Alert regular Paul opines:
The Chicago Cubs’ recent World Series win got me thinking. I recalled all the jokes made by the MST3K gang about the Cubs being perpetual losers.
Now those jokes are no longer as relevant. I began to think of other memorably-dated riffs.
There was that joke about the high gas prices on a shot of a gas station in episode 904 – Werewolf. That episode was seen in 1998, when gas prices were much lower than today. I cringe whenever I hear that joke now.
What are your favorite examples of dated riffs and jokes on MST3K?
There was one a few weeks ago in the episode guide: “Marilu Henner is replacing Vicki!” To be honest I couldn’t even remember who “Vicki” was (it was Vicki Lawrence, thank you internet.)
What’s your pick?
BORN ON THIS DATE
1892: Richard Talmadge, director of the movie in episode 109- PROJECT MOON BASE.
1900: Jeffrey Sayre, who was a train station extra in the movie in episode 419- THE REBEL SET.
1908: Robert Kent, who played Benson in the movie in episode 520- RADAR SECRET SERVICE and Capt. Bob West in the season two serial THE PHANTOM CREEPS.
1913: Mickey Simpson, who played Naga in the movie WORLD WITHOUT END, riffed in MST3K’s first live show.
1925: Dede Allen, editor for the movie in episode 807- TERROR FROM THE YEAR 5000.
1925: Ferlin Husky, who was mentioned in a host segment in episode 610- THE VIOLENT YEARS.
1941: Walter George Alton, who played the title character and its alter ego, Prof. Tony Farms, in the movie in episode 903- THE PUMAMAN.*
1968: Angela Cornell, who was “girl in photo” in the movie in episode 1004- FUTURE WAR.*
DIED ON THIS DATE
1964: George Lynn (age 58), who played a bus driver in the movie in episode 804- THE DEADLY MANTIS.
1983: Alberto Vargas (age 88), who was the production designer and did the costumes for WORLD WITHOUT END, riffed in MST3K’s first live show.
1999: Lee Amber (age 82), who played Luther Strickland in the movie in episode 908- THE TOUCH OF SATAN.
2000: Jun Fukuda (age 77), director of the movies in episodes 212- GODZILLA VS. MEGALON and 213- GODZILLA VS. THE SEA MONSTER.
2003: Claire Polan a.k.a. Claire Hagen (age 65), who played Paisley in the movie in episode 202- THE SIDEHACKERS.
2004: Maria Perschy (age 66), who played Marie in the movie in episode 323- THE CASTLE OF FU MANCHU.
EPISODE PREMIERE ON THIS DATE
1994: episode 617- THE SWORD AND THE DRAGON first shown.
EVENT ON THIS DATE
1965: HENRY FONDA, who played Fire Chief Albert Risley in the movie in episode K16- CITY ON FIRE, married his fifth wife Shirlee Adams.
This Date in MSTory is written and compiled by Steve Finley, Chris Cornell and Brian Henry. Copyright © 2016 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.
Starring Ted Prior as Michael “Mike” Danton. Stream or download it here.
An open thread for your reports about tonight’s RiffTrax Christmas show.
Tehran, Iran — Iranian-American director and actor and producer Tony Zarindast died here of cancer Nov. 29. He was 82.
He was reportedly considered by some to be the “Persian Ed Wood” and MSTies will remember his work as writer, director and producer of the movie in episode 904- WEREWOLF (in which he also appeared).
We’ll have more soon.
Thanks to Rick and Paul for the heads up.
Short: (1956) A fifth-grade girl and boy demonstrate how to have obsessive hygiene habits.
Movie: (1959) Detectives investigate a murder that they suspect is related to a secret porno operation.
First shown: 11/5/94
Opening: M&tB throw Gypsy a shower
Intro: Frank’s missing and Dr. F. begins to worry
Host segment 1: Frank has become a mad bomber, and gives the SOL a taste of what he’s planning for Deep 13
Host segment 2: M&tB check Frank’s background for clues
Host segment 3: There’s little hope until Mike remembers Frank’s weakness
End: Dr. F. stops Frank’s plan, Mike reads a letter, Frank has been deep-fried
Stinger: “Dirk? No that can’t be Dirk…uh-uh…no…that’s not Dirk…no.”
• I had a lot of people disagreeing with me the last time around, but I watched it again and I am going to stick with the “good-not-great” rating. It’s an Ed Wood movie, so you know it’s going to be good, and the riffing is fine, but the very topical host segments haven’t aged very well and that drags the overall rating down for me. Great short, though.
• You’ll find this episode in Rhino’s “Mystery Science Theater 3000 Collection, Vol. 9.”
• Of course that’s Paul as Huggy Bear and Patrick as Rooster. On the basis of these incredibly brief cameos, they’ll make a re-appearance in next week’s “Urkel” segments. In fact I wonder if these appearances were thrown in just to add two more characters to the bits in the next episode.
• The springboard for the host segments was the spate of “mad bomber” movies that hit theaters in ’94, in particular “Speed,” “In the Line of Fire,” and the now-pretty-much-forgotten “Blown Away.” At the time, I didn’t get most of the references, because I don’t go to the movies a lot and I hadn’t seen them on video yet. I do give Frank credit for capturing the tone most of the villains in these movies had. His evil faces are fun.
• Tom says: “I think these scenes are from a completely different movie” and in fact they are. The pizza joint sequences were shot in 1956 for a film that was to be called “Rock and Roll Hell” a.k.a. “Hellborn.” It was never finished, so Ed used the footage for this.
• This movie has no relationship with what the porn industry — even back then — was really like. Sadly, in about 10 years, Ed would know a lot more about what the porn industry was really like.
• Non-spaghetti ball bumpers: datebook, bulletin board, film canister.
• Callback: During a host segment, Frank says: “You’re stuck here!” (Fugitive Alien).
• Speaking of callbacks, Mike refers to the the grinning car as “Jet Jaguar” and Crow whispers: “How would YOU know?” Fans had been doing that sort of thing for a while, so I guess it was inevitable that the writers would do it.
• Tom falls off his theater seat laughing, at one point.
• Cast and Crew Roundup: Cinematographer William C. Thompson (who was nearly blind when this film was made and required assistance) also filmed “Bride of the Monster,” “The Violent Years,” “Racket Girls” and “Project Moonbase.” Score composer Manuel Francisco a.k.a. Mischa Terr also composed music for “The Violent Years,” “King Dinosaur,” “The Unearthly” and “Bloodlust.”
In front of the camera, Harvey B. Dunn was also in “Bride of the Monster,” and “Teenagers from Outer Space.” Reed Howes was also in “The Phantom Creeps.” Harry Keatan was also in “The Violent Years.” Nick Raymond was also in “The Hellcats” and “Red Zone Cuba.” Conrad Brooks was also in “Bride of the Monster” and “Red Zone Cuba.” Kenne Duncan was also in “Radar Secret Service.”
• Creditswatch: Host segments directed by Trace Beaulieu. Interns Wendell Anderson, Julie Van Goethem and Sarah Swanson (though in this episode they gave her first name as “Sara”–they fixed it in the credits of the next ep) begin their stints.
• Fave riff from short: “Remember, people like you better when you’re pretty.” Honorable mention: “Don’t touch that!”
• Fave riff: “Well, THERE’S her hat!” Honorable mention: “I’m just gonna ask: Is this a juniper bush?”
This one is very silly but fun. Alert regular Timmy says:
I was looking at the Beatles Abbey Road album cover and thought, who four MSTed movie characters would you pick to be crossing the road?
Mine: Commander Jansen, The Soultaker, Steve (from ‘This Island Earth’) and Troy. What would yours be?
Rowsdower, The Master, The She-Creature and Winky.
Movie: (1964) An air force pilot is eager to learn to fly the F-104 jet, and that means mid-air refueling.
First shown: 10/29/94
Opening: Crow tries to log onto the information super-highway
Intro: The Mads have cranial ports; but M&tB have Cowboy Mike’s barbecue sauce and it’s bold!
Host segment 1: While he and Tom reenact the refueling scene, Crow misses a call
Host segment 2: The bots “debrief” Mike
Host segment 3: The United Servo Academy Men’s Chorus performs
End: Crow finally logs onto the information super-highway, Mike reads a letter, the Mads are sharing their thoughts
Stinger: Lady elbows hubby
• This episode is especially near and dear to me. The movie is JUST. SO. BAD. The riffing is great, considering how little they had to work with, and the host segments are silly and endearing.
• This episode is included in The Mystery Science Theater 3000 Collection, Vol. 12
• Ah, 1994, the year that most people discovered the “online” world, and we began to hear a certain automotive metaphor. By the way, Al Gore didn’t invent the Internet, but he did coin the phrase “information superhighway.”
A personal story: In 1994 I was working for an electronics retailing trade magazine, and one of the big stories of that year was that some electronics retailers (anybody remember Circuit City?) were just starting to carry computers, though nobody (including my boss!) could really say why, exactly, a consumer would want one. And keep in mind that modems were often not standard equipment on many of the computers that were coming to market at that time. Having been online (mostly on Prodigy and AOL) for a couple of years at that point, I tried to explain that “going online” was going to be the killer app for these things. He had no idea what I was talking about and refused to let me do a story about it. He was fired a few months later.
• BTW — do NOT go to biteme.com. It appears to be doing nefarious things.
• In the comments, several experts explained the “looking for uart at fx1050” prompt–essentially it’s saying that there’s a hardware/software conflict, probably involving the modem.
• I love how Crow starts dancing slightly to the hold music as he waits.
• That’s Kevin as the first tech support voice. The next voice is Jim, I think, then the live voice is Paul.
• “It’s bold!!” became an immediate catchphrase.
• I sometimes note especially “naughty” riffs, but it would be impossible to do for this episode. There are dozens during the refueling scenes. My favorite is: “I think he has whiskey jet.”
• Non-spaghetti ball bumpers: datebook, beaker, film canister.
• I once showed this episode to my brother, who was an Air Force pilot. He hated it.
• There was much discussion in online MSTie forums about Crow and Tom, ahem, “refueling.”
• There’s an extreme closeup on the Crow’s phone at one point, and, based on the spray paint flecks on it, I assume it’s been laying around in the prop room.
• Notable theater moment: Mike and Servo get up and dance.
• Those bouncing bombs looked strange to me but several commenters explained that with low-level bombing you need time to get away and the bouncing is designed to give the pilot that time.
• Art riff: “Christo’s latest installa-[boom]…well, good.”
• Random riff: Crow just blurts out: “I hope they blow up Blossom.” (Glad they didn’t.)
• Callbacks: “Shut up Iris.” (The Beatniks), “People seemed to laugh more then:”(Stranded in Space), “Eegah” and “Watch out for snakes!” (Eegah).
• Then-current reference: Tailhook. Honorable mention: “Marilu Henner is replacing Vicky!”
• The topic of corn de-tassling also got a lot of discussion in the forums.
• Segment 2 is great, and I know that many female fans of Mike enjoyed the notion of him being debriefed (tighty whitey alert!)
• Servo does something they rarely do on the show — he takes note of the reel change alert in the corner of the screen and comments on it.
• As if the previous great segments weren’t enough, in segment 3 we are treated to a performance by the United Servo Academy chorus. Kevin wrote both the music and lyrics and I assume spent hours overdubbing himself into many-part harmony. The commenters explained that Mike is imitating Bill McGlaughlin from the local classical music radio show “St. Paul Sunday.”
• Somebody once dissected the lyrics of the song, indicating where every line was stolen from. This has links to almost all them. By the way, if you’d like to hear/see a very nice live version of the song, check out this now-legendary moment from the first JoCo Cruise.
• We get one of the show’s few Cheech and Chong references as Tom Servo imitates Sister Mary Elephant.
• As soon as the character on screen says “poopie suit,” that’s it. Off Tom and Crow go on a long string of scatology, and there’s no stopping them. Mike’s Joel-esque pleas for them to stop fall on deaf ears.
• The “Boogers” incident actually happened, according to the ACEG.
• There is no cast/crew roundup. Nobody involved in this movie worked on any other MSTed movie.
• CreditsWatch: Host segments directed by Jim Mallon. For interns David J. Belmont, Shannon McNeely and Peter Nicolai, this was the final episode they worked on.
• Fave riff: “You know, it’s all kind of dull until you remember how sharp those wings are.” Honorable mention: “Found him! He was under a pile of blankets in my room.”
Meredith Woerner of the L.A. Times previews the Turkey Day marathon and interview Joel and Jonah.
The titles for Vol. 38 are:
602- INVASION U.S.A. (with short: A DATE WITH YOUR FAMILY)
605- COLOSSUS AND THE HEADHUNTERS
618- HIGH SCHOOL BIG SHOT (with short: OUT OF THIS WORLD)
1007- TRACK OF THE MOON BEAST
More info and a pre-order button are here.
Special Offer: The first 1,500 orders placed on ShoutFactory.com will receive an exclusive bonus disc featuring MST3K: The (Nearly) Definitive KTMA Segment Collection (see below for more details), PLUS get it shipped FOUR WEEKS EARLY.
MST3K: The (Nearly) Definitive KTMA Segment Collection
Among the many well-documented epochs in Earth’s history, little has been studied of the year known only as “The KTMA Era.” During this time in 1988, Joel and the bots partook in a pre-season of sorts in which their orbital antics were broadcast only to the Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area. Recently, archaeologists have worked around the clock to recover documents from The KTMA Era hoping to learn more about human culture before the widespread availability of cheesy movie riffing.
Though some footage from this primordial age was inevitably lost (or possibly still await discovery locked in some ancient, underground tomb), scientists have painstakingly reassembled every existing KTMA host segment and used advanced technological techniques to transfer them all to the disc you hold in your hand. Thanks to the miracle of science, we present The (Nearly) Definitive KTMA Segment Collection.