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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: 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 (219 votes, average: 4.45 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 available on Shout Factory’s “Mystery Science Theater 3000 Vol XXXII.”
• 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.
• Unlike “Code Name: Diamond Head,” this pilot DID go to series, however briefly. Clu Gulagher was the only cast member from the pilot to be asked back. 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 was kicked out of a Los Angeles bar after an altercation. He returned with a gun and shot and killed one guy and wounded another. 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!”

151 Replies to “Episode guide: 614- San Francisco International”

  1. 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.


  2. 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.


  3. 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.


  4. 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,

    :tv: :tv: :tv: :tv:


  5. 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!!”


  6. 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.”


  7. 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.


  8. 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.


  9. 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.


  10. 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.


  11. schippers says:

    Hey, anybody see Urkel’s porn tape?

    Or maybe I’m thinking of Screech…


  12. 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.”


  13. Depressing Aunt says:

    Thanks for that! :D

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


  14. Tom Carberry says:

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


  15. halfmoonmaiden says:

    Dr. F. can show me his Action Torso any day. :inlove:


  16. 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”.


  17. 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. :(
    At least SyFy would give them an EXCUSE for ignoring the movie.


  18. 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.


  19. 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.


  20. 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.


  21. 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.


  22. 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.


  23. 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.


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

    In case anyone was wondering, the kid who supposedly killed himself because Battlestar: Galactica got cancelled was fifteen-year-old Edward Seidel of Saint Paul, Minnesota.

    The claim isn’t quite true. He apparently had multiple pre-existing psychological problems and the cancellation was just the final metaphorical slap in the face from the world that he could take, but he didn’t kill himself JUST because of that.


  25. Professor Gunther says:

    I would imagine this has been mentioned, but the last time I watched this episode I realized that the guy who inspects the nose wheel of Hartman’s plane is none other than the actor who plays the reverend in THE SCREAMING SKULL. I had recently watched the latter, so his voice was still in my head (“she died in the water”).


  26. touches no one's life, then leaves 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

    Huh. Wonder what HE wanted…


  27. Sampo says:

    Professor Gunther:
    I would imagine this has been mentioned, but the last time I watched this episode I realized that the guy who inspects the nose wheel of Hartman’s plane is none other than the actor who plays the reverend in THE SCREAMING SKULL.I had recently watched the latter, so his voice was still in my head (“she died in the water”).

    That would be Russ Conway. He DOES, in fact, appear in two episodes of the series but he is not credited in the pilot.


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

    I’m not a medium, I’m a petite:
    But Clugu Lager is outta sight.

    Does that come by the pint? ;-)

    Perhaps with a Tab chaser…

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

    Actually, I’m pretty sure science fiction conventions, or at least specifically Star Trek conventions, did in fact exist as far back in 1970, so that riff might have needed a little fine-tuning. Shrug.

    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.

    Well, it was the 1970s. In fact, it was the very start of the 1970s. Audiences were much easier to placate back then. Really, you have only to look at the average 1970s prime time lineup to see that…

    MikeK: Starb

    “I AM Starbuck.”

    Why wasn’t that immediately followed by a Frappuccino joke OSLT?

    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.

    On Dragnet, you kind of keep waiting for the counterculture character of the week to snap at the cops, “Damn it, stop condescendingly shaking your head at me! I’m a citizen and I’ve got the right to speak my mind!” OSLT

    Htom Sirveaux:
    “There’s a guy dressed like a priest” “. . . walks into a bar.”

    And the bartender says, “What is this, some kind of a joke…?”

    Htom Sirveaux:
    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.

    Yeah, what’s the point there? I mean, “guys, you’ve GOT the job, RELAX!”

    *I had a roommate who didn’t like MST. (Need I say any more? She …

    “So you’re a woman!”

    Stickboy: Stick

    “That nose wheel feels mushy.”

    Did Mr. “My Way” Pernell get particularly aggravated about the delays over the nose wheel? ‘Cause that’d be kind of ironic. HE’S the maverick but he gets mad when other people seemingly get too insistent about THEIR jobs.

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

    Now THAT…is what I would call an obscure reference. :-)

    Crow: “I did it for Jodie Foster.”

    Should that have been Cindy Foster (one of Jodie’s sisters)? Would that have sold the bit better?

    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’m consistently bemused when people comment on the stupidity of a film character’s actions. Look around you, folks. Look at the world we live in. PEOPLE DO STUPID THINGS, okay? ;-) I’ll admit IMHO it might have worked better if Davey had been a younger child.


  29. Sitting Duck says:

    San Francisco International fails the Bechdel Test. None of the female characters converse with each other.

    What a dud of a TV show premise. I’m shocked it actually made it to series (though not surprised that its run was so short). Of the three subplots of the pilot, I found only the heist one even remotely interesting, and that’s not saying much.

    Regarding the whole Urkel hullabaloo, he’s like Horshack of Welcome Back, Kotter in that a little goes a long way. I suspect a lot of those who revile him nowadays liked him Back in the Day and are too ashamed to admit it. At least the Brains were willing to mock the comedic deficiencies of the character back when he was still popular (kind of like how Ruddigore mocked Snidley Whiplash style villains back when they were still taken seriously).

    Favorite riffs

    These guys, I’ll bet the seat belts are already snug.

    Gawd! There are credits all over the runway!

    Is this anyway to run a TV movie? You bet it is!

    I hope I’m dead, because my pants are full.

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

    Will the distinguished senator from California please scooch over?

    There will always be Battlestar Galactica. That’ll never be cancelled.

    Airport movies are like the watering holes of B-movie actors.

    “I’m aware of this facility’s needs.”
    What about my needs?

    It’s Pernell’s elaborate trick to demonstrate the need for men’s room phones.

    I wish this film was in color.

    He’s a Made for TV Hippie.

    I hope there’s a bell tower to where we’re moving to.

    “Give me trouble, that guard’s a dead man.”
    What, old Porno Pete?

    I’m beginning to doubt you’re a priest.

    Oh that’s always nice. Just steal the in-flight magazines.

    So this is Denver’s new baggage handling system.

    No one in the airport loves me.

    Tonight, on Postal Inspector.

    I’m going to splatter myself all over the tarmac to impress Dad.

    Hot, steamy hardware intrigue.

    The Fisher-Price Airport Set.

    Child with a messy divorce on Runway 2.

    “There’s a kid in there.”
    Well shoot him down.

    “They tell us a young boy has accidentally taken off in a small plane.”
    And some elves are transporting Nazis to the moon.

    Davey, all those people down there are getting divorced because of you.

    See all those people down there? Those are the people you’ve disappointed, Davey.

    The faces of those you’ve wronged will be floating on your left.

    “I want you to pull it halfway out.”
    No, the throttle!

    Davey, probably the wrong time to tell you, but this is a federal offense, stealing a plane and all.


  30. Gobi says:

    One of my favorites. Gotta love an episode with an Yngwie Malmsteen reference!

    The Urkel bits don’t bother me, I especially like seeing all the other characters from past episodes.

    There, I said it and I’d say it again.


  31. Sitting Duck says:

    touches no one’s life, then leaves #128: Actually, I’m pretty sure science fiction conventions, or at least specifically Star Trek conventions, did in fact exist as far back in 1970, so that riff might have needed a little fine-tuning.

    Not only have science fiction conventions existed since at least the Thirties, but Forrest Ackerman did some cosplay at the 1939 World Science Fiction Convention.

    On Dragnet, you kind of keep waiting for the counterculture character of the week to snap at the cops, “Damn it, stop condescendingly shaking your head at me! I’m a citizen and I’ve got the right to speak my mind!” OSLT

    Personally I think it’s unfair to only remember Dragnet for the hippie-bashing episodes. Not only did it lay out the groundwork for relatively believable crime procedurals, but it also touched on subject matter that had been previously taboo in crime shows like rape and child killings. Even in the Sixties revival, most of the time the only differences between it and the Fifties version is that it’s in color and had Harry Morgan instead of Ben Alexander.


  32. Lisa H. says:

    touches no one’s life, then leaves: “I AM Starbuck.”

    Why wasn’t that immediately followed by a Frappuccino joke OSLT?

    I did not know this before I started poking around, but Starbucks did not sell Frappuccinos in 1994. They bought the Boston company that developed them in 1994 and began selling them under the Starbucks name in 1995. So quite possibly the Brains had never heard of a Frappuccino at the time they were writing the riffs.

    (The first time I went to a Starbucks, which would have been sometime between 1992 and 1994, the one that had recently opened in my San Francisco Bay area city was considered something of a novelty. Now, of course, there’s like a dozen, and I live a mere quarter of a mile from one.)


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

    OSLT = Or Something Like That

    It could’ve been a riff about some OTHER kind of Starbucks product. ;-)


  34. DarkGrandmaofDeath says:

    This is not one of my top episodes, but I do find plenty to love in it.

    There’s the segment with Dr. F and Frank as construction workers:

    “That wall there, oh, holy cats, that’s a project in itself…Hey Frank, what do you think of this wall here?”

    “Well, you can take her out or leave her in, I guess….yeh, I wanna take some green-treated lumber and toenail her in, I spose.”

    There’s the brown/gray/orange-tinted made-for-TV movie itself, with its painfully ’70s subplots and elements. My favorite is the “dirty-looking, long-haired creep” hippie whose every line of dialog is priceless:

    “I’m not following you, my friend. No way.”

    “I don’t know nothin’ about nothin’ about no candy counter.”

    And there are the riffs, like my favorites:

    “There’s a Grace Slick on the runway.”

    “Damn subplots keep washing ashore!”

    I’m not wildly engaged with the Urkel sketches, but I have no problem ignoring them if I choose. Overall, I wouldn’t do away with this episode for anything, no matter how mushy the nosewheel is. No way, my friend.


  35. GornCaptain says:

    Jaleel White (and Urkel) returned in a Scion car commercial last year. ;)


  36. Ian L. says:

    Love this riff, as they talk Davey down:

    “Watch your V.O.R. Have you filed a flight plan? Have you radioed it in? Get your log sheet out!”


  37. Ned Raggett says:

    Having now moved to San Francisco a year and a half back, I have flown out of/back to SFO itself numerous times at this point. Try as I might, however, I cannot seem to have an irritated bald businessman accuse me of attacking him while he chews noisily on his diet gum. (I must take the role of the made-for-TV hippie due to the hair, though mine is rather longer than Dude Who Thinks He’s Skip Spence.)

    I like to imagine John Waters thinking of casting Tab Hunter for Polyester after seeing this, but that’s unlikely.

    I love Van Johnson as Not Herb Caen Nor Much Of Anything Else. “Perhaps if we had a child…”

    David Hartman…why. (I remember stumbling across some article from the late 1970s profiling him and taking himself and his hosting of Good Morning America deeply seriously for some reason. God knows what the reason was for that.)

    And Davey isn’t quite Wil-Wheaton-on-ST:TNG levels of annoying but I like imagining he spent the remainder of the seventies in a dank, dark room thinking that every Pink Floyd album was about him.


  38. thequietman says:

    Ah yes, the “opulently decorated” San Francisco airport.

    Whatever else you can say about the Urkel sketches, you can’t say the Brains were unwilling to commit to a bit. For me what really came out of left field is the Mads suddenly being tanned construction workers. Could that have been based on some real folks that did some work at the studio? It just seemed really specific.

    This movie, though. I think it is neck and neck with “Stranded in Space” as the most 1970s of 1970s movies the show did. I mean, at least ‘Riding With Death’ had some fun ‘splosions and such. Here, it’s just craggy, greasy, has-been actors, and not a single speck of natural color to be found anywhere, from Mom’s appliance green coat to the rusty sheen on the airplanes. But it doesn’t matter, because the riffing never lets up. By the time Davey takes his little joyride, the riffs (particularly the ‘continue the sentence’ ones) are coming so fast and furious you can barely keeping up from laughing.

    Fave Riffs
    Just pretend you’re Buddy Hackett and Mickey Rooney!

    Pernell: …or you’ll never get your pilot’s license, and we wouldn’t want that would we?


  39. dakotaboy says:

    I love the way Crow, Servo, and Mike attempt an Oxford-style debate. Real debates of this type are known for their even, measured discussion of important issues. It doesn’t take long for Crow and Servo to break form, with hilarious results.


  40. Johnny Drama says:

    This one is firmly in my top ten. I was happy to see it placed in the recent Top 100 poll, although it barely squeaked in (coming in at #99!). San Francisco International, along with Kitten With A Whip and Village Of The Giants, for me, are Mike’s finest hours. My favorite Sci-Fi era episode is Riding With Death, and my all-time favorite episodes are Master Ninja 1 and 2; I do enjoy the made-for-tv ones.
    I love the bleakness of Season 6. Most every episode of this season has a dark, dreary movie, and I can’t get enough of it. After all, that’s the idea, isn’t it? Cheesy movies, the worst we can find, in an attempt to find the worst movie ever and then use it to take over the world.
    In ways, Season 8 is darker than Season 6, especially in the sterile, deep-space host segments. The first few Brain Guy episodes are downright creepy! I do love Thing That Couldn’t Die and The Undead, but I digress.
    San Francisco International, a not completely overlooked, but definitely a deep-cut favorite. Amazing riffing, and host segments that demand you see:
    12 To The Moon
    The Sinister Urge
    Santa Claus
    The Brain That Wouldn’t Die
    before you watch this episode, in order to get the most out of the host segments.


  41. Cornjob says:

    Still don’t really know what this Urkle thing is about. No great loss it seems. Bridget looks very nice as Nuveena.


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

    “Well, you can take her out or leave her in, I guess….”

    Yes, he narrowed it down to those TWO possibilities…


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

    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”.

    You know, if Gentle Ben had starred in Ben (1972), it would’ve been an entirely different movie.


  44. MSTie says:

    1 adam 12:
    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.

    I think the rampant blandness is what makes it so funny now, because that was the 1970s TV lineup to a T. Bland and a hundred shades of brown. They can never riff too much from the ’70s in my book.

    I love this episode but the Urkel running gag, which I loathe, keeps it from being in my top ten. It’d be in the top twenty though. Favorite riff, which is remarkably useful, “The answer, my friend, is blow it out your ass.”


  45. Bruce Boxliker says:

    Jaleel White (and Urkel) returned in a Scion car commercial last year.

    Dear lord.. is that an Urkel Real Doll?! I… I am profoundly disturbed.

    According to his IMDB page, Jaleel White has had a fairly respectable acting career since his Urkel days.

    On the subject of the movie, I believe the hippy altercation scene was entirely to establish & give some insight into Clu’s character. While this kind of character-specific subplot is something fairly common to TV, *usually* they actually have something to do with the overall plot of the episode. That doesn’t seem to be the case here.


  46. Warren says:

    ‘I wish this movie was in color’


  47. Ray Dunakin says:

    I love this episode. The bit with Dr. F and Frank as construction workers rings true and scores big. The movie itself is the epitome of lame ’70s made-for-TV movies and gives Mike and the bots plenty of fodder for hilarious riffing.

    As noted by many others, the Urkel skits are the weak point. I felt it would have been fine and made it’s point if they’d condensed it to a single sketch instead of dragging it out.


  48. Cornjob says:

    I love the Rush jokes and how they keep ripping on Davey.


  49. snowdog says:

    I think that by now, we’ve entered the era of “Urkel who?” Still one of my fave eps, mushy nose and all.


  50. bad wolf says:

    The episode is just okay for me but i really wanted to compliment the guy(s) who did the DVD menu for Shout for this–this was the hands-down funniest intro skit i’ve seen yet from them! (It has the hippie guy with Crow and Tom briefly turning into Daft Punk.)

    I know they’ve been profiled on one of the previous DVDs so sorry for blanking on the credit(s)!


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