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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: 204- Catalina Caper

Movie: (1967) Two college boys enjoy Catalina Island sunshine, scuba diving and beach bunnies, while another boy’s con-artist parents scheme to swindle a tycoon.

First shown: 10/13/90
Opening: The bots say their prayers
Invention exchange: The Mads show off their “tank tops”; Joel has invented the tickle bazooka
Host segment 1: Joel vapor-locks as he remembers the ’60s
Host segment 2: Tom sings an ode to the “Creepy Girl”
Host segment 3: TV’s Frank’s Tupperware party doesn’t go well
End: J&tB chart the film and read a letter
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (178 votes, average: 4.42 out of 5)

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• The movie is a real departure for the show: a movie that was actually trying to be funny. While it is not very often successful as a comedy, the Brains discovered the inherent difficulty in riffing this kind of movie. They seldom tried it again, but that extra degree of difficulty is what makes the success of this episode so remarkable. This is a really fun episode. The movie is very watchable and most of the host segments (with one exception) are fun. It’s a winner.
References.
• This episode was included in Rhino’s “Mystery Science Theater 3000 Collection: Vol. 1.”
• Joel’s jumpsuit is bright red this week.
• Frank does what I believe is his first “eyukaeee.”
• During the Mads’ invention exchange, as they are reeling in the target, the rope collapses. They just keep going.
• Joel misquotes Firesign Theatre here. The actual line is “Fun’s where the fair’s at.” I guess he misheard them.
• A little background: Tommy Kirk got his start on TV’s “The Mickey Mouse Club,” “The Hardy Boys” and in several successful films for Disney. His future looked bright until another male teen threatened to publicize their affair. He was quickly dropped by the studio, and was left doing low-end stuff like this.
• Twice, Crow attempts another “By this time, my lungs…” riff, but Joel cuts him off. That’s the kind of show this is: they’ll actively forgo a joke – and then make a joke out of it.
• Joel has a memorable turn in segment one as he drifts off into a reverie about the ’60s. The comment: “People smoked openly on ‘The Tonight Show'” is just one of many gems. I wonder if the writers of “Mad Men” were watching. And Joel, I can relate about Woodstock. I was 11 and nobody was willing to drive me, either.
• Callbacks: “He saw big Jake” (Sidehackers); Hikeeba! (Women of the Prehistoric Planet).
• Kevin really takes off in segment two with the marvelous song, “Creepy Girl.” “C is for that feeling of uncertainty…!” It’s really with this segment that we begin to hear the natural voice of Tom Servo.
• When the Creepy Girl is rescued by Tommy Kirk and runs up by some rocks to put something on, I could swear that’s the same set of rocks as in the similar changing scene from “The Crawling Hand.” But I guess all rocks look alike, more or less.
• The “white male reality/Nazi/apartheid-loving people” jokes start off funny but wear a little thin toward the end. That said, there sure a lot of white people in this movie.
• Unfortunately, segment three, with Frank giving a Tupperware party, is a clunker. Frank commits to the bit, and tries desperately to keep the momentum going, to no avail. I think part of the problem was the presence of Jerry and Sylvia. They’re there so Frank has something to play off of, but they’re just these expressionless lumps and he has nothing to work with. Trace brings the funny at the end, but he can’t save it.
• Joel mentions Crow’s sarcasm sequencer – we’ll get more info on that later.
• The ending segment – charting the film using the structure in Syd Field’s Hollywood bible “Screenplay” – is amusing, mostly for the wacky descriptions of the characters and situations of the movie. But, all-too-typical of season two sketches, it also goes on a little too long for the unsatisfying payoff.
• Joel mentions the “spiral-on-down” in passing. He also uses the word “MSTies” for the first time that I’m aware of.
• This episode would become infamous – and copies of it became collectors items – a few years later, when the rights to the movie expired and Comedy Central found they could no longer legally air it. It was the first movie that happened to, and not the last.
• Incidentally, the historic SS Catalina, seen in early parts of the movie, had a slow, sad decline and in 2009 it was cut up for scrap despite efforts to save it.
• I managed to locate John Gummoe, lead singer/founder of The Cascades, the Beach Boys-lite group that sings “A New World.” I asked him if he remembered anything about making the movie. He said: “Mostly what I remember is that we did NOT want to do this song. It was arranged for us and we had no say-so. Piece of crap, as [MST3K] so aptly pointed out. And the movie was also pretty bad as well.” By the way, that song was written by Ray Davies! Here’s the Kinks’ somewhat mellow version.
• Stinger suggestion: Jim Begg’s “Ya got me!”
• Cast/crew roundup: Cinematographer Ted Mikels is the infamous director of “Girl in Gold Boots.” Makeup man Mark Snegoff was an actor in “Agent for H.A.R.M.” In front of the camera. Robert Donner (I went to his party!) was also in “Agent From H.A.R.M.” Lyle Waggoner also had a small role (probably cut in the MST3K version) in “Women of the Prehistoric Planet.” Tommy Kirk was also in “Village Of The Giants,” as was Jim Begg. And we’ll hear another song by Little Richard in “City Limits.”
• CreditsWatch: It’s no longer “introducing” Frank Conniff, and he and Trace are grouped together as “special guest villians” (STILL misspelled). Audio guy Fred Street appears for the first time. He will do audio off and on for them for many seasons. Jef Maynard listed twice for the last time. Clayton James begins a four-episode stint on hair and makeup. Jerry was played by intern James Smith and Sylvia was played by Robert Czech. The lyrics for “My Creepy Girl” are credited to “The Brains” so I guess it was a group effort. Music, of course, by Mike. There’s also an additional notation: “Additional Special Thanks: Eli Mallon (Koochy-koochy-koo).” Guess he’d just been born. He’ll get some screen time next season.
• Fave riff: “Hey, its Gloria Estefan and the Catalina Deus Ex Sound Machina!” (One of the greatest riffs ever, that’s FIVE JOKES IN 10 WORDS!) Honorable mention: “The youth of today, spent like so many shell casings on the battlefield of love.” Also: “You were great! Now leave – out the back door!’

115 Replies to “Episode guide: 204- Catalina Caper”

  1. Bobby 23-Skidoo says:

    “He’s so hopped up I think he’s thinking he’s at the Apollo”. Little Richard sure was a portable pharmacy in this movie.

       6 likes

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

    did I mention that there were drugs back then ?

    5 stars all the way. But hard for me to be objective, of course part of the first DVD 4 pack, so I have watched this one a lot over many years. Its an old friend.

    Stellar work. A list of favorite riffs would simply be a transcript of the ep. As dark and harsh as Sidehackers was, Catalina Caper is bright and gentle..

    I love the white male reality jokes…. I wonder why so many people are uptight about these ? They are the perfect comment for these situations.

    The Tupperware bit is kind of the low point, but of course Creepy Girl and Joel’s 60s rant are carved on the granite walls of eternity.

    They’re standing 4 abreast ( sorry ). I love it when they apologize for jokes.

    … and of course, a man who smokes more than Edward R Murrow and Lillian Hellman combined.

       10 likes

  3. FRANKENFORCER says:

    would put FIRST! but I think Daniel Tosh has had the fonal say on that phenomenon.

    I love this episode. I will put it on for no reason other that I love the movie and the riffing makes it even better. Love their reaction to the close up of the cute brunette dancer during Little Richards “scuba Party” fantastic and always leaves me laughing.

    I’ll say it before I’ll say it again, even subpar 60’s music is still good to listen to. And Scuba Party showed me one thing. Little Richard can make any song great. Heck I find myself singing it time and again without realizing. It’s fun, it’s sappy, it’s a party… scuba party.

    Tommy Kirk was a talented kid and always wondered why he disappeared. a sad casualty due to bigotrya nd that’s sad. But all in all great ep. great movie and I to cringe and the flatness of the tupperware set. It is the best example of the fickle nature of humor. Frank is at his best, Trace is fantastic, the idea seems sound. But the scene falls flat and that is putting it nicely. No reason why it doesn’t work, it just doesn’t.

    Now I’m going to steal something wet, which I understand you’re never supposed to do that.

       3 likes

  4. FRANKENFORCER says:

    One other thing that I have to mention. I’m fascinated with Season 2 for the most part because of the growth of Kevin into Tom Servo. His false deep voice in these episodes is hard to hear and is definitely off putting.

    He also in this epiode has the worst riff unfortunately. The Love Boat riff, just sticks out like a sore thumb to me for some reason, normally bad riffs don’t stick out and stay memorable to me, but that one does.

       1 likes

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

    ( oh while I’ve got your attention… I know this is not the place… I was thinking abotu this last night watching CatCap…. a general MISTY internal reality question : Joel can’t control where the movie begins and ends, because he used those special parts to build his robot friends… so he COULD control the movies BEFORE he built the robots ? seems a little too sporting of the Mads… )

       1 likes

  6. Dan in WI says:

    It’s been pointed out many times that this is the only time the brains attempted to riff an intentional comedy. As such I like to place this episode in the same category as 1009 Hamlet they were both departure experiments in riffing things that don’t lend themselves to riffing. Now this thought begs a couple questions:
    1. Which experiment is more successful? In my book neither are great but I’ll go with Hamlet if I have to choose one.
    2. Which came first? Catalina Caper or the rule of thumb not to riff intentional comedies?

    We get a riff early on about the Higgens Boys & Gruber. He would figure into the Cinematic Titanic live show years later.

    What’s the deal with the Creepy girl riffs? I actually find her attractive.

    This movie features many unfunny pratfalls yet the only “Hikeba” we get is during “Ed Bagely Jr’s” bad dancing. Explain that one to me.

    Favorite Riffs:
    Tom “I’m William Conrad for First Alert. When you’re heading down to the refrigurator and the power goes out…” (I think there might be an invention somewhere in that riff…)

    Larry is carrying the cane and Tom says “I got your stick Mr. Luther.”

       2 likes

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

    Daninwi @6: creepy deosn’t have to mean ugly, it can mean mysterious, frightening, dangerous…

       4 likes

  8. Dark Grandma of Death says:

    Catalina Caper is one of my favorite go-to episodes for those days when I’m feeling nostalgic. The movie itself has that early ’60s, everything-is-sunny feel, and Host Segments 1 and 2 are a couple of the best they ever did (though Segment 3 was easily the worst).

    I never realized, until my husband pointed it out recently, that the awful song performed by the Cascades, “There’s a New World,” was in fact written by Ray Davies of The Kinks, and that there’s a Kinks version on Youtube. The Kinks version is much better than the one in Catalina Caper, but it’s still an awful song (sorry, Ray).

    During the discussion of Sidehackers, pondoscp mentioned that “It contains all the promise of what the show would fulfill in the years to come. The only other episode that comes close to this pure and innocent vibe is Catalina Caper. But that one’s not nearly as funny; it’s just very soothing instead.”

    While I partly disagree (Catalina Caper is far funnier, to me), pondoscp is absolutely right about the vibe. There’s such a sense of gleeful pleasure in their riffing that makes this one work.

       5 likes

  9. EmSpeaks says:

    This is a fun episode, but not a favorite. Tom’s “Creepy Girl” song is by far the best part. I don’t watch it often anymore since I overplayed it after getting the first DVD box set.

    Unlike most other MST movies, I find “Catalina Caper” rather painful because I feel SO EMBARRASSED for every single cast member. With most MST movies, I usually just feel that way for one or two people involved, rather than the entire cast. Is it because, with “Catalina Caper,” there’s also the knowledge that they’re trying to be funny and failing so miserably? Hmm…

    Also, I hate the music in this movie, truly I do. Forunately, “Creepy Girl” makes any painful moment completely worth it.

       1 likes

  10. Kenotic says:

    I remember when I first watched this and saw the WB logo pop up at the start. My roommate said “Woah, it’s a real movie this time!” At least it’s the first with people I’d heard of.

    I also remember that this movie had the most incomprehensible plot. Others were confusing, many pointless, but this one tried way too many things and flopped. I also don’t remember being as annoyed with the characters as I was in this movie…until “Hobgoblins” at least.

    But hey, there is a vacant-looking Little Richard singing with a band more apropos to Pat Boone. That’s a plus.

       1 likes

  11. Mr. B(ob) says:

    @ “The ending segment — charting the film using the structure in Syd Field’s Hollywood bible “Screenplay” — is amusing, mostly for the wacky descriptions of the characters and situations of the movie. But, typical of season two, it also goes on a little too long for the unsatisfying payoff.”

    I’m really going to have to vehemently disagree with that comment. I’ve seen this type of comment several times in the main topic recently and I guess it’s just a matter of differing taste. Let me state emphatically that this host segment and those of its type are some of my absolute favorites. This one in particular builds to a wonderful little comedy crescendo and the payoff is HUGE! I absolutely love it. Honestly, I don’t see how any MSTie could not love the punchline at the end of this one. When Joel loses his cool and pops the chart over the heads of the ‘Bots it slays me every time.

    This whole episode is just terrific. The movie is goofy lighthearted fare and the jokes fly fast and furious. Tom Servo singing Creepy Girl is one of the greatest host segments of all time, but then ALL of the host segments in this episode are big winners for me. The Tank Tops, the Tupperware party with the sinister use of the melon-baller call-back at the end of the show, everything about this show has a great comedy pay-off. Love it from beginning to end.

    “The youth of today, spent like so many shell casings on the battlefield of love.” has always been a favorite riff for me, so I’m in agreement there with the comments at top.

       4 likes

  12. Matt Sandwich says:

    We’ve all said this at some point, but the ill will directed at this episode just baffles me. I absolutely, positively LOVE this one.

    The line “Heir to the _____ fortune,” still runs through my mind, though I say it out loud less than I used to. “Just yell, just call for the Turtle Boy,” and “He’s the top-olis!” come to mind as other memorable lines.

    And although the Brains obviously said that it was hard to riff intentional comedies… well, maybe this episode just shows how hard they worked at it, because it works brilliantly. Naturally, it helps that the comedy is terribly unfunny, as with Angels’ Revenge or Hobgoblins. But the movie itself is such a great little time capsule that I find it irresistible. (And as I’ve mentioned before with the ‘youth movies’ they riffed, not so much an actual glimpse at youth culture as a look at how a group of old white guys figured they could separate youth from their money.)

    And as with the previous ep’s infomercial bit, I also love the Tupperware party. Again, I find the DIY feel of it quite charming–gaffes, uncooperative props and all– and for me it showcases Frank’s love of the so-unfunny-it’s-funny concept. Deliberately stale ‘classic’ comedy bits delivered with complete conviction were one of the things I loved so much about these early shows and especially TV’s Frank. A number of people watching with me back in the day thought differently (and obviously many still do), but hey– more comedy for me.

       5 likes

  13. Tork_110 says:

    I loved this episode as a kid, but when I got the Rhino VHS tape it didn’t hold up as well. I think it’s because going back to Tom’s early voice was a bit of a shock. Man, there were a couple times I wanted to punch Kevin in the face during that episode. I’ll show you a promo! :reallypissed:

    I still find it funny when they make the “owie owie” noises whenever anybody in the movie runs on the hot streets barefoot.

       0 likes

  14. MC says:

    The Brains didn’t do many intentional comedies, but they definitely did more than one. Off the top of my head I immediately thought of Wild Wild World of Batwoman and Hobgoblins, and someone else mentioned Angel’s Revenge.

       1 likes

  15. Matt Sandwich says:

    @14: MC, I completely forgot about Batwoman, and Village of the Giants came to mind after I posted my comment. Hardly a significant number of intentional comedies given the total number of episodes, but I don’t think of any of these episodes as duds, of ‘awkward’ in any way.

    But I realize I might be in the minority. Catalina Caper and Batwoman both seem to take a lot of flak, though I’m very, very partial to both of them.

       3 likes

  16. dafs says:

    I gotta confess, I’ve always kinda liked “A New World” as its performed in the movie, and being a Kinks fan I feel vindicated. However, I did check it out on Youtube, and the Kinks version is definitely better.

       3 likes

  17. Sitting Duck says:

    I’m not a medium, I’m a petite #2: I love the white male reality jokes. I wonder why so many people are uptight about these? They are the perfect comment for these situations.

    Well the ones made in this episode have considerably more bile than is usual when they mock the whiteness of a movie they’re watching. Plus the majority of said riffs were bunched together which further emphasized them. Consider the following:

    These Klan meetings have really lightened up.

    It’s to raise money for the National Front.

    It’s the Keep Mandela in Prison dance.

    They want to play Sun City, I guess.

    P.W. Botha, back in office.

    Perhaps the presence of Little Richard enhanced said whiteness for them. Perhaps there was some leftover White Guilt from Jungle Goddess. In all probability it’s a combination of the two.

       2 likes

  18. monoceros4 says:

    I don’t think I’ve ever gotten all the way through this one, not after two tries. It’s not compelling TV. I should give it another chance but every time I think of putting it on I think better (or worse) of it. The atmosphere of failed whimsy just chokes the life out of everything.

       1 likes

  19. Dan in WI says:

    medium/petite #7> Understood. But frightening and dangerous are not things I find attractive. Not sure on the connection between mysterious and creepy.

       0 likes

  20. Johnny Ryde says:

    Two words: Fingers O’Toole…

    I really like this episode. I like the strange little universe that this movie exists in, where women will — en mass — take offense to something and storm away, and men — en mass — will stomp after them. And apart from the “Never Steal Anything Wet” title song, I sort of like the songs in the movie too. It’s a very… pleasant movie, which makes for a fun episode.

    > Frank does what I believe is his first “eyukaeee.”

    Is this *from* anything? I always thought it might be from a cartoon, but I could never put my finger on the origin.

       3 likes

  21. Wretched. Vomitable. 1 star.

       1 likes

  22. Brandon says:

    204- Catalina Caper.

    Plot: Some sailor guy tries to steal some scroll. meanwhile beach dances and musical numbers pad out the rest of the film. Running gag of some dorky cop trying to spy on all the characters. Stars Tommy Kirk, Del Moore, Robert Donner, and LITTLE RICHARD!

    Host Segments:
    Opening: The Bots send their prayers to many other robots including R2-D2 and RoboCop.
    Invention Exchange: Tank Tops, Tickle Bazooka
    Segment 1: Joel explains the 60s.
    Segemnt 2: Servo sings, “Creepy Girl”.
    Segment 3: Frank’s tupperware party.
    Closing: Joel explains the movie.

    Memorable riffs:
    Joel: “Jacques Cousteau meets the Pink Panther.”

    Joel: “Heyy… nice railing.”

    Guy: “Let’s dig Little Richard, really turn it on!”
    Crow: “Little Richard? I hate impressionists!”
    Servo: “No, you’re thinking of Rich Little.”

    (guy dances wildly)
    Joel: “Is there a history of epilepsy in your family?”

    Crow: “Little Richard, the only genuine talent in this film.”

    Scuba Diver: “Bottoms up!”
    Crow: “He’s always saying that. We don’t know why.”

    Crow: “Wet Side Story!”

    Crow: “Hey, she lost the bone in her neck!”

    Crow: “He’s kinda caught between a rock and a hard pl–”
    *Servo coughs*

    Del: “They should be coming up soon.”
    Crow: “What, our lunch?”

    Fav. Riff:
    Servo (singing): “There’s a concept, it’s called harmonyyyyyy.”

    Comments:
    -Katrina, aka, Creepy Girly, kinda makes me think she could pass off as a young Rhea Perlman.

    -I’m watching this episode on a DVD-ROM, and with the screen enlarged, I just now noticed that the shadowrama is cut off on the right side of the screen. It looks quite jarring.

    -The way Del Moore speaks, I can’t help but think of Paul Lynde.

    -Throughout this episode, Crow keeps trying to throw in the “By this time my lungs were aching for air.” A throwback to 201- Rocketship XM. A reference to Lloyd Bridges.

    -This movie is billed as a comedy, but to be honest, there really aren’t any funny bits in it. The only intentionally funny moments are Robert Donner’s scenes. The rest, just seem like regular beach scenes.

    -Depending on whenever that bozo sent Kevin that “I HATE TOM SERVO’S NEW VOICE!” banner, I’m sure he had to have felt like eating crow (bird crow, not robot Crow) after hearing the Creepy Girl song. Now Josh was great and all, and I like his Servo voice, but there’s just no way he could have pulled off the Creepy Girl song the way Kevin does.

    -About 56 minutes in, Crow asks what happend to the treasure hunt, and Joel informs him that the movie’s only “half over” and maybe they’ll get back to it. Actually, by this time the movie’s about a third of the way over.

    -Carol Conners is the worst lip-syncher I’ve ever seen in my life.
    [ADDITIONAL NOTE: But, she is damn hot-looking.]

    -What kind of name is “Fingers O’Toole”? Really.

    Best Segment: “Creepy Giiiiirl. Won’t you be mi-i-ine? I’ll give you scrolls and fish and tinkertoys, and wi-i-ii-ne!”
    Worst segment: Segment 3 is REALLLLLLL-LLLLLY baaaaaaad. One of only a few MST3K segments that just isn’t worth your time watching.

    Overall: A pretty good episode, with a fairly watchable movie. Good riffing, and some nice host segments. Rating: ***

       0 likes

  23. Has anyone ever watched this unriffed? I never have but appreciate that Rhino used to include the originals in these early DVD releases. Seems like something the film licensors would appreciate. And while I agree that MST tackling comedies is a bit redundant, I feel it works out fine in this case.

    • Joel sports a red jumpsuit.

    • Twiki gets a mention in the Bot’s prayers, only at Joel’s insistence.

    • Joel: Hey, get the funk out of my face – 70’s song by The Brothers Johnson

    The Boatniks – there are are couple of refs to this 1970 Disney movie. From the trailers it looks pretty similar to this film.

    • Servo: One for “the little girl who lives down the lane.”
    Crow: Jodie Foster? (a film from 1976 starring Foster)

    • Tina: We’ll try to make your summer as eventful as possible.
    Joel: Oh WOW. (Joel has said this a number of times before but here it is particularly apt)

    • Servo’s “Creepy Girl” song is an instant classic: Kevin’s first home-run host segment.

    • Crow: Lyrics by Aldous Huxley (The Ray Davies song “There Is A New World Opening For Me” – sung in the movie with weird harmonies by The Cascades – is available on The Kinks box-set Picture Book. Sounds like a demo)

    • Tina (while every male stares at Ulla Strömstedt): Are you coming Don, or not?
    Crow: (instead of uttering a response, he just turns to look at Joel)

    • Servo: Look, it’s Dino, Desi & Billy (Sampo linked to AnnotatedMST.com above which gives a good explanation of this riff, among many others)

    • Dr. F is eating Frank’s gouged-out eyeball at the end. Creepy…

    • Michael Blodgett (Bob Draper, one of the seamen) is credited as choreographer. Check him out in 70’s cult classics Beyond the Valley of the Dolls and The Velvet Vampire.

    • Though uncredited, future supermodel Cheryl Tiegs is in this, I swear. Tall blonde with a bob haircut, wearing a one-piece blue swimsuit. End credits say: “Swimsuits designed by Cole of California – Modeled by the Adrian Teen Models” (a.k.a. the William Adrian Agency who claim Tiegs as one of their discoveries)

    Probably a 3 star episode. Starts out strong then limps to an end, with perhaps too much repetition of similar jokes. Good bits with the Mad’s though, starting a whole new era depicting domestic life in Deep 13. BUT I’m upping my grade to a 4 due to nostalgia and the sheer pleasure I always get from it: I feel like I’m going on a virtual vacation whenever I put it on, and Tommy Kirk helped me “to laugh about love again” during some dark times in my life. Plus, I like the songs, “Book of Love” in particular.

       1 likes

  24. TV's Corkey says:

    This is my all-time favorite episode, Mitchell being a close second. I’m a sucker for those crappy beach party/ spring break movies of the early sixties, so this is right up my alley. I agree that a couple of segments could have been better, but the opening, Joel’s description of the 60’s, and the movie itself are pure gold. Besides, who can resist Tom’s “Creepy Girl” serenade?

    Daddy Duval to his son, Tad: “Take an asprin, son.”
    Joel: “Take a whole box.”

    “I have to go polish my suit!”

    Bunny: “Down, boy! You’ve got the wrong sport!”
    Don Pringle: “When does it become the right sport?”
    Tom Servo: “When ESPN merges with the Playboy channel!”

    The Creepy Girl Song: “I’ll give you scrolls and fish and tinker toys and wine.”

       5 likes

  25. Rob says:

    Firstly, let me say I was surprised at how much I enjoyed watching this. I didn’t get into MST3K until it moved to Sci-Fi and it wasn’t until the advent of YouTube that I was able to watch episodes from the rest of the series. I didn’t think they riffed movies that were so light and comedic in tone, but I think they pulled it off. Oh and I agree about the “white supremacist” riffs, they start right at the beginning of the movie and are overused I would. It’s not that the jokes aren’t humorous, but I think jokes like those are best used sparingly.

       1 likes

  26. toot-toottoot-toot says:

    The most fun episode of the series up to this point! Fun movie, fun riffs, Jim Backus-isms…what’s there not to like? This is probably my favorite episode of season 2…Kevin Murphy really takes off with the Creepy Girl bit. 4 stars out of 5!

    I would like to point out (not to start debate) that, while Kevin Murphy is one of the funniest dudes around and a legendary riffer, he did have a few crutches in the theater as Servo in season 2. Does anyone else get majorly annoyed after awhile at his constant “hmmm”s and “huh”s during movies, especially the later Godzilla films? He stops doing this later on when he REALLY hit his stride and became an awesome riffer. Just an opinion/observation.

       1 likes

  27. Cheapskate Crow says:

    This is one of the classics, 5 stars easily for the reasons and riffs everyone mentioned. I also don’t know why Sampo thinks season 2 host segments go on too long, I think they are great for the most part. Also a comment @20:

    > Frank does what I believe is his first “eyukaeee.”

    >> Is this *from* anything? I always thought it might be from a cartoon, but I could never put my finger on the origin.

    I asked Frank about this at a CT meet and greet and he says he was on drugs when he came up with it. I think he just couldn’t remember :)

       2 likes

  28. Fred Burroughs says:

    I remember Tommy Kirk as an effective ‘earnest everyman’ kind of character as a child actor; how anyone thought he was an appealing male lead is beyond my powers. Maybe because his vehicles were all so completely lame (like Catalina).
    This one (CC) is so sunny and funny it’s often on my watch list. maybe because I waited so long to get a copy. However, some parts are so bad it’s difficult to watch; esp. the music, Little Richard, white people dancing, Ouch! make it stop. I have a reaction a little like Servo’s in Spider Island: too much cleavage and leering, It’s beginning to gross me out.

    And: thanks for clearing up the “Casey Adams” quip, I was confused about that, I remember him from “16 candles” but I didn’t think he was that fey to play our Fey Yachtsman. This brand of ..ahem.. “comedy” and ‘Laugh-in’ are some very good reasons why we are glad the 60s are over.

    So just to re=cap: Del Moore is NOT Casey Adams, Merritt Stone is NOT Gene Roth, and Dale Burke was NOT in a Palmolive commercial, but rather Grape-nuts.

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  29. Tom Carberry says:

    This is my favorite episode of the second season. BBI did a brillant job on this one. Having been over to Catalina Island many times over the years, I still recognize most of the places used in the filming (despite the fact that the pier and beach scenes were actually near Santa Monica–Avalon Bay has only a very small strip of “beach”). Favorite line (Tom Servo turns around to the audience while Little Richard is performing) and says, “Prince, I hope you’re watching this”.

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  30. Fred Burroughs says:

    Also, you must mention if only for morbidly trivial curiosity that Carol Connors, who sings “the Book of Love” in Catalina Caper, she wrote the theme from Rocky “Gonna Fly Now.” (?) She also sang “To know know know him” with the Teddy Bears, and dated David Janssen and Elvis, among others. She also was once caught in an elevator with Fidel Castro and Che Guevara. really.

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  31. MWH80 says:

    This is a guilty pleasure of mine as much as Village of the Giants is. Maybe it’s the…camerawork.(“Well, there’s, nothing we can really say about that, is there?” “At least not during Family hour.” )

    And like every teen movie, there’s some little tongue in cheek humor about girls and their measurements, as spouted by Mr Kirk (‘But I never saw so many trying to cover so much with so little success’ ).

    Of course, Kevin’s work making Servo go ga-ga over ‘The Creepy Girl’ helps make this a memorable film to me. I have to give Frank an ‘E for effort’ with his tupperware party, though that sketch just feels like a lite beer.

    One of the quips I love is Joel’s ‘The would make playground equipment out of stainless steel and haul it up onto asphalt.’ There was equipment like that in my neighborhood in the early 80’s when I was a boy…and boy did that thing heat up in the summer time. I scraped my knee on the asphalt a few times as well.

    On another note, I went to Catalina Island a few years ago, though stayed mum about what I saw regarding CC, and was trying to find little references to the film, but much of the thoroughfare has changed. The dock the boat pulls into is long gone, and boats now arrive in a new location. I did find a Catalina Island shirt with the boat that took Tommy and his friend over, and picked that up. I wore it to Cinematic Titanic a year or two ago.

    I sometimes toy with the idea of creating a fanpage for Catalina Caper like my Village of the Giants page, or at least toying with transcribing the film and the riffing.

    One final note: while some of the film takes place on Catalina, they also filmed off the California coastline for some shots, like the boat party or when Tommy gives the Creepy Girl his jacket when she loses her top.

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  32. Creeping Terror says:

    Well, I’m clearly out of the mainstream on this episode. I find it appallingly boring and unfunny… with the exception of Joel’s rant on the ’60s. There are several jokes that are really just the same joke retold several times (Backus, white supremacy, Mormons, etc.), and while the Brains often pulled that off well, I just don’t think ANY of these running jokes work in this episode. I also feel like there are some state park-ish jokes out there (like pointing out Little Richard’s OBVIOUS disconnect from reality).

    I rarely revisit this episode and it was painful for me to watch it in preparation for this week’s discussion. There are several Season 1 and 2 eps that get more play time than this one (“First Spaceship on Venus,” “The Crawling Hand,” etc).

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  33. MSTie says:

    I’ve always found this one hilarious. Maybe it’s because I lived through the ’60s and remember the real happy-go-lucky tripe that was all those “Beach Blanket Bingo”-type movies. I think the riffs really spotlight the absurdity of so much white-bread, white teen culture. Or maybe I’m just overthinking everything. The “Creepy Girl” song is right up there with “Where Oh Werewolf.”

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  34. Matthew Shine says:

    Another fantastic episode that, for me, proves that you CAN riff a comedy on the condition that the comedy has to be SO unfunny that you fill in the gap for the movie. For further research on this comical phenomenon, see Bio-Dome, Chairman of The Board and anything with the words _______ Movie in it.
    MY CREEPY GIRL! I’LL GIVE YOU TINKER TOYS AND FISH AND SCROLLS AND WINE! IF YOU’D BE MINE BEFORE MOVIE SIGN!

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  35. Sampo says:

    Thanks to Finnias Jones for the reminder about Joel’s jumpsuit. Now added.

    One other thing this episode reminded me of: A MSTie pal of mine once placed a newspaper personal ad that read: “Creepy girl: Won’t you by mine? I’ll give you scrolls and fish and tinker toys and wine.” It didn’t work.

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  36. Joseph Nebus says:

    @10 Kenotic:

    I also remember that this movie had the most incomprehensible plot. Others were confusing, many pointless, but this one tried way too many things and flopped. I also don’t remember being as annoyed with the characters as I was in this movie…until “Hobgoblins” at least.

    Incomprehensible? There are a couple plot points that get lost between the film’s general sloppiness and the riffing going on top of it, but it seems pretty straightforward, at least for this kind of silly beach movie. The big plot line:

    Dad and Mom Felony steal a valuable scroll from the Bill Keane Collection, which they’re to sell to Vaguely European Bad Guy. But they plan to double-cross him, showing the scroll (put in the first tube) and then selling him a fake (in the second tube) made by Allen Sherman.

    Vaguely European Bad Guy plans to get the scroll for nothing by sending muggers out to sea to get it from the Felonies. During the scuffle — where Tommy Kirk (and I think the Brains missed an easy riff by not matching him to Wesley Crusher) and other teen show up for that little fight — the real scroll accidentally goes overboard.

    So: Dad and Mom Felony get Tommy Kirk and the Teen Gang to search the sea for the real scroll by hosting a “scavenger hunt” where cash prizes are given for various finds, all but the real scroll things which they toss overboard to make the game look real. While the real scroll is found Vaguely European Bad Guy is sending thugs off to wrestle it away.

    Therefore: Tommy Kirk and the gang put on a little show to make Vaguely European Bad Guy steal the fake scroll while believing he’s stealing the real one; this is that big thing at the end where Allan Sherman sits on the pier waving the scroll around until he gets chased and there’s all sorts of running around after that.

    Beaten, Vaguely European Bad Guy sails off, and the fake-ness of the scroll means that Fingers O’Toole, Pratfall Division can’t take the Felonies into custody. Tommy Kirk sneaks the real scroll back into the museum.

    Meantime, Creepy Girl is wooed away from one of Vaguely European Bad Guy’s underlings by Tommy Kirk, who I don’t think knows of the connections involved here.

    Add some music and season to taste.

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  37. MPSh says:

    To be fair to Ray Davies, his version of “It’s a New World” was much better. It’s really not too bad a song as illustrated here:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uuYLSv-Upyk

    Also, do you think the put in all those Robert Donner pratfalls to make the rest of the cast look smart in comparison? Oh, Exidor….

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  38. Johnny Ryde says:

    For some reason the Del Moore character constantly reminds me of Milton Berle, but no one ever comments on that so it may just be my overactive imagination…

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  39. Smoothie of Great Power says:

    This was an episode that grew on me. I first saw it when I was in my mid-teens and really didn’t get a lot of it. But now that I’m older, have seen more movies, and understand more obscure jokes, it’s not that bad.

    On a side note, I was quite excited to see Del Moore guest star in an episode of the original Addams Family when I watched the DVD collection of it.

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  40. JJK says:

    This episode is one I changed my mind on. The first time I saw it I didn’t like it all, mostly because up to then the movies were Sci Fi/Horror and this didn’t seem to fit the show. After seeing it a few times in recent years, I find it a pretty funny episode. Even the silly movie has some good parts(60’s babes in bikini’s doesn’t hurt).

       4 likes

  41. Probably my personal favorite Joel episode. This or MASTER NINJA, but I’m leaning more towards this one. I first saw this one years ago when my brother bought the Volume 1 DVD collection. I honestly don’t think he’s ever actually finished watching this episode. He couldn’t get through it. I actually have a soft spot for these 1960’s beach films. Some decent music, too. Great color, and lots of beautiful women. Shame MST3K never riffed anymore “comedies”.

       1 likes

  42. Fred Burroughs says:

    BTW, if you meet a nice girl on a cruise that starts to talk about her imagined world of undersea friends, RUN AWAY. Lyle Waggoner is the least of your concerns. I still can’t believe that Prehistoric Planet had Lyle Waggoner..in addition to Gavin Mcleod and Stuart Margolin…wow.

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  43. This is one of my favorite episodes. I especially love the running gag with Lakopolis – “He’s the top-olis”, “Because he’s unscrop-ulous” – they could have done that even more and I would have loved it.
    I also like the Tupperware sketch. It was the first time (or nearly) that we saw Frank’s sheepish, embarrassed shtick, and I loved it.
    Five stars all the way.

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  44. Spector says:

    I agree with Sampo, it’s how the Brains riffed on this lame comedy which makes it worthwhile. Definitely one of the best episodes of Season Two, with solid riffing throughout plus very good host segments (loved the Mads “Tank Tops” ). They’re at their best riffing over the song and dance numbers, especially when Little Richard does his bit, and Joel says he sees a certain young singer hopped up on goofballs, while Crow says he hopes Prince is watching this. Hilarious! Four of five.

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  45. JCC says:

    As a minority, I enjoy Whitey getting his as much as the next person, but yeah, they definitely overdid it in this episode.

    I love this experiment though. I didn’t get to see it until Rhino released it but it was worth the wait. The 60’s sketch may be my favorite Joel sketch. Plenty of great riffs, my two favorite being the “bright young singer hopped up on goofballs”(this always gets a big reaction when I’ve screened this episode) and the “I’m 60, and I’m still rocking!”

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  46. Ator In Flight says:

    One of the first episodes I watched and it holds up for me. Joel’s “flashback” has to be one of my favorite host segments. Also a pretty good naughty riff,between a rock and a hard place.

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

    JoNebus @36.

    well done, but I believe that it is Mrs Felony that creates the fake scroll, not Allan Sherman.

    ( and yes, Wesley Crusher was a missed riffop )

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  48. Kouban says:

    “Del Moore is NOT the similar-looking Casey Adams of episode 409-THE INDESTRUCTIBLE MAN, as Dr. F says in that episode. That was a boo-boo by the Brains.”

    And they went through so many outtakes of Trace doing an impression of the guy, too! What a shame.

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  49. Mac aka:afriendlychicken says:

    I’m not sure if I should be embarrassed by this, but I kind of like the Tupperware segment. Not necessarily as comedy, because it isn’t very funny, but for the character development of our lovable TV’s Frank. There he is, a new worker trying hard to fit in and impress his boss who he hopes will also be his new friend, but failing oh so miserably. I feel so sorry for him every time I see it. Of course, the Brains may never have meant the segment to be about character development and it’s just a bad skit, but I’d like to think that just maybe they had that in mind.

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  50. Alex says:

    I’ve watched this film on its own, and I’m just thinking “What the hell is going on???”.

    Overall, this is a pretty decent episode. Good riffing, good host segments.

    “MYYYYY…. Creepy giiiirrllll…..”

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