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Episode guide: 503- Swamp Diamonds (with short: ‘What to Do on a Date’)

Short: (1951) Young Nick hopes to ask schoolmate Kay for a date, but can’t think of a venue.
Movie: (1956) Four women (including one undercover cop) break out of prison, with a plan to recover a cache of stolen diamonds.

First shown: 7/31/93
Opening: Crow and Tom are obsessed with the ‘Spock in love’ episode of “Star Trek”
Invention exchange: The Mads present the U-view, J&tB demonstrate the Andrew Lloyd Webber grill
Host segment 1: Tom has decided that he wants to date Gypsy
Host segment 2: Tom calls Gypsy to ask for a date
Host segment 3: Tom and Gypsy go out on a date, briefly
End: Tom thought the date went well, Gypsy dumps him, Joel reads a letter that upsets Tom, Frank is still watching himself
Stinger: “Ssssssssshut up!”
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (137 votes, average: 4.18 out of 5)

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• This is one of those episodes where the short pretty much overwhelms the movie that follows it. The same thing happened with “War of the Colossal Beast,” which was almost completely swamped by “Mr. B.” The short is just so precious and silly, and the movie is so slight and ephemeral (despite some very good riffing) that tail wags the dog, as it were.
• This episode appeared on Rhino’s “Mystery Science Theater 3000 Collection, Vol. 10” (and 10.2).
• Callback: Shut up, Iris! (The Beatniks); “To be like the Cor-Man…” (Robot Monster)
• Watch carefully during the “U-View” bit: Both Frank and Dr. F reach about six feet to take things from each other. A great blink-and-you-missed-it, unremarked-upon sight gag.
• We spend that entire invention exchange looking at the back of an old-style CRT TV, dating the whole sketch.
• The ST:TOS episode Joel calls “the Elias Sandoval episode” (and which we refer to in our episode guide as the “Spock in Love” episode) was in fact called “This Side of Paradise.” I’m not going back, Jim!
• Mike “Touch” Connors was born Kreker Ohanian. So “Touch” doesn’t sound so bad after all.
• Naughty riff: “Beverly can handle a Johnson, can’t she?”
• The “Baywatch” bit during the “U-View” invention exchange is kind of an expansion of a throw-away gag Tom Servo did in the previous episode: “Don’t get drunk and swim under the dock.” Doodly-doodly-doodly… “I’m drunk and swimming under the dock!”
• The previous time around, I asked if anybody could identify the guitar Joel is playing in segment 1. A couple of people told me it was a copy of a Stratocaster, probably a Yamaha. The song he was singing was Neil Young’s “Old Man.”
• Gypsy seems a little grumpy in this one. She’s usually more easy-going.
• Then-current reference: “The Gun in Betty Lou’s Handbag” (1992).
• I remember being bothered, the first time I saw this, about the “cutting off the legs of the pants” scene. I thought–“They’re in a mosquito/tick-infested swamp and they want to expose MORE skin?? Are they crazy??” Then I saw them in shorts and I forgot about all that… :grin:
• Let’s keep in mind: a snake was shot and killed — on camera — in the making of this movie.
• When BBI cleared out of the studio after the show was cancelled, they held an auction designed, mostly, to sell off office furniture and the like. But Barb says there was a bit of confusion that day, and among the things offered for bid were boxes of video tapes, most of which had unedited rough footage of host segments (sometimes three or four or five takes of the same segment, so you can see them trying different line readings) and a few aborted theater sequences where they got started and then stopped for some reason. One of the tapes included some stuff from this episode. BBI was a little embarrassed that these tapes made it into circulation. A lot of it was recovered, but some stuff has been copied and shared a bit.
• Check out this list of Touch’s other possible names from Ward E.
• Cast and crew wrapup: Director Roger Corman also gave us “It Conquered the World,” “Teenage Caveman,” “Viking Women,” “Gunslinger,” “The Undead” and was executive producer on “Attack of the Giant Leeches,” “High School Big Shot” and “Night of the Blood Beast.” Cinematographer Frederick West also worked on “It Conquered the World,” “Gunslinger” and “The She-Creature.” Editor Ronald Sinclair also worked on “Viking Women,” “The Sea Creature,” “The Amazing Colossal Man,” “Earth vs. the Spider” and “War of the Colossal Beast.” Makeup person Carlie Taylor also worked on “Daddy-O.” Production manager Bartlett Carre was production supervisor on “The She Creature.”
In front of the camera, Beverly was, of course, also in “It Conquered the World” and “Gunslinger.” Lou Place was more often behind the camera: he directed “Daddy-O,” was assistant director on “The Undead” production manager on “It Conquered the World and “Agent for H.A.R.M.” Jonathan Haze was in “It Conquered the World,” “Teenage Caveman,” “Viking Women” and “Gunslinger”. Ed Nelson was in “Teenage Caveman, “Night of the Blood Beast,” “Riding with Death” and “Superdome.”
• CreditsWatch: Host segments directed by Joel Hodgson. And he’s not in the credits, but that’s Mike doing the “Baywatch” voices, of course.
• Fave riff from the short: “Kay has worked on the kill floor. She knows where to deliver the blow.” Honorable mention: “The sensuous pagan ritual begins.”
• Fave riff from the movie: “Let’s just stand here and jut some more.” Honorable mention: “As we left the clam flowage that day…”

108 Replies to “Episode guide: 503- Swamp Diamonds (with short: ‘What to Do on a Date’)”

  1. Sitting Duck says:

    MSTie:
    The short is a classic.I love these “Captain Obvious” shorts from the ’50s and ’60s — stand up straight, talk clearly, take a shower, don’t be an jerk.

    Some might argue that they’re needed even more now. :-P

       4 likes

  2. Cornjob says:

    Next from Captain Obvious: How to Wear Pants (Not Around Your Knees).

       5 likes

  3. Ian L. says:

    The movie didn’t do much for me, but it did offer one of the best stingers: “Sssssssshaddap!”

    I think it’s telling whenever the host segments have nothing to do with the movie; clearly they didn’t have much to work with, so they took cues from the short instead. I think they made the right decision; Servo in nervous teenager mode is both funny and oddly cute.

       4 likes

  4. Ian L. says:

    Ray the Whimsical Lampshade: like how the snippet of “Baywatch” coul have pased for a real episode.

    Believe it or not, that was a real Baywatch episode they were parodying. The episode is “Pier Pressure”, where Hobie keeps going to a liquor store where they had a Street Fighter II arcade machine and a girl he liked, despite Mitch’s objections. At the liquor store, Hobie ends up witnessing a violent teen fight that escalates into a lawsuit; Hobie ends up being targeted by both boys in the fight because he knows too much.

    I don’t know if it’s impressive or pathetic that I know this.

       3 likes

  5. DarkGrandmaofDeath says:

    Ian L.: Believe it or not, that was a real Baywatch episode they were parodying.The episode is “Pier Pressure”, where Hobie keeps going to a liquor store where they had a Street Fighter II arcade machine and a girl he liked, despite Mitch’s objections.At the liquor store, Hobie ends up witnessing a violent teen fight that escalates into a lawsuit; Hobie ends up being targeted by both boys in the fight because he knows too much.

    I don’t know if it’s impressive or pathetic that I know this.

    Let’s go with impressive. I didn’t know they were parodying an actual episode; that’s kinda cool!

       3 likes

  6. Dan in WI says:

    Ian L.: Believe it or not, that was a real Baywatch episode they were parodying.The episode is “Pier Pressure”, where Hobie keeps going to a liquor store where they had a Street Fighter II arcade machine and a girl he liked, despite Mitch’s objections.At the liquor store, Hobie ends up witnessing a violent teen fight that escalates into a lawsuit; Hobie ends up being targeted by both boys in the fight because he knows too much.

    I don’t know if it’s impressive or pathetic that I know this.

    I’m voting pathetic. Sorry. :cry:

       0 likes

  7. Cornjob says:

    I hate it when video game playing escalates into violence and lawsuits. Tom Servo actually did better than I did the first time I tried talking to a girl. Now that’s pathetic.

       4 likes

  8. Lex says:

    Oh man, and I barely ever watched Baywatch. I sure missed out. :silly:

       2 likes

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