Original air date: March 22, 1995.
I was going to write a synopsis, but the MST3K Wikia has a terrific one, so I am going to steal it.
Act One: Hosts Tom Servo and Crow T. Robot welcome viewers over cocktails to the special and state its purpose: for the Bots to tell you your opinions on the upcoming Oscars, even though they haven’t seen any of the movies. They decide to use the promo tapes that the studios give away instead.
First, the Bots pick the Best Make-Up award, showing a clip from “Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein” and an interview with an “uncooperative” Kenneth Branagh. They then pick “Four Weddings and a Funeral” for Best Picture and show a confusing clip. Mike (who won’t be back later as Ed Asner) drops in to fill in the Bots on the clip’s topic. Their Best Actress is revealed as Miranda Richardson from “Tom & Viv;” this clip leads to discussions of bass fishing and river movies. Best Director is based on looks, which means the winner is…Robert Redford of “Quiz Show”!
Act Two: The Bots stuff themselves with hors d’oevurs and take another shot at Best Picture, this time choosing “Forrest Gump;” the “box of chocolates” line gets Servo a little overexcited. Next is Best Costume; the Bots are impressed by “Queen Margot” but are then wowed by “The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert” and throw their vote behind it instead. They discuss a few random films before sending things over to Gypsy in the field. Unfortunately for them, she’s actually in her room alone making Pop-Tarts. Best Song has clips from “The Lion King” and “Junior.”
Act Three: The entrees have arrived, and so have more clips from “Quiz Show” and Robert Redford, this time for Best Picture. Best Original Screenplay has bits from “Red” and “Heavenly Creatures,” followed by another look at Best Actress, in this case Winona Ryder from “Little Women.” This leads to a discussion about Civil War myths before segueing into Jessica Lange in “Blue Sky.” This leads the Bots to decide it is the Year of the Mental Lady!
Act Four: Over dessert, Ed Asner finally drops by, and it is not Mike, right? Best Picture focuses on “Hoop Dreams” this time around, although the Bots are dismayed by the clip’s abrupt ending. Best Actor is finally discussed, mentioning John Travolta and after a bitter rant from Servo leads to another Best Picture feature for “Pulp Fiction.” The Bots then thank the viewers for watching (although “Ed Asner” is slightly dismayed at his limited role in the whole affair) before gorging themselves on the last of their sweets.
Oh, and the Bots forgot to mention “The Shawshank Redemption.” The end.
• It’s amazing this special got made at all. The final episode of season six — the one in which Frank departs — was only days away when this special debuted, and things were pretty testy between BBI and CC by that juncture. But somehow it happened. The concept isn’t fully formed here, but you can definitely see the germs of a good idea.
• I love when Crow has a “slicked back” net, indicating a formal occasion.
• There’s no riffing of clips here, as we would get in the two Oscar specials during the Sci-Fi years, though there is some narration.
• The melody for “Let me be Frank about Frank” plays in background at several points.
• I noticed this time that there’s different “food” on the desk for each segment.
• Kevin and Trace are incredibly tight here. You can tell they’re thinking each other’s thoughts.
• Clips featured “Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein,” “Four Weddings and a Funeral,” “Tom & Viv,” “Forest Gump,” “Queen Margot,” “Priscilla, Queen of the Desert,” “The Lion King (actually a clip from the “Love Tonight” music video), “Junior,” “Quiz Show,” “Red,” “Heavenly Creatures,” “Little Women,” “Blue Sky,” “Hoop Dreams,” and “Pulp Fiction.”
• Interviews: Kenneth Branagh, Tony Fucile (animator for “The Lion King”) and John Travolta.
• Other clips: a brief clip of Robert Zemeckis, another of Quentin Tarantino and two long clips of the scrumptious Robert Redford directing “Quiz Show.”
• Best line: “Life is like a crap sandwich! The more bread ya got, the less CRAP YA GOTTA TAKE!”