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Sampo & Erhardt

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Episode guide: K20- The Last Chase

Movie: (1981) In a carless, gasless, oppressive future depopulated by a plague, a disgruntled ex-racecar driver attempts to escape to California with a nerdy kid in tow.

First shown: 5/21/89
Opening: Dr. F. tries to create cold fusion… in Erhardt’s mouth!
Host segment 1: Crow and Servo don’t respond well to their humanity lesson
Host segment 2: Joel announces the 1,000th fan club member
Host segment 3: Servo reads a fan letter
End: Joel reads another, very complimentary, fan letter
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (119 votes, average: 4.47 out of 5)


• Trace is trying desperately hard not to laugh during the opening host segment. Watching him struggle is at least as entertaining as the sketch itself.
• After the opening, we see the doorway sequence and the start of the film, without having first seen J&TB.
• Trace would reuse the phrase “Here comes the steam shovel, chug-chug-chug” when feeding Tim “the miracle growth baby” Scott in season three. Maybe he remembers it from his childhood?
• Who are “Pons and Fleischmann” and what is all this “cold fusion” business? you young folks may ask. It was a big deal two decades ago.
• In the theater, Servo says “bitch.” Joel is aghast, sort of.
• Movie stuff: Is the plague everybody died from related to there being no gas or cars? Or was no cars or gas just inevitable and the plague was a whole separate thing? The movie never makes it clear.
• Also: They don’t have McDonald’s in this dystopian future??? NOOOO!!!!
• And: Why doesn’t that car have a windshield? Chris and Lee must have been picking bugs out of their teeth.
• Also: Wow, that lady fell into bed with Lee awful quick! Ah, the sexy early 80s.
• Also: Does the pairing of Chris and Lee remind anybody else of Troy and Rowsdower?
• Josh does a silly voice as Burgess Meredith’s plane. Joel likes it.
• Trace seems to have the National Lampoon Radio Hour’s “The Immigrants” sketch on his mind. He makes two references to it!
• Is Gidget Howell out there somewhere?
• Summer is on the way in the Twin Cities. It’s still 80 degrees at 7 in the evening.
• Joel says “Daddy, what’s Vietnam?” again.
• A character mentions “gypsies” and Joel asks “Where IS Gypsy.” Servo shushes him. Hmm.
• A few moments later, the Servo puppet seems to develop problems. Josh covers by telling Joel he’s “lost the equilibrium cycle.” Joel seems to pull the puppet back together.
• Cast and crew roundup: The only name is Burgess Meredith, who was also in “SST Death Flight.”
• CreditsWatch: Vince Rodriguez is back as director for the two remaining episodes, and Todd Ziegler is back at audio.
• Fave riff: “Hope nobody pushes that guy’s flush button.” Honorable mention: “I just never imagined the future being lit so poorly.”

56 Replies to “Episode guide: K20- The Last Chase”

  1. Johnny's nonchalance says:


    Okay, all right, you win, you win the world, your monster is the best, kills everything, and you’re happy and you’re standing there all in your shame. Are you happy now?


  2. Cornjob says:

    Sorry if I went off a bit there. But I really don’t mind being blamed at this point. Comes with the territory.


  3. Johnny's nonchalance says:

    (I thought my comment broke the site cos it went down shortly after!)

    It’s just a show.

    Say, I played the movie a few times in the background while I was doing other stuff and I think I caught most of it.

    First of all, it is pretty hard to defend the actions of the chief “big brother” type in this movie. What a loon.

    It seems they just said the supply of gas stopped. Did they specifically because it ran out? It seemed possible that the government deliberately stopped the flow and the epidemic was the perfect cover story.

    Anytime a government promotes a preferred behavior, it is insinuating itself. The scene where he speaks to the school children demonstrates how that “soft-fascism” plays out. Anyone that does not conform is considered a threat to the state. (Join ussss…)

    If one lauds the government in this movie, they would appear to believe the ends justify the means. Maybe people are “cooking the planet, acidifying the oceans, and contributing to a rate of species loss that amounts to the 6th great extinction…” I don’t know. But to use force, or the threat of it, to influence the actions of another is abhorrent to me. No matter how right I am convinced that I am that I know best what other people should do, I have no right to force them to do it.

    So the subject matter irks you because you consider it a personal cause. I get it. Maybe we’re all reading more into this stinkburger than is actually there. I choose to believe it portrays the risks of a totalitarian state pretty adeptly. Whether your bogeyman is fossil fuel, big tobacco, fast food, or an epidemic, whatever crisis a corrupt government could use to control its people the story plays out the same. Sometimes it is stunningly swift, like 1930s Germany. Sometimes it plays out over decades or centuries.

    That IS the human race. What are you gonna do? Let them learn (hopefully) from their mistakes. But you have to let them MAKE the mistakes. Shrug.


  4. Captain Cab says:

    Definitely the best KTMA episode in my opinion, I’ve watched it many times and love it. Surprisingly solid riffing for a KTMA episode (heck, it’s better than a lot of S1 episodes, sorry) and perfect premise. ’80s flicks in general make some of the best episodes and post apocalyptic themes are always a winner for a good cheesefest. Lee Majors in a Porche fighting an absurd Big Brother mass transit system (valid environmental arguments aside), Burgess Meredith as a crazy pilot, burly main lead with nerdy sidekick formula, wow, shame they didn’t re-do this one in a later season. If the reboot really happens this would be one of my number one picks for them to do assuming it’s available.


  5. senorpogo says:

    There’s something very American about the automobile and the open road. No boundaries, freedom to go nowhere in particular, lack of borders, spiritual exploration through physical movement. I realize that we now know enough to appreciate our negative environmental impact, but I think that it’s fairly obvious why a totalitarian regime limiting people’s freedom of transport would be seen as “bad guy material” in a movie like this.

    I mean if not for the limitations of space, we ourselves might be riding through the mansions of glory in suicide machines or jammed together on the highway with broken heroes on a last chance power drive.


  6. Mnenoch says:

    This movie certainly is a bold message for the time. Frankly I love it because it smacks against the over PC fascist that seem to dominate most thought these days. There are some major plot wholes in the movie, mostly why do they try to take out a car with a Korean era war F-86? I mean even when they virus hit during the movie F15’s and F14’s already existed. I mean I get that is the only plane they could get for the filming but still doesn’t explain it.

    As for the MST3K show it was pretty good. It’s almost got a standard MST3K arc that they had later in the show. The riffing is pretty decent but they do sing a lot and talk over themselves. Overall a pretty good episode by KTMA standards.


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