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Episode guide: 614- San Francisco International

Movie: (1970) Series pilot in which the administrators of a large metropolitan airport must deal with several crises and problems.

First shown: 11/19/94
Opening: Tom and Crow have a political debate on politics
Intro: The Mads are construction workers, M&TB do the old board routine
Host segment 1: It’s Urkel! Hahahahaha!
Host segment 2: It’s still Urkel! Hahahahaha!
Host segment 3: More Urkel hilarity until Torgo has his say
End: Comments on the movie, Tom and Mike read letters, Dr. F.’s ears
Stinger: “My job, my way.”
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (169 votes, average: 4.38 out of 5)


• Ah, the TV pilot: they usually have great riffablilty and the riffing really clicks here. And that’s good because the Urkel host segments are, for me, a long walk to not much of a payoff. As for the other segments, I do like the political debate at the beginning, and Trace and Frank are hilarious as the shirtless contractors, but the ever-increasing ears bit at the end doesn’t do much for me either (though whoever created the ears deserves kudos).
• This episode is not currently available on DVD.
• Callbacks: “Shut up Iris.” (The Beatniks) “o/` Laaaa-da-da-daaaa o/` (The Starfighters), “Megaweapon!” (Warrior of the Lost World)
• Perhaps the ultimate “then-current reference:” This ep was made in the heyday, such as it was, of Jaleel White’s rein of terror as wacky neighbor Steve Urkel on TV’s “Family Matters.” He really did loom large on the cultural landscape at that point, and the segments really do take you through the stages of feelings most people had toward him. But topicality has its dangers and this is a classic example.
• Clu Gulagher was the only cast member from the pilot to be asked back when the show went to series. It started airing in 1970 in rotation on NBC’s “Four-in-One.” (The other three series were “McCloud,” “Night Gallery” and “The Psychiatrist”). Pernell Roberts, as was noted by the riffers, was replaced by Lloyd Bridges, and new characters were added. It only ran three episodes.
• Celebrity dirt: Robert Sorrells, who plays the big-eared thug who kidnaps David Hartman’s wife, pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in 2005. On the afternoon of July 24, 2004, he shot and killed one guy and wounded another guy in a Los Angeles bar where he had been kicked out earlier. Sorrells had reportedly been depressed over the death of his mother and his dog. He was sentenced to 32 years to life, and as far as I know he’s still behind bars.
• Great repeating bit: the kitty noises Crow makes every time somebody jabs a knife into a bag.
• Non-spaghetti-ball bumpers: Beaker, date book, bulletin board.
• Cast and crew roundup: Costume guy Charles Waldo also worked on “Riding with Death.” Makeup guy Bud Westmore did a bunch of MSTed movies, including “This Island Earth,” “Revenge of the Creature,” “The Leech Woman.” “The Mole People,” “The Deadly Mantis” and “The Thing That Couldn’t Die.” Set designer John McCarthy also worked on “Radar Men from the Moon” and “Kitten With a Whip.”
In front of the camera, Clu Gulagher was also in “Master Ninja I.” Van Johnson was in “Superdome.” Walter Brooke was also in “Space Travelers,” and “Bloodlust.” Jim B. Smith was also in “Mitchell.” Frank Gerstle was also in “Atomic Brain.”
• CreditsWatch: Host segments directed by Kevin Murphy. One Tim Paulson, who had worked as an editor for a total of 15 episodes in seasons two and three, returns to the editing booth for the remainder of the season. For the record, that’s Mary Jo as Jan in the Pan, Paul as Huggy Bear, Patrick as Rooster, Bridget as Nuveena (though the credits said “herself”), Kevin as Santa, Paul as Pitch and Mike as Torgo.
• Fave riff: “The answer, my friend, is blow it out your ass.” Honorable mention: “You know, Tab Hunter was Troy Donahue at one point.” “If only I had some thread — oh wow!”

124 comments to Episode guide: 614- San Francisco International

  • 1
    swh1939 says:

    David Hartman thought the host segments were mushy.


  • 2
    I'm not a medium, I'm a petite says:

    I can only give this one 3 stars.

    The movie is so slight and drab as to hardly be there at all. The rhythms of the various plotlines makes no sense to me, it’s a mess and hard to watch. The riffing is solid, but I think they are hampered by the drabness.

    The interminable scene with Joe Businessman trying to have Bob Flowerchild arrested for assualt seems to go on for what… a week ?
    But Clugu Lager is outta sight.

    Agree with Sampo… Debate and Contractors are good, especially Contractors, which had a lot of meat to it, in more ways than 2 Smile The rest were weak… I like the idea of rounding up all the characters, but the Urkel part itself was weak. Big ears was just odd.

    I do like the Bonanza jokes though. And the ‘Tab’ riff complex was very good too.

    Let’s split this Tab….


  • 3
    Ryan says:

    Hey, I liked Urkel back in the day. The joke goes on too long, which is the point, but that doesn’t make it funnier. But seeing all the other characters is great, particularly TORGO! I love Torgo. Also, it’s deliciously meta to have a good Mike impersonation commenting dissaprovingly on a bad Mike impersonation.


  • 4
    jjb3k says:

    Again, I’m one of the select few who thinks this episode is great all the way through. Even the Urkel skits get a laugh – it’s just the Brains’ over-wrought way of saying “Hey, Urkel’s not funny”, but I love all the walk-ons from previous SOL and Deep 13 guests, not to mention the fact that it’s Torgo of all people who makes them realize that the emperor has no clothes, as it were. I always knew Torgo was smarter than he let on…

    TV movies from the ’70s almost always make for good riffing, but the fact that this one came in mid-Season 6 when the Brains had their A-game going makes it twice as funny. All the converging plot points from kidnapped wifey to plane-stealing Davey make for great comedy. In fact, the last 25 minutes after Davey steals the plane give us some of the funniest riffs in the entire season. (“I’m gonna shave my back!”, “I’m a car, and the plane is…”, “The faces of those you’ve wronged will be floating up on your left”, “Now, Davey! Pull the throttle out now!” “But before you do that…!”, etc.)

    Also, count me in as someone who laughed uproariously at Trace’s “REEEOW!” whenever the bad guy tears open a bag of money. It’s just so hilariously non-sequitur, and they don’t even have to say “Oh, there’s a cat in here!” Trace’s yowls are enough.

    “Now if I could only find some wire, I could– HOLY COW!”


  • 5
    Richard R. says:

    I don’t recall liking this episode that much when it first ran, although I have warmed to it over the years. It seemed like a weird movie choice at the time.

    I’m with Torgo: I never cared much for Urkel. (One tries not to use the phrase “I’m with Torgo” too often…) It was a good excuse to bring back all the past characters for cameos.

    Favorite lines:

    “The answer, my friend, is blow it out your ass.”
    “There’s a Grace Slick on the runaway.”
    “Jeez, they overbooked the credits.”
    “I’ve never spanked a member of the Ponderosa.”
    “This is what lonely people did before sci-fi conventions.”
    “It’s like a dense smug rolling in.”
    “Davey, you’re going to meet a man in a black robe who will want to play chess with you…”

    In fact, all the ragging on Davey was hysterically harsh (a combination only they can get away with.) Still, he deserved it.

    The list goes on…

    It’s not one of my top favorite episodes, but whenever I put it on I end up liking it a lot more than I think I will, if that makes any sense.

    It does remind me of the opening line from Douglas Adams’ “Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul”: “It can hardly be a coincidence that no language on Earth has ever produced the expression ‘As pretty as an airport.’” The sludgy orange-brown cinematography (courtesy of Old Hickory) actually improves the *appearance* of the airport (I’ve been in and out of San Francisco International a few times.)


  • 6
    Kenotic says:

    I thought Urkel was amusing his first 2-3 years, then the show pretty much revolved around him, others characters disappeared and the story got really dumb. Around the time the audience claps for a person when they come on stage (Urkel, Kramer, Fonzie, Exidor – I think) is the time they start to get tiresome.


  • 7

    Another one that I’ve only seen once while working on other things at the same time so I can’t offer a thorough analysis other than a favorite riff:

    “Forgive me, father, for I have rubbed Pernell’s toupee all over my body.”


  • 8
    The Toblerone Effect says:

    I am with I’m not a Medium here, regarding the number of stars I gave this episode; this is a middling-to-good one for me. The riffing is decent but doesn’t blow you out of your seat, and the host segments are uninspired. (Although I’ll concede that having Torgo be the one to point out Urkel’s unfunniness was itself a humorously clever move). I’m willing to bet that one of the writers had the idea to bring back many past “visitors” of the show all at once, and they figured the Urkel angle was the best way to do so.

    I actually liked the ending, with Forrester’s suddenly big and hairy ears; Frank’s “I’m sorry, I didn’t hear that?” and subsequent laughing and pointing was, I thought, a light-hearted way to end the show.

    Fav riff (it’s kinda naughty): with Tab Hunter’s character leading Katie Barrett away to be kidnapped, I think it’s Crow that says, “Forgive me Father, for I have sinned; I’ve fantasized rubbing Pernell Roberts’ toupe all over my naked body!”

    Speaking of Katie Barrett, the actress playing her, Beth Brickell, in my opinion is quite attractive, in spite of Crow calling her “made-for-TV pretty”.

    I also liked the David Hartman jokes referencing his time on “Good Morning America”. After seeing him (and all of his glorious mushiness) in this, I can see why he had a career change of sorts. Having said that, I remember watching and liking him and Joan Loundon every day on GMA as a kid. Those jokes were very nostalgic all these years later….

    ….”Now over to Spencer Christian with the weather”. Cry Man, I’m getting old!


  • 9
    Klisch says:

    This is another episode that I’ve never seen. My loss.


  • 10
    thecorman says:

    I guess I’m in the minority, having loved this one with the exception of the Urkel bits; I thought the riffing while “Davy” was on screen was some of the best of the season, and the David Hartman bits were hilarious. I wish they had done more television shows; there’s just so many openings for great riffs.


  • 11
    bad wolf says:

    The host segments here are what i imagine when people suggest getting the Rifftrax crew and the Cinematic Titanic crew together for one big jam-fest. MST just works better in a small room most times.


  • 12

    The movie’s kind of bland up until the time Davey takes the plane in flight, then the riffs get really funny. (Actually, any scene with Davey in it is hilarious, including the opening when his mother tries to tenderly explain why she and Van Johnson are breaking up.)

    DAVEY’S MOTHER: Sometimes people…
    CROW: …break up because of their kids.

    DAVEY: Are you and Dad going to have a divorce?
    CROW: Yes, and I don’t want custody.

    There are a few other funny bits, like the riffs on David Hartman’s … “unique” looks, but in general Davey’s irritating simpiness makes the film for me.

    As for Urkel… well, at least it brings Torgo back at one point, but my God, it’s annoying. Was there nothing about this film they could recreate or mock?


  • 13
    Spector says:

    I too only give this thee stars, maybe 3.5. Not a particularly memorable episode, and the Urkel segments are not only dated, they weren’t particularly funny when they were first aired. I realize they were merely mocking the then-appeal of the Family Matters character but they went to the well once too often. At least we got to see Bridget as Nuveena again…rowr! Mike Nelson, you’re a lucky, lucky man.


  • 14
    badger1970 says:

    The members of the crew were always good at riffing stupid, almost Darwin award winning children, and making the animals much, much smarter than the human actors (e.g. “The Painted Hills”)

    I was hoping the owner of the plane would have smacked Davey a few (okay, more than a few) times.


  • 15
    Zee says:

    The movie segments are FABULOUS in this one, yet another plane-obsessed Season 6 movie (see also “Starfighters” and the Coleman Francis trilogy)

    “Serum, the new album from Rush.”
    “Ahhh! It’s Satan! I’m in Hell!”
    “I’d like to run a Tab… all over my nude body!”
    (those are just from memory)

    The Urkel host segments are another example of the “phoned-in” host segments that pop up way too often in Season Six. I think writing the show, struggling to get the movie made, and also working on the book, CD-Rom, etc, really put a strain on the writing team. I think putting all those characters into ONE Urkel-themed host segment would’ve been more striking.


  • 16
    Miqel says:


    This one is probably my least favorite of the 70’s TV pilot episodes. Pretty good riffing but the movie is kinda boring and the plot is improbable on many levels. I LOVE the Urkel host segments though – totally random!

    The riffs on the teenager & divorcing parents are hilariously brutal
    (Mother) “I’ll explain it to you again ..”
    (Mike)”you’re a looser and we’re sending you away”

    (Mother) “it’s just that sometimes married people …”
    (Crow) “Break up because of their kids.”

    (Crow) “Davy, all those people down there are getting divorced because of you”
    (Crow) “Davy, I need to know where your dental records are”

    Anyone ever seen the “Listen to the Tower” feature in an airport? at 43:59 Tab Hunter is listening to the air traffic controllers on a strange looking phone with a sign above it indicating “Listen to the TOWER, hear the actual take off and landing instructions. 25 cents”


  • 17
    R. Totale says:

    “Mom, why’s the music so poignant?”

    Love this episode.


  • 18
    Droppo says:

    I’m shocked this isn’t rated higher! This has to be one of my Top 5 all-time Mike episodes. I do agree that the Urkel segments don’t have great replay value (although Frank’s reaction is priceless: “Urkel?!? That is DELIGHTFUL!”

    However, the film and the riffing? As good as anything the show has ever done. Pernell’s arrogance and hairpiece provide some of the best fodder since Joe Don Baker. Every riff involving Davey is hilarious. Tab Hunter. I could go on and on!

    San Francisco International, I love you!


  • 19
    Miqel says:

    I almost wish they had re-riffed ‘SST: DEATH FLIGHT’ from the KTMA days … plenty of good material for riffing and even more b-list actors.


  • 20
    Kouban says:

    I admit, when I first saw this ep a couple years ago, it took me until someone explained it to get that Mike was being Urkel.


  • 21
    MattG says:

    My favorite part of this experiment is the candy counter encounter between the wormy businessman and the made-for-TV hippie. It’s just such a hilarious non-starter, as if the writers thought audiences would care about the outcome of the guy at the candy counter stuffing his face with diet gum. In fact, most everything about the movie seems that the writers assumed everything they wrote was dramatic and exciting.


  • 22
    MikeK says:

    5 stars! This is a really fun episode with a lot energy from everyone involved.

    The host segments are good. The Mads as construction workers, the debate (I love how Mike holds interest in the nonsense banter of Tom and Crow.), and the Urkel bits work well. The Urkel parts are making fun of the idea of Urkel as being comedy gold. I think it was good that Torgo (played by Mike) ended Mike’s Urkel bit. Dr. F’s huge ears were silly, but that’s okay. Where do you go after Urkel?

    San Francisco International is pure TV movie with a non-stop flight of great riffing.


  • 23
    MikeK says:

    Some good riffs:

    “I wish this movie was in color.”

    “Hey David. Why the long face?”

    “I AM Starbuck.”


  • 24
    Miss Mary says:

    David Hartman is an ugly, ugly man.


  • 25
    DON3k says:

    Yeah, this is what I call a comfortable episode. I can put it on, smile and laugh a bit, but don’t have to get overly into it. It’s a winner because of this, and I’ve always been pretty neutral, or maybe it’s forgiving, over the Urkel skit. I feel like the Brains were enjoying themselves, while making their rather blunted point, and that’s good enough for me.

    Fave riff is definitely “The answer, my friend, is blow it out your ass.”


  • 26
    Meadows says:

    Always loved the “Insert Tab A into B-Movie” riff.


  • 27
    rockyjones says:

    I’d give this one four stars….I’d give it five if only they’d boiled the whole “Urkel” thing down to one host segment. The construction worker scene with Dr. F and Frank is probably one of their all-time best moments.

    The “diet gum/hippie” scene is what always stands out in my mind when I think of this episode. The then “already-outdated-by-ten-years” views and attitude of the Bigoted Businessman, and the overly supercool “laid-back-ness” of the Groovy Dude make them both such bloated, “made-for-tv” sterotypes…I can’t help but crack up at the “Dragnet absurity” of the whole thing. While the writers at least tried (in vain) to tie most of the other plot elements together at one point or another, this entire scene is obviously just a ridiculous attempt at padding. Pure made-for-tv gold.

    “I made-for-TV love you!”


  • 28
    John M. Hanna says:

    I find it funny that the Brains made so many ‘Battlestar Galactica’ jokes in this episode, but totally blanked on them in ‘Space Mutiny’.

    The Uerkel segments do go to show that a little Uerkel goes a long way. Poor Jalleel White. No matter what he does for the rest of his life, he will be forever remembered as Steve Uerkel. Thats the curse of television I guess.

    If there is one thing this episode taught us is the importance of checking your nose wheel for mushiness.


  • 29
    MikeH says:

    If it’s made-for-tv, it’s MST gold. This form of entertainment is always prefect fodder for Best Brains and this one is no exception. This actually did go to series for one year, but Lloyd Bridges replaced Pernell Roberts. I think Clu stayed around though. Fave quotes?

    Mommy mommy look at that man’s ears
    Toupee and Greyweave..they’re cops!!
    Ladies and gentlemen, the parents of the beatles.
    Fred Garvin: male prostitute.
    Listen to John Tower 25 cents.

    and Davey getting ripped apart by Miek and the Bots is hilarious, such a simple and weak character. Another A+ episode.


  • 30

    This is one of my favorites – I love the made-for-TV stuff. Like others, I particularly like the scene with the made-for-TV hippie. No one played unflappable like Clu Gulager.

    I think Sampo got one thing wrong up top, though. I believe several episodes of this aired in rotation with other shows, so it wasn’t unsold.


  • 31
    alex. says:

    I agree with #4.

    I think the Urkel skits are on the same level as Crow’s Grateful Dead guitar solo from “The Dead Talk Back.”

    I liked them.


  • 32
    H says:

    I’d also agree with #4. I could definitely tell Urkel was a flash in the pan and the guys showed that very well. It was a nice excuse to trot out (in Torgo’s case, literally) some of our favorite characters. Other host segments were good too. Movie is pretty good. They do well with this sort of thing.


  • 33
    bigdaddy320 says:

    I felt this was a really good ep. It wasn’t over the top funny and the movie wasn’t so bad that it was hard to get through. It was a nice well rounded ep. I did like the debate bit.

    “You sir are a kindergarten baby and you wash your face in gravy”

    That cracks me up everytime. I think the Urkel bit went on a bit long though. I too never really understood the whole Urkel thing. I think you have to be a different kind of person for that kind of sitcom humor. I generally think if you liked Urkel than you probably don’t get MST3K. And vice versa. IMO

    “Will the distinguished gentleman from Califoria please scooch over.”


  • 34
    pearliemae says:

    Clugu Lager? LOL I agree, he is outta site!


  • 35
    Zee says:

    The show did go to series, but with Lloyd Bridges replacing Pernell, I think. Tom Servo references this I think. Maybe I dreamed that.

    I forgot, i LOVE the Diet gum scene. My friend J.D. and I have quoted that over and over again over the years. The stuffy businessman is Dana Elcar, aka Macguyver’s boss!


  • 36
    bobbyknightmare says:

    I liked this movie for the most part, but having suffered abuse as a child and gone through a venomous divorce and custody battle, I thought that some of the jokes made about the boy crossed the line. But I know it wasn’t anything malicious.


  • 37
    crowschmo says:

    Never kept this episode on tape, it’s been years since I’ve seen it, so…uh….No Comment.


  • 38
    Ralph C. says:

    You refuse to even learn about Wink Martindale!!!


  • 39
    big61al says:

    David Hartman – If I had to watch this without the riffs his wierd looks and even wierder voice would make the brains cell spontanously burst into flames Twisted It has been years since I seen this – dare I tempt it? Confused


  • 40
    Htom Sirveaux says:

    This is one of the best eps IMO. I like the Blow it out your ass line also, as well as: “There’s a guy dressed like a priest” “. . . walks into a bar.”

    Also, the line where Dr. F listens to Frank’s construction advice and says, “Long run, you’re going to be glad you did!” hit home with me. I’ve worked with construction guys, and they’re always going on and on about how the methods used (30 years ago) were corner-cutting and how the previous guys were lazy and how their own work would last longer.


  • 41
    Cubby says:

    Oh, I love this episode.

    I remember catching just a couple of minutes* when this premiered. It was the scene with Davy and the “telescope” thingy. Mike, “When’d your kid get the new glasses?” I couldn’t quite figure out what the Sam Hill they were watching. It would be the better part of a year before I was actually able to tape it and watch it in its entirety.

    Fave riff: Tom, “Oh, this is the shot they used for the album cover!”

    All the 70s TV references are winners:
    “Did this on a Longstreet once.” (Sure it hadn’t aired yet. So what!)
    “I gotta pop over to the Harry-O set.” (again!)
    “Does John Schuck call you?”
    “Going over to Anthony Zerbe’s for brunch!”

    Obviously, they cut the scene where David Hartman came clean – anyone ever seen the original?

    There’s some really top-notch meta-commentary in here.
    “Damn subplots keep washing ashore.”
    “Thanks, my son really enjoyed you in San Francisco International.”
    “Just wait ’til we go to series!”
    “Let’s review our cast!”
    “Once more around the horn!”
    “It’s a TV-movie Mount Rushmore.”
    … and so on.

    As for the host segments. Well, I’m with Torgo. Urkel never did much for me. It looks like it was fun to rope in all the recurring characters, and they go by quickly enough. So even though they don’t wow me, I don’t hold that against the episode.

    *I had a roommate who didn’t like MST. (Need I say any more? She routinely – consciously or not – turned off the timer on my VCR during episodes that year. I got 4 from Season 6 while we lived together. I still thought they’d always be around, and I’d get them all eventually. Ha!! It was true for Season Six, anyway.)


  • 42
    BSBrian says:

    i don’t know, alex–for me crows guitar solo is a true classic that keeps me laughing throughout, while urkel eventually wears out his welcome. I thought the riffs were great in this one, give it a solid 4!


  • 43
    tim says:

    This was the first episode Of Mst3k I ever watched. Very special for me


  • 44
    Kris says:

    OK, so here’s what I learned from this movie:

    1) People in the 70s were greasy, shiny, and universally unattractive.
    2)The 70s themselves were greasy, shiny, brown-y orange, and also universally unattractive.
    3)San Francisco is greasy, shiny, perpetually cloudy, and universally unattractive.

    Very sad.

    I’m also not a huge fan of the excessive Urkel-ness of the host segments, but it’s always a treat to have Torgo return. And I loved the opening segment. So, not a total loss.


  • 45
    hugh says:

    When it went to series on NBC it aired as part of an umbrella series called FOUR IN ONE. There were six episodes of THE PSYCHIATRIST starring Roy Thinnes, six episodes of SAN FRANCISCO INTERNATIONAL with LLoyd Bridges as Pernell Roberts, six episodes of ROD SERLING’S NIGHT GALLERY, and six episodes of Dennis Weaver as MCCLOUD. Night Gallery would become a regular series, and MCLOUD would move to NBC
    Mystery movie.


  • 46
    Jacob says:

    I can’t believe no one mentioned the line “If you listen real close, you can hear them beating the crap out of Pernell Roberts”. Second only to “The answer my friend…”


  • 47
    Jacob says:

    Wait– I forgot “Well, I hope I’m dead, because my pants are full.”


  • 48
    snowdog says:

    Loved the riffing, but I agree: Too much Urkel

    Fave riff: You’re going to die DOWN THERE!


  • 49
    Smog Monster says:

    If it was up to me, MST3K would never, ever – or at least very very rarely do a ‘movie’ that was actually a television show not-to-be. Imagine all of the movies that you could have done in place of Stranded in Space, Master Ninja, or Cosmic Princess. That being said, San Francisco International goes in the ‘very very rarely column’. I never seen this episode, but from the description the ACEG gives … it sounds like one of your funniest movies, ever ! “You’d think that’s a pretty mundane job, and you’d be right …” LOL ! Riding With Death, also, I’ve never seen before but that sounds pretty funny, too! (Invisible truckers, sci-fi potions …)

    & as for Urkel … my ACEG describes it as more than just Urkel … who do I believe more, MST3KInfo, or my Amazing Collossall Episode Guide ??? Hmmmm …


  • 50
    KSK says:

    “At least I still have Battlestar Galactica! That’ll never be cancelled!”

    “Davey, allow me to introduce you to these federal agents. They’re what you young people call ‘Bad Asses.'”


  • 51
    Captain Cab says:

    I love Trace’s bemused delivery when Dr. F. first comes in the room: “Oh no! Not Urkel?!”

    lol I love the Urkel bits! Sure they go on, but that’s the point: So does Urkel himself. Something about the sound of the ‘bots over the top, non stop laughter kills me. Reminds me of a war episode of the Three Stooges where they get hit by laughing gas. And seeing Nuveena again was sweet. Movie itself has solid riffing throughout, especially the ones exploiting Davey’s misery both while on the ground and in the air. haha. And ya gotta love the Megaweapon callback. An underrated episode.


  • 52
    Stickboy says:

    Urkel was annoying and not funny. Dressing up and acting like Urkel gets the same results. I have to say, these are some of the lamest host segments not involving foam and/or lemurs.

    The movie is great, though. Just watched it again after it sat on the shelf for a long time. What fun. The brutal heart-to-heart between mother and son, David Hartman talking to the kidnappers (“Hang up the phone and high-tail it out of there.” >click< “Hello?”), and the immortal line, “That nose wheel feels mushy.”

    Every time I get on a plane, I say to myself, “That nose wheel feels mushy.” It’s an automatic response now.

    But my favorite exchange is, “Davey, he’s up there!” “That’s because he’s the flying boy, blblblblblb.”


  • 53
    Oh Well... says:

    Huh, this one is in my top 5. 70’s TV movie, plus the over the top skewering of Urkel (which will never get old for me) make this one of my favorite episodes. I also don’t really like Starfighters which was fawned over here a few weeks ago so I must be some kinda mutant MSTie.


  • 54
    MikeK says:

    Another good thing in this episode happens in the first host segment. Mike finishes his board gag and the bots are all beaten up and in pain. It’s always funny when the bots either freak out, are puzzled by something or are damaged. Another example is Crow sawing himself in half.


  • 55
    losingmydignity says:

    I really really like this episode. The riffing is topnotch, the best parts being anything to do with the poor kid. They really get dark with him. Love the hippy scene too. This is my fav TV movie that they did. I love how much fun they have with all the “third tier” actors…the kids’ plane flight…..

    As for Urkel. I still don’t know who he is really. I wasn’t living in the States during most of the 90’s and I guess he’s just another part of the pop culture I missed. From what I gather I’m lucky.



  • 56
    Slager says:

    Ugh. I do not like this one at all. It is my LEAST favorite, hands down. Like one of the other commenters up there, things didn’t even start getting a little amusing until they got up into the plane with the little kid.

    I suppose there were a few bright spots in this film, my favorite riff probably being: “I wish this movie was in color.” But all in all it illicits a giant “meh” from me. I’m usually very generous with episodes, even ones that people claim to despise! But not this one. Anyway… that’s all.


  • 57
    The Professor says:

    Wait a second…is this the one that has the riff “Serum: The new album by Rush”? For some reason, i just love that riff.


  • 58
    pablum says:

    I’m sorry, but the Urkel segments wreck this episode for me. One segment would have been enough, but three? Ugh.

    The only segments that top this one for pain are Deathstalker’s sick Pearl Forrester repetitions of “Clayton!?! Clayton!?! Clayton!?!”.

    The movie and the riffing weren’t bad, but Urkel still hurts. A lot.


  • 59
    TimE says:

    Oh . . . San Francisco International, “I made-for-TV love you.”


  • 60
    Dave says:

    Loved this one – although after repeated viewings the Urkel bit gets old. The Davey, Tab as a priest, Pernell, David Hartman and the made-for-tv-hippie bits really make it for me.

    Talk about dark – I think the reference to the “well at least there’s Battlestar Galactica, that’ll never be cancelled” is about a boy who actually jumped off a bridge (suicide) upon learning that the BG series was being cancelled back in the day.

    Fave riffs:

    (Tab as “Frank Sinatra” priest) – “that’s why the saviour is a tramp, yeah” – “she get’s to hungry…”

    (made for tv hippie scene) – “anyone wanna get high?” – “just wait till we go to series!” “except Jackson Browne”

    (Pernell & Davey flight scene) “see all those people down there?…there getting divorced because of you, Davey” “OK tomorrow we’ll go over how to land the plane” and of course “Ahh Ahh it’s Satan I’m in Hell!!!”


  • 61
    Ralph C. says:

    Comment #49 reply:

    Man, I am SO glad it wasn’t up to you.


  • 62
    Patch says:

    This wasn’t a failed pilot. It was picked up and canceled after six episodes. I was about 9 at the time, and only remember the advertising blurb: “San Francisco International! Gateway for the jet age of the 70’s!” or something like that.
    Don’t ever recall watching it though. My Dad did airfield operations at an Air Force Base-so he certainly wasn’t interested in watching Hollywood’s version.
    For some reason, Hollyweird tried again with another “airport” series-that failed. Maybe in 1970 when very few people flew, it would seem interesting; but why anyone would think in the 21st Century someone would actually watch a show about a place they hate-escapes me….then again, it doesn’t.


  • 63
    Ukridge says:

    Interesting….I always thought this was a failed pilot, and one of the few times network execs made the right decision….Now I can’t even give them that! I would love to see the other episodes just to see what they did with it and to compare it to this mess of a pilot. I don’t imagine they’ll ever be available on DVD, which is probably a good thing.


  • 64
    Dave says:

    Sampo – there’s a callback from “Eegah” too:
    Wowy Wow Wow!


  • 65
    jimmy says:

    I agree with Captain Cab, Dr. F’s “Oh! Not Urkel!” makes me laugh every single time. I love that delivery by Trace.


  • 66
    MikeK says:

    Another callback: Crow: “More Reba!” It happens when there’s a close-up of Davey’s mother.


  • 67
    Cornjob says:

    Wow! I didn’t know about the context of the Battlestar Galactica reference. I was a kid when it weas cancelled, and I was a bit bummed to hear it, but not that much.

    I’ve never seen Urkle except via Mike, so I didn’t entirely “get it” here, but the assemblage of characters was nice to see, especially Bridget as Nuveena looking all Pre-Raphaelite in her gown.

    Anyhoo, I love the piling on Billy, “The faces of those you’ve wronged will be floating on your left”, and the whole cheesy 70’s TV feel of this. I also think that Codename Diamond Head would have made a better series, but not by much.


  • 68
    1 adam 12 says:

    I really like (but don’t love) this episode. As others have already pointed out, the riffing is really great, truly top-notch, but the movie is just boring, with the same bland characters, bland set decoration, bland plot devices, etc. all over the place. The Urkel bit was a little too long (possibly Frank’s doing?), but still somewhat funny, and it was cool to see the BBI impressions of old movie characters all over again. Most of my fave riffs have already been mentioned:

    “The answer, my friend, is blow it out your ass.”
    “Insert Tab A into B movie.”
    They’re what you young people like to call Bad Asses.”

    I would like to mention another fave: “I’ll just have a sip of Tab.”


  • 69
    MikeK says:

    In defense of the Urkel segments, the whole point is to make fun of the idea that “Urkel = Funny”.


  • 70
    MikeK says:

    I just remember a kind of dark riff from this episode. When Tab Hunter is in his priest get-up Crow says, with head shaking, “They’ll just move him to another parish.”


  • 71
    Ransom says:

    I like this episode alot. I’m in aviation myself so I tend to like the ones with aviation aspects.

    I don’t think the Urkel thing is horrible but they could have made better use of the host segments. But if you think about it the show did an excellent job of not dating itself. Yes their are individual riffs here and their but they get lost in the mix. Most of the host segments have a timeless quality to them.


  • 72
    jjb3k says:

    I’m watching this episode right now, and man, it gets better every time I watch it! Funny riffs I never noticed before keep leaping out at me at every turn.

    “That your guitar? You, uh…”
    “…Know any Donovan?”

    “Wow, what a mess, you go to Arby’s a lot, don’t you?”

    “What’s that car doing out there?”
    “Oh, about 30, I guess.”

    “Oh man, another sack of hundreds, I just need change for a ten!”

    And so on…


  • 73
    Zeroninety says:

    “Mommy, look at that man’s ears!”

    “My lunch, my way.”

    “Ah! The hand of God!”


  • 74
    The Toblerone Effect says:

    The idea that someone would kill themselves over the cancellation of a t.v. show sounds more like an urban legend to me. Is there any proof i.e. newspaper articles to back up this story?


  • 75
    bobhoncho says:

    Sampo, shame on you! Urkel’s great! (“Hee, Hee, Hee! Snort! Snort!”)


  • 76
    Darthdemona says:

    I loved Urkel when I was a kid, so I love the Urkel host segments for purely nostalgic reasons.

    I still love Jaleel White and I always will.


  • 77
    Themselveshuge says:

    Spread Concern,big section cabinet evidence area necessarily oil urban considerable reveal ensure turn straight close management campaign everything lord coffee funny any claim goal cos among worry thus combination document cheap nose bring come exercise increase milk ordinary building service money double check into though patient late exhibition become dangerous similar attractive capital almost present necessary payment roof while basis touch tonight understanding whose protect how still source compare dangerous previous apparent only award above index the equal most speech its regard research earth health return


  • 78
    robot rump! says:

    well, it seems that Torgo and i have yet another thing in common, i didn’t really get that ‘Urkel’ kid either. was supposed to be a one shot and should have stayed that way. the movie is made for tv greatness. I was surprised there weren’t more ‘MacGyver’ or even one ‘Black Sheep Squadron’ crack at Dana Eclar’s expense but i guess it’s for the best.

    And remember ‘the answer, my friend is blow it out your….’


  • 79
    Dan in WI says:

    At the risk of staring a big political fight right in this discussion thread, I really feel the need to re-emphasize, “You refuse to even learn about Wink Martindale.”

    There is a lot of good stuff leading up to the opening of the movie. The political debate on politics really drives home the funny with great delivery and tight timing. The fact that they are saying nothing of substance or in the least bit political has nothing to do with it. It’s all in the presentation here.

    The construction workers are also fun albeit a bit out of left field. Here we get cliché after cliché but again it is sold in the delivery. The little touches I like: Clayton’s Deep 13 lapel emblem tattoo and (I don’t have the best copy of this one but it looks like) Frank’s sun burnt form.

    The board routine is great as well. I love the mangled bots we see just prior to movie sign.

    I have that Wham album from the first host segment. It is likely one of the most out place albums in my collection as there is nothing else remotely like it. (I’m heavy on blues, rock, hard rock and metal.) Who knew that Wake Me Up Before You Go Go was about Vietnam?

    Complete lists of visitors appreciating Urkel:
    Jan in the Pan
    Santa Claus
    Huggy Bear (not THE Huggy Bear, A Huggy Bear)
    My take on the Urkel host segments: I’m an Urkel hater. I see some value in these sketches. I definitely like how Torgo single handedly ends Urkel’s 15 minutes of fame and wish Urkel’s fame had in reality lasted only 15 minutes. That said it was a long walk to a short punch line. I’ll agree with the people who previously stated this could have been accomplished in just one segment but I’m not suggesting it shouldn’t have been done at all.

    This was the second straight week where the riffing was not all time classic but instead very solid and fun. On the whole it is a good episode.

    Favorite Riffs:
    The fire trucks roll out: Crow “This is alarming.”

    After the safe emergency landing: Tom “I hope I’m dead because my pants are full.”

    Tom “I think this is the restored second unit director’s cut.”

    Crow about Tina Scott “Hey more Reba”

    Kid “My mom and I are going away and my Dad isn’t coming. You know what I mean.” Mike “So your Mom’s available?”

    Tab entering the elevator “Aren’t we going down?” Mike “Mr. Tyler?” [great riff on the intro to Love In An Elevator!]

    After Davy lands: Crow “Let me introduce you to these Federal agents. They are what you young people call bad asses.”

    Controller during the hostage situation “How do I know you got her?” Tom “Hold her face up to the radio.”


  • 80
    big61al says:

    Holy smokes – Tom got away with a very dirty riff – “that was a tres bien merde” tranlates to “that was a very good $#!+”


  • 81
    Stefanie says:

    I prefer not to think of the urkel skit as a lame then current joke, but how for one brief shining moment, Mike Nelson was the funniest man in the universe! Cosmic forces balanced in such a way that no one could resist his hilarity.

    Also, I’m not surprised that Clu Gulagher was the only one asked back for the series. He was cool and most fun to watch! CLU CLU CLU!!


  • 82
    touches no one's life, then leaves says:

    #4: I always knew Torgo was smarter than he let on…

    He’d almost have to be…


  • 83
    Tom Carberry says:

    Favorite lines:

    You can cut the tension with a dull object.
    Is this any way to run a TV movie?
    Insert Tab [Hunter] A into B Movie.
    You know she’s got a nice Republican cloth coat.
    So, do the Jesuits carry guns too?
    So, this is Denver’s new baggage handling system.
    Ah, Davey, I need to know where your dental records are.
    No one told Pernell Davey had the IQ of a box turtle.

    Final Thought: The running Urkel joke was worse than the movie. I give this one 2 out of 5 stars.


  • 84
    robot rump! says:

    # 82

    #4: I always knew Torgo was smarter than he let on…

    He’d almost have to be…

    of course he was, he ran the whole show at ‘Valley Lodge.’ Bill Buckner/Master was just eye candy to bring in the luaayydeees.


  • 85
    snowdog says:

    Hey, I think this is the first ep I commented on the first time around! I think the only thing I’d add is that if the band Rush had any sense of humor at all, they’d have released an album called “Serum” by now. Alas.

    Still too many segments wasted on Urkel. One, maybe two would have been funny.

    3 Stars


  • 86
    Klisch says:


    Still haven’t seen this one.


  • 87
    Mitchell "Rowsdower" Beardsley says:

    I get the feeling most people don’t want to say anything bad about any episode. The Urkel skit may be the low point for the entire series for me. Crushingly unfunny. Jay Leno – unfunny. I remember watching this episode as it first aired and thinking the show had hit the ground and was just skidding to a halt. Skydivers, Starfighters, then this. It was a bad time.

    But I guess it just made it all the more magical when MST3K got picked up by SciFi and I couldn’t believe how hilarious it was again, and how much I liked the ‘new guy’ doing Crow!

    But this mid-season 6 stuff just depressed me.

    ‘I made for tv love you” and the ripping on the kid for being the reason for his parent’s divorce was funny, I’ll give you that. But there wasn’t much else for me. But you have to have the bad to know the good. This episode was not good.


  • 88
    Droppo says:

    5 stars and one of my favorite episodes of the entire series.

    Now, let’s first discuss Urkel. I agree that 3 segments was way too much Urkel. But, it did have one priceless moment:

    Frank: “Oh, Urkel?!? That is DELIGHTFUL!”

    That gets me every time. That said, Urkel only takes up a few minutes of an otherwise outstanding episode. I’m a huge sucker for TV movie eps (Master Ninja I and II are my favorites ever) and this one has it all….I could not get enough of the Pernell riffs: everything from his arrogance to his hairpiece. Crow’s David Hartman voice “well….buh-bye!!” Every single second of Davey screentime was off the charts hilarious. “It’s your fault.” Van Johnson: “if perhaps we had a child.”

    Oh my God. Might be my favorite riffing of any Mike episode and that is really saying something.

    Look past Urkel…if it was one segment, no one would care. So, it’s 2 segments really in an otherwise classic episode.


  • 89
    Cheapskate Crow says:

    This episode was better than I remembered but not enough to get all the way through it again. Seems a lot of people didn’t like the Urkel segments, I loved them but I am a special case as I used to work master control at an ABC affiliate and unfortunately I worked when Family Matters was on so I had to see Urkel every week. He was never funny and I found these host segments hysterical but then I really hate Urkel.

    There was some good riffing here but the padding and overall slowness/ridiculousness really take its toll on me, I am not a big fan of the TV movie on MST. I was in San Francisco International last month and it wasn’t that exciting either. Loved the opening segment political debate too, unfortunately that will be timeless, the opposite of a then current reference. Everybody else already listed my favorite lines, curse you cheaters of 4 years ago!


  • 90
    Dan in WI says:

    Mitchell “Rowsdower” Beardsley says:
    January 24, 2013 at 11:12 am
    I get the feeling most people don’t want to say anything bad about any episode.

    I take it you haven’t read the thread for Hamlet.


  • 91
    Tom Carberry says:

    “I remember watching this episode as it first aired and thinking the show had hit the ground and was just skidding to a halt. Skydivers, Starfighters, then this. It was a bad time.”

    #87, I must agree with you on this. Almost all of Season 6 was a major disappointment for me. Then, along comes Season 7 with only six episodes, and then cancellation. Fortunately the move to SciFi was a good fit and their last three seasons were great. (Mind you, there were a few clunkers–I’m looking at you “Hamlet”.)


  • 92
    insidemyhead says:

    Not Urkel!

    I don’t exactly know why, but I love this episode! Maybe because the movie has so many different things going on? Definitely one of my favorites.


  • 93
    Mitchell "Rowsdower" Beardsley says:

    Tom Carberry #91 – thanks for convincing me I’m not crazy. My mind boggles when so many people not only say they like these eps, but that they’re in their top 5. Hu-wha? Compared to what other episodes exactly?

    I dare say I almost prefer Hamlet! (ducks and covers)


  • 94
    Dr. Erickson says:

    While I respect “Rowsdower’s” opinion, I could not disagree with it more. One of my all time favorite eps. How many of these lame-ass movies-of-the-week did we all slog through as kids just because we didn’t want to go to bed yet and the only other options were, like, “Barnaby Jones” or the “Mac Davis Show”? I love how much fun they have with it. Some of the riffs on Pernell (“Dig me…), David Hartman (“a neck with teeth and eyes”) and Davy and his family (“But they need you in Vietnam…”) are classic. On top of that, I happen to think the 3-part Urkel bit is great! I love how it brings this bizarre cast of characters together (“Santa, you’ve gotta see this!”) I love how Mike tries to stop but Tom makes him keep going. I love how Torgo just sticks a pin in the whole thing and Nuveena checks out of there angrily, like she’s pissed the party suddenly got lame and resentful she showed up in the first place. If you paid much attention to Urkel back in the day, I guess it might seem dated, but if you look at it more objectively, it’s just a wonderfully bizarre, raucous, silly, fun and quite logistically impressive sketch.


  • 95
    robot rump! says:

    Tom Carberry #91
    Mitchell “Rowsdower” Beardsley #93
    ok guys, just so i understand and have a mutually agreed upon point of reference, i want to know if the criticism of season 6 is truly based on the episode in it’s entirity or just the movie? because in my humble and probably meaningless opinion, i think ‘Skydivers’ and ‘Starfighters’ are gems because of the deadly accurate riffing of a horrible movie. and while i am grateful beyond words that SCI/FI channel picked up, fouled up and finally cancelled MST3k, i believe there were a fair share of clunkers during the 3 year run. just sayin’ is all.


  • 96
    Cheapskate Crow says:

    @95: I think season 6 was a low point for the show, I attribute this to poor host segments and a lot of the movies were just devoid of action and hard to get through, a complaint I would also make with early Cinematic Titanic episodes. For instance, I love about all of season 4 with the exception of Monster a Go Go and Space Travelers, which I thought were extremely boring. A lot of the movies in season 6 fall into that category for me and really needed good host segments to save them, which for the most part they didn’t get.


  • 97

    This is one of my favorite episodes and season 6 is my favorite season. I thought the show took a slow slide downhill after the move to Sci-Fi, although it was still enjoyable. Frank and possibly Trace seem to have been the sources of the “right people will get it” pop culture references, which mostly disappeared after the move to Sci-Fi.

    Any TV-movie or bad series they did is golden for me.


  • 98
    jjb3k says:

    In this “is Season 6 great or terrible” debate, I fall on the “great” side of the fence. I think Season 6 is one of the strongest in the show’s run, and it only gets better with time. Even now, watching episodes like “Invasion USA” and “High School Big Shot” that I didn’t think were that hot the first time, I find myself laughing like a lunatic. Yes, the movies from this era are often punishingly awful and mind-numbingly boring, but that always seemed to give the Brains the opportunity to shun stuff like plot and character and just lob eighty-bazillion hysterical observational riffs at the screen. Movies like “The Starfighters” and “Racket Girls” and “The Beast of Yucca Flats” where nothing happens for an hour and a half resulted in some of my all-time favorite episodes. And then there’s the goofier stuff like “Zombie Nightmare” and “The Violent Years” and “Danger!! Death Ray” that really brings out the best in the Brains – not to mention those sleeper episodes that grew on me with every repeat viewing, like “Colossus and the Headhunters” and “Code Name: Diamond Head”. Admittedly, there’s a couple of clunkers here and there, but they’re few and far between (I’d say the only outright lame episodes this season are “Bloodlust” and “Angels’ Revenge”). Overall, it’s a delight. Smile

    Of course, I’ve always had some unorthodox opinions about MST3K – I don’t care for much of Seasons 2 and 3, and I don’t think the show really hit its stride until late in Season 4, ’round about “The Beatniks”. So your mileage may vary as to the validity of my praise.


  • 99
    pondoscp says:

    Probably the strongest riffing Mike episode ever. The Urkel segs are a drag (I do love the debate opening), but the movie is HILARIOUS. Tied with Village Of The Giants for my favorite Mike episode. So many good lines in this one. He’s a made for tv hippie!


  • 100
    Depressing Aunt says:

    Too bad I will most likely never know a guy named Tab, those were some clever innuendos. I enjoy the head cold voice for Hartman’s character (“I hope they kidnap your wife!”) and the goofy “Hi there!” and laugh Crow does when the kidnapper appears.

    Is diet gum the same thing as sugar free gum? How would it help anyone lose weight? What is a good republican cloth coat? Wasn’t Clu Gulagher outta sight? He had a kind of world weary yet good natured charm in this.

    If I had to grade this one I’d give it a “B”.


  • 101
    Gorn Captain says:

    And now Jaleel White hosts a game show about people screaming while they touch things in the dark on the SyFy Channel. Wink


  • 102
    Mitchell "Rowsdower" Beardsley says:

    robot rump! #95

    What can I say, I just don’t, and never did from the day they aired, dig most of Season 6. It’s not always the movies they did, (outside of perhaps Coleman Francis and Starfighters/Skydivers), it’s just the vibe of the show. The host segments, for me, were mostly bad, whereas previously when they left the theater I’d be excited to see what would happen. They just seemed like they needed to get through the season, so they slogged through it. Just my opinion.

    I was trying to remain positive by citing how impressed and happily surprised I was with Season 8 on Sci Fi. By far my favorite Mike season. Yeah, I agree, Season’s 9 and 10 had some clunkers too. But they also had some classics.

    Having said all that, I do like Angels’ Revenge, Girls’ Town and Danger: Death Ray.

    I love MST3K more than anyone I’ve ever met, but every show has a low point, and Season 6 is it, without a doubt, for me. That’s all.


  • 103
    JCC says:

    An addendum to my original post in #53 – While I do think it was hilarious the first 100 times I saw it, I now skip over the Urkel sketches. I don’t think they’re bad, I’m just burnt out on them. Urkel needed skewering in his heyday and I’m glad MST provided it, even though it hasn’t quite aged well.

    Every season of the show is the same for me though – some great episodes and some episodes I don’t like as much but are still better than about 90% of televised comedy.


  • 104
    casterberus says:

    “WOOOO!!! Rush albums!!!”

    I LOVE this episode in all its muddy, cruddy, coffee-stained glory.

    I think the whole 70s tv movie genre brought out some of their best riffing, and the Davey stuff slays me EVERY time.


  • 105
    Watch-out-for-Snakes says:

    This was maybe the third time I’ve watched this episode, and it’s grown on me considerably. The Urkel Host Segments are very very weak indeed (Torgo sums it up nicely), but the opening political debate segment works for me. The riffing is strong over what is a very boring (TV) movie, if you give into the drab, actionlessness of the whole thing, it really is quite enjoyable.

    Seems some commenters don’t really dig Season 6. I disagree. While not my favorite (that’d be Season 4), Season 6 still has many great and even classic episodes (Zombie Nightmare, Angels’ Revenge, Girls Town). Of course, you have to be into the whole “punishingly”-bad-movies-thing if you’re going to dig on the Coleman Francis trilogy, The Starfighters, The Creeping Terror, and/or San Fran International.

    Also, lets remember that this was Frank’s last season on the show, and it seems they indulged a lot of his whims and interests in the movie selection for the season (not just for his final show, Sampson vs. the Vampire Women), and it seems that Frank is really, really into the so-bad-it-hurts kind of bad movies. (For the most part, I am too).


    Servo: “Land on us, we’ll cushion your fall!”

    credit for Tab Hunter as Stayczek,
    Crow: “Didn’t Werner Herzog direct Stayczek?” —–reference to Herzog’s 1977 film, Stroszek.

    screen credit for Andrew Jackson,
    Crow: “Old Hickory, A.S.C.”

    Mike: “It’s an elaborate plan to get a drink.”

    Mike: “Oh, he’s a made-for-TV hippie.”

    Servo: “Does anyone want to get high?”

    Mike: “The answer my friend, is blow it out your ass.”

    Mike: “I hope there’s a bell tower where we’re moving to!”


    Crow: “This is what lonely people did before sci-fi conventions.”

    Mike: “The movie staggers from one commercial break to another.”

    Servo: “It’s Fergie running from the press.”

    Crow: “I’m too high. . . ”

    Servo: “You’re going to crash…, down there.”

    Mike: “No, no. . .too dumb.”

    Crow: “I did it for Jodie Foster.”

    The Brains miss quite a few chances to do callbacks on ‘Petey Plane,”
    but maybe they wrote this one before they did Skydivers..?

    Another solid episode, despite the presence of Urkel,

    I give it 4/5 made-for-TV mushy nosewheels,



  • 106
    Bombastic Biscuit Boy says:

    URKEL?! How DELIGHTFUL!! eh, not so much…

    personally, i look at Season 6 and i tell myself “yeah, it was pretty bad – but not as bad as Season 7!!” i love how they skewer the sappy Davy subplot!

    old fireman puts on silver suit “I’m Ziggy Stardust!”
    Frank, isn’t the plane with the Senate Safety Committee? “Ahhh, let ’em crash!”
    “See all the people down there? Those are the people you disappointed, Davy!”
    “Oh Davy, when we die there’s only a dark nothingness, just wanted to let you know.”
    Pernell grimaces into Davy’s plane “Ahhh! Ahhhh! It’s Satan! I’m in Hell!!”


  • 107
    Pulatso says:

    One of the first episodes I ever saw, and still one of my favorites. Unfortunately, it was one that sort of made me tune out to the host segments (to the point I actually recorded a few episodes without them) for a while. Favorite riff: “See all those people down there Davey? Those are all the people you disappointed today.”


  • 108
    Jbagels says:

    Not saying it’s the greatest collection of host segments ever written or anything but I think people who criticize the Urkel skits for being repetitive are missing the point. The entire premise is how how repetitive Urkel is and it’s taken to an absurd length. The Sideshow Bob getting hit with the rakes type of comedy that the Brains seemed to be into around this time.


  • 109
    Fred Burroughs says:

    Good Ep. (yes, they are all pretty good.)This is a standout for the cruelty of the made-for-tv riffs, and the sheer number of really clever riffs, that were obviously thought out and planned. failed acting career jokes, priest jokes, divorce kid jokes, 70’s jokes…what a smorgasbord. yet, the acting was pretty good and the heist plot made sense.

    I had torgo’s line “…never been a big U-urkel fan!” as a soundbite on my computer for years before i knew where it was from. It was hilarious, but squashed the humor a bit when I saw the actual show. I, for one, am glad they had the leeway to fill the 2-hour show with moments like these when they stretched out a joke, even if they were just having fun themselves. (Not like current ‘Family Guy’ or SNL jokes that go on forever.)

    Also: Does Trace still have six-pack abs?

    And: I too, have never seen Clu Gulager and Yvonne Goolagong in the same room.


  • 110
    Tom Carberry says:

    It was not my intention to start or fan the embers of a potential flame war. Just saying, Season 6 isn’t my go to season for episodes on a rainy day.

    YMMV is a creed I live by.

    Good night, and good luck.


  • 111
    ToolAssist says:

    Here’s an episode I really enjoy. The riffing is really funny and the movie is just silly enough to provide them with plenty of material. The ending scene with Conrad and Davy flying is extremely hilarious, full of lines like these:

    See all the people down there? Those are the people you’ve disappointed, Davy!
    “I’m Jim Conrad.” The last man you’ll ever talk to.
    NO WAIT DON’T DO THAT!!! OH GOD!!! Just kidding.

    The way Mike says “Just kidding”… I had to pause because I was laughing so hard.


  • 112
    schippers says:

    Hey, anybody see Urkel’s porn tape?

    Or maybe I’m thinking of Screech…


  • 113
    schippers says:

    #100 – A good, Republican cloth coat is something Nixon talked about in a speech he gave when he was on the ropes due to allegations he was guilty of receiving questionable campaign reimbursements. Anyway, he stated that his wife had herself a good, Republican cloth coat by way of indicating how humble their means were (not any more by that point, of course), and also that the family had gratefully accepted only one gift, a dog (Checkers), on behalf of his kids.

    Mike seemed to be fond of doing Nixon saying “good Republican cloth coat.”


  • 114
    Depressing Aunt says:

    Thanks for that! Grin

    About the whole Urkel thing, well, I enjoy that more than when the bots torture Mike for his stir-crazy, character-impersonating antics.


  • 115
    Tom Carberry says:

    #112–You are thinking of Screech. I haven’t seen it, but I understand “Dirty Sanchez” is involved.


  • 116
    halfmoonmaiden says:

    Dr. F. can show me his Action Torso any day. In Love


  • 117
    incrediblehorriblemrlimpet says:


    * Mike, as the fire truck driver racing toward Pernell Roberts’ plane speeding crossway down the runway just after landing: “Uh, I believe I have the right of way..JEEEZ!! WAIT!!”.

    * Crow, as Pernell Roberts looking out the plane window at the converging emergency vehicles: “Ahh, it’s the cops!”

    I wonder if the trauma caused by having to deal with the likes of Mickey, Eric, Jenny and Uncle Lady drove Reverend Snow to change professions to become a Western Airlines lead mechanic, choosing instead to tackle lesser issues like mushy nose wheels?

    I was about 12 when the first Airport movie came out. The 747 was brand spanking new and a marvel to behold as it had no equal. Cheerios offered a Pan Am model of the plane to anyone sending in a couple of box tops and a $1.50. At that age, all I cared about was watching planes and hoping for any 747 sightings which this movie provided. Even with my obsessive enthusiasm with aviation, I knew at my age that SFO was a knock-off of “Airport” and was trying to capture its Mel Bakersfeld-y head of airport woes, trials and angst but I was riveted to the screen nonetheless.

    Good memories having shows like this, Columbo, McCloud, Then Came Bronson, et al.

    As previously stated, Beth Brickell was indeed a pretty lady. I took note of that when she was Clint Howard’s mom and Dennis Weaver’s wife in “Gentle BEEEeen”.


  • 118
    EricJ says:

    @103 – “It’s Urkel! It’s More Urkel! It’s Even More Urkel, and (like Emmet eating) it’s still funny! You haven’t seen anything this marathon-funny since Nuveena danced for the whole episode! Thank heavens for running gags, because we never pay enough attention to the movie to think of anything to host-seg about it!”

    …Welcome to Season 6. Frown
    At least SyFy would give them an EXCUSE for ignoring the movie.


  • 119
    CaptainSpam says:

    This one’s always been one that needs time to get up to speed. It starts out sort of tedious for me, but starts picking up steam when the sinister made-for-TV scheme kicks in. And it just keeps gaining more and more speed until Mike and the Bots are just knocking them out of the park when Davy’s flying over the bay and Conrad’s trying to talk him down.

    I’m also dubiously proud that, thanks to the magic of portable computing, I have achieved the MiSTie feat of watching San Francisco International on a flight to San Francisco International. The place has changed a wee bit in the intervening years, it turns out.


  • 120
    Cornjob says:

    Never saw Urkel before or after this episode. Fine with me I think.

    I also think little Davy should get some kind of MST3K award for most stupid male child in an annoying subplot role. I wouldn’t have even thought of trying to drive a car WITH permission at his age. Hijacking an airplane is stupid bordering on a death wish. I hope Davy didn’t live long enough to reproduce. Made for great riffing though.

    This episode seemed to be one of the last times the riffers liked RUSH. They, particularly Joel, seemed to like them in the early years and then hate them during the Sci-fi years. Did Geddy Lee run over Mike’s Dog or steal his keyboard?

    Oh, was the “hippie” part of the misdirection of the heist. I can never figure that out.


  • 121
    syferdet says:

    Riff that doesn’t appear to have been mentioned yet:
    TOM: “She’s wearing appliance green.”
    Why did they use that color on appliances back in the 70’s? Ick.

    Cornjob @ #120: I’ve always thought the scene where the guy misidentifies the hippie that he got in to a scuffle with was just filler. The pilot was probably running short and they needed some kind of five minute scene to meet the final length of the episode. To me, it was an unnecessary scene that takes place in the middle of the episode, normally where today a two-hour pilot would end part one. So, if San Fran International were aired in syndication – that scene would be the end of the episode.

    Perhaps I’m reading too much into this, but I’m just looking at it as one who has developed pilot episodes.


  • 122
    Cornjob says:

    Thanks for the input syferdet. I used to think the hippie was part of the heist, but the last time I watched, it looked like the two were unconnected and they were just setting up some antagonism between Clu and the cranky businessman.


  • 123
    Strummergas says:

    I like this one. It was my first time watching it this weekend. I like the experiments where they riff on made-for-TV movies, and I especially have a soft spot for the ones with the drab 70’s pilots. I’m too young to have seen these shows when they first aired, but I remember seeing a lot of these types of “movies” on dreary Sunday afternoons while visiting relatives and having nothing else to do but watch television. Fun times!

    To jump in on the Season 6 debate, I find it to be very inconsistent. Some of what I think are great eps and some which I think are the worst eps are in this season. Every show goes through a dry spell. Most of the time, it means the end of the series. Luckily for us, it was just a bump in the road.

    Definitely an above average episode for me. 3.5 stars, if that were possible.


  • 124
    Stacia says:

    This is one of my favorite episodes. The 1970s TV spilots and made-for-TV movies that featured character actors who had been around for millennia and aging former Hollywood stars are an absolute hoot. The riffing on this was great — all the good ones have been quoted already, though I don’t think anyone mentioned the series of reaction shots of cranky businessmen on a plane early on. One of my favorite parts. The unfortunate Urkel segments are easy enough to get through though they do bog the episode down.

    I really enjoyed Season 6. Danger!! Death Ray is one of my favorites, and Dead Talk Back, Sinister Urge, and the horrifying exploitation flicks Racket Girls and Girls Town are great. But I think if you can’t stand the boring, hardcore bad films like Red Zone Cuba or Starfighters, you’re going to hate Season 6, and no one can really fault you for that.