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Episode guide: K15- Superdome

Movie: (1978) A star-studded cast, each with their own subplot, descends on New Orleans for the Super Bowl, but a killer is on the loose.

First shown: 3/12/89
Opening: In a letter to his uncle, Servo recalls how he almost talked the Mads into bringing Joel back to Earth
Host segment 1: Still writing his letter, Servo recalls when Joel showed Servo what it’s like to feel pain
Host segment 2: Still writing his letter, Servo reveals that Joel isn’t really like his lovable on-air persona. His crabbiness seems to trigger recreations of memorable movie moments in the bots
Host segment 3: Still writing his letter, Servo experiences a sentimental montage
End: Joel and Crow show off some artwork sent in by viewers; then present the stuff you’ll get if you join the fan club.
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (131 votes, average: 4.34 out of 5)

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• The host segments in this episode appear to be a spoof of sitcom clipshow, although only one segment, the one in segment 1, features an actual clip from a previous episode (it’s from episode K13- SST DEATH FLIGHT), but the others were made to look like they were.
• For years, the only known existing copy this episode was missing the final host segment. That changed in October 2004, when the missing final segment came to light in the possession of a Minnesota woman named Teresa Dietzinger. She sent some artwork in to the show (it’s the first one shown in the final segment, she says she included her name on the drawing, nonetheless Joel says he can’t remember it and mistakenly assumes a guy did it). She taped the episode and held on to the tape for 16 years. Although her father long ago taped over the rest of the episode with family footage and such, the final host segment remained intact.
• Servo is typing on an old IBM Selectric (probably some KTMA office equipment). For you kids, that unfamiliar object is called a “typewriter.” You couldn’t get Facebook on it, but it was useful sometimes.
• Servo has feet? (He claims to be typing with them.)
• “Is that your head or did your neck blow a bubble?” is a joke already used in an earlier episode. Sounds like it might have been a heckler putdown from Josh’s standup act.
• Callback: “Did these guys fly in on SST Death Flight?”
• This movie’s just chock full of late-’70s casual hooking up. Quite the time capsule.
• Servo coughs and kind of chokes in the theater.
• Servo seems to be malfunctioning in the theater. At one point he falls over into Joel’s lap. Joel casually shovels him back the other way. He recovers, mumbling something about “narcolepsy.” Later he sags to one side and suggests Joel needs to adjust his “equilibrium functions.” For a lot of the episode he bobs up and down in the seat as if Josh is having trouble holding him steady.
• Joel is smoking in segment 2 in order to telegraph that he’s a being a jerk. That segment reminds me of the host segment in episode guide: 608- CODE NAME: DIAMOND HEAD in which Mike is mean to the bots.
• Some of the clips in the montage in segment 3 appear to be from K01, K02 and K03, of which no fan copies are known to exist.
• What do you bet they didn’t clear that Louis Armstrong song they used in the montage in segment 3?
• As they enter the theater after segment 3, Crow gets into his seat and then adjusts his position with a lovely mechanical noise.
• As the fan club address appears on the screen, Crow says, apparently to the audience, “Don’t call. Write.” This would appear to be the official shift away from taking phone calls and in the direction of letters.
• At one point toward the end, Joel admits to being completely unable to think of anything funny to say. This prompts Servo to recall the flashback in the opening segment, in which Crow ruins Servo’s attempt to get the Mads to bring them down to Earth. The two bots begin bickering. It’s a strange moment.
• Minneapolis joke: An overhead shot of the seats in the Superdome prompts Crow to identify it as “The Guthrie.”
• Movie stuff: There are a lot of extras in this thing. Were they all actors, or did they just shoot this on game day? I wonder what marching band that is that gets so much screen time. It’s not named in the end credits.
• Also, the announcer keeps hyping the madness that has descended on New Orleans with the arrival of the Super Bowl. He’s really overselling it. It’s not like New Orleans has never had tourists visit it before.
• J&tB stand up in the theater for the national anthem.
• It’s interesting that the fan club membership cards appear to be the same ones that were handed out for years later. Maybe they bought a whole bunch in the initial order?
• If you want to read that newsletter Joel is holding, it’s here.
• Although the final host segment was saved from oblivion, the closing credits of that show were not. If you have the copy of this that includes the final host segment, that DVD includes the closing credits from episode K20 “just for consistency.”
• Cast and crew roundup: director Jerry Jameson also directed “It Lives By Night.” Score composer John Cacavas also worked on “SST- Death Flight” and “Hangar 18.” In front of the camera, David Janssen was also in “Marooned” aka “Space Travelers.” Van Johnson also appeared in “San Francisco International.” Ed Nelson was also in “Teenage Caveman,” “Swamp Diamonds,” “Night of the Blood Beast” and “Riding With Death. Michael Pataki was also in “The Side Hackers” and “It Lives By Night.”
• Fave riff: “And a gun FOR the doberman!” Honorable mention: “Women cause weak knees. It’s a fact!”

67 comments to Episode guide: K15- Superdome

  • 51
    goalieboy82 says:

    what was the answer in the newsletter of solve the equation anyway.

       0 likes

  • 52
    Cornjob says:

    “Magnum Deep Fried.”

    “That’s some heavy bread.”
    “I know that’s some heavy bread!”
    “It’s whole wheat!”

       3 likes

  • 53
    little winged potato says:

    @50 Whose market you callin’ small!?

    Besides, we Minnesotans are a prescient lot.

       2 likes

  • 54
    ety3rd says:

    I annotated the riffs for this episode and the References have been posted at AnnotatedMST.

    Here’s the link: http://www.annotatedmst.com/episodes/superdome/index.htm

       1 likes

  • 55

    Nice synergy in having Superdome be this week’s Episode Guide entry. The 2014 NFL season is kicking off RIGHT NOW. Super Bowl champ Seahawks vs. the Paaaaaaaaaacckkeeeeeeers!! Wooo!


    “Butkas. Butkas…..Butkas…”

       2 likes

  • 56
    trickymutha says:

    Man I do dig that Donna Mills- if if feels good, well, I would do it.

       1 likes

  • 57
    jaybird3rd says:

    @#53: No disrespect to the Twin Cities intended! I was only referring to the relatively small audience that poor little KTMA was able to reach, compared to the national audience. I’m glad that it included devoted fans armed with VCRs, because so many of these classic shows would otherwise be lost to us.

       2 likes

  • 58
    AndrewJ says:

    No mention yet of the fact that Edie Adams, the widow of Ernie Kovacs, hired Joel to track down most of Ernie’s uncataloged kinescopes and tapes for the Kovacs DVD box set a few years ago?

       0 likes

  • 59
    Cornjob says:

    Not a bad season K episode. A cut below SST-Deathflight. At least they didn’t have any football cluttering up their football movie. This seemed to be a crime drama that wanted to be a disaster film but had to settle for mob intrigue since their wasn’t a hurricane or volcano looming.

    I don’t care for sports in general, but football singularly bores me because whenever I watch an actual game (not just highlights that are always impressive looking) I see two teams of rigorously trained, chemically enhanced, prime physical specimens who are masters of a game with a rulebook that compares to a municipal code in complexity, face off against each other and spring into action… by making a huge manpile. Then the referee signals the mass of man meat to get off of each other so they can regroup, face off, and once again use their training, skill, and stamina… to make another manpile. Which is followed by separation, regrouping, facing off, and another manpile.

    Now, I don’t have anything against manpiles per se, but they hold no entertainment value for me. Neither as a participant or a spectator. Which makes the American cult of football both baffling and tedious to me.

    That said, would it have killed them to give us a brief montage at the end to let us know who won the damn game.

       2 likes

  • 60
    Happenstance says:

    For those who might be interested, non-MST’ed “Superdome” is available on DVD–in the hard-to-search “5 Action Movies” set from Echo Bridge. It’s teamed up with “The Day the Earth Moved,” “The President’s Plane is Missing,” “Airline Disaster,” and Antonio Sabato Jr’s “Crash Landing.”

    NOTE: That’s five ninety-minute movies crowded on one DVD, so no, it’s not the best resolution. But it’s likely to be the best we’re going to see for this. If you want it, get it while you can.

    Echo Bridge also has “SST Death Flight” on their “6-Movie Disaster Pack 2” (as “Death Flight”). It’s the European theatrical version with bare boobies! The two-disc set provides somewhat better copies of “Firestorm: 72 Hours in Oakland” and the execrable “Miami Magma,” “Epicenter,” “Scorcher,” and “Countdown: Armageddon.”

       2 likes

  • 61
    Cornjob says:

    Did the end of this movie remind anyone else of the ending of the original Red Dawn where the voice over told us that “The war eventually ended, as all wars do”, but didn’t bother mentioning who won the darn war? Let alone what the geopolitical ramifications were. For all we know the great powers exhausted themselves allowing Costa Rica to establish a global empire.

       1 likes

  • 62
    Cornjob says:

    As someone who had to go through elementary school with the last name Cox, I sympathize with Mr. Dick Butt-kiss (I’m using elementary school spelling). That had to have been rough, even for an athletic kid.

       0 likes

  • 63
    littleaimishboy says:

    Trust me on this … anybody made fun of Dick Butkus’s name ONCE.

    If at all.

    Mostly not, because of the last kid who tried it …

       1 likes

  • 64
    Cornjob says:

    As the players were getting off the plane someone joked about Jesus being an inadequate football player. While the Jesus of the Gospels would probably give the ball away and stand between the two teams to prevent conflict, the Jesus of The Book of Revelation would just have an Angel stuff the opposing team, along with everyone else he doesn’t like, into The Winepress of the Wrath of God (Revelation 14:19~20) to be pressed into a sea of blood deep enough to drown a horse and sixteen hundred furlongs in area. Wouldn’t want to be at the stadium that day.

    Socrates was a War Veteran noted for his bravery and calm in battle, but I doubt he was beefy enough for football.

       0 likes

  • 65
    Mnenoch says:

    Wow it’s hard to believe a movie that is based on football is so boring. Joel & the bots seem kind of quiet in this episode. Although my favorite part is at the end when Servo is continuing to ask who won. The host segments are work pretty good I think.

       0 likes

  • 66
    buckeyemike says:

    “Superdome”. Another 70s movie-of-the-week, that ironically aired right before Super Bowl XII, the first one held indoors (at, of course, the Superdome). Also, the first Super Bowl I remember watching. I was eight years old and rooted for Denver, because my Dad was a Washington Redskins fan who hated the Cowboys. For the record, Dad is still alive, and still hates the Cowboys.

    I remember the commercials previewing the movie, which promote a thrilling film containing intrigue and danger, like “Two Minute Warning” did a couple of years before, and “Black Sunday” did shortly after. While of course, the movie offers nothing of the sort. Joel and the Bots riff a somewhat watchable, dull film that promised football scenes, but contained no football. We could have had scenes with Archie Manning getting sacked, back when the Saints were terrible.

    Also, how could a movie set in New Orleans be so dull? No French Quarter scenes? No scenes with Dick Butkus’ character propositioning an undercover cop posing as a transvestite hooker? Nothing with Tom Selleck suffering a monster hangover after eight hurricanes the night before? Only JatB make this film anything better than a time-waster.

       1 likes

  • 67
    buckeyemike says:

    “Superdome”. Another 70s movie-of-the-week, that ironically aired right before Super Bowl XII, the first one held indoors (at, of course, the Superdome). Also, Super Bowl XII was the first Super Bowl I remember watching. I was eight years old and rooted for Denver, because my Dad was a Washington Redskins fan who hated the Cowboys. For the record, Dad is still alive, and still hates the Cowboys.

    I remember the commercials previewing the movie, which promote a thrilling film containing intrigue and danger, like “Two Minute Warning” did a couple of years before, and “Black Sunday” did shortly after. While of course, the movie offers nothing of the sort. Joel and the Bots riff a somewhat watchable, dull film that promised football scenes, but contained no football. We could have had scenes with Archie Manning getting sacked, back when the Saints were terrible.

    Also, how could a movie set in New Orleans be so dull? No French Quarter scenes? No scenes with Dick Butkus’ character propositioning an undercover cop posing as a transvestite hooker? Nothing with Tom Selleck suffering a monster hangover after eight hurricanes the night before? Only JatB make this film anything better than a time-waster.

       1 likes