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Episode guide: 507- I Accuse My Parents (with short: ‘The Truck Farmer’)

Short: (1954) A look at the then-new techniques that enabled farmers to rush produce to market.
Movie: (1944) Ruined by — but in astonishing denial about — his boozy, carousing parents, a neglected essay-contest-winning young man gets involved with gangsters.

First shown: 9/4/93
Opening: Tom Servo is naked!
Invention exchange: The Mads present cake ‘n’ shake, and Frank bakes the exotic dancer right into the recipe; J&tB demonstrate the junk drawer organizer
Host segment 1: Joel analyzes the bots’ art therapy projects
Host segment 2: J&tB reenact the night club scene from the movie
Host segment 3: J&tB analyze troubled Jimmy from the movie
End: The bots try to reenact the cafe scene from movie to scam a hamburger, Joel reads a letter, the Mads are digging out Rodney
Stinger: “What? What’s so funny?”
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (108 votes, average: 4.85 out of 5)

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• Another in a string of wonderful episodes. The movie is a little bland, but the riffing is great. And, you know, I begin to suspect that, for any given episode you can sort of tell whether the movie held their interest and sparked a lot of discussions and ideas or whether their minds were wandering, based on how much the host segments have to do with the movie. You can tell they were really following the movie this time. I watched this on a big screen (with Joel sitting next to me) a few years ago and the audience was simply roaring with laughter all the way through.
• Early versions of the Rhino packaging of this episode had a small goof. It lists the episode number as 424. It got fixed in later printings.
• Great line: “How many times have you gone rootin’ through your junk drawer muttering to yourself ‘Where’d I put that gun?’” Toward the end of the movie, our hero roots through the junk drawer in the hall table of his parents’ house, looking for a gun. Think that moment may have been the inspiration for this host segment?
• Now, duck news! Here’s Hugh McQuacken! They do the “quacking” gag five times, and it gets funnier each time. For those who don’t get it (and I remember that every time this show aired, a number of people would post questions online asking, “Why were they quacking?”), look at the wall of the hallway outside the door.
• The short would be incredibly depressing if not for the riffing. As it is, it’s still a LITTLE depressing.
• Sam Newfield did NOT direct “Jungle Goddess” as Joel says when his credit appears. He DID, however, direct the movies in episodes 103- The Mad Monster, 208- Lost Continent and 520- Radar Secret Service. He also directed the infamous “Terror of the Tiny Town,” the all-midget Western. Again, this was the era when you couldn’t just look stuff up on the then-fledgling, Usenet-based IMDB. What could have led them to have made that mistake? I’ll bet it has something to do with the use of the phrase “hamburger sammich with French-fried potatoes,” which is used in this movie and in “Jungle Goddess.”
• In the previous episode Crow was shattered. This week Tom gets painted. They really started doing stuff to the bots in this period.
• Then somewhat current reference: Joe Bolster. Joel is an admirer.
• Host segment 1 is, um, quirky, and only vaguely movie-related. Peggy Cass is an odd element.
• Segment 2 is a riot, especially Joel’s takes to the camera. I think it works so well because it comes IMMEDIATELY after the actual movie sequence. Nice to see Gypsy was willing to go along. Also, listen for another “wha happa!”
• I love the PA announcements J&tB do during the second song. “Cheese fries are up!”
• Another VERY movie-focused sketch in segment 3, and very funny.
• Obscure reference: the religious TV show “Insight.” I remember watching that a little, but to me they always felt like defanged “Twilight Zone” episodes.
• Some people wondered why Anne Blythe’s name is written on the tank. I suspect they’re just trying for World War II authenticity.
• I remember that somebody in the AOL MSTie forum – or it might have been on RATMM – had an idea for a MSTie cookbook. My submission was a hamburger sammich with French-fried potato garnish, complete with handgun on the side and a required trip to church every Sunday.
• That’s Brad Keeley as Rodney in his first on-camera role.
• Cast and crew roundup: As noted above: director Sam Newfield also directed “Mad Monster,” “Lost Continent” and “Radar Secret Service.” Special effects (?!) guy Ray Mercer also worked on “Lost Continent,” “Radar Secret Service,” “Last of the Wild Horses,” “The Sinister Urge” and “The Beast of Yucca Flats. Art director Paul Palmentola also worked on “Teen-Age Crime Wave.” Set designer Harry Reif also worked on “Radar Secret Service.” “Women of the Prehistoric Planet” and “The She-Creature” and was assistant director of “Gunslinger.”
In front of the camera, super-hottie Mary Beth Hughes was also in “Last of the Wild Horses.” Edward Earle was also in “The She-Creature.”
• CreditsWatch: Host segments directed by Trace Beaulieu.
• Fave riff from the short: “Texans!” Honorable mention: “A pre-teen is put to work; her beauty will soon fade.”
• Fave riff: How do ya like my swingin’ church, son? Honorable mention: o/` I knew I’d go from rags to riches… o/`

169 Replies to “Episode guide: 507- I Accuse My Parents (with short: ‘The Truck Farmer’)”

  1. Johnny's nonchalance says:

    saintstryfe:
    This is one of my favorite episodes (up there with Eegah!).

    J&tB were VERY hard on the short. It also was a bit more left-wing then they usually got. They were really ripping into that capitalism thing here.

    The movie was just so perfect. It’s slow with lots of pauses to drop riffs in, and the characters are all so stupid – from Jimmy on down – that it made it easy. Also, 31 year old high schooler syndrome.

    And the host skits were on-point.

    Overall, a classic.

    Not really sure why the short is so depressing, either. It’s such a perfect fit for this movie. They are each time capsules for their respective decade. One of the reasons I love MST3K is we get to see cultural representations of many eras.

    The Cold War comes alive in Teenagers from Outer Space. Hellcats rides the late 60s biker genre. Being From Another Planet has that early 80s, post Animal House fraternity flavor. Riding with Death revives that whole trucker/CB era.

    Every time I watch MST3K it’s like a cultural studies classroom. The movie/short itself is such a fascinating window into the past. Then top it off with all the references the riffers throw at it, and it is a wonder to behold. I was 10 when MST3K premiered, so most of the movies and references happened before I was born. In many ways the show was educational for me, and not just entertainment. Hearing Joel talk about the 1960s was a revelation.

    Speaking of revelation, I am the angel of death. The day of reckoning is upon us.

    Well that’s my two cents, I love everything about this experiment.

       8 likes

  2. MSTie says:

    Hard to go on and on about why I love this one so much without repeating what others have said. It’s really got it all — a movie that tries so hard to be serious and moral, great riffing, perfect host segments, plus plenty of my favorite ‘bot Gypsy. As one or two or ten of you have said, this is a top “comfort food” episode.

       3 likes

  3. Sitting Duck says:

    A bit off-topic here. For the past few weeks, on occasion I get a HTTP 404 Not Found message when visiting this site. It happens randomly and on both my home and work computers. What’s more, this has not occurred with any other site I’ve visited. Is this happening to anyone else, or am I just going insane?

       6 likes

  4. Be Right There says:

    Sitting Duck:
    A bit off-topic here. For the past few weeks, on occasion I get a HTTP 404 Not Found message when visiting this site. It happens randomly and on both my home and work computers. What’s more, this has not occurred with any other site I’ve visited. Is this happening to anyone else, or am I just going insane?

    Same here. I haven’t kept track if it occurs at certain times of day or whatnot, but I’ll get a 404 and then an hour or so later everything will be fine.

       3 likes

  5. Grandma Blob says:

    I get the same HTTP 404 Not Found too. Glad I’m not the only one.

       5 likes

  6. EricJ says:

    Sitting Duck:
    A bit off-topic here. For the past few weeks, on occasion I get a HTTP 404 Not Found message when visiting this site. It happens randomly and on both my home and work computers. What’s more, this has not occurred with any other site I’ve visited. Is this happening to anyone else, or am I just going insane?

    No, I don’t get HTTP 404, I just get a blank “No input specified”. (Until the site comes back half an hour later.)

    And then I start getting paranoid that one of the Mods is too much of a RiffTrax fan.

       3 likes

  7. littleaimishboy says:

    Sitting Duck:
    A bit off-topic here. For the past few weeks, on occasion I get a HTTP 404 Not Found message when visiting this site. It happens randomly and on both my home and work computers. What’s more, this has not occurred with any other site I’ve visited. Is this happening to anyone else, or am I just going insane?

    I don’t get that but I get an “Input not specified” message a lot when trying to access the forum. But the really annoying thing is not being able to edit after posting something.

       3 likes

  8. Haydn 70 says:

    One of the all-time great episodes and probably my favorite Joel. The ‘Are You Happy in Your Work’ host segment is also all-time.

    Regarding when Jimmy picks up the check: maybe that is a scene from another movie!!! It shows the number of guests to be 4 (I love how Joel asks “Do you remember a fourth person sitting here?”), four Lobster Louis, four ‘Fillet’ Mignon. I checked a number of inflation calculators to see how much that total (I used $79) would be in 2016 money. The lowest amount I got was $1,068.89!!! (And the restaurant looked like a Cracker Barrel!) Didn’t Jimmy pay attention when he was ordering? Of course not…he was an idiot.

       5 likes

  9. Ray Dunakin says:

    I like this episode a lot. The riffs are great and the movie is stupid but watchable, the songs in the movie are pretty nice, and Mary Beth Hughes is super cute. :)

    The most annoying thing about the movie is that certain key plot points make no sense. Yeah, Jimmy’s an idiot who makes a lot of incredibly stupid choices, but why did he apparently say nothing in his own defense at the trial until AFTER being found guilty?? Why did he try to confront the mob boss alone instead of going to the police??

    The short is so-so, and the riffs are kind of hit-or-miss. But it’s well worth it just for that crack about Texans. :) However, I’d like to point out that the short never did get around to explaining what a “truck farm” actually is.

       4 likes

  10. Cornjob says:

    As has been noted, Jimmy is possibly the most stupid character in MST if not cinema history. The psychological profile of Jimmy with the mobile visual aid is one my favorite host segments, “There’s stupid, that’s a big one”. The moral of the story seems to that it’s OK to be an idiot as long as you’re a white male.

       4 likes

  11. littleaimishboy says:

    Cornjob:
    , Jimmy is possibly the most stupid character in MST history.

    Gee, there’s a lot of competition though … Crayola Hat Guy, Doctor Ski Bum. the entire Japanese military/scientific establishment (“The monster called Godzilla is destroying the city! Quick, find an eight year old boy to tell us how to react!”).

    Maybe a good discussion topic?

       4 likes

  12. Sitting Duck says:

    @ #147: So First Edition Truck Farmer was like an earlier version of The Wicker Man.

       0 likes

  13. Recycle.bin says:

    * Here’s something about me: I positively dislike bland dramas, which “I Accuse My Parents” manages to be. (Law dramas are an exception, and so I was fooled by the title. There was only around 5 minutes of the courthouse sequences in the movie.) The fact that this episode is still very enjoyable even after I’ve seen it around 6 or 7 times since November is a testament to it’s quality. It is, bar none, the best starter episode to anyone who likes dramas.

    * Also, I’ve looked in many places and the most “hatred” I’ve seen for this episode are people who think that the short or/and one of the host segments are ‘eh’.

       0 likes

  14. Sampo says:

    littleaimishboy: Gee, there’s a lot of competition though … Crayola Hat Guy, Doctor Ski Bum. the entire Japanese military/scientific establishment (“The monster called Godzilla is destroying the city!Quick, find an eight year old boy to tell us how to react!”).

    Maybe a good discussion topic?

    Hmmmmm…

       0 likes

  15. Lawgiver says:

    I’ve been getting either the “HTTP 404” or the “No input specified” message, depending on which browser I use.

    I know this episode is a fan favorite, but for me, not only does it not live up to the hype, it’s probably in my bottom ten. For whatever reason, it doesn’t work for me.

    I counted 3 Wizard of Oz references in this one.

       0 likes

  16. Sitting Duck says:

    Well I guess it had to happen eventually. All assuming that Lawgiver up there isn’t just trolling us.

       2 likes

  17. Recycle.bin says:

    BTW, I really really like the new mobile interface for this site. Good job to those who worked on it!

       0 likes

  18. Lawgiver says:

    Sitting Duck:
    Well I guess it had to happen eventually. All assuming that Lawgiver up there isn’t just trolling us.

    Well, that’s a lovely welcome for a new user. I don’t agree with you so I must be a troll?

    I just don’t like movies where people make really stupid decisions that they could have avoided and no characters are likeable.

       0 likes

  19. Jim Shortall says:

    I was watching this episode on a transatlantic flight the other day. “I was torn from the thigh of Zeus” made me laugh so hard, the flight attendant actually stopped in the aisle to see what in the world I was watching on my iPhone. Best. Single. Riff. EVER.

       1 likes

Comments are closed.