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Goodbye Sci-Fi

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

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Episode Guide: 422- The Day the Earth Froze (with short: ‘Here Comes the Circus’)

Short: (1946) A look at the Clyde Beatty circus, featuring legendary clown Emmett Kelly.
Movie: (1959) Nordic fantasy tale, based loosely on the Kalevala, about a wicked witch’s schemes to get, and later regain, a magic mill.

First shown: 1/16/93
Opening: J&tB try to pose for a family photo
Invention exchange: J&tB have invented Snack-tion; The Mads show off their “unhappy meals”
Host segment 1: The bots have some ideas for clown acts but Joel is no help
Host segment 2: So, what’s a sampo?
Host segment 3: Gypsy’s presents her one-woman show: “Gypsy Rose…Me!”
End: The bots are imprisoned wind, Joel reads a letter, Frank is also wind and still mad
Stinger: “What’s going to happen to us now?!”
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (175 votes, average: 4.57 out of 5)

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• I just love this episode. Fun, goofy, watchable movie, great riffing, great host segments, one of this series’ crowning achievements and the beginning of what became known as the “Russo-Finnish trilogy,” a memorable trio of terrific episodes.
• As you might have guessed, this episode had a big effect on me. For a long time it was my all-time favorite. Up until this point, on the Prodigy MST3K boards I had just been “Chris in Phila.” The night this was shown (or maybe the next day, I forget), I officially announced that I was taking the handle Sampo, and I’ve had it ever since.
• How do robots spit? I know, I know…
• The unhappy meals are truly an evil invention. I love Dr. F’s Charles Nelson Reilly laugh as he describes them.
• The announcer says “pamalino horses.” The hell?
• The circus in the short is never named, but it’s the Clyde Beatty Circus.
• The acrobat is both Dag Hammarskjöld and Albert Speer. Both references are pretty out of the blue…
• In the short, during the part toward the end when the lady is dancing with the elephants, you can easily see that one of the elephants has rolled in some poop. Gross.
• This movie (originally titled “Sampo” but cheesily renamed to trick American audiences into think it was sci-fi) was based on the Kalevala, the national epic of Finland. (As an aside, J.R.R. Tolkien was heavily influenced by the Kalevala, and his “Silmarillion” was originally begun as an attempt to create a sort of British Kalevala.)
• Increasingly obscure reference: “Hey, it’s Skylab!”
• The “Scandinavian sketch” is obviously drawn from their personal experiences. What I find amusing is how much those Minnesota accents sound like the accents of folks in the Northeastern corner of Pennsylvania, where I now live. There’s probably a linguistic explanation.
• As I noted in 1993 when I introduced this episode on national TV during Turkey Day, the movie DOES explain what a sampo is. J&TB are just in mid-riff when the explanation comes. I wonder if they did that on purpose, just so they can do the “what’s a sampo?” sketch?
• Local riff: “Mini golf at Crosslake.” It’s still around.
• I was very amused by Servo’s grumbling about “Half & Half.” This sounds like a disgruntled husband speaking from a real-life experience.
• Another obscure reference: Crow’s silly voiced: “I thought it was a costume ball!” is a reference to a movie called “Start the Revolution Without Me.”
• My copy is from the ’94 Turkey Day, but I don’t know if it would be fair to do an “annoying commercial” item since this ran at the ungodly hour of 4 a.m. (Eastern and Pacific) so ALL the commercials are pretty low-rent and annoying. Art instruction schools, Sally Struthers asking if I want to make more money, stuff like that. Oh and I should note that in his introduction, Adam West mistakenly says that this is episode number 424.
• Callback: “I sing whenever I sing…” (Giant Gila Monster)
• Naughty riff: “HE’s got delusions of grandeur.
• There are not one but two Ross Perot references in this episode. I guess it counts as “then-topical” but I would hope most people would remember who he is.
• Of course, one highlight is the classic “failure” song. Joel even gets up to dance!
• Jim gives a real tour de force in “Gypsy Rose ME!”
• Tom gently joshes fellow Minnesota entertainer Garrison Keillor’s “Prairie Home Companion” during the long, tedious harp attack.
• Cast and crew wrapup: Russian director Alexsandr Ptushko also directed “The Magic Voyage of Sinbad” (originally “Sadko”) and “The Sword and the Dragon” (originally “Ilya Muromets”).
Georgiy Millyar was in “Jack Frost,” Mark Troyanovski was in “Magic Voyage of Sinbad,” the narrator, Marvin Miller, was also the narrator of “King Dinosaur” and “Phantom Planet” and Valentin Bryleyev was also in “Jack Frost.
• Creditwatch: Host segments directed by Trace Beaulieu. “Gypsy Rose Me” was written and arranged by Mike, with lyrics by Mary Jo.
• Fave riff from the short: “You know, don’t laugh, but, in a way, this is this town’s Passion Play.”
• Fave riff from the movie: “Great wedding. You get half a buzz on and you’re sent home with a torch.”

110 comments to Episode Guide: 422- The Day the Earth Froze (with short: ‘Here Comes the Circus’)

  • 1
    GizmonicTemp says:

    To add to what Sampo mentioned, this movie is just a tiny portion of the Kalevala. From what I’ve read of it, the rest of it is pretty cool, too. There is even a story that concerns a romance between Lem and Louhi!!!

    Yes, Yes, YES!! This is for me, hands down, THE best Mst3k episode. It has the highest RPM’s of any of the episodes and the host segments are a PERFECT cross-section of what the show is about; “Picture Day” shows them as a family, the inventions are funny, “Joel the Typist” is dark, “What’s a Sampo” is a nice round-table, “Gypsy Rose Me” is a rare focus on Gypsy, and the end segments are creative. Plus, there’s a great short. Perfect, PERFECT, PERFECT.

    “Let us be gay, for he is a dickweed!”

       5 likes

  • 2
    Sitting Duck says:

    Personally I hated the Gypsy Rose Me host segment and always fast forward it whenever I rewatch this one. A low point in an otherwise fantastic episode.

    Servo got one part of the Prairie Home Companion shtick mixed up. It’s where the women are strong and the men are good-looking, not the other way around. The rest of it is perfectly accurate though.

       0 likes

  • 3
    Mr. Sodium says:

    Whoa, Sampo was on the old Prodigy MST3k board? I was semi-voted “President” of the message board club there when I was 14. We got totally spam-attacked by the evil Monty Python’s Flying Circus message board club.

    More on topic: great episode. I’ll second your “Let us be gay, for he is a dickweed!”

       1 likes

  • 4
    insidemyhead says:

    I spent a good chunk of my childhood playing minigolf in Crosslake…

    Of course, I’ve been to many exotic locations, such as Normandale Community College.

       3 likes

  • 5
    happy says:

    I couldve done withouy Gypsy Rose Me too, and it seems the MST crew dislike Jim Mallon..
    This was a solid episode anyway..
    Sometimes Manos would air after this show, but Bride of the Monster was the show after this..
    Heres hoping these find their way to ShoutFactory…

       0 likes

  • 6

    I just hated when Joel would admonish the bots for being “dark.” I found it really irritating, because those “dark” jokes were the funnier ones, and his response was like a wet blanket to the humor. Though, in this instance, Joel gets it back when Tom Servo makes fun of one of Joel’s lamer riffs.

    Speaking of the Kalevala, the dubbed version is nothing like the original Kalevala (I don’t know about the original Finnish version). Anneke (sp?) is barely in the original epic, if she’s there at all. Vannamoinen (Crow: “Is there another wise man we could talk to?”) has a much bigger role. There’s also a lot more to the story. It would be like if they filmed a movie called “The Bible” and only focused on a few chapters of Genesis — oh, wait, they did.

    The group Magenta has song called “Lemmankinnen’s Lament”. It’s a very sad and pretty song, but I can’t help listening to it and thinking “We’re in the house — take your BIKE HELMET off!”

    Although it’s a folk tale, I agree with Joel and the bots’ commentary on how the rules of magic almost seem to be made up as the story goes along (“Wait a minute, if he could make a horse, why did he have to cut that tree down?”).

    Add me to those who aren’t fond of the “Gypsy Rose Me” segment. It has nothing to do with the film and it’s incomprehensible. Gypsy’s had better moments later on in MST’s run.

    Last but not least, Trace’s Bullwinkle impression is hilarious. (“Will somebody put me out, I seem to be on fire!”)

       2 likes

  • 7
    Bob says:

    Tolkien fans should take note that the Kalevala by Elias Lonnrot, like many pieces of folklore and mythology, was very influential on J.R.R. Tolkien when he was writing Lord of the Rings. It’s a wonderful book and it is still in print for anyone who is interested; you can buy a copy from Amazon or any good book seller. The magical Sampo is given a clearer explanation in writing than it got in a dubbed version of the movie about it.

       0 likes

  • 8
    Shenny says:

    When I heard the girl’s name, my first thought was the Japanese word “aniki”, pronounced the same way. If anyone cares, it means “boss”, but is generally used in a brotherly way.

       0 likes

  • 9
    Brandon says:

    Yes, Sampo I remember who Ross Perot is.

    “Oh… ei-dee-di-dee-di-dee-di-dee-di-dee-di…

    Who’s the little man
    With the giant ears?
    I voted for him years ago
    He bought me lots of beers
    He was a millionaire
    And he had lots of cash
    And he uded to use it all
    He never bought me hash!”

    I love “Whose Line?” just as much as MST3K.

       1 likes

  • 10
    Kenneth Morgan says:

    This is definitely one of the best ones in the series. Actually, the movie looks good enough to watch unMSTed with equal enjoyment (even if it does seem goofy as anything).

    Another then-topical reference: Nastassia

       2 likes

  • 11
    Kenneth Morgan says:

    (OOPS! Hit the “submit” button too early, there!)

    This is definitely one of the best ones in the series. Actually, the movie looks good enough to watch unMSTed with equal enjoyment (even if it does seem goofy as anything).

    Another then-topical reference: Nastassia Kinski is mentioned during the scene with the snake (noting her once-controversial photo session).

    The short is one of my favorites, particularly how even Joel seems taken aback at the “clown style” sequence.

    As for host segments, I liked them, and that includes “Gypsy Rose Me”. Nice to have her in the spotlight. And my favorite Sampo explanation is “high-engergy prop comic SAMPO!”

    By the way, what’s this “box” that Forrester threatens Frank with?

       0 likes

  • 12
    Skenderberg says:

    The Russian fairy tales are some of my favorite episodes. The Day the Earth Froze has a man getting his butt kicked by an animate cape, a hilarous bullwinkle impression, and a ridiculous sequence when the hero’s mother goes from object to inanimate object to ask for news of her missing son. The road’s lengthy reply inspires Crow’s comment, “Now I know what they mean when they say the road goes on forever.”

    Side note: Emmett Kelly eating a sandwich just isn’t that interesting. Didn’t he have some kind of routine they could show us?

       0 likes

  • 13
    Sitting Duck says:

    The Box is an illustration of the Lovecraftian technique where a writer keep the details vague and allow the audience to fill in the blanks with their imagination, as they’ll probably come up with something more horrible than the writer could.

       2 likes

  • 14
    R.A. Roth says:

    I thought the box was a nod to the scene in 1984 where Winston Smith is tied to chair, his head covered by a box linked to cages stuffed with hungry face-eating rats, his worst fear.

    My worst fear is having my head covered by a box linked to screens where Coleman Francis films play in a never-ending loop, no riffs, no popcorn. Just pain.

    Randy

       2 likes

  • 15
    TV's Mike says:

    Ah…the Prodigy (aka P*) boards…man, that seemed like eons ago….oh wait…it WAS!

    I went as FordBB (Ford Beebe! Ford Beebe!) back then, but decided to change because too many people asked me what kind of Ford Big Block truck I had.

    One of my favs as well. To this day, any morning I walk outside in the winter and I can FEEL my nose hairs…I utter the line “it was just so ding-dang cold, the stuff in my nose just freeze right up!” Ah, the Scandahovian sketch….

       2 likes

  • 16
    Rowsdower42 says:

    “Kids come runnin’ for the rich taste of Sampo!”

    By God, one of my most favorite episodes. The Russo-Finnish Troika (or is it a Quadrology – does Jack Frost count too?) Are all great episodes: beautiful to look at, insanely goofy throughout.

    He failed to bring back the Sampo
    Sampo!
    We will die of starvation
    Sampo!

       1 likes

  • 17
    outmywindow says:

    I studied the Kalevala in college and have to say that it’s one of the most repetitive things I’ve ever read, and I really like all that European mythology stuff. The same story gets retold about five times… Benefit though is that I do indeed know what a sampo is. Wink

    Oh, and my professor actually mentioned this episode in class once, telling us that there’d been a film made and that it’s only available through MST3K “if any of you have heard of that.”

    Great guy and otherwise great class.

       2 likes

  • 18
    Jedzz says:

    “As I noted in 1993 when I introduced this episode on national TV during Turkey Day, the movie DOES explain what a sampo is.”

    Okay, hot shot. So, just what is a sampo?

       0 likes

  • 19
    Sampo says:

    Jedzz: In the movie, it’s a magical machine, kind of a mill that produces gold, salt and flour (three handy things if you live in a pre-agrarian society above the Arctic Circle). In the stories, it’s described a lot of different ways. But the point is that when a community gets a sampo, good fortune follows. So if witchiepoo steals it, go get it and don’t screw it up!

       5 likes

  • 20
    Bob says:

    The Kalevala is repetitive because it is actually entirely a collection of oral tradition stories. Lonnrot went around Finland writing the stories down to ensure they wouldn’t be lost. So they are really not meant to be read, but heard. For all those people who like Lord of the Rings but hated how the book often stops in the middle of the action and lapses into a song, you can at least partially blame the style of the Kalevala for that.

    The Sampo is a magical machine forged by Ilmarinen that produces grain, salt and gold in unlimited quantities.

       2 likes

  • 21
    Anita says:

    I always like your comments on the commercials on your tapes, Sampo.

       3 likes

  • 22
    Darthdemona says:

    Even though I have lukewarm feelings about a LOT of Joel-era host segments, I’m going to play devil’s advocate for “Gypsy Rose Me”. On one level, I appreciate it as a well-deserved satirization of pretentious one-person shows, but on another level, sometimes when I feel desperately in need of self-affirmation I find myself humming a few bars, and it helps a little.

    The movie itself goes to show that there’s no magic formula for what makes a movie good riffing fodder; especially compared to “Bride of the Monster” and “Manos”–and most especially “Monster A-Go-Go,” which I find almost unwatchable even with the riffing–this movie is very good in its own right. I wish I could see the original version (only with English subtitles).

    It’s difficult for me to pick out a favorite riff because I’m not detail-oriented that way, but apart from the Bullwinkle stuff probably the moment that always makes me laugh the most is when Joel says in his best Margaret Hamilton voice, “Poppies will make us sleeeeep!” and Crow whispers “they’re tulips!”

       2 likes

  • 23
    Joseph Nebus says:

    They don’t identify the circus in the short? I thought the announcer gets to introducing it, although it’s obscured by Joel’s riff about nobody telling a Navy man when he’s had too much to drink.

       0 likes

  • 24
    Joseph Nebus says:

    They didn’t identify the circus in the short? I thought they had. The announcer seems to be saying something about the circus, although it’s buried under Joel’s riff about nobody telling a Navy man when he’s had too much to drink.

       0 likes

  • 25
    Snackula says:

    Some really great stuff in this one. Most of my favorite episodes are in the 400-500 era. That the film is intersting in its own right, at least for the folklore, and that it is a perfect breeding ground for MST fodder is in itself a wonder. This era is definately when the Brains were in the zone, functioning at maximum warp riff speed. LOL

    “Yeah, I’ll go get your flippin’ sampo”.

       0 likes

  • 26
    John Seavey says:

    You mentioned that it was titled ‘The Day the Earth Froze’ for American release to sucker people into thinking it was a sci-fi film…well guess what, it worked. My parents saw this movie in the theater when they were dating, and yes, they did buy tickets thinking they were seeing a revival of the sci-fi classic ‘The Day the Earth Stood Still’. Decades later, they still remembered it as a downright terrible movie, and I remembered calling them during the Turkey Day marathon saying, “You’ll never guess what they’re showing!”

    I was called in as an authority after that to referee an age-old dispute between my mother and my aunt as to which was worse, ‘Plan 9′ or ‘Day the Earth Froze’. (I voted for ‘Manos’. I’m no dummy.)

       3 likes

  • 27
    KBennett says:

    Wow. I really, really hate this episode.

    Hmm… something must be wrong with me.

       4 likes

  • 28
    Joey Stink Eye Smiles says:

    BTW, the unMSTied version of this film is on NetFlix. It’s a double feature with The Magic Voyage Of Sinbad. Bonus!

    “Ron Wood on any given morning.”

       2 likes

  • 29
    Bill says:

    The movie starts slowly but once it ramps up, wow, what hilarity.

    This episode contains my favorite MST3k riff ever: “Yes, dear I’ll get your Half ‘n’ Half dear. Can’t have one little cup off coffee without her Half ‘n’ Half!

       2 likes

  • 30
    nightcrawler666 says:

    Hey Sampo, I though you produced Pfefferneus as well.

       1 likes

  • 31
    Rowsdower42 says:

    Ding! Sampo’s up!

       0 likes

  • 32

    One of my all-time favorite MST3K episodes. The riffing during the short AND the movie has got “classic riffing” written all over it.
    In the short alone there’s a reference to Dag Hammarskjold (U.N. Secretary General 1953-61) and there’s “C. Everett Kook.”
    The riffing gets really good in the movie:
    * – Boat on fire. Crow (as Bullwinkle): “Will somebody please put me out? I seem to be on fire!”
    * – Lemminkainen arrives home minus his Sampo. “It’s…” “I hate Mondays!” “Now wipe your feet before you come into Finland!”
    * – J&TB’s “Failure Song” during the wedding dance sequences.
    * – Garrison Keillor-style riffing when characters play their musical instruments.

    I could go on and on, but no sense taking up too much space. Classic MST!

       2 likes

  • 33
    -RCFagnan says:

    BLIND Lemon-Kaiman….

       1 likes

  • 34
    ThorneSherman says:

    “Lemminkinnen in your rinse cycle…a terrific epiosode, one of my favorite of the Joel era. “The Adventures of Fjord(sp?) Fairlane, a now very dated reference to an Andrew Dice Clay film. As several have noted, Crow’s Bullwinkle riff is about perfect.

       2 likes

  • 35

    As I mentioned in my comments on Attack of the The Eye Creatures a few weeks back, this is my absolute favorite experiment (at least of Joel’s run). I started laughing out of the gate at “Heeeeeeeeeeere comes the Devil!” Evil /”It’s Beelzebub the Clown!” Twisted , and by the time the “Failure” song was in full swing, my lungs were etc. Most of my favorite riffs have been mentioned already, so I’ll just add “It’s Thomas Edison and his electric child” and “She’s talking to a Mills Brother!” to the tally.

    “Gypsy Rose Me”? Meh. Sometimes I watch it, sometimes I hit FF. I don’t like the way Gyps glibly responds to Joel’s compliment at the end and just goes off to rinse out some things. Very anticlimactic.

    I’ll have to rewatch my copy (from April-Mayish of ’93) and make note of any commercials worth mentioning. (I think it’s amusing that Sampo’s copy has the very Sally Struthers commercial riffed in the experiment…”Do you want to be Swedish? Sure, we all do!”)

       0 likes

  • 36
    Fred P says:

    I Loved the Bullwinkle jokes(Pardon me but I seem to be on fire!!!)One of my favorite episodes of all time. It’s just so darn goofy it’s hysterical. Oh, Shout Factory this one would be awesome in set # 1 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

       2 likes

  • 37
    fireballil says:

    Another 5-star episode, of the run at the end of season four. I think people should show 419 through 424 to recruit new fans to the show.

    Mentioned my favorite riff in a mistaken post a few shows back, but I’ll repeat it here since no one else has yet(though the others mentioned are classics as well): When the townsfolk prepare to fight the witch, Crow says, “Ladies and gentlemen, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Mountain Boys!” I also loved Joel’s reaction: “Crow, you are out there, man!”

    The short is also another dark one: circuses must have created bad memories for one or more of the writers.

    How do robots spit? Ask Crow, with his tobacco in a season 9 or 10 episode, I forget which season it was in.

    Another fave riff: Crow, in the clown-spanking scene: “And Madonna thinks she’s innovative!”

    To Brandon: The Ross Perot Drinking Song is my favorite one, though they bleeped out “hash.” Big Whose Line fan also, it’s my second favorite show.

    I’ll take up for Gypsy, I thought “Gypsy Rose Me!” was one of the best host segments of the season. It’s nice to see others besides Joel/Mike and the ‘bots involved, like Magic Voice in The Atomic Brain.

    The failure song, Santa entering the lodge, Leatherhead, I could go on and on. Truly a classic.

       1 likes

  • 38
    Sitting Duck says:

    I love me some Bullwinkle too. I liked how they also included a riff concerning the ubiquitous Chauncy and Edgar.

       1 likes

  • 39
    Ralph C. says:

    I liked this episode. I laughed watching it. “Gypsy Rose Me” was fun. It was good.

       0 likes

  • 40
    Sean74 says:

    What a great episode! There’s something about these Russo-Finnish movies that are both entertaining to watch while giving the ‘Brains so much material to work with. Kevin Murphy mentions this in the ACEG, these movies are both brilliant and goofy. Never a dull moment though.

    Another killer short, too! Second week in a row that it’s circus-themed, and it’s just as awful as last week’s. I love the part where one clown hits another on the behind while suspended in mid-air; you can hear the agony from J&TB, with Joel exclaiming “Please tell me this isn’t happening!” Am I alone in thinking this, or is it that whenever there’s a funny-as-hell short that it bodes well for a hilarious movie treatment too?

    Fave riffs: the “Failure Song” is a great song-within-the-theater segment, and the extended dig on Garrison Keiller’s duller-than-dull “Praire Home Companion” during the “showdown” with the witch and her henchmen.

    One more thing: I love how everyone is weighing in on the “Gypsy Rose Me” segment. It’s by no means their best sketch – amid a season with great sketches it’s rather lackluster – but at least it shows that the writers were willing to do something different by giving Gypsy a chance to perform. What they should’ve done was place this in an episode like “Monster a Go Go”, where there was just no way to do any segments relating to the movie, it may have been a better fit.

       1 likes

  • 41
    Smogging says:

    What was in that swan foil? That’s a significant memory from that episode…

       0 likes

  • 42
    Captain Cab says:

    I (finally) watched this gem for the first time on my Wii’s Opera browser via Youtube (being able to go from a large collection of classic Nintendo games to queing up streaming MST goodness any time I want = bliss) and it is easily a new favorite. The folks who say this episode excels in RPM factor are dead on, whether it be the circus short (C. Everett Kook = genius) or the movie itself, Joel and the staff were really firing on all cylinders with this one. My favorite riffs that come to mind now are the failure song, Trace’s hilarious Bullwinkle-on-fire line (great impression too, as always) and the Raiders reference. Gypsy Rose Me was a fun sketch, although I will agree with the poster who said it would have worked better in a more “standalone” fashion in slower eps such as Monster A Go Go, ect. OTOH, any time Gypsy gets some focus is just fine by me. Absolutely loved the family photo opener (Crow’s “slicked back” hair/dome was a nice touch) and Tom and Crow’s “death circus” writing diatribe was great stuff. The cinematography of the movie was surprisingly good, there’s something about the soft colors and backgrounds of the Russo-Finnish groaners that draw you in gently. Anyways, I enjoyed this with a pizza and some liquor before heading to bed saturday night and added this to my collection of “greatest personal MST memories.” Smile

       3 likes

  • 43
    Meranalf says:

    My guess on the box is that it’s a reference to Cool Hand Luke where the prisoners are threatened with spending “a night in the box.” Though the idea of letting our minds run wild also works for me.

    Frank seething is very funny.

    Joel’s comment “How can it be American and international?” is very similar to one of my favorite riffs from MST3K:TM, “Doesn’t the fact that it’s universal make it international?”

    Favorite riffs:
    Crow: “Hey, my other log’s a redwood!”
    Tom: “Have you thought about praying to me: God? The big G-meister?”

    I count 3 Wizard of Oz references.
    Joel: “Poppies will make us sleep.” Crow: (whispered) “They’re tulips!”

    Crow: “Fly monkeys! Fly!” (When the witch releases the winds.)

    Tom: “Surrender Ilsa!” (When the witch flies over the forest, referencing the WWotW writing “Surrender Dorothy” in the sky.)

       0 likes

  • 44
    Seth Anders says:

    Here’s my submission for the box: The Skinner Box.

    At one point, during the snowstorm, Crow says “It’s not a fit night out for man nor beast!” This is either a reference to a line Yukon Cornelius says in Rudolf the Red Nose Reindeer, or, most probably, from the classic W.C. Fields short “The Fatal Glass of Beer”. In the end it may be a moot point, ’cause the line from Rudolf was probably a reference itself to the Field’s short.

       1 likes

  • 45
    Auntie Maim says:

    Just catching up on some old stuff here, and had to add myself as one of those who have this episode at the tippy-top of the list.

    The Bullwinkle “I seem to be on fire” is the only thing my girlfriend knows from MST3k–and it’s my ticket to making her watch other episodes!

       1 likes

  • 46
    Brian O. says:

    Maybe it’s just a coincidence, but a band called Happy Flowers released an album in 1989 titled “Oof”, with a track called “Unhappy Meal”. Unfortunately it’s a rare album nowadays, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the Mads used it for an unhealthy round of DEEEEEEEP HURRRRRTINNNNNNNG!

    Though if you have usenet access, you can find Oof in alt.binaries.multimedia.slack, nudge nudge wink wink.

       0 likes

  • 47
    Dyne says:

    I’m a bit behind on this classic as I just saw it for the very first time only last night and I kick myself for not having watched it sooner.
    Short:
    * “Heeere comes the devil!” – Instant win for the short.
    * Emmet Kelly is far more funny in riffs that refer to him in later episodes. “Oh no she’s chasing down Emmet Kelly!” – Eegah. “Poor Emmet Kelly, he didn’t age well.” – Incredibly Strange…
    * Wouldn’t those clown antics have been considered obscene in the 50s? That’s how I felt at least.
    * Favorite riff: “Nobody needs to tell a Navy man when he’s had enough to drink!”

    Movie:
    * Lemminkainan is the best name for a hero ever. I challenged my fiancee to say it 10 times fast as another tongue twister.
    * Another semi-reference to the Wizard of Oz is how the WWotW and Lohki tend to overact.
    * My family owned the same kind of Sampo that’s shown in a letter at the end of Eegah. That’s always a hoot to watch.
    * I had to pause the video because I was laughing so hard after the Bullwinkle impression, but I also noticed at that point how Lemminkainan is trying to put on a fierce face but looks really stupid at the same time.
    * Picked up on more than one S&M-based riff on this one, which was a bit surprising.
    * Aside from constant references to “Sampo!” in later episodes, I recall Crow saying “I am the north wind!” at least once. I think it’s done in Wild Wild World of Batwoman.
    * Another great pair of riff that are almost lost between the two Bullwinkle impressions are Servo’s “Log flume rides gone horribly wrong!” and “There’s a flaming moose on I-35.”
    * Hopefully the “Failure!” song will be included in the next MST3K Jukebox if the episode isn’t included in one by then. ‘course personally I’d love to see a box set with this, Magic Voyage of Sinbad, Sword and the Dragon, and Jack Frost all in one (another good quad of episodes would be the four Mike Nelson, Destroyer of Worlds ones).
    * Favorite riff: “Save me, Rocky! Help me!” “Again?”

    Host segments:
    * They capture the annoyance of family portraits all too well in the prologue.
    * The only thing better than Trace’s Charles Nelson Riley laugh is his Bullwinkle impression.
    * “Gypsy Rose Me” was pretty good, in my opinion, especially since she talked about how some people see her as stupid.
    * Favorite segment: Crow and Servo ideas for new clown acts, only to get shot down by Joel (he certainly one-ups them a lot more often than Mike ever did).

       0 likes

  • 48
    Spector says:

    Another of my all-time favorite episodes, and holds a rather personal soft spot. This was the first episode I had my wife watch with me. Up until then she only caught snatches of the episodes I watched and would just shake her head, not quite getting the charm of MST3K. I convinced her to watch an episode with me one Friday night and this was it. We spent most of the evening in hysterics, and at one point my wife laughed so hard she fell off the loveseat! From the wonderful short Here Comes the Circus (“Heeeeerreee comes the devil!” “Oh no, they’re doing it clown-style!”) to the main feature itself, this is another tour de force from the brains. My wife’s favorite segment was when Lemonkinen is rafting down the rapids and Joel and the bot’s are singing faux surfer tunes.

    “Let’s go surfin’now, even Sven’s learning how”.

    “If everybody had a spruce tree, across Finlandia”.

    “Wish they all could be Norwegian girls”.

    And the kicker line: “The adventures of Fjord Fairlane”.

    Oh, yeah, and the Flaming moose: “Could somebody please put me out I seem to be on fire!”.

    Good times, wonderful memory, great episode. Thank you, Best Brains, for providing a means for my wife and I to laugh and love together…again. Wink

       2 likes

  • 49

    I LOVE this movie! This ranks up there with “Jack Frost” as my favorite in the genre of weird, dubbed foreign movies that they riffed. The “Failure” song had me laughing till my hair hurt! I wonder if this movie is available undubbed, but with English subtitles.

    The short was strange and funny, as they all were… Did kids really like these mini-films? Would anyone be inspired to join the circus (or even want to see one) after watching this?

    You should have noted “Oh no, they’re doing it clown-style!” as a Vaguely Naughty Riff. Smile

       0 likes

  • 50
    Toots Sweet says:

    A very funny episode. But Jim’s Gypsy has always irritated the crap out of me. I can’t stand it when Gypsy is on.

       0 likes

  • 51
    rockyjones says:

    “There’s somethin’ ya don’t see every day, Chauncey.”
    “What’s that, Edgar?”
    “KISS goin’ bass fishin’.”

    Definitely one of my top 5 all-time favorite episodes!

       0 likes

  • 52
    Bice says:

    I can’t belive it took 53 comments before someone quoted the “doing it clown-style” line. One of my all-time favorite riffs, along with Trace (as Bullwinkle)’s “I seem to be on FIRE!” Great, great episode.

    Unfortunately not everyone appreciated MST3K’s treatment of the film. Do a web search on the movie title and look for the Kiddie Matinee site’s review of the film. Near the end, they take some very nasty pot shots at Best Brains for daring to make fun of this movie. It’s a shame you can’t leave comments on their site.

       1 likes

  • 53
    Mandy Rolens says:

    I have been a fan of MST3K since it first aired and this one is my FAVORITE episode! 2nd favorite is Jack Frost. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve seen The Day the Earth Froze. It’s one of the classics that I have to watch a couple times every year…ranking it right up there with Monty Python and the Holy Grail and Young Frankenstein. It never gets old and I’m still finding things to laugh at. I’m so glad to see I’m not the only one! I used to quote it in highschool back in 1997 and no one new what I was talking about. Oh…to have that show on the air again…no one can ever duplicate it. AND I MISS TURKEY DAY MARATHONS!!!!!

    “Watch out where those huskies go and don’t you eat that yellow snow!”

       2 likes

  • 54
    Dan in WI says:

    Family Portrait:
    I think this is the first time we see Crow with his hair slicked back.
    I love the backdrop. It is the exact same scene as the wall behind them. Great idea. I envy the fan who ended up with that during the prop auction.

    You know it’s not just the superb movie and short riffing and outstanding host segments that makes the season four stretch drive the greatest stretch in the show’s history. Here again we have for the third straight week a top five all time invention exchange in my opinion.
    First I love how it opens up with Frank giving the bum’s rush to the delivery guy saying “sorry about the tip, I left the money in my other pocket.” Classic.
    Joel’s invention is great. I love the Pixie Staff (who doesn’t love pure and unadulterated sugar?) and ninja throwing cookies are fun too.
    But it’s been said before and I’ll say it again: this is evil. It starts off with Dr. Forrester financing it with Frank’s 401k. Then we see the cold partially eaten hamburger. I also like the used Q-tip.

    The circus wrap up host segment is fun. Note the gap going on as Joel “types.” I also like Crow’s idea “This routine starts out normal, you and me beating the crap out of each other.” But this sketch contains an all time favorite catchphrase: Joel “Um, fellas can I remind you are going to be clowns in a circus? There’s going to be kids watching.” Tom “Can I just remind you to bite me?”

    It’s kind of funny how this episode has inspired renaming. Our beloved website master took his name from Sampo. Meanwhile, I renamed a favorite meal of mine Sampo based on a couple of my favorite riffs mentioned below.

    Favorite Riffs:
    Boy is chugging a Coke and all chant “chug it, chug it.”

    Girl on trapeze: Tom “Yes our Betty swings both ways.”

    Clowns do their shtick: Crow “And Madonna thinks she’s innovative.”

    Crow “1, 2, 3, Hey I can’t fall asleep counting these guys.” Tom “They’re goats.”

    Joel “Is it Sampo yet?”

    Guy straddling a lot: Crow “He’s got delusions of grandeur.”

    Joel “Kids come running for the rich taste of Sampo.”

    Crow “Are you with the bride or the failure.”

    Crow “Twas a Rock and Roll Creation” (Another Spinal Tap riff)

       4 likes

  • 55
    Joseph Nebus says:

    This episode has a couple of the moments when I, first coming to MST3K, knew this was The Show for me. One of them was the reference to Skylab. I was a child in the late 70s, at the right time for the talk of Skylab Falling to make a deep impression on me. I’ve been a space fan and space history buff for a long, long while, but Skylab has a special part in that for me.

    Then there’s the Bullwinkle references. How the boat resembles Bullwinkle is great, but then to top it with the Chauncy-and-Edgar sequence (“there’s something you don’t see every day, Chauncy” “What’s that, Edgar?” “KISS going bass fishing”) is not just a great joke, but it’s a great joke which so perfectly captures the spirit of the Bullwinkle Show that it should have been made by the originals.

    It’s very rare to impersonate something so well it feels like the original; I think the best other example might be that early M*A*S*H episode where Hawkeye and Trapper John and Radar do a little movie in the Marx Brothers style. All the jokes are original-to-M*A*S*H but they feel like they’re ripped from the real Marx Brothers.

    Anyway, I guess that’s another question: did the Brains ever make a Chauncy-and-Edgar joke, or for that matter a KISS joke, that wasn’t uproarious? No, I say, and if you think you have a contrary example I’ll listen and then announce that you’re wrong. To do a Chauncy-and-Edgar and KISS joke together is to reach a summit of can’t-not-be-fantastic.

       2 likes

  • 56
    Sitting Duck says:

    @#16: The correct term is tetralogy, not quadrology.

    @#20: Similarly, you wouldn’t believe the number of stories in Le Mort d’Arthur which involve a noob arriving at Camelot desiring to become a knight and Kay sends him to the kitchen to slave away until he’s tasked to escort some bitchshrew woman who it turns out just needs the noob to relieve her of her virginity. Or something like that.

       0 likes

  • 57
    Tom Carberry says:

    The Day the Earth Froze (also called Sampo) is a Russo-Finnish collaboration released in 1959. Around this time American-International went on a European shopping spree buying (in some cases via Roger Corman) well made, completed movies very cheaply. They then brought them back to the U.S., chopped them up, dubbed them, sometimes adding scenes with American actors (I’m looking at you Basil Rathbone) and distributing them here. This is what I call the “Godzilla with Raymond Burr” approach to movie making. While the end result is disappointing, it was profitable at the time.

    Favorite lines (Here Comes the Circus):

    Here comes the Devil.
    It’s Thomas Edison with his electric child.
    Now make way for the Ku Klux Klowns.
    Store this image away for a later nightmare
    Oh, no, they’re doing it clown style, no.
    Yes, children’s windows of perception are opened for only a second, only to take in the horror that is the circus.
    It’s a full contact “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf”. Don’t talk about our clown, Martha.
    A rogue elephant snaps its tether and kills a cooley.

    Favorite lines (The Day the Earth Froze):

    “…save the village from the most horrible, cruel misfortune it would ever know.” The Reagan/Bush administration.
    The Adventures of Fjord Fairlane.
    My other log’s a redwood. She’s got a gun.
    Please remain seated until the cape has come to a complete stop, thank you.
    The Stay Puft marshmellow man in chains.
    Put your teeth in, I can’t understand you.
    Hey, you wrecked our boat you freaked out maniac. [and a nod to the Boys from Brazil]
    [The iron boat is launched] When log flume rides go horribly wrong. You may get burnt on this ride.
    Oooh, that was the Chili Rellano wind.
    [The witch steals the sun] It looks like she’s dragging a muffler.
    You’re in the house, take your bike helmet off.

    Final Thought: This is not one of my favorites from season 4. I give this one 2 out of 5.

       3 likes

  • 58
    Thomas K. Dye says:

    Another great bit… the classic “praying to the tree, County Road B, the sun” sequence. It may seem to come out of nowhere (and honestly, it does, since we haven’t seen Lemmankinnan’s mother before) but this is a motif that actually appears in a LOT of folk-tales, but it’s never any less ridiculous. And Joel and the Bots really rip into the absurdity.. “Birch, birch, birch…” “I’ll put the word out on the street.. oh, I am the street.” “Oh, bloated carp floating in the water…” It’s a sequence I always look forward to.

       2 likes

  • 59
    dsman71 says:

    Another fun episode as we wind down this season. this will be on a MST Volume soon
    its a good thing movies are fictitious otherwise we would really wonder what a Sampo is …
    Oh well
    Joels Hair, growing out
    Joels Knees
    Crows Voice
    Sampo Sampo Sampo , whos got the Sampo ?
    Who needs the Therapy
    Me

       1 likes

  • 60
    Ang says:

    I’ve watched this one several times but it just doesn’t stick with me. I remember some parts of the short and the only host segment I remember is Gypsy Rose Me and I thought it was cute. I know this one is a big fan favorite but it has yet to grow on me.

       1 likes

  • 61
    Smoothie of Great Power says:

    Well, my old comment on this one was made before I changed my handle to the current one. Nothing new to say, though “My other log’s a redwood!” should definitely be listed as one of the naughtier riffs.

       0 likes

  • 62
    Sampo says:

    Smoothie–you have a dirty mind. Smile It’s a completely innocent riff on those bumper stickers on crappy cars that say “My other car is a Porsche” or whatever. If you are riding an every-day log but want to impress, it would have a bumper sticker that says “My other car is a redwood” — a much more impressive kind of tree.

       2 likes

  • 63
    itsspideyman says:

    Wow, the clown is just….freaky.

       1 likes

  • 64
    The Bone Ranger says:

    This episode is easily one of the weakest episodes they ever produced. I’d give it half a star, at best. All of the host segments are weak, the movie is bland, and the short is one of the dullest they riffed. It’s obvious they were running out of steam by the end of this season and practically phoned it in for this one. The series wouldn’t start firing on all cylinders again until episode 502 “Hercules.”

    Last week’s discussion thread was “Graduate-Level” episodes, and this abysmal snooze-fest is easily a top five candidate!

       5 likes

  • 65
    Lisa says:

    Heh, I was on the Prodigy BBs starting back in early 1995. I spent most of my time on the KITH BB, but was also on the one for MST3K. took a few weeks for me to discover Usenet. My life would be very different today if I hadn’t, since I met my husband on ratmm.

    Fantastic episode. Definitely Top 5, maybe Top 3. Gypsy Rose Me is completely meh, but the rest is just perfect. I like when Joel admonishes the bots for being too dark. In reality, it allows the writers to get away with going even farther on the dark side than they would normally.

    Too many great lines, so I’ll just list some…

    Here comes the Devil!
    Is there another wise man we can talk to?
    Oh me? I’m just the laundry
    I just pray their ain’t no portages (that’s funny now that I know what a portage is Laugh )
    Can someone put me out, I seem to be on fire
    Don’t know what I’d do without my right hand troll
    Will someone please turn the Wagner off?
    Oh great, we can plant more snakes now
    I guess they shouldn’t have registered in Hell

    And I really like the actress playing Louhi. Great facial expressions.

       3 likes

  • 66
    24HourWideAwakeNightmare says:

    Prodigy, heh. Didn’t they set their sights on the under-16 crowd in some way? Lots of NES offerings or some such? Hafta investigate further, while looking up some CompuServe screenshots…

    #57 – that’s Sir Basil Rathbone, right! British but born in South Africa – and I read how he never renounced his British citizenship, unlike most of his peers. Good on you, old screw.

    I remember gasping for air during Tom’s take on Garrison Keillor. Also snickering at poor Sally Struthers before her being mocked on MST3K. Poor woman, looked like she was going through take 59 in those ads.

       1 likes

  • 67
    Cheapskate Crow says:

    Another late season 4 classic, I love the bots’ dark ideas for their circus and the entire episode is 5 stars all the way, a great introductory episode and easy to watch. This late season 4 stretch was truly the high point of the show, although there are several season 5 episodes that are among my all time favorites as well. Amazingly next week’s episode is even better IMHO. There are so many great catchphrases I still use today with MST friends of mine:

    “Maybe we got to work more butt in the act”
    “Could someone please put me out? I seem to be on fire.”
    “I’m the stench of bitter failure”
    “you turn it into a dark carnival of the soul”

    Other favorite lines:
    “I can’t fall asleep counting these guys.” “They’re goats.”
    “Our Betty swings both ways.”

    Very dated riffs:
    “The Adventures of Fjord Fairlane”
    “It’s a Mapplethorpe photo”

    Both of those subjects (the Ford Fairlane movie and Robert Mapplethorpe’s bondage photos) were somewhat controversial in the early ’90s as I recall.

    Can anyone tell what is said after Joel’s riff “party in Susan’s dressing room?” It sounds almost like he is making a comment to someone half covering his mike and I can’t tell what he is saying.

       2 likes

  • 68
    snowdog says:

    Very enjoyable ep! Watchable movie, funny host segments (except Gypsy Rose Me, but that’s maybe because I don’t get it) and even a fun invention exchange!

    So, what would you do if you had an endless supply of gold, flour, and salt?

    Five stars.

       1 likes

  • 69
    Of no account says:

    #8 – Actually, ‘Aniki’ in Japanese means older brother. It’s also used by ‘gangs’ to refer to their leader. That’s the most common usage in anime/manga, so I understand the confusion.

       0 likes

  • 70
    crowtdan says:

    Best episode ever. Joel admonishing the robots not to be so dark is fine with me. Repeat to yourself it’s just a show….. The short was hysterical. Doing it clown style and Gary Crosby’s relationship with his father Bing played out. Clowns are scary. Even Emmett Kelly as Weary Willie

       1 likes

  • 71
    Neptune Man says:

    To all the people who say this is “best episode ever!” my question is: really? This episode is, as Sampo often says of Mike’s episodes, good but not great.

       3 likes

  • 72
    Fred Burroughs says:

    I remember in the early 90′s websites of soundbites were all the rage, and I bookmarked the “Sounds of Sampo” page, with a list of all the movie riffs with the word “Sampo.” For years, one of my main alert sounds was “WHERE is the many-colored DOME of the Sampo? –Maam, the dome is an option you did not order.” Yet I never saw the whole episode until 2011. I loved the ‘logging’ sequence, as well as the ‘failure’ dance in the village, both classic.

       2 likes

  • 73
    Mitchell "Rowsdower" Beardsley says:

    I’ve gotta agree with the minority here. I never really liked the Russo-Finnish episodes that much. If any, I’d take Sinbad, I guess. This was one of the first episodes I ever recorded, yet it
    is one of my least-watched Joel ones. And I only watched the Sword and the Dragon ONCE, which is an all-time low since I’ve probably seen most 20-25 times each. They’re just so goofy in and of themselves that it gets irritating after a while.

    Still, the short is a classic.

       2 likes

  • 74
    Big61al says:

    Not quite as great as the voyage of sinbad but still a grade A episode. Has anyone ever counted how many times the cast and the movie say the word “SAMPO”?

       2 likes

  • 75
    Keith in WI says:

    This is one of, if not my absolute, favorite episode. That may be because it was the first one that I saw, and I was hooked from then on. There were just enough riffs that I got that seemed obscure, and enough riffs that were just funny in their own right, that it was the perfect combination of obscurity and humor. There were references to Spinal Tap, Patton, classic rock bands, and Lawrence Welk in the span of about a minute or two. I knew this was a show for me.

    While this episode had a large number of what are often referred to as “State Park” jokes, being from Wisconsin made them all the more hilarious and it really made an impression on me. How many people from outside this area are going to get the “Swedish Dells” joke, not to mention the follow up “Ride the dooks” that comes right after? The opening is classic “Yooper” speak, which is obviously spoken in many parts of the Midwest, and elsewhere as indicated above, and it really makes you feel like this is “your” show since the dialect is somewhat localized. Do people in Arizona or southern California even get why that is so funny? Yes, people really do talk like that on a daily basis and I have met many throughout the years. It helps that my father and brother are both named Earl…

    The school closing announcements during the blizzard are classic and bring back memories of listening to the radio every snowy morning as a kid in the hopes that you would hear, “Green Bay, public and parochial.” (My wife once said that was her favorite part of the show as when we were both teachers years ago we would wait with the same trepidation as when we were kids.)

    My children often wonder why whenever I see a dead fish I will say, “Oh dead bloated carp lying in the shallows…” My oldest at least now has some small understanding as she is beginning to appreciate the show and I have shared this with her. So many of this episode’s riffs have become catch phrases for me.

    There may be other episodes that are stronger in certain areas, but this one may be the most consistent episode in my opinion. 5 out of 5, no question.

    Fave riffs
    “Oh no! They’re going to do it clown style”
    “Ezekiel, the Amish clown…no buttons”

    “Oh, cripes, I remember THAT day”
    “It was just so ding dang cold”
    When bird lands an her hand – “Hmm, dinner”
    “Let us be gay for he is a dickweed”
    “Did you ever think about praying to me, God, the big G Meister?”
    call back to Hercules movies – “Bad news, they wanna water ski”
    “With these teeth I do bite thee”
    “Let’s break into our Grand Funk medly”

    Too many more to list.

       5 likes

  • 76
    Dark Grandma of Death says:

    My favorite, definitely naughty riff, when Lemminkainen walks away with the witch:

    Crow: “Don’t wait up, Eric, if you know what I mean.”
    Joel: “Say, that IS cold.”

    Always loved such riffs, subtle, yet very adult.

       3 likes

  • 77
    Mr. B(ob) says:

    In addition to my comments from a few years ago above under the name “Bob” pertaining to the Kalevala, I’d like to add how much I do enjoy this episode for both the movie and the short. And when I was a kid long ago I saw the Clyde Beatty Circus. At that time it was interesting because they still performed under tents while Ringling Bros. was already in arenas at that time. However, the hey-day of the Clyde Beatty Circus was clearly long before I was born even then and at the age of about 12 it already seemed kind of “broken down” to me. They still had a side-show with “freaks” and that whole affair in particular was extremely shameful and pathetic.

       1 likes

  • 78
    Dan in WI says:

    Keith #75> I am a lifelong WI resident (about 20 minutes from the Green Bay area). But as for your question if someone outside WI would know what it means to ride the ducks I’d have to say yes. I’ve never actually riden the ducks in the Dells myself. But I have had a duck ride… At Stone Mountain Park near Atlanta GA. So the ducks aren’t only in WI.

       0 likes

  • 79
    Joseph Nebus says:

    So, does anyone know what Emmett Kelly’s bit was that just watching him eat was enough of a thrill for the short’s audience?

       0 likes

  • 80

    Not my favorite episode, but it has great moments. The Bullwinkle “I seem to be on fire!” line is fall-over-laughing funny.

    And the Pamalino horses clearly came from a string of pollopanies.

       2 likes

  • 81
    Skiptastic says:

    “I just love this episode. Fun, goofy, watchable movie, great riffing, great host segments, one of this series’ crowning achievements and the beginning of what became known as the “Russo-Finnish trilogy,” a memorable trio of terrific episodes.”

    Sampo: Want to explain what you think is “one of the series’ crowning achievements”? Or do you just meant the episode overall?

       0 likes

  • 82

    #79
    Emmett Kelly was still pretty famous when I was a kid in the ’60s (which was when most of the Brains were kids.) He had a “sad clown” act – he might have been the first. His most popular bit was to try to sweep up a spotlight that got smaller and smaller. I don’t think watching him eat was actually supposed to be a thrill.

    #47
    “Wouldn’t those clown antics have been considered obscene in the 50s?”
    People didn’t have filthy minds in the ’50s – at least not out loud. The ones who did were oddballs, like the guy who tried to shut down Batman and Robin.
    The pendulum has swung way too far the other way now, where the first assumption people make is that everything is sexual.
    Somewhere inbetween would be just right.

       1 likes

  • 83
    jjk says:

    Classic episode. One of my all time favorites that I’ve watched more times than any other one.
    One thing about the Sampo, if it could make gold does it matter if it makes salt and flour?

       2 likes

  • 84
    Sampo says:

    Skiptastic–just the episode overall.

       0 likes

  • 85
    Stressfactor says:

    @ #78

    You can also “Ride the Ducks” down in Branson, MO. Not the same “Ducks” as I’m given to understand but pretty much the same idea. Despite going to Barnson many times (God help me) I have never ridden the ducks.

    As for the episode…

    I agree with many that this one is pretty good all around. I actually kind of like the movie but I have a soft spot for ancient cultural myths and legends. At least you can’t say the movie is boring — it is constantly throwing crazy stuff at you left, right and center.

    The result is also that the guys never lack for material to riff so you don’t get one of those episodes where it feels like they’re really struggling to come up with something.

    So: Fun, colorful, wild movie + solid riffing = Fun all around.

    And re: Joel admonishing the bots not to get too dark — I actually like that as part of the comedy because of course this acts to actually encourage the bots to go darker. It also gives them a chance to basically call hypocrite on Joel later when he goes kind of dark.

       1 likes

  • 86
    Keith in WI says:

    Dan in WI,

    Thanks for the info on the Georgian Ducks. I never knew that there were Ducks in other parts of the country although it does make sense. Why not use some old WWII military equipment for sightseeing tours in Georgia? Or Nebraska, or Virginia, or anywhere? I just always associated the Dells with the slogan “Ride the Ducks!” because when I was kid you couldn’t go 100 feet in that part of the state without seeing a sign prompting you to “Ride the Ducks!” I haven’t been to the Dells area in quite some time, but that slogan is burned into my brain. And yes, I have ridden the ducks, or a duck anyway.

    By the way where are you located? Kaukauna? Suamico? Denmark? Black Creek? Always nice to hear from a MSTie in the area.

       0 likes

  • 87
    crowschmo says:

    “This is the most emotion ever expressed in Sweden, you realize that?” – Joel

    I love this episode. Just reading the lines that people have written as their favorites have me laughing remembering this one. I liked all the host segments, even Gypsy Rose, Me! – “Gypsy Rose ME! Gypsy Rose not you – or you…” Gypsy CAN be annoying at times, but I liked this one, and how Joel is so entranced by the whole thing.

    The short. Ugh. I HATE circuses. I want to bash people’s heads in for the way animals are treated; and clowns – not funny. EVER. The only thing I appreciate in circuses are the acrobats and such. And even though that is impressive, I still wouldn’t patronize one.

    “Yes, children of all ages are confronted by forces they can’t begin to understand.”

       4 likes

  • 88
    crowschmo says:

    I tried to add a smiley face and suddenly I couldn’t arrow up or down. I hit the edit button and wrote in all this other stuff and saved the comment, but I don’t know where it was saved TO. It didn’t go on my original comment. *shrug*

    Anyway, it may end up on here somewhere, someday. I’ll try to remember what I wrote.

    Another fave line from the short: “Store this image away for another nightmare.”

    And Crow’s and Tom’s famous Sigfried (Zigfried?) and Roy impressions: “Where is Sigfried?” “Hello, Roy!”

    The movie:

    “Hey, check it out – it’s Sting and David Lee Roth, and Peter Noon and Sammy Hagar and David Carradine, and —Santa?” – Joel

    (When the deer is looking at Lemmankinan) “Damn, crazy SWEDE!” – Joel

    “She’s got an amazingly dull life, doesn’t she?” – Servo

    “Boy, kidnapping was real easy back then.” – Servo

    “Stay out of my sister.” – Joel

    Joel: “Oh, now what did they chop the sail out of?”
    Servo: “Well, they chopped the wood real thin.”

    “NooOObody asked for a goose, you take that RIGHT away!” – Crow

    “Ladies and Gentleman – the magic of Ulysses S. Grant!” – Crow

    “Well, she’s really broken through the glass ceiling, huh?” – Servo

    Joel: “Looks like Caligula in here.”
    Crow: “How would you KNOW that?”

    “The soup has an escort?” – Joel

    “Why did thee even HAVE the mist if it bugs thee so much?” – Crow

    “Ladies and Gentleman – the Swedish Moses of Soul!” – Servo

    “Dear, All-Mighty Refrigerator Door – oh…” – Joel

    “Oh, Great North Deciduous Forest- eh, nevermind.” – Joel

    “Ever eat a pine tree? Many parts are edible.” – Crow

    “Something’s coming in on the UrineScope, sir.” – Joel

    “I’m so glad it’s a dry celebration. It’s so much more fun than the KEGGER would’ve been.” – Crow

    “The day the Earth became unseasonably cool.” – Servo

    And finally:

    “If you see any of these people, please, for their own sakes, turn them in.” – Crow

       4 likes

  • 89
    crowschmo says:

    Oh, yeah:

    Joel: “A rogue elephant snaps his tether and kills a coolie.”
    Servo: “NOW who’s getting dark?”

       1 likes

  • 90
    crowschmo says:

    BTW: They have Duck tours in Boston. (I’m assuming it’s the same thing the rest of you are talking about: vehicles that can go on land, and then in the water?)

       0 likes

  • 91
    touches no one's life, then leaves says:

    #17

    “The repetitive epic is the most elegant form of Cardassian literature…When it comes to art, you’re obviously a prisoner of Federation dogma and…”

    Oh, wait, sorry, wrong universe.

       3 likes

  • 92
    Mrs. Dick Courrier says:

    One of my all time fave shorts, like the movie…but still think the riffing in Jack Frost is better.

    Some fave moments
    “Here comes the devil”
    “yes, the man who mistook his wife for a hat”
    “yes our Betty swings both ways”
    “Let’s go surfin’now, even Sven’s learning how”
    “what is this Stalag 17, the musical?”
    “hey look its Sting and David Lee Roth…etc”

    Love the entire failure song. Especially when Joel gets up to dance.

    And the Bullwinkle bit

    I’ll stop there

       2 likes

  • 93
    This Guy says:

    I wince inwardly a little whenever someone mentions the “Russo-Finnish troika” or similar, because this is the only movie of the bunch that had anything to do with Finland. I should really just relax, of course.

    Tom gently joshes Garrison Keillor? Are you sure you don’t mean he gently kevins him?

    In “Gypsy Rose ME!”, I just enjoy Jim Mallon’s hilariously poor singing. Similar in “Hired! The Musical” when Gypsy busts out with “ZEEEEEE-ROES!”

       1 likes

  • 94
    schippers says:

    #83 – Well, shyeah, it IS pretty important that it makes salt. At the time of the composition of the Kalevala (and, really, pretty much up until the last hundred years or so) salt was very difficult to obtain, plus it’s essential to life function, ergo those beefy Finns would have been mighty happy to have a bottomless salt shaker at hand.

    People used to do some pretty disgusting things to get salt in their diet. Prime example – look up how the Romans made garum (shudder).

       2 likes

  • 95
    Manny Sanguillen says:

    “Sure, we ALL do!”
    Ahh, that Sally Struthers commercial.

    So many young ones have no clue what that is, and sadly, many old ones have no memory of that commercial which ran constantly.

       2 likes

  • 96
    --Dag Wa-- says:

    Great ep.

    Well worth digging my old P* handle up for. Ah, the great day of liberation from TV M-Z or whatever it was when we got our own board. Or trying to download a uuencoded version of the Torgo Screen Saver. Good times.

       0 likes

  • 97
    Ern2150 says:

    Clown’s Scare
    Earth’s Freeze

       0 likes

  • 98
    touches no one's life, then leaves says:

    #97:
    Coincidence? Read The Book.

       0 likes

  • 99
    Cornjob says:

    “The Stay Puft Marsh Mellow Man in chains? Kinky”

    Great episode, Great movie, Great short, Great Cthulhu.

       1 likes

  • 100
    Dan in WI says:

    Keith #86> Just off the I43 Maribel exit.

       0 likes

  • 101
    Sitting Duck says:

    For anyone who cares, Gypsy Rose Me is likely a nod to Gypsy Rose Lee.

       0 likes

  • 102
    Sharktopus says:

    OH GOD THEY’RE DOING IT CLOWN STYLE!

       2 likes

  • 103
    Watch-out-for-Snakes says:

    This is another classic episode, an example of MST firing on all cylinders, and another reason I love Season 4. I used to like to fall asleep watching TV (I don’t anymore) and this was one of my favorite MSTs to watch; usually I’d be out way before ‘Gypsy Rose Me.’ The short, Here Comes the Circus, is without question one of their Top 5 shorts, the Invention Exchange gets a big laugh from me (I love Snaction!), and both Host Segments #1 and #2 are great, great stuff. Which leaves Gypsy Rose Me in HS#3… while I don’t consider Gypsy to be a great character, I have enjoyed her more recently, and you can’t deny that this is one of her crowning moments on the show. I am really impressed by her quick change outfits.

    You know, my least favorite part about this episode is the movie itself. It’s always kind of bored and confused me. (Note above how I used to fall asleep to it) Even upon this most recent viewing, while I found myself the most engaged I can recall ever being with this movie, I still drifted off in the middle. There’s something about this one that makes me….zone out..

    -On the subject of Duck tours: I would have no idea what you guys are talking about, but last weekend I went to Seattle for a vacation (saw Radiohead; it was awesome) and I kept seeing these truck tour boats driving around with “Ride the Ducks” emblazoned on the side. So yeah, they’re everywhere. . .

    -
    RIFFS AND THINGS:

    In the opening family portrait skit, Joel is setting the f-stop, adjusting the focus and lighting utilizing a tape measure….man…taking pictures used to be tough..

    -
    short, Here Come the Circus-

    Crow: “Here comes the Devil!”
    Servo: “It’s Beelzebub the Clown.”
    Joel: “Guys could we be a little less dark with this short?”

    All 3: “CHUG IT!”

    Crow: “Now make way for the Klu Klux Klowns!”

    Servo: “Yes, children of all ages are confronted with forces they can’t begin to understand.”

    Crow: “It’s Eziekel, the Amish Clown. *whistle* No buttons!”

    Servo: “No no, they’re doing it clown style!”
    Crow: “More, more! I’m a bad clown!”

    Servo: “Yes children’s windows of perception are only open for a moment,only to take in the horror that is, THE CIRCUS.”

    lion stands up,
    Servo: “Stellaaa!”

    -
    movie, Day the Earth Froze-

    Crow: “Has anyone seen Timmy?” (tree falls) “OH NOOO!”

    Joel: “Hey check it out, it’s Sting, David Lee Roth, Peter Noonan, Sammy Hager, David Carradine, and. . . .Santa?”

    Servo: “He’s. . . . . . . safe!”

    Crow (as horse): “Can you rub some Solarcane on me, please?”

    Joel: “Hey you wrecked out boat, you freaked-out maniac!”

    Joel: “Kids come running for the rich taste of Sampo!”

    Crow: “We come bearing honey baked ham.”

    and of course,
    the Bullwinkle voice by Crow: “Could someone please put me out? I seem to be on fire!”

    -
    A classic episode,
    Sampo for all !!
    5/5!

       5 likes

  • 104
    pondoscp says:

    Promo for this episode:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J18_3f3IhUc&list=PLEB4C85DE577A1FDC&index=30&feature=plpp_video

    There’s another great promo for this episode included on Vol. 23

       0 likes

  • 105
    J says:

    Can’t believe y’all didn’t like Gypsy’s host segment here. It’s a highlight of the episode for me.

       2 likes

  • 106
    Creepygirl says:

    What can I say that hasn’t been said above? Great short, great movie, great riffing and host segments.

    5/5 stars.

       0 likes

  • 107
    Bombastic Biscuit Boy says:

    “The Box, Frank!!!”

       1 likes

  • 108
    Cornjob says:

    I’ve had fun pondering just what “The Box” is. My first thought was it was a box Frank would be locked in, but it could just as easily be a box with “something” in it. Or both. Since there is no answer all possibilities are valid. Good storytelling. Like the storytellers of old, when it was really cold and monotonous, and…

       1 likes

  • 109
    PrivateIron says:

    The log ride scene may be my iconic memory of MST3K, the essence of the show for me. So yeah, I think I liked it.

       0 likes

  • 110
    Mandy Rolens says:

    I’m totally watching this episode tonight. All.time.favorite. Still funny.

       0 likes