First shown: 12/4/88
Movie: (1966) In the second outing of the series, a group of conspirators travels to a remote jungle island to retrieve what they believe is a giant opal. In reality it is the egg of a mythical lizard-dog creature Barugon … and it’s hatching.
Opening: Joel introduces the movie and plays a message from a happy caller
Host segment 1: Joel plays two more messages: one negative, one positive
Host segment 2: Joel plays another call, which upsets Gypsy
Host segment 3: Crow discusses his favorite body orifices
End: Servo and Crow make prank phone calls and Crow explains doggie-do.
Joe’s notes: This is the earliest KTMA episode that has been found by fans, and it’s quite different from the show we know. The Mads have not yet appeared, and Josh’s Servo speaks with a high-pitched Kermit the Frog-type squeak, very different from the laconic “seen-it done-it” voice he later adopted for the character.
• First of all, I want to extend a big thank you to my pal Joe Barlow, who years ago sat through all these shows and put together a fine first draft of this section of the episode guide, which has now been thoroughly revised and extended. He did a great job and we will be eternally grateful.
• Joe and I exchanged some emails the last time around. He said he watched this one over several days and noted: “It’s quite a slog!” Indeed it is, unless you are a hardcore kaiju fan. This time I was able to get through it in one sitting (but I admit I dozed off for about 10 minutes). The movie is dark and chaotic and violent, but I will give it this: at least it’s a story aimed at adults, rather than the kiddie stories several other Gamera movies were.
• No sign of the Mads, yet.
• In part 1 of our KTMA Q&A (hereafter referred to as “the Q&A,”) they explained that the monster is repeatedly referred to a “Gameron” because they mistakenly thought that was his name. Just a silly mistake. (By the way, I “am” planning a Q&A part 2.
• The caller in the opening had clearly just watched episode K03. She mentions it was on “the 27th,” which was the date that episode aired. Her three-year-old liked it. That kid is now old enough to have graduated college.
• Servo just kind of pops up behind the seat at the beginning of the first theater segment, and he seems capable of getting in and out of the theater on his own power, though Joel does carry him a couple of times.
• The scarcity of riffs in theater takes some getting used to. Did you, almost by force of habit, start thinking of jokes for the quiet spaces? I sure did.
• Even back then they were playing with the screen. At one point, a character points directly at Servo and he panics.
• The two calls in segment one pretty much sum up the two sides of the debate over MST3K. I have referred to the second caller as “the very first MSTie.” Wonder who it is. This segment appears on the MST3K Scrapbook tape.
• Among the many things that are different about this show from shows in later seasons: Joel and the bots get up and leave, and the movie continues for several minutes, playing to an empty theater, before the show goes to commercial. I have to admit that I fast-forwarded through these sections.
• Something else that’s different: Crow’s arms work!
• Segment 2, the Chapstick segment, is very funny. But there is NO WAY that the caller actually said “slapstick.” He clearly said “chapstick.” Why, I have no idea, and it again makes me suspect that some of the calls they got were staged, though nobody remembers doing that.
• Sometime between the pilot and this episode, Gypsy has become a girl. I fully support this.
• The phone number is thrown up on the screen during a theater sequence, and Joel thanks Cambot. He’s so polite.
• Kevin Murphy is already listed as one of the show’s writers in the credits.
• Fave riff: “Way to go, mister Freudian slip!” Honorable mention: “This monster does not know the concept of ‘around.'”
If you don’t have copies of KTMA episodes, you may want to check various internet sources, including the Digital Archive Project. I got mine on DVD from my old pal Mike “Cheepnis” Slusher at cheesyflix.com.