Bit: Modern Constellations

Episode: 502- Hercules

Transcribed by Robert Hutchinson


Crow: Joel, what was the deal with the ancient Greeks?
Joel: Hey, be careful, you're talking about the "ancient Greeks," Crow!
Crow: Yeah, yeah, yeah! But this constellation jazz--come on! After 2,000 years, can we finally admit the emperor has no clothes? 4 stars... "Oh, it's a GREAT BEAR." Right! Or Cassiopeia, whatever the heck THAT is.
Joel: Hey, what about Orion?
Crow: Okay, okay, I'll give you Orion. I gotta admit...Orion's right...but the rest of 'em, it's just--
Tom: Ah-ahem, if I could step in here please, lest we bespoil the reputation, *Crow*, of the founders of democracy too much--the reason you don't see the same figures in the night sky, is because new constellations have never been identified to reflect modern tastes and sensibilities.
Crow: You've done that?
Tom: I've done that. A little help here, Joel? (Joel retrieves easel with boards on it. Each board is black with stars drawn on it, and a transparency behind each board to show the constellation.) Watch carefully. The first grouping of stars found in the southern sky forms a constellation for even the simplest hayseed, Crow...yes, it's a ham sammich. Fascinatingly, the star to the left of the main group forms...a perfect pickle. winter gives way to spring, the eastern sky is ablaze with the glory of...The New Christy Minstrels!
Joel: New Christy Minstrels? Who would've ever thought?
Tom: Well, that's why you need people like me and the Greeks, Joel. Next...
Crow: Oh brother! (Crow departs)
Tom: Seamen just may be tempted to once again navigate by the stars when they recognize, in this group of eleven--"Guernica," Picasso's Cubist masterpiece portraying the horrors of the Spanish Civil War.
Joel: Well, talk about your modern sensibilities. Really good job, Tom Servo, for these renovations of old constellations!
Tom: And I've salvaged the reputation of the ancient Greeks. (Crow enters, with a 'constellation' in his net)
Joel: Well done!
Crow: Tom--I regret my earlier sniping, and if you'll allow me...I got a constellation here. Joel...
Tom: Oh well, that's really--
Crow:'s a pencil!
Tom: D'oh!
Crow: The eraser's almost gone!
Tom: Crow, don't mock me, you're playing with fire!
Crow: Hey, two dots, it's a pencil! What could be more modern?
Tom (softly): I weep for the death of the spirit and the soul.
Joel: Hey, who doesn't? We'll be right back.
Tom: Ennui.......