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Sampo & Erhardt

Sci-Fi Archives

Visit our archives of the MST3K pages previously hosted by the Sci-Fi Channel's SCIFI.COM.

Goodbye Sci-Fi

Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy and Bill Corbett reflect on MST3K's final broadcast.

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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. Matt Sandwich says:

    @42 I’d completely forgotten about the remote buzzsaw when I chimed in. I loved that bit!

    And by the way, I found out long, long after the fact that the all-hot-and-hurts-and-stuff (which I believe Josh had used at some point) was apparently from a 70’s-era commercial for Bactine.


  2. Thomas K. Dye says:

    #42, #45: Well, you’re entitled to your opinion, even if it’s wrong. ;D


  3. RockyJones says:

    If my memory from THAT long ago serves me correctly, I believe the “all hot and it hurts and stuff” line was from a Bayer children’s asprin commercial. It seems like that’s the same commercial where the same kid utters the phrase, “Mothers are like that…yeah, they are!”. Of course, at this point, I have trouble remembering LAST WEEK, so it’s possible that I could be wrong.


  4. Evan K says:

    @ Sharktopus #25

    Well, hello Evan – nice to meet you. :)

    Ya, I played tenor sax in high school, and had to sit next to the bari sax player, who used to empty his spit valve onto the floor next to my feet. Yeech …


  5. M "I'd Like To Roder Whatever's On The Wall Over There" Sipher says:

    I have to agree with Sampo overall. I just can’t get into this one. They make a fair swing at it, but…

    The crew’s Bela impressions are fun and all… in doses. It gets old fast, and “Phantom Creeps” is dull, dull, dull… dull (thwacks Rik in the head with a cricket bat) DULL… DULL (thwacks self in head with cricket bat). At least Commando Cody had the decency to have some fisticuffs and gunfights just about every installment. This is just old people talking to each other. Individual short films could not come fast enough.

    “Jungle Goddess” fares better, mostly due to the group still being in a very season-1 mode of really WEIRD riffs popping up at regular intervals. But they don’t really have their teeth into the film’s misogyny and racism to the extent it deserves. The natives are “childlike”? Really?

    The skits? I actually like the scope skit, though the funniest part to me is Crow’s low, throaty “I… am an amoeba.” The infomercial’s a bore, despite the pyrotechnics. White hunters? Generally fun, but the obviously-toy-gun clackclackclack kinda puts a hurt on it. There’s low-budget charm, and then there’s… well, Danger: Death Ray cheap, and that sound plants it right into the latter. Could they not have overlaid some machinegun sounds?

    There are some gems in season 2 we’re still getting to, but a lot of this season feels… oddly transitional, and to be honest, towards a direction that -in hindsight- I’m not wild about.


  6. pondoscp says:

    I’m going to focus purely on one aspect of this episode that tickles me the most: The Infomercial bit.

    Back in the early 1990’s, you know, 200 years ago, I found this curious little infomercial named “Amazing Discoveries.” I would stay up late, scouring the channels for a new episode of this overly cheery infomercial. The two most memorable episodes were the Human Calculator, and the most infamous one, where the host and his British sidekick actually lit the hood of a car on fire, because they claimed the product they were selling would protect the car against the fire damage. Well, it was really obvious that the car’s hood was ruined after the fire, but they played it off like nothing happened. This particular episode was shown over and over again, so I was quite surprised to discover that I cannot find the clip from that show on YouTube, well in English anyway. Here’s the clip –

    Man, I thought this infomercial was hilarious. The host, Mike Levy, would always have a different brightly colored sweater in each episode. I was saddened to learn years later that Mike had passed away. RIP Mr. Levy. You were enjoyed.

    So when I saw “Jungle Goddess,” I cracked up! It was one of those “they’re speaking directly to me” moments. Ah ha, they saw “Amazing Discoveries” too! Unfortunately, if you weren’t well versed with “Amazing Discoveries,” this bit would be largely lost on you. Hopefully, through the magic of YouTube, the skit will make a little more sense to those who weren’t there at the time flipping the channels late-night. If only it was in English! It’s truly one of their greatest parodies, but only if you know what they’re making fun of.

    In closing, Mata-Greta, Mata-Greta!


  7. Richard the Lion-footed says:

    I am going to have to agree with Dan in WI@ #1, and sorry Sampo, but this is one of the better episodes in the series.
    Granted, it is not the non-stop riffs of latter years, but they are a solid complement to a fun low budget film.
    I thought the host segments were good, I learned a lot about Dan “gobos,” and it nice to know that I was not the only one who wondered how you can see across the plane when you are above it.

    It is also interesting that as some riffs become dated, with the passage of time,
    everyone can still see the satire in the “Bela’s OK Discoveries.”
    These things will be with us for generations to come.
    My Grandchildren will get this joke.


  8. EricJ says:

    @55 – The infomercial’s a bore

    Have to put it in historical: Joel’s doing a dead-on imitation of the idiot from Amazing Discoveries, the “series” of infomercials that were (groan) EVERYWHERE in the 1990 Season 2 cable days.
    (Along with the inevitable cheap UK-accented guys telling us it’s “not available yet in the US”, as Servo imitates.)
    If all you remember is the Sham-Wow guy, you probably won’t get Joel’s gag.


  9. Riley says:

    God, I love this episode – it’s one of my favorites. Lugosi’s plans this time around are particularly flaky, and the infomercial sketch is pitch-perfect. IIRC, the Amazing Discoveries infomercials were running on the Comedy Channel at the time this was first broadcast.

    As for the movie itself: I love the MSTings of films that cheerfully espouse now-deeply-disturbing moral/social beliefs. “Jungle Goddess,” “Project Moonbase,” “Catching Trouble.”…. – they regularly make me laugh my ass off.


  10. swh1939 says:

    Jim voiced a couple of aliens (leader of the Demon Dogs, Monad).

    As far as the Lucy comment, I go back and forth on this one (it depends on my mood), and I’m with Sampo in that I didn’t mention it because I didn’t want to start a spur argument. Mostly I think the comment was deserved as most of her pre-I Love Lucy material as well as her post-I Love Lucy material is dreadfully unfunny. And even I Love Lucy isn’t all that, but there are quite a few episodes that are truly funny (in my opinion). In my own little perfect world, Crow would have instead quipped, “Ahhh Ricky, turns out I was rarely funny”.


  11. erasmus hall says:

    This is one of my favorites-combines the obnoxious social political
    views of the world of my youth with its absurd facade of innocence-
    This is right up there with Marshall McCluhan’s The Mechanical Bride
    for an examination of media social propaganda-
    and it’s funny also-


  12. Spector says:

    Agree with Sampo, the short is fun, the main feature, merely ok. I loved the “Phantom Creeps” shorts, especially the Legosi accents. As for the main feature, it’s really funny in spots, not so much in others. Still, you can definitely see the improvement in the quality and quantity of the riffing in this episode compared to most of the first season. And I did enjoy the closing host segment “My White Goddess”. Overall, 3.5 out of 5 stars, thanks to the “Creeps”, which “simplified everything”…;)


  13. Mr. B(ob) says:

    @ #44: “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.”

    Yeah, it was never about Joel Vs. Mike, it was for us also about the whole tone and style of the show with or without him. It’s about the huge difference in the way the host segment sketches were written, constructed and presented and the tone and type of humor in them after Joel left. It’s not like the only difference was the host, nearly everything about the show, most especially the host segments was different without Joel.

    The host segments where Joel plays teacher and the ‘Bots mischievously meddle with his fun are some of the favorites around my house, as are the “Joel and the ‘Bots stage a play based on the movie” sketches. My White Goddess isn’t the best of those sketches, but there’s something about those types of sketches on the show that always makes me laugh, perhaps simply because of the overt ridiculousness of puppets playing the parts and doing the crazy lines. Even the least of them is something I really enjoy, maybe if only for the kind of childlike charm and silliness that the puppets add to those sketches. The puppets playing parts like they did in sketches such as My White Goddess make it funnier than if the same sketch was done entirely with live actors. Just the premise of the puppets doing sketches, especially with the great puppet operation and vocal delivery of the comedians using the puppets at that point, Kevin and Trace, was funny.

    Season Two episodes like Jungle Goddess still have a certain raw feel to them, but with writing that to me is as funny as seasons 3, 4, 5. I really like that sense early on in the MST3K’s run that the facade of the show could fall apart any minute due to the relatively low budget of the whole thing and it would become completely obvious that it’s a bunch of comedians just having a blast doing their thing. It made it feel accessible in a way that Hollywood shows do not and indeed, to this day, the performers make themselves accessible to fans in a way most performers do not (e.g., the meet-and-greets after every Cinematic Titanic show). That raw feel inspired a kind of fan loyalty that kept the show alive for years even after a network cancellation. I don’t think there will ever be another show quite like it, it’s a true original to this day.


  14. Joseph Nebus says:

    I come down on the “Lucille Ball was funny” side of things. Yeah, her later career got dire, but name a comedian who had a long career whose later side didn’t. And listen to, like, any old-time radio performance she was on and you were in for good times.


  15. Laura says:

    I remember those informmercials. Somehow, even then, I didn’t want to purchase anything from somone wearing a brightly colored sweater. Just something not right about that setup. Did anyone actually buy any of those products because they saw it on TV? Anyways, I do quite enjoy this episode. Typical Robert Lippert pain parade. I just love how Greta survives the plane crash without so much as a scratch. And she’s still got her purse! Wow! :-P

    I always crack up during the one native that won’t shut up scene. He just starts yelling for no reason every time Greta makes some kind of decree (I think; it’s been a while since I’ve seen this one).


  16. Mr. B(ob) says:

    @ #65: “Typical Robert Lippert pain parade. I just love how Greta survives the plane crash without so much as a scratch. And she’s still got her purse!”

    Greta still has her purse after the plane crash and the guys in Radar Men From The Moon manage to still have their hats on during fights, after falling off cliffs into water, etc. Hollywood loved to break the implausibility meter even then and it’s only gotten worse in modern movies.


  17. M "It's A Daaaance Of Deeeaaaath" Sipher says:

    #58 EricJ:

    I was around for that historical context when it was new, and it doesn’t matter how spot-on an impression it is, the infomercial skit is still a bore and goes on for too long with very little payoff. There’s humor to be mined from infomercial parodies, but I think you need to go farther gag-wise than they did. Maybe a little creative editing, like with the upcoming superchord invention… explosion, white-out screen, reveal a smoking pile of former shirt, and the hosts covered in soot yet still carrying on cheerily like nothing unusual is going on. Same for the radar dish, only this time, physically damaged bots and a tattered, charred jumpsuit for Joel, again, isn’t that amazing? You wouldn’t need to change the final spider gag at that point, because the imagined devastation is well-set-up prior.

    (I think my favorite infomercial parody gag still comes from Tiny Toons, with its amazing low-cost clothes-drying device… a clothespin. As host Buster tries to get “inventor” Babs to “sweeten the deal” (which basically involves her paying people to take this stuff at this point), her reluctance is met with the audience all but rioting in a frothing fury, brandishing clubs and rope-nooses.)

    And for the record, when Billy Mays died, my first question was “who?”, followed by “what the hell is Shamwow?”, followed by “So why does anyone give a damn?”


  18. The Professor says:

    “Bela’s OK Discoveries” is indeed a mild segment but it does have one of my favorite goofs that they kept. It’s where Joel says something along the lines of “My heart says yes but my heart says…how much?” It’s just so silly and Joel’s little chuckle at his screw-up makes it worthwhile.


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

    ( more offtop, what the heck. “Never funny” is a bit harsh, but partly true. Lucille Ball was an accomplished comic actress ( hey she worked with the Marx Bros ) but the success and longevity of “I Love Lucy” was due only in part to her, there was also the great ensemble cast, great writing, and Desi Arnaz, as producer, pretty much inventing the modern TV sitcom. Lucy without Desi never worked any where near as well )


  20. dsman71 says:

    I just LOVE this episode…any fan that have never seen the show Id show them this one as example..great skits..lots of energy..Crows arms functioning…a great cheesy movie..The 2nd season they had tons of energy..Joel would always get up from his time passed to the 3rd and 4th seasons it wasnt at prominent. I did see the uncut print where that one part where the cast is sleeping and next thing you know they are fighting again. These are great to watch with some cocoa, a blanket and cool weather..
    Joel would wear the teal jumpsuit in Ring of Terror and Wild Rebels ..only to be seen again in Mighty Jack and Teenagers from Outer cameos I think…
    I always wondered why the jumpsuit changes in the 2nd season…


  21. I guess this is another example of “Sampo’s Theorem” in full effect, because I cannot fathom how this one is getting a higher rating than last week’s Sidehackers.

    While no one has attacked my comments on this episode, I still feel the need to defend my low grade for it. I’ll confess I found my 2 star rating a bit unfair and considered giving it a 3, but my gut reaction after re-watching it was that it was below average, esp. after the previous two episodes which I liked a lot more – both for the movies themselves and the host segments. And where were all these Joel-lovers when I (and others) were fighting off trolls during the KTMA episode discussions?

    1. While the riffing is fine, the movie itself is a chore to sit through. It is more dull than it has a right being, what with its “pretty lady trapped in a jungle” setting. Compare it to The Leech Woman, another bad movie with much more energetic “native tribe” scenes.

    2. The video quality makes it hard to watch. Maybe the other folks who love this have better copies than I do, but this is NOT an episode I’d ever show to newbies trying to convert them to the MST cause. However, a pristine DVD transfer might change my mind.

    3. As I stated before, the host segments are a mixed bag, neither the best nor the worst. Season Two is still a “work in progress.” The best is yet to come…

    And I agree with the Brains, Lucy was never funny. A major case of “you had to be there.”


  22. Kathy O. says:

    “And I agree with the Brains, Lucy was never funny.”

    Never saw her in the movie, “Stage Door” then? ‘)


  23. Thomas K. Dye says:


    [i]Lucy without Desi never worked any where near as well[/i]

    THAT I will agree with categorically. When the Rifftrax guys insult “The Lucy Show” in “The Terrible Truth” that’s when I say, yeah, Lucy pretty much coasted on fans’ goodwill for twelve years.


  24. Mac aka:afriendlychicken says:

    I love the charm of season two. It’s the feel good season. I first started watching MST3K during season two, so it holds a special place in my heart. I do agree with Sampo on this one, though. I re-ran through season two last year and I thought this was one of the weaker episodes of the season. Yet, it’s so damn charming. Whenever I want to feel good, any season two episode will do. Let the happiness flow. :-))


  25. Goji says:

    I don’t usually comment, but all this talk about the Joel episodes having more “charm” than the later Mike episodes has really made me realize why it is that I like the Mike era so much more. It’s the exact same reason many are citing as the reason the Joel era is superior. Not that I dislike Joel or the episodes produced with him as host, but whenever the show tries to get too warm and fuzzy it really does turn me off. I prefer my comedy sharp and pointed, and the faux kids show segments Joel would occasionally do tend to feel out of place, at least to me, on a show primarily about heckling terrible movies. Mike’s more sarcastic host segments felt like a better fit, and a personal preference.

    As for this episode, I haven’t seen it in a while, but I remember it being middle of the road. I was never a fan of any of the serial shorts the show did, though. At least The Phantom Creeps was better than Commando Cody and the General Hospital shorts from season 4.


  26. M "Inherit The Windorama" Sipher says:

    #75 Goji:

    You too? Hi, you’re invited to my birthday party.

    Mind you, I don’t think it’s as sharp a divide as the Joel/Mike era as much of the comments make it out to be… late season 4 and season 5 had more bite to it, and really, there was little to no change of tone from Joel to Mike through season 5. As I look at it, it’s TIME, not HOST, that’s the real factor at work here (especially considering Mike was the head writer the whole time).

    But yes, I like my MST either more nerdy (Season 1) or more pointed (4~on). Some of my favorite host segments end up with some form of “Joel vs Bots”… possibly my fave being in Amazing Colossal Man when Joel’s attempts to go all warm and fuzzy and life-lesson-y are shot down with expert precision. Mind you, it doesn’t always have to be antagonistic… skits where the bots just don’t plain understand basic humanity and facets of human existence due to being robots can be just as much fun (the coffin skit in Gunslinger, for example).

    Also, note that the post-Creeps shorts, which are often cited as really strong, if not the highlight of many episodes, are often darker, edgier comedy compared to the features.


  27. Watch-out-for-Snakes says:

    @Goji – Hey, thanks for chiming in with that. Even though I don’t totally agree with you (what’s so wrong with warm & fuzzy?) I can see what you’re talking about.

    I think one of the endless appeals of MST3k is the many different ways in which it appeals to its fans. All of us (the fans) can’t always agree on everything (anything?) but we can all agree that this is one of the best (nay, THE best!) TV shows ever made.

    *If you disagree, I will be forced to unleash Finnias Jones, troll-fighter. :laugh:


  28. JLH says:

    My first episode was this one, on a repeat in April 1991 (lived in Gitmo, HA had finally ended around April 1st, and despite being in the Eastern time zone, for some reason our cable “company” only used the West feed, meaning it was always 3 hours later than advertised). I recognized Joel from his SNL & comedy special appearances that had been running on HA, and the show was heavily promoted (though I seem to recall it was mostly a generic that covered all of season 1). I was home that Saturday night, parents were off in the states and my sister was busy with her boyfriend, so I had the big screen in the living room to myself. One thing I remember most about the episode was I must’ve missed the credits for “Jungle Goddess”, as I ended up thinking the Phantom Creeps cliffhanger was resolved by the plane crashing in the jungle scene. Didn’t know any better until they aired “Rocket Attack USA” two weeks later.


  29. OK, so I’m official upgrading my vote to 3 stars for this one, after looking ahead at future Season Two episodes and watching next week’s Catalina Caper. The riffing during JG is very funny, and while I feel the movie is poor, it’s still goofy fun. We have some much worse stinkers coming up later.

    I’m a novice at the whole rating of episodes thing and am often overthinking my responses to them, trying to consider each season as a whole. A lot of the unreleased on DVD episodes are still new to me, so I’ll defer to those who have been watching their own taped copies of these for many years, though I find for myself that nostalgia and familiarity are natural enemies to objective criticism. My own preference for Sidehackers and CC likely come from having seen them so many times when the Rhino disks were my primary source of MST (that and the fact they both have cute babes, are in color, and are set in the late 1960’s, an era I have a great fondness for).

    Kathy O. @ #72: No, I’ve never seen Lucille Ball in Stage Door (1937). From reading about it on IMDb it sounds pretty good. Will keep my eyes open for it. But I never enjoyed “I Love Lucy” very much, which is where my original opinion of her comedy stems from.

    As for the whole Joel/Mike host segment “charm” issue, I want to credit Frank Conniff for his contributions to the show during this period. The combo of his writing voice with Trace’s and the recently promoted Kevin Murphy is really starting to gel here. When Joel left later, the vibe didn’t really alter that much, beyond the inherent personalities of the hosts. However when both Trace and Frank left, the series did drastically change and the more caustic wit of Bill Corbett and Mary Jo become prominent (in addition to the limitations imposed on the show by Sci-Fi Channel). I realize I’m stating the obvious, but the Joel v. Mike debate is more nuanced than just whoever helmed the SOL, and more about those behind the scenes writing the scripts. From where I sit, decades after the fact, it’s all good.


  30. Mac aka:afriendlychicken says:

    I didn’t mean anything by it has charm, I promise! :laugh: I’m just afriendlychicken.

    @77 Thanks, my thoughts exactly. This show has such a broad appeal and we all love it for different reasons.

    I just happen to like charm and warm and fuzzy, it’s one of my many faults. :rotfl:


  31. Goji says:

    Oh, I don’t fault anyone for liking “warm and fuzzy” comedy. I don’t even fault the people who like it more than the more sharply pointed or sarcastic comedy bits from later seasons. I just wanted to speak for those of us who feel the opposite, as we had not been represented yet when I made my comment. No worries.


  32. Creepygirl says:

    I have always liked this episode. Everything has already been said above so I’m giving it 3.5 out of 5.

    I’m also a big fan of serials and classic TV. It was nice to see TV’s Superman and Repulic’s Dick Tracy in a movie together.

    I’m looking forward to Catalina Caper next week. ;-)


  33. losingmydignity says:

    Man, am I late to the party. But there were some serious glitches to getting on the site earlier this weeks so…

    I love this episode. Great camp film riffed with gusto. Sure they fall short at times, but they’re practicing…they’re getting it right. For the first time.
    Host segs arent’ as good as the inferior riffed Sidehackers but they were working on it.

    Just love the film and the overall early ambience of the ep. A solid entry.

    I had a lot more to say just after I watched it but like I said couldn’t get on this site.



  34. Wydok says:

    This movie makes me very uncomfortable with the way the “jungle savages” are treated. The riffs are mostly funny, and seeing George Reeves is weird, but not my favorite episode.

    The “Hamburger sandwich” line, which we hear countless times later, is great.


  35. Manny Sanguillen says:

    I forgot to add another of my favorite riffs, this one from the Bela Lugosi short –
    When Joel says
    “Come on, get into the crawl space you lard butt, what a pain…”


  36. Sitting Duck says:

    Jungle Goddess passes the Bechdel Test. Greta and Wanama go on about the former’s good looks. Also, during the flashback, Greta talks about the outbreak of war in Europe with Helen.

    For the stinger, I’d go with the Dance of Death.

    Not only was the chain of events that led to the car crash a totally absurd deus ex machina, it was also confusingly edited.

    In fact, nothing about this serial installment makes sense. At least Commando Cody was able to be coherent most of the time.

    The first Northwest riff, thus beginning their time as the Official Punching Bag Airline of Best Brains.

    Are Mike and Jim wearing lipstick in Host Segment 3?

    You can tell how dated this is when Joel say that the letters were faxed up.

    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.

    Probably because most of the shorts they used weren’t long enough to fill a whole movie segment.

    Favorite riffs

    Gomer Pyle reporting for duty, Sergeant Carter. Shazam!

    Turn back. We’re over Nebraska.

    Hi, I’m Satan. Enjoy the film.

    “The penalty for murder is the same here as anywhere else.”
    Yeah, plea bargain to a suspended sentence.

    Spread out, Sabu. Three’s a crowd.

    “After considerable red tape…”
    I went on some bombing raids over Central Europe.

    “We have just received word over the wireless that His Majesty’s government has declared war on Germany.”
    So it’s Happy Hour until we land!

    “I figured on seeing Betty and the kids for Christmas.”
    What about your wife?

    “Do they still believe that you’re a goddess?’
    That’s another flashback.


  37. Some Guy says:

    There was never enough Bela Lugosi on MST3k.


  38. Cheapskate Crow says:

    I haven’t seen this one in years but remember it as being pretty good. As a TV Master control operator, I had to see many an infomercial and I thought host segment 1 was pretty good. As for segment 2 and looking like the TV Wheel, I thought the TV Wheel was pretty unfunny too when it aired its one episode.

    The thing that really mystifies me when watching these early season 1 and 2 episodes is their use of movie serials when they needed to fill time. It’s odd that nobody thought to use the ridiculous ’50s shorts sooner that would give the series many of its most iconic moments. As I recall, we don’t see any until season 3.


  39. snowdog says:

    I think this may the first time I’ve seen this particular ep. The host segs all pretty much fell flat for me, although it was nice to finally see the show what started the “Art” gag.

    I didn’t find the movie watchable, so as often happens, I resized the video window and played some games on the side.

    @86: Yep Mike and Jim are definitely wearing lipstick, such a bright color that it’s the first thing you notice about them! Yikes!


  40. pondoscp says:

    Mr. B(ob):
    @ #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.

    Hey, I’m not alone in the MSTie world! Sometimes it feels that way, what with my unusual tastes in episodes.


  41. pondoscp says:

    I also remembered that in the Poopie Parade Of Values, the Brains are back at it parodying Amazing Discoveries again! And thank you Shout!, for finally releasing this early masterpiece of MST3K.


  42. Bruce Boxliker says:

    Not bad. I like the movie better than the biker movies & most of the teen movies. Don’t know why. I like all the host segments, not because they made me laugh, but because they were highly amusing. I’m sure there’s a distinction between the two there somewhere. I thought the riffing was much better than Sidehackers, too.
    Oh, and this morning, I’m moving boxes of donated books around at the library, and I notice a few boxes are from McDonalds, and say ‘French Fried Potatoes’ on them, which of course made me laugh. I’d take a picture, but that’s overly complicated with my non-smartphone.

    If Bela’s plan was to sell his inventions to the evil foreigners all along, why exactly was he working on them in the US, and apparently showing them off to other scientists & government officials?


  43. Cheapskate Crow says:

    @21 and @90: You are definitely not alone, I also think that host segments in the Mike era were generally unfunny and couldn’t hold a candle to what came before.


  44. KidFlash says:

    I also remembered that in the Poopie Parade Of Values, the Brains are back at it parodying Amazing Discoveries again! And thank you Shout!, for finally releasing this early masterpiece of MST3K.

    I really hope Poopie Parade ends up on an official DVD at some point. My DAP copy’s pretty tetchy.


  45. Terry the Sensitive Knight says:

    I dunno, I love this episode myself. I especially like how most of the “African natives” are white as can be, like Wanama Dumb and that guy who says “Fire from long stick. Big noise. Zulo dead”


  46. Cornjob says:

    Did Bob “Your horns are showing” get a mention in the sleaze discussion? Nothing like a homicidal cowardly traitor who doesn’t care if a young lady they set out to rescue is torn apart by angry locals enraged by the murders he committed. Did he wander off the Leach Woman set?

    This and Lost Continent are a double feature of two early favorites. The memories. This is definitely golden age territory we’re in.

    What if Bela Lugosi’s Iron Man robot fought Iron Man from the Black Sabbath Song and the Robert Downy Jr. based super hero on board the Iron Man space capsule from Space Travelers. Rob Zombie has made good use of Lugosi’s robot in cover artwork and videos.

    I remember coming across my first infomercial in the early 90’s. At first I couldn’t believe someone made a TV show about car wax. Then I wondered who the heck would watch a super long commercial that was boring even by the standards of commercials and wasn’t even interrupted by non-commercial breaks.

    I love the witch doctor’s outbursts. He reminds me of someone who can’t stay quiet and keeps continuing to argue his case after the police have shown up and asked him repeatedly to stay quiet so they can listen to someone else.


  47. Blooglspash says:

    Cheapskate Crow:
    It’s odd that nobody thought to use the ridiculous ’50s shorts sooner that would give the series many of its most iconic moments.As I recall, we don’t see any until season 3.

    Not quite. We got X Marks the Spot in 210-King Dinosaur. (Granted that one was from the 40s, but it was the first non-serial short)

    As for this ep, it’s about average for season 2. I do love the scope sketch, though; it’s a great example of Joel’s laid-back, surreal humor.


  48. Cornjob says:

    “He didn’t like smoking his assistant either.”

    “AAAWWWWWW RIIICKY. It turns out I was never funny”


  49. Cornjob says:

    Nice to have the right click function back. Thanks site admins!!


  50. thequietman says:

    This is only the second time I’ve watched this movie. It just seems so dull compared to the ridiculousness of last week’s “Sidehackers”. I wonder if the riffs would have been even more pointed about JG’s racism and misogyny if it had been done a few years later.

    Once again, I’m seeing more classic Hollywood connections as I thought of MGM’s “Trader Horn” from 1931 while watching this. Similar plot elements (explorers find lost white woman living with native tribe), but at least with that movie the wildlife footage was shot specifically for the movie and there were actual location shots with the actors.

    That being said, I remember fondly the “My White Goddess” sketch not only for Joel’s great Gleason impression but for how in the space of about two minutes they nailed every cliche of corny sitcoms.

    Fave Riff:
    Greta: Let’s hear you spell ‘beautiful’.
    Joel: Let’s hear YOU spell ‘patronize’!


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