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Sampo & Erhardt

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

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Episode guide: 502- Hercules

Movie: (1957) Hercules helps Jason, the true king, wrest the throne away from pretender Pelias and his son Iphitus, while wooing the lovely Iole.

First shown: 7/17/93
Opening: J&tB “wing it” with the intro
Invention exchange: The Mads demonstrate the cellular desk, J&tB demonstrate Instant Karma
Host segment 1: Tom has updated the constellations for the ’90s; Crow disapproves
Host segment 2: Crow and Tom want to know about Hamilton Joe Frank and Reynolds
Host segment 3: Crow valiantly performs a solo version if the ‘Match Game’
End: The bots discuss Amazons, then some visit on the Hexfield; Frank is now at the desk
Stinger: “It’s like something out of a bad dream!”
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (161 votes, average: 4.22 out of 5)

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• Pardon if it seems like I’m channeling Leonard Maltin, but I’d give this one two-and-a-half stars. The host segments are fair at best, and the movie is so cut up that it’s almost impossible to follow. It has its moments, but the episode is a bit frustrating.
• This episode was included in Shout!Factory’s “Mystery Science Theater 3000: Vol. XXXII.”
References.
• It’s clear that the Brains chose to make most of their cuts at the commercial breaks, but the result is that half the time the characters are in the midst of one plot development before the commercial, and by the time we get back they’re somewhere else entirely. Important plot information was apparently cut as well. Why does the floor make a sound when Jason crosses it? We’re never told, but it seems an important point to everyone in the movie. How does Herc go from retrieving a discus to fighting a lion? No idea. How do Herc and his pals escape the Amazons? One minute they’re being fed sleeping potions and watching dancers, after the commercial break they’re back on the ship. You almost have to treat each of the eight movie segments separately. The riffing is good, and they have plenty of weird stuff to work with, but I’m afraid this episode is less than the sum of its parts.
• This was a widescreen movie, but in this print we see about half of the screen at any moment. It’s not even pan-and-scan. It just sits in the same spot no matter what’s happening on the screen.
• Callbacks: “Where is the sampo??!” (Day the Earth Froze) “Hey, its’ Commando Cody!”
• As noted in the previous writeup, despite being episode 502, this was the first episode shown in season 5. In the previous writeup, I offered a guess as to why.
• During the invention exchange, the third “instant karma” bag leaks. They keep going.
• Many of the riffs in this episode were used in that MST3K program for Windows 3.1 somebody created. For those who weren’t computing then, it put shadowrama at the bottom of your screen and played one of only about 15 quick sound bites every so often. It got very old very fast and, worse, it turned out to be a very invasive program that was hard to remove. Anybody remember that?
• The first host segment is clever but creating modern constellations that make about as much sense as the old ones do is really not an original idea. That said, they put a great spin on it.
• Arcane reference: something is said to resemble a Jim Dine sculpture.
• Tom Servo channels every naughty third-grader with: “Claude Balls, ladies and gentlemen…”
• Note the completely unremarked-upon box of Capt’n Ron cereal sitting on the desk in the second segment.
• If you’re wondering, they were a trio, Hamilton, Joe Frank & Reynolds, composed of Dan Hamilton, Joe Frank Carollo and Tommy Reynolds.
• One I don’t get: When the Amazons surround our heroes and raise their arrows, Crow says, in a very stilted voice, “even the archers are beautiful!” What the heck?
• The Match Game bit, while funny, is another one of those “huh?” sketches.
• One of the cleverest bits comes right at the end, as they sit through the closing credits and Tom explains what happened to the characters after the story. Pretty funny stuff, but why do they sit through the credits when large chunks of the film were excised?
• Mary Jo makes her first physical appearance on the show, and Bridget makes her first appearance since season three, as the Minnesota amazons.
• Cast and crew roundup: Many of the same people also worked on the sequel “Hercules Unchained,” including American executive producer Joseph E. Levine (who also brought you “Santa Claus Conquers the Martians”), director Mario Bava (who also directed “Diabolik”), director/screenwriter Pietro Francisci, screenwriters Ennio De Concini and Gaio Frattini, editor Mario Serandrei and score composer Enzo Masetti. Executive assistant Massimo DeRita also worked on “Puma Man” and art director/set designer Flavio Mogherini was the art director on “Diabolik.”
Similarly in front of the camera, Steve Reeves, Sylva Koscina, Fabrizio Mioni, Mimmo Palmara (who also appears in “Hercules and the Captive Women), Gabriele Antonini, Andrea Fantasia, Aldo Fiorelli, Gino Mattera, Willy Colombini, Fulvio Carrara and Aldo Pini were all in “Hercules Unchained.” In addition, Ivo Garrani was also in Hercules and the Captive Women and Luciana Paoluzzi was also in “The Green Slime.”
• Creditswatch: Host segments directed by Kevin Murphy. Hair and makeup by Clayton James (one of only two times this season).
• Fave riff: “Stay away from their powerful hind legs!” Honorable mention: “It’s the Andrea Dworkin memorial cemetery!” “Do you have a reservation for Hercules? It might be under Heracles…”

110 Replies to “Episode guide: 502- Hercules”

  1. The Bone Ranger says:

    This is my favorite episode….hands down! It’s a truly “Immense and Immortal” classic. And it should have been released on dvd a long time ago.

       10 likes

  2. StumpChunkman says:

    #49, I agree. I’m hoping Shout will put Hercules, Hercules and the Captive Woman Women, Colossus, and Outlaw of Gor in a box set.

       6 likes

  3. Joseph Nebus says:

    This was the second sword-and-sandals epic I’d seen on MST3K — the first was Colossus and the Head Hunters — and it’s one of my all-time favorite episodes. It’s got one of those utterly perfect MST3K moments in it, where the mythological folks are promenading through the streets and Joel and the Bots start singing the Sherman and Mister Peabody theme. There’s just nothing which could possibly have been more right for that moment of film.

    Something about Joel just having a bowl of cereal, and that not even being in on the sketch’s joke, and for that matter bringing the cereal into the theater, also really really gets me. It’s a quiet, ignorable little beat and yet it makes everything more interesting. When I do write MiSTings, I like seeing if there’s some kind of unrelated business like that which could be naturally fit in, particularly if it’s a quiet-conversation kind of sketch that hasn’t got any action or props or movement to give it visual appeal.

    Maybe that’s why the Brains put the cereal in to start with? I can’t imagine anyone having any idea at this date.

       1 likes

  4. Tom Carberry says:

    Playing Iole’s maid was Luciana Paluzzi (born June 10, 1937)—a shapely, reddish-haired Italian leading lady who followed a wave of 1950s Italian bombshells (Sophia Loren, Gina Lollobrigida) into films, providing sexy but routine diversion in spy intrigue. The name may not seem familiar, but if you are a fan of the early James Bond series with Sean Connery, you must remember Thunderball, and the femme fatale. She was originally considered for the lead Bond girl Domino Derval in Thunderball (1965), which was eventually played by former “Miss France” Claudine Auger. Instead, she played the evil secondary role of Fiona Volpe, the fetching, bouffant-haired nemesis who accidentally takes it in the back while dancing with 007, and is probably better remembered for it. Sean Connery’s Bond has the memorable line directed to a couple sitting near the dance floor: “Do you mind if my friend sits this one out? She’s just dead.” She was married briefly to actor Brett Halsey–he was the passenger in the car that discovered Lori Nelson’s body washed up on the beach. He was killed near the end of Revenge of the Creature, but not the one curve-ball thrown into the palm tree.

    Favorite lines:

    [sung to the Oscar Meyer hotdog song] My movie has a first name, it’s O.S.C.A.R.
    Hey look, there’s the constellation Feces, right below Taurus the Bull.
    [a flock of goats] Oh, I hope they aren’t Herc’s mortal weakness.
    Why it’s a comfo-rest adjustable rock.
    Hey, as long as you’re over there, hook me a Primo out of the fridge, will ya?
    It’s a Gore Vidal fantasy.
    “He could beat anybody.” Oh, don’t look at the naughty man.
    “Well, get moving, get to work!” Gee, you’ve got to take orders from Pete Townsend in a dress.
    [on the Amazon Island] It’s the Bataan sex march. Land of the Bea Arthurs.
    And now, before your very eyes, the golden fleece will escape from this trunk in just minutes.

    Final Thought: “Did I mention that I was Immense and Immortal?” I give this one 3 out of 5 stars.

       5 likes

  5. Dan in WI says:

    Tom Carberry says
    “She was originally considered for the lead Bond girl Domino Derval in Thunderball (1965), ”

    Can’t we just get beyond Thunderball?

    Oh Wait.

       11 likes

  6. dsman71 says:

    Yep, this movie was cut up like a Godzilla movie sent to America. Hercules and the Captive Women also had this problem. I always thought longer movies could have been made into 2 part episodes. Sort of the like the MST3K 1 hour show that they did.
    I remember this airing before Warrior of the Lost World as well and thought it was odd because of,,Joels Hair !! ;) It was out of order. I think there was the sampo reference due to them shooting a few episodes post Manos
    Im surprised this hasnt been on an MST set yet, probably being saved when they cant get pricey titles or ones they need to be rights to
    They could have done an entire library of Hercules films because they all are basically the same but at the same time doing host segments would get a little difficult if based on the movies.
    Joels hair – grew out
    Joels Knees
    Crows Voice
    HercUtherapy !

       3 likes

  7. Smirkboy says:

    With a few shorts the Brains could have kept the movie intact and shown it in two parts.

    Then it would have been 502 and 503

       0 likes

  8. trickymutha says:

    NO- the Hercmeister rocks. This is one of my favorites. Makes Steve Reeves watchable (riffed on, and not mentioned by the Brains) in Firesign Theater’s “How can you be in two places at once when you’re not anywhere at all”

    WE ALL SHINE ON!!

       4 likes

  9. Cheapskate Crow says:

    I agree with the consensus, 3 stars for me. I think this was the least memorable of all the Hercules episodes due to the complete insanity of the movie caused by the editing cuts. Plus I didn’t like the Hamilton Joe Frank and Reynolds sketch much but thought Crow’s Match Game impersonations were great and I liked the constellation segment too. It seemed odd that none of the host segments had anything to do with the movie but that seemed to be happening more and more around this time. It was great to hear a reference to Elinor Donohue, who I know had a lot of roles starting in the ’50s but who I will always remember as Chris Elliott’s mom in Get a Life.

       3 likes

  10. Josh says:

    They have to show the credits in there entirty for legal reasons.

       2 likes

  11. Professor Gunther says:

    I have to humbly disagree with Sampo on this one, because season 5 Hercules is one of my very favourite episodes. From Instant Karma to Scruffy the Pet Lion, this one has it all (for me). And I am ceaselessly delighted by (the very young) Ulysses’ antics. I’ll never understand why Steve Reeves’s Herc is so incredibly grumpy, and he has absolutely NO sense of humour, but of course that’s part of the fun. The Match Game skit is unaccountably included in this episode (but please tell me if I’ve missed something obvious), but I like it anyway. It’s funny and dark (sort of), and that works for me.

    Five Stars all the way!

    For whatever reason, Herc and Yolae look a little different from how they look in Hercules Unchained (another good one in my opinion), but maybe it’s my copy, or something.

       2 likes

  12. Smirkboy says:

    In interviews the brains said they had to pad out the 24 episode seasons with movies they might have passed the first or eight time. I’m sure the whole Hercules thing was getting stale to them by now.
    And riffing a movie is one thing. But writing an original piece on a single topic is another.
    They just had no more related material for the sketches.

       1 likes

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

    Josh @60. Agreed, I heard the same thing somewhere.. both in an MST context and for regular broadcast films.

       1 likes

  14. jjb3k says:

    Like “Warrior of the Lost World” last week, this is another episode where I needed to watch it a couple of times before I figured out what the hell was going on in the movie. But it was made doubly difficult by the fact that, uncut, Hercules is upwards of three hours long – and the Brains cut out so much that I still can’t figure out the whole plot. I stayed with it through Hercules meeting Iolae (I call a flag on the play, too many vowels on the field) and accidentally killing her brother, then giving up his status as a god so he can understand mortal emotions. After that, I’m completely butt-lost.

    All that confusion drags down the second half of this episode for me, so I don’t play this one often. Clearly, the Brains didn’t really know what to do with it either, as halfway through the show, they give up on tying the host segments into the movie and go back to the Joel-era standby of making very specific 1970s pop culture references. These segments are more “cute” than funny, though I do get a kick out of Trace’s imitations of the entire cast of Match Game.

    So, in all, not a lot to say about this one. When I think of Season 5, which I generally love, this isn’t one of the first to come to mind.

       0 likes

  15. The Bone Ranger says:

    I remember Joel mentioning in an interview a few years ago that “Hercules Unchained” was his favorite episode. But then he started describing scenes from the movie and they were from “Hercules.” The main scene I remember him describing was at the end where Herc slings his chains around the columns supporting a building and makes the whole thing collapse. I think he was impressed with the spectacle of it. But that scene happens in “Hercules.” I can’t remember if anything remotely resembling that happens in “Hercules Unchained,” but it’s easy to get confused because in the first movie Herc actually becomes “unchained” and uses those chains as deadly weapons.

    Even though Joel is “the creator” of the show, I doubt that he (or the rest of the cast for that matter) revisit these episodes very much. It’s quite possible that he hasn’t seen these eps since they wrapped up production twenty years ago. I haven’t watched unchained very much (at least twice, maybe three times), but 502 “Hercules” I’ve watched about a bazillion times. I know it by heart like most fans know Manos.

    So if all of this is true, then Joel and I have the same favorite episode. HUZZAH!!!!!!

    8-)

       7 likes

  16. Professor Slowmobile says:

    They couldn’t cut out the end credits for legal reasons, because the production credits and any copyright information have to be included. But thank god they figured out how to deal with credit sequences, just look at Robot Holocaust way back in season one. It was the first movie the Brains did that was new enough to have the bulk of its credits appear after the movie (a practice that didn’t become common until the 1970s). Rather than continue to riff through the credits, a practice they perfected in the Scf-Fi Chanel era, Joel and the Bots simply leave the theater and abandon us, the audience to watch the credits roll by.

       1 likes

  17. briizilla says:

    This movie is so cut up I can’t give the episode more than 3 stars. I wonder if the idea of eliminating a host segment or 2 was ever discussed to avoid making the plot incoherent. Would have been an easy fix.

       0 likes

  18. The Bone Ranger says:

    I gotta chime in again and defend the baffling incoherency of the plot from excessive editing. It’s one of the many reasons I find this episode so damn funny.

       7 likes

  19. jjb3k says:

    #66: Say, have we done “favorite credits riffs” as a Weekend Discussion Thread yet? If not, it’d be a good one. There are tons of classics – the womany movie insults from “Alien from LA”, the USA Original Movies from “Outlaw”, the “how fast can we riff these credits” bit from “Crash of the Moons”, etc.

       0 likes

  20. Watch-out-for-Snakes says:

    Yeah, this is a good-not-great episode, the Host Segments are only so-so (the Match Game skit in HS#3 is pretty out there..) and the movie itself is cut to shreds, and also, pretty dang boring. I like other Herc episodes more, but it’s not quite as bad as Herc and the Captive Womens. This one just comes down to Herc swinging a big chain…not really that exciting, in my opinion..

    RIFFS:

    Crow: “Wait, this is ancient Greece, they didn’t have ruins yet.”

    movie: “..swept over me like a bad omen”
    Crow: “3: The Final Conflict.”

    Joel: “Hi, we came to get Scruffy, our pet lion, OH MY GOD!!”

    -I enjoy the box of Cap’n Ron Ceral sitting on the desk in HS#2.

    Joel: “Ah, my spine!”

    Joel: “Well they’re not Amazons, but when in Rome fellas..”

    Crow: “Whatever happended to these guys.?”
    Servo: “Oh I know, Hercules got a job as a prep cook for awhile, but got fired for toking up on the job, but he said it was just because the manager didn’t like the Greeks.”


    Overall,
    a 3/5

       4 likes

  21. middle-aged Chucky says:

    Wow I had forgotten how cut to hell this movie was! Despite that, this is my second favorite Herc outing after Hercules Unchained. Steve Reeves IS Hercules, as far as I’m concerned.

    Chains don’t kill people. Hercules kills people.

       5 likes

  22. snowdog says:

    This movie is so edited that they must have cut out the part where Herc falls asleep like in all the other movies. Definitely not the best ep, but it has a surprisingly fun invention exchange–especially “Instant Karma”– and a couple of good host segments. Match Game segment was surreal and kind of sad given Gene Rayburn’s death a few years after this ep aired. I love how Crow has everyone say a different word for butt.

    Yup, 3 stars

       3 likes

  23. Dark Grandma of Death says:

    I have only two observations to make about this one:

    *Joel to the Amazon Moms: “Maybe you could help my friends and I get out of space and take us back to Earth or something.” “Oh, no, mister! You boys knew you were going to be in space, you should have arranged a ride. I am not ‘Mom’s Taxi’!” “Yah, you kids can walk, it’s nice out.” I had no idea Amazons were so Minnesotan!

    *Steve Reeves was a nice bit of eye candy.

    There you go.

       8 likes

  24. piratejoe says:

    I laughed like hell at the Cap’n Ron cereal.

       3 likes

  25. Steve says:

    “…a fetus??!”

    “Hey, I’m no Thebe.”

    “Put it in second! … You’re flooding it!”

    One of my first episodes and one I had taped. Watched it many times in college.

       2 likes

  26. Sitting Duck says:

    @#69: I emailed a suggestion for that very topic to Sampo some time back. Perhaps he’ll dig it out of his inbox for this weekend. *hint hint*

       0 likes

  27. Captn Ross Hagen says:

    I wish this was on DVD. I love the HERCULES movies ’cause as a kid a friend of mine would get to go see them at the Drive-In and my Dad never would take me. And my friend’s family was him and his 4 brothers, so no room in the station wagon because the way back was full of eats and treats.
    But I do remember him telling me about the stuff Hercules did in the movies like it was real. You know like picking up V.W. sized boulders and tossing them, knocking down giant stone temples.. ( not the Stone Temple Pilots ) And I’d just stand there going “Oh Cool..” Anyway I hope this one comes out in DVD soon, I’ll put it on and stand in front of the T.V. and go “COOL! “

       8 likes

  28. snowdog says:

    Favorite Credit Sequences:

    http://www.mst3kinfo.com/?p=10220#comments

    Getting hard to come up with topics we haven’t hit already.

       0 likes

  29. Tork_110 says:

    I remember that program, and I almost mentioned it in the last weekend thread. I think I downloaded it but never used it. I’m glad I didn’t. It’s a neat idea on paper.

       0 likes

  30. EricJ says:

    @72 – As for the “Huh?” of the Match Game sketch, think the “Hang on to your…BLANK!” riffs were still stuck in their heads from Warriors of the Lost World the episode before. (I still quote them to this day. :D )

    And to those who’ve seen Charles Nelson Reilly’s one-man “The Life of Reilly” on film, the accidental resemblances to Crow’s one-man Gene Rayburn show are just downright spooky. No way, they HAD to have been parodying it.

       0 likes

  31. Sitting Duck says:

    D’oh!

       0 likes

  32. stef says:

    I love all the Hercules/Greek Myths jokes in this episode. This is one of Joel’s best episodes.

       3 likes

  33. Alex says:

    I hadn’t heard of Match Game before this episode. Guess I was too young to ever see the thing.

       1 likes

  34. Captn Ross Hagen says:

    Home from work today ( ’till next Thursday THE 31ST.) plenty of time to watch MST3K MOVIES. Today will be HERCULES UNCHAINED (makes me think of a VAN HALEN song for some reason, cant think of the name of it??????) followed by HERCULES AGAINST THE MOON MEN ( reminds me of going through the McDonalds drive through with my bare butt sticking out the back window of my friends 1968 Plymouth listening to that VAN HALEN song. How’s this for two whole beef patties you snarky little son of a…. ????? ) OOOPS, I’m back now, what was I talking about? Oh yeah home from work for 10 or more days, plan to watch MST3K every day, today it’s HERCULES MOVIES, then I’ll try and find out the name of that VAN HALEN SONG.

       3 likes

  35. Dan in WI says:

    Captn Ross> If you are serious and really don’t know the name of the song, it is simply “Unchain” off the “Fair Warning” album.

       3 likes

  36. Captn Ross Hagen says:

    Dan, I did know I was just being a goof. GREAT BAND, GREAT SONG, GREAT SONGS with David and Sammy but that guy from Boston area ( I live in Wakefield Ma. 10 miles from Boston..) just didn’t cut the mustard. Oh, they cut something but it wasn’t mustard… Hows the new stuff??? Now Steve Reeves would have fit in well with VAN HALEN wearing that bath mat and riding that big microphone on stage. When MR.ROTH had that big mike on stage I think it was a symbol of something else, but I’m not sure what.???? As Jim Morrison would say “The men don’t know but the little girls understand”
    Any way I got some MST MOVIES to watch, thanks for getting back to me Dan in WI….KEEP RIFFIN’ AND KEEP ROCKIN’

       3 likes

  37. Doryna says:

    I remember the Windows Shadowrama program! Wow, that takes me back…

    Is it the same one, or was there a later upgrade that threw Monad (from Laserblast) into the mix?

       0 likes

  38. news says:

    I believe that one of your ads triggered my web browser to resize, you may well need to set up that on your blacklist.

       0 likes

  39. dad1153 says:

    As a huge fan of “Match Game” since I first discovered it on GSN in 2003 the “MG” host segment in this episode threw me for a loop. Knowing how in real-life Gene Rayburn felt about being a talented and funny old-school TV pro that couldn’t get work in the decades after “MG” ended that monologue of Crow’s at the end goes to places “MST3K” seldom went. Not even the forced ‘happy ending’ (Crow’s line about ‘entertaining millions’) can blunt the “WTF?” mix of silliness and pathos this segment achieves, especially if you’re a fan of “MG” (not a casual viewer that remembers watching the show ages ago). It’s also a tour-de-force for Trace’s vocal and puppeteering skills while also being a pointed critique of TV’s infatuation with youth and young demos while also cheering the diversity of oddball personalities that made-up the regular “MG” panelists. With the recent passing of Richard Dawson (6/2/2012) only Betty White and Fanny Flagg remain from the MG panelist’s imitated by Crow.

    This was also the first time I’ve seen “Hercules” and boy, the chop-chop work done on the flick itself renders it a highlight reel for Joel and the bots to tore it to pieaces. Steve Reeves is the definite movie Herc and Luciana Paluzzi is one heck of a gorgeous babe; everybody else besides the old man with the funny voice is expendable, and after many Herc experiments the jokes in this movie practically write themselves. The homoeroticism is off-the-charts with this one (‘I DO solemnly swear,’ ‘it’s a Gore Vidal fantasy’) but at least we’re spared the now-expected sight of Herc napping while important action goes on around him. At least the ending is boss when Herc is whipping those (plastic) chains around hard and kicking some major butt. Loved it when the screen shows an empty screen early on and Joel says ‘great shot,’; that’s all that needs to be said about the butchered appearance of these movies. Besides the now-iconic “Match Game” skit (which explains the non-sequitur “MG” jokes the week before during the “Warrior of the Lost World” segment) the other host segments range from amusing (love that Dr. F puts glasses on top of his own fake glasses) to ‘huh?’ (Amazon women from Minnesota, AKA Mary Jo Pehl’s on-screen debut). Don’t know about you but I could use a strong dose of ‘instant karma’ in my life right now. :-)

    THREE STARS (out of five) for “Hercules.” FAVORITE RIFF: ‘Hey, I found a pack of trojans on the road.’ :-(

       2 likes

  40. Sitting Duck says:

    Hercules fails the Bechdel Test. All conversations between female characters are about either Hercules or the crew of the Argo.

    Though I suppose it’s conceivable that the uncut version passes.

    So who is Cap’n Ron suppose to be?

    That Match Game sketch sure turned morbid.

    Regarding the Heracles/Hercules issue, that brings to mind something from Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson books. When the characters meet Hercules, he mentions how he doesn’t like the Greek version of his name. Because it means something along the lines of, “Beloved of Hera” (anyone familiar with his story can tell that this is blatantly false).

    Dark Grandma of Death #73: I had no idea Amazons were so Minnesotan!

    Got that right. You’d think that would be a more appropriate characterization for Valkyries.

    Favorite riffs

    And flute master Zamfir was arrested today, naked and drunk, running through a goat herd.

    “Hercules the Theban.”
    Hey, I’m no feeb!

    Either this man is dead or my sundial has stopped.

    Hi. We’ve come to get Scruffy, our pet lion. Oh my Gawd!

    “Plan your revenge now.”
    Avoid the rush.

    You are dead, aren’t you?

    Well I’m still immortal. They can’t take that away from me.

    Looks like it’s a big, brawny, hairy, glistening, two-fisted, manly day!

    You like Hercules? I think he’s kind of a jerk.

    It’s the Bataan Sex March!

    Thank you, gods! Thank you so bloody much!

    Respective honeys, we’re home!

    I’m Herc, and I’m irked.

    I have a delicious poison in the morning, and that’s it.

       3 likes

  41. Apollonia James (yeah right) says:

    This episode is new to me, I first saw it just a few months ago and I love it. The whole cellular desk thing is great. “Frank, can I see the Frank file please?” And though the movie plot is pretty jumbled, there are some hilarious riffs. I especially love the innuendo-laden way Tom says “we….surrender…” when the men meet the Amazons.

       2 likes

  42. Bone Ranger says:

    Stone Cold Classic!!!!! Flawless episode and perfect for introducing the show to potential new fans. It’s obvious as to why they bumped this up to airing as the first episode for the fifth season, especially since it was Joel’s last season….because this one totally kicks ass from start to finish. So why not take advantage of the strength of “Hercules” and start the season out with a bang!

       3 likes

  43. Bruce Boxliker says:

    Great episode to me. Not the best of the Hercmeister episodes (though the better movie when unedited), but still pretty funny. OK, so I’ll agree with the good-not-great thing. I’m a fan of all the sword & sandal movies, so I tend to watch these episodes fairly often. Love the constellation skit.

    snowdog: This movie is so edited that they must have cut out the part where Herc falls asleep like in all the other movies.

    He just gave up his immortality, so he hadn’t yet learned the joys of sleep. Or something like that. Maybe it was getting married.

       0 likes

  44. Lisa H. says:

    @90 Sitting Duck:

    So who is Cap’n Ron suppose to be?

    I figured it was a reference to the 1992 film Captain Ron (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0103924/).

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  45. JeffMcM says:

    Re: sitting through the end credits – surely there are a couple of episodes where they didn’t do this, right?

    Also it looks like Frank might have gotten his head creased when they did the desk gag in the opening.

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  46. EricJ says:

    Lisa H.:
    @90 Sitting Duck:
    I figured it was a reference to the 1992 film Captain Ron (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0103924/).

    Yes, Captain Ron was one of many, many, many much-advertised hi-concept comedy flops Disney/Touchstone/Hollywood assaulted us with in the early 90’s, but at least they had Kurt Russell in them back then, and not Tim Allen. And which, like Squanto: a Warrior’s Tale, earned them MSTie riffing for their very annoyance.
    (Like the old joke back then: “Every studio hopes to release at least one movie a year that makes a hundred million–(90’s) Disney would rather make a hundred million movies a year that make one dollar each.”)

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  47. thequietman says:

    I had really forgotten this episode almost entirely from the first time I saw it on DVD, so I was pleasantly surprised that I really enjoyed it, despite thinking that like some other films it must have looked really impressive on a big, wide screen with sharp color.

    Servo’s riff at the end on what ‘really’ happened to Hercules and family sort of presages the great closing sequence of “Soultaker”, only the latter didn’t have Joel’s paternal influence (“Are you done? Yes, you’re done…”).

    Fave riff that’s a bit naughty
    (Amazon women fire arrows into spear shafts with pinpoint accuracy)
    Crow: Just imagine what they could hit if they really wanted to!

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  48. DKinMN says:

    The “even the archers are beautiful” gag comes from “Cabaret”, in which the skuzzy MC (played memorably by Joel Grey) welcomes guests to his cabaret full of cross-dressers by remarking, during the song “Wilkommen” that “Here life is beautiful, the girls are beautiful, even the orchestra is beautiful!”

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  49. DKinMN says:

    D’oh – I didn’t see that we were on page 2 of the comments already, and the “Cabaret” thing has already been explained. Kindly disregard ;-)

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  50. Sitting Duck says:

    Don’t feel too bad, we all make goofs. In my remarks about the Match Game host segment in post #90, I should have said morose rather than morbid.

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