Bits: 1991 Turkey Day Marathon Bumpers

Transcribed by

[Deep 13]

(Dr. F sits at a control panel. A clock sitting on it points to 12:00.)

Dr. F: (to camera) Good evening, citizens of Earth. For the next thirty hours you will be subjected to a constant barrage of pain, suffering, and low budget angst, known to some of you as Mystery Science Theater 3000. (The door opens and Frank walks in carrying two grocery store bags.) And at the end of thirty hours, you will surrender to me and I will rule the world Ha ha ha!

Frank: Clay, check it out. Look, I got turkey, stuffing pie fixings, plus a new recipe that turns a potato into a pograto (sic). This is going to be the grandest Thanksgiving of all.

Dr. F: Frank, I don't have time for Thanksgiving. I'm on the verge of world domination.

Frank: But we have guests coming over.

Dr. F: Frank, don't you understand? We're going to broadcast our Mystery Science Theater 3000 experiments across the country for the next thirty hours straight. And at the end of that thirty hours all the people of the world will bow down before me.

Frank: That's all very fine, but you want to help me bring the stuff in from the car, please?

Dr. F: Oh, sure. (to camera) Your first dose of pain is an experiment called Ring of Terror. To steal a line from this little gem, Charles Moffet feared not. Ha ha ha ha. Puma?

Dr. F and Frank: Puma?

Frank: Would you mind?


(Dr. F is at the control panel, the clock now reads 2:00.)

Dr. F: Ah, first two hours down without a hitch. We should begin to see reports from our operatives in the field very soon. Let me see here, (picks up a clipboard) Ah yes, next experiment Cave Dwellers. Bicardial infarction should begin radiating out from the Midwest within minutes.

Frank: Hold it, you're not wearing that to Thanksgiving dinner, are you? Come on. I can't believe you're gonna wear that. Why don't you wear that nice sweater your mother got you?

Dr. F: Frank, we're gonna beam 28 more hours of our Mystery Science Theater 3000 experiments across the country. When every knee is bent, when every head is bowed in reverent worship to me, it won't matter what I'm wearing.

Frank: Well, don't make a mess. I'm gonna check on the bird. (wanders off muttering "It's wrong")

Dr. F: (to camera) Your next experiment is Cave Dwellers, with Miles O'Keefe. What I have on is fine, Frank!

Frank: It's wrong!

Dr. F: It's okay!

Frank: Wrong!

Dr. F: I'm right!

Frank: Wrong!

Dr. F: Right!

Frank: Wrong!

Dr. F: Right!

Frank: Wrong!

(Dr. F does a slow burn to the camera)


(Dr. F plays an organ attached to the control panel. The clock is at 4:00.)

Dr. F: Let's have some fun, shall we? Ah, Chicago, city of big shoulders. I don't think so! Open up your golden gate California, here I come! (Frank wanders out the door) Ah, thirty hours of bad movies beamed coast to coast with no end in sight. They'll be retching from one end of the country to the other. Well, let's see what's next. Ah, Jungle Goddess, one of my favorites. (to camera, sliding into a Dennis Miller impression) Imagine Mr. Lexus in the garage, gets up to let out Vince the rottweiler puppy, thinks to watch a little headline news on the radio, you know? (Frank comes back in and closes the door.) Gets back in, tries to entice Mrs. Step Aerobics into a little dirty dancing on the soft sider, cha cha, I don't think so! Imagine his surprise when he sees his children sprawled on the floor like some bizarre Mathew Brady landscape.

Frank: I locked up, okay? (kisses Dr. F's head and wanders off)

Dr. F: (to camera) I, uh, he's, uh, our next experiment is Jungle Goddess. I think you'll like it.


(Dr. F sits at the control panel. The clock is at 6:00.)

Dr. F: (To camera) Here, how does this sound? "I'M MAD, DAMN YOU, MAD!" No, too cliché. How about, um, "Mad? Why I've done things you've never even dreamed of doing!" No, no, how 'bout, uh, "Mad? Yes I'm mad, I'm mad-" (Frank walks in carrying a turkey)

Frank: What in the world are you doing?

Dr. F: I'm just practicing my response for when the world asks me why I'm beaming thirty straight hours of bad movies coast to coast.

Frank: Well look, do me a favor, will you? Take your little world domination thing and take it outside, okay? I've got a cave to vacuum, I've got a dungeon to dust, I have a turkey to thaw, I mean, this place is a stink-hole. It hasn't been cleaned f-, we have guests coming, for crying out loud!

Dr. F: Frank, thirty straight hours of bad movies beamed coast to coast! And when the nation is mine, the world will be mine, and when the world is mine the universe will be mine, because I'm (Frank unplugs the control panel and plugs a vacuum cleaner in, making the lights go off.) Frank! The world is within our grasp and all you can think about is dusting and housework! (Shines a flashlight under his face campfire-style) Well Kansas City, open up. Here comes Sidehackers!


(Dr. F sits at the control panel while Frank dusts it. The clcok is at 8:00.)

Dr. F: This is it, Frank, the eighth hour of our Turkey Day marathon. Intense, hellish pain like sweet sewage will begin lapping the ankles of those sweet people in the plain states, while bolts of agony shoot up and down the spines of those good people on the Eastern Seaboard.

Frank: Do you like giblet gravy? I'm thinking of making a giblet gravy for our Thanksgiving dinner but I don't know if our guests coming will enjoy it. I should call Jack.

Dr. F: Well, let's see. Next experiment, Rocketship X-M. Hmm, that spells severe arterial spasms for those good people of Utah.

Frank: I mean, after all, what is giblet gravy but ground-up organ meat, and who likes ground-up organ meat? Still, I hate to waste. You'll try my giblet gravy, won't you, doctor? (Frank starts dusting Dr. F's arm.)

Dr. F: Well, here goes, Frank. (to camera) As Gertrude Stine once said, eat hot, salty loads of lead death, you pasty-faced morons! (Dr. F notices Frank dusting his arm and gives him a look.)


(Dr. F sits on the couch watching tv as Frank walks in.)

Frank: Well, I'm glad to see you're finally focusing on something besides ruining people's Thanksgivings.

Dr. F: Un, yeah, right.

Frank: So how's the parade going? What did I miss?

Dr. F: Uh, you missed that crappy caterpillar they repaint every year, that quick bunny balloon, and about 2,000 of the worst clowns I've ever seen.

Frank: Look, it's the Underdog balloon! Oh, this is great! He's my favorite! You know, this is finally really starting to feel like Thanksgiving.

Dr. F: Yes it is. Die boy, die! (Dr. F pushes a button on a remote control and a red glow comes from the tv--we can hear explosions and screaming.)

Frank: Oh my god, I can't believe it! Oh, this is awful! He's falling down, it's so terrible! Oh, it's the worst thing I've- oh the humanity! (walks off)

Dr. F: Light the turkey, Frank. He must die so we may live. (to camera) And speaking of dying, gobble this down, my minions. It's a little experiment I put Joel and the 'bots through called Rocket Attack USA.


(Dr. F sits at the control panel with Frank next to him stirring a bowl. The clock is at 12:00.)

Dr. F: Well Frank, our little pain parade has reached its 12th hour, and it won't-oh, you don't even care!

Frank: You know, our guests for Thanksgiving are gonna be here any minutes and I just don't-

(the doorbell rings)

Frank: Oh no, that must be Jack Perkins. He's always the first to arrive and the last to leave. (Frank opens the door, revealing Jack Perkins.)

Jack: Happy Thanksgiving!

Frank: Jack!

Jack: TV's Frank!

Frank: Jack!

Jack: How are you? Oh! (they hug.) Oh, thank you.

Frank: I'll take your coat.

Jack: I know I'm a little early, I want to apologize, Frank, Dr. F, but I was at a wondrous Thanksgiving concert. First Maya Angelou was out to read from I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, and then the Kronos Quartet did works of Vivaldi and Mozart and Ferlin Huskie. Then Topol was out-

Dr. F: Uh, Jack, it's really great to see you but we're kinda in the middle of taking over the world here.

Jack: Dr. Forrester, I brought your favorite. Yams, personally prepared by Karen Finley.

Dr. F: Yams? Oh, Jack!

Jack: Dr. F, happy Thanksgiving:

Frank: (to camera) Now here's something we think you'll really like.


(Frank and Jack are stirring pots. The clock is at 2:00.)

Jack: Ah, what a lovely white sauce. I think that's about as good as a white sauce can get, flavored just right with coriander and thyme, which during the eighty year reign of Queen Victoria was known as the queen's spice.

Frank: Yeah, yeah, it's like being in a time machine, tell us all about it.

Jack: That's right. (the doorbell rings) Ah, what a lovely bell.

Frank: Look, just get the door, would you?

Jack: The lovely, clear sound of a bell, reminiscent, perhaps, of Beethoven's walks through his beloved German countryside, the inspiration, perhaps, for his Piano Concerto Number Five, the Emperor Concerto. Ah, Plant Guy, you let yourself in. (Plant Guy is a plant on a table.)

Plant Guy: Yes, thank you, Jackie, how are you? I brought you a lovely Boston salad.

Jack: Ah, thank you.

Plant Guy: But you know, the doorbell reminds me further of the slower movement in the Emperor, the Abdagio in B Major, which, of course, is a long way from an E flat. But it's used in the first part of the first movement with--

Dr. F: Frank, are your friends so filled with their own classical gas that they don't care that I'm beaming thirty straight hours of bad movies from coast to coast? And that the Midwest, yes, the Midwest is going to receive my next experiment, Wild Rebels! Well, look out Cleveland!

Jack: Ah, Cleveland! Eugene Ormandy and the Cleveland Symphony Orchestra.

Plant Guy: Ah, yes!

Jack: I think that's about as good as classical music can get.

(Dr. F puts his head on the control panel.)


(Dr. F stares at the control panel. The clock is at 4:00. The doorbell rings.)

Frank: Dr. Forrester, you wanna get that?

Dr. F: I'm in the middle of our Turkey Day Marathon, Frank. (the doorbell rings twice more.) All right, I'll get it! I have to do everything around here. (Dr. F opens the door and the mole people walk in, carrying a bucket.) What? Ah, Jerry, Sylvia. How nice, a, uh, a bucket of soil. Frank, the mole people are here!

Frank: Great, have them put their coats on the bed.

Dr. F: Put your coats in on the bed. (They don't move.) In, on, oh never mind. Well, how is everything in the ground? (Frank and Jack walk in.)

Frank: Jerry, Sylvia, hi! What a nice surprise! (takes the bucket) Oh, I see you're still on that special diet. I'll put this in a dish right now. (Jack holds out a spoon from a pot to Dr. F.)

Jack: Here, taste this. (Dr. F does so) We started out by whipping egg yolks with fresh Wisconsin butter, and then we added coriander, thyme, and a pinch of nutmeg. Ah, nutmeg, that brings me back like a time machine to my days-

Dr. F: Frank, keep Jack Perkins in the kitchen.

Jack: I'll be in the kitchen.

Dr. F: (to camera) Well, you can all taste my next experiment, The Amazing Colossal Man. (to the mole people) It's a strong taste. So, Twister?


(Everyone but Dr. F, who's at the control panel, is eating dinner. The clock is at 6:00.)

Jack: Yo Yo Ma. What words could I use to describe the heavenly sounds he can summon from a cello?

Plant Guy: Hmm. Well, personally I've always felt that Yo Yo Ma scrapes away at the cello as if he's trying to remove the rust from some old Franklin stove.

Jack: You're absolutely right. I've never liked him.

Frank: Dr. Forrester, why don't you come in and eat? The experiment can run itself for a while.

Jack: Ah, Dr. Forrester, yams. Sweet yams like you've never tasted before.

Dr. F: I don't have time for this nonsense. The Turkey Day marathon is at a critical hour and I won't have you foolish, simpering dolts ramming your Thanksgiving day custom down my throat. I won't have it!

Frank: Look, I'll make you a plate. Do you like mashed potatoes? Sure, we all do.

Jack: Give him a fresh handful of my cardimam bread. I baked it special from Cicely Tyson's own magical recipe.

Dr. F: (to camera) Have a big, hearty slice of Godzilla vs. the Sea Monster, you simpering fish-lipped half-wits. (Frank gives Dr. F a yam.) Oh, uh, thank you, Frank. (Dr. F turns the yam over and gives Frank a look.)


(Everyone is sitting down and watching tv.)

Dr. F: Well, kiddies, I'm sorry but I'm going to be pulling the plug on your precious Thanksgiving. We won't be watching E.T., instead we're going to be watching this crummy Czehoslovakian rip-off called Pod People.

Frank: Oh come on, I thought we were going to have the tv off after dinner.

Jack: Yes, if anyone's going to be interested, I'm going to be reading from Dylan Thomas' enchanting work titled A Child's Christmas in Wales.

Dr. F: Oh, I don't think so, Jack. I wouldn't call that good tv.

Frank: Oh, that cuts it. If anyone's interested, Jack is going to be doing his reading in the kitchen. Come on.

(Frank and Jack, exit, and the mole people and Plant Guy follow them.)

Dr. F: (to camera) Well, at least you and I can watch this together. If you're wondering in your family whether to watch my show, Mystery Science Theater 3000, or E.T. the Extraterrestrial, make things go your way and, uh, ruin things for your friends and family by telling them that at the end, E.T. goes home. Ball's in your court, Spielberg. Oh, and, uh, by the way, I'm dating Amy Irving, and she's hot! (blows a kiss to the camera)


(Jack and Plant Guy share a drink.)

Jack: You know, I think it was Love in the Time of Cholera, that magical work by-

Plant Guy: No, no, no, no, no, Jackie, it was The General and His Labyrinth.

Jack: Plant Guy, you are right. You know, after a couple sherries I don't think I could tell the difference between a Mario Vargaslosa and a Gabriel Garcia-Marquez--

(The camera zooms out to reveal Dr. F at the control panel. The clock is at 10:00.)

Dr. F: Look, shut up! Just shut up!

Jack: You know, anger is one of the most passionate-

Dr. F: Perkins, one more word out of your fat gob and I'll cauterize your adenoids. You're playing parlor games with a couple of geckos and a bucket full of dirt and I'm trying to take over the world here! (Frank enters carrying a tray of desserts.)

Frank: Who wants pie? I've got pumpkin and I've got apple, and cherry, and plus I've got vanilla and cinnamon ice cream, and the mole people have made ice cream using mealworms and dirt.

Jack: (to camera) Hello, Linda Ellerbe, if you are out there, I've got something to say to you. Isn't it ironic that I'm pulling down about six figures a year in my cushy cable job, while you're out there peddling Maxwell House coffee? (Dr. F jabs Jack with a cattle prod.)

Frank: Heh. He's a bit into the Harvey's Bristol Cream.

Dr. F: Frank, get rid of 'em or I will. (to camera) Your next experiment is called Fugitive Alien. Obey! (sniffs Jack's drink)


(The guests are at the door.)

Frank: Hold on, everyone, I've got care packages, plenty for all. Plant Guy, I didn't know whether you liked white or dark meat so I made you a little of both.

Plant Guy: Oh, bless your heat and thank you for a lovely evening.

Frank: My pleasure. Jack, a couple of those drumsticks I know you're fond of, and I snuck in a little pumpkin pie.

Jack: Oh, pumpkin pie. In my opinion, this is about as good as Thanksgiving can get; warm, scintillating conversation and good friends.

Frank: No argument here, my friend.

Jack: You know, I, uh, I keep thinking I'm forgetting something.

Frank: Jack, whatever you got, we'll mail it to you.

Jack: Good enough. Well then, happy Thanksgiving everyone.

Frank: Happy Thanksgiving all. Goodbye, Jerry, Sylvia, thanks a lot. Be careful burrowing home. It's very hazardous around the holidays. Bye bye. Bye. Take care.

(The guests leave and Frank closes the door. He walks over to Dr. F at the control panel. The clock is at 12:00.)

Frank: Well, some night, huh Aaron?

Dr. F: Pleased, are you, about your little dinner?

Frank: Sure am.

Dr. F: Everyone have a good time?

Frank: Yeah, and I think Jerry and Sylvia have patched things up.

Dr. F: Oh, that's sweet. Well then can we please get on with the business of our twenty, thirty, forty hour marathon?

Frank: Look, look, I'll send the next movie. You just relax. It's, uh , Catalina Caper. (to camera) Happy Thanksgiving.



(Dr. F sits at the control panel, while Frank washes dishes. The clock is at 2:00.)

Frank: So how'd the experiment go?

Dr. F: Fine, Frank. Just fine.

Frank: You were sorely missed. Everyone at Thanksgiving dinner asked for you.

Dr. F: Frank, I was right here. I don't understand it. After beaming 26 straight hours of our Turkey Day marathon across the country, Atlanta should be burning by now.

Frank: Ah. It was the greatest dinner party I've ever given. Even grander than last April's hat party. What did you think?

Dr. F: Frank, I'm a scientist. I don't have time to think.

Frank: Oh, someone's over-tired. Why don't you put your stuff away and get some sleep?

Dr. F: I just don't know. I just don't know what I did!

Frank: Look, you didn't get much to eat. Here, I made you a snack. (holds out an apple) Want some? (Dr. F swats the apple away)

Dr. F: Frank, I don't have time for a snack, I- Frank, that's it! Daddy-O! Frank, you're brilliant, I could kiss-- (Frank holds a plate in front of his face) Right! Daddy-O! That's it, Daddy-O, starring Dick Contino! Yes!


(Frank dusts the control panel while Dr. F sleeps. The clock is at 4:00.)

Frank: (to the tune of Brahm's Lullaby) Sandy Frank, Sandy Frank, let's rock the house all day- (to camera) Ah, look at him. Look at the guy, sleeping like a baby. Here, I know. (puts a blanket on Dr. F) Sad, isn't it? All he wanted to do was inflict a little pain, make the world a little worse and stuff, heck, even worked without sleep for 24 hours, and now, his experiment a-shambles, he's overcome with fatigue and grief. Now cracks a noble heart. Good night, sweet prince, and a flight of angels sing thee to thy rest. (bursts into tears) I can't! I can't let his efforts go to waste; I have to start the last experiment for him! For him! It's his favorite, too, It Conquered the World! You there, you, yes, you, don't you care? Don't you even care? This man has given his soul for you, you can't turn your backs on him now! (Dr. F begins to wake up.) One last chance, come on! Look into your hearts! (stops crying) Hey, look at this. His hair's so stiff you can do fun stuff with it, look. He's a angel, he's a pixie, he's an angel, he's a pixie, he's an an-- (Dr. F grabs Frank's shirt.)

Dr. F: Frank, we have to talk!


(Dr. F sits at the control panel while Frank eats some pie. The clock is at 6:00.)

Frank: Come on, papa, eat!

Dr. F: I've failed, Frank. How hard can it be to take over the world? Piece of cake, right?

Frank: Oh come on, don't be so hard on yourself. You just did a thirty-hour marathon of your most diabolical experiments ever. I mean, not just any stiff could pull that off.

Dr. F: No ,Frank, you're the trooper here. You put on that great spread, and the place looked great, and you looked great, and I just want to tell you, Frank, I really admire you.

Frank: Thanks, Steve. It takes a really big man to admit that.

Dr. F: No, I mean it, Frank. You're a real booster. You know, I think I will have a piece of that pumpkin pie.

Frank: Well, I used that on my sandwich. Don't have any left.

Dr. F: Well, no matter. Mincemeat it is, then.

Frank: I put that into a shake. Not any left.

Dr. F: Start running, Frank.

Frank: Yes, sir.

(Frank runs off.)