much discussion in online MSTie forums about Crow and Tom, ahem, “refueling.”
• There’s an extreme closeup on the phone at one point, and, based on the spray paint flecks on it, I assume it’s been laying around in the prop room.
• Notable theater moment: Mike and Servo get up and dance.
• Those bouncing bombs looked strange to me but several commenters explained that with low-level bombing you need time to get away and the bouncing is designed to give the pilot that.
• Art riff: “Christo’s latest installa-[boom]…well, good.”
• Random riff: Crow just blurts out: “I hope they blow up Blossom.” (Glad they didn’t.)
• Callbacks: “Shut up Iris.” (The Beatniks), “People seemed to laugh more then:”(Stranded in Space), “Eegah” and “Watch out for snakes!” (Eegah).
• Then-current reference: Tailhook. Honorable mention: “Marilu Henner is replacing Vicky!”
• The topic of corn de-tassling also got a lot of discussion in the forums.
• Segment 2 is great, and I know that many female fans of Mike enjoyed the notion of him being debriefed (tighty whitey alert!)
• Servo does something they rarely do on the show–he takes note of the reel change alert in the corner of the screen and comments on it.
• As if the previous great segments weren’t enough, in segment 3 we are treated to a performance by the United Servo Academy chorus. Kevin wrote both the music and lyrics and I assume spent hours overdubbing himself into four-part harmony. The commenters explained that Mike is imitating Bill McGlaughlin from the local classical music radio show “St. Paul Sunday.”
• Somebody once dissected the lyrics of the song, indicating where every line was stolen from. This has links to almost all them. By the way, if you’d like to hear/see a very nice live version of the song, check out this now-legendary moment from the first JoCo Cruise.
• One of the few Cheech and Chong references comes as Tom Servo imitates Sister Mary Elephant.
• As soon as the character on screen says “poopie suit,” that’s it. Off Tom and Crow go on a long string of scatology, and there’s no stopping them. Mike’s Joel-esque pleas for them to stop fall on deaf ears.
• The “Boogers” incident actually happened, according to the ACEG.
• There is no cast/crew roundup. Nobody involved in this movie worked on any other MSTed movie.
• CreditsWatch: Host segments directed by Jim Mallon. For interns David J. Belmont, Shannon McNeely and Peter Nicolai, this was the final episode they worked on.
• Fave riff: “You know, it’s all kind of dull until you remember how sharp those wings are.” Honorable mention: “Found him! He was under a pile of blankets in my room.”