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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: 413- Manhunt in Space (with short: ‘General Hospital’–Segment 1)

Short: (1963) A few scenes from the soap opera “General Hospital.” Jesse plans a party while Dr. Hardy gives a worried patient a diagnosis.
Movie: (1954) Edited-together episodes of the TV series “Rocky Jones, Space Ranger.” Our hero and his sidekick Winky rescue stranded Vena and confront space pirates working for evil Queen Cleolanta.

First shown: 9/19/92
Opening: Crow isn’t happy that the movie is going to be in black and white, leading to the discovery that Tom Servo is color blind!
Invention exchange: The Mads have invented beanbag pants, while J&tB demonstrate recycled paper clothing
Host segment 1: The bots are playing soap opera, but Joel won’t play
Host segment 2: J&tB discuss the overuse of modifiers, such as “space”
Host segment 3: J&tB get a visit from Winkie on the Hexfield
End: Crow is Joel’s guitar and Tom is the amp, Joel reads a letter, the Mads are stuck in their bean bag chairs
Stinger: Space traitor Ken tosses a chair
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (174 votes, average: 4.04 out of 5)

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• Of the two Rocky Jones episodes, I prefer “Crash of the Moons,” but this one is a good time too. The previous time I watched this I was really, really sick. The consequence was that the black-and-white movie and all that monotonous rocketship taking off and landing practically put me to sleep (the meds might have contributed to this). This time through I was fully functional (more or less) and I have to say I liked it a lot more. The movie is pretty strange but the cast really commits to the premise, which makes the riffing easier and more fun. The host segments are mostly pretty good (although the “space modifier” segment wears out its welcome) and generally I didn’t have any trouble staying awake and laughing a lot.
• This episode was included in Shout! Factory’s “Mystery Science Theater 3000 Collection: Vol XIV.”
• A little backstage info: Kevin has acknowledged that he actually does have red-green color blindness, which I guess is where the idea for the bit came from.
• I love how, in the short, the doc tells his patient that his treatment for her apparently minor condition is TWO WEEKS in the hospital. How times have changed.
• When John “Dr. Hardy” Beradino appears, Crow says “Wow, he was old even then!” Beradino was in his mid-40s when that scene was shot. Wonder if Trace would still make that joke? I know I wouldn’t! :smile:
• Showbiz info: The syndicated television series “Rocky Jones, Space Ranger,” lasted only one season, because it lost a considerable amount of money. It was the first space opera to be shot on film, (which is why it survives so well today) and had huge overhead costs (sets, special effects, large cast) compared to other shows of the early 1950s (I know, hard to believe THOSE were bank-breaking special effects, but…). The show was popular and had no lack of advertising sponsors, but it became evident during its first season that it would probably never break even.
• Tom Servo thinks a shot of a planet looks like the MST3K logo—Joel hushes him.
• All the rocket ship footage seemed to push some “Thunderbirds” buttons for the cast: they mention it a couple of times and Crow says “Scott Tracy!” at one point.
• During segment one, Crow mentions “mogo-on-the-g-go-go” a W.C. Fields reference which we can now be pretty certain came from Frank, since he goes on at some length about it here.
• Nice reminder that Cambot is there at the end of segment 1. We sometimes forget but they seldom did.
• Callback: “I told you to find adventure not bring it home with you!” (City Limits); Hikeeba (Women of the Prehistoric Planet); “I’m a Grimault warrior!” (Viking Women); “Chief? McCloud!” (Pod People); The Gamera song.
• Then-current reference: “What’s your position?” “Leaning towards Perot.”
• Last time, I thought Tom said, “What is this, Radio Oz?” Turns out it’s Radio AAHS.
• I had the same reaction to segment 2 this time that I’ve had in the past: “Did they really say ‘space’ that much? I can’t remember them doing it even once.”
• Movie complaint: Winkie says “the ship won’t land on its tail” and then it does. Several times. Hmm. But I always enjoyed the notion of a rocket ship landing back on its tail, like a car backing into a parking space, but apparently in real life it’s really damn hard.
• In segment three, Crow has an acid-flashback to episode 310- FUGITIVE ALIEN, which Joel notes was “like, 20 experiments ago.” It was 26 episodes ago, to be exact.
• Mike is great as Winkie (is that an MST3K logo on his shirt?) and Frank sure does a great little old lady voice.
• As a side note, Scotty “Winkie” Beckett wrote that song he sings. Another thing he was not that good at, I guess.
• Shoes for industry! (Another Firesign Theatre reference.)
• As the traitor carries Rocky to the gantry, Crow says “Oh, he’s gonna do the Letterman thing.” Huh?
• Um, Joel can call Earth? (I know, I know…)
• Cast and crew roundup: Of course, much of the same crew also worked on “Crash of the Moons,” including executive producer Guy V. Thayer, producer/creator Roland Reed, associate producer Arthur Pierson, director Hollingsworth Morse, assistant director Dick Moder, editors Fred Maguire and S. Roy Luby, special effects guy Jack R. Glass (who also worked on “Project Moon Base”), production manager Richard L’Estrange, art director McClure Capps and music conductor Alexander Laszlo (who also worked on “Attack of the Giant Leeches” and “Night of the Blood Beast”). In front of the camera, Richard Crane, Scotty Beckett, Sally Mansfield, Robert Lyden, Maurice Cass, Charles Meredith, Patsy Parsons and Harry Lauter were all back again for “Crash of the Moons.” In addition, James Griffith was in “The Amazing Transparent Man,” Dale Van Sickel was in “Radar Men from the Moon” and Judd Holdren was in “Rocketship X-M.”
• CreditsWatch: Curtis Anderson and Kelly Ann Nathe started their internships. Jim directed the host segments once again, but this was his last time in season four. Kevin, Joel and Trace would trade off for the rest of the season.”Ammendment” is still spelled wrong.
• Fave riff from the short: “Here comes Nurse Feratu.” Honorable mention: “Nothing an expensive operation can’t complicate.”
• Fave riff from the feature: “What are you doing in Alan Brady’s office?” Honorable mention: “I’ve got something that’ll put you through the floor, boys.”

110 Replies to “Episode Guide: 413- Manhunt in Space (with short: ‘General Hospital’–Segment 1)”

  1. MikeTheLibrarian says:

    “Radio Oz” is probably “Radio Ahhs”, which, if I remember correctly, was a radio station that played kid friendly music back in the day.

       1 likes

  2. GizmonicTemp says:

    This episode had 641 riffs over 1:11:59 of movie time for an RPM of 8.905. That ranks #105 overall.

    This episode was just okay for me. The GH shorts are boring, but the movie was typical yet pleasantly goofy 50’s space fare. The host segment in which Winky visits the SOL, however, has me rolling EVERY time I see it!

       1 likes

  3. Rowsdower42 says:

    They do say space a lot in the first few scenes. Space gun is the only one I remember right now, but it’s there a few times.

       1 likes

  4. RCFagnan says:

    I saw this episode a long time ago and don’t have it on tape, but I remember thinking that their savaging of Winkie (in-theater and host-segement) was warranted and generally very funny. I DO have the sequel episode (Crash of the Moons) on tape, so let’s hurry and get to that!

       1 likes

  5. I'm not a medium, I'm a petite says:

    Radio OZ :

    http://www.radio-oz.net/index.html

    I don’t the direct context, and I don’t know how long these guys have been around, but it might work.

       1 likes

  6. skenderberg says:

    Manhunt in Space is a nice, middle-of-the-road episode. The short is difficult viewing–the bad sound, loud organ score, and dependency on a knowledge of prior episodes make it all but incomprehensible. The movie is pretty fun though, mostly because Winky is such a rich target for mockery. The host segment where Mike plays him as a basement-dwelling kid is one of the funniest they’ve ever done.

       1 likes

  7. AWD! says:

    Radio Aahs was a kid friendly radio station that played actual fun, comical, kid music. Radio Disney bought the station… so now it sucks. I used to listen to it constantly as a kid.

       2 likes

  8. Bob says:

    I really loved both Rocky Jones episodes of MST3K. The source material is inoffensive, innocent SF fun as well as being occasionally hilarious on its own. I’ve even purchased some “un-MSTed” Rocky Jones on VHS and then DVD over the years. I think the MST3K writers did some very funny and creative material with Rocky Jones and these episodes make me laugh quite a bit.

    One of my favorite riffs is of the rarer, much-much-less-than innocent type. There’s a scene in one of the Rocky Jones episodes where Rocky’s superior calls him on the video phone and says that he’s “surprised to find you in, Rocky”. Crow then chimes in with, “but I’m not in…Rocky.” That one went by me unnoticed on the first viewing or two as there are just so many jokes in these episodes, but once my brain latched onto this very naughty joke, I roared with laughter. It’s still on my all-time most memorable riffs lists, especially as one of the great, highly charged innuendos that MST3K managed to completely slip by their younger viewers for adult enjoyment only.

       0 likes

  9. Erhardt says:

    MikeTheLibrarian,

    I think you might be right. Children’s Broadcasting Corp. of Minneapolis used to operate a network of radio stations in the 1990’s that broadcasted its Radio AAHS format to about 40% of the country. That certainly sounds like the type of local reference that the Brains would use.

       0 likes

  10. Brandon says:

    Even if Joel could call earth, he wouldn’t want the Bots to be taken away from him by the Gov’t. At least that’s what’s been theorized at the discussion board.

       0 likes

  11. Joseph Nebus says:

    This was one of the first episodes I ever saw in full, and so it has a special place in my heart. I don’t think that’s an unfair love, however, considering the episode features such nice moments as “I’m turning this handle! Really!” and “Oh, our air isn’t good enough for the Johnsons, they have to bring their own?” (Paraphrasing: I’m sure to watch the episode later, though.) And, of course, “You let a guy named Winky fool you?”

    If I’m not mistaken Mike-Nelson-As-Winky’s shirt is itself an MST3K t-shirt, with a few hoops drawn on to make it strikingly close to the real Winky shirts.

    While discussing spacecraft logistics with a friend who’s an amateur pilot (we discuss many odd things), we got to mentioning that most spacecraft in science fiction don’t appear to have registry numbers, with Star Trek’s starships a notable exception. Rocky Jones is another exception: the spacecraft have reasonably clear tail registries, and I wonder if they might be among the first television-or-movie science fiction to feature that detail.

       4 likes

  12. GizmonicTemp says:

    Frank gets all the old lady parts characters because he does them SO well! Just watch the Auntie McFrank’s B&B segment in show #623. “Don’t you give no matches to Mikey!”

    Plus, as Monty Python teaches us, men dressing up as women equals hilarity.

       3 likes

  13. mst3ktemple says:

    I love the Rocky Jones episodes, although the General Hospital shorts are a bit of an anchor in my opinion.

    Some of you may have already seen my Rocky Jones page, but here’s the link any way:

    http://www.mst3ktemple.com/rockyjones.html

       2 likes

  14. kelly lingo says:

    You were right about that annoying “Mr. Sheik!” guy. I was “friendly” all through college at the time and he would never had a chance, even with all those beer bongs… :twisted:

       1 likes

  15. Crow says:

    Poking around the net, seeing claims that ROCKY JONES, SPACE RANGER lasted for two seasons, not one.

       0 likes

  16. fireballil says:

    Okay, I hope this goes through. Here’s my rememberances:

    I feel for Tom, I have a red-green deficiency as well, though I don’t see everything in red, like he does.

    Joel usually complained about the Mads’ invention exchanges, but here he acutally complimented them on the beanbag pants. Also, how many of us couldn’t get out of a beanbag chair, like the Mads?

    When the short began, we heard an announcer say, “General Hospital, brought to you by Ken-L-Ration,” though the sound skipped. Joel and the ‘bots started howling when they heard that, I guess to cover up the name.

    Here’s one for the “missed riffs” thread at the Disscussion Board: When Dr. Hardy mentioned tilt x-rays, I was surprised that no one imitated a pinball machine.

    Joel would use the riff “Oz didn’t give nothing to Bill Tinsman” here as well as on the other Rocky Jones movie, Crash of the Moons.

    Anyone know who the MC Five are? This was also used on both Rocky Jones episodes.

    For Bob: I never got the innuendo in the “I’m not in Rocky” line until you mentioned it. I was always thinking it was the movie Rocky. But maybe that’s just me. :razz:

    Fave riff: When Secretary Drake asks for the report on the CM7, Tom says: “It says Heeeeeeeeelp!”

    The actors didn’t really turn the wheels of the doors to open them, but there was also a “crank” noise to accompany it. Crow points this out, then Tom riffs on it.

    Minnesota references: The Minnesota North Stars(anyone outside the state remember them besides me?) and the band Trip Shakespeare.

    More callbacks: “Hi-Keeba!”(Joel, when Rocky and Winky were shooting at a rocket), “The Forklift Song” from Fugitive Alien(Crow in Segment Three, getting confused at what movie he’s watching), and at the end of the movie, as the CM7 is flying, Tom starts singing the Gamera song and the others join in halfway through.

    Another fave riff: When Prah is mentioned, Winky says, “Known as the lonely moon.” Crow then says, “You should know, Winky.”

       0 likes

  17. Officer Kline says:

    In watching this film, it appears that every episode of Rocky Jones, Space Ranger, apparently ended with Winky making a stupid remark about meeting Betty in (fill in the blank.)

    That was my favorite part.

       1 likes

  18. Darthdemona says:

    The short and movie in this one were sort of “eh,” but I found the host segments particularly hilarious. The soap opera parody was way funnier than the actual soap opera itself (though my favorite riff is probably “Nurse-feratu!”).

    Regarding the invention exchange, I’ve often thought that paper clothing would be a good thing to have on laundry day.

       1 likes

  19. Mr. E says:

    Firballil isn’t the only one who’s deficient around here (for a politically correct term, I’d rather be blind than deficient!). Every time someone finds this out, they react exactly like Dr. Forrester–“What color is this?” I’m not sure what possesses someone to respond in this way; after all, what do they do when they see someone in a wheelchair?

       2 likes

  20. Kenneth Morgan says:

    Re: the short, it always surprised me that they could riff on three “General Hospital” segments and “Code Name: Diamond Head”, all starring Roy Thinnes, and (so far as I know) not make a single “Invaders” joke.

    As for the ep, I thought it was pretty funny, with the Mike-as-Winky segment absolutely priceless. (“No, it’s Clarissa and she really likes me!”)

       2 likes

  21. Hamtronix says:

    When the short began, we heard an announcer say, “General Hospital, brought to you by Ken-L-Ration,” though the sound skipped. Joel and the ‘bots started howling when they heard that, I guess to cover up the name.
    >>They barked because KLR is a dog food company

    Anyone know who the MC Five are? This was also used on both Rocky Jones episodes.
    >>Its a band

       2 likes

  22. Joseph Nebus says:

    Re: Mr. E:

    I had thought that Doctor Forrester’s asking “what color is this? What color is this?” was partly riffing on a 1970s series of ads trying to insist that one company’s brand of color television provided more reliable colors than the others did, by highlighting just what colors the various things in the picture were supposed to be.

    I don’t know for sure, because, actually, I don’t remember the commercials myself, and know it through spoofs of it done on Saturday Night Live. (Gilda Radner, as the model for the commercial, gives incorrect color information, to Garret Morris’s frustration.) I’m just assuming they’d find it natural to toss in a mention of a nearly forgotten commercial series.

    That might be coincidence and maybe it was just been Doctor Forrester being a jerk.

       0 likes

  23. Leo Artunian says:

    I’m pretty sure “Radio Oz” is a Firesign Theatre reference. “Radio Free Oz” (a take-off on “Radio Free Europe,” an organization that broadcast pro-Western programming into Soviet-dominated Eastern Europe during the Cold War) was a sort of seminal form of Firesign Theatre on KPFK, a Pacifica station in Los Angeles. Peter Bergman was the Wizard, and Phil Austin engineered the show and sometimes performed on-air. The Firesign Theatre essentially evolved out of that. I don’t think there are references to Radio Free Oz on any of the Firesign albums, so Joel and Company are revealing a pretty deep knowledge of the group and its history with this reference. Some ambitious graduate student may have a thesis waiting here about the influence of Firesign on MST3K.

       0 likes

  24. Bob says:

    Sad trivia about Rocky Jones: Scotty Beckett, who played “Winky” in Rocky Jones, was a cute child star who starred in Our Gang comedy shorts and feature films, but whose life ended tragically in alcoholism and crime involving drug smuggling and drunk driving arrests. He died of a drug overdose.

       1 likes

  25. losingmydignity says:

    Oh, I like these episodes. Some of the best double entendre/innuendo riffs they ever did. Solid overall but not spectacular. One of the problems with writing about the Rock Jones eps is that both this one and “Crash” bleed together (bleed, not blur, they make my eyes RED)a mere ten minutes after I’ve watched one of them. Okay, this is the one with the invisible ship and “Crash” is the one with the baby, um, right?
    Sampo calls the GH short “dreary” and it certainly is–to the point of being surreal. It’s like some lost faded David Lynchian short that would be best showcased in a funeral home.
    (you expect rabbits to pop up at anytime, or perhaps a severed head). This is probably the reason I enjoy them so much. Not exactly hilarious, but the riffs go dark the way I like them.
    MC 5 was mentioned. Stands for Motor City 5 (five guys in the band, all from Detroit)…considered the real first punk band along with the Stooges. I love the reference to them–another to be filed under why this show is for me.
    And is this the ep with the great gross reference to Vonnegut’s “Cat’s Cradle?” See, I confuse them.
    Winky as a target throughout and Mike as Winky–great.
    A solid effort: B+

       3 likes

  26. Leo Artunian says:

    “Radio Oz” is a Firesign Theatre reference. “Radio Free Oz” (a play on “Radio Free Europe,” the Cold War-era radio service that broadcast Western news and entertainment programs to countries behind the Iron Curtain) was the name of a program on KPFK, a Pacifica station in Los Angeles. Peter Bergman was the Wizard, and Phil Austin was the engineer and played occasional on-air parts. Firesign Theatre essentially evolved out of Radio Free Oz. Since the name doesn’t appear on any of the Firesign Theatre albums (as far as I know), this reference from Joel & Co. reflects a pretty deep knowledge of Firesign lore.

       1 likes

  27. Diamond Joe says:

    When the short began, we heard an announcer say, “General Hospital, brought to you by Ken-L-Ration,” though the sound skipped. Joel and the ‘bots started howling when they heard that, I guess to cover up the name.
    >>They barked because KLR is a dog food company

    Indeed. We know there’s no problem with them mentioning actual products.

    “And on your way home from the theater, remember to pick up some CARNATION ICE CREAM!”

       0 likes

  28. Earl B says:

    Please refresh me: is this the ‘movie’ featuring the elderly gent who looks like William Hartnell from DOCTOR WHO?

       1 likes

  29. fishbulb says:

    “I had thought that Doctor Forrester’s asking “what color is this? What color is this?” was partly riffing on a 1970s series of ads trying to insist that one company’s brand of color television provided more reliable colors than the others did, by highlighting just what colors the various things in the picture were supposed to be”

    I remember those commercials. Dr. Forrester isn’t riffing on them. I think he’s just being cruel, as is his wont.

    In the short, I though they kept mispronouncing “hiatal hernia” as “hiatus hernia”, the way actors might do, but the joke was on me – that’s a standard pronunciation.

    My copy has those “Comedy Central News Bites” scrolling across the bottom of the screen occasionally. Like this one: “What do you call phlegm going 80 miles an hour? A lugey.”
    Yeah, those were really popular.

    I enjoy watching both Rocky Jones episodes over and over again – they’re “comfort food” for me.

       1 likes

  30. Kenneth Morgan says:

    >EarlB asked “Please refresh me: is this the ‘movie’ featuring the elderly gent who looks like William Hartnell from DOCTOR WHO?”

    Yep, this one and “Crash of the Moons”. Makes me wonder if a rejected riff was, “Okay, so when does this guy turn into Patrick Troughton?”

       1 likes

  31. Sean74 says:

    This is a very good episode for me. I’m in the vast minority when it comes to the GH short: maybe because my wife has been a life-long fan of that soap, when she saw the older episodes on MST3K, she liked the show alot more. She was able to give me some background on some of the characters on the show, such as Phil Brewer (Thinnes), Jesse Brewer (Emily McLaughlin), and Steve Hardy (Beradino). This actually gave her a new respect for the show. As many fans would agree, the more your spouse tolerates the addiction to this show, the better the overall relationship! :grin:

    I think this treatment’s best lines were when J&TB were lambasting Winky and Bobby; many of their lines were set-ups for great remarks; Winky’s “gay nightlife” schtick was especially hilarious. I also liked the bit where, when Casa 17 is being shown, Servo says “Look! It’s the MST3K logo!” and Joel says “You’re not supposed to know about that!”, and Servo whistles in embarrassment. The first two host segments were good, but Winky visiting the SOL (a one-time cameo played brilliantly once again by Mike Nelson) was a comic home run.

       3 likes

  32. Where is Joel pouring that liquid when he is pouring it on Crow? Is it trickling down Trace’s arm?

    I had always assumed it was a trick pitcher. This link appears to confirm this: http://magic.asme.org/pdf/4milkpitcher.pdf

       0 likes

  33. zaxxon25 says:

    fireballil – The MC5 are an influential Detroit garage rock band from the late 60’s/early 70’s. I’d have to re-watch the episode to explain the reference but their best known song is the oft-covered “Kick Out The Jams” and their membership included one guy named “Sonic.”

       1 likes

  34. Yipe Striper says:

    This episode is hard for me to get through…

       1 likes

  35. Yipe Striper says:

    *after previous post*

    turns away quickly!

    “don’t hit!”

       0 likes

  36. silent037bob says:

    As someone who grew up with a sister that watched General Hospital through most of 80s, I can safely say that the comment about John “Dr. Hardy” Beradino was very true. The man just never looked young while he was on the show. He cruised at a steady altitude of oldness for many years.

       1 likes

  37. Omega says:

    Something I noticed in Segment 1 is Joel mentions having a sister. I don’t think the show ever went into much detail on Joel’s background beyond being a janitor for Gizmonics who like inventing (compared to Mike who told some rather personal stories to the Bots).

    Also this is probably the only time Joel disciplines Cambot (for playing the organ music). Most of the time its Crow and Tom who got time outs.

       2 likes

  38. Uranium - 235 says:

    I’m with Crow on this – B&W movies suck. Okay, so Dr. Strangelove wasn’t hurt by the medium – what I mean is that B&W exponentially increases the overall boredom of a bad movie, doubly so because B&W generally means you’re also going to be experiencing period camerawork (meaning if you’re lucky you might get a pan across a room or two), and period audio quality (muted and lacking fidelity). That all the B&W movies on MST3K are therefore bad, of all the times I’ve fallen asleep while watching an MST3K it’s always been to a B&W.

    By the way, I have to ask – Did Joel always have something of a stutter? I’ve noticed many times he’d pause for a second in the middle of a word like he forgot what he was saying. His lines are memorized so I’m not sure what other explanation there is. In the last movie he had to stop in the middle of saying the letter-writers name (I think he said along the lines of ‘Reb—-ecca’). This movie during the invention exchange: “And we’ve got a — — persuasive presentation…” He does this infrequently, but mostly during host segments.

       0 likes

  39. Spector says:

    Another great episode. Loved the classic old General Hospital episode, with some great riffs in that:

    “Hello, I’ve been in the bell tower all morning”

    “Nurse Foratu”

    ” I think everyone who checks into this hospital commits suicide”.

    A great warm up for the main feature, with Joel and the ‘Bots in fine form tearing apart the bizarre space world of Rocky Jones and his weird sidekick Winky and that annoying little turd Bobby!

    The host segment with Mike as Winky living out of his Mom’s basement was priceless!

    Maybe it’s me but I think a lot of the Brains best work was with these cheesy B&W movies. “Manhunt in Space” was yet another great episodes from arguably the best season in MST3K history.

       0 likes

  40. Dan in WI says:

    This is a weird episode for me. While I do like it during this viewing I found few riffs that really tickled my fancy. I guess this is what Sampo would call a good but not great episode.

    What is Crow’s problem with black and white movies? I love them. It was what they had at the time. So what? For my money the average black and white experiment is much better than the average color experiment.

    I’ll agree that the Mad’s invention has some promise but it is nowhere near evil enough for them. This should have been a Joel invention.
    Crow’s line about his suit being Viva and worn to the clubs because he is the “quicker picker upper” is great.

    So what is the deal with the poor audio and silent movie organ accompaniment of the soap? Was that the norm in those days?

    I think Crow should be renamed Owl. It’s pretty creepy the way his head rotates at least 270?.

    Winky is no Don Sullivan.

    Favorite Riffs:
    The up light on the elevator lights up. Tom “Going up Mr. Tyler.” [Nice riff on the dialogue before the Aerosmith classic “Love in an Elevator” from the album cut.]

    Right in the Winky

       1 likes

  41. robot rump! says:

    just a few quick observations:
    1. this one is a good strong episode, although for me ‘Crash of the Moons’ has the great John Banner and will always win out.
    2. Cleolanta was hot, hot, hot!
    3. i imagine there were many a time on the ‘Orbit Jet’ when ‘Winky’ brought the level of discussions WAY down.
    4. how great are the ‘United Worlds if 4 guys you wouldn’t trust to change your oil have them cowering in fear?
    think about it, won’t you? thank you.

       5 likes

  42. dsman71 says:

    This is the first of a string of black and white classics. Good solid episode. I prefer Crash of the Moons also but this also is a decent Saturday morning kiddee matinee fun type of episode.
    Cant get enough of Winky can we ?
    Joel got a haircut !
    Joels Hair
    Joels Knees
    He got him right in the Winky !
    Im too mellow for therapy today
    Next week
    Tormented
    Tor- mented, Time for go to bed :-D

       1 likes

  43. John W says:

    “As the traitor carries rocky to the gantry, Crow says “Oh, he’s gonna do the Letterman thing.” Huh?”

    Letterman used to do a segment where they’d throw breakable stuff (like watermelons) from the roof.

    The objects tended to be as flimsy as Winky’s “gay night life”.

       3 likes

  44. JimmyBruce says:

    The “General Hospital” short is the worst. A one time viewing is enough.

       0 likes

  45. Sitting Duck says:

    @40: Encouraging the behavior of self-absorbed poseurs strikes me as being pretty evil. :P

    According to Wikipedia, the exposition on the hiatal/hiatus hernia was reasonably accurate.

    Regarding the labored exposition on what an orbit is, keep in mind this was before even Sputnik was launched, so such terminology would have been unfamiliar to the general public. Even these days, exposition in science fiction shows and movies is often clumsy, typically relying on the cabbage head technique.

       0 likes

  46. Tom Carberry says:

    Episode 413—Manhunt in Space was made from three episodes of the Rocky Jones, Space Ranger TV show titled “The Pirates of Prah (1954). As has been noted the show only ran one season because—now get this—it was too expensive to continue production. So, how many scrapes did Winky get in? Well, not as many as in his real life. This is from his bio on IMDB–Sad, really.

    In early 1954, Beckett landed the role of “Winky” in a low-budget sci-fi show called “Rocky Jones, Space Ranger” (1954), which today has become a cult classic. However, as former co-stars and ex-friends such as Elizabeth Taylor and Jane Powell emerged as bona-fide film stars of the 1950s, a supporting role in a fledgling, unproven industry must have been extremely frustrating for Scotty.

    In February of that year, the Cavalier Hotel in Hollywood was robbed of a little more than $130 in cash. The bandit pistol-whipped the desk clerk, and disappeared with the loot, or so police thought. Passed out drunk in the basement of the hotel, armed with a gun and knife, was Scotty Beckett. He was arrested and charged with possession of a weapon, but not with the robbery because the money was not found and the clerk could not positively identify the former star.

    After posting bail, Beckett, with his wife and 3-year son in tow, fled the country to Mexico. He checked into a Tampico hotel under the name of Sean Bullock, giving Carmel, California as his address. There were two bullet holes in his car. Beckett said these were from a gang who tried to rob him south of Juarez.

    After running out of cash and options, Scotty wrote out several cashier checks from a non-existent bank to different merchants, and was eventually tracked down by Mexican authorities in a Ciudad Victoria hotel. When they arrived, Scotty attempted to sneak himself and his family out of the hotel and in a gunfight with the Mexican police, 20 shots were exchanged. Miraculously, no one was killed, and Scott and Sunny were eventually captured. Scott Jr. was sent back to Los Angeles.

    Scotty served only four months in a Mexican jail before returning to the US in September of 1954. He surrendered to authorities for the weapons charge, pleading guilty, and amazingly, was given only three years probation. Although he told newspapers he saw this as an opportunity to pick up the pieces and start over with a clean slate, it was too little, too late. He was dropped from the Rocky Jones series, replaced with Jimmy Lydon (with whom Beckett had appeared with in Cynthia (1947)). A little more than a month later, Beckett was arrested in Las Vegas, once again for bouncing a check.

    Scotty re-enrolled at USC to study medicine, but when Our Gang was reissued for TV in 1955 as The Little Rascals, Beckett saw an opportunity to make a comeback in the movies. He appeared in Three for Jamie Dawn (1956), and had walk-ons in The Oklahoman (1957) with Joel McCrea and Monkey on My Back (1957) with ‘Cameron Mitchell’. He proved he could still act, exhibiting that same youthful charm, appearing perfectly at ease on camera, particularly in his small role as a Navy corpsman with the Marine Corps, in Monkey on My Back (1957). But just when it seemed as though a comback might happen, Scotty Beckett self-destructed again.

    In February of 1957 Scotty was caught at a Mexican-US border crossing trying to bring illegal drugs back to the United States. He said the pills were for his wife, who he claimed had a nervous ailment. In reality, Sunny Vickers was suffering from alcoholism, and had checked herself into Metropolitan State Hospital for treatment. She filed for divorce in August of 1957. After Sunny was awarded custody of Scott Jr., Beckett attempted suicide by swallowing a bottle of sleeping pills. He recovered, but realized he was finished as an actor. He tried his hand at selling used cars, among other things. He still had his charm, but he could not stay out of trouble.

    In April of 1959, Beckett was arrested on charges of drunk driving. In August of that same year, he was driving drunk again, but this time he did not emerge unscathed. He smashed his ’52 sedan into a tree, fracturing his skull, thigh and hip, and suffered multiple lacerations of his head. Although he was given probation and a suspended sentence, he was crippled for the rest of his life.

    In September of 1963, he was arrested for assault with a deadly weapon. Beckett, confined to a wheelchair from the near-fatal drunk driving accident, attempted to stab his neighbor after a dispute. His wife of two years, Margaret, a divorcée with a teenage daughter Susan, assisted in breaking up the fight. Three days later Beckett tried to kill himself by slashing his wrists. He recovered from this second suicide attempt, but by that time, Margaret had enough. She moved out, taking Susan with her. While trying to move out some of their belongings out, Scotty tried to stop Margaret, hitting Susan over the head with a crutch that he now used after his car accident. Arrested again, Scotty told the judge at his sentencing that he vowed “never to drink again.”

    Scotty stayed out of the headlines for a few years. In 1967 he was found employment driving an ambulance…perhaps to be close to the prescription drugs to which he was addicted, perhaps to try to revive his interest in becoming a doctor, perhaps to try to forget that he had once graced the screen with Hollywood’s biggest stars, and how his own star had plummeted to earth…or perhaps because he had run out of alternatives.

    On May 8th, Scotty checked into the Royal Palms Hotel, a Hollywood nursing home after suffering a beating in what may have been a drug deal gone wrong. Two days later, he was dead from an suicidal overdose of barbiturates. The third time had been the charm. He left behind a note, a son and some wonderful films and memories that will endure for eternity.

    Favorite lines from General Hospital:

    Thanks nurse Ratched.
    She’s the dark nurse of the soul.
    I think she’s been into the Percodan.
    She kind of looks like Uncle Miltie [Berle].
    Will you please take a breath mint.
    [of John Beradino/Dr. Hardy] So, what’s the barber doing here? Gee, he was old even then.
    Surgery!? Oh, it’s dangerous and painful, but don’t worry.

    Favorite lines from Manhunt in Space.

    [Original Screenplay by Arthur Hoerl] I wanted to hurl after I read the screenplay.
    How come you don’t have to wear stretch pants grandpa?
    “No use kidding ourselves, Vena, it’s like a million to one short that we’ll ever be seen.” Oh, there on Comedy Central.
    Industrial Light & Magic, you’ve done it again.
    Oh, I had planetoids once, had to sit on one of those donut things.
    Oh, brother, I’m way overdressed for this first day at work.

    Overall, I’d give this one 3 out of 5 stars.

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  47. Stressfactor says:

    Just FYI Re: The “General Hospital” short…

    It’s a Hiatal Hernia — NOT a “Hiatus Hernia”. They tend to run in my family unfortunately. Also, they CAN be serious and the doctor just casually tossing out the idea of surgery? Uh-uh. I had a relative die in the 1970’s from complications from surgery to repair a hiatal hernia. The surgeries have gotten a LOT safer today but doctors STILL don’t like to mess around with surgery on a hiatal unless they absolutely HAVE to. Back in the 1960’s — when this episode of General Hospital aired surgery for a hiatal hernia would have been REALLY risky.

    Also, the idea of two weeks in the hospital to run tests and make diet changes really was only a little out of order for the time period. Nowadays yeah, it’s unheard of but today we have instruments that allow doctors to get a better look at the situation and make faster assessments. In the 1960’s the only way to make assessments was to pretty much observe people. Certainly a couple of days in the hospital to make diet changes and make sure the hiatal hernia is small and not interfering in things would not have been out of order for the day.

    Now, as for the REST of the episode….

    The guys were really on the sexual innuendoes for this episode I noticed. They seemed to be doing a lot more of those than usual. But that’s okay because they were spot on and hillarious.

    Stand-out performances here were Trace as Crow — man, he was on FIRE here. Pretty much all of my favorite lines this episode were his.

    And Mike Nelson and “Winky”. It’s kind of scary how well he imitated the actor. That was a great use of the Hexfield there.

    Also, was that Frank voicing “Winky’s” mom?

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  48. schippers says:

    Ah, Rocky Jones. How I wish they had done more “movies” from this TV series, since ’50s rocket ship movies (er, in this case, TV shows) are among my very favorites.

    I see several people giving the nod to Crash of the Moons, cuz of Banner. I can see that. However, THIS one wins out for me because of one thing: Winky’s song.

    Wow.

    One thing to comment on: notice how Atlasand’s (sp? what a weird name) whole mien changes almost entirely from “Manhunt” to “Crash.” In the former, he is quite a bit like Mylanta’s TV’s Frank, whereas in the latter he is much more servile, almost a smooth blend of Bobo and Brain Guy. It’s not unusual for TV characters to undergo character evolutions, but since the episodes that comprise these movies were most likely shot pretty close together (too lazy to track down an ep list right now) it seems like his character evolves pretty abruptly and for no perceptible reason.

    Is Vena trying to do an accent? Whether real or affected, what is it?

    I’ve seen those goofy slip-on space helments in other space movies, but I can’t place a name right now.

    I can only remember one instance of the “space” modifier in action: “Vena, use your space gun.” Guess it must have stuck in the Brains’ craws after multiple viewings.

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  49. David says:

    Yup, Radio Aahs was the local Twin Cities-run kids station that was quite a hit in its day, even going national at one point. Then Disney came into town and stole their idea, quite literally, and threw their money and talent behind a new network. Aahs shut down, sued, and got over $9 million out of Disney for their dishonesty.

    It’s really too bad, because Radio Aahs was a pretty cool operation and quite kid-friendly. Radio Disney basically exists to peddle the Disney brand.

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  50. Fred Burroughs says:

    The Rocky Jones eps are great fun, just so simple and innocent. I think this as a Many-TV-Episodes-Edited-Together works much better than Time of the Apes, Fugitive Aliens, or Master Ninjas. The only downside is knowing the troubled life of child star Scotty Beckett makes it a little sour; but the same could be said for many MST movie actors (Lance Fuller, anyone?).
    The fighting scenes are a particular fave for a throwback to an era when no actors could do stunts, and the next camera cut shows completely different people swinging away at each other.

    Soap Operas like General Hospital always did have MUCH slower pacing than a normal drama, partly because they wanted to heighten the tension, partly because they had no time to prepare music score or precise rehearsals, but mainly because they were basically filler for a housewife’s afternoon. It makes for good riffing, with many pauses and lulls in between the furtive glances. Now that I’ve seen the several GH episodes they riffed, I enjoy them more on repeated viewing knowing the love triangle and pall of secrets and depression that hung over the nurses’ station. Nurseferatu indeed!

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