901: The Projected Man
by Sheba Sullivan
Oh, hey. Fabergé presents!
The House of Fabergé were a family-controlled firm of Russian jewellers. Their Easter eggs (1885-1917) are one of the best-known symbols of Imperial Russia, luxury, and craftsmanship in the world. The larger eggs given to the Russian royal family and the high-ranking members of the peerage were lavishly decorated, usually with gold, jewels, and enamel. Fifty-seven of the 65 large eggs survive; the largest collection can be seen in the Kremlin Armoury museum in Moscow.
[Sung.] The incredible, edible Earth! Ding.
“The incredible, edible egg” is a well-known advertising slogan devised for the American Egg Board in 1977.
Bryant Haliday is the Great Vorelli, isn’t he? –Yeah. –Nice. –Hugo.
Bryant Haliday (1928-1996) was an actor, stage manager, and film-television distributer; he co-founded Janus Films in 1956. He appeared in several English horror films like this one and Devil Doll (1964), which was previously riffed in Show 818. “The Great Vorelli” was his character’s name in that film. Hugo was the dummy; he was named as an homage to the supernatural dummy in the British anthology movie Dead of Night (1945).
Is this the Rite of Spring? Should we be rioting right now?
Igor Stravinsky (1882-1971) was a Russian composer who created many of the classic works of modernism, including his Rite of Spring, which famously caused a near-riot when it premiered.
[On-screen credit: Cece Cooney, S.G. Rider] [Sung.] I say C - C - C Cooney! Oh, wait. I say S.G. Rider, I say S … –That's funny.
A reference to the blues song “See See Rider,” originally recorded by Gertrude “Ma” Rainey in 1924. Of the many versions produced, Elvis Presley’s and The Animals’ are the most popular. Some lyrics: “I said see, see, see rider/Oh, see what you have done/I said see, see, see rider/Oh, see what you have done/Oh, girl, you made me love you/Now, now, now your lovin’ man has gone.”
So far, the continuity lady’s doing a real good job.
In filmmaking, a continuity supervisor (also known as a script supervisor or, in the old days, a “script girl”) keeps track of wardrobe, props, hair and makeup, and set dressings during long and often out-of-sequence shooting schedules. His or her job is to ensure that once the film is edited together, none of those elements are different from shot to shot.
Okay, it’s an all-skate now.
In roller and/or ice skating rinks, use of the rink is sometimes allocated to specific groups for a certain period of time, as called out by an announcer on the public address system. These can include “girls only,” “parents only,” or “all skate.”
Is this movie getting its colors done? –It’s a mood movie.
Mood rings are a staple of 1970s pop culture and nostalgia. The gem in the ring contains some kind of liquid crystal thermometer, which reacts to changes in body heat or air temperature.
Hey, a jaunty jalopy.
Those Daring Young Men in Their Jaunty Jalopies is a 1969 film about a car race across Europe.
“Doctor Hill.” Doctor Benny Hill.
Benny Hill (1924/25-1992) was a chubby English comedian whose skit comedy show (unimaginatively dubbed The Benny Hill Show) reigned on British television for 20 years, beginning in 1969. The series was characterized by risqué humor of the burlesque-show variety, high-speed chases, and lots of curvaceous women in skimpy bikinis.
“Come in, come in.” My ugly little dummy.
See above note on Show 818, Devil Doll.
“Oh, Miss Anderson, is Doctor Mitchel in?” –Mitchell?
A reference to Show 512, Mitchell.
“Would you ask him to set up a test run? I’ll be along presently.” “Okay.” And bring some ham. I love it!
See above note on Show 818, Devil Doll. Vorelli exclaims, “Ah, ham! I love it!” at the charity performance, which prompts Hugo to demand ham as well.
“But the image is flat, two dimensional. Lacks life. And needs a receiver.” Like Cris Collinsworth?
Cris Collinsworth is a former wide receiver in the National Football League. He played for the Cincinnati Bengals from 1981 to 1988 and went on to a career as a broadcaster and sports commentator.
“And without a receiver.” So, not like Cris Collinsworth?
See previous note.
“Well, what’s the principle you apply?” Mr. Weatherbee, as usual.
Waldo Weatherbee is the principal of Riverdale High School in the Archie comic books, created by John Goldwater. He made his first appearance in 1942.
We’ll take the Tube to the Derby, take the lift, and see about my schedule.
A nickname for the London Underground subway system is “the Tube.” The Epsom Derby is a reputable horse race that has been held in Epsom since 1780; it was named after Edward Smith-Stanley, the 12th Earl of Derby. This is the origin of the use of the word “derby” to refer to a race.
You’re an ugly, stupid little doctor.
See above note on Show 818, Devil Doll. Vorelli would attempt to demoralize Hugo by telling him that he was “an ugly, stupid little dummy.”
Caution: my filling is hot.
McDonald’s apple pies famously carry a warning (the wording varies) cautioning customers about the high temperature of their filling.
Are they suiting up for NASCAR, here?
The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) is the largest stock car racing organization in the United States. It sanctions some 1,500 races a year and is one of the most popular sports in the country. It is headquartered in Daytona Beach, Florida.
I’m gonna kick in the sheet-metal cutter now. Switching on the Evinrude. –Releasing the cicadas now. Hit the valveless trumpet.
An Evinrude is a brand of outboard motors.
Hey, they’re steeltown girls on a Saturday night.
This is a paraphrase of the song “Maniac,” performed by Michael Sembello on the soundtrack to the 1983 movie Flashdance. Actual lyrics: “Just a steeltown girl on a Saturday night, lookin' for the fight of her life .../She's a maniac, maniac on the floor/And she's dancing like she's never danced before.”
Duran Duran/Durand Durand is gonna pop in now, right?
I suspect the riff is alluding to the character Durand Durand in Barbarella (1968), not the band Duran Duran (which took its name from the character). The projecting machine, with its arches and 1960s deco, could be said to resemble Durand Durand’s “Excessive Machine” (popularly known as the “orgasmatron”).
I assume Dean Jones will be in this, eventually? –Probably.
Dean Jones (1931-2015) starred in several of the Herbie movies, as well as the TV series. He appeared in many Disney films during the 1960s and 1970s, including That Darn Cat! and The Shaggy D.A.
Are we not blokes?
Devo was a geek-rock proto-new-wave band, known for their bizarre costumes and stage antics, that hit their peak of popularity in the 1980s. Their 1978 debut album was titled Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo!
Seinfeld was a television sitcom starring comedian Jerry Seinfeld that aired from 1990-1998. Jerry’s neighbor Cosmo Kramer (played by Michael Richardson) made a recurring gag of bursting into Jerry’s apartment violently and without warning.
It’s almost time for high tea.
In England and British colonies beginning in the early 19th century, “high tea” was the evening meal, eaten around 6 p.m. (Here “high” is used in the sense of “far advanced,” as in “high noon,” and distinguishes it from afternoon tea.) Dinner referred to the midday meal—what we would call lunch.
Just returned from safari with Lord Melbury.
Lord Melbury was the gentlemanly con artist in the pilot episode of Fawlty Towers, “A Touch of Class.” He was played by Michael Gwynn.
“She has permission: mine.” I’m Mister Rogers.
Fred Rogers (1928-2003) was the host of the long-running children’s show Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, which aired on PBS from 1968-2001. His gentle manner and casual cardigan sweaters became familiar icons to several generations of children.
A reference to Show 512, Mitchell.
Chipped a tooth on my bangers and mash.
Bangers and mash is British soul food: sausages (bangers) and mashed potatoes (mash), often served with gravy, fried onions, and/or baked beans.
Still a reference to Show 512, Mitchell.
Don’t make me go to the larder and unseal a tin of whoop-ass.
The phrase “open a can of whoop-ass” appears to originate with prank caller Lee Roy Mercer (real name John Bean) in the late 1970s and early ‘80s and his successor Roy D. Mercer (Tulsa DJ Brent Douglas).
The Right Honourable Sir David Cassidy.
Actor/musician David Cassidy played Keith Partridge on the TV series The Partridge Family, which ran from 1970 to 1974. Within a year of the show’s premiere, Cassidy had been on pretty much every teen magazine cover, had a number-one hit, and was officially ranked as a teen heartthrob.
[Sung.] Overture! Light the lights …
A paraphrased reference to “This Is It,” the theme song of The Bugs Bunny Show (1960-2000). Sample lyrics: “Overture, curtains, lights/This is it, the night of nights/No more rehearsing and nursing a part/We know every part by heart.”
Okay, now, cut that Styrofoam with a saw. Fire up the leaf blowers. –All right, tease the howler monkeys!
Styrofoam is a brand of plastic foam frequently used as a packing material; it is manufactured by Dow Chemical. Howler monkeys are a genus of New World monkeys famous for their vocal calls; they are one of the loudest-known land animals.
Whoa. Is she breastfeeding him all of a sudden? What is she, Tori Amos?
Tori Amos is an American alternative singer-songwriter and musician. Her third album, Boys for Pele (1996), has an image of her nursing a piglet on the inside cover.
“Blanchard hasn’t spoken to you, has he?” “About what?” We have to buy our monkeys from Sam’s Club.
Sam’s Club is a members-only chain of warehouse stores that sell great whacking boxes of things at relatively modest prices.
Shirley Jones … –Well, heh-heh, it’s around.
Shirley Jones is an American actress and singer known for her roles in Broadway musicals, their film adaptations, and as the mother in The Partridge Family (1970-1974), with the previously but coincidentally mentioned David Cassidy (who was her stepson in real life).
Ah! Sieg heil.
“Sieg heil” (“Hail victory”) was one of the compulsory expressions of greeting in Nazi Germany, usually performed in a rally or in conjunction with the stiff-armed Nazi salute.
See above note on Show 818, Devil Doll.
Yet another reference to Show 512, Mitchell.
So, it’s popcorn and Girls of the Big Ten for me again, eh?
The Big Ten Conference is a college athletic body in the Midwestern United States. The twelve member universities, which include the University of Iowa and the University of Michigan, are regulated by and compete in the conference. Since 1977, Playboy magazine has run a regular photo feature called “Girls of the Big Ten,” which showcases nude pictures of coeds from those universities.
You know, despite all my rage, I’m still just a rat in a cage.
A line from the chorus of the Smashing Pumpkins song “Bullet with Butterfly Wings” (1995). Lyrics: “Despite all my rage/I am still just a rat in a cage/Despite all my rage/I am still just a rat in a cage/Then someone will say/What is lost can never be saved …”
India must be so embarrassed to have been ruled by these twits.
India was arguably the British Empire’s greatest asset in its rise to global dominance in the 18th and 19th centuries. It was initially ruled by the East India Company, under the auspices of the British government, from 1757 to 1858. It became an official dominion (Raj) in 1858, which lasted until independence and partition in 1947.
I’ve got some clotted cream in the car.
Clotted or Devonshire cream is a rich, thick cream traditionally made in Cornwall or Devonshire; it is an integral component of the cream tea.
I wish this was Cheech and Chong’s Up in Smoke.
Cheech Marin and Tommy Chong were a comedy duo during the 1970s, most of whose humor revolved around getting stoned. Up in Smoke (1978) was the pair’s first film.
“Sabotage. When power built up, the natural heat in the wires completed the rupture.” So we bought a truss?
In this context, a truss is a medical appliance: an arrangement of belts and pads that provide support for an area of the body (usually the groin) afflicted with a hernia. (Thanks to Noah Kurland for this reference.)
Racko is a card game produced by Hasbro, in which the goal is to get ten cards in sequential order.
“I said ‘leave it.’” We’re going to the Cliff Richard concert.
Cliff Richard is an English popular singer and entertainer of seemingly limitless stamina; in his home country he is a nearly unavoidable figure. Richard was an early rock & roll pioneer with The Shadows, but common consensus is that his music palled in the 1960s when he rekindled an affair with religion.
My Uriah Heep compilation tape is almost done.
Uriah Heep was a popular British prog-rock band in the 1970s; although they are obscure in the U.S. and Britain today, they remain popular in Eastern Europe and South America. The band’s name is taken from a character in the Charles Dickens novel David Copperfield.
Man, VCRs were complicated back then.
VCR stands for Video Cassette Recorder, a home electronics device that recorded analog television programming onto a magnetic tape videocassette. Now replaced by streaming, video-on-demand, digital video recorders (DVRs), and Blu-ray/DVD players, VCRs ruled the home entertainment landscape in the 1980s and 1990s, with prerecorded tapes widely available for purchase or rental, and blank videotapes used for home recording. The last major Hollywood film released on videocassette was A History of Violence in 2006.
“When this is all over, you can tell your boyfriend you helped trigger an experiment that made scientific history.” My boyfriend is Linus Pauling, so I don’t think he’ll care.
Linus Pauling (1901-1994) was a respected American scientist, lecturer, and peace activist who dabbled in a diverse range of scientific fields. He is best known for his work in physics, molecular biology, and quantum chemistry. His first Nobel Prize was awarded primarily for his publication “The Nature of the Chemical Bond and the Structure of Molecules and Crystals,” which contained the research and results of most of his early work. Pauling is currently the only person to have been awarded the Nobel Prize, individually, on two separate occasions (1954, in Chemistry, and 1962, in Peace). Later in life he became an amateur (relatively speaking) nutritionist and supporter of Vitamin C therapy.
[Sung.] Oh, oh Sheila.
A reference to the 1985 song “Oh Sheila,” by R&B group Ready for the World. Sample lyrics: “Oh, oh Sheila/Let me love you till the morning comes/Oh, oh Sheila/You know I want to be the only one/Oh baby, understand/That I want to be the only man.”
The sawed hula hoops are ready.
Hula hoops were a fad in the late 1950s, consisting of a large plastic ring the user placed around his/her waist and rotated by gyrating the hips frantically. A small BB inside the hoop created the sound effect. Wham-O, the company that made them, sold 25 million hoops in two months. The craze, like most fads, was short-lived, although the hoops are still sold in toy stores.
Now he’ll come out half-man, half-wristwatch.
A reference to the 1958 horror picture The Fly (or the 1986 remake). In both films, an eminent scientist invents a pair of teleportation pods and rashly tests them on himself. A fly infiltrates the pod, and they find themselves with swapped body parts (1958 version) or combined in one entity, with the fly traits gradually re-emerging (1986 version).
I like Ringo best.
Ringo Starr was the drummer for the Beatles. He also occasionally tried his hand at acting, including the 1981 epic Caveman.
“Wagons Ho!” was the theme song, third season onwards, for the western series Wagon Train (1957-1965). Sample lyrics: “Wagons ho/Gotta keep ‘em on the run/Time to go and follow the sun/Roll along, Wagon Train/Never had a cabin near a general store/Only had a wagon and a forty-four/Sittin’ on a board/Eyeing the weather/Prayin’ to the Lord we stay together/Side by side on the Wagon Train.”
Mrs. Debbie Frankenstein.
Frankenstein is an 1818 novel by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley about a scientist who transgresses the laws of God by bringing a dead man back to life. It has been adapted to film countless times, with the most famous being the 1931 version starring Boris Karloff. Although the monster is often referred to as Frankenstein, the name more properly belongs to the monster’s creator, Victor Frankenstein; the creature himself is never named.
The golden arches! He’s Mc-projecting himself!
McDonald’s is the world’s largest chain of hamburger-centric fast-food restaurants. The first restaurant was opened in 1940 by Richard and Maurice McDonald in San Bernardino, California. The franchise’s stylised “M” logo, the “golden arches,” is displayed on most restaurants.
[Sung.] Excuse me while I disappear!
A reference to the final line of the 1946 jazz standard “Angel Eyes.” Sample lyrics: “Pardon me but I got to run/The fact's uncommonly clear/I got to find who's now the number one/And why my angel eyes ain't here/’Scuse me while I disappear.”
Aaaaughh! Wipe out! [Imitates guitar riff.]
From the song “Wipe Out” by the Surfaris.
Petula Clark’s bedroom, here I come.
Petula Clark is an English pop singer and stage/screen actress best known for bubbly hits like “Downtown,” “Colour My World,” “Don’t Sleep in the Subway,” and “I Know a Place.” Her best-known film roles were in the musicals Finian’s Rainbow (1968) and Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1969).
Wait, there’s a fly in there!
See note on The Fly, above.
The Abominable Dr. Sheila. –No, it doesn’t work.
The Abominable Dr. Phibes is a classic 1971 B-movie starring Vincent Price as a crazed scientist bent on revenge for his wife’s death. A sequel, Dr. Phibes Rises Again, quickly followed in 1972.
It’s a Bob Vila Halloween Special.
Bob Vila was the bearded, genial host of the home-improvement TV series This Old House from 1979-1989.
“You get at it.” I want some amontillado.
A reference to the Edgar Allan Poe short story “The Cask of Amontillado,” in which the unfortunate Fortunato is walled up alive inside a wine vault for unspecified insults to the narrator, Montresor.
Everything’s an innuendo to these Cockney gits.
Cockney is a dialect of English unique to the working class of London’s East End, as well as an appellation for its speakers. The dialect is also famed for its obtuse and ever-changing slang. Its use today has drastically declined or been absorbed into other dialects of Southeast England, especially Estuary English.
Keith Richards? Oh, yeah. –Yeah, it is.
Keith Richards is the lead guitarist for the Rolling Stones. He has had widely publicized problems with drug addiction, particularly heroin.
I think his Cockney is a bit rusty.
See previous note on Cockney.
Hey. It’s a brick—a brick. Heh-heh. Whoo.
“Brick House” is a 1977 funk song by the Commodores. Lyrics for you: “She’s a brick house/She’s mighty mighty/Just letting it all hang out/She’s a brick house/That lady’s stacked/And that’s a fact/Ain’t holding nothing back.”
From the Wonder Woman line of footwear.
Wonder Woman is a DC Comics superhero created by William Moulton Marston in 1941. Marston intended for his Amazonian creation to serve as a “feminist role model.” The character reached the height of her fame in the late 1970s, when Lynda Carter played her in the ABC series The New Original Wonder Woman (1976). The show moved to CBS after one season and became The New Adventures of Wonder Woman (1977-1979).
“Hello, there.” Got any salad cream?
Salad cream is a peculiarly British “delicacy,” similar to mayonnaise, that the British pour on everything from lettuce to sandwiches. The riff is probably a reference to the Fawlty Towers episode “Gourmet Night,” in which Basil attempts to derisively placate a bratty little boy and his parents in the hotel’s restaurant. Part of the argument:
Basil Fawlty: Is there anything we can get you instead, sonny?
Boy: I'd like some bread and salad cream.
Basil Fawlty: To eat? Well, there's the bread, and there's the mayonnaise.
Boy: I said salad cream, stupid.
Basil Fawlty: We don't have any salad cream. The chef made this freshly this morning.
Boy: What a dump!
Father: This is very good.
Mother: He likes salad cream.
Boy: That's puke, that is.
Basil Fawlty: Well, at least it's fresh puke!
He ripped her London Times in half!
The London Times is a major daily newspaper that has been published in the U.K. since 1785 and the first, original Times newspaper. By reputation, it is considered the United Kingdom’s national newspaper par excellence; it is currently owned and published by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation conglomerate.
A reference to the chorus to “Gloria,” a song written by Van Morrison and recorded by his band Them in 1964. Lyrics: “G-L-O-R-I-A (Gloria)/ G-L-O-R-I-A (Gloria)/I’m gonna shout it all night (Gloria)/I’m gonna shout it every day (Gloria)/Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.”
“Gloria?” In excelsis Deo.
“Gloria in excelsis Deo” (Latin: “Glory to God on high”) is the opening line from the Catholic hymn of the same name.
“Gloria?” I hear they got your number.
A paraphrased line from the song “Gloria,” by Laura Branigan. Sample lyrics: “If everybody wants you, why isn't anybody calling/You don't have to answer/Leave them hangin' on the line, oh, calling Gloria/Gloria (Gloria), I think they got your number (Gloria).”
The death of Steve Winwood.
Steve Winwood is an English musician and songwriter with lucrative solo and group careers behind him. He was a sporadic member of the Traffic and a core member of Blind Faith, the supergroup consisting of him, Eric Clapton, Ginger Baker, and Ric Grech.
It’s the Queen Mum. And she’s nude!
The Queen Mother is a position given to the widowed Queen Consort upon their son or daughter becoming the reigning monarch. Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon (1900-2002), the mother of Queen Elizabeth II and “Queen Mum,” was one of the few members of the royal family to enjoy unwavering public approval and affection.
Joy buzzer of death.
The joy buzzer is a practical joke tool that aspiring pranksters hide in their palms before shaking hands with a victim. The coiled spring inside tickles their palm and surprises them. The joy buzzer was invented by practical jokesmith Soren Sorensen Adams in 1928. A frequent misconception is that the joy buzzer actually uses an electric shock, but it doesn’t.
On the bright side, maybe he’ll kill Oasis? –Oh, we hope.
Oasis was a commercially successful British rock band fronted by brothers Liam and Noel Gallagher from 1991 until 2009, when Noel left the group and the remaining members changed their name to Beady Eye. The two brothers had a notoriously acrimonious relationship, even for musicians: they openly heckled each other, undermined the band, and physically brawled.
He shouldn’t have fallen asleep on the FryDaddy!
The FryDaddy is an electric deep fryer manufactured and sold by National Presto Industries for home use.
Projected a haggis is more like it.
A traditional dish of Scotland, haggis is a kind of savory pudding consisting of the heart, liver, and lungs of a sheep, minced with onion, oatmeal, spices, and suet, poured into the sheep’s stomach, and boiled for several hours. It is traditionally served with a “dram” (large glass) of Scotch whisky, for obvious reasons.
He’s gonna check himself into the Ponds Institute.
The Ponds Institute is the company that produces the Pond’s Creams brand of facial hygiene products.
He looks like a sockeye salmon.
Sockeye salmon, also called red salmon, is a Pacific salmon found in Northern Pacific waters and rivers flowing into it. The name “sockeye” is actually a white-man interpretation of the word Native Americans had for the fish: suk-kegh, meaning “red fish.”
Just needs a dab of Dermablend.
Dermablend is a range of cosmetics and skin care products owned by L'Oréal.
Let’s see here: Epsom salts, witch hazel, styptic pencils, mercurochrome, Queen Helene’s face scrub, alum plasters, tincture of iodine, Gold Bond medicated powder, ooh, and the industrial-size tube of Anusol.
Epsom salts are a kind of magnesium sulfate with many uses; their most popular calling is as a bath salt or in topical pastes. Witch hazel is a medicinal extract derived from the witch-hazel shrub; it is used mainly as an analgesic for damaged or ruptured skin. Styptics are a topical agent used to stem bleeding at the site of an injury and encourage coagulation. Though still available today, styptic pencils were used most often in the days before safety razors. Mercurochrome is a brand name of Merbromin, a household antiseptic cream. As it contains mercury, it is no longer available in the United States. Queen Helene is an American brand of beauty and skin care products sold since the 1930s. According to their company history, the name doesn’t refer to any of the various minor Helenes of antiquity: the founder nicknamed a friend’s daughter “Queen Helene” and later re-used it for the company. Tincture of iodine is a preparation of iodine, ethanol, and water used as a disinfectant. Gold Bond medicated powder is a powder and topical cream used to treat skin irritation and fungal growth. It is sold by Chattem Inc., a company now owned by Sanofi-Aventis. Anusol is an ointment used to treat hemorrhoids and piles; it is manufactured by Pfizer.
Yes! Score! And they’re Isotoners! Yeah.
Isotoners are a popular brand of gloves.
Is now the best time for him to be doing his tai chi exercises?
Tai chi chuan is a form of Chinese martial arts that uses a combination of slow movements and relaxed muscles to foster an appreciation of balance and presence in the body. Many people are familiar with the sight of groups of people performing tai chi in a park, as happens every morning across China and in many other parts of the world.
Hi. Say, hey, do you have the lemon swiss creme Maalox or just the mint?
Maalox is a brand of over-the-counter antacids owned by Novartis International AG; it was first sold in 1949.
Legalize it, then. Righto.
The first use of the pro-marijuana slogan “Legalize it” seems to be reggae musician Peter Tosh’s 1976 solo album and title track “Legalize It,” although it may predate the album. Peter Tosh (1944-1987) was a Jamaican musician and songwriter; he was a core member of Bob Marley & The Wailers.
“You silly old fool.” Yes, we’d gone through the Kama Sutra together many times.
The Kama Sutra is an ancient Hindu anthology that advises its readers on matters spiritual, practical, and physical. It is primarily a guide to the ideal marital life; the second and most famous section provides extensive advice and diagrams covering sexual positions and practices (although the illustrations were not present in the original text).
Wow. Kind of a combination Buddy Sorrell-Bilbo Baggins.
Morey Amsterdam (1908-1996) was a comedian who got his start in vaudeville. He also appeared on The Dick Van Dyke Show (as comedy writer Buddy Sorrell) and appeared with co-star Rose Marie on the game show The Hollywood Squares. Bilbo Baggins is the uncle of hobbit Frodo Baggins and the protagonist of The Hobbit (1937), J.R R. Tolkien’s first novel of Middle Earth.
Well. Off to Sotheby’s to bid on a bowtie.
Sotheby’s is an international auction house founded in 1744. Along with Christie’s, it is one of the dominant forces of the industry, auctioning fine art, antiques, rare books, etc.
It’s the border between east and west England.
In the aftermath of the Second World War, Germany was split into four zones: American, British, French, and Soviet. The American, British, and French zones became the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany), and the Soviet zone became the German Democratic Republic (East Germany). In 1961, as the Cold War intensified, East Germany constructed a barrier through the middle of Berlin to prevent emigration to the west—the famous Berlin Wall. In 1989, restrictions were lifted and the wall was taken down, piecemeal, by the people and governments of Berlin.
Still a reference to Show 512, Mitchell.
[Sung.] Spanish songs in Andalusia. Mandolina. Oh mi corazo-o-o-n.
Lyrics from “Spanish Bombs,” a 1979 Spanish Civil War-themed song by punk legends The Clash. Other lyrics: “Spanish weeks in my disco casino/The freedom fighters died upon the hill/They sang the red flag/They wore the black one/But after they died it was Mockingbird Hill.”
They smuggled Morley Safer in!
Morley Safer has been a correspondent on the television news program 60 Minutes since 1970; he has won twelve Emmies for his work on that show.
“Do you have to keep Sheila here? She looks exhausted.” Paul McCartney got married!
Paul McCartney is an English musician and singer-songwriter who was a member of The Beatles and Wings. He is one of the most commercially successful musicians of all time; in addition to his own music, he owns the licensing rights to several thousand other popular hits. In 1969, shortly before the disintegration of The Beatles, he married Linda Eastman and broke millions of hearts.
“What exactly happened to your house, earlier tonight?” Naked Monopoly.
Monopoly is a board game published by the Parker Brothers, probably the most popular game of its type in the world. Players move their pieces around the board, “buying” and “selling” property until one player establishes a monopoly and bankrupts the other players. Besides the property cards, there are two other kinds of cards in the game: Chance and Community Chest. It originated as a game called The Landlord’s Game in 1904 by Elizabeth Magie, who intended it to satirize the negative traits of Georgism economics.
“As for you, Mitchell...” Mitchell.
I’m Arthur Godfrey for International Business Machines.
Arthur Godfrey (1903-1983) was one of the biggest television stars during the 1950s, a freckly ukulele-playing redhead who hosted two television variety shows in addition to a wildly popular radio show. He was also a phenomenally successful pitchman in an era when TV hosts openly shilled sponsors’ products on their shows. IBM (International Business Machines) is a major global technology designer, manufacturer, and retailer. It was founded in 1911 and is consistently ranked high in business and finance polls.
Smell the glove.
Smell the Glove is the title of the all-black album released by semi-fictional band Spinal Tap in the 1984 mockumentary This Is Spinal Tap. Their (canonical) fourteenth album, it originally featured a “greased, naked woman on all fours with a dog collar around her neck, and a leash and a man’s arm extended out up to here holding onto the leash and pushing a black glove in her face to sniff it,” but this was replaced with the black one. Nigel Tufnel approves of the new cover: “How much more black could this be? And the answer is … none.”
Whoa. Should never have played golf with Gerald Ford.
Gerald Ford (1913-2006) became president in 1974 after Richard M. Nixon resigned over the Watergate affair. He quickly developed a reputation for being clumsy after a few high-profile incidents (he slipped coming off Air Force One; he had a tendency to hit spectators and participants with balls while playing sports). This image was enshrined in the popular consciousness with Chevy Chase’s brilliant parody of him on Saturday Night Live. Ironically, Ford was actually a talented athlete (he played football at the University of Michigan), and a number of people have suggested that his clumsy reputation was unfairly bestowed.
The English Harvey Dent.
Two-Face, also known as Harvey Dent, is a major villain and occasional, unreliable ally to the superhero Batman. A former district attorney, half of his face is deformed when a mobster hurls acid at him during a trial. Because of this he develops a second personality and the urge to become a career criminal.
Oh, please say it’s the final print of Disclosure. –Please, oh please, oh please.
In 1994, Demi Moore and Michael Douglas starred in Disclosure, a film about a man who is sexually harassed by his female boss.
Probably a reference to Fab Morvan, of Milli Vanilli “Fab and Rob” fame.
He’s gonna have a hard time being a Wal-Mart greeter from here on.
Wal-Mart is the largest chain of retail stores in the United States. The first store was opened in 1962 by Sam Walton, offering discount merchandise at low prices. Often stores hired retirees to stand by the doors and welcome shoppers; these employees were known as “greeters.” In 2012 the company phased out greeters, moving the employees near registers to perform other tasks.
I’m missing EastEnders.
Soap opera EastEnders (1985-present) is a popular BBC series set in London’s East End, in the fictional Albert Square.
It’s the Annie Oakley line of lingerie.
Annie Oakley (b. Phoebe Ann Mosey; 1860-1926) was a celebrity gunslinger and exhibition shooter who toured extensively with William “Buffalo Bill” Cody’s Wild West troupe. Her impressive life story was loosely used as the basis of the musical Annie Get Your Gun.
She got that from the Elly May’s Secret catalog.
Elly May Clampett was the daughter on the television series The Beverly Hillbillies (1962-1971), played by Donna Douglas. Victoria’s Secret is a retail chain of lingerie stores. It was founded in 1979 and now boasts more than 900 locations across the country. It became well-known in the 1990s for its employment of a string of supermodels in its catalogs, including Tyra Banks, Naomi Campbell, and Heidi Klum.
“Sometimes you're so cruel that I think that you must have some other motive.” Are you Kim Philby?
Harold “Kim” Philby (1912-1988) was a British secret service operative and double agent for the Soviet Union. He was the most successful of the Cambridge Five, a group of high-ranking and damaging moles in MI5 and MI6 who were scouted by Soviet spy handlers when they were students at Cambridge University in the early 1930s. The young orphan protagonist of the Rudyard Kipling novel Kim was the source of his nickname.
He’s going to take the lorry to the lift to the loo.
A triple riff on everyday things named differently in Great Britain: lorry is British-speak for truck, lift means elevator, and loo means bathroom.
It’s Keith Richards again.
See note on Keith Richards, above.
Hey, there’s Charlie Parker’s shadow on the wall. –Oh, yeah!
Charlie “Yardbird” Parker was a saxophonist and one of the founders of modern jazz. He remains one of the most respected jazz musicians of all time.
[Sung.] “Now’s the Time.”
Tom sings a snippet of “Now’s the Time,” written and recorded by Charlie Parker (see previous note) in 1945.
Someone’s trilling! –Calvin? –Lionel?
Calvin Trillin is an American journalist and author who has written various books and poems, as well as supplied columns for a number of publications, including Time, The New Yorker, and The Nation. Lionel Trilling (1905-1975) was a literary critic.
They kiss with all the passion of a grey Brixton afternoon!
Brixton is a district area of south central London.
“Not until you've answered my questions.” First: who won the Heisman Trophy in ’57?
The Heisman Trophy is awarded every year to the outstanding college football player, as determined by a poll of sportswriters; it is named after John Heisman, a player and coach in the late 19th century. 1957’s winner was one John David Crow.
Welcome to Euro Jack in the Box.
Jack in the Box is an American chain of fast food restaurants. In 1993, about four hundred people, mostly in the Northwest, became ill after they were exposed to the E. coli bacteria in tainted hamburger meat sold at the restaurant; three small children in Seattle died. The resulting outcry almost destroyed the company, but it seems to have bounced back.
Pan. Scan. Pan. Scan.
Panning and scanning is an editing technique used to adjust the proportions of a widescreen film so it will fit onto the screen of a standard definition television; usually this is done by cropping out details on the sides of the picture, elongating the image. The copy of The Projected Man used for this episode has the visible scars of an invasive pan-and-scan, especially at this moment, when it artificially pans from one side of the screen to the cropped-out material.
“What about those tapes?” Rose Mary Woods erased them.
Rose Mary Woods (1917-2005) was the secretary of Richard Nixon for his entire political career. In 1973, in the wake of the Watergate scandal, tapes made by Nixon of conversations between him and White House staff were subpoenaed by Special Counsel Archibald Cox and the Senate Watergate Committee. One of the tapes (for June 20, 1972) had an eighteen and a half minute gap in a conversation between Nixon and his chief of staff, H.R. Haldeman. Woods took responsibility for inadvertently erasing five of those minutes, but her explanation was seen as dubious; given the awkward position she would have had to take and hold to manage it, the erasure was unlikely to have been accidental.
It’s the United States calling. A Mrs. Floyd for Mr. Floyd.
A reference to the spoken-word conversation in the 1979 Pink Floyd song “Young Lust,” which occurs as the song is fading out. A re-enactment also appears in Pink Floyd The Wall (1982), a film adaptation of the song’s album, The Wall. The exchange in both versions:
Man answering phone: Hello?
Operator: Yes, a collect call for Mrs. Floyd from Mr. Floyd. Will you accept the charges from the United States?
Man answering phone: (hangs up)
Operator: Oh, he hung up. That’s your residence, right? I wonder why he hung up? Is there supposed to be someone else there besides your wife to answer? (calls again)
Man answering phone: Hello?
Operator: This is the United States calling. Are we reaching?
Man answering phone: (hangs up again)
Operator: See, he keeps hanging up, and it’s a man answering.
And he … heads right for … the liquor. Ah, yes. Of course. –Let’s see. What would Churchill do? Ah, yes. Get drunk.
Winston Churchill (1874-1965) was a British statesman who is best known for being prime minister of the United Kingdom during the Second World War and for coining the phrase “iron curtain” to describe the division between Eastern Europe and Western Europe during the Cold War. Born into the Marlborough nobility, he had a checkered political career, falling into and out of favor until Neville Chamberlain resigned in 1940 and he succeeded him as prime minister, steering Great Britain through the trials of World War II. He served a second term in peacetime from 1951 to 1955, which ended at his retirement. He had a formidable reputation as a drinker (one of his favorites was Pol Roger champagne) and cigar smoker, even during wartime. One spurious anecdote oft attributed to Churchill is that upon being accused (by Nancy Astor or Elizabeth Braddock, variably) of being drunk, he retorted: “Madam, I may be drunk, but you are ugly, and in the morning I shall be sober.”
I’ll have a screwdriver, without that nasty, bitter orange juice!
The screwdriver is a cocktail made from vodka and orange juice.
Geez, Pablo Casals in his closet? I mean, what …?
Pablo Casals (1876-1973) was a famed Spanish cellist and conductor of Catalan extraction. In 1938 he exiled himself after the Nationalist victory in the Spanish Civil War; he died only a few short years before the death of Francisco Franco and the end of that dictatorial regime.
They wanna make sure Pete Townshend can hear it, I guess.
Pete Townshend is a rock guitarist best known for his work with the Who, although he has also had a very successful solo career. He is afflicted with tinnitus and partial deafness due to his long career of playing very very very loud music.
President Garfield here.
James A. Garfield (1831-1881) was a Republican politician, lawyer, and the 20th president of the United States (1881). His term ended prematurely when he was shot by former postal worker Charles Guiteau, a disgruntled (and delusional) office-seeker who was outraged that he had not been appointed U.S. consul in Paris. Garfield lingered for more than twelve weeks before dying, during which time the executive branch was in constitutional limbo; he was succeeded by his vice president, Chester A. Arthur.
George Harrison fan club. Could you hold, please?
George Harrison (1943-2001) was an English musician, singer-songwriter, and film aficionado best known for being the guitarist in The Beatles. As the youngest member of the group, he was initially seen as the “quiet” one, although later he became known as the “dark and spiritual” member. His interest in Hindu mysticism and music (via his tutelage with Ravi Shankar) influenced the band’s musical experimentation in the late 1960s, shortly before the split. He was also known, post-breakup, for his financial support of the Monty Python comedy troupe and his production company HandMade Films, which financed movies like Time Bandits (1981), Withnail & I (1987), How to Get Ahead in Advertising (1989), and Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998). Finally, he was also a member of the Traveling Wilburys superband with Roy Orbison, Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, and Jeff Lynne.
She escapes and immediately moves in with Edie Sedgwick.
Edie Sedgwick (1943-1971) was an actress who appeared in a number of artist Andy Warhol’s experimental films. She lived at the Chelsea Hotel in New York, where she once created a stir by accidentally setting her room on fire.
[Sung.] Walking in Mayfair. Walking with my derby and my bumbershoot.
A paraphrase of the lyrics to “Walking in Memphis,” the 1991 hit for musician Marc Cohn. Sample lyrics: “Then I'm walking in Memphis/Walking with my feet ten feet off of Beale/Walking in Memphis/But do I really feel the way I feel …” Mayfair is a district of central London. Famous landmarks include Berkeley and Grosvenor Squares; the hotels Claridge’s and The Dorchester; Curzon, Cork, and Dover Streets; and Savile Row. Rents in Mayfair are some of the highest in the world. A derby is a bowler hat, although this is technically an Americanism. A bumbershoot is an umbrella.
“Do you know anywhere else he's likely to go?” Might have taken the M5 to Poncedon-on-Heifer.
The M5 is a major motorway in the southwest United Kingdom. It runs from Devonshire in the south to the West Midlands in the north.
Tsch. Man, this really bites. I’m goin' over to Darkman’s house. He’ll understand me.
Darkman was a 1990 film starring Liam Neeson as a scientist whose face is destroyed in a lab explosion and must don masks made of synthetic skin.
She’s napping on Big Bird. Biiird.
A reference to and an impression of Big Bird, a 8’2” Muppet who has appeared on the children’s TV show Sesame Street since 1969. He is voiced by Caroll Spinney, who also plays Oscar the Grouch.
Hey! Pink Floyd’s Animals! [Sung.] –Big man, pig man. Hah hah, charade you are …
Pink Floyd is a British rock band known for such concept albums as Dark Side of the Moon (1973) and The Wall (1979). The cover of Pink Floyd’s 1977 concept album Animals is a photo of the band’s inflatable pig flying through the smokestacks over the now-decommissioned Battersea Power Station in South London. The most famous and identifiable track on the album (the band’s tenth), “Pigs (Three Different Ones),” begins with these lyrics: “Big man, pig man/Hah hah, charade you are/You well-heeled big wheel/Hah hah, charade you are.”
Oh, and try putting a light bulb in your mouth. It’ll be funny.
Inserting light bulbs in his mouth and lighting them up with his own electrical charge was a trick of Uncle Fester’s, a character on the television series The Addams Family, which aired from 1964-1966. The role was played by Jackie Coogan.
He meets John Merrick on the way out. Rondo Hatton drops by later.
Joseph Merrick (not John) was the name of “The Elephant Man,” a horrifically deformed man in Victorian England. His story was made into the film The Elephant Man in 1980 (in the film, the character's first name was changed to John, for some reason). Rondo Hatton (1894-1946) was an actor who suffered from acromegaly, a growth hormone disorder that disfigured and distorted his face. He played strings of uncredited minor roles until the Basil Rathbone-Nigel Bruce Sherlock Holmes film The Pearl of Death (1944), in which he played a brutal serial killer called the “Creeper.” The character was resurrected (after being gunned down by Holmes) for several schlock movies. The last of these was The Brute Man (1946), which would be the experiment for Show 702.
“Inspector Davis? This is Dr. Mitchel.” Yes, Dennis’s dad.
Dennis “the Menace” Mitchell is the freckled, overall-sporting, slingshot-carrying neighborhood terror in the comic strip of the same name, created in 1950 by Hank Ketcham. In 1959 it was turned into a TV show starring Jay North. In the strip, his father is (apparently) an aerospace engineer.
Shouldn’t there be a pig floating above that? –A-ha. Charade you are.
See previous note on Animals.
Oh! Well, they’re going to see a performance piece in Soho.
Soho is a major district and the entertainment heart of London’s West End.
Tonight’s episode: Foam side, death side.
Denorex is a brand of dandruff shampoo manufactured by Whitehall-Robins Healthcare. In the 1980s they ran a series of ads comparing the “Denorex side” of a dandruff sufferer’s scalp to the side that used Head & Shoulders.
[Sung.] One guy on the run ...
“Band on the Run” is a 1974 hit song by Paul McCartney & Wings. Sample lyrics: “Well, the rain exploded with a mighty crash/As we fell into the sun/And the first one said to the second one there/I hope you're having fun/Band on the run/Band on the run/And the jailer man and Sailor Sam were searching every one/For the band on the run/Band on the run/Band on the run.”
Great. Scotland Yard’s elite hit-and-run squad.
Scotland Yard is the colloquial name for the headquarters of the Metropolitan Police Service of London, England. It is derived from the public entrance to the original headquarters, which was located on a street called Great Scotland Yard. The current headquarters is actually known as New Scotland Yard, as the police left the original headquarters in 1890.
High Plains Matron.
High Plains Drifter is a 1973 film starring Clint Eastwood as a mysterious gun-toting stranger who is hired to protect a small frontier town from marauding outlaws. Although it was not one of the string of “spaghetti westerns” produced by Italian filmmaker Sergio Leone, which also starred Eastwood, it has much the same feel as those films, with a little half-baked mysticism thrown in as a garnish.
Oh, warriors? Come out and play-ay.
A paraphrase of a line from the 1979 film The Warriors, about battling street gangs in New York City: “Warriors, come out and play-ay!”
She rode into town with nothing but a pantsuit and a side iron. She’s pale. She’s a matron.
Probably a reference to Pale Rider, a 1985 Clint Eastwood film about a mysterious stranger who rides into town to protect the townsfolk from a greedy mining company.
“Paul?” Paw? What is this, The Rifleman now?
On the TV western The Rifleman, which aired from 1958-1963, the young Mark McCain (Johnny Crawford) referred to his father Lucas McCain (Chuck Connors) as “Pa.”
Yes, great monsters of the cinema. Frankenstein’s monster. –Ooh. –Dracula. –Ahh. –Paul. –Huh?
See note on Frankenstein, above. Dracula is the villainous vampire of the Bram Stoker novel by the same name. Stoker based the character loosely on Vlad the Impaler, a 15th-century Wallachian prince who was notorious for his cruelty.
[Sung.] One thin matron rides away. [Trumpet bars of “One Tin Soldier” imitated.]
A line from the 1960s anti-war song "One Tin Soldier," written by Dennis Lambert and Brian Potter. It became a charted hit in connection with the film Billy Jack (1971), when it was performed by the rock group Coven.
[Sung.] Heard it in a love song …
A reference to the Marshall Tucker Band song “Heard It in a Love Song.” Sample lyrics: “I ain't never been with a woman long enough for my boots to get old/But we've been together so long now they both need resoled/If I ever settle down, you'd be my kind/And that's a good time for me to head on down the line/Heard it in a love song/Can't be wrong.”
I am the Craw!
The Claw (Leonard Strong) was a KAOS villain with a mechanical hand in the spy spoof series Get Smart (1965-1970). He had the stereotypical Japanese difficulty of enunciating the difference in Ls and Rs, even when saying his own name. This led to Maxwell Smart (Don Adams) referring to him as “The Craw,” persistently annoying him.
The Projected World of Arthur Brown.
The 1967 album The Crazy World of Arthur Brown, by the band The Crazy World of Arthur Brown, featuring lead singer Arthur Brown, is considered a classic of the psychedelic era. It features his famous song “Fire,” which has the line “I am the god of hellfire!” Brown used to wear a real flaming smudge-pot on his head while performing; at least twice his hair caught fire onstage.
Oh my, what a world, what a world. I’m melting. All my beautiful wickedness. Who would have thought, blah blah blah …–Et cetera, et cetera.
A reference to the famous scene in the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz in which Dorothy throws water over the Wicked Witch and melts her.
Crapdraft. Based on Backdraft.
Backdraft is a 1991 film about two firefighting brothers in Chicago who come up against a deadly arsonist. It was directed by Ron Howard.
And not you, or the police, or the National Guard can drag me out of here!
When Norma Rae Webster (Sally Fields) calls for a plant-wide labor strike in a climactic scene in the 1979 film Norma Rae, instead of capitulating to the management, she shouts, “It’s gonna take you, and the police department, and the fire department, and the National Guard to get me out of here!”