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Sampo & Erhardt

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

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Episode guide: 1201- Mac and Me

Okay, off we go with :::makes gesture::: The Gauntlet.

Intro: Joel, ever the trend spotter, picks up on the “binge watching” zeitgeist and offers us fewer episodes than last season, and instead gives us shows that blend into on another and become one giant riff. Let’s begin.

Movie: (1988) In this blatant ripoff of E.T. filled with shameless product placement, a family of aliens is transported to Earth, much to the surprise of a newly arrived California family.

Opening: The bots have rigged “Back Up Travel Cambot” to a pneumatic system. Jonah, feared dead at the end of last season, is alive! And nobody cares to hear about his miraculous escape. From Moon 13, Max and Kinga introduce the “Gauntlet” concept.

Invention exchange: The Mads have created a smartness drug with terrible side effects. J&tB have created a cross between Spam and Pez, Spez.

Segment 1: Jonah tries to communicate by whistling. Max and Synthia and Crow and Tom try their best.

Segment 2: Crow and Jonah and Gypsy present a birthday party at McDonah’s. Kinga and Max try to join in.

Closing: J&tB are complaining when all three are sucked up and deposited in Moon 13. The Mads need Jonah to create six more holes for film canisters.

Stinger: The alien family goes shopping.

The new normal: Two internal host segments instead of three. For the first time, Crow and Tom get sucked up in the vacuum tubes.
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (26 votes, average: 4.31 out of 5)

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Thoughts:
• We used to do a regular item in the ep guides called “CreditsWatch.” It was created when there were a total of a couple dozen employees at BBI and the end-of-the-show credits lasted about 30 seconds. Maintaining that feature now would be a full-time job, because each credit list contains HUNDREDS of people and goes on for several minutes.
Don’t get me wrong: I’m glad the show is providing work and paychecks for lots of hard-working and creative people, but you have to admit, of all the changes the show has undergone since it was acquired by ShoutFactory, the sheer population of the cast and crew is the most dramatic.
In fact, I have a challenge for anybody who wants to take it on: compile me a list, for every S11 and 12 ep, of every person in the credits who has the word “producer” in his or her title. Each ep appears to have DOZENS. In SKYDIVERS, there’s a riff during the movie’s credits that it’s a “I can’t pay you but I’ll put your name in the credits” credit list. Thanks to Kickstarter, these shows have a “I CAN pay you and in the credits you’ll be a producer” credits lists.
Not a criticism, just an observation.
• There’s a good deal of manhandling going on between Kinga and Max, but they also seem to have become a little more equal.
• When word got out that “Mac and Me” was to be riffed, I was amazed at the fan reaction. Sure, I’d suffered through it before, but I mostly remembered that it was stupid. But for a lot of MSTies, it was like they woke up on Christmas morning to the exact thing that they had asked Santa for.
• “Flush them the movie,” Kinga says. That’s new.
• This movie gave us an already-familiar catchphrase: “Pretty nice!”
• The product placement is relentless. Coke pops up early, McDonalds a little later.
• Naughty riff: Spiderman me, mom.”
• Callbacks: Watch out for snakes!” (Eegah.) McCloud! (Pod People.)
• Whoa, slam on Jugaloes outa nowhere!
• One of the movie’s strangest moments: the doctor, without consulting the mom, gives Eric a bottle of sedatives.
• Eden Prairie gets a shout out.
• A minor detail about the movie: It features the first professional performance by Jennifer Anniston. She was an uncredited crowd member and made $400, she says in this brief interview.
• Cast and crew roundup: Cinematographer Nick McClean was the assistant camera man on THE TOUCH OF SATAN. Production illustrator Mentor Huebnor was production illustrator for “Marooned,” which was riffed on MST3K as SPACE TRAVELERS.Sound editor Frank McKelvey was the composer of THE LEGEND OF BOGGY CREEK II. Re-recording mixer Don Digirolamo was stereo sound consultant on STARCRASH.
• Fave riff: “I wanna see the movie this composer THOUGHT he was scoring.” Honorable mention: “This is like a Pixar movie, in that exists and has a title.”

77 Replies to “Episode guide: 1201- Mac and Me”

  1. jay says:

    Spider-Man me, Mom”. That really is a naughty riff. I had to look it up. I will not ask how mom could accomplish that.

       5 likes

  2. Sitting Duck says:

    Mac and Me passes the Bechdel Test. Courtney summons Debbie to supper. Also two random women talk about buying smokes.

    Not sure if I’ve mentioned it here, but all the movies in the Gauntlet are knock-offs, with varying degrees of brazenness. As Sampo noted, Mac and Me is notorious for its imitation of E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. Atlantic Rim is a rush to market capitalization on Pacific Rim. Lords of the Deep is one of a string of science fiction/horror films set underwater released in 1989. The Day Time Ended can be seen as a low budget reworking of Close Encounters of the Third Kind (or as they riff, Close Encounters of the Turd Kind). Killer Fish is another film attempting to capture the Jaws magic. Finally, Ator, the Fighting Eagle is one of the many Conan the Barbarian imitators of the Eighties. How intentional this was is hard to say.

    As implied, the 1969 Best Actor Oscar went to Cliff Robertson for his role in Charly.

    The Kinga is a fink!

    Jonah as a Ronald McDonald knock-off may not be quite as unsettling as his crossdressing as a Grecian handmaiden in The Loves of Hercules, but it’s close.

    Unless they’re in a rough neighborhood, armed security at a grocery store seems a bit excessive.

    Favorite riffs

    The Epcot Post-Apocalypse Pavilion’s really coming along.

    You hardly ever get to see Jawas in the nude.

    Yeah, keep trying, music. It isn’t that interesting.

    I want to see the movie this composer thought he was scoring.

    Mom, do we have any Reese’s Pieces? I don’t know, it just seems like they’d fit into this somehow.

    Jim Henson’s The Shining Babies.

    “I’m sure there’s a rational explanation.”
    But probably a terrifying one.

    A witch turned me into a remote control car, and I’m gonna need you to collect three magic keys to turn me back.

    Damn you, Roy’s Discount Medical Supply!

    Remember, when you throw out your Tickle Me Elmo, you’ve got to remove the batteries.

    The goddess Athena accepts your cola offering.

    You got your Poltergeist rip-off in my E.T. rip-off!

    “Sorry I took so long.”
    I had to construct a waking nightmare.

    Tell my wife I died chasing a boy in a wheelchair.

    Dammit nurse, this is a Pepsi. It doesn’t have the unique healing properties of Coke Classic.

    Puny humans, all we wanted was your Coke but you defied us.

    Mom, I saw Dad in Heaven. He said you pushed him off a cliff.

    And now, a sneak peek of Mac and Me 2: The College Years.

    Movie ends with a Sorting Hat ceremony. What won’t they rip off?

    They honestly looked less conspicuous naked.

       15 likes

  3. michaelkz says:

    GI can’t help but like Mac and Me for its setting in late 1980s suburbia. Dance numbers and space aliens aside, it’s a good nostalgic trip for me.

    I enjoyed the episode and the whole Gauntlet season as a whole. It wasn’t a marathon of unconnected episodes, it was truly made to watch one after another.

    I wish I could talk about the actual episode, but I haven’t gotten a chance to watch these a second time.

       2 likes

  4. Ro-man, aka one of several possible Steves says:

    My first thought: Maybe this falls into the “how he eats and breathes and other science facts” category, but I for one want to know how Jonah survived! I mean, with all the mystery of his making the spacesuit in Season 11 and and. Does anyone else think that it just seemed like laziness disguised as nonchalance to blow it off like that?

       9 likes

  5. mando3b says:

    Ro-man, aka one of several possible Steves: Does anyone else think that it just seemed like laziness disguised as nonchalance to blow it off like that?

    That was my first reaction. But after a moment’s reflection, it struck me as pretty funny: everyone who’s watching wants to know the answer to that question, but because the ‘bots don’t care, we’re not going to get it! That is actually a wonderful nod to the old Crow & Servo that we love so much. That being said . . . Yeah, yer damn right, HOW THE HELL DID JONAH SURVIVE?!?

       5 likes

  6. goalieboy82 says:

    a young Jennifer Aniston is in this film too (in her first movie too)

       1 likes

  7. Kenneth Morgan says:

    I thought this one turned out OK. The movie, while shamelessly derivative, was watchable, with a good musical score, and they didn’t use the kid’s disability as the source of extra schmatltz. That scene at the supermarket was surprisingly dark, though; Jonah was right to flip out over it.
    The host segments were good, and the riffing was great. They didn’t try to overload with jokes, and the rhythm was right. I got a kick out of the TLJ-inspired crack, and, not being a Conan O’Brien viewer, I didn’t get why some MSTies complained about the lack of a Paul Rudd joke during the cliff scene.
    Personally, I didn’t mind the lack of an explanation over Jonah’s survival. It’s one of those things where, no matter what they could’ve come up with, somebody would’ve been disappointed. Better to leave it to our imaginations, like the Time War and the Krabby Patty secret formula. And, if they wanted to, they could tease us with hints throughout Season 13.

    A good start to Season 12. And I’m glad you’re doing better, Sampo. I hope my question re: the Guide a few days ago wasn’t taken as complaining. Feel free to go at your own pace.

       2 likes

  8. mando3b says:

    The whole “gauntlet” idea is intriguing, and fits right into the whole premise: they’re supposed to be torturing Jonah with bad movies, after all. You can still watch the movies one at a time, if you don’t binge-watch. Having one less host segment was strange, but in the end just different–a reasonable adaptation to the new platform. It’s still the same show. Generally in Season 12, I was happy to see Kinga and Max get more to do and have more texture to their personalities.
    That being said, I haven’t yet gone through “The Gauntlet” a second time, as I did immediately with Season 11. And that is precisely because: HOLY MOTHER OF PEARL, ARE THESE MOVIES BAD!!! As a set of MST episodes, Season 12 is great–I laughed a lot and was happy to see the further evolution of the new in-SOL cast. But, gosh darn it, are these movies a slog. (Except for Ator.) And for me the worst of the lot is Mac & Me. It fills me with an ineffable rage: the brazenness of the ET rip-off of, the even worse brazenness of the product placements, the scene in MacDonald’s, the final scene where the bug-eyed, uncharming alien family become US citizens [THAT was the worst. I’m getting the shakes just writing about it] . . . . The riffs by Jonah & the ‘bots are terrific, the host segments are fine, overall it is a very solid MST3K episode, but . . . but . . . Okay, I’m now officially having an episode and have to stop now. [Flash backs, man, flash backs, real bad flash backs . . . ]

       5 likes

  9. InvaderPet says:

    Supposedly Jennifer Aniston is in this movie. Anyone know where she is?

       0 likes

  10. Sitting Duck says:

    It’s really for the best to leave the details of Jonah’s survival to the imaginations of the viewers. Whatever the writers would come up with would be invariably underwhelming.

    I don’t get the naughtiness of Spiderman me (unless it has something to do with his webshooting being analogous to semen).

       3 likes

  11. Ro-man, aka one of several possible Steves says:

    Sitting Duck: Spiderman me

    If I’m not mistaken, this was a reference to the upside down kiss in the original Tobey McGuire Spiderman (you know, the one about seven reboots back).

       7 likes

  12. Mysteryman says:

    I was disappointed that they had fewer host segments. Did Netflix think those made it less bingeable?

    InvaderPet:
    Supposedly Jennifer Aniston is in this movie. Anyone know where she is?

    I think she’s sitting on the curb outside McDonald’s. Actress Nikki Cox is somewhere in that scene too.

    Kenneth Morgan:
    That scene at the supermarket was surprisingly dark, though; Jonah was right to flip out over it.

    There’s an alternate cut of the movie where the kid doesn’t die in the explosion, one of the cops accidentally shoots him.

       5 likes

  13. yelling_into_the_void says:

    I’ve only seen parts of this season in GIF form:
    https://mst3kgifs.tumblr.com/tagged/mac-and-me

       0 likes

  14. Sitting Duck says:

    Mysteryman:
    There’s an alternate cut of the movie where the kid doesn’t die in the explosion, one of the cops accidentally shoots him.

    Yeah, that would be a step up. :P

       0 likes

  15. Terry the Sensitive Knight says:

    aww man, I haven’t seen any of these yet

       2 likes

  16. Torgover says:

    I really enjoyed this episode and thought it and the other season 12 was a big step up from season 11. This episode in particular was a standout with plenty of good riffs and good host segments, 5/5 stars. I guess you could say it was “Pretty nice!”

    Favorite riffs:

    Crow: I can’t help feeling like I’ve seen all this before. Single mom, suburban kid, big brother, little girl.
    Jonah: Yeah, that’s E.T.
    Crow: No, that’s not it. You know, they find an alien. He loves junk food.
    Jonah: Yeah, no, it’s from E.T.
    Crow: No, but the alien is separated from its family and just wants to call home.
    Jonah: You’re thinking of E.T.!
    Crow: No, but then the alien helps the kid fly—
    Jonah: E.T.
    Crow: Let me finish! During a summer camp boxing match.
    Jonah: Oh, Meatballs II.
    Crow: Now that’s it!

    (Mac’s brown, withered hand reaches for a Coca-Cola)
    Crow: My precious!

    (RC car races at Eric and runs into him.)
    Servo: Witness me!

    Jonah: Man, my mom’s mad at me, nobody believes me, I don’t have any friends. I guess I’ll just have to become a Juggalo.

    (Mac is on Eric’s back)
    Servo: Luke, thirty years from now, overly possessive fanboys, upset with your character arc will be. Mmm, yes.

    (Government agent trips on a toy car)
    Crow: Tell my wife I died chasing a little boy in a wheelchair!

    (Mac and Eric’s family join hands to revive Eric)
    Servo: I guess this is “Hands across him Eric-a”! **Jonah rips off Servo’s dome and throws it accross the theater.**

       8 likes

  17. Kenotic says:

    I always, always feel bad for child actors in notoriously bad films – your one shot at stardom was doomed by a hacky script and cynical producers. That said, and I won’t rehash all what I’ve said before, but this movie got one thing VERY right: Eric’s just a kid. He uses a wheelchair. No bloated speech, no kids mocking him to gain empathy, no teachable moments..he’s just Eric. To their other credit, that chase scene is probably the best thing in the movie and uses the situation perfectly: Eric latches onto a speeding truck and wheels like mad to catch up with his brother in the van. That was genuinely a great scene.

    But everything else? Let’s just say that when Ronald McDonald appears to be the best actor in your movie you’ve got a problem. I’ve watched this episode at least 6 times since it was released (I’m old enough to remember when it ran in theaters and the savage reviews it received) and it just keeps getting better. The scene from the convenience store till the end is the new MST at the top of their game. Jonah’s freakout and the bot’s retorts is the funniest thing of Season 12.

    Best Line: NO!!! THIS DIDN’T HAPPEN IN E.T.!!!

       10 likes

  18. Kenotic says:

    And yes, they originally shot the kid:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tGSOQV-LQpI

       1 likes

  19. Torgover says:

    Ro-man, aka one of several possible Steves:
    My first thought:Maybe this falls into the “how he eats and breathes and other science facts” category, but I for one want to know how Jonah survived!I mean, with all the mystery of his making the spacesuit in Season 11 and and.Does anyone else think that it just seemed like laziness disguised as nonchalance to blow it off like that?

    I don’t mind it. It fits in with what we’ve seen before with the series. They never explain how Mike and the bots come back from being pure energy at the beginning of season 8. They never explain Frank’s many recoveries from death and still haven’t explained how Crow, Servo and Gypsy got back to the SOL after escaping it in season 10, or if they’re duplicates of the originals. There’s quite a few others I could name.

       6 likes

  20. Ro-man, aka one of several possible Steves says:

    Kenotic: this movie got one thing VERY right: Eric’s just a kid. He uses a wheelchair. No bloated speech, no kids mocking him to gain empathy, no teachable moments..he’s just Eric.

    Very much agree with this statement. For the misguided and derivative mess that this movie is as a whole, its was really refreshing to see this.

    Kenotic:
    And yes, the originally shot the kid:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tGSOQV-LQpI

    Yow. I mean… waitasec… what?
    Oh….. my.

    Torgover: I don’t mind it. It fits in with what we’ve seen before with the series.They never explain how Mike and the bots come back from being pure energy at the beginning of season 8. They never explain Frank’s many recoveries from death and still haven’t explained how Crow, Servo and Gypsy got back to the SOL after escaping it in season 10, or if they’re duplicates of the originals. There’s quite a few others I could name.

    Well, I sure can’t argue with that. I concede the point. ;)

       2 likes

  21. Sitting Duck:
    Jonah as a Ronald McDonald knock-off may not be quite as unsettling as his crossdressing as a Grecian handmaiden in The Loves of Hercules, but it’s close.

    And while the movie was literally produced by McDonald’s as a charity stunt, the Ronald McDonald jokes might be a bit dated, since…we haven’t really SEEN that much of Ronald at the restaurants or TV ads for the last twenty years, have we?
    It’s possible it may date back to that infamous “Ronald goes Saturday-night club-hopping” ad for the Arch Deluxe, back in ’96, but they’ve certainly cut back on the corporate icon since then, except for charity checks at the usual Labor Day telethons. It’s probably a good thing I couldn’t find a YouTube clip, it’s certainly something you could never UN-see.

    Ro-man, aka one of several possible Steves:
    TMy first thought:Maybe this falls into the “how he eats and breathes and other science facts” category, but I for one want to know how Jonah survived!I mean, with all the mystery of his making the spacesuit in Season 11 and and.Does anyone else think that it just seemed like laziness disguised as nonchalance to blow it off like that?

    I remember fans were looking forward to the show being revived in S8, wondered how they’d get out of Laserblast’s ending, and said (on the Usenet rec.arts group at the time) “Wouldn’t it be, like, so cool if they just started the show back on the SOL, and Mike just walked in and shrugged ‘Huh…That was weird’, and they just continued the show as usual?”

    Welp…Glad you got your wish. And Jonah’s offbeat style managed to carry it off more naturally as his own gag, without any deliberate assault of hipness. Although Netflix-era Producer Joel’s been getting a little too binge-happy with the Gauntlets and Season-Arcs, at least he knows when the host segments are Just a Show, You Should Really Just Relax.

    (Mac is on Eric’s back)
    Servo: Luke, thirty years from now, overly possessive fanboys, upset with your character arc will be. Mmm, yes.

    …Yes, remember long ago, in the months just after TLJ had first come out, when all the problems were due to “Angry nitpicking fanboys”, and Disney was ready to give Rian Johnson a whole new trilogy of his own?? It was a simpler time.
    (They still want to do that new trilogy, but now they’re planning to give it to the Game of Thrones guys.)

       1 likes

  22. Jason says:

    And while we’re on that subject: seeing as TV’s Son of TV’s Frank ruined Kinga’s wedding, why hasn’t she put his severed head on a pike?

       2 likes

  23. Darn, it’s been so long, I’m going to have to watch the episodes again–All the favorite riffs slipped my mind except for:
    “Our permanent expressions of shock finally come in handy!”

    Sitting Duck: Not sure if I’ve mentioned it here, but all the movies in the Gauntlet are knock-offs, with varying degrees of brazenness. As Sampo noted, Mac and Me is notorious for its imitation of E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. Atlantic Rim is a rush to market capitalization on Pacific Rim. Lords of the Deep is one of a string of science fiction/horror films set underwater released in 1989. The Day Time Ended can be seen as a low budget reworking of Close Encounters of the Third Kind (or as they riff, Close Encounters of the Turd Kind). Killer Fish is another film attempting to capture the Jaws magic. Finally, Ator, the Fighting Eagle is one of the many Conan the Barbarian imitators of the Eighties. How intentional this was is hard to say.

    It’s been a few years, and think Producer Joel is slipping a bit in his ability to keep up with “What is a bad movie?”
    When they started at KTMA, there was almost no such thing as a “Direct-to-DVD” Soultaker or Future War, even the most recent bad movie like “The Last Chase” still played B-theaters with a rowdy audience (if they were lucky), and they all ended up on local Minnesota TV stations on Saturday afternoons, sooner or later.

    Now–spending a little more money than just getting a Roger Corman New World package in S11–he had to deliver “The new generation of bad movies!”, and we get representative samples: Reputation-Heavy 80’s-Nostalgia Bad-Movie Legend (what, no “Howard the Duck”??), followed by S11 Roger Corman Movie, Asylum Knockoff, and some core-fan callbacks for “Laserblast” and “Cave Dwellers”.
    Killer Fish must on paper have seemed like the only “old-school” 70’s bad-movie of the bunch, which is why the riffing seemed to turn so disgruntled and grumpy when the weird lazy plot DIDN’T become any one of the three or four riffable bad movies they were expecting it to become.

    IF (and it’s still an “If” :( ) we do get a S13, I expect some of the “fatigue” with trying to apply the old formula to new movies will finally take its toll, they’ll go with Ator’s episode ending that Jonah left Moon 13 to “join the Deep Hurting Live Tour” on Earth, and the new season will consist of live concert-audience episodes in character, like Cinematic Titanic’s videos moved from lame studio static to the audience energy of concert riffing.
    Now THAT would be a reason to Kickstarter.

       0 likes

  24. Johnny Drama says:

    Personally, I hope the show does not continue, at least not in it’s current format.

    They’ve completely overblown the program. What was only supposed to be a movie hosting show has been blown up to movie-budget per episode. And now with Season 12, we get the shortest episodes yet, and they’ve even done away with the middle host segment. Why? To appeal to new viewers? Or to just alienate the audience that brought the show back in the first place?

    Hopefully, if the show continues, they will scale back extremely. I would prefer if they didn’t have to go out of their way to secure all the movies for world wide distribution, as well as home video rights. This is silly, and ridiculous, and it’s killing the show. Originally, all they had to worry about was the network showing the episodes, and that was it. We recorded them, and “circulated the tapes.” Now, unfortunately, greed has reared it’s ugly head, and now all rights must be cleared ahead of time. That’s strangling the program. That, plus a very expensive union shoot in Los Angeles. It’s unnecessary.

    Take Svengoolie, for example. They show the movies, then next week it’s a new episode. They don’t have to worry with all that home video/worldwide rights nonsense. True, clean home video copies are nice to buy from Shout, but I would seriously prefer the old method, at this point.

    Plus, the comeback appears to be the worst thing to happen to the fandom. I’ve never seen it so split. Forget the Facebook groups. It’s not like you could get any real insightful, informed conversation on social media, but it’s gotten really bad. You can’t even mention you have issues with the new series or they’ll bite your head off. So sad there’s that many sycophant MSTies, to like something so much that you can’t even criticize it. I’m staying here at MST3Kinfo.com , where the fandom quietly stayed alive (and civil) all these years.

    The new show isn’t all bad, it’s just unnecessarily overblown, and it’s going to implode on itself. Best to put greed aside, and go back to basics. Otherwise, it may be best to just ride off into the sunset.

    Now let me try to explain why I feel securing Home Video Rights is the biggest problem/hurdle.

    MST3K was never designed to be sold after the fact. They were meant to be shown during a contracted amount of time, and then they would simply just go away. Of course, tape traders kept the legacy alive.

    Does any other movie hosting show sell it’s episodes? Not Svengoolie, not Joe Bob Briggs, and only a few of Elvira’s cheapest movies has surfaced on official home video. For that matter, does Saturday Night Live sell their current episodes? It would be a licensing nightmare. I mean, Joe Bob came back last year, and already a few of the films he hosted last summer have expired and been removed from the streaming service.

    What I feel MST3K should have done was go back to their roots, super low-budget. Find a network, cable or streaming service that has a good movie library. That network can clear the movies, show them for a limited time, and then done. That was the old way, and it worked.

    Cut to present day, where Shout Factory has realized there’s money to be made. Each episode must be for sale! That has got to extremely limit the film choices. Not to mention having to clear the show for international audiences. I mean, we’re down to six episodes in season 12. Securing all those rights has got to be a factor. Where as the old way, where they are not trying to sell it after the fact, has got to be less expensive, less complicated, and ultimately produce more content. Would you like 24 episodes a year, but you couldn’t buy them, or 6 episodes every year and a half, but you could buy them? Sure, we’d have to keep “circulating the tapes,” but in today’s HD age, we wouldn’t have to worry about 8th generation SLP VHS copies. But you can’t make money off of fan copies…

    Basically, I just don’t understand the need to go so big budget Hollywood with what is essentially puppets talking back to movies. It’s stifling.

    And as far as the old performers are just that, “too old,” check out this episode of Bill’s podcast with Mary Jo.
    billcorbettsfunhouse.libsyn.com/funhouse-fam-focus-mary-jo-pehl Towards the last half hour, they discuss their feelings towards the revival. They are totally cool with it, but I don’t think they think they are too old.

    The episode of “Mac and Me” itself? Decent enough. Easily the best produced film ever featured on MST3K. Lavish score, beautifully filmed, but ultimately not 100% aware that it was a bad kid’s movie. It’s got some fun moments. The lack of the second host segment, as well as all the missing “commercial” bumpers really messed up the feel of the show for me. Did we not learn from the fiasco that was “MST3K: The Movie”? I like the movie, but I don’t want the show to follow it’s scaled down format. Hell, I want 1 hour 37 and a half minutes back, but I know I’m not getting it ;)

    It is interesting how Season 12 has actually made me appreciate the Sci-Fi era more. At times, it really does seem like the new crew is trying way too hard. While as even in the Sci-Fi era, it seemed like they just did the show, and didn’t care who liked it or not, regardless of network interference. And even though Sci-Fi era is not my cup of tea, I kind of appreciate that attitude now. On the other hand, I don’t miss the mean snark of the Sci-Fi era. The Netflix era has wisely done away with attacking the movies, and has become their companion again. Although, there are some rough patches coming up (Killer Fish, I’m looking at you!).

       17 likes

  25. Ray Dunakin says:

    I haven’t seen any of S12 yet, and won’t be able to see it until it’s on DVD. So maybe someone can tell me if there’s any improvement in the humor since S11?

    The Season 11 eps, IMHO, were pretty disappointing. There were very few, if any, riffs that made me literally laugh out loud. And the riffs must not have been very memorable because I can’t recall a single one. I felt the season was worth watching once but have had no desire to rewatch them. They weren’t terrible, but I’ve been hoping that maybe they just hadn’t had time to really hit their stride yet.

       5 likes

  26. eegah says:

    Ray Dunakin:
    I haven’t seen any of S12 yet, and won’t be able to see it until it’s on DVD. So maybe someone can tell me if there’s any improvement in the humor since S11?

    Definitely! A few of the episodes were up to the level of the old show. I especially LOL’d at Atlantic Rim.

    I wish they wouldn’t over-exaggerate character voices, though. That gets really annoying. The old guys were much more subtle.

       3 likes

  27. goalieboy82 says:

    Kenotic:
    And yes, the originally shot the kid:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tGSOQV-LQpI

    to quote Joel in the Unearthly, well that is dark sirs.

       0 likes

  28. majorjoe23 says:

    After digging through Wikipedia/IMDB, here are my contributions for future This Date in MSTory, and other stuff:

    Released in the US Aug. 12, 1988
    Mac & Me was Jennifer Aniston’s first credited film role, Born Feb. 11, 1969 
    Here’s a link to an interview with Empire where she discusses being in the film. A lot of people think she’s in the McDonald’s scene. If she was, it was likely one of the outdoor bits, based on her memory:
    https://www.manic-expression.com/is-jennifer-aniston-in-mac-and-me/

    “My brother is an assistant director so he was working on that movie as an A.D. He was working on this scene in a park and all these people were having picnics and hanging out, so I sat on a picnic blanket. I didn’t do squat. I’ll tell you what, though, I did get $400 for it. How about that?”

    Ronald McDonald actor Squire Friddell, Born Feb. 9, 1943
    Actress Nikki Cox, Born June 2, 1978
    Director Stewart Raffill, born Jan. 27, 1942
    Actress Christine Ebersole, Born Feb. 21, 1953
    Actor Jonathan Ward, born Feb. 24, 1970
    Actor Jade Calegory, Born April 12, 1976
    Actor Martin West, Born Aug. 28, 1937
    Actor Danny Cooksey, Born Nov. 2, 1975
    Actress Laura Waterbury, Born March 12, 1947, died Sept. 25, 2013
    Actor Jack Eiseman, Born Aug. 5, 1953, died July 23, 1994
    Actress Barbara Allyne Bennet, Born Sept. 7, 1937, died Jan. 9, 2016
    Actor Gary Brockette, Born sept 13, 1947, died Jan. 1, 2010
    Actor Andrew Divoff, born July 2, 1955
    Actor Bud Ekins, born May 11, 1930, died Oct 6, 2007
    George “Buck” Flower, born Oct. 28, 1937, died June 8, 2004
    Actor Tom Fucello, born Dec. 11, 1936, died Aug. 16, 1993
    Ernie Fuentes, born June 1, 1925, died March 5, 2016
    Actor J.D. Hall, born May 7, 1947
    Actor Roger Hampton, born April 12, 1945, died Sept 15, 2012
    Actor Jack Ing, born Nov. 6, 1940, died June 13, 2017
    Actor Sean Simmons, born Oct. 30, 1958, died Nov. 23, 2002
    Actor Jack David Walker, born June 1, 1958
    Dancer Dee Caspary, born Oct. 21, 1975
    Dancer Dominic Lucero, born Aug. 28, 1967, died July 1, 1994
    Producer Mark Damon, born April 22, 1933
    Composer Alan Sivestri, born March 26, 1950
    Cinematographer Nick McClean, born May 29, 1941
    Casting agent Caro Jones died Sept. 3, 2009
    Production designer W. Stewart Campbell, born Dec. 2, 1933

    MST3K connections
    Cinematographer Nick McClean was the assistant camera man on The Touch of Satan
    Production illustrator Mentor Huebnor was production illustrator for Marooned, which was riffed on MST3K as Space Travelers
    Sound editor Frank McKelvey was the composer of The Legend of Boggy Creek II
    Re-recording mixer Don Digirolamo was stereo sound consultant on Starcrash

       11 likes

  29. Megalon says:

    I thought this was an A+ episode and the best of Season 12. I could watch it over and over again.

       4 likes

  30. Trumpys Dad says:

    Love – Kinga is less angry at the world and more into using movies to induce pain
    Don’t love – Each episode is noticeably shorter than past episodes
    Love – I am more familiar with Baron & Hampton’s voices and the joke pace was easier to follow
    Don’t love – Six episodes??? We gotta have at least eight-90 minute eps, right? That’s why we (some of us anyway) paid for Season 12 souvenirs (even though not an official KickStart)
    Love Love – I got me NEW episodes of MST3K

    As for MAC and Me – rarely can you find a movie so deserving of the Mistie treatment. Plenty of colorful sets and dopey people doing dopey things. But why would the MACs want to stay? They don’t communicate with earthlings well, they had no use for clothes until getting their citizenship, people are trying to shoot/dissect/arrest them and they are happiest when trashing the new house. Why don’t they want to go home? Dumb movie, no likeable characters, but a GOOD episode. I was waiting to hear how Jonah survived, but I got over it pretty quick.

       5 likes

  31. DiscoJer says:

    I don’t think Ator was really a Conan ripoff though. The actual Conan movie didn’t do very well at the box office, more or less tied with The Sword & The Sorcerer, which had a much, much, much, much, much, much, much, much lower budget.

    It (along with Conan) were trying to cash in on the D&D craze of the moment.

       1 likes

  32. Sitting Duck says:

    eegah:
    I wish they wouldn’t over-exaggerate character voices, though. That gets really annoying. The old guys were much more subtle.

    Subtle like Peter Pan, Antichrist in The Undead, maybe. :P

       1 likes

  33. nomad says:

    Finally! After 30 years, MST3K finally riffs on a movie I had seen before! I’ll be honest, I had absolutely ZERO memory of Mac ‘n’ Me until I watched this episode on Thanksgiving last year. Then the memories came flooding back. I remember renting the video at the video store as a kid and watching it way too many times. My mom didn’t like that the aliens are NAKED through the whole movie, but she let me watch it anyway because she liked that the kid was in a wheelchair. But man, that sequence with the jigsaw through the wall used to scare the hell out of me! I forgot that the whole movie was basically just a 90 min. commercial for McDonald’s! And Coke. And they used Skittles instead of Reese’s Pieces!

    Anyway, definitely a bad move to shorten the episodes even more. I was hoping that the show would get longer now that it’s not on a traditional network. And I miss those Shorts that they used to do…oh well. At least we’re getting new MST3K. And if this is how it’s delivered, so be it. I’ll take 6-episode gauntlets every Turkey Day from now until the end of time!

       5 likes

  34. mando3b says:

    Ray Dunakin: So maybe someone can tell me if there’s any improvement in the humor since S11?

    I like S12 better than S11: the cast is more settled in and more comfortable; Kinga and Max do more than just stand around and grimace and yell.

    Trumpys Dad: I am more familiar with Baron & Hampton’s voices and the joke pace was easier to follow

    Agreed. There seems to be more of an effort to differentiate Crow & Servo’s personalities (though they still have a long way to go to reach the level of Seasons 1-10), and now I’m simply starting to get used to the voices. As for the pacing problems: starting with Mac & Me, it struck me that the issue may not be riffs per minute, per se, but the fact that everyone in the SOL now talks really fast, like they’ve had a lot of caffeine right before shooting started.
    I want to clarify that I think this is a good episode that made me laugh a lot! That being said, I detest this movie to the bowels of the earth, and I wanted them to hurt it and hurt it bad. And THAT being said, I agree with the comments about the kids: they’re very likable; and it is wonderful that they don’t call attention every second to the fact that the boy is in a wheelchair. He just is. And I also agree that it is so unfortunate when young actors get saddled with roles in really bad movies like this: it is like they have to start their careers dragging a ball and chain behind them. (On that note, I really admire Sally Field, who was able to put not just Gidget, but also The Flying Nun behind her and build a very solid acting resume for herself.)

       1 likes

  35. IR5 says:

    As far as Mac and Me- I have kids that grew up on MST classic who are now on the early side of 30- they all advised me that Mac and Me was a running joke- and, the new crew has brought justice to the world by riffing it. I watched the Gauntlet on Thanksgiving last year- Mac and Me was highly entertaining- but, without jumping ahead too much, not in my opinion the best of season 12- that would be episodes 3, 4 and 5. Just taste, that’s all. That said, I hope Joel keeps bringing us new seasons- no matter what the format- I do prefer the 90 minute episodes, but, if trimming them a bit keeps the riffing alive- so be it.

       6 likes

  36. mando3b: I like S12 better than S11: the cast is more settled in and more comfortable; Kinga and Max do more than just stand around and grimace and yell.

    Although every movie is still a “Nightmare-fueled world”. No, sorry, they HADN’T let that one die.

    The Original EricJ:
    Darn, it’s been so long, I’m going to have to watch the episodes again–All the favorite riffs slipped my mind except for:

    (title logo)
    “Man, I feel like we’re going to end up like that ‘And’, squashed there in the middle between ‘Mac’ and ‘Me’.”

    (steamy bathroom)
    “Aww, I was expecting the lady duck from ‘Howard the Duck’!”
    (There, see, they got it in anyway! It’s 80’s motif!)

    – “Annnd, our lovable alien hero is hit by a car.”

    – “Mysterious Alien Creature, sit-tin’ in a tree…M-A-C-Am-per-sand-Me!”

    (white-bearded scientist in lab
    “Dr. DEEEEE-mento!”

    – “‘I don’t get me: I redecorate the house, and I run away…I help the boy, and I run away…Am I afraid of getting close to people? Well, maybe I should just look on the bright side, at least I haven’t been stretched out in 24 hours.”

       2 likes

  37. jay says:

    I watched this episode one time and didn’t much care for it, but after reading some of these comments I feel compelled to watch it again and try to overcome my prejudice against all things McDonald. Open mind. Open mind.

       7 likes

  38. Johnny Drama says:

    I’ll keep watching, no matter how much the format changes. I just worry, we lost 5 minutes and a host segment this time, what will owe lose next? Cut to ten years from now and all we get is a fifteen minute episode every two years. I exaggerate, of course. The whole situation reminds me of when Crow’s movie was released as a trailer…

       9 likes

  39. Cornjob says:

    Glad to have more episodes but wow what a bunch of godawful movies starting with this one. Aside from the “movie” being a horribly derivative infomercial, Mac and his family are possibly the most eye burningly ugly creatures I can recall seeing onscreen. Terrified bug eyes, an anus-like mouth, and conspicuously nude desiccated bodies that look like they’re made out of dried excrement. There are few things I’d like to look at less than these things. Yeeuck!

       11 likes

  40. Ray Dunakin says:

    Cornjob:
    Glad to have more episodes but wow what a bunch of godawful movies starting with this one. Aside from the “movie” being a horribly derivative infomercial, Mac and his family are possibly the most eye burningly ugly creatures I can recall seeing onscreen. Terrified bug eyes, an anus-like mouth, and conspicuously nude desiccated bodies that look like they’re made out of dried excrement. There are few things I’d like to look at less than these things. Yeeuck!

    Apparently the producers said, “ET was ugly yet cute. We want our aliens to be even cuter, so make them as hideous as possible.”

       14 likes

  41. Sillstaw says:

    This is another of those rare instances where a movie mentioned in a previous episode ended up being riffed (i.e. “Marooned/Space Travelers,” “The Beast of Yucca Flats”). At the very least, it was mentioned in “Pod People” (“this is just like in ‘Mac and Me,’ when Mac came back!”).

       8 likes

  42. bartcow says:

    I like it very much. I, too, was excited for Mac & Me, having only seen the Paul Rudd clips on Conan (and a couple other select scenes here and there). I thought it was pretty nice, and a strong start, even though I ended up favoring Ator a bit more when it came time to rewatch. I do wish for more episodes in Season 13, and wish they’d bring back “riffing during the credits”. I know that the more recent movies have really long ending credits, but some of my favorite bits from the old days came from those (the USA Movie titles, etc.).

    Are the new seasons just like the old ones in all the ways I’d want them to be? No. But just because McCartney II doesn’t sound like the Beatles doesn’t mean it isn’t still great on its own terms. I’m sure there’s a better analogy out there, but I’m too tired to think one up.

    And this is also your daily reminder to not feed the troll.

       8 likes

  43. TorgosPizzaNJ says:

    I haven’t gotten half way through “The Gauntlet” (aka “Season 12”).. I WANT to like the new episodes a lot more than I actually like them. I was a Kickstarter backer early on, but the new shows, for all of their technical cleverness, just leave me cold. We had Netflix already, so we’ll eventually watch them all, but I’m more excited watching a Bridget & Mary Jo short about the dull farm family…

       13 likes

  44. The Grim Specter of Food says:

    I like that Synthia gets more to do this season. It adds a different dynamic to the Mads’ interactions.

       5 likes

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

    The Grim Specter of Food:
    I like that Synthia gets more to do this season. It adds a different dynamic to the Mads’ interactions.

    Well, IMHO the best Mads’ interaction dynamic of all was just Dr. F and Frank so anything else is doomed to come up short. That’s just me, though. ;-)

       6 likes

  46. Johnny Drama says:

    The Grim Specter of Food:
    I like that Synthia gets more to do this season. It adds a different dynamic to the Mads’ interactions.

    Synthia is fine and well, but why not just get Mary Jo?

       2 likes

  47. Joseph Klemm says:

    Dan in WI:
    May I make a suggestion? At this point we are just a couple weeks away from the crowdfunding supporters getting their Blu-Rays and DVDs. For us non Netflix people who are waiting for this release, why not postpone this guide a couple more weeks until we have our hands on our copies so we can play along?

    Somewhat agree here, as I had just watched Mac & Me today, and I’m gonna have to cram Atlantic Rim somewhere in my schedule tomorrow in order to catch up with the Episode Guides.

       0 likes

  48. GR Robertson says:

    I enjoyed it. Worried that some of the reaction is getting negative. Reminds me of when Star Trek The Next Generation came out and it drove a chasm through Trek fandom, some of it quite spiteful. I recently saw some of the KTMA shows for the first time and the show has evolved and come a long way since then, for better or worse.

       1 likes

  49. Megalon says:

    GR Robertson:
    I enjoyed it.Worried that some of the reaction is getting negative.

    Season 11 seemed to be much more polarizing; I remember a lot of fighting and hurt feelings in those threads. Which is only natural, since the show was going through one of its biggest upheavals ever. Now the dust has settled, and we’re basically left with a community of people who actually like the new show, rather than a community split between fans and haters.

    That’s nice, but also worrying, because while the biggest haters appear to have jumped ship, there hasn’t been a corresponding influx of new fans. If anything, the MST3k Reboot community seems to have shrunk since the debut of the show. That’s not a good sign for the show’s future.

       0 likes

  50. thequietman says:

    Notice they don’t show the McDonald’s sign… ’cause that would be crass.

    I’m a little late to the party, but my backer-edition Blu-Ray arrived today and I’m finally able to join in. Some very interesting analysis here, and I can sympathize with those who find this incarnation of the show just too far removed from what came before. For me however, I’m still grateful that this got off the ground in the first place, let alone kept going. I don’t know what’s going to come next; the show might change further or just run out of steam like it did back in 1999. Either way, I’m still finding laughter and enjoyment in what we have.

    As for this episode in particular, I wasn’t expecting the dropping of a host segment, but given that the host segments are often the places where the show can lay an egg I can see where this decision can allow the performers to always bring their best material. I’d heard of this infamous movie prior to it being announced for the show so while I’m glad to have finally seen it I suppose I was just not in the right place to be as shocked by it as others.

    Fave riffs:
    “All I did was take a shower and drink a coke…”
    At the same time??

    Are those crickets in the movie or my mind?

    I can’t tell if this is a really bad movie or a really good minature golf course.

    He’s like a Teddy Ruxpin with the face ripped off.

    ATTICA ATTI-oh, it’s open…

    When visiting Bakersfield, California… reconsider.

    “What do you think?”
    I don’t.

    Must resist urge to join in youthful revelry…

    Bruce Campbell IS Mel Gibson IN ‘The G. Gordon Liddy Story’

       1 likes

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