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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: 404- Teenagers from Outer Space

Movie: (1959) Aliens have a plan to use Earth as a farm for their giant lobster livestock. One of the crew rebels and flees to a small town, with another alien on his trail.

First shown: 6/27/92
Opening: Joel uses behavior modification to prevent a recurrence of the “NBC Mystery Movie” gag
Invention exchange: J&tB demonstrate the scratch ‘n’ sniff report card, while the Mads show off their resusci-Annie ventriloquist doll
Host segment 1: J&tB present “Reel to real”
Host segment 2: J&TB recreate a pre-movie no-littering message
Host segment 3: A really boss-looking space ship visits, but the pilot is a disappointment.
End: Duct tape fashion statements, letters, Dr. F. dines with a friend
Stinger: “When we return to our planet, the high court may well sentence you to TORTURE!!”
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (287 votes, average: 4.52 out of 5)


• How I love this episode. Maybe it’s the easy-to-follow (albeit punishingly stupid) plot. Maybe it’s the goofy host segments, most of which are not so much funny as wry. Maybe it’s the charmingly naïve idea that somebody thought people would believe that giant lobsters walk upright. Whatever it is, this one’s a lot of fun.
• This episode was included in Rhino’s “The Mystery Science Theater 3000 Collection, Vol. 6.”
• This episode definitely begins with the “Title card.”
• Body (or, rather, skeleton) count: 6, not counting Sparky and the lobster and the big mess at the end. And for you Dave Barry fans, Sparky and the Lobster WBAGNFARB.
• “Lisa Smithback,” mentioned in the invention exchange, has to be a real name, probably a schoolmate of one of the Brains. Wonder if she’s out there somewhere?
• I love the little Jeff Dunham-esque gestures Trace does around the dummy as he does the ventriloquist bit.
• Callbacks: Crow’s desire for “hamburger sammich” is from episode 203- JUNGLE GODDESS. Later he retreads the “Welcome to Death Valley Days, the driver…” bit, and “How fortunate! This will seemplify everything!” from The Phantom Creeps.
• The word TORCHAA! became an immediate MSTie buzzword following this episode.
• So, what do you think is the point of the “ironic” tone Joel and the bots adopt during the “Reel to Real” sketch? They read all their lines like a presenter at an awards ceremony who is given a bit to do and resents having to do it. Did they decide the material was too lame to be played straight? But wait a minute! Maybe they’re parodying comedians who tell jokes ironically! That’s TWO levels of irony! We’re through the looking glass here, people!
• Host segment foreshadowing: In the illustrations (who did those, by the way?), we see Betty in a bathing suit, and grandpa sleeping on the couch, but we haven’t seen either in the movie yet.
• The repeated muffled voice in the trunk bit almost gets a little unpleasant after a while. Tom just portrays it as so horribly desperate.
• As Derek and Betty enter the college, there are several riffs about the smell of school. Perhaps these riffs were the genesis of this episode’s “scratch and sniff report card” invention exchange.
• Several characters have songs stuck in their heads. Grandpa’s is the theme song for the TV show “New Zoo Revue.” The ill-fated professor’s secretary’s is AC-DC’s “You Shook Me All Night Long.” The Doctor has two: first it’s Nick Gilder’s “Hot Child in the City,” then Foreigner’s “Hot Blooded.” The nurse has several, including Apollonia 6’s “Sex Shooter,” “Aqualung” by Jethro Tull, The Beatles’ “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” and the “Feel Like I’m Fixin’ to Die Rag” by Country Joe and the Fish.
• As Thor bursts into Betty’s house, watch Joel. I could be wrong, but it looks like he’s pickin’ his nose.
• So the point of segment two is to set up a few throwaway lines in segment three? (i.e. “goomy bears?”)
• Movie observation: Derek says he saw the Commander stop Thor from killing him. He did not. He was 40 yards away and running like hell.
• J&tB failed to notice this continuity screwup: Thor pistol whips the nurse, there’s a short cutaway, and in the next shot Thor and the nurse have magically switched seats in the car!
• Naughty riff: “What until you see my tongues.”
• During host segment three, Joel professes his faith. Or is he being ironic again?
• Gotta admit: the spaceship in segment three really is boss.
• The third segment is great. Joel seems incredibly relaxed. And anytime anybody tries to tell you he was always “sleepy” just show them this segment. He’s wide awake, baby.
• There is a LOT of juicy gossip about the making of this movie: Reportedly, Tom Graff, who played reporter Joe Rogers and wrote, directed, edited and co-produced the film, charmed producers Bryan and Ursula Pearson (who played “Thor” and “Hilda,” respectively) into paying $5,000 of the movie’s $14,000 shoestring budget. After they heard Graff got $25,000 from Warner Brothers for the distribution rights, they sued, but all they got was their $5,000 back.
The flying saucer was reportedly abandoned on property near the estate of Gloria Swanson, who used it for publicity.
Graeff and David Love (“Derek”) were reportedly lovers. The two met when Graff cast Love in a short film Graff made a few years earlier. Love vanished after the film and his whereabouts are unknown.
Graeff never made another movie. In 1962, he bought a huge ad in the L.A. Times proclaiming himself the second Christ. In 1968, he bought another ad, this time in Variety, announcing the upcoming production of a film called “Orf,” to be directed by Carl Reiner (it wasn’t true, and Reiner immediately threatened to sue). Graeff committed suicide in 1970.
The Pearsons eventually divorced. Ursula ran a travel company in L.A. and died in 2006. Bryan, a struggling actor, was only able get a few acting roles and retired from acting in the late ’60s. As of 2006 he was working in real estate in Hawaii.
• This is yet another MST3k movie featuring Bronson Canyon in some of the exterior shots. Through the use of selected locations and very tight framing, Graeff was pretty successful in making the streets of Hollywood look like a small town.
• Tom servo has legs???
• The final bit in Deep 13 in a riot. “Help me!” “No, literally! I have a man up in space!”
• Cast and crew roundup: Sonia Torgeson was also in “Daddy-O.” And of course Harvey B. Dunn was also in “Bride Of The Monster,” and “The Sinister Urge.” Robert B. Williams was also in “Revenge Of The Creature” and “This Island Earth.”
• CreditsWatch: Mary Jo Pehl joined the writing staff with this episode. And, for the first time in at least three seasons, the host segments were directed by somebody other than Jim Mallon—this week, Kevin Murphy. Resusci-Anne provided by Nancy Mason. Dr. F’s name is still spelled “Forrestor.”
• Fave riff: “There’s a piece of green something between your–” Honorable mention: “I’m David Eisenhower! That makes you… Julie Nixon!!”

145 Replies to “Episode Guide: 404- Teenagers from Outer Space”

  1. Mr.Shemp says:

    Am I the only one that thinks that Betty is actually really, really hot? She has kind of a ’50s Winona Ryder vibe going on.

    The drawings in the “Reel-To-Real” sketch look like the work of animator Bill Plympton. Uncanny!

    This episode has the most exciting gas station scene in MST history! That is, until Arch Hall Jr. ran a gas pump in EEGAH! and haunted us all with his gruesome visage.

    After reading the gossip on the Daddy-O page, I don’t think I’ll ever look at this episode the same way again. Thanks a lot!


  2. M "Hang Bob In My Office" Sipher says:

    A solid episode. The various skeleton gags never fail to crack me up, and frankly, the darkness of the trunk gag so works for me.

    Regarding the “ironic” tone of Reel to Real… I guess that’s the kind of thing I mentioned regarding City Limits. Sometimes it feels… forced, despite the “Joel locks up” gag at the end, which I guess was the point. It just feels less like a parody, like they’re comfortable with going with that level of insincere cheese. I dunno. Maybe if the bots from the start were kinda chafing with acting like that it might have worked better for me. Or maybe it’s not oversold to a blatanty ridiculous degree enough, like, say, the “Veterinarian’s Hospital” skits form the Muppet Show. God, I love those. If you’re gonna ham it up, go for the big juicy honey-baked variety.


  3. GoldenTriange says:

    Joel commits one of the most famous lyric misquotes in history:

    When the Space Teenager emerges from his flying saucer wearing the egg-like helmet, Joel riffs “I am the Eggman, oo-koo-kachoo.”

    Koo-koo-kachoo is often mistaken for The Beatles’ “I am the Walrus” lyric where Lennon actually sings “Goo-Goo-Gajoob,” which is a Lennon-esque malapropism for “good job.”


  4. I had watched the movie several times before I saw the MST3K version, and I felt the riffing was way below the potential. MST3K has made many movies enjoyable that would otherwise be agony to sit through. I’ve always thought they barely broke even on this one, which is plenty hilarious on it’s own. At least I’ve found a lot more to riff on than they did from previous viewings.

    On the other hand, they’ve done a fine job on other movies that are funny on their own, such as Werewolf and Space Mutiny, making them as funny as humanly possible.


  5. Justin says:

    What’s Jeff Dunham-esque about Trace’s gestures? He just seems to be acting like a bad ventriloquist who’s pretending to be shocked by what he’s making his dummy say. Unless, of course, that’s your point.


  6. Bob says:

    One of my favorite episodes, the jokes just never stop during this one. I love the host segments. The movie is goofy fun all on its own too. Real-to-reel is just fine for me the way they delivered it. The punch line that repeats for both film and real life about the fat, drunk guy on your couch is terrific.

    The parody of ventroliquist gags ending the Mads intro to the film about dialing 911 while drinking a glass of water is top-notch comedy writing for me. The whole segment builds and plays out in a thoughtful, highly original, well-planned, and hilarious manner.

    Some favorite riffs:
    At the skeleton in the pool, “Too much chlorine in the water”.
    At the emergence of a jump suited alien with tool case from the saucer near the beginning of the film, done in a stentorian voice, “When TV repairmen walked the Earth”.

    Is it just me or is the appearance of the alien leader on the video screen inside the space ship hard to see at times, especially his mouth under that thick beard. Perhaps this was done deliberately so that the dialog recorded for that character at a different time didn’t have to necessarily match his mouth movements when they filmed his appearance for the video screen.

    Everyone in this movie seems very serious and committed to what they are doing and some of the acting isn’t actually all that terrible given the total nature of the production. It makes the movie all the more fun given the fact that the special effects and costume budget were near zero dollars and that much of the story premise is pretty goofy.

    The fashion show host segment at the end is drop-dead hilarious. The premise, the actual costumes, the still photo poses, the narration, everything. It’s truly inspired comedy.


  7. skenderberg says:

    An awful movie with a mind-numbing plot and brain-dead characters, but the riffing brings it up to solid middle quality as an episode MST3K.

    Favorite Riff: the B52s-esque wail of “Rock Lobster!” while Derek tries to kill the rampaging Gargon.

    Favorite Host Segment: Provocative duct tape fashions.

    My full review can be found here.


  8. RCFagnan says:

    Favorite riff: “WE have the supreme pizzas.”


  9. Diamond Joe says:

    “Sex Shooter” was performed by Apollonia 6, although they were, of course, part of Prince’s stable.


  10. BSBrian says:

    favorite riff–“…you CAN be too rich and too thin”!!!


  11. Smog Monster says:

    This was Mary Jo’s first episode, right? Therefore, I wish they chose better. I know it’s too late to complain, but, MST3K should never have done a movie where the monster is just a sillouette, off screen, etc.


  12. Seth Anders says:

    Two things:

    There are 4 references to “Citizen Kane” in this ep.
    You can now purchase a stuffed cow w/ wings. And it flies!


  13. Chris E. says:

    “• So, what do you think is the point of the “ironic” tone Joel and the bots adopt during the “Reel to Real” sketch? They read all their lines like a presenter at an awards ceremony who is given a bit to do and resents having to do it. Did they decide the material was too lame to be played straight? It almost feels like they’re cheating. Commit to the material, guys! But wait a minute! Maybe they’re parodying comedians to tell jokes ironically! That’s TWO levels of irony! We’re through the looking glass here, people!”

    My take: They’re doing their version of a corny Mad Magazine article. That’s why it’s presented as being from their “Look at the Lighter Side Dept.”, or whatever it was. And Lord knows Mad’s done countless articles with that premise.


  14. John Seavey says:

    This was the first Comedy Central episode I ever saw–my dad brought it home, said one of his students had told him it would be just his sort of thing. I’d seen the KTMA episodes, but since we didn’t have cable, Joel and the bots just sort of dropped out of sight for a few years to me. :)

    My favorite line from it remains, “That’s not Skippy!” “Skippy had skin!”


  15. Aside from the “Torture” speech from Derek’s boss, the riff I remember most is when the boss says “WE are the Supreme Race! WE have the Supreme Weapons!” and Tom Servo says “WE have the Supreme PIZZAS!”


  16. Meranalf says:

    4 Citizen Kane references
    “Xanadu, stately home of Charles Foster Kane. Cost…no one can say.”
    “I’m Charles Foster Kane!”
    “Many of the Mercury players have never been in films before. Her are some of them.”

    4 Monty Python references
    “I see you have a machine that goes ‘ping.'”
    “I’m not dead. I’m getting better.”
    “Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition. Amongst our weaponry are…”
    “Only a flesh wound.”

    There is a high concentration of movie references in this episode: The Terminator, The Three Amigos, The Grapes of Wrath, Casablanca, Goodfellas, and several from The Wizard of Oz, plus others I forgot or missed.

    Favorite riff: Tom making the sounds of a man stuck in the trunk. Cracks me up every time.


  17. GersonK says:

    – Chris E. – Joel does say it’s from their “Look at the lighter side department” at the start and again near the end of the bit. But we’re still left with the question was this envisioned as a multi-layered parody of Mad and hack comedians (Joel’s vapor lock at the end) from the get go? Or did they finish writing the reel world-real world comparisons and realize they had something more fitting an autopilot issue of Mad and cannibalize the sketch? Either way, I think it works.

    – We get some interesting glimpses into the souls of Dr. F and Joel in the opening and invention exchange. Did the Resusci Annie bit actually go as planned? If so, he’s got more writing talent than we usually see, if not his dummy rebelled against him.
    In the opening bit, Joel seems to take a lot of glee in shocking the bots. This is the harsh side of his father figure. Why doesn’t he just reprogram them as he’s done before with things like Servo’s sarcasm sequencer? Of course, he tried to be fair when he takes a shock himself after Crow tricks him into saying “NBC Mystery Movie” (Two episodes in a row Joel takes a penalty when the bots trick him into saying something.) But, he didn’t entirely have it coming, since he was shocking them for saying it in response to flashlights, not just for saying it, and he ends up giving Tom a shock for nothing while taking his. Note Joel’s says “I taste copper” after his shock. Bill’s use of that line in the ’07 Rifftrax Holiday Havoc saved that bit for me. Also, isn’t there a better place to apply electrodes to a bot than their heads?

    – Tom’s still got the creepy pink hands.


  18. MDH1980 says:

    What host Segmant 2 is parodying is on You Tube.


  19. GizmonicTemp says:

    This movie had 681 riffs over 1:15:08 of movie time for an average of 9.064 riffs per minute (RPMs). That ranks #94 all-time.


  20. R.A. Roth says:

    Here’s something no one else has cited: the incidental music used at the beginning (when Thor’s wasting the dog) and at other various interludes can be heard at the end of Night of the Living Dead (1968), during the corpse stacking sequence after the cool black protagonist gets one right between the eyes.



  21. EpcotServo says:

    I really love this episode! Like you said, it’s really fun to watch. All three host segments are great! I think the Real to Reel skit was more played as a riff on those horrible news segments where they take a “look on the lighter side” with really bad back-and-fourths between the anchors on like, sunday morning news. (picture OUR Good Morning America.)

    That’s what I always got from that one. (“My hip hurts, why?”
    :lol: )

    This movie’s poster is featured in the lobby of the Sci-Fi Drive In Restaraunt at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Florida…



  22. Sean74 says:

    I wonder if the “monster” in this movie was from Maine…perhaps some melted butter would repel it! It’s also amazing how aliens in these movies adapt to speaking the language. And how about Derek’s high school picture being implanted in the sky at the end of the movie? Real nice touch! Unlike “City Limits”, this is alot easier to follow, and I think the jokes throughout are sharper as a result of it. Anyway, I think you guys are over-analyzing the “Reel to Real” gag; I think it’s one of their funnier sketches. They deliver the lines the same way you see those late-night ads on cable, trying to sound enthusiastic but at the same time coming off as stilted. The difference is, its intended to sound forced: its part of the overall joke. The Dr. F/Resusci Annie bit is just disturbingly funny. I also like “The NBC Sunday Night Mystery Movie” segment; Joel is often at his most humorous when dishing out parental scolding, and even funnier when he gets it back! All in all, a pretty good episode.


  23. Dennis says:

    Favorite Riff….as a newspaper flashes over an
    image of the lobster….”Oh No the monster can read!”


  24. JakeS says:

    One of the best!
    It inspired me…a few years ago my friends were hosting one of their infamous Theme Partys…they chose the theme “Space Journey 3000”
    Not only was I the only MSTy out of that bunch, I had just watched Teenagers from Outerspace and it the best costume idea hit me…sweat suit with duct tape stripes. It was a hit. The only better costume was the guy who rented the Chewbacca suit. And I found out the next day that he went party jumping after Space Journey 3000 ended, and pissed off some people and got beat up and the rented suit was stolen. Damn…

    Favorite riff: “We are the supreme race! We have the supreme weapons!” “Turn Rush Limbah off!!!”

    Also: read the chapter titles. right before Alice is killed, the chapter title: “Alice Doesn’t Live Here Any More’. classic.


  25. R.A. Roth says:

    Addendum: I forgot that the incidental music from the beginning of, as well as the end of, Night of the Living Dead (1968) is featured throughout Teenagers from Outer Space.



  26. Kenneth Morgan says:

    A couple of points:

    First, I guess no one noticed that after host segment 2 (the “Space Candy” spoof), you hear someone (I think it’s Tom Servo) doing the music from the old General Cinemas “Coming Attractions/Feature Presentation” clip. Boy, does that bring back memories. You can find the clip at (sorry, I’m not sure how to add a URL into the message).

    Second, the fashion show at the end gave me an idea. At ConventioCon 2, for the first (and only) time, I entered a costume competition at a convention. I dressed up as one of the “teenagers”, using red coveralls from Sears with reflective tape highlights on the front and electrical tape on the sleeve and pantleg cuffs, along with a black turtleneck, white work gloves, white sneakers and a ray gun toy from Thrifty Drugs. I lost to Mr. B Torgo, but I did get an intro from the lovely & talented Bridget and Kevin complimented my voice when I tried the TORCHA line. Ah, memories…


  27. Kenneth Morgan says:

    Oh, it was added automatically. Thanks!


  28. Nick says:

    Loved this episode. Besides “Torcha!”, this line gets me all the time:

    Crow, as Mr. Mooney: Mrs. Carmichael, put that laser down! :lol:

    There’s one more bit of foreshadowing in the “Reel to Real” segment. The fat drunk guy sleeps on the couch right after the commercial break.


  29. Reel to Real life skit was perfect as is, I think your over analyzing the bit. Sit back, relax and laugh… it’s one of their best skits IMHO.

    From my website TFOS ReviewIn segment 3, when Crow waxes philosophic; the bit about… “Hanging in space like a speck of food floating in the ocean. Sooner or later, to be swallowed up by some creature floating by…” He was actually quoted a character from the start of the movie. This piece of film was not seen or riffed on in the MST3K version.


  30. Joseph Nebus says:

    Hey, I just noticed — there’s another mysterious reference to a hat party, with mine the grandest of them all, in this episode. It’s in the middle as they talk the guy who was the dead patent examiner in The Wild Wild World of Batwoman into doing light surgery on the teenager.


  31. Mack John says:

    Old Cars Dealer, as the name suggests its the site to deal for old cars. You can register on this site for FREE and be a member today and list your classic old car models for sale and get good value for the same.


  32. Spector says:

    This was the episode which garnered the prestigious Peabody Award for the show, and it’s well-deserved. I love this episode, just a great riff-fest on yet another hokey sci-fi film of the fifties. And it’s the first appearance of Harvey B. Dunn, who’d later appear memorably in two of the three Ed Wood films that would be riffed to pieces by Joel/Mike and the ‘Bots. This one had so much great material the Brains were able to mine for comic gold, from the giant lobster creature to the incredibly wooden acting of the “Teenagers” from Outer Space to the hackneyed dialogue and plot. Watching this was anything but “TOR-CHA!” It’s one of my favorites and one of the greatest episodes in MST3K history.


  33. Toots Sweet says:

    My husband wrecked his wrist last year, and after surgery he had to go to Occupational Therapy 2-3 times a week. The therapists worked on his fingers with pulling and bending exercises which were sometimes very painful. While they were working on him, I would frequently say “TORCHAAA!” I don’t think the therapist appreciated it much.


  34. Loran Alan Davis says:

    When Thor accepts a drive into town, the driver, who looks like Sgt. Carter from “Gomer Pyle” is recognized by one of the bots as “Vince Sutton” – in fact, the guy looked like Frank Sutton.


  35. Dan in WI says:

    I think we’ve all been sentenced to Torcha by the high court.

    What’s with the Munsters-like music on the Rhino DVD menu screen?

    A so-so opening and invention exchange. The behavior modification probably was needed. The NBC Mystery Movie really is one of my least favorite running gags and I say this as someone who loves running gags. The opening highlight of course was Frank calling 911 while drinking water.

    Another hamburger sammich callback to Jungle Goddess.

    Dated riff: who’s beeper is that? Today everyone including me (the world’s last holdout) has a cell phone. But the pager has gone the way of the dinosaur.

    I loved the reel to real segment. It features a return of the illustration boards the Joel used so extensively in season 2. Sampo of course mentions that this feels like it was presented in an awards show manner. I didn’t walk away with that take on it. But I am blown away by Joel’s energy. He must have been on some sort of sugar high. This was a big departure from the normal sleepy eyed Joel.

    Here’s yet another film with the Bronson Canyon cave. Has anybody ever counted up the number of appearances that had made in MST movies?

    This film has made the rounds. I’ve seen it on Elvira as well as Ned the Dead. It’s the type of film just made for riffing.

    Favorite Riff:
    Grandpa “Say. Where is Betty?” All “Where is Betty.”

    Joe “Are you hurt badly?” Nurse “I don’t think so.” Crow “Well then down the hill with you.”

    Crow “Skooch over. I’ll ride raygun.”


  36. robot rump! says:

    i for one enjoy the second host segment for some truly bizarre reason. also for some reason i always felt this movie is one that could be kind of ok if it were redone with some actual actors, special effects, a script and a plot. on the other hand if you keep it as is focusing on the “Torchaaaaa” and the giant flying lobsters, it’d make a super tourism ad for either Maine or Boston.


  37. Laura says:

    “Really OLD teenagers from outer space!”

    I really enjoy this episode. I can watch it over and over and still makes me laugh. Did they think audiences were that dumb that they wouldn’t notice that the “monster” was really just a lobster? I do hiss at the beginning with the dog getting zapped. That wasn’t really fair. And the equipment looks like stuff they rented from Radio Shack (or whatever the equivalent was then).

    I noticed recently that I have this movie unriffed. I don’t know if I’m that brave to venture it without Joel and the Bots.


  38. snowdog says:

    With all the character singing to themselves, there were quite a lot of classic rock references in this ep. In addition to Sampo’s list:

    Alan O’Day / Undercover Angel
    Beatles (3 of them!) / I Am the Walrus, Lucy in the Sky, Revolution
    Billy Idol / White Wedding
    Bryan Ferry
    The Who / Tommy Can You Hear Me?
    Jimi Hendrix
    Michael Jackson
    Glen Campbell / Witchita Lineman, Rhinestone Cowboy
    Napolean XIV / They’re Coming to Take Me Away
    Heart / Magic Man
    David Bowie / Space Oddity
    Judy Garland / Somewhere Over the Rainbow (not really classic rock, but…)


  39. snowdog says:

    Did anyone get the joke about Michael Jackson liking the dog skeleton? Feels like a then-current reference.


  40. Bombastic Biscuit Boy says:

    #1: Yes, Betty is hot, squeaky voice and all…

    I think this episode is a perfect example of how the Joel-era episodes were better at handling the tedium in some of these movies. There is plenty of walking, strolling, and running scenes in this movie; they fill in alot of this with song references, etc. The riffing in the later eps was great, but they would sometimes just sit and snicker when nothing is going on (for some reason The Creeping Terror and Colossus and the Headhunters come to mind.) Thus, it’s a chore to watch those eps because the padding is so obvious.

    I love Host Segment 2! I’m just the age when I remember those AMC “no littering” clips.

    Harvey B. Dunn got quite the workout in this movie, didn’t he?

    [Tree bursts into flame]
    JOEL: Moses!? Moses!!


  41. Bombastic Biscuit Boy says:

    #39: This was during the time one of Michael Jackson’s loopy hobbies was collecting skeletons; he tried to buy John “The Elephant Man” Merrick’s bones from the British Museum. This was between his Giant Python period and his hyperbaric sleeping chamber period.


  42. klisch says:

    Top 10 episode in my book. This is a perfect movie to show “newbies”. Very rewatchable.


  43. Tom Carberry says:

    Dr. F: “Your film today, Joel, is a little film which stars no one. It features a giant lame lobster and…it’s called ‘Teenagers From Outer Space’ and it is a spunky load of noodles.”

    Tom Graeff graduated from UCLA (University of California, Los Angeles) with a film degree in 1952. He worked for Roger Corman briefly (he plays the parking lot attendant who is dispatched by Paul Birch in “Not of This Earth”) and by 1959 produced his Magnum Opus—Teenagers From Outer Space, in which he acted, produced, directed, and wrote. In TFOS he plays Joe the Reporter. The “star” of the picture was his “good friend” David Love also known as C.R. Kaltenthaler. Harvey B. Dunn was the bird man in Bride of the Monster, and in TFOS plays the grandfather. Bryan Grant (Thor) was married to Ursula Hansen (Prof. Simpson’s secretary), too bad they didn’t have a scene together. Like his mentor (Roger Corman) Tom shot TFOS in and around Griffith Park (which includes Bronson Canyon) and the Hollywood Hills.

    Favorite lines:

    Run Toto, run.
    [of Bryan Grant/Thor] Ray Liotta! Ever since I was a kid I always wanted to be a spaceman. I know I’d go from rags to riches.
    Oh, really old teenagers from outer space.
    They’re all wearing “V” necks—it must be student council from outer space.
    [Derek exiting from “space ship”] I travel light, just a makeup bag.
    “As the son of our Leader the high court will pardon him.” Oh, yeah! He’s a Kennedy.
    The loneliness of the alien runner.
    I’m looking for Sarah Conner.
    [Upon arriving at Alice’s palatial home] Xanadu, stately home of Charles Foster Kane—cost, no one can say.
    “It’s Sparky’s…Sparky’s dog tag. Where on earth did you find it.” Well after caving in his head with a shovel, I …
    I like you gramps, that’s why I kill you last.
    Oh, the doctor left another young one bleeding on the stoop again.
    [Dr. Brandt’s phone ringing] It must be that nice Adam Rich boy calling for his prescription again.
    San Diego Freeway, the early years.
    Menopause can feel like a speeding car chase.
    I’ve got a headache this big and it has this movie written all over it.
    It’s May the super-nurse Osborne.
    Those Easy Spirit pumps saved her hash.
    Well, she’s fine, but these stains will never come out.
    [Air Raid Sired wailing] Children lose the ability to walk.


  44. Kenneth Morgan says:

    I’m a bit surprised that there were no “Get Smart” riffs when the TORCHAA guy in on-screen. He was played by King Moody, better known as Starker, Siegfried’s henchman. At least one, “This is gargon farming. We don’t BFFFFTTTTT here!”

    And I still have the ConventioCon II costume I mentioned. It’s boxed up somewhere with my New Market School sweatshirt.


  45. Sharktopus says:

    “I’ve never piloted swim trunks before.”

    That IS this experiment, right? :-D


  46. JBagels says:

    I had no idea what the heck was going on in segment 2 when this originally aired, but now I dig it.

    My family still says “TORTCHAAAA” all the time.


  47. Creeping Terror says:

    @18: Thanks for the video. This is one of those cases where even after I understand what the riff is about, I still think the joke is stupid and unfunny. In fact, the only segment that I think if humorous is “Reel to Real” (Segment 1)… although Dr. F’s invention exchange has some charm.

    I feel like Host Segment 1 is more of the Brains’ feelings about comedians who aren’t as funny as they think they are. But I obviously haven’t given it as much thought as other MSTies have.

    Speaking of running gags that people hate (“NBC Mystery Movie”), I believe this is the first appearance of those INCREDIBLY unfunny “Jim Henson’s (fill in the blank) babies.” It wasn’t funny here when we heard it first (as “Beretta Babies”) and it would never EVER be funny. I’d rather have a hundred Gallaghers than a single one of those riffs. :-P

    Derek and Betty are both attractive people on their own, but I feel like they have no chemistry. When they’re on screen together, they might as well both be shopping in the produce aisle at a grocery store. Each seems to take very little interest in the other.

    I think this is one of the better Joel-era episodes and it was probably their best episode until that point. As others have mentioned, it’s a good episode to use introduce people to the show. The plot is simple (and with no subplots), the movie’s actually shot pretty well, the sound is great, and there are a limited number of characters that are easy to keep track of. Plus, it has a goofy feel to it (the uniforms, Derek’s cheesy dialogue, the lobster, the skeletons, etc.) that makes it watchable with the riffs.


  48. snowdog says:

    This is one of those rare eps where I actually (sort of) enjoy the movie. It’s extremely low-budget, but they use what the have to good effect. The acting isn’t all that bad. The plot can be followed. J&tB’s riffing is just gravy here. 5 stars.


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

    I don’t think the teenagers in this movie look any older than the teenagers in many other 1950s movies.

    Just think, if Tom Graeff had made a few more films (although, really, even making just one is more than most people accomplish), he could be right up there with Ed Wood Jr. Or at least Coleman Francis.

    “Derek says he saw the Commander stop Thor from killing him. He did not. He was 40 yards away and running like hell.”

    Maybe Graeffites (hah!) have really good eyesight in the eyes in the back of their heads.


  50. Cheapskate Crow says:

    I would put this one at 4 stars in the good but not great category, I usually love these kind of movies on MST3K but this one didn’t fully click for me. Everyone has already mentioned what I was going to say about this episode but at about 1:02 into the episode, did anyone else hear the sound of Hypnotoad from Futurama? I just wrote down the time and don’t remember what was going on onscreen but I’m sure it had something to do with the giant lobster or the flying saucer returning to Earth. And damn it, I was in LA last week but Griffith Park was closed due to all the tree damage from high winds. I would have loved to check out where all the bad movies came from.


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