Short: (1948) The many aspects of the modern chicken farming industry are shown.
Movie: (1946) A disfigured man takes revenge on the college pals he believes caused his condition.
First shown: 2/10/96
Opening: Tom is getting into real estate
Intro: Pearl is going out and puts Crow in charge
Host segment 1: Tom is inside an egg
Host segment 2: Mike calls his old girlfriend to ask her to help him escape
Host segment 3: Crow wants Mike and Tom to sing “Hang down your head, Tom Dewey”
End: Letters, Tom is not a good landlord, and Dr. F. turns Pearl’s date into a chicken of tomorrow
Stinger: “Creeper, Creeper, Creeper! YOU give me the creeps!”
• This is one of those episodes where the short really builds up a head of steam, but the riffing of the movie just can’t maintain the pace, so it starts to drag in the last half hour. But overall it’s a great episode, with mostly good host segments with Dr. F a bit less wimpy than last week.
• This episode is included in Shout’s “Mystery Science Theater 3000 Collection: Vol XXII.”
• You can read Paul’s comments on this episode here.
• In the opening, watch Mike think about Crow’s “cajones” remark for several moments before objecting. Nicely done.
• I had no memory of the bit in the intro where they seem to be extracting a portion of a stuffed animal from Gypsy’s teeth. Nice little random element.
• Why is Dr. F quietly sewing the head of piglet onto the body of a fish? Why not?
• Of course that’s Paul as the oily lothario Sandy. Poom!
• Pearl again calls Crow Art.
• Mike is pitch perfect as a pouting 7-year-old when told Crow will be his babysitter.
• Note for anyone seeking an unMSTed version of this short: There is a different short with same title at archive.org. It does include some of the same footage, but it’s definitely a different short.
• There is so much realty talk in this episode. Who on the writing staff was buying a house?
• Obscure reference: Mike mentions a painter named Susan Rothstein. I’ve googled her and there does appear to be such a person, but she’s pretty obscure.
• Only slightly less obscure: Mike’s reference to Alicia de Larrocha. Also pretty obscure: references to jazz musicians Terry Gibbs and Diane Schuur.
• In the short, the narrator claims there is no county in a America where somebody is not raising chickens (I assume he means commercially). That’s a remarkable thing, if true, and I bet that’s not true any more (again, at least not commercial chicken farming; raising a few chickens for personal use is, I think, on the increase).
• Sadly, this is the last short for more than 30 episodes.
• Season seven brings us a new non-spaghetti ball bumper: A shot of a movie projector with the name of the movie on a card nearby. Rather than the rotating series of bumpers we had in season six, either the projector or the spaghetti ball was used.
• Callbacks: “Oh, it’s true.” (The Dead Talk Back)
• This is one of the oldest movies MST3K did. Only “The Corpse Vanishes,” “The Mad Monster” and “I Accuse My Parents” are older. By the way, the woman playing Joan Bemish is Mickey Dolenz’s mom.
• Of course, an early highlight is the old grumpy shopkeeper Mr. Harkins, who seems to have cracked them up.
• In segment two, for the first time in a long time, we find Mike actively trying to escape the SOL. That’s not something that had really been on the front burner in the latter half of season six.
• That’s Bridget on the phone, and, I think, Paul as the little kid.
• Interesting line when Crow sees the “23” on the Creeper’s lair: “Hey. it’s KTMA!”
• Segment 3 is one of those sketches about a bad idea for a sketch. The brains seem to enjoy the meta-ness of them. But they’re not so much funny as kind of wry.
• Cast and crew roundup: Producer Ben Pivar had a story credit on “The Leech Woman.” Editor Philip Cahn also worked on “Lost Continent.” Makeup guy Jack Pierce also worked on “Amazing Transparent Man.” Set designer Russell A. Gausman also worked on “The Leech Woman” and “This Island Earth.” “Revenge of the Creature,” “The Mole People,” “The Deadly Mantis” and “The Thing That Couldn’t Die” (which I think is why you keep seeing that hamburger/map picture on people’s walls). Sound tech Joe Lapis worked on “The Leech Woman.” Score composer Hans J. Salter also worked on “This Island Earth” and “The Leech Woman.”
In front of the camera: Tom Neal was also in “Radar Secret Service.” Fred Coby was also in “Jungle Goddess.” Peggy Converse was also in “The Thing that Couldn’t Die.” Tristram Coffin was also in “Radar Secret Service,” “The Corpse Vanishes” and “The Crawling Hand.”
• CreditsWatch: Host segments directed by Kevin Murphy. This was prop assistant Dean Trisko’s last episode and Beth McKeever’s last episode as an intern.
• Fave riff from the short: “I’ve seen the episode where the eggs are coming too fast and she puts them in her mouth!” Honorable mention: “You think I can wear these pants out tonight?”
• Fave riff from the movie: “Honey? My face is as big as ever and someone shot my sizzler off!” Honorable mention: “Clog dancers!”