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Sampo & Erhardt

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Episode guide: 203- Jungle Goddess (with short: The Phantom Creeps, Chapter 1: ‘The Menacing Power’)

Short: (1939) A mad scientist plans to sell his fiendish inventions — a huge robot, invisibility belt and exploding mechanical spiders — to foreign powers. In the opener, he fakes his death, then sabotages a plane carrying his enemies.
Movie: (1948) Hoping to get a reward, two pilots set out to rescue an heiress lost in the African jungle. They find her being worshiped by a native tribe.

First shown: 10/6/90
Opening: J&tB are playing hide and seek with the elusive and inexplicable forces that control the universe
Invention exchange: Joel demonstrates his radio arm saw; meanwhile Dr. F.’s head is fused to a sax
Host segment 1: J&tB present the “Bela’s OK Discoveries” infomercial; the Mads introduce the feature
Host segment 2: Joel demonstrates “gobos” using Cambot
Host segment 3: Two white devils visit on the Hexfield
End: J&tB in an episode of “My White Goddess,” letters, Frank mimics Dr. F.
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (115 votes, average: 4.18 out of 5)


• This one is just fair for me. The short is fun (though the print is really terrible) and movie is stupid but watchable. But riffing is only really strong in spots, while in other places it drags. And I don’t think much of the host segments.
• This episode is included in Shout’s MST3K: Volume XXXI, The Turkey Day Collection.
• Tom’s neck extends in the opening.
• Joel’s jumpsuit is still teal.
• Once again the desk on the SOL conveniently vanishes when Joel needs more room for his invention, then reappears a moment later.
• Again Dr. F is performing experiments on himself. He would soon wise up.
• I suspect they chose to riff on “The Phantom Creeps” just so that Joel, Trace and Kevin could do their Bela Lugosi impressions. They all seem quite proud of them.
• In “Mad Monster,” the scientist was at least a patriot—he was planning to give his creations to the American military. Bela seems bent on selling his creations to foreigners (gasp!).
• Catchphrases from this episode: “How fortunate! It seemplifies everything!” “I’d love a hamburger sandwich and some french fried pototoes!” (Did anybody ever introduce Greta to the happy cook in “I Accuse My Parents”?)
• Callbacks: “The power of the dark one.” (Robot Holocaust). “Mars! Extending us a velcome!” “We’re on our way!” (Rocketship XM).
• For those who don’t understand segment 1, infomercials were brand new back then and I guess the Brains thought they were ripe for parody. The problem is the sketch, in my opinion, has nothing clever or original to say about infomercials, and goes on about two minutes too long. Plus, unless you actually WATCHED infomercials, you wouldn’t really get it. I always avoided infomercials like the plague so, to me, the whole thing was just a big bore. By the way, the disc rolls right off the satellite dish and out of frame. They keep going.
• The Brains tried something different with this episode: Dr. F. introduces the short and, after it’s over, during the next segment, we return to Deep 13 so he can introduce the main feature. They didn’t do it much after this.
• Naughty riff: “Then I gotta wait a few minutes before I can leave.”
• Segment 2 is very Ernie Kovacs-ey. You can see the early seeds of “The TV Wheel.” It’s not terribly funny, though some of the comments by the bots are fun.
• Segment 3 has Jim Mallon’s first on-camera appearance (as “Imperialistic Alien #2”), and of course that’s Mike, in his third Hexfield appearance, along with him. The sketch, however, is pretty dry. Several commenters were annoyed by the toy gun Jim is using. The noise it makes sounds very little like a machine gun.
• This movie is only 62 minutes long, but apparently the Brains were forced to cut a chunk anyway: When J&tB leave the theater for segment 3, Mike, Bob and Greta are all peacefully coexisting around the campfire at night. When they return to the theater, it’s daytime and Mike and Bob are in the midst of another fistfight.
• The ending sketch is cute, but, I dunno, they’ve already done several of these “unfunny sitcom with a laugh track” sketches in both KTMA and season 1. It feels like they’re going over old territory. Also, note that Tom’s arm works in that sketch.
• The ending sketch is the beginning of the story of how Crow ended up being called “Art” (mostly by Pearl, later in the series.) After the “My White Goddess” sketch, Joel imitates Jackie Gleason who, at the end of his TV show, would come back out wearing a dressing gown and bring out his cast members, also in dressing gowns, for another bow. One of those cast members, for many years, was Art Carney, and Gleason would shout his name with considerable gusto, as Joel does when he shouts “Art Crow!” Some little kid saw that and, not understanding the reference, just assumed that Crow’s name was Art. When he wrote them a letter, which was read in season four, he drew a picture of Crow and labeled it “Art.”
• Frank mimicking Dr. F at the end sounds like an outgrowth of the way J&tB were mimicking Bob the white devil during the movie.
• Stinger suggestion: Witch doctor has an outburst, is shouted down by Greta and looks embarrassed.
• Cast/crew roundup: Robert L. Lippert was the producer; we’ve done that litany. Score composer Irving Gertz also worked on “The Leech Woman” and “The Deadly Mantis.” In front of the camera, Ralph Byrd also appears in “Radar Secret Service.” Smoki Whitfield is also in “The Rebel Set.” Fred Coby is also in “The Brute Man.”
• CreditsWatch: Dr. F is still a “special guest villian” (misspelled). Mole person Jerry is played by intern Jim Smith. Jef Maynard again listed twice. “Introducing Frank Conniff” appears for the final time. The lyrics for the song “My White Goddess” were by Jim Mallon and Frank Conniff (an interesting teaming). Music by Michael J. Nelson. It is sung by “The Kevins” (which I assume means Kevin Murphy, overdubbing himself).
• Fave riff from the short: “Put that lampshade on your head, tie femur bones around your waist and dance naked in the moonlight!” Honorable mention: “Burn the file on the electric dance belt and pick up my manhood—it’s under the chair.”
• Favorite riff: “She thinks we speak English!” Honorable mention: “Phone THIS into Perry White!” and “We’re already pretty guarded.”

106 Replies to “Episode guide: 203- Jungle Goddess (with short: The Phantom Creeps, Chapter 1: ‘The Menacing Power’)”

  1. Dan in WI says:

    I’m going to disagree with Sampo and say that this episode is the first 5 star episode. It is loaded down with not only great riffs but a couple that because long standing catch phrases within my person circle of friends:
    Hamburger sandwiches with French friend potato garnishes
    Don’t shoot it. We’re not sure we don’t understand it yet.

    A while back there was a weekend discussion thread on great episodes for initiating newbies. I really don’t remember which episode I picked at the time, but after seeing this one again, I think this is a perfect one. You get a taste of a decent serial short. The movie itself is short and has a plot which is straight forward and easy to follow. That is important as it allows the newbie to multi-task and follow the riffing instead of finding it an annoyance. And that riffing is very solid. Everything you need to put the show in a good light for a newbie is here.

    When Joel comments how immoral and atonal the sax invention is Frank responds with a glib thank you. That just isn’t the same as the Clay and Larry unison thank you of season one.

    Man does Bela look different with the beard.

    I’m going to disagree with Sampo one more time and say I liked Bela’s Okay Discoveries. I’m not saying I enjoyed infomercials. I just grew up in a home without cable (I depended on some friends to what MST) and as a result saw some out of sheer boredom. This bit really takes down every cliché employed by real life infomercials and Joel plays the part of a stereotypical informercial host perfectly. Plus this thing gives us the first open flame of the second season. Now my question on the clapping track is, is this the same clap track used in theater during The Black Scorpion? It sounds the same to me.

    Much like Project Moonbase is big time derogatory to women, this film really beats down on primitive native tribes. This supplies excellent riffing material which is well exploited.

    The second host segment is much like the funny/not funny segment in Rocketship XM. The gobos segment again gives us great insight into the sense of humor of the Brains.

    Favorite Riffs:
    During the short credits: “Ford Bee-bee” (said in turn by each of the riffers)

    During the unveiling of Bela’s robot Crow says “What’s the big deal, its just a big metal Richard Kiel.”

    A spider detonates on the plane and Crow says “Well the pilot’s bombed.”

    Lounge Singer “I’ll give you five minutes.” Crow “To start running.”

    Tom “These viewmasters really bring nature to life”

    Greta Vanderhorn “The penalty here for murder is the same as anywhere else.” Tom “Plea bargain with a suspended sentence.”

    Greta “These natives are very peculiar and childlike .” Tom “They don’t even shoot things they don’t understand.”

    Greta “Where you with White Devil?” Tom “Should I get out the anatomically correct doll?”


  2. swh1939 says:

    This is one of my favorites. Since I saw this long before any Season One episodes, the sketches were fresh for me.

    During the Invention Exchange, Frank does a very Erhardt-like “Thank You”. I’m sure Dr. Forrester would have also chimed in, but Frank hadn’t yet cleaned out the good doctor’s spit valve.


  3. trickymutha says:

    Two words: Shout Factory.


  4. Hungry and a little confused says:

    I’ve recently been watching all the unreleased episodes online but this one and about a dozen other Joel episodes have either the first ten mintues blocked on You Tube or are not even available. Does anyone know other sites that will allow me to see the entire episode or missing episodes?


  5. ck says:

    Wow! The feature was all made on location, right?
    It’s really weird the first time you recognize
    Superman (and where is Tarzan when you really need him)?
    Btw, how do you think Gloria (a.k.a. The White Goddess) would have
    “stacked” up against the Hollywood pre-censorship film of Tarzan and Jane
    nude swimming scene (forget who the actress was-I believe a
    double was used- no really. :beauty:

    Bela always seems to make any role, no matter how dumb-
    many of which I assume was done for the work and cash-
    at least worth watching for his part.


  6. EmSpeaks says:

    @ Hungry #4
    I had the same problem with YT, so I Googled the episode title and/or number. It’s on GoogleVideo as a full episode, which I actually watched last night. Good luck, hope that works!


  7. Mr. B(ob) says:

    This episode, like all the season 2 Lippert films, is a really strong episode. I love the movie in its terribleness and the jokes that go with it never fail to crack me up. Host segments 2 and 3, “gobo” demonstration and the colonialist devils visit on the hexfield view screen are really funny. Though it’s probably the weakest of the 4 Lipperts from that season, it’s still a strong and very funny episode for me. It’s only when compared to the amazing joke quality of Rocketship X-M or King Dinosaur or later greats that season like First Spaceship On Venus that it comes in a little bit of a runner-up for me. Like Sidehackers, a completely throw-away line of dialogue completely inconsequential to the story became a catch-phrase on MST3K for years to come, “I could really go for a nice hamburger and some French-fried potatoes”. Great stuff.


  8. Sitting Duck says:

    Maybe the whole hamburger and French-fried potatoes thing was part of the reason why the Brains got confused while writing riffs for I Accuse My Parents and thought Sam Newfield directed. Of course there’s also the fact that Newfield did direct the similar looking Lost Continent and it was before IMDB was the resource it is today.


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

    4 stars. There is some excellent material here, but some of it is kind of weak.

    Good invention exchange, loved the cartoon saw yourself a hole in the floor bit.

    Who played the headless Dr F ? someone kind of short I assume. A kid ?

    not a big fan of the serial shorts, but they do a lot with it. I do like all the different Belas the guys throw out there.

    Bela’s OK Discoveries was a little underdone. Seemed sloppy.. when the ‘targeting disk’ rolls out of the satellite dish onto the floor. Blah.

    The GOBO bit was very funny, really my kind of stuff, in that progresive word ladder logic sort of way.

    Inherit-the-window-rama !!

    The movie is good fodder for them, lots of funny stuff, but they really catch fire about 10 or 15 minutes from the end. All of a sudden the riffing ramps up in frequency and quality. It makes the earlier part of the film look kind of dull by comparison.

    YOU invited der weisse engel ( a reference to Josef Mengele )

    here whitey whitey cheez whiz and white bread you know you can’t resist

    …and there, on the handle, was a spear. ( gasp )

    The hunters in the hexfield was good enough… perhaps a few seconds too long, could have been tightend up and shortened to better effect.

    My White Goddess is on of my favorite host segs. Especially the theme song.

    And I really like the Jackie Gleason ‘close’. Joel is really into it, this is something he likes doing.


  10. Sharktopus says:

    I find it interesting that in these early Frank episodes Dr F is experimenting on himself. He cut himself in half last week and now he’s chopped his head off. It seems pretty odd in hindsight, knowing what kinds of things he’ll do to Frank later on. Let’s see, next week is “tank tops”… I wonder when we first see Frank take on the guinea pig role he born to play.

    I guess none of the Brains ever played saxophone in school – they don’t have spit valves.

    And as EmSpeaks, er, spoke, this a good DAP copy of this episode is available in its entirety on Google Video.


  11. Evan K says:

    I can’t for the life of me remember this episode, and I’m pretty sure I’ve seen them all multiple times. It must not have made much of an impression – or I just wasn’t paying enough attention.

    Sharktopus: Some of the larger saxophones do have spit valves.


  12. Brandon says:

    203- Jungle Goddess (with short: The phantom Creeps)

    Movie Plot: Looking for an heiress in Africa, two white hunters find her reigning as a jungle queen, but the natives are restless.

    Short Plot: Bela Lugosi plays a mad scientist with some robot.

    Host Segments:
    Opening: J&TB are playing hide and seek with the universe.
    Invention Exchange: Joel’s Radio Saw; Dr. F’s Head sax.
    Segment 1: J&TB promote Bela Lugosi products.
    Segment 2: Joel shows different iris techniques for film. Servo: “So we’ll just sit here and act as the brunt of your little visual joke?”
    Segment 3: Two white demons (Mike Nelson and Jim Mallon) appear in the Hexfield.
    Closing: J&TB put on “My White Goddess.”

    Memorable Riffs from short:
    Crow: “Oh, what’s the big deal? It’s big metal Richard Kiel!”

    Servo: “Hey, that’s a pretty good Patrick Swayze!”

    Joel: “I’m dead now. Don’t hitchhike.”

    Memorable riffs from Movie:
    Servo: “Hey, these Viewmasters really bring nature to life!”

    Crow: “Guano hit fan!”

    Fav. Riff:
    Joel (as snake): “Hi, I’m Satan! Enjoy the film!”

    -Servo extends his neck muscle in the opening segment. It’s rare that we see him do that.

    -Dr. F doesn’t announce the film! He does introduce the short though.

    -Big, honking error in the film. It takes place in Africa, but there’s a cougar! WTF?

    -Segment 3, I think contains what may be the first mentioning of “Widowmakers”.

    -This is the episode where Joel refers to Crow as “Art Crow” (a reference to Art Carney). Later, a young viewer would see this and assume that Crow’s name was “Art”, and actually sent in a fan letter with a drawing of Crow labeled “Art.”

    Best Segment: The White Demons segment is totally absurd, and funny.
    Worst Segment: The Infomercial segment is awkward and goes on far too long.

    Overall/ Rating: This is an unfortunately dull episode, featuring a very dull movie with an uncomfortably racist tone to it. Riffs are a little sparse here, and the host segments are kind of duds. **1/2


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

    oh and I forgot to mention that I love Dr F’s zip-on head !


  14. Mr. B(ob) says:

    I forgot to mention that I love the sit-com parody at the end of the episode, My White Goddess. I love sketch comedy like that. Whenever Joel and the ‘Bots put on little plays together it was some of the funniest stuff done on the show.


  15. Zee says:

    I think you’re too hard on this episode, Sampo!

    Love the shot of Servo & Crow helping Joel out of the whole. One of the coolest shots of Crow’s legs.


  16. Dark Grandma of Death says:

    The stock footage shown while Mike & Bob are in flight is so much fun. I love the shifting magnification and perspectives. Plus that moment when Bob spots the crash site, and the view doesn’t move, even though the plane is still flying, is priceless.

    I also disagree with you on the “My White Goddess” segment, Sampo. It’s one of my favorites, thanks primarily to Joel’s performance, and I can’t get enough of the Brains’ sitcom parodies.

    Host segment 3 is THIS CLOSE to being really funny, just needed a little more (or maybe less?) rewriting. I have a question about the gun Jim was using – was it a toy that actually made that noise, or did they choose to foley in that odd sound?


  17. Matthew Shine says:

    This, for me, is the beginning of a stretch of really good episodes that ended on 209.
    I’m not really a big fan of The Phantom Creeps, but the movie riffing more than makes up for it.
    Dr. F’s head on a sax is one of those images that will stay with me always. “AN EVIL SUPREME! AN EVIL SUPREME!”


  18. After the one-two punch that started Season Two, I found this one a bit of a let-down, in spite of the riffs coming at a furious pace. I blame the bland feature, which manages to combine misogyny with racism yet still manages to end up boring. Not at all helped by the blown-out video quality of my DAP copy. “The Phantom Creeps” short, as terrible as it is, ends up being the highlight of this episode for me.

    • Bela’s assistant: You’re not going to tell her about the new element you discovered, are you?
    Servo: You mean Upsidaisium? (Rocky & Bullwinkle)

    • Joel: I Am Iron Man (Black Sabbath)

    • Crow: My private stock, Glenfiddich, 30 years old (a single malt Scotch whisky)

    • Joel: Hey are you guys going to that Dead concert? You hear Pigpen died? …What a long strange trip it’s been.
    (Ronald C. “Pigpen” McKernan was a member of the Grateful Dead who died in 1973)

    • Joel: I’m dead now. Don’t hitch-hike. Please, don’t hitch-hike (reference to the Yul Brynner anti-smoking campaign)

    • Dr. F: N-n-n-no, don’t pass out on me now. (Dirty Harry)

    • Robert L. Lippert is credited here as “presenter” which is equal to “executive producer.” He also “presented” Rocketship X-M. His only directing credit is for Last of the Wild Horses (seen in Season 6)

    • Joel: Saigon, I’m still in Saigon (re. shadow of the ceiling fan – Apocalypse Now)

    • J&TB: Whoo – “Freebird”…”Whipping Post” (popular audience requests for Lynyrd Skynryd and Allman Brothers classics)

    • Crow: We don’t fly for Northwest (the airline – a frequent target of MST riffs)

    • Reeves: The will of Peter Vanderhorn multimillionaire diamond tycoon was probated yesterday.
    Joel: Hmm, sounds painful (callback to a riff usually uttered by Crow)

    • Servo: What’s a 5 letter word for rum and Diet Pepsi? (anyone have the answer?)

    • Crow: I met neat people like Roddy McDowall. And you know, it’s really true what they say (Planet of the Apes reference, plus Roddy was rumored to be well hung – a concept returned to much later in the riffing for Laserblast)

    • Greta: What I wouldn’t give for a hamburger and some nice french-fried potatoes (her actual line, despite what some numbskull at IMDb says – this will become a callback phrase also)

    • J&TB: Oh, you got a little on your chin there (callback)

    • Joel’s “deaf leopard” joke earns a “deece” from the Bots

    • Crow: The jungle, extending me a welcome (callback to RXM)

    2 stars. Below average movie with mediocre host segments. And add this to the non-existent Ward-E list of MST episodes with airplanes, as both the short and the feature have plane crashes.



  19. Ronald says:

    >>>takes place in Africa, but there’s a cougar

    The sole survivor of a second, unmentioned plane crash?


  20. Mr. B(ob) says:

    @ “We don’t fly for Northwest (the airline – a frequent target of MST riffs) ”

    MST3K loved to squeeze in local and locally relevant references to their home state, Minnesota. Northwest Airlines has its hub in Minneapolis Airport, so those Northwest references were frequent because of the Minnesota connection, yet they worked well because it’s a national company that is fairly well known. When MST3K was on the air Northwest had a good on-time reputation, but a terrible customer service reputation also quickly developed and the poor customer service was fodder for many MST3K jokes all the way from the earliest shows to the Sci-Fi Channel era (e.g., in Time Chasers).

    My wife and I had a frequent flier miles credit card back then tied to Northwest because of their on-time reputation. We used Northwest needless to say on our trips to Minnesota for the MST3K Conventio-Cons in 1994 and 1996. We then found out just how bad the customer service was with Northwest in many other areas outside of their usually being on time. Once I had a chance to watch one of their handlers deliberately “spiking” bags on the tarmac during one of our flights with them. And the first time we flew with our then infant son on Northwest Airlines in 1997, they insisted on giving us three separate seats! The flight attendant on board fortunately was a lot more accommodating than the employees at the gate and fixed the situation, but needless to say we stopped using Northwest after that.


  21. MitchellRowsdowerBeardsley says:

    I find it very odd that someone who runs a website dedicated to MST3K can NOT like Jungle Goddess, or any of the early Joel eps (2nd season). This is quintissential (sp) Mystery Science Theater. These early ones have something the later ones don’t – charm.

    To say a sketch goes on ‘two minutes too long’ just seems like you’re trying to come up with something critical. Many, many more of the Mike era sketches were about nothing, and/or went on way too long. Just an opinion, but jeez.

    It’s like saying you like Seinfeld, but hate the sarcasm. Makes no sense.


  22. Sampo says:

    Mitchelletc.–I didn’t say I didn’t like the episode. I said it was “fair.” I definitely sense the charm you’re talking about, and this episode has some fun moments. But taken in the context of the whole series I just don’t think it’s one of the better ones. As far as the length of host segments go, I don’t think you’re correct. Joel himself has said that these season one and two segments were WAY too long and if anything the segments in the later years are too short for my tastes, on average. (Of course, we’re talking about literally dozens and dozens of sketches and I’m sure somebody could point to a bit in season nine or ten that was too long. I’m just talking about the prevailing length here.) Two minutes can be an eternity if the bit is unfunny, and I think it was. Your milage may vary.


  23. Mr. B(ob) says:

    @ #21: “early Joel eps (2nd season). This is quintissential (sp) Mystery Science Theater. These early ones have something the later ones don’t – charm. … Many, many more of the Mike era sketches were about nothing, and/or went on way too long.”

    Wow, that’s exactly how we’ve felt around my house for years and I could not have said it better myself. Though we still loved the show and watched it every week, the host segments really lost their humorous consistency and charm after Joel left. There are notable exceptions like Toobular-boobular Joy and Wild Irish Ireland, but when Joel was there we thought nearly EVERY host segment was funny and charming, after he left host segment humor became much more hit-or-miss.


  24. Cody Himes says:

    “So, everytime I eat a burger, an acre of this stuff disappears? I don’t get it.” – Joel

    I watched this last night. I’d seen it once before (when I went through the show from beginning to end) and I thought it was pretty good then, but it failed to hold my interest on this viewing. I don’t think the awfully distorted version that’s available on YouTube/Google helped. I thought the riffing was pretty good throughout, but the movie wasn’t very interesting. I do like the serial, though. I think Bela’s robot is seriously cool.

    Some observations:
    * Frank has already settled into his role, and he’s really funny in the intro (he’s always really funny).
    * Some of (if not most of) the music in the short is from Universal’s horror films of the 30s. The main title music is Frank Skinner’s opening title theme to Son of Frankenstein, and some of the music might be from Franz Waxman’s score of Bride of Frankenstein.
    * “Ford Beebe! Beebe!” always makes me laugh.
    * Favorite riff in the short: “No, ask him out! What did you think I meant?” – Tom
    * Segment 1 is a little weak. I think that the Poopie Parade of Values Infomercial they made covered a lot of the same ground and was a lot funnier, too.
    * Segment 2 is the best of the internal host segments, and I believe they use part of it in 209 (don’t quote me on that).
    * Segment 3 is OK but Jim just isn’t very good in his role. Neither is Mike, really, but he’s trying.
    * Favorite riff in the movie (besides the one I posted above): “Well, she threw a shoe. That means I’m gonna have to shoot her.” – Joel
    * The final segment, “My White Goddess”, is pretty clever, IMHO. Of course, I find sitcom parodies absolutely hilarious… “ART Crow!”
    * No stinger, but I think the crazy native guy that won’t shut up would be the best candidate.


  25. Sharktopus says:

    I’m with Sampo – a lot of these early host segments are way too long. Funny has a very short half-life.

    You can thank Rudyard Kipling for teaching generations of white people that any animal you’ve ever heard of comes from the “jungles” of Africa.

    Wow, that was some car crash. It knocked Bela’s beard clean off!

    I’ve often wondered if the Brains’ repeated bashing of Northwest airlines – they’re still doing it at Rifftrax – stemmed from a particular incident or if Northwest is just an easy target like Goldstar and 8 O’Clock coffee. I guess Gallagher would fit in that category, too.

    @ Evan K: I stand corrected. I didn’t think any reed instrument needed a spit valve, but I never went past tenor sax. I guess that’s why they specified it was a baritone.

    Also, I’m an Evan too! So this what it sounds like when doves cry.


  26. Sampo says:

    I would add that — on my part, at least — this isn’t a Joel vs. Mike issue. When I say a particular episode isn’t one of their best, I am generally comparing it to the work done in seasons three and four and early season five, where the team — including Joel — was really firing on all cylinders, and that often meant host segments that were quick, funny and then over.


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

    ( easy target maybe, but 8 o’clock coffee is very good, if you know what you;re doing in the kitchen, especially relative to price. sorry for the offtop )


  28. frankenforcer says:

    I neither hate nor love this episode. It just sort of sits there, daring me to feel something. It is simply the episode between Sidehackers (which I love) and Catalina Caper (which I love even more). Superman and the Joker are simply too annoying as the white male perspective and the white Goddess talks like she’s selling me steak knives. Factor in the patronizing view of the “natives” and we got a movie from a time period I’m fairly glad I wasn’t born in. But then again, who knows.


  29. frankenforcer says:

    and see that’s the other problem, I always confuse Jungle Goddess and Lost Continent sections from time to time. i thought Caeser Romero was in this film and obviously he wasn’t. My apologies to the guy who played Bob. But, Jungle Goddess and lost continent look alot alike, white guys in a black and white setting and Bob and Caeser look similar. What with the mustaches.

    My apologies on the mix up, but it always happens. Sometimes I think Ward cleaver is in Jungle Goddess instead of George Reeves and vice versa.


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

    some more background on the Northwest Airlines riffs. I believe that if we dig through the archives we will find a series of then timely news reports specifically regarding a (relatively small) number of Northwest pilots being drunk behind the stick, or showing up at the gate too drunk to fly and having to be replaced….


  31. MitchellRowsdowerBeardsley says:

    Mr. B(ob) – thank you. Thank God I’m not losing my mind. I’ve always thought the Joel era sketches were 95% ‘on’, with a few clunkers (Waffles), and the Mike era sketches were about 95% ‘off’, with a few good ones you mention like boobular toobular. Heck, I enjoy the Mike DVDs because I can skip the host segments altogether and just watch the movie.

    and Sampo, totally agree about 3-5.5 sketches. I just think the 2nd season fits right in with them. It just seems weird (to me) to criticize them, in comparison to Nummy Muffin Cookle Butter, Urkel, and the like, which were embarrassingly unfunny.

    I submit to everyone, compare the ‘laughing fit’ sketch from Human Duplicators (Joel) to the Urkel ‘laughing fit’ sketch from, is it San Francisco International? (Mike). That says more than I ever could.


  32. Mr. B(ob) says:

    @ #30: Oh yes, those were well publicized incidents that made national news.


  33. Edge10 says:

    Re: #9 I’m not a medium, I’m a petite

    I think the ‘der weisse engel’ is a reference to Laurence Olivier’s character from the Marathon Man. Mengele was called the “Angel of Death”.

    That’s enough about Nazi’s, I now feel a little sick.


  34. Sampo says:

    On Northwest Airlines–keep in mind that their hub was in Minneapolis, so that particular airline was covered extensively in BBI’s local news. Every time they screwed up (as in the 1990 “19 rum and cokes” case it was seen as a disgrace to the entire region.


  35. Two of these host segments are total duds, the informercial and the white devil Hexfield visit, making this a poor episode to stake your claim on in a Joel vs. Mike debate (which we are way too early in the run of the show to be having now anyway). You could however argue that its 50/50 success ratio of host segments is more typical of the series overall, making this the model “average” episode.

    frankenforcer: Bob was played by Dick Tracy actor Ralph Byrd.


  36. Matt Sandwich says:

    Ahhhh, Jungle Goddess. I didn’t comment on the Side Hackers thread, though it’s also a longstanding favorite of mine. (“…you about done in there?” “That refrigerator’s been EVERYWHERE.” And “Yeah. I’m trapped up in space. And sometimes my life feels like a big pile-a nuthin’.” To list a few faves.) But for me the show really feels like it’s on the verge of greatness here. I actually loved the informercial sketch, complete with Joel muffing a line and just soldiering on, and agree with the other posters (btw, nice, thoughtful responses, Sampo) about the “charm” issue. This run of episodes provides the genesis of the brilliance that would mark the Golden Age of seasons 3-5. And like Side Hackers, I’ve always considered this one a great entry point to the series largely for that reason.

    This episode also has the distinction of featuring a riff that one of my parents explained to me– the aforementioned “Phone THIS in to Perry White!” The only time that happened, and one of only two times a parent actually laughed at the show.

    The ‘hamburger sandwich’ bit was one of my favorite running gags. I think by the time season five and I Accuse My Parents came around, it had evolved into its most convoluted form: “a char-broiled hamburger sandwich with a french-fried potatoes garnish.” Which still makes me laugh.

    “Ice?” “Blazes?” “In-side?” Yeah. There’s a lot to love here. And I’d love to have been on set while the “natives” were grabbing a smoke between takes. There must’ve been some hilarious (but sad) I-can’t-believe-I’m-actually-doing-this conversations going on.

    That said, I always felt that the whole “white male reality” thing was a bit heavy-handed, and it made for some ponderous writing here. But in retrospect, and considering the implosion of the brilliant Chappelle’s Show, it’s obvious that things can sometimes go very, very wrong if you rely on the audience to take away the right message without spelling it out for them. So maybe they were smart to do some editorializing rather than just riff away on the movie’s cringeworthy “ungawa” portrayals and assume everyone would be in on the joke. (Which isn’t to say it was calculated or anything.)


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

    Edge10 at 33. agreed, but let me delve one more time into the filth: the Marathon Man character pretty much ‘IS’ Mengele ( tho thinly veiled ). And Mengele was the White Angel.


  38. big61al says:

    This is one of the episodes I’ve only seen once. From what I can remember my copy was tough to watch, must be a late generation dub. Still I don’t remember much and the mostly positive comments prompt me to dig it out and give a good second effort. ;)


  39. rcfagnan says:

    I’ve seen this one a few times, but nothing outside the host segments really struck me. The movie is like “Teenage Caveman” in that while short, it seems to drag out to 8 hours. Since I don’t have it on DVD (hint hint Shout! Factory) my memories aren’t to clear, but I love the White Devils on the Hexfield (one of the few times Jim was on camera, am I right? And his only speaking role outside of Gypsy?)


  40. toot-tootoot-toot says:

    I’m so glad they stopped doing the serials before movies and switched to the hilarious shorts! The Phantom Creeps makes Commando Cody seem like Citizen Kane…it’s so disjointed and manic that the riffing couldn’t save it. Jungle Goddess was somewhat fun, though…definitely an average episode, in my opinion, too.

    @21 – I’m not really going to argue about host segments, mainly because I’m one of the people that believes the host segments were the weakest part of the series. BUT…I’ve never laughed harder than the cardboard cutout segment from Hobgoblins in season 9!


  41. ck says:

    I tend to think the Mike sketches were in general more coherent then early Joel ones. And anyway, Mike was involved for most of the series in writing both sets, wasn’t he? As well as appearing in lots of them- don’t forget his “buff” Hercules working for the mad scientists and telling tales of making Herc films.


  42. Watch-out-for-Snakes says:

    I’m with Sampo, this is a “fair” episode, no more than 3 out of 5 stars. There’s some good stuff here, but mostly, the riffing is a little flat, The Phantom Creeps shows signs of draggage (after only one short, oh no!) Jungle Goddess itself is okay, but not that great, and the Host Segments, well, #2 is good stuff, but #1 and #3 are unfunny.

    to Mr. B(ob) & MitchellRowsdowerBeardsley – I agree for the most part. I’ve always felt that the Joel era Host Segments were superior to the Mike era Host Segments, especially Season 8-10, which are truly hit-or-miss. To be fair, Mike was decent during Season 5-7, more hit with less miss. To be fair, so far in Seasons 1 and 2, Joel himself has been fairly hit or miss. Also, I don’t want to make this a Joel v. Mike debate. I think Mike’s in theater riffing is as strong as Joel’s, if not stronger at times. I love them both, for different reasons, but bottom line: they both make me laugh.

    As far a Jungle Goddess goes….

    During the invention exchange, after Joel falls through the hole in the floor (very Warner Bros.-esque!) Crow says, “are you okay, Joel?” to which Joel hilariously replies, “No! It’s hot and it hurts and stuff!” It’s such an odd thing to say and his delivery is pitch perfect, I was in hysterics.

    Shot of a snake in a tree, Joel quips, “Hi, I’m Satan. Enjoy the film.”

    The Bots have some good lines during Host Segment #2, the “scope sketch,” particularly when Joel puts up the I Love Lucy-scope and Crow (in Lucy voice) says, “Ricky! I was never funny!” HahAhahahahahah—so true.

    And finally, “Ladies and gentleman, ART CROWWWW!!!!!!”


  43. fathermushroom says:

    I enjoyed the infomercial sketch pretty well, and “My White Goddess” I think is pretty good. I really don’t like the white devils sketch — that gun racket sets my teeth on edge.

    I too, find the “white male reality” riffs a bit ham-fisted and always read them as Joel showing his hippy edge. A bit “white guilt” ish.

    But I like the movie, and I think Greta is hot.


  44. MitchellRowsdowerBeardsley says:

    For the record, I wasn’t trying to start the 1,000,000th Joel v Mike debate. I realize Mike was the head writer for when (in my opinion) the show was at it’s best – seasons 2-5.5. And he wrote most of the hilarious songs throughout the show. I was just differentiating between the eps hosted by Joel, and the eps hosted by Mike. Because I saw a dramatic shift away from the charm and Joel’s idea of a Saturday morning kid’s show for adults, to the more sarcastic Mike era, after Joel left. Especially in the host segments. You can’t deny that Joel leaving changed the tone quite a bit.

    tha’s all.


  45. Sampo says:

    #42 Watch-out-for-snakes:
    “The Bots have some good lines during Host Segment #2, the “scope sketch,” particularly when Joel puts up the I Love Lucy-scope and Crow (in Lucy voice) says, “Ricky! Turns out I was never funny!” HahAhahahahahah—so true.”

    You know I was going to mention that line, but I was little afraid to offend some rabid Lucy fan in the comments. But I have to tell you that when I heard that line the first time, all those years ago, I said to myself, “At LAST somebody has had the nerve to say what I’ve always thought!”


  46. briizilla says:

    **** from me. Good episode for the most part but they hadn’t really hit their stride yet. The host segments are still a bit long and dull and Dr. F and Frank would become much funnier down the road. Still, at the time it was so funny and fresh, truly like nothing I’d ever seen. It’s funny rewatching these episodes that I first saw way back in my junior and senior years of high school, how many of the jokes went right over my head at the time…


  47. wild dinosaur rebel says:

    This was the first episode of MST3K I ever saw (not sure if it was the first airing or not, but it was around that time). I was babysitting the neighbor kid and looking for something to watch after he went to bed. I just fell in love instantly with the show. So…I cannot be objective. A great episode for me, and I’m still fond of all of Season 2 because it’s the year I discovered it, and nostalgia colors my recollections. I’d love for SF to release this one.


  48. Manny Sanguillen says:

    My new favorite 2nd season episode. Actually it’s second to Wild Rebels, but it’s probably one of my most watched episodes for the past 2 years.
    I like everything, the host segments, opening, closing, the short, the riffing, and even both movie & short plotlines.

    It was very well riffed all the way through, and that’s always what matters the most.

    The only bad thing I would say is that they go ovberboard in their insults of white males. It’s one thing to insult those particular white males in the movie, and that one especially who shot zulu and and another guy later, but it’s nothing less than reverse racial and gender discrimination to group all white males together and insult them.
    Besides, it wasn’t their whiteness and maleness that made them @sshole$, it was their stupidity, ignorance and arrogance, and that isn’t limited to any one particular race, unless you say the Human race.
    If you arent consistent in your view that no race is better than any other race, and no race is any lesser than any other race, you are still being racist, (but thats mere common sense, I don’t mean to insult anyone’s intelligence by my stating of the obvious).

    For the whole episode, I give it ten stars, and it’s easily in my top 5 Joel episodes.

    Favorite riffs –

    Servo- “So I began kicking them repeatedly”
    Joel – “That monkey gave me such a chill!”
    Joel – “Stop screaming, I didn’t even hit you!”
    Servo – “Thanks, uh, how ’bout putting a sock in it, lady” (Old lady talking on plane)

    And I don’t know who says it, but some one says “ishhhh!” for Lugosi’s wife in the short and I always laugh at that.
    Plus that big robot is so ridiculous it’s funny by itself.


  49. EricJ says:

    o/`”Do-doo, do-do doo…”o/`

    “And you’ll remember everything I taught you?” (exposure fail)
    Joel: “Like how to make the scene darker?”


  50. i'm not a medium, i'm a petite says:

    ( let me put my 2-cents in here as well: speaking as a privileged white male, I can not get enough of the white male bashing in MST3K. Many, if not most, of my predecessors richly deserved it )


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