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SCI FI ARCHIVES


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

MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000
THE UNOFFICIAL EPISODE GUIDE


SEASON THREE: 1991-1992

Featuring the comments and observations of Chris "Sampo" Cornell.

Thanks to Liz Owen for her observations.
Thanks to SirSTACK for the missing airdates.

301- CAVE DWELLERS

First shown: 6/1/91.
Opening: J&TB consider new names.
Invention exchange: Smoking jacket, robotic arm wrestling.
Host segment 1: Reenacting the half-screen slo-mo credits.
Host segment 2: Giving extraordinary names to ordinary things.
Host segment 3: Foley demontration by Joel.
End: J&TB rail against the movie, the Mads are delighted.
Stinger: "Thong! The fish is ready!"

Comments and observations:

  • It was with this episode that the real heyday of the series began, and many of the catchphrases that would become synonymous with it are on display, including  "...later...later...," "bite me, it's fun!" "It's not a comic book, it's a graphic novel!" "they're kinda dumb; and easy to kill," and "Go to bed, old man!"
  • One of the first things Joel says is: "Looks like we're back on, everybody!" implying that there's been some sort of break in communication. Dr. F. adds to the premise when he appears. The first thing he asks is: "How did you fare going through the asteroid belt?" Then, nothing more is made of it. One of those pointless little backstories that made the show so quirky.
  • That's intern Christopher Wurst as the moleman Gerry, refereeing the robot arm wrestling. Jerry and Sylvia would never be seen again.
  • Joel is up out of his seat a lot in this one, rubs Ator's pecs, trying to read the giant book and doing the "slow it down" stretching motion during the slow dialog.
  • Oddest non-sequitur: Joel says "and...bring me the head of Gallagher!" apropos of nothing on the screen.
  • Callbacks: In one shot of a desert, we get the riff: "Welcome to Death Valley Days. The driver is either missing or he's dead!" said in a Ronald Reagan voice. This is a reference to a moment in the "Phantom Creeps" short in Episode 205- Rocket Attack USA, when a character says, "the driver is gone or he's hiding" in a very Ronald Reagan-like voice, which prompted a "Welcome to Death Valley Days" reference. Some fans came to believe that "The driver is either missing or he's dead" was something that Ronald Reagan actually was known for saying. Not true.
  • Also: The riff "Pyuma?!" is a reference to a moment early in episode 206- Ring of Terror.
  • Also: "I say it's foggy!" is a reference to the first piece of dialog in episode 101- The Crawling Eye.
  • Clever but now-terribly-dated riff: As the cave man eats human heart: "I wanna Barney Clark bar!" Now largely forgotten, in 1983 Clark was the first person to receive a permanent, implanted artificial heart, he lived 112 days.
  • Vaguely dirty riff: "It's speedy delivery guy and has he got a package!"
  • Great wordplay: "I think it's the kurds." "And whey?" "Yes, way!"
  • Goof: Crow's mouth accidentally moves for a moment while TV's Madam is yelling.
  • Best riff: "Gomez! I've invented the wheel!!"
  • Tom's little "Ator's kite" song is great, and Joel's little harmony at the end really makes it charming.
  • I just love that face Joel pulls at the beginning of that final host segment.

302- GAMERA

First shown: 6/8/91.
Opening: Tom leads warmup exercises.
Invention exchange: Endless salad bar, bird cage vacuum.
Host segment 1: Song: "Tibby."
Host segment 2: Crow and Tom hate Kenny but Joel suggests a positive outlook.
Host segment 3: The bots are playing beauty salon when Gamera visits on the Hexfield.
End: Another look at the cast of the film, letter.
Stinger: Eskimo says: "Bye..."

Comments and observations:

  • With this episode, season three begins its odd see-saw rhythm, first a Japanese import, than an American film (mostly classic 50s sci-fi), then back to a Japanese import and so forth.
  • Crow makes a bad pun about midway through the movie, and Joel casually rips Crow's arm off and tosses it across the theater!! He doesn't even let Crow retrieve it at the end of the segment! Later, he does it again! Yikes! He's so strict!
  • What causes him to do it a second time is when Gamera is being blasted off against his will, and Crow says, mockingly "Hey Joel, remind you of anything?" He and Tom then begin singing the opening theme song! This seems to enrage Joel. 
  • Joel is carrying a soda can during Tom's song. That's weird enough, but toward the end of the song, he makes this odd gesture over Tom's head, like he's catching something invisible. No idea what that's about.
  • Mike is hilarious as a smarmy Gamera: "You'd know about pain--you've seen Spaulding Gray."
  • Following the song, back in the theater, Crow mercilessly pummels Tom with Tibby jokes and then Joel joins in, upsetting Tom so much he tries to leave--and he runs left! Where does he think he's going?
  • Tom's hand is clearly taped to his head in the last segment, and he even yells "Yowch!" when Joel pulls it off.
  • Did anybody ever send relies to "Kenny! What Gives?" If so, apparently they weren't funny enough to be included in a later show. In fact, there were several contests like this in Season 3, and we never seemed to get any of the responses.
  • Kim Catrall gets a brief mention! Perhaps the earliest notice of her.
  • Goof: Tom Servo mentions Kenny's rocks before the "Kenny's rocks" scene in the movie. A lot of times they do a host segment that might have been more effective if it appeared later in an episode, after whatever they're referencing takes place in the movie. This is one of those. They've watched the movie nine times and they've lost track of when stuff happens.
  • Now dated riff: Tom does a Robin Leach impression--at the time his show, "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous" was all the rage. It's largely forgotten now.
  • Also: Crow notes that the other international leaders are likely to listen to Japan "since you own their countries." It's been quite a while since the notion of the Japanese having so much money they're buying up everything has been current.
  • Joel does plenty more interacting with the screen, including trying to turn the ship's wheel, plays with the knobs on the radar box and peeking over the edge of an ice crevass. Crow joins in, getting ready to bite a guy's sport jacket button until Tom sees him and says "Crow..."
  • The next episode, "Pod People," is famous for its "Chief? McCloud!" riffs, but did you catch the one here? "Goodbye, Chief." "Goodbye, McCloud."
  • Best riff: "Oh...this is Pearl Harbor...how'd THAT get in here?..."

303- POD PEOPLE

First shown: 6/15/91.
Opening: A reading from Crow's one man show.
Invention exchange: Monster chord, public domain karoke machine.
Host segment 1: J&TB record "Idiot Control Now" and it stinks!
Host segment 2: New Age music from Some Guys in Space.
Host segment 3: "You are magic, aren't you, Trumpy?!"
End: Song: "Will There Still Be a Clown in the Sky?"
Stinger: "It stinks!"

Comments and observations:

  • People adore this episode. It's frequently cited as a favorite. A decade and a half later, people are still saying "Trumpy, you can magic things!" and "Huzzah!" Me, I have a hard time with it. I've never been able to sit through it one sitting without falling asleep. Maybe it's all the fog and new agey music.
  • Kevin croaks out the word "merchant" in the opening bit--they left it in
  • Joel covers the differences between the blown up bots in the segment and the regular bots in the theater by mumbling "Good thing we got those re-...um...those new heads on..."
  • During the wall of keyboards sketch, Crow has a bit of the sandwich he's eating on his beak. Nice detail.
  • Also--Why is Joel staring down at the floor while he's giving his lines? Is he reading them?
  • A lot of people had no idea what the origin of that voice was that Crow does when he does Trumpy. "He's like a poh-tay-toe!" He's doing a vague impression of The Elephant Man from the movie of the same name.
  • Best riff: "Hi! We're the cast from Straw Dogs."
  • Vaguely dirty riff: "That trunk could come in hand for hard to reach places!"
  • Obscure riff: While Tommy is looking through he telescope, Tom says "He's Craig Wasson all of a sudden."--a reference, I think, to 1984's "Body Double" in which Wasson played a peeping Tom.
  • Amazingly, a lot people had no idea who McCloud was. Dennis Weaver, we hardly knew ye.

304- GAMERA VS. BARUGON

First shown: 6/22/91.
Opening: The bots argue the relative merits of computer interfaces.
Invention exchange: Soda can animation, disco cumber-bubble-bund.
Host segment 1: 5000-piece fightin' men & monster set.
Host segment 2: Crow and Tom are midwestern monster women having dinner.
Host segment 3: Joel reminisces about movies & big name celebrities.
End: Stories from behind the scenes of monster movies, letter.
Stinger: Opal guy goes nutzoid.

Comments and observations:

  • The user interface sketch sparked an actual "Mac vs. PC flamewar" on the MST3K newsgroups. It IS kind of funny to think that this sketch was written at a time when System 7 was still being developed.
  • Crow's arm disconnects from his body and stays clipped to the desk at the beginning of the invention exchange. Eventually Joel grabs it and tosses it on the floor.
  • Only the most obsessive compulsive bot maker felt it necessary to include the "rockem-sockem-robot neck extension," which was only seen in this and one season-one sketch.
  • Frank's paltry bubble-making efforts are augmented by extra bubbles coming in from stage left.
  • Joel mumbles that the cumberbubblebund looks familiar...it should, he used a similar bit in season one
  • What does the chant "Charbroiled cities!" refer to?
  • The "hamburger sammich" line is a callback to Jungle Goddess
  • On the bridge, the desk was removed in order to shoot the photos in the Monster Action Pack sketch.
  • Note the presence of the partial air filter that was used as a Geordi La Forge visor in season two.
  • What is with the weird masks the bots are wearing in the restaurant sketch?
  • Crow loses his arm again!
  • Best line: "Solipsism is its own reward." How true that is.

305- STRANDED IN SPACE

First shown: 6/29/91.
Opening: Joel enjoys a shooting gallery.
Invention exchange: Variations of the "BANG" gun.
Host segment 1: Crow and Tom fight over their trading cards.
Host segment 2: While baking cookies, J&TB discuss "Ward E."
Host segment 3: Joel is a TV movie villian, the bots are his henchmen.
End: Trying to sell the movie, letter, the Mads are TV movie villians.
Stinger: Stryker gets struck!

Comments and observations:

  • Joel feels it necessary to AGAIN explain the premise, this time adding some details we've never heard before, nor will ever hear again. He says, "As you can tell by the opening the Mads made..." and also says the mads "sell the results to cable TV." I guess that would explain why Tom and Crow could make reference to the opening in a previous episode.
  • To wake the bots up, Joel throws glittery confetti. What is he, the Harlem Globetrotters?
  • Callbacks: Two uses of "hikeeba" (Women of the Prehistoric Planet) and several uses of "No!!!" (Cave Dwellers).
  • Also: A reference to Sidehackers: "The most dramatic confrontation since Rommel met JC."
  • Watch the plunger on the TNT prop as Frank presses down... Nice prop building!
  • Vagely dirty line: "So, who's turn is it?"
  • Dated riff: Tom mentions a Photomat. Do they even exist anymore?
  • Tibby makes a return appearance!
  • At the end of the movie, a character introduces himself as "Tom Nelson" and Tom says "MIKE Nelson." That must have been baffling to viewers in 1991.
  • Joel seems to like Cameron Mitchell a lot...he reaches up and gives him a little smooch. 
  • Note that when we get to the infamous Ward E, the movie suddenly changes from being filmed in Sacramento to the set of "Metropolis".
  • Best riff: "Smart ocean!"
  • Also: Old guy is prepping Neil the astronaut for take-off: Crow as Neil: "What about the Tang?"

306- TIME OF THE APES

First shown: 7/13/91.
Opening: It's baseball season on the SOL!
Invention exchange: Cellulite phone, miracle baby growth formula.
Host segment 1: Why doesn't Johnny care?
Host segment 2: "Inherit the Wind" revisited.
Host segment 3: Ape fashion minute.
End: The Sandy Frank song, letter, Baby pushes the button.
Stinger: "Johnny, you be careful." "I don't care!"

Comments and observations:

  • Tom Servo loses his head...this time to become a t-ball stand. And during Joel's second at-bat, he knocks off a bit more than that ball from Tom's head. Ouch.
  • Joel blows his line big time in the first segment--"You potched up the hole"? Sheesh.
  • Continuing the casualness of the scene, Crow's baseball glove falls off and Joel just rolls right with it.
  • The baby is played by little Eli Mallon, now a teenager.
  • Joel continues his strict style in the theater, AGAIN threatening to dismember Crow when he does a pun.
  • Why is Tom wearing a coffee mug after the opening bit? He's still wearing it in the theater, and Crow is still netless.
  • Just a really dumb line from the movie: "There's been earthquakes, but nothing will happen suddenly." What??
  • As the monkey wakes up, it sure sounds like Joel says "Shit." It might be "shoot" though.
  • Crow reenters the theater still wearing his hat from the TV News segment.
  • Tom does a very odd Dalek impression. 
  • Crow asks Joel: "You said 'bowling ball' earlier. What did that mean?" Well, Crow, Joel was reacting to a shot of sunbleached skull that looked vaguely like a bowling ball--albeit a white one.
  • During that Bell Labs segment, I love that Crow provides the projector noise, and that Tom misses a few sprockets, only to be nudged back into place by Joel. A little segment done by former A/V geeks, I'd bet.
  • As they return to the theater after the bit with the cardboard cutout of Wapner, Joel is still carrying the cutout and tosses it toward the screen saying "Fly, judgie! Fly!" It travels quite a way!
  • Tom wears another disturbing mask in the final host segment; this one is a monkey.
  • Best riff: "Not better, just different."
  • Runner up: "Home, where my thoughts escape me. Home, where I comb my facey."
  • Also: "Johnny is a walking faux pas!"

307- DADDY-O
with short: "ALPHABET ANTICS"

First shown: 7/20/91.
Opening: Marketing mad dogs around the water cooler.
Invention exchange: Alien teething nook, air freshener mobile.
Host segment 1: Song: "Hike Your Pants Up."
Host segment 2: Drag race reenactment.
Host segment 3: Joel attempts a spit-take lesson, but the dumb guy from the movie keeps appearing on the Hexfield.
End: "Want some?" (slap, bam, thump), letter & the button doesn't work.
Stinger: "Couldn't help ya if I wanted to, fella. Gym policy."

Comments and observations:

  • When Joel left, and debates raged on the net about the difference between Joel eps and Mike eps, some people tried to say that host segments in Mike episodes were less often direct reactions to the movie in that episode. The problem is that OTHER people complained that host segments in Mike episodes were MORE often about the movie. The truth is there was no major difference--but those who say host segments in Joel eps had more to do with the movie were probably thinking of episodes like this one...just about ALL the host segments are not only related to the movie, they're DIRECT parodies or reenactments.
  • J&TB introduce the phrase "Saaaaaay!" to the MSTie lexicon.
  • That's Tim Scott as the miracle growth baby, a role he is STILL living down...
  • The short is the first of many educational shorts that would eventually become one of the most popular elements on the series.
  • "Yank your trousers higher than Corey Haim" is a great lyric.
  • In the reenactment of the race, note that Tom plays the guy and Crow plays the girl, for a change! It probably has to do with the placement of the guy and gal in the movie, but still!
  • When they re-enter the theater, Tom covers the absence of the cars they were wearing by saying "Good thing we were thrown clear of those cars!"
  • Chillias drops a cigar container and Crow does an interesting callback--"That's from Catalina Caper"--he's referencing the container that antogonists hid the mcguffin in, in that movie..
  • Why is Tom wearing a fez?
  • Dated reference: "That's what Zsa Zsa did to that cop."
  • Nice running gag with the bots saying the lady in the club looks like Lou Reed from the Transformer album--which I gotta admit she sorta does.
  • Little letter writer Christina was 7 when she wrote to the show back in '91. That means she's old enough to be in college now....
  • The crowning glory of this terrific and groundbreaking ep is the famous "broken button" bit, a gem people remembered for years. "Frank, I think the baby needs to be changed"..."But he's gotta wanna change!" Unfortunately, in later years a lazy Comedy Central did not respect the bit and actually ran voice overs during it--an incident that sparked one of several major online protests among fans.
  • Oh, Dick Contino, how did you do it? Did you convince someone that you could be a rock'n'roll idol for the masses? Where did you hide your accordion?
  • Another movie where the teens are in their 40s. And yet Harmony Korine isn't directing.
  • Favorite riff: "It's Los Lobos with Steve Allen on bass!"
  • Also: "On my ANKLE, like I SAID!"
  • Also: "Do you like the names of lots of fish?"

308- GAMERA VS. GAOS

First shown: 7/27/91.
Opening: Raspy voices.
Invention exchange: Self image printers, fax tissue dispenser.
Host segment 1: Joel offers an arts and crafts project, Crow and Tom are no help.
Host segment 2: The "Gameradamerung" never gets off the ground.
Host segment 3: Ed Sullivan presents "Gaos the Great."
End: Other ways to snuff Gaos.
Stinger: Comic relief guys get scared.

Comments and observations:

  • Joel blows his reading of the name "Brenda Vicarro." As so often happens, they just go on.
  • Joel seems to have gotten a haircut.
  • Best riff: "I wish to play with clay now!"
  • Callback: "Rex Dart, Eskimo Spy." (Godzilla vs. Megalon)
  • Is this the first use of "You look at it, I'm bitter"?
  • Dated reference: "Arsenioooo Haaaall!" Also: "Gao Buscaglia."
  • Vaguely dirty line: "Have you ever seen 'The Last Emperor', sister?"
  • Joel uses the phrase "deus ex machina," not for the last time.
  • The "arts and crafts" segment is a classic, with a TON a great lines.
  • I like the way Gypsy chuckes at the phrase "Gameradamerung." A lot of set-up for a two-second bit.
  • Tom is still wearing his Gameradamerung costume when he reenters the theater.
  • Kinda dark riff: "Take one down, write piggy on the wall..."
  • Obscure riff: "Grommit the wonder dog."
  • Even obscurer riff: "Just like when Gary died." Sniff!
  • Local riff: "The substation is burning." "We'll have to go Schlotski's."
  • Gamera "mounts" Gaos and Tom says: "You're a big ol' hog!" Yikes!
  • What is with the hat Tom is wearing in the last segment?
  • Did anybody write in to the "Ways to snuff Gaos" contest?
  • Favorite riff: "Grace Jones takes one to the head--she can't take it there!"

309- THE AMAZING COLOSSAL MAN

First shown: 8/3/91.
Opening: Crow and Tom are in their fort.
Invention exchange: A plant that reviews music, non-permanent tattoos.
Host segment 1: Nice things to say to Glen's fiancee.
Host segment 2: Joel agonizes about being a 50-foot man.
Host segment 3: The bots wonder what they'd ask Glen, then he visits.
End: What Glen could've done, letters, giving Frank the giant hypo.
Stinger: Glen laughing 'til it hurts.

Comments and observations:

  • Callback: "The HU-man" (Robot Monster).
  • This movie has an incredibly long shot with nothing happening and nobody in frame--we just look at a door for a good 20 seconds.
  • As they leave for the break, Crow departs, then rushes back for one more riff
  • Vaguely dirty riff: "Sorry, wrong bone growth."
  • Dated riff: Calling A&E the "all-Hitler Channel"--this was before A&E spun off their massive library of World War II documentaries to places like The History Channel.
  • Joel is hilarious as Glen, the 50-foot man! "Aah! No!"
  • During that sketch Tom appears to be able to use his arms! Crow even asks him about it!
  • In the lab scene, they do THREE CONSECUTIVE riffs on the same basic joke--the idea that cosmetic companies use animals like rabbits to test their products. It's one of the few times I recall them ever doing what are, essentially, three identical jokes in a row. They make up for it, though, when Crow's does a great little voice as the rabbit.
  • The movie's single strangest idea (and that's saying something): the notion that the heart is "made up of a single cell." Did they think audiences were going to buy that?
  • Mike is also great as Glen.
  • Joel is still holding the Barbie from the earlier sketch later on.
  • Mixed up host seg: They mention Glen in Vegas, when we haven't gotten to that part of the movie yet.
  • Tom makes a pun and Crow warns him: "That kinda talk'll get your arm ripped off." From one who knows.
  • Best riff: "That, and 'aaaaaah!'"

310- FUGITIVE ALIEN

First shown: 8/17/91.
Opening: Old Joel Robinson had a farm?
Invention exchange: Eye, ear, nose & throat dropper, musical chair and Jack Perkins!
Host segment 1: J&TB stage a hat party.
Host segment 2: Joel forces Crow and Tom to reenact a scene from the movie.
Host segment 3: Crow and Tom are confused, so Joel helps out with a screenplay. model.
End: Joel's buttons, letter, torturing Jack Perkins.
Stinger: "AHAHAHAHA....you're STUCK HERE!"

Comments and observations:

  • Wow, this was really a watershed episode. So much is going on here that became a part of the MSTie lexicon, from "You're stuck here!" to the merry tune, "He tried to kill me with a forkliiiiift...."
  • Love the opener. Those folks have been around farmers and they know farmer talk. Tom's "help ussss!" is priceless.
  • Vaguely dirty line: Joel: "I wanna die in the thong section of Victoria's Secret!"
  • Also: "Speaking of punishing mercilessly....rooowrrr!"
  • Hopelessly dated line: "He's in more trouble than Hudson Hawk at the box office!"
  • This is also the episode from which all the various "hat party" references come, including the line "mine was the grandest of all." I have yet to hear a definitive source for these references.
  • Callback: "Third planet from the sun shall be called...Earth" (Women of the Prehistoric Planet)
  • Also: a reference to the "geometric nucleus"(Cave Dwellers)
  • Also: "It was after the...Robot Holocaust."
  • Also: "I was in Time of the Apes!"
  • Also: "...I've heard them talk about...so much...lately?" (Gamera)
  • Also: "Rock climbing, Joel." (Lost Continent)
  • During the fight scene in the host segment, note how Joel VERY GENTLY punches the bots...he knows how fragile they are...
  • Favorite riff: "What are the specs?" "Oh those are bugs. They was right off."
  • Also: "You're crying on my bombs."
  • Obscure literary riff: "Biff!" "Happy!"

311- IT CONQUERED THE WORLD
with short: "SNOW THRILLS"

First shown: 8/24/91.
Opening: Ventriloquism.
Invention exchange: Hanged man costumes, the "Sony Seaman."
Host segment 1: Tom narrates "The Winter Cavalcade of Fun."
Host segment 2: Sarcastic banter over dinner.
Host segment 3: J&TB sing of celebrity siblings with the same last names.
End: J&TB rewatch Peter Graves' speech, letters, the Mads are watching it too.
Stinger: "He learned too late that a man is a feeling creature..."

Comments and observations:

  • Somewhat dated opening bit--who remembers Star Search and Geechy Guy?
  • Joel's mannerisms as the ventriloquist are classic. The random movements are done to distract you from looking at the ventriloquist's lips.
  • Callback: "That's not half bad!" "She's givin' it back to you!" (Sidehackers)
  • Crow says something about "Sliders" as they enter the theater? I can't make it out.
  • Vaguely dirty line: Let's talk about shrinkage, shall we?
  • Also: Announcer: "It's the biggest one-man thrill in Jack Frost's show." Joel: "I know a better one..."
  • Classic line: "Yeah, well, you're full of skit!"
  • Dated reference: "I'd rather watch thirtysomething."
  • There are several political jokes in this one; that tended to be a rarity, thankfully. I suspect Mike (whose politics have, subsequently, been revealed as center/right (he's a pal of fellow-Minnesotan James Lileks and center-right radio host Hugh Hewitt) may have been the moderating influence preventing too much of this, and thereby preventing the show from alienating half of the audience. Good for him. The result is that MSTies come from all ends of the political spectrum, despite the fact most of the writers were proud, died-in-the-wool Minnesota liberals.
  • That third segment with the song is a weird one...
  • Obscure riff: "Not the craw, the craw!"
  • The closing repetition of the speech can be explained by Joel's earlier admission that the show was a bit short that week...
  • I know, it's just a show, but I always love it when Joel fills in the plot premises, like in this episode when he mentions Tom's hoverskirt, and sort of explains how it works. He also takes a moment to explain Gypsy and her role again.

312- GAMERA VS. GUIRON

First shown: 9/7/91
Opening: School lunch time
Invention exchange: Racy rorschachs, collapsible trashcan
Host segment 1: J&TB sing The Gamera song (English)
Host segment 2: Sawing a robot in half
Host segment 3: Child star Richard Burton
End: Gamera song again (fake Japanese) & Michael Feinstein in Deep 13
Stinger: "What a monster!"

Comments and observations:

  • Note the MST3K lunchboxes (now no longer available) in the opening segment--Frank has one too.
  • Also note the season-one-esque table slap! What happened to the buttons?
  • The scene in the movie where they riff on the poorly-dubbed scientist is a riot. Another great moment comes when they provide hilarious lyrics to the tedious bicycle song.
  • Callbacks: Something is "funny flying."(Rocketship XM)
  • Also: "...so much...about...lately?" (Gamera)
  • Also: In the song, the lyrics "So we Hikeeba all over the place and talk of a thousand wonderful days" (Women of the Prehistoric Planet and Rocketship XM).
  • And: "And he's givin' it back to you!" (Sidehackers)
  • And: "Rex Dart" (Godzilla vs. Megalon)
  • I don't think the kid looks much like Richard Burton at all. I just don't see it.
  • A funny in-joke-the bots point out that creating a starfield by having a "bunch of christmas light against a wall--that would be really cheesy." That of course is exactly how BBI did it.
  • Joel rolls with the punches again: During the song, crow's arm falls off. Joel just reattaches it and continues.
  • The song in the first segment kind of restates the premise--something they do a lot. Were they getting notes from the network saying viewers didn't understand what was going on? Seems likely.
  • A movie comment: The whole "Gaos gets carved up into cold cuts" scene is one weird mamajama.
  • In the theater, Crow kisses one of the space babes until Joel says "heyyy!"
  • Tom and Crow come into the theater  still wearing their hats from the host segment--Joel removes them.
  • Vaguely dirty Joel riff: "Well it involves Jello..."
  • Also: "I was dreamin' about a donut wearing a sweater!"
  • The "Hello! Thank you!" bit always has me in stitches.
  • Dated riff: "So was Iran Contra!"
  • Zappa fans loved to hear "Weasels ripped my flesh! Rizzz!!"
  • Vaguely dirty riff: "Wait, touch me here while you do that!"
  • The Richard Burton sketch is so dumb, saved entirely by Trace's great imitation.
  • This is the episode with the classic "Gamera on the high-bar" moment, later used in the opening theme.
  • There's a riff in which Tom rattles off a bunch of New York subway stations-that was probably provided by Frank.
  • This is also the episode with the infamous "most obscure reference ever": "stop her she's got my keyboard!"
  • J&TB sing the Gamera song AGAIN--this time in fake (vaguely racist) Japanese.
  • It's fun to note how young Mike looks as Michael Feinstein, but what did they do to his hair?
  • Favorite riff: "We're from the padding department--where's the plot hole?"

313- EARTH VS. THE SPIDER
with short: "USING YOUR VOICE"

First shown: 9/14/91.
Opening: "Inside The Robot Mind."
Invention exchange: Cheese phone, CD blow drier.
Host segment 1: J&TB read through Crow's screenplay, "Earth vs. Soup."
Host segment 2: Rehearsal of Spidorr the rock group brings a visit from the custodian of 7th galaxy on the Hexfield.
Host segment 3: J&TB discuss dangerous toys.
End: Crow and Tom report on Bert I. Gordon, Frank's sick.
Stinger: Lip and tongue action, of a sort.

Comments and observations:

  • As noted elsewhere, it seems like they had season one and Josh Weinstein on the brain during this episode. In the opening bit, the Mads reprise the season-one catchphrase "Thank you!!"-then look embarrassed. Later, as the deputy is devoured by the spider, they shout: "Dr. Erhardt no! So that's what happened to him!" (a reference to the fact that his fate was never really spelled out when he was written out of the premise). And at the end, in another homage to season one, Joel offers ram chips as rewards!
  • Callback "...and a good friend" (Rocketship XM)
  • Also, a reference to Joe Doakes (X Marks the Spot)
  • Also, 'the spider is either missing or he's dead!' (Phantom Creeps)
  • I love how Crow's "lips" move while they read their parts in the scene-reading sketch. Trace's little touches like that were what made him so justly beloved.
  • A vague Firesign Theater reference, I think, when Joel says "Oh Porgie no!" during "Earth vs. Soup."
  • I just love Joel's skeleton voice.
  • Gross riff: "Does your dad like bran?" Ew.
  • Joel invokes the Ashwaubenon High Jaguars, from his real-life Wisconsin high school.
  • The ELP bashing is interesting. That feels to me like it came from Mike.
  • Geek alert: In the Rocket Number 9 shot, the spaceship is a badly disguised klingon warbird model. I'm so embarassed that I know that.
  • This would not be the last time Mike played a janitor!
  • At one point, a character that looks like Dennis Miller appears. Joel begins to point that out and, wow, does Crow step on his line. They just kept rolling, though.
  • Dated reference: Who remembers the TV show "She's the sheriff"?
  • An odd moment as they re-enter the theater, Joel says "We're comin' out of the game thing." In some of the outtakes that have come to light in recent years, we sometimes see them reminding each other what host segment appeared in the show before the current theater segment. Filming schedules were such that host segments were filmed on one day and theater segments another day, so it was sometimes easy to forget where all the pieces fit in the puzzle. I think that's what Joel was doing here, but they didn't bother to start over.
  • I can't find it on the Web now, but I remember we used to link to this odd web site by this guy who was REALLY into the Thingmaker and Creeple People, and who posted a transcript of this entire bit because he found it so moving.

314- MIGHTY JACK

First shown: 9/21/91.
Opening: Disaster on the SOL!
Invention exchange: Formal flippers, ear-shaped earmuffs.
Host segment 1: Mighty Jack pet food commercial.
Host segment 2: The bots put Joel in the blinding light compartment.
Host segment 3: Underwater movie ideas.
End: Song: "Slow the Plot Down!," Frank's a pirate.
Stinger: He died as he lived...loving his work.

Comments and observations:

  • At the beginning of the invention exchange, you may be wondering why there is velcro on the bots' heads. You soon find out.
  • Yikes, those awful pictures at the beginning of the movie. Ick.
  • Yes, Joel, the joke was racist.
  • Callback: Pyuma? (Ring of Terror)
  • Also: "that's pretty good!" (Sidehackers)
  • Vaguely dirty "I was just daydreaming"
  • Also: "full thrust!" Crow: "Really!"
  • There's a reference in this one to Tommy Bartlett, the Wisconsin impresario responsible for several attractions in the Wisconsin Dells. You pretty much have to have vacationed in the Midwest to get that one.
  • I love the way the camera slightly rocks during shanty--though it makes me a little nauseous.
  • I'm with Crow--it took me several viewings to get a handle on this plot. I couldn't remember a thing--it seemed to self-erase in my memory as I watched it. It took many viewings to get any sense of what the damn thing was about, or for any of it to stick in my memory.

315- TEENAGE CAVEMAN
with shorts: "AQUATIC WIZARDS" and "CATCHING TROUBLE"

First shown: 11/9/91.
Opening: Very boring day on the SOL.
Invention exchange: Rainy day epicacs, the Mads are fighting.
Host segment 1: "Catching Ross."
Host segment 2: Mads still fighting.
Host segment 3: Examining the pendulum of human development.
End: Mimicking the film's end, letter, Mads patching things up.
Stinger: Teenage Caveman conks his head.

Comments and observations:

  • As Frank and Dr. F prepare to mix it up, Frank makes use of the classic "Road House" line: "Take the train."
  • There were many variations of the gag: "Just throw that stuff in back, I kinda live outta my car." In the waterskiing scene it's: "Just throw that stuff in the back. I kinda live off my shoulders."
  • This was the episode with infamous "Catching Trouble" short--featuring such casually cruel footage that J&TB feel they must immediately take revenge. It's a hilarious bit--I love Joel's cry of "No, we went to camp together! He hates me!"
  • Favorite riff: "Ross tries to towel away the evil, but nothing doing"
  • Also: "Hope you like sticks!"
  • Joel has one bear cub call another bear cub "Greg. Tom then turns to him and asks, incredulously, "Greg?"
  • Note the moment in the theater when Tom Servo applauds. ...um...
  • Note the Star Trek fight music playing during second fight scene
  • For some reason Crow's net is on the counter during he conservatism segment
  • Vaguely dirty riff: He invented the quiver--so did SHE!
  • Callback: "Thong, the fish are ready!" (Cave Dwellers)
  • Also: "Chili peppers burn my gut" (Sidehackers)
  • Another Photomat reference. What happened to them?
  • A Firesign Theater reference as Tom, as the old survivor, says something "scared everybody."
  • Twice in two episodes they have used the Odd Couple reference: "bad meat or good cheese"

316- GAMERA VS. ZIGRA

First shown: 10/19/91.
Opening: Root beer party for the last Gamera film.
Invention exchange: Three Stooges guns, Crow-ka-bob.
Host segment 1: Scale model of Gamera.
Host segment 2: Shoe box dioramas.
Host segment 3: Football talk, then Kenny and Helen visit on the Hexfield.
End: Different ways to sing the Gamera song.
Stinger: An excerpt from "Fish Argument Theater."

Comments and observations:

  • If you wonder what got Sandy Frank mad, just check out this ep--several slams on him here, including a comment that his IQ is 13-and-a-half.
  • In the segment with the Gamera model, you can see some "guts" leaking out the bottom from behind the door before Joel opens it.
  • The dubbing of this movie is very confusing--at various points the girl, that weird cobwebby monster in the ship, the ship itself, the planet it comes from and that monster that fights with Gamera are all called "Zigra."
  • Favorite riff: "And, uh, maybe you could dust up here some time!"
  • Also: "Stay away from those powerful hind legs, kids."
  • Also: "Wait I found some more oxygen in a drawer. We're fine."
  • Dated riff: A deserved slam on once-prominent klan leader David Duke, but how many people even remember him now?
  • During the sketch with the diaramas, a table seems to have been added to the set in front of the normal desk. It looks like it was something out of the prop shop--there's random paint stains all over it.
  • Tom again does an impression of Dr. Erhardt saying "Enjoy!" It's not evident why...
  • A glaring mistake in the dubbing: The girl says she is going to feed the kids to the dolphins, but the animals in the tank before her are killer whales.
  • Obscure reference/pun: "That terrapin is stationary." The right Deadheads will get it.
  • In the host segment with the hexfield, the model of Gamera is, well, lame. Note: this is Bridget's first appearance on the show.
  • Tom really goes wild with the song lyric references in the latter half of the show--there are about a half dozen.
  • Vaguely dirty riff: "You know, Gamera's never seen the mohel..."
  • Callback: "McCloud!" (run into the ground in "Pod People")

317- VIKING WOMEN VS. THE SEA SERPENT
with short: "THE HOME ECONOMICS STORY"

First shown: 10/26/91.
Opening: Consider the lowly waffle.
Invention exchange: Meat re-animator, an iron that turns waffles into pancakes.
Host segment 1: Joel has reprogrammed the bots to love waffles and asks them to suggest new uses for waffles.
Host segment 2: Joel says: "Waffles!"
Host segment 3: Willy the Waffle defends waffles.
End: The Waffle song, "re-animating" Frank.
Stinger: "But you don't understand! I'm a PRINCE!"

Comments and observations:

  • Let me just say: Waffes. Things get into the heads of the Brains during the course of doing an episode, and sometimes it just leaks out. I think this is one of those times.
  • Note the first reference to Pine City--I don't think Mary Jo had joined the staff at that point, but I suspect this riff reflects their friendship with her.
  • "That's a stretch" riff: The kid is wearing purple--therefore he's Prince. Right.
  • Unusual to see Tom and Crow already in theater when Joel arrives.
  • Vaguely dirty riff: "Squeal like Ned Beatty!"
  • How many kids now in their 40s had the problem of being allowed to "stay up and watch love american style"? The brains were channeling his childhoods with that one.
  • As has been chronicled, the Willy the waffle bit is based on the "Case of Spring Fever" short they watched during this season but never riffed until many years later.
  • Crow still has Willy outfit on when entering the theater.
  • Movie comment: It's easy to see that those are the same dogs from Teenage Caveman, pretty much running through the same location.
  • Callback: Tom rediscovers the Creepy Girl (Catalina Caper).
  • Vaguely dirty: Crow starts to explain the famous Land o' Lakes box trick, but Joel hushes him up.
  • Also: Tom: They licked her to death! Crow: I know......
  • Favorite riff: "Kegs will be tapped. Men will be used."
  • Favorite riff: "Remember to poke a few holes in him so he doesn't explode."
  • Also: "...and no time to figure out how we saw all that!"
  • Also: "I'm todd the baptist!"

318- STAR FORCE-FUGITIVE ALIEN II

First shown: 11/16/91.
Opening: The nature of puppets and their symbiotic relationship to man.
Invention exchange: Big noses, the big head.
Host segment 1: Tom Servo's dead!
Host segment 2: Captain Joe action figure commercial.
Host segment 3: Song: "The Fugitive Alien medley."
End: Designing the ultimate evil person, letters, Frank embarrassing Dr. F.
Stinger: Ken says: "Captain, I've got it fixed. It's all working again."

Comments and observations:

  • What's that object in Crow's net during the first segment?"
  • For a long time, I wondered what that was in Joel's hand during the Big Head sketch. It just hit me during this viewing--it's his lavalier mic! Duh!
  • Joel wears the big head into the theater, but then he drops and it makes no noise at all when it hits the floor. Was there a mattress or something on the floor?
  • Obscure ref: "He's been reading Buchowsky again."
  • This is the episode that features the famous bit where Tom loses it and has to be resuscitated.
  • Vaguely dirty riff: "Full thrust!" "Not you, the engines!"
  • Joel forgets Tom when entering the theater. Tom reminds him and he goes back to get him.
  • Favorite riff: "'Course it pierced his colon..."
  • Also: "He's getting a tattoo with a Busy-Buzz-Buzz."
  • Nice to hear Kevin's lovely Irish tenor again.
  • After Joel sings his odd Eekamouse impression, Tom quietly comments: "What a lunatic, huh?"
  • More Sandy Frank bashing in this one--it kind of makes me cringe to hear it, now...
  • Dated refs: Farfegnugen--does anybody remember this Volkswagon catchphrase? How about the craze for "Members Only" clothing?
  • Complicated and now-quite-dated riff: "I'm George Bernard Shaw--I'm under a table and I'm writing Candide."
  • The Maltin Movie Guide makes its first appearance.

319- WAR OF THE COLOSSAL BEAST
with short: "MR. B. NATURAL"

First shown: 11/30/91.
Opening: Mexfood combos.
Invention exchange: Breakfast bazooka, between-meal mortar.
Host segment 1: Mr. B. Natural: man or woman?
Host segment 2: J&TB are singing the Big Head song when Glen revisits.
Host segment 3: KTLA presents...your future!
End: Drowsy from movie, letters with Glen and Frank shot at again.
Stinger: Mr. B, what would YOU know about dignity?

Comments and observations:

  • Ah, Mister B. A classic short, probably the most famous of all the shorts and maybe the most watched 20 or so minutes of the series.
  • I may have seen the short more than any other 20 minutes of the show, and I almost know it by heart--but some of the riffs still make me laugh out loud, including: "Mom, Dad--tell me you heard that!"
  • Can I just mention, however, that the short is in horrible shape? Mr. B's arrival in the kid's home has been spliced out. It was probably hilarious, so much so that somebody kept it for their own collection of goofy footage. A lot of classic moments in movies have been lost to anonymous "collectors" savaging the only remaining copies of some movies.
  • Vaguely dirty line: "...the excitement in the halls after school." Joel: "Oh yeah!" Even Tom is shocked.
  • In the segment afterwards, Joel says "mister t bogart"--they just keep rolling
  • The Big Head makes another appearance!
  • Favorite riff: "My nurse fell down his throat!"
  • Also: "Hee Haw, it's Sam Wainwright!"
  • Note Crow whispering in Glen's ear as they leave the theater.
  • The gibberish Joel shouts at the end of the KTLA sketch comes from the chaotic labels of a product known as Dr. Bronner's Magic Soap--still available at your local health food store. For an explanation of this stuff, see http://www.straightdope.com/classics/a3_386.html
  • Movie comment: Yet ANOTHER movie that ends in Griffith Park.
  • Crow says: "That's a jeep joke" and Tom begins to say something, but Joel steps right on his line and he shuts up. They just keep rolling!
  • Callback: Mccloud! (Pod People)
  • The movie seems almost an afterthought after the wild short--it's seems gray and kind of dull.

320- THE UNEARTHLY
with shorts: "POSTURE PALS" and "APPRECIATING OUR PARENTS"

First shown: 12/14/91.
Opening: Making a funny home video.
Invention exchange: Hard pills to swallow, celebrity products.
Host segment 1: "Appreciating Gypsy."
Host segment 2: The many faces of Tor Johnson.
Host segment 3: Combination of games based on the movie.
End: Dead End Kids lingo, letter, and Dr. F does his Dead End Kid.
Stinger: "Time for go to bed!"

Comments and observations:

  • Oh, the irony of an America's Funniest Home Videos parody. Little did Trace suspect he would be drawing a paycheck from it in less than ten years.
  • This may be an almost perfect iteration of the show--I think the "two shorts and a very short movie" may be the perfect combination." Nonetheless, the movie still seems endless.
  • The invention exchanges are particularly funny, with the "Hard Pills to Swallow" ie particuarly hilarious largely because Trace and Frank play it so well.
  • Crow is still gnarled when they to into the theater--but at one point he says "I better go freshen up," walks off, about three riffs go by without him and then he returns good as new.
  • Joel says something odd: "That's when the kids came up with a plan to blackmail Mrs. Reedy!" Where does that name come from? Joel knows the name of the woman in the short is Miss Martin, he says it a few lines later... Is that a reference to something?
  • Tom seems scandalized by Joel's reference to VPL.
  • Spot the invention exchanges scattered about in the still-frame of the messy bridge during the first host segment. There are a lot of 'em!
  • Some techies may be amused by the appearance of an early version of the "Video toaster." Frankly, it doesn't seem that impressive. Maybe they were just not very good at it using it, but most of the images are muddy and fuzzy and hard to make out. The Video Toaster still exists, by the way.
  • As the movie drags on, the riffing gets pretty random.
  • One other note about that scene, the shot of Tor Johnson that is used over and over is at the very very end of the movie. Another example of them using a moment from the movie they are familiar with because they've seen it nine times, but that we aren't because we're still in the middle.
  • Favorite line: Joel high voice: "Stop fighting and give me some skin!"

321- SANTA CLAUS CONQUERS THE MARTIANS

First shown: 12/21/91.
Opening: Crow and Tom are looking at Christmas catalogs.
Invention exchange: Wish squisher, misfit toys.
Host segment 1: Song: "A Patrick Swayze Christmas."
Host segment 2: J&TB look over tapes of cheesy Christmas specials.
Host segment 3: J&TB read their Christmas essays.
End: "Angels We Have Heard Are High," stocking time, letter, Mads exchange gifts.
Stinger: Bad martian's derisive laughter.

Comments and observations:

  • This episode was the one they were working on when a crew from Comedy Central arrived at the studios to shoot footage for the documentary "This is MST3K." Unfortunately, that fact led to some misunderstandings among the fans. The regular robots had been altered slightly with Christmas additions and so those were used in the theater rather than the usual black bots. It was difficult to get people to believe the black bots were used in the theater normally, when they could see differently with their own eyes.
  • The episode starts abruptly (after the first commercial break), directly in Deep 13 rather than the usual small bit in the SOL. Were they just hurrying for time?
  • What is a "video cassette cartridge game"? Frank seems to think kids would like to get one...
  • Why isn't the tree in the background in Deep 13 decorated?
  • Whoa! Open flame in the "misfit toys" sketch!!
  • The movie has no title card. Hmmm... again, cut for time? Update: Perhaps not! The version you can download at Archive.org (http://www.archive.org/details/santa_claus_conquers_the_martians) also has no title card. Is this the only print available? If so it's another example of what I was referring to earlier. A lot of the sole surviving prints of movies have been butchered by projectionists and collectors.
  • Dated references: C. Everett Koop...Twin Peaks...the Thomas hearings..."Gates has been confirmed"...the notion that Drew Barrymore is a little kid...also: the first of several references to long forgotten ATT commercial character 'Bonnie, your Time/Life operator.'
  • Favorite riff: "Tonight I'm a space pirate! Permission to come aboard!"
  • Runner Up: "Crush him!" "You were adopted!"
  • Call backs: "Puma?" "...the Robot Holocaust..."
  • One of many Paisley Park references...his Royal Purpleness is a fellow Minnesotan.
  • Right before they start singing "A Patrick Swayze Christmas" Joel says "Paul..." Apparently that was meant to be a David Letterman impression, but almost NOBODY got it.
  • That's Mike on the keyboards.
  • Note the reference to "suggestive refueling sequences"--we'd get more in season 6.
  • Movie comment--I never noticed before that all the martians have numbers on their clothes.
  • The presents Joel gives the bots are of a distinctly different character than the ones Mike would give them in Season 6.
  • Frank's present has little Shadowrama tape on it.
  • I just noted that Dr. F. makes a "A Christmas Story" reference by calling J&TB "Bumpasses."

322- MASTER NINJA I

First shown: 1/11/92.
Opening: The bots build a model car.
Invention exchange: Boil-in-a-bag IVs, pop-up books for adults.
Host segment 1: Crow presents "The Van Patten Project."
Host segment 2: Master Ninja's many theme songs.
Host segment 3: Other kinds of num-chuks.
End: Song: "Master Ninja Theme Song!", letter, Frank turns the tables on Dr. F.
Stinger: "To them it's some kind of ritual."

Comments and observations:

  • In the invention exchange, the script does not call for them to open the Naked Lunch book--so the prop guys didn't bother making something that opens. Unfortunately that makes it not look very much like a book.
  • This comment is true about a number of episodes I have taped from the great summer of '95 when CC ran every episode, in order, at midnight. Little ten-second bumpers were added featuring info about the movie and other stuff. In more cases than not, the facts therein are materially wrong. The info was supplied to them by a then-well-known and well-connected MSTie named Mike Pearce. Mike had managed to develop a very comfortable relationship with somebody in the programming dept. at Comedy Central and was a very reliable source for information from CC-especially monthly schedules that were almost never wrong. But wow, he really got some of his facts wrong on these bumpers more often than not.
  • I like the way Crow ZOOMS out of the theater as he heads into the first internal host segment, hurrying to prepare his expose of the "Van Patten Project."
  • Crow still has his net off when he returns to the theater.
  • Another reference to "Bonnie, your Time/Life operator" a reference to a long-forgotten commercial.
  • Once again there's a bit that makes a reference to a portion of the movie we haven't seen yet--this time it's Frank, with top hat and can saying "It's show ti-" We have no idea what he means until we return to the movie and get the second plot about the aging hoofer.
  • I had forgotten how really almost incomprehensible Timothy Van Patten is in this movie--he talks WAY to fast and mumbles most of the time.
  • Favorite riff: "Yeah but I'm out $20. Let's go back to the magic store."

323- THE CASTLE OF FU-MANCHU

First shown: 1/18/92.
Opening: The SOL's Teen Club.
Invention exchange: The bots offer an extremely useful telephone transducer chip, while all Joel has is the big head (again), the Joe Besser "Stinky" Bomb.
Host segment 1: Crow decries "The Miss Saigon Syndrome," J&TB become distraught, the Mads are pleased.
Host segment 2: The Shriner Flying Carpet sketch collapses into weeping; delighted, the Mads order out.
Host segment 3: The bots are inconsolable, Joel tries to cheer them up with the story of Fu-Manchu, but the pain becomes too much. The Mads celebrate.
End: J&TB are utterly beaten, the Mads toast their victory and are so cocky they try to riff the film themselves! Gotcha!
Stinger: Monkey pile on the castle guard!

Comments and observations:

  • The "marching band" song in that starts the show--which, by the way, ONCE AGAIN explains the premise--contains a very familiar lyric: "Stories! Fun! Toys!" It's probably from an ancient kid's show. Likewise the line at the end, "Warriors of the World--by Marx!" Marx was a toy company. Somebody must know what it refers to.
  • When Crow and Tom do their invention exchange, there's a closeup on Tom's hand--sheesh, couldn't they have repainted it for the closeup? It looks terrible.
  • Another reappearance of the Big Head. 
  • Dr. F. lights the fuse on the Stinky Bomb and the sparks almost puts Frank's eyes out.
  • Dated reference: "Filmed in Oakland."
  • Also: "Doogie Hauser!"
  • Movie comment: Some of the footage in the movie is clearly stolen from other movies. I'd love to know which ones.
  • J&TB enter the theater with their Shriner costumes on. Joel removes his, then Crow's, then turns to remove Tom's fez, then either can't do it or thinks better of it.
  • Favorite riff: "Don't step in the guy."
  • Callback: "No!" (Cave Dwellers)
  • Also: "Glen Manning get off that dam!" (Amazing Colossal Man)
  • Also: "I can remember a thousand wonderful hours..." (Rocketship XM)
  • Who drew those "artist's renderings"?
  • At different points, both Tom and Joel get irritated at Crow and tell him to shut up or stop.
  • When those cakes of ice float to the surface of the water, Joel makes an odd pantomime that looks a little like he's picking his nose. I watched it a couple of times, and then it hit me that he's miming snorting coke.
  • Love the slam on Toastmasters (an organization full of people who think they're witty, but usually aren't).

324- MASTER NINJA II

First shown: 1/25/92.
Opening: J&TB are an Improv group.
Invention exchange: Conveyer belt buffet, perpetual hamster habitat.
Host segment 1: The bots design their own custom vans.
Host segment 2: General Timothy Van Patten.
Host segment 3: Tom pairs detectives with their appropriate pets.
End: The Van Cleef dress-up doll, letter, Frank pleads for the return of "The Second Hundred Years."
Stinger: Lee with hamster.

Comments and observations:

  • As they're digging the grave in the movie, Crow goes completely off the rails with his Cryptkeeper impression. Joel and Tom are ready to kill him.
  • "MENDOZAAA!!" is a nice little nod to The Simpsons.
  • They mention Pearl Drops--I haven't heard about them much latetly but apparently they still exist.
  • Callbacks: Several Hikeebas and "Charles Moffet: feared not." (Ring of Terror)
  • Also: "Ator! No!" (Cave Dwellers)
  • At one point, BBI was talking about doing "Master Ninja 3." Cooler heads prevailed, I guess.
  • The "improv group" sketches in the beginning are clearly a chance to vent their spleen at the many low-rent improv groups that, well, are pretty scripted.
  • Segment 3, where Tom pairs detectives with appropriate pets, is a classic, the kind of sketch that made MST3K so beloved: Clever, well-written and off the wall.
  • Where is that mansion in the second episode--er, I mean, the second half of the movie? For a moment Tim runs onto the patio and we can see the Hollywood sign behind him! From the angle, I'd say Beverly Hills? Or not?
  • Tom yells "FOUCAULT!!!" at the end of the episode--hope the censors didn't have a fit.
  • Favorite riff: "The wizard's not in!!"
  • Also: "Now I just believe in effects."