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Sampo & Erhardt

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

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This Date in MSTory

BORN TODAY
1908: Jack Bolger, who did the sound for the movie in episode 801- REVENGE OF THE CREATURE.
1915: William A. Forester, who played an announcer in the movie in episode 804- THE DEADLY MANTIS.
1917: Sid Melton, who played Sgt. Willie Tatlow in the movie in episode 208- LOST CONTINENT and Pill Box in the movie in episode 520- RADAR SECRET SERVICE.
1919: Douglas Heyes, who directed the movie in episode 615- KITTEN WITH A WHIP.
1920: Ralph Brooke, who was the producer, director and screenwriter for the movie in the movie in episode 607- BLOODLUST!
1922: Quinn Martin, executive producer of the movie in episode 608- CODE NAME: DIAMOND HEAD.
1927: Phil Tucker, producer/director of the movie in episode 107- ROBOT MONSTER.
1927: George R. Nelson, set designer for the movies in episodes 411- THE MAGIC SWORD and 608- CODE NAME: DIAMOND HEAD.
1929: Shirley Falls, who played the switchboard operator in the movie in episode 313- EARTH VS. THE SPIDER.
1932: Merry Anders, who played Lt. Karen Lamont in the movie in episode 104- WOMEN OF THE PREHISTORIC PLANET.
1938: Susan Strasberg, who played Nancy Kingman in the movie in episode K13- SST: DEATH FLIGHT.
1952: Mike Muscat, who played a terrorist/waiter in the movie in episode 324- MASTER NINJA II.*
1959: Morrissey, who was parodied by Mike Nelson in a host segment in episode 403- CITY LIMITS.*

DIED TODAY
1989: Gerd Oswald (age 69), director of the movie in episode 815- AGENT FOR H.A.R.M.

EVENTS
1954: The third chapter of “The Pirates of Prah” from TV’s “Rocky Jones, Space Ranger” premieres in syndication. The three chapters of “The Pirates of Prah” would later be released on video in the format seen in episode 413- MANHUNT IN SPACE.
1985: The movie in episode 403- CITY LIMITS is reviewed in Variety.


This Date in MSTory is written and compiled by Steve Finley, Chris Cornell and Brian Henry. Copyright © 2015 All rights reserved. Please do not reproduce This Date in MSTory items in any form without express written permission from the authors.
* = According to the IMBD this person is alive. If you can supply evidence that he or she has died, and when, please let us know.
** = If this appears next to a birthday, the IMDB indicates that the person has died, but the IMDB does not have a full death date (probably just a month and year or just the year he or she died). If you can give us the exact date (with some sort of proof we can check), please let us know.
** = If this appears next to a death date, the IMDB does not have this person’s full birthday. If you can provide it (with some sort of proof we can check), please let us know.

Episode guide: 305- Stranded In Space

Movie: (1973) Unsuccessful TV pilot about an astronaut who finds himself on a mirror-Earth, where the shadowy, oppressive “Perfect Order” rules.

First shown: 6/29/91
Opening: Joel has turned Crow and Tom into a shooting gallery
Invention exchange: The shooting gallery is now in Apple Dumpling Gang mode; both Joel and the Mads show off variations of the “BANG!” gun
Host segment 1: Crow and Tom fight over their trading cards until Joel intervenes; he then shows off his “kids in court” trading cards
Host segment 2: Tom’s baking cookies; Crow tells him about a nightmare that reminds Tom of Ward E, and they discuss their personal visions of what Ward E is like
Host segment 3: Joel is a TV movie villain, the bots are his henchmen
End: Joel and Crow try to sell “Stranded in Space” to producer Tom; Joel reads a letter, the Mads are TV movie villains and Dr. F foresees a promotion for Frank
Stinger: Bettina strikes Stryker.
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (113 votes, average: 3.79 out of 5)
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• I think Sampo’s Theorem is going to be in full force here, because, frankly, I’m not a big fan of this one, which means that I’m sure somebody will come forward to express their undying love for it. For me, the biggest problem is that the movie is as drab as a sinkful of dishwater. There’s very little for the riffers to grab on to (though of course there are some great moments as always). All the host segments are worth a smile or two, but nothing is outstanding. A classic “meh” episode.
• This one’s not on DVD.
• Joel explains 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.” The show seldom makes that much effort to explain itself.
• To wake the bots up, Joel throws glittery confetti. What is he, the Harlem Globetrotters? (Alternately, Rip Taylor.)
• Watch the plunger on the TNT prop as Frank presses down. They keep going. JEF!!
• Callbacks: Two uses of “hikeeba” (Women of the Prehistoric Planet) and several uses of “No!!!” (Cave Dwellers). Also: two references to Sidehackers: “The most dramatic confrontation since Rommel met JC” and “that’s pretty good!”
• Before FVI got hold of it, this was called “The Stranger.” In their re-edit, they used clips from a movie called “Prisoners of the Lost Universe” during the credits sequence (RiffTrax would riff it in 2012).
• My copy is from March of 1995, the “Play MSTie for Me” era. The OJ trial was in full swing and Comedy Central runs one of its “Just Say No J” promos twice.
• Movie observation: You can see why this never went to series. His only way off the planet is via the Terra version of NASA. How many space launches are there? The guy says they have an active space program, but still. How likely is he to be able to sneak aboard a flight? If the plan they concoct in this episode failed, is some other plan likely to work better? It’s an unworkable premise is what I’m saying.
• Dated riff: Joel and Tom both mention “Photomat.” The once-ubiquitous film developing retail chain is now long dead, put out of business by digital technolgy.
• Instant catchphrase: “People used to laugh more then…the were concerts in the park…”
• Again, the order of segments isn’t quite right: They’ve mentioned Ward E by the time we get to segment 2, but they haven’t shown it to us yet.
• Tibby makes a return appearance in segment 3!
• What’s “People’s Road 94?” I’m guessing it’s a Minnesota joke. Google is silent.
• 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.
• In the ending segment, Tom says “letter latey.” They keep going.
• Dr. F mentions Gizmonic Institute during the closer. First time in a long while.
• I always mix this one up in my mind with “Space Travelers.” Both are such bland names and besides the astronauts in the other movie are more stranded in space than Stryker is, so…
• Cast/crew roundup: Score composer Richard Markowitz did the same for “The Magic Sword.” Actor H.M. Wynant also appears in “Hangar 18.” Buck Young also appears in “Mitchell.” And, of course, Cameron Mitchell also appears as Captain Santa in “Space Mutiny.”
• CreditsWatch: A guy named Bob King came in to do audio for this episode and only this episode. Tim Scott is listed as “on-line editor” for this episode only. Jann Johnson and Alex Carr are listed as additional contributing writers. Trace and Frank are still “guest villians” (misspelled). This was Lisa Sheretz’ last episode as a contributing writer, and after this episode Colleen Henjum took three episodes off.
• Fave riff: “You’ll always be a little girl.” Honorable mention: “Sir, why aren’t the Landers sisters in this meeting?”

This Date in MSTory

BORN TODAY
J. Elvis Weinstein. (Happy birthday, Josh!)
1899: Ralph Sanford, who was an extra in the movie in episode 517- BEGINNING OF THE END.
1912: John McKennon, production manager for the short ONCE UPON A HONEYMOON, seen in episode 701- NIGHT OF THE BLOOD BEAST.**
1915: Don House, who had a bit part in the movie in episode 801- REVENGE OF THE CREATURE.
1915: Bill Williams, who played Dutch in the movie in episode 810- THE GIANT SPIDER INVASION.
1917: Orville Hampton, uncredited screenwriter for the movies in episodes 201- ROCKETSHIP X-M and 208- LOST CONTINENT.
1918: Jeanne Bates, who played a switchboard operator in the movie in episode 305- STRANDED IN SPACE.
1919: Vera Altayskaya, who played the stepmother in the movie “Morozko,” seen in episode 813- JACK FROST.
1926: Chieko Nakakita, who played a desperate mother in 213- GODZILLA VS. THE SEA MONSTER.
1927: Willis Holman, who composed the musical score for the movie in episode 503- SWAMP DIAMONDS.*
1931: Fulvia Franco, who played Anticlea in the movie in episode 408- HERCULES UNCHAINED.
1938: Ross Hagen, who, played Rommel in the movie in episode 202- THE SIDEHACKERS and Sgt. Monte Chapman in the movie in episode 209- THE HELLCATS.

DIED TODAY
1966: Pat O’Malley (age 75), who played an engineer in the season two serial THE PHANTOM CREEPS.
2007: Bruno Mattei a.k.a. Gilbert Roussel (age 75), assistant director for the movie in episode 911- DEVIL FISH.
2011: Talie Cochran (age 66), who was a hair stylist and makeup artist for the movie in episode 1007- TRACK OF THE MOON BEAST.

EVENTS
1944: Burgess Meredith, who played Willie Basset in the movie in episode K13- SST: DEATH FLIGHT and Capt. Williams in the movie in episode K20- THE LAST CHASE, married actress Paulette Goddard.
1977: Shari Belafonte-Harper, who played Linda in the movie in episode 405- BEING FROM ANOTHER PLANET, married Robert Harper.

EPISODE PREMIERE
1989: Episode K20- THE LAST CHASE first shown.


This Date in MSTory is written and compiled by Steve Finley, Chris Cornell and Brian Henry. Copyright © 2015 All rights reserved. Please do not reproduce This Date in MSTory items in any form without express written permission from the authors.
* = According to the IMBD this person is alive. If you can supply evidence that he or she has died, and when, please let us know.
** = If this appears next to a birthday, the IMDB indicates that the person has died, but the IMDB does not have a full death date (probably just a month and year or just the year he or she died). If you can give us the exact date (with some sort of proof we can check), please let us know.
** = If this appears next to a death date, the IMDB does not have this person’s full birthday. If you can provide it (with some sort of proof we can check), please let us know.

New Short from RiffTrax…

MythsOfShopliftingPoster

Stream or download it here.

RIP Bernie Rosenblum

Rosenblum Bernie Rosenblum, best known to MSTies for his work on the movie in episode 424- MANOS, THE HANDS OF FATE, died recently, according to Jackey Neyman-Jones, who played little Debbie in the movie.
Rosenblum was tapped to play a young man who spent the night making out with his girlfriend, played by Joyce Molleur. In addition to that role Rosenblum also worked on the crew as a stuntman, stunt coordinator, cameraman, key grip and other miscellaneous roles.
Following the movie Rosenblum made a living as a photographer. When Manos gained a new following, Rosenblum was one of several Manos alumni interviewed about his role in the film.
The MST3K Wikia site gives his death date as April 23, but does not cite the source of that information. UPDATE:Ms. Neyman Jones was nice enough to comment and cannot confirm that date. If anybody has a death date from an official source (or information about the circumstances surrounding his passing), we’d love to get that info.
We were also unable to find his birthdate. If anybody has info on that, please let us know.
carcouple

Thanks to Paul for the heads up.

Weekend Discussion Thread: Dated-but-Still-Funny Riffs

Alert regular Brandon opines:

How about dated or topical riffs that are still very funny? I know we often mention riffs that feel outdated, or ones where the reference has been sort of lost, but what about ones that may be dated but still make us crack up laughing.
An example for me would be from 1013- Diabolik, during the press conference scene where the audience starts laughing (due to laughing gas), and Servo exclaims, “Dan Quayle announces his candidacy!” That riff always floors me.

What’s your pick?

Keep those WDT suggestions coming!

Episode guide: 304- Gamera Vs. Barugon

Movie: (1966) In the second outing of the series, a group of conspirators travels to a remote jungle island to retrieve what they believe is a giant opal. They’re wrong: it’s actually the egg of mythical lizard-dog creature, Barugon.

First shown: 6/22/91
Opening: Crow and Tom argue the merits and drawbacks of computer interfaces
Invention exchange: The interface war continues; Joel demonstrates his animated soda can, while the mads show off their disco cumber-bubble-bund
Host segment 1: Fast-talking Tom announces the “5000-piece fightin’ men & monster set”
Host segment 2: Crow and Tom are Midwestern monster women (?) eating at TGI Tokyo’s
Host segment 3: Enjoying a simulated day at the beach, Joel tells Tom and Crow about the big celebrities in the movie, then vapor locks
End: Joel helps Tom and Crow read more about monster movies, Joel reads a letter, Frank has gotten Dr. F a book to read at the beach
Stinger: Opal guy seems happy
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (126 votes, average: 4.06 out of 5)
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• While not really a bad episode, after last week’s iconic outing this one’s a bit of a letdown. On the other hand, compared to the LAST time they riffed this, back in episode K04, it’s leaps and bounds better. The riffing is steady and funny, but there’s not a lot that’s memorable. The movie itself is strange, but reasonably watchable. And the host segments, typically, are a mixed bag.
• One nice thing about this outing is the absence of any sort of squeaky deranged kid.
• Following a repeat of this episode (some time in ’92, I think), the user interface sketch sparked an actual “Mac vs. PC” flame war on the MST3K newsgroups. Ah, simpler times. And in case you forget how long ago this was, note that when this sketch was written, the now-long-forgotten Mac OS System 7 was still in the future (though, by the time this show aired it had been released for about a month). And remember when people called PCs “clones”?
• Joel is very funny in the opening. His mannerisms and delivery are just great.
• In the opening, Tom is typing “wp51.” He’s running Word Perfect?
• At the beginning of the invention exchange, Crow calmly suggests rewriting the autoexec.bat file–a suggestion that probably sounds crazy to modern computer users. And what the heck is a “memory manager”? (A commenter explained.)
• Also, early in the invention exchange, Crow’s arm accidentally disconnects from his body and hangs from the desk. Eventually Joel grabs it and tosses it on the floor.
• Frank’s paltry bubble-making efforts are augmented by extra bubbles coming in from stage left.
• We get another look at Tom’s “rockem-sockem-robot” neck extension. Only the most obsessive bot maker felt it necessary to include this function.
• Joel mumbles that the cumber-bubble-bund looks familiar…it should, they demonstrated a similar item in season one.
• What does the chant “Charbroiled cities!” refer to?
• Callbacks: Tom mentions “Jungle Goddess” as the helicopter lands; “a thousand wonderful hours” (Rocketship XM).
• Crow and Tom give us a little preview of segment 2 in the theater as they lapse into their Midwestern middle-aged lady voices.
• We have another case here where maybe a different host segment order would have worked better: Segment 1, which is very fun and frantic, by the way, mentions Barugon’s ram tongue action–but we haven’t seen it in the movie yet.
• The desk on the SOL was removed in order to shoot the photos for segment 1 and again for segment 3.
• Note the presence, in two sketches, of the partial air filter that was used in the “cheap Halloween costumes” sketch in season two.
• Segment 2 is a bit baffling. What is with the weird masks the bots are wearing? In the ACEG, Kevin calls the faces “awfully and inexplicably weird.” So I don’t even know if THEY know why they did it. I do love the dessert descriptions. Mike probably had a lot to do with that one.
• In segment 3, Joel recalls going to a drive-in “in Buffalo.” “The Lucky Twin on Route 5.” He probably means Buffalo, Minn., not New York. But I suspect he means Route 55 (which runs right through Buffalo) and he appears to remember the name wrong. See the comments for more on this.
• There’s a funny outtake to segment 3 in the poopie reel. (Help me!)
• Joel rips Crow’s arm off again in the theater!
• Joel declares an official ban on the “By this time…” riff.
• The movie was originally titled “Dai Kaiju Keto: Gamera Tai Barugon” (“Great Monster Battle: Gamera vs. Barugon” ) ; it was released in the U.S. as “War of the Monsters.” You might also see it listed as “Gamera vs. Baragon (instead of “Barugon”) . That’s a typo stemming from confusion between Daiei Studios’ monster Barugon and rival Toho’s Baragon, which appeared in “Frankenstein Conquers the World” a year earlier. The two monsters are somewhat similar looking, but they are not the same monster.
• Cast/crew roundup: (I won’t repeat the credits for anybody who was listed in the episode guide for 302- Gamera.) Special effects guy Kazufumi Fujii also worked on “Gamera Vs. Gaos,” “Gamera Vs. Guiron,” and “Gamera Vs. Zigra.” Special effects guy Masao Yagi also worked on “Gamera Vs. Gaos.” In front of the camera, both Kojiro Hongo and Kyoko Enami were also in “Gamera Vs. Gaos.”
• Creditswatch: Additional contributing writer: Jef Maynard. Guest “Villians” (misspelled) again. Two new credits appear: “Online Editor” (this week it’s Tim Paulson); and “Audio Editor” (it’s always Tim Scott). Barb Oswald is Prop Assistant again. Disco ball courtesy of: Teener’s Theatrical Department Store.” (They moved in 2007 and may have closed.) Another new credit: “Additional Music Written and Arranged by.” This week, and most weeks, it’s Mike, but later in the season others will get it. The voice of Meryl Streep reading “The Velveteen Turtle” is not credited, but it sounds like Magic Voice, who was Alex Carr at this time.
• Fave riff: “Solipsism is its own reward.” How true that is. Honorable mention: “Hey, I listened to the diamond thing, but I’m NOT going to arouse him.”

Annotated ‘Touch of Satan’

Episode 908- THE TOUCH OF SATAN is the latest annotated episode to be posted. Enjoy!

And, as always, post references they’ve missed OVER THERE, not here, please.

RiffTrax Guys to Appear on Comedy Central’s ‘@Midnight’

People have been suggesting this for a while and it looks like it’s going to happen June 9.

Weekend Discussion Thread: Tweets from MSTed Movie Characters

The oft-reliable Sue brings in another good one:

If MSTed movie characters tweeted. May I offer up:

The dog’s meat, have you seen it? #WorstMarriageEver

Ebzolootly fessinating. #Wahrwilf

My first thought:

He’ll never touch you, Terri, you’re dirt. #skank

Have at it!