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Episode Guide: 415- The Beatniks (with short: ‘General Hospital’–Segment 2)

Short: (1963) A few scenes from the soap opera “General Hospital.” Nurse Jesse throws the most tense and awkward party ever.
Movie: (1960) Hoodlum and wannabe singer Tony gets his big break, but can’t shake his psycho pseudo-beatnik buddies.

First shown: 11/25/92
Opening: A uncharacteristically mean Joel dominates the bots in a game of rock-paper-scissors
Invention exchange: The Mads have donned troll doll costumes, Joel demonstrates pocket pool
Host segment 1: Joel, Crow and Tom present: Either you are or aren’t a beatnik
Host segment 2: The bots’ slumber party gets a call from Tony Travis!
Host segment 3: Tom Servo stars in a dramatization of the life of a ’50s rock star
End: Crow is in Moon mode, Joel reads a letter, while the Mads are a hot property
Stinger: Moon gets hysterical
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (165 votes, average: 4.32 out of 5)


• There’s so much to love about this episode. The movie is both watchable and eminently stupid, a perfect combination for MST3K. The riffing is solid, and you would expect no less at this stage of season 4. Even the segments are uniformly good. A great episode for newbies and just all-around fun.
• This episode debuted on the Turkey Day 1992 marathon, and was the first new episode to air in two months.
• As noted, Joel is uncharacteristically mean in the opening! Anybody who says Joel was always a father figure to the bots should watch this sketch. (Although he reminds me a bit of MY father a little.) Thankfully, GYPSY CRUSHES JOEL! and we have a happy ending.
• That’s Mary Jo as Magic Voice, for the first time.
• Naughty line: “You got a snooker down there!”
• During the short, J&tB do probably their best “commercial” for the Booze Council, featuring the classic line: “Booze takes a dull party and makes it better!”
• My recording of this episode is from August of ’93 and features those annoying commercials for the “premature” fall season (which I’d completely forgotten about) as well as commercial for one of the zillions of short-lived Comedy Central shows, “Everything You Need to Know” with an embarrassed-looking Christopher Hitchens. Also annoying: that was the era of Burger King’s “BKTV” spots, featuring the irritating catchphrase “I LOVE this place!” It’s a good thing they make good hamburgers…
• Callback: “Rock candy baby you’re mine, yeah!” (Daddy-O)
• You can hear director/scriptwriter Paul Frees (the voice of Boris Badenov) introducing Eddie when he makes his first TV appearance and also as the voice of the police detective in the hospital. Frees also did voices for Inspector Fenwick on “The Dudley Do-Right Show,” and the magpies on “The Heckle and Jeckle Show” among many many voice jobs.
• One of the funniest things about this episode is that all Eddie’s songs have these giant gaps after each line of lyrics, allowing J&tB to insert a riff after every one.
• Firesign Theatre reference: As segment 2 begins, Tom is singing the “Porgie Tirebiter” theme song.
• That’s Mike, of course, as the voice of Tony Travis. “If you’re a bill collector or if you’re with the military…”
• In segment 3, Crow’s wig falls off. They keep going.
• One of the weirdest things about this movie is the casting of the hatchet-faced Joyce Terry (aka “Donald Sutherland in drag”) as Helen. Her beauty is supposed to tempt Eddie away from the dim-witted, co-dependent Iris, but it’s hard to understand what Eddie could possibly see in her.
• The letter they read at the end is from a kid who got in trouble for calling his mom a “dickweed.” J&tB state that it is NOT a swear word and they’re right … but you still shouldn’t call your mom a dickweed.
• Cast and crew round up: Editor Harold White also worked on “Daddy-O.” ?Musical director Stanley Wilson also did the score for “Radar Men from the Moon.” In front of the camera, Karen Kadler was also in “It Conquered the World. And of course Peter Breck was also in “The Crawling Hand.” And Frank Worth, who had a bit part here, wrote the score for “Bride of the Monster”!?
As for Paul Frees, besides doing the grunts and groans for Glenn Manning “War of the Colossal Beast,” he’s the voice of Kalin in “The Sword and the Dragon” and the narrator in “The Deadly Mantis.”
• CreditsWatch: Host segments directed by Joel Hodgson (the first of four eps this season). But the big news is the departure of Alex Carr, causing everybody to move up a rung: Jann Johnson becomes production manager (Alex’s old title) and Ellen (Ellie) McDonough becomes production coordinator (Jann’s old title). Alex’s name comes off and Ellen’s name is added to the “post production coordination” credit along with Jann. Ellie comes off the list under “production assistant.” Clayton James did hair and makeup for all the rest of the episodes this season.
• Fave riff from short: “This is Pete from props. Don’t eat the cake!”
• Fave riff from the movie: “Dish of ice cream! Don’t tempt me!”

99 comments to Episode Guide: 415- The Beatniks (with short: ‘General Hospital’–Segment 2)

  • 1
    Rowsdower17 says:

    Leather coat…..


  • 2
    GizmonicTemp says:

    This movie has 622 riffs over 1:13:22 of movie time for an RPM of 8.478, #123 overall. Chronologically, this was an RPM valley for the show.

    The dramatization of a 50’s rock star is great and I love how Joel simulates the cliched “spinning newspaper” effect with posterboards and sticks. Truly a testament to the pleasant home-grown comfort of the show. However, he’s so into it that he takes one of them away too fast and we can’t read it!

    Leather barrrrr…

    Sampo, nothing is funnier than catching some of those great 90’s commercials on my old tapes! “Now you’re playing with power!”


  • 3
    Clint says:

    I have to admit I’m embarrassed
    This has never happened before
    The new Fall Season is coming…


    I remember those “New Fall Season in July” spots
    with Mo Gaffney lip syncing the words.

    Also the BKTV commercials. Also from that era:

    Mr. Phipps potato crisps. “Tater crisps are crunch-able, Mr. Phipps made them munch-able… with only half the fat-able, we know that you like that-able…”

    Arizona Jeans

    AT&T commercials voiced by Tom Selleck “Have you ever attended a meeting in your sandals? You will. And AT&T is the company that will bring it to you.”


  • 4
    Joey Stink Eye Smiles says:

    What the heck is with that tiny dining table in the General Hospital short? It looks like they’re eating off someone’s nightstand.


  • 5
    Kris says:

    I have to admit, I sometimes watch old MST episodes as much for the 90s commercials as for the show itself. You gotta love the asinine Mentos commercials, the obnoxious Zima guy, and (my personal favorite) the Playboy ads that ran during the midnight showings. Yeah, nekkid women and puppets: there’s a classic combination.


  • 6
    Rowsdower42 says:

    Just a hilarious episode, due in large part to Mooney. I KILLED THAT FAT BARKEEP! is now in famous, right? It’s like, up there with Play it, Sam and stuff.

    I always crack up when Gypsy crushes Joel.

    We also get one of the longest running callbacks from this episode. I don’t know in how many episodes from now on we’ll here, “Shut up, Iris, I tell ya, shut up.”


  • 7
    Anita says:

    I’m another one who loves it when the mst3k tapes I get from my friends have old commercials in it.

    I swear that Mike and the Bots referenced the BK teevee ads in That Brain that Wouldn’t Die. There was a scene where that camera work got all wonky like those commercials, and Crow exclaims, “I LURVE! this place!” and Servo giggles and I swear me mumbles, “BK…”.

    Oh right. Beatniks. I didn’t like the way Tony Travis kept on snapping at Iris. It made me sad.


  • 8

    My roommate still goes around quoting “If these people are beatniks, then my mom’s a beatnik, and she’s NOT!” Just something about the way Joel says that cracks me up.


  • 9
    skenderberg says:

    The Beatniks is one of my favorite “teens gone bad” films, mainly because it’s so far over-the-top. We’ve got “Evil Gilligan” Mooney to thank for that, as “I killed that fat barkeep!” is one of the most memorable lines of this season.

    Favorite riff: (Tom) “There are a million stupid stories in the naked city, and this is the stupidest.”
    Favorite host segment line: (As Tom dies) “Take… My step aerobics class… Every… Tuesday…”

    Also: You’re right about the in-joke with Frank and “Everything you touch, you destroy,” but they don’t explain it in the ACEG until their write-up for Episode 515 The Wild Wild World of Batwoman, where Tom says it to Crow during a host segment.


  • 10
    Toblerone says:

    Love this episode in particular for Servo’s riffs on Tom Waits (very appropriate given that he is the ultimate beatnik, among other things). As I recall, he quotes a couple of lines from “Diamonds On My Windshield” and “Friday Left Me Fumbling with the Blues” (that might not be the title, I forget, but it’s the line that’s quoted). Both are songs from one of his early albums, and one of my favorite overall, The Heart of Saturday Night.

    Also, 4TH STREET!!! and I love how Joel quickly begins losing steam on the spinning headlines sound effect and just ends up rushing everything, throwing off Servo’s timing.


  • 11
    Squirk says:

    This ep is one of my favorites.

    There’s something about Tom’s “Love wears a mask. A tight leather mask” that makes me laugh to this day.


  • 12
    R.A. Roth says:

    By sheer coincidence I watched this one last night (I’m transcribing my aging MST3K tapes to DVD before they turn to jelly). There are times I almost care about the characters, then Moon opens his mouth and I wish them all a horrible death. What I want to know is the name of the idiot savant who decided The Beatniks accurately described the rise to stardom of an average pop singer? Deceptive isn’t strong enough.

    Two things: 1. Helen isn’t THAT bad looking. Chisel off three layers of makeup and there’s a fine looking dame under there, somewhere. 2. How can you neglect the BEST line of all, Moon telling the hotel manager “I’m gonna Moon ya, man!” Seems slang for hanging your ass out the side window of a car hadn’t been invented yet.



  • 13
    R.A. Roth says:

    One last thing: “Everything he touched, he destroyed”.

    If I don’t miss my mark, this is from Season Two’s King Dinosaur.



  • 14
    Graboidz says:

    When Eddie launches into his first song in the diner and Tom croons “Dish of Ice Cream” in one of the gaps, I laughed so hard I peed a little.


  • 15
    Squirk says:

    Dish of ice cream? Don’t tempt me!


  • 16

    I remember those BKTV commercials too. I used to do an MST-style riff when they came on: “VTKB…I HATE this place!!”

    As for Episode #415 The Beatniks (with the General Hospital short): One of my all-time favorite MST3K episodes ever. The “Booze” bit during the short and the “You’re probably not a beatnik if…” skit are classics.


  • 17
    Seth L says:

    Watched this last night too, weird.

    I still want Moon to die horribly and painfully.

    Fav riff: “Meet George Jetson.”


  • 18
    magicvoice says:

    I love the sketch where Tom, Crow and Gypsy are acting like teenage girls and call Tony Travis’ house only to find out he’s a washed up loser that works at “The Taco Hell.” Then they all quickly move on to having a crush on the Moon guy. That was sooo me and my friends at age 13 pouring over our teen magazines with Corey Feldman, Duran Duran and Ralph Macchio! If one of our pin-up idols turned up to be a druggie or a loser, we just moved on! The ’80s didn’t have any beatniks, though.


  • 19
    eegah says:

    Definitely one of our favorites. Perhaps our favorite of all time.


  • 20
    elservo says:

    Man, I haven’t seen this one in ages.

    One thing I noticed, though, is that “The Rebel Set” should be called “The Beatniks” and “The Beatniks” should go by the name “The Rebel Set.”

    I wouldn’t expect such collusion, but hey, thought I’d put that out there.


  • 21
    somebody says:

    Back in that era mooning somebody didn’t mean hanging your butt out. It meant something completely different, although, I don’t know what.


  • 22
    Rowsdower42 says:



  • 23
    Jeff McM says:

    Shut up, Iris. I tell ya, shut up!


  • 24
    PumpingBuffalo says:

    Re: “the hatchet-faced Joyce Terry”
    Oh, come on!
    I think she’s lovely.
    Sure, she’s got a smile like the Joker.
    I still think she’s sweet,
    esp. compared to Iris, that scag!


  • 25
    Graboidz says:

    The GH short must feature the most UNAPPETIZING cake in the history of cinema!! Sad


  • 26
    Scott P. says:

    I agree with the poster above – “I’m gonna Mooon ya, man!” is probably the funniest line in the film. I remember being disappointed that the riff on it wasn’t that good. Hell, if all three of them just started to bust out laughing after it was said it would have been enough.


  • 27
    baroquejen says:

    Joyce Terry’s looks aren’t the problem – she is just in the wrong decade. She is in no way a platinum blonde bombshell, but would be much more at home with multiple piercings and really short jet black hair. Born punker if ever I have seen one.


  • 28
    losingmydignity says:

    Beatniks is something of a fan fav, but just so so for me. The just-ok-ness is odd, because there are so many memorable lines of dialogue within the film as pointed out above by those with better memories than me. Moonie, of course, is a scream and provides the best overall moments.


  • 29
    Snackula says:

    This episode is a hoot. I think you have to be in the right frame of mind when you watch certain episodes, and this one requires differing levels of inebria.

    Moon’s screeching rant, as if he’s suddenly bursting through his entire era of puberty all at once, is hysterical. The fact that he’s a killer with a knife, but seemingly posseses absolutely no knife fighting ability, rounds out the character nicely. Kinda answers the question of why he never really used a knife on “The Big Valley”.


  • 30
    Sean74 says:

    First off, I’m surprised by all of the discussion about the commercials in between the show; was I the only one who used the “pause” button to eliminate these annoying distractions? Smile

    To me, this was about the time when the show really got rolling, the start of several great episodes in a row. The riffing is top notch, and the movie’s several continuity errors and crazy, over-the-top characters provide plenty of fodder. Mooney, in particular, is right up there as one of the most memorable in MST3K history. Not just the “Fat Barkeep” line, but almost anything coming out of his mouth is funny as hell! Even when he sticks a knife into Harry Bailey, its hilarious because Peter Breck plays the part overdramatically.

    The host segments were pretty good, segment four being the best, and the invention exchanges were clever. (My girlfriend at the time loved and collected troll dolls – don’t ask me why – so that bit by the ‘mads is always bittersweet). My fav riff: a patron at the bar turns off the jukebox to hear the TV, to which Joel says, “Eddie Crane, Unplugged!” a reference to the MTV specials which featured popular rock acts of the day playing their songs acoustic.

    One more memory: I convinced friends of mine who also watched the show that Tony Travis actually had made a record, and if you looked hard enough it could be found. They spent several of the next months trying to find it in antique stores!


  • 31
    losingmydignity says:

    Didn’t mooning mean being all squishy and romantic–as in “mooning” over a girl?
    I’m lazy to pick up my dictionary. Maybe I shouldn’t have bought one that’s the size of Torgo’s lumps.


  • 32
    cory feldman says:

    Corey Feldman wants you know that we need “green, green, green.” The actor/director best known for this childhood movie days opposite actor Corey Haim , has just launched a new recording label called Cifi Records. The first album


  • 33
    Spector says:

    Oh, yeah, coming after Tormented, this is more like it! Gawd, but this was a lousy movie, and Joel and the ‘Bots were in great form shredding this one!

    Loved the riffing, especially the mocking of the lead’s singing, the constant put-downs of Iris, and that wormy psychotic sidekick who “killed that fat barkeep!” Hilarious. Loved the host segment where they do a sendup of the lead’s signing career. Tom singing “leather chaps” was just so funny. That never gets old no matter how many times I see it.

    To this day whenever my wife is teasing me about something all I have to say is “Shut up Iris” and we both dissolve into giggles.


  • 34
    RockyJones says:

    I’d just love to know how Peter Breck feels about his so-called “performance” in this piece of crap. I mean…I’ve seen “over-the-top” characterizations before, but SHEEZ-LOUISE! I’ve always wondered who was to blame…the actor or the director?

    While it seems that a lot of others delight in each and every one of Moon’s screen appearances, I can’t help but cringe and shudder every time he steps into frame. It’s nauseating, and for me, just damn near UNBEARABLE to watch.


  • 35
    Bice says:

    Sampo noted that you can hear the director (and noted voiceover actor) Paul Frees as the TV announcer who introduces Eddie. If I’m not mistaken, that’s also his voice as the detective at the hospital near the end when Eddie goes to visit his agent. I can’t tell if it’s actually Paul Frees in the scene, but it’s pretty clearly his voice overdubbed onto the scene. In addition to being the voice of Boris Badenov, the thing I always associate Frees’ voice with is the haunted house at DisneyWorld (he’s the “Ghost Host” who narrates the ride).

    I’m also glad to read that others enjoy the commercials from back when the shows first aired. When transferring my tapes to DVD, I try to trim out most of the commercials but find myself keeping the Comedy Central promos and commercials for video games and movies of the era, plus anything else that strikes a nostaligic chord. Oh, and the Playboy commercials, of course.


  • 36
    Dan in WI says:

    RIP two weeks back to Peter Breck.

    And here it is: My first episode, so like with so many others, my first holds a special place in my heart. I guess it was only a partial episode for me. I’m sure the story is familiar. I was channel surfing one night with a friend that had cable TV. My family did not have cable or satellite at the time. We ran across the show. The guy I was with was familiar with it on a basic level so I didn’t have to go through the “what on earth is this?” phase. It’s been debated before what makes a good introductory episode of this show. All I can say is Beatniks worked for me.

    Oh and it’s kind of cool that this episode would be the first DVD release to get an Easter Egg extra since it was my first experiment all those years ago.

    Yes Joel was quite rough during rock paper scissors. But you have to admit the bots have more than had it coming for some time now.

    Invention exchange: I’m a guy so I think the troll dolls are stupid, but Frank sells it well by pointing you as a troll doll you’ll get to sit on the nightstand of a good looking college coed and what them at night.

    The first General Hospital segment a couple weeks back did nothing for me. This one was the complete opposite. I think it was all the sour faced actors that just set up Joel and the Bots perfectly.

    Tom nails it with his first riff. This film has a lot in common with Daddy-O.

    That “you’re not a Beatnik” host segment in whole was a riff on Jeff Foxworthy wasn’t it?

    The Tom Servo whirlwind singing career host segment is an all time favorite. Again it is part magic of my first episode but it just works on many levels, and it has more Daddy-O callbacks.

    My first episode also has my first personal catch phrase. I still to this day use Meet George Jetson whenever I see a walking montage type scene.

    Favorite Riffs:
    Female character carrying a knife to cut the cake “To tell you the truth I’ve never given an engagement party before and I don’t know whether or not it’s appropriate.” Tom “to stab you.”

    Guy watches couple kiss… Tom “wow he really snaked it in there. Look at him go.”

    Shot of Iris driving a car: Joel “Ed Wood.”

    Crow “Oh is the great Martha Wentworth going to be in this film?” Tom “Oh is the great Crow going to do that riff every film?” [Editors note: Only those films with a blue blood sounding name in the credits.]

    Eddie pours his heart out to Helen at dinner. Helen “Eddie I’m not laughing.” Joel “I’m panicking.”

    Mr. Bayliss “Helen seemed to think you were in some sort of trouble.” Joel “Are you pregnant Eddie?”

    Crow “Meanwhile at the same time.”


  • 37
    John W says:

    “There’s a layer of squirrel in here!”


  • 38
    Tom Carberry says:

    Directed by Paul Frees (noted more for his voice work than anything else, certainly directing), this cinematic cow-flop has a “Daddy-O’ feel and smell to it. We are treated to the artistic talents of Peter Breck and Karen Kadler. Peter, who just passed away a couple of weeks ago, and overacted in “The Crawling Hand”—will be remembered in this movie with the catchphrase, “Yeah, I killed that fat barkeep”. An interesting little episode note is that Peter was also in General Hospital, but not in the episode featured with The Beatniks. He is probably best remembered as Nick Barkley in The Big Valley (1965-1969). Karen Kadler (1934-1984, born Karen Stefanee) had a small role in “It Conquered the World” as Helen the “scientist” who made coffee, got killed inside the space research lab and was found outside (a bit of a continuity problem). This go around she played Iris, and will forever be remembered as the recipient of the catchphrase, “shut up, Iris”. We are also treated to another scene from the 1963 season of “General Hospital”.

    Favorite lines from General Hospital:

    [the Cake] Oh no, the plaster’s coming off.
    Well, Phil never eats my plaster cake at home.
    Another alcohol-free party ends in shame. This little playlet has been brought to you by the booze council, reminding you to always stock up on alcoholic beverages for all your social occasions because booze really satisfies. Booze takes a dull party and makes it better. Booze makes you popular and heals all wounds. B-O-O-Z-E, Booze.

    Favorite lines from The Beatniks:

    Hey, it’s Daddy-O.
    It looks like this scene was shot by a bank camera.
    School shopping with Mom.
    He’s singing into a refrigerator.
    Well, I guess killing is ok when it’s sanctioned by an agent.
    [Helen Tracy, Bayliss’ Secretary] She looks like Donald Sutherland in drag.
    For a recording studio they have a ton of garbage.

    Final thought. Wow, Peter Breck really pulled out all the stops in this one—I’d categorize this as felony overacting. Even Shatner wouldn’t go this over the top.


  • 39
    Mitchell "Rowsdower" Beardsley says:

    Simply one of the absolute funniest episodes ever. My brother introduced me to MST3K during the ’92 Turkey Day. This is one of those episodes I save so that I don’t watch it too many times, not unlike Daddy-O. What can I say? I like stupid criminals.

    and I think Iris is hot. There I said it.


  • 40
    Fred Burroughs says:

    Ya gotta love that subliminal advertising at the diner. “DISH OF ICE CREAM.” How could anyone resist such aggressive and sophisticated marketing? As in Daddy-O, I find that the lead character is actually likeable and fairly well acted.

    I don’t mind Helen and her soft-spoken charm (shut up, Iris) but the part that loses me is the montage where she buys him a new suit. By the time they stop for lunch, Eddie is a completely changed man, fully in love and ready to commit and Helen is on board as well. This is not even a first date, its after a few HOURS shopping together!

    I salute Paul Frees for what was seemingly a labor of love, though he’s known for voice work, he wanted to be a jazz musician. or make movies about jazz musicians. or something. As a kid, I thought he was Tishiro Mifune (sp?) because he dubbed his voice in the movie Midway; then I heard the narrator for Disney’s Haunted Mansion, and I thought “Oh, the Japanese guy!”

    Fave riff: when Tony/Eddie is recording the song in the studio, every time Joel goes “Poom!” (He also demonstrates that in a host segment in Fire Maidens. Hoo-Ha!)


  • 41
    snowdog says:

    A fave for me. One of my favorite invention exchanges ever.
    “How do you know you’re stripes?” “I just know, okay?”
    “I can think of five reasons… bahhh!” (Laughed hard at that one).

    Watchable movie. Great host segments. Loved the rise and fall of Tom’s singing career.
    I’m not a fan of the General Hospital shorts, but they’re well… short. Not bad enough to take off a star.

    Five Stars.


  • 42
    Blast Hardcheese says:

    Another great episode, with some of the most irritating and unlikeable characters–on both the short and the movie–ever put on celluloid. As a Who fan, I find it strange that the sociopathic clown here is named “Moon”–although unlike his British counterpart, this Moon doesn’t have jaw-dropping talent or a wicked sense of humour to offset his hotel-wrecking tendencies.

    My favourite host segment has got to be the “slumber party” bit–the Bots do teenage girls astonishingly well. Even funnier is Joel’s list of teen idols: David Soul, Brady Girls, Jeremy Gelbwaks (the original littlest Partridge on “The Partridge Family”), the DeFranco Family (what passed for Canadian pop music in the 70s!) and Donny Most–an incredibly odd set of choices for teen heartthrobs if ever there was one. But they’re good company for Tony, who’s just as bland and forgettable as any of the names Joel mentions. It’s a brilliant little detail that’s easy to miss.

    At the same time, the list also helps to develop Joel’s character as a typical nice suburban kid who spent his adolescence in the 70s, fuelled with “Gilligan’s Island” and “The Partridge Family” and other clean stuff. With Mike, the Brains developed him as more of a stoner from the same era–like the protagonist in “Laserblast” and the whole cast of “Giant Spider Invasion.” Had Joel Robinson and (character) Mike Nelson gone to the same high school, they probably would have hated each other.


  • 43
    Cheapskate Crow says:

    5 stars again, so many great lines that I am still quoting 20 years later and all the host segments are great. Favorite lines/riffs:
    -“Don’t play Maureen McGovern!” – For someone who grew up in the ’70s, that line had meaning for me and I would add her to the list of singers to throw off a cliff.

    -The Vegas style “Hey!s” and accompaniment to Tony Travis’ 2nd song especially.

    -The entire Rise and Fall of Tom Servo skit, the closing line “Everything he touched he destroyed” I loved so much I found ways to work it into college English and short movie-making assignments.

    @#8 – I too love the way Joel says the line “If these people are beatniks, then my mom’s a beatnik. And she’s not.”

    All in all, another classic episode from the high point of the series. Everyone leave your lights on when watching the next episode, it’s going to get a little scary and altogether evil.


  • 44
    Cabbage Patch Elvis says:

    Shut up Iris! (It never gets old!)


  • 45
    schippers says:

    I love Frank lamenting the passing of empiricism while Forrester is speeding through the deductive tunnel to the troll invention exchange. How many times has that happened to the average person? Probably quite a lot, I’d guess.

    A movie with a title that doesn’t tell you much, really.

    The beatnik who gets shot is dressed like an office zombie on casual Friday.

    The other male beatnik has so little personality and so little dialogue that he might as well not even be there, except as gang filler.

    I used to be unsure which of Eddie’s girlfriends was more hideous. But now I’m pretty clear it’s Salt. Peppah is okay in more angles and lighting conditions than Salt.


  • 46
    Jeff says:

    “Do you want a double bag?”


  • 47
    Ang says:

    My fave riff that cracks me up every time: “He’s gonna sing the whole thing, I mean it!”


  • 48
    robot rump! says:

    while the title of the movie is a Little misleading, te Beatniks and Tormented come the closest to being actually not too bad as far as 50’s/60’s b movies go. sure they have issues such as bad acting and some loopholes in the script, continuity and special effects but take that away and they could be pretty watchable as is. as far as the Helen/ Iris fight for Eddie’s soul, i’m guessing on some level Helen, regardless of her offbeat hillbilly looks, was supposed to represent a new life as a mature, responsible tool as opposed to what he was with Iris. or they couldn’t afford a real hottie. thank you, won’t you?


  • 49
    Jbagels` says:

    I remember this Turkey day like it was yesterday. A week after my 10th birthday, some annoying extended family arriving that evening after school. It was the first year that they began premiering new episodes during Turkey Day, which was awesome. Having a new MST episode on a weekday was as cool as having a football game on a weekday. Turkey day ended with the classic “Timmy” episode and some leftover pumpkin pie and turkey sandwiches. A great moment of my childhood.

    On another note, troll dolls were certainly a stupid fad.


  • 50
    Stressfactor says:

    I definitely liked this one over “Tormented”. Joel and the gang really went to town on the riffing and is shows in the nice spread between the “high brow” and “low brow” references.

    It also reminds me of how long it’s been since the gang sunk their teeth into a good ‘youth gone wrong’ movie — it really shows in the number of references they make to “Daddy-O”.

    The movie comes with a lot of built-in hilarity too. Eddie’s meteoric rise is so contrived you can’t help but laugh and the soundtrack composer needs to be beaten with a drum mallet for gratuitous use of kettle drums in the score.

    Too many good riffs to pick out just one or even a few and good host segments all around.

    Also, anyone else notice that Hodgson apparently hurt his hand in the opening bit when he was hitting the bots’ hands when he won at Rock Paper Scissors. A couple of times you can see Joel kind of shake his hand out after delivering the ‘slap’ — like it stung him a little bit.


  • 51
    Sitting Duck says:

    I never would have guessed that Tom subscribed to National Review.


  • 52
    Thomas K. Dye says:

    #50: Eddie’s meteoric rise is so contrived you can’t help but laugh

    Bayliss: Eddie, you’re an overnight sensation!
    Joel: And it hasn’t even been overnight!

    This movie IS hilarious, with Breck’s overacting, Sam “I was old before I was young” Edwards trying to pass himself off as a teenage “geeknik” and the horrible simulacrum of JD kitchen sink drama that permeates every frame (Eddie: Wherever I go, they go, Joel: Now where’s the bathroom?).

    At the same time, I always get that Tony Travis was TRYING to be sincere in his performance, and for that reason, I find myself oddly becoming affected at the final clash between Eddie and Moon at the end of the film. (You almost suspect the Brains were, too… Tom interrupts Joel to tell him that this is “So intense!”) It is a shame it ends as it does; I always kind of hope that Eddie is freed in a few months because Bayliss pulled some strings, and thus Eddie was free to sing his inexplicably popular forties-style ballads in pegboard-lined studios for at least a few more years, until the Beatles came over, anyway.

    And yeah, those songs… “With a Look” probably lasts like a minute and a half, but it feels like a century, and J&tB’s riffs just make it hilarious. The last one, which I suspect is called “Love Wears a Mask (A Tight Leather Mask)” is so schmaltzy that Vegas crooners probably would have rejected it ten years before. However… “Anything Your Heart Desires” is peculiarly catchy. There, I admitted it.


  • 53
    Skiptastic says:

    With the transition of Magic Voice to MJP in this episode, it made me think: was there ever a list of who played Magic Voice on an episode by episode basis?


  • 54
    schippers says:

    More random thoughts about the experiment:

    Casual Friday zombie does do a good impression of the hotel manager.

    I like Joel’s use of the cigar prop in the host segment.

    Sideburns don’t need your sympathy. Okay.


  • 55
    Jbagels` says:

    @ Sitting Duck: Servo did a pretty decent William F. Buckley impression, so not too surprising.


  • 56
    Kenotic says:

    For some reason, by favorite moment is when Eddie finishes up his non-Beatnik song about sideburns. He’s been pretty lifeless for the past few minutes, the song finishes up and he gives a half-hearted “Jazz Hands” before rolling his eyes and taking off with Iris. Even the actor couldn’t stand the middlin’ Pat Boone reject song.

    This movie has some of my favorite MST tropes: “Young” people who look about 30, awful music posing as the hip rock&roll kids like these days, love interests that are as interesting as dishwater, and attempted stabs at lingo (“I’m going Moon You!”).


  • 57
    Stressfactor says:

    I forgot as well, I loved Joel’s little “Yeah, right, a cab in L.A.” — perhaps a little lingering stab from his time in Hollywood?


  • 58
    Mrs. Dick Courier says:

    One of my faves!

    Dick Curier is editorial supervisor (my husband, poor guy, he was a horrible editor). Dick is also in Night of the Bloodbeast. Is this the same Dick? Can’t find him online.

    Same fave moments:

    Love the slumber party, brings back some good memories
    Joel really getting into the music “Ugghh!”
    “Gypsy crushes Joel!”
    “Dish of Ice Cream, don’t tempt me!”
    “Oscar Wilde!”
    love wears a mask “a tight leather mask”
    Anything…”is better than this crap”
    “meet George Jetson, Jane his skirt”


  • 59
    Dark Grandma of Death says:

    Favorite riff from this episode: “I’m shooting the dishes!”


  • 60
    touches no one's life, then leaves says:

    #25: Someone musta left it out in the rain…


  • 61
    snowdog says:

    The Shout DVD has the Crow Vs Crow special as en extra. It’s enjoyable to hear Trace talk about the early days and construction of Crow, both as a character and a robot. But what’s the inflatable globe obscuring Bill’s face much of the time? Did he have a zit on his chin or…?


  • 62
    Jbagels` says:

    Mary Jo’s Magic Voice is ok, but love the original magic voice. Saaaaay…


  • 63
    Sharktopus says:

    @ snowdog: I think Shout’s decision to record Crow Vs Crow as a special feature was somewhat last-minute, possibly spurred by all of us who couldn’t attend Dragon Con begging to see it. Their recording of the next year’s Servo Vs Servo panel was a little clearer. I’m still hoping to see them finagle a Joel Vs Mike some year. I’m sure we’d all be fascinated to see that.

    Honestly, the General Hospital installment and Crow Vs Crow are the big reasons I pull out this DVD. The Beatniks is clearly a strong, memorable episode with some great sketches, but something about it leaves me flat. I think the movie’s just too bland. A giant mutant critter really would’ve spiced things up for me. Paul Frees was just a little too competent.

    Bee double-Oh Zee Ee, booze!


  • 64
    24HourWideAwakeNightmare says:

    Is comment #9 suggesting that Peter Breck played an “Evil Gilligan”? Must have missed that ep, did it involve coconuts in some manner?

    Oh, probably it’s just a quick assessment of Breck’s general style. Still, fun to ruminate the idea of Little Buddy gone bad.


  • 65
    Ralph C. says:

    Five stars. Stop. Really funny episode. Stop. In the name of love. Stop. Well, looks like I a running out of room. Stop. I have to go. Stop. It’s snowing backstage. Stop.

    Best Wishes,



  • 66
    JLH says:

    The BKTV “I LOVE this place” got referenced by Crow in show 513 when the freaky guy is having a manic fit. Damn you, Dan Cortese!


  • 67
    eegah says:

    Paul Frees was also the voice of the helicopter pilot in “Beginning of the End”


  • 68
    Creeping Terror says:

    Sampo’s theorem is in full force. I’m surprised that anyone thinks this is a memorable episode. The movie is “meh” and the riffing is subpar. On the other hand, the three main host segments are pretty good.

    Although the movie is mediocre, I think that it’s not all bad. Tony Travis seems like a decent actor who never caught a break in Hollywood. According to IMDb, his career lasted 5 years and he left Hollywood roughly a year after “The Beatniks” came out. I don’t know if he was ever star material, but I think he could have been a dependable guest star/supporting actor in Hollywood. I wonder what happened to him…

    On to “Fire Maidens of Outer Space,” one of the worst MST3K movies ever!


  • 69
    Cabbage Patch Elvis says:

    Does anyone else get claustrophobic watching these General Hospital shorts? They kind of oog me out, maybe because they look like the old Twilight Zone episodes. Fave short riff: “I gotta go toss a cake!”


  • 70
    dsman71 says:

    Great episode. All I can think of is Leather Coat and that great Servo segment with Joel making funny noises with the newspaper headlines spinning
    LE THER – COAT ! Bum ba dow
    Jo Els Hair
    Jo Eils – Knees
    Ther – apy
    Bum buh dow !


  • 71
    Keith in WI says:

    I love this episode, one of my favorites. One of the few that I remember the host segments from the first time I saw it on CC back in the 90s. I think the overacting by Breck is perfect material for the show and the very un-beatnik look to the the beatniks makes the movie hilarious on its own and the Brains just add to the mess to make it a great episode.

    Fave riff from the short – The entire Booze council ad. Classic

    Favorite host segment riff – “I read in Dynamite that he likes GUM!” (Anyone else remember Dynamite magazine??)

    Favorite movie riff – too many to count but the “tight leather mask” and “There are a million stupid stories in the naked city, this is the stupidest one…” are a couple of best.


  • 72
    1 adam 12 says:

    Gotta disagree, Sampo: “dickweed” is definitely a curse word. It’s just an outgrowth of “dick”.


  • 73
    stef says:

    RIP Peter Breck.

    This is really a hysterical episode. BTW, I hope I’m not the only one who thought this, but I think Mooney was in love with Eddie. The scene where Eddie says he’s going to be on the tv show and the way Mooney stares at him, and how Mooney kept saying “I did it for you, Eddie!”, I think there was something going on.

    Also, does anyone out there know the title and issue number of the Superman comic Servo was reading during the skit where everything he touched he destroyed? It’s been driving my geek mind CRAZY!!


  • 74
    Watch-out-for-Snakes says:

    This is another solid episode, the riffing is lively and entertaining throughout, Joel and the Bots are very engaged by the movie, a very funny Invention Exchange (those troll costumes are kinda freaky!), and the Host Segments are great (well, except the Bots slumber party in HS#2; that skit leaves me “meh”). The movie itself, the decidedly Beatnik-free THE BEATNIKS is great MST fodder, full of weird actors and music that is resoundingly terrible, but man, not as bad as the editing. They should’ve hired a continuity person… My only complaint about this episode is the GENERAL HOSPITAL short; I’ve never really cared for those.

    “Leather coat.. . du-dung-dung-da-dung.. . ducktail hair!”


    Even though I didn’t like the short, this is the best part from it:

    Crow: “Another alcohol-free party ends in shame. This little playlet has been brought to you by the Booze Council, reminding you to always stock up on alcoholic beverages for all your social occasions. Because booze really satisfies.”
    Joel: “Booze takes an adult party and makes it better!”
    Servo: “Booze makes you popular and heals all wounds!”
    J&tB: “B-double O-Z-E, BOOOOOZE!”

    from the film:

    Servo: “Let’s do some crimes!”

    Crow: “This scene was shot by a bank camera.”

    song in movie: “Anyyyything. . . ”
    Joel: “Is better than this!”

    Crow: “Whoa, bad touch.” —Crow says this when the quiet guy in the group crawls over Mooney to sit at the booth, and Mooney grabs his butt. Maybe stef (#73) is on to something in regards to Mooney’s sexuality……?

    drug reference,
    Crow: “It’s snowing backstage, Eddie. Heh-heh.”

    Crow: “I’m a pixie!”

    Eddie leans in to hug hatchet-face, his cigarette still in hand,
    Servo: “sssssssss”
    Joel: “OOOO, my shoulder!”
    Crow: “Let’s create that scene from VIDEODROME.” ——Love that movie, one of my fave Cronenbergs!

    Overall, a great Episode, despite the lack of actual beatniks,
    but in honor of all fat barkeeps everywhere, I give this a . .



  • 75
    Cornjob says:

    “Boy I’m stupid. Sometimes I forget how stupid I am”.

    Eddie’s expression is perfect during this riff.

    I concur that Mooney was acting like a jilted lover.



  • 76
    Sitting Duck says:

    @61: The reason for the inflatable globe becomes more clear when you notice that there’s a can next to it labeled Soup.

    @64: IIRC one of the riffs in The Beatniks remarked that Moon looked like an evil Gilligan. And didn’t Bob Denver portrayed some sort of hippie-type character before he did Gilligan’s Island?


  • 77
    Dr. Ted "Hotcha!" Nelson says:

    Bob Denver played Maynard Krebs, a beatnik in “Dobie Gillis.”


  • 78
    Lisa says:

    In my view, a pretty good episode, but not a favorite. I tend not to like the teen thug episodes (eg Teenage Crime Wave) so much.

    Host segments are really good, especially the one with the spinning newspaper. Laugh

    And I like Helen, though she’s a little overly made up.


  • 79
    Cubby says:

    Stef @73,

    That is Superman #53, from 1991.

    You’re welcome.


  • 80
    Matthew Shine says:

    I never knew that “Beatnik” music consisted of 40’s style crooning…

    This is the beginning of a home stretch that, for me, continues all the way to Manos. My only gripe with this episode is the General Hospital short. I kinda wish they could have done more 50’s education shorts, those always were the funniest for me.
    My favorite host segment is Tom Servo’s Rise To Stardom. “Want some?” “I WANT AN ANSWER!” *SLAP*


  • 81
    Jbagels` says:

    I would definitely have gotten in trouble for saying dickweed when I was a kid. Is that a midwestern thing though? I’ve never heard anyone outside of MST3k say it.


  • 82
    Brandon says:

    Paul Frees’ son Fred was on the radio last year, and I got to call in and ask him what he thought about the MST’ed version of The Beatniks. He mentions that he was “totally amused by it”.


  • 83
    Neptune Man says:

    Great episode, but somebody answer this to me, please: what this movie has to do with the beatniks?


  • 84
    Cubby says:

    If memory serves, this not only debuted on the Turkey Day Marathon, it kicked it off that year (I set an 8-hour tape on the VCR in the apartment, and this was the first one on the tape. It could just be when Comedy Central switched over on our cable system – it had a 12-hour time share with VH-1 back then). While I liked the General Hospital short, the movie just sat on my head. Peter Breck was too hammy, Tony Travis was too wooden (several years ago, I saw him on a Surfside 6 episode – “The Wedding Guest” – and he was *exactly* the same. Maybe I just didn’t get it. I never “got” Troy Donahue either – well, except for his bit as Merle in Godfather II. He had found his instrument and it’s a great bit).

    The episode has grown on me over the years, I’ve never rated it a favorite, but it’s got good segments, the riffing is solid, and now I consider it quite funny. Call it the power of persistence. I love the lack of continuity in cuts when Moon is in the hotel room. Those crack me up. I love how they make a big deal out of how whatsisname finally gets a line. Joel, “Hey, he got a line!” Crow, “Wow!”

    “Gas water, laugh juice” registered with someone in the writing room – it’ll be called back at least once, in Radar Secret Service albeit scrambled as “gas juice, laugh water.”

    I love how ridiculously huge the cake is in the short. They cut about an eighth of the cake for their party. (Check how much is left in 417, two-thirds? Three-quarters?)


  • 85
    EricJ says:

    “Lea-ther coat..”
    “Dish-of Ice cream…”

    (If there was one episode devoted to all their great “Sing-along” riffs, it’s worth it.) Smile


  • 86
    Jbagels` says:

    @84, Cubby: It sure did kick off the Turkey day marathon, and Fire Maidens Of Outer Space ended it. It was awesome to get two new episodes in the span of 30 hours. I miss Turkey Day. Sure beats It’s a Wonderful Life and watching the Cowboys.


  • 87
    stef says:

    Cubby@79 THANK YOU!!!!!!! I was going nuts, but now I’m able to move on!


  • 88
    Cubby says:

    Jbagels @86, Alas, I was in fire-and-forget mode. All of us were going to our family homes for the weekend, so the first eight were all I got. I didn’t see Fire Maidens until much later.

    Plus, I wasn’t online back then, so I only had the vaguest knowledge of what episode was in what season – other than the obvious Season 1 sets and the ones with the “Comedy Channel” tag at the end. Add that to a work schedule overlap and only occasional access to the VCR, and everything I hadn’t seen yet was a “new” episode.

    Ah, to be young and foolish again.

    stef @87, has a gallery option in their search. If you can make out what the title looks like, you can surf the gallery until you find what you’re looking for. It can be a fun tool.


  • 89
    Jbagels` says:

    My father was a bit obsessive about recording the episodes. This was back in the days before DVR so he actually had our neighbor (who isn’t at all a MSTie) recording the full 30 hours when we went away one Thanksgiving. Poor bastard had to put in a new vhs tape every 6 hours.

    I wasn’t online then either but i remember getting an episode list with the newsletter way back when. I can’t remember the periodic tables, and my knowledge of American presidents is pretty lousy but I can still recite the first 4 seasons in order.


  • 90
    trickymutha says:

    @#89- I’m right there with you bro.


  • 91
    Skiptastic says:

    Listening to the video on YouTube linked in #82, I think we figured out why “hatchet face” was supposed to be the woman who tames the ‘hero’…she was the director’s wife!


  • 92
    Cornjob says:

    If the cast of this film assaulted Nickelous Cage with baseball bats, would the headline be, “Beatniks beat Nick”?

    Anyway, this movie was to beatniks what Troll 2 was to trolls, and Monster A Go-Go was to monsters.


  • 93
    Sitting Duck says:

    @81: The word dickweed gets used in the movie Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure.


  • 94
    jjb3k says:

    Even after Shout! released this episode, I still kept my fan-copy, because it came from the Turkey Day 1992 premiere, complete with intact commercials. I bust it out every Thanksgiving and go back in time for two hours. After years and years of watching MST3K exclusively on DVD, it’s quite a trip to see it accompanied by commercials for Extra bubble gum, Burger King, and Aladdin – not to mention all those old Penn Jillette Comedy Central bumpers.

    To me, this was the watershed episode – the point where MST3K hit its golden age, and started off on a string of brilliantly funny episodes that didn’t stop until the end of the Comedy Central era. From here on, the riffing is at its peak, the characters are all fully realized, the actors are much more professional, and everything is just as it should be.


  • 95
    Jbagels says:

    Oh yeah? I haven’t seen either Bill and Ted movie in years, must’ve forgot about them dropping a “dickweed”.


  • 96
    Cabbage Patch Elvis says:

    I was just watching this episode, and got a chuckle about how much Frank in his troll get-up looks like King Buzzo from the Melvins. Rock on Frank!


  • 97
    Bombastic Biscuit Boy says:

    Not much to add here, I love how “Beatnik Troll” Frank totally misquotes Howl at the beginning…

    “I’ve seen the best minds of my emanation ruined…
    [snap snap]

    Onto to next week! Into the theater, Ferlinghetti!!


  • 98
    dad1153 says:

    The lost youth/delinquent low-budget flicks with a skewed negative view of young people as troublemakers (always played by way-past-their-pretend-age non-actors) always make for hilarious riffing fodder. Along with its spiritual cousin “Daddy-O,” “The Beatniks” is somewhere in the middle between “MST3K” highs like “I Accuse My Parents” (along with some of the better shorts) and forgettable dreck like “Untamed Youth” (Season 1). Peter Breck is hilariously OTT as Mooney but the rest of the pretend Scooby Gang are either too wooden (leading man Tony Travis) or too broad (Sam Davis pretending to be Mickey Rooney), with the ‘adults’ coming across relatively normal. Riffing is unmemorable and dragged even lower by the “General Hospital” short that’s below par compared with the one before (yikes!) but the in-between skits (especially the ‘rotating newspaper’ story of Tom Servo’s career) are pretty strong along with a decent invention exchange (‘Pocket Billiards’).

    So, TWO-AND-A-HALF STARS (out of five) for “The Beatniks,” an average “MST3K” experiment all-around. Favorite riffs: the constant ‘Meet George Jetson…’ tune, jazzy style; Runner-up: ‘She looks like Donald Sutherland.’ ROTFL


  • 99
    pondoscp says:

    I just realized that Dr. Phil Brewer, from the General Hospital short, is none other than Code Name: Diamond Head himself, Roy Thinnes!