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This Date in MSTory

1909: Bruce Seton, who played Prof. Flaherty in the movie in episode 909- GORGO.
1911: Armida, who played Wanama in the movie in episode 203- JUNGLE GODDESS.
1917: Baynes Barron, who played Nasor in the season one serial RADAR MEN FROM THE MOON.
1917: John F. Kennedy, American president, whom Joel impersonated in a host segment in episode 111- MOON ZERO TWO.
1927: Carl Toms, who did the costumes for the movie in episode 111- MOON ZERO TWO.
1928: Masaru Sato, who composed the musical score for the movie in episode 213- GODZILLA VS. THE SEA MONSTER.
1938: Sirry Steffen, who played Marta Farnstrom in the movie in episode 106- THE CRAWLING HAND.*
1949: Cotter Smith, who played Chad Webster in the movie in episode 324- MASTER NINJA II.*
1964: Brad Morris, stuntman who appeared in the movie in episode 519- OUTLAW OF GOR.*

1988: Charla Doherty (age 41, road accident), who played Nancy in the movie in episode 523- VILLAGE OF THE GIANTS.
2004: Edward Earle a.k.a Zebedy Colt (age 74), who co-wrote three songs that were featured in movie in episode 817- HORROR OF PARTY BEACH.
2012: Dick Beals (age 85), who probably provided Gumby’s voice in the short ROBOT RUMPUS, seen in episode 912- THE SCREAMING SKULL.

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: 306- Time Of The Apes

Movie: (1974 TV series; 1987 compilation movie) A trio of young people take refuge in cryogenic capsules during an earthquake, and awaken in a world populated by intelligent apes.

First shown: 7/13/91
Opening: Using Tom as a T-ball stand, Joel shags some flies to Crow, breaks a window and causes explosive decompression
Invention exchange: Gypsy fixes the hole and warns them not to do it again but of course they do. Joel shows off his cellulite phone, while the Mads demonstrate their miracle baby growth formula
Host segment 1: J&tB present: “Why doesn’t Johnny care?” A film by Bell Labs
Host segment 2: J&tB present their version of “Inherit the Wind”
Host segment 3: Crow presents an “ape fashion minute”
End: J&tB sing the Sandy Frank song, Joel reads a letter, and in Deep 13, Baby pushes the button
Stinger: “Johnny, be careful.” “I don’t care!”
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (141 votes, average: 4.35 out of 5)

• Back when we did the KTMA version of this, I wrote that the episode got “dragged down by the film, which is just a big giant carbuncle of a movie. Though it’s much funnier, of course, I’m not a big fan of the season 3 version either.” I based that statement on my memory of past viewings, but I gotta say, this time around was a pleasant surprise. I found myself laughing a lot and the movie, cut to incomprehensible ribbons though it is, moves along at a breezy, watchable pace. The host segments are all giggle-worthy too. It just goes to show you how your opinions of episodes can change over time.
• As most of you know, this movie was cut together from an entire season’s worth of TV adventures. If you watched the KTMA version, it was barely followable, but you could sort of find the thread of the action. But THIS incarnation has ALSO been cut for time by BBI and, intentionally or not, the result is a series of scenes, mostly action-y set pieces, that have little or no relation to each other. The overall final product is totally unfathomable. But, for riffing, it works.
• This episode is included in Shout’s Mystery Science Theater 3000 Collection: Vol XXII.
• During his second at bat, Joel’s knocks off what’s left of Tom’s head. Ouch. They cover with a handy plastic coffee mug.
• Joel says “You potched up the hole.” They keep going.
• Crow’s baseball glove falls off (you can see the duct tape) and Joel just rolls right with it.
• The baby is played by little Eli Kenneth Mallon, who is now not so little (he’s in his 20s).
• The miracle growth baby is sound guy Tim Scott, in the first of two appearances in that role.
• When they enter the theater after the opening, Tom is still wearing a coffee mug and Crow is still netless.
• Joel continues his strict style in the theater, AGAIN threatening to dismember Crow when he utters a pun.
• Just a really dumb line from the movie: Somebody notes that earthquakes are possible but the Dr. Lee insists “nothing will happen suddenly.” Wait, what?
• As we watch the monkey wake up, it sure sounds like Joel says “Shit.” It might be “shoot” though.
• Crow asks Joel: “You said ‘bowling ball’ earlier. What did that mean?” Well, Crow, Joel was reacting to a shot of sun-bleached skull that looked vaguely like a bowling ball–albeit a white one.
• During segment 1, I love that Crow provides the projector noise, and that Tom misses a few sprockets, only to be nudged back into place by Joel. I think we have a few former A/V squad members on the writing staff.
• As they return to the theater after segment 2, Joel is carrying the cardboard cutout of Judge Wapner (somebody sent them that??) and sails it toward the screen saying, “Fly, judgie! Fly!” His Honor gets some good distance!
• Crow reenters the theater after segment 3 still wearing his hat.
• Tom’s wearing a weird monkey mask during the final segment.
• Cast/crew roundup: Screenwriter Keiiche Abe also wrote “Fugitive Alien” (and, of course, “Star Force”). Cinematographer Yoshihiro Mori also worked on “Mighty Jack.” American editor William L. Cooper Jr. also edited “Mighty Jack.” Score composer Toshiaki Tsushima also did music for “The Green Slime.” In front of the camera, Wataru Omae was also in “Godzilla Vs. the Sea Monster” and Hiroyuki Kawase was also in “Godzilla Vs. Megalon.”
• CreditsWatch: Colleen Henjum moves from contributing writer to writer for this and the next two episodes. Additional Contributing Writers: Lynn-Anne Freise, Craig Tollifson, Tom Wedor, Jann L. Johnson, Alexandra B. Carr. It was the first of 14 episodes in season 3 that a guy named Brian Wright did the audio. Dr. F and Frank are still “Special Guest Villians” (misspelled) and Dr. F’s name is again spelled “Forrestor.” This is the last time in the Comedy Central era that Jim Mallon appears in the writers list.
• Fave riff: “Harder…” Honorable mention: “Home, where I comb my facey.” “Johnny is a walking faux pas.”

Weekend Discussion Thread: Military-Related Humor

Happy Memorial Day weekend!

Alert regular Timmy offers:

My father was in the Air Force (he was a B-52 navigator for Strategic Air Command). A few years ago I showed him the clip from SCCTM from Cinematic Titanic that had the B-52 in it. He laugh at that clip. For those who haven’t see the movie, Trace says, “the mighty B-52, backbone of the Strategic Air Command, it bully full of atomic death, keeping America safe and the rest of the world scared s**tless.” With that in mind, what is your favorite military related humor of MST3K, (including Rifftrax and Cinematic Titanic). Mine is when Crow does anything from “Patton.”

One of my favorites is “Stock footage is hell.”

What’s your pick?

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 (118 votes, average: 3.81 out of 5)

• 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) and now Dr. F’s name is spelled “Forrestor.” 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?”

New Short from RiffTrax…


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.

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)

• 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.