905: The Deadly Bees
by Sheba Sullivan
Christopher Robin decided on a diabolical plan to kill Pooh.
Winnie the Pooh is a small, round teddy bear, the best friend of Christopher Robin in the children’s books written by A.A. Milne. He was named after a toy owned by Milne’s son, the original Christopher Robin Milne. He also appeared in a series of Disney films based on the books.
No, please! According to physicists we can’t fly!
A commonly circulated piece of tut-tut-science-doesn’t-have-all-the-answers folklore asserts that “by the known laws of aerodynamics, bumblebees should not be able to fly”: that is, their wings are too small of an aerofoil to generate enough lift to get them off the ground. Simplified to a degree somewhere between “enormously” to “insultingly,” the problem with this statement is that this is only true if the bee is analogous to a fixed-wing aircraft; it would be more accurate to say that it generates lift like a helicopter. Their flight is obviously much more complex than that and there are some eccentricities: if the temperature of their wing muscles is below 30 degrees Celsius, they are unable to fly. Most accounts of the story place the origin in the 1930s, in various German universities, depending on the version.
Oh, that’s the Hee Haw font. How can it be deadly?
Hee Haw was a syndicated country variety show hosted by Buck Owens and Roy Clark. The show featured cornpone humor and appearances by virtually every major star in country music, including Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, and Loretta Lynn. It ran from 1969-1992.
Every single bee had to sign on with SAG.
The Screen Actors Guild is an American labor union for performers and actors of film and television. It was founded in 1933.
Squishing up a baby human being—see, how do you like it? It’s pretty funny, huh?!
“Bringing Home a Baby Bumblebee” is a children’s rhyme sung to the tune of “The Arkansas Traveler,” the former state song of Arkansas. The lyrics: “I’m bringing home a baby bumblebee/Won’t my mother be so proud of me/I’m bringing home a baby bumblebee/Ouch, it stung me!/I’m squishing up my baby bumblebee … Yuck, it’s dirty!/I’m scraping off my baby bumblebee … Mmm, I’m hungry!/I’m scooping up my baby bumblebee … Ow, my tummy!/I’m throwing up my baby bumblebee … Yuck, it’s messy!”
Hey. Special effects by Michael Collins. So, everything gets blown up, then?
Michael Collins (1890-1922) was an Irish revolutionary during some of the worst clashes between the British and the Irish in the early 20th century. As director of intelligence for the IRA, he organized a number of assassinations and attacks on police. When peace was declared in 1921, Collins helped broker the treaty even though he knew that strong Irish opposition to the peace terms would mean his death; a few months later he was shot and killed in Ireland. In 1996 the large-budget biopic Michael Collins was released; the eponymous character was played by Liam Neeson.
[On-screen credit: “‘It’s not what I need you for’ sung by The Birds.”] Oh hey, look. The Birds. Not B-Y-R Byrds, but still, they’re birds.
The Birds, the band that will be making a momentary cameo, were a minor mid-’60s band that would disband by 1967. One notable member on display here is Ronnie Wood, who would later be a member of Faces and The Rolling Stones. The Byrds were an influential folk-rock band founded in 1964; some of their best-known hits were Bob Dylan’s “Mr. Tambourine Man,” Pete Seeger’s “Turn! Turn! Turn!,” and their own tunes “Eight Miles High,” “Ballad of Easy Rider,” and “Chestnut Mare.” Among their former members are David Crosby, Chris Hillman, Michael Clarke, and Gram Parsons.
[On-screen credit: “from the novel ‘A Taste for Honey,’ H. R. Heard.”] [Sung.] A Taste for Honey: the novel on which this movie was based.
It sounds like Crow is singing to the tune of the vocal version of “A Taste of Honey,” a 1960 pop standard composed by Bobby Scott and Ric Marlow for the film A Taste of Honey (1961). An early song of The Beatles is the best-known vocal version. Lyrics: “A taste of honey/Tasting much sweeter than wine/I dream of your first kiss/And then I feel upon my lips again/A taste of honey (a taste of honey)/Tasting much sweeter than wine.”
I suppose you want Christmas off, Cratchit?
An impression of the fictional miser Ebenezer Scrooge berating Bob Cratchit, from Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol (1843). As one of Dickens’ most popular and enduring works, it has been adapted for film and television specials innumerable times.
[Sung.] Eight … miles … wrong!
“Eight Miles High” was a 1966 hit for The Byrds (see previous note) and a first blow struck for psychedelic rock; at the time it was banned from radio airplay in the United States due to drug references. Some lyrics: “Eight miles high and when you touch down/You’ll find that it’s stranger than known/Signs in the street that say where you’re going/Are somewhere just being their own.”
[Sung.] “When I returned, he was with somebody new …” The female Anthony Newley.
Anthony Newley (1931-1999) was an English singer, composer, and actor. His greatest fame probably lies as a songwriter: famous tunes written by Newley include “Goldfinger,” “What Kind of Fool Am I?,” and “The Candy Man.” He was also the cowriter and star of the musical Stop the World—I Want To Get Off.
[Sung.] “He’s got my heart in a whirl …” Must be Profumo’s girlfriend.
In 1963 British Secretary of State for War John Profumo (1915-2006) had a brief affair with Christine Keeler, a showgirl and model, which was publicly exposed. Keeler was having multiple affairs at the time, including with Yevgeny Ivanov, a Soviet naval attaché and spy at London’s Russian embassy. The possibility of security leaks from any pillow talk, Profumo’s initial attempts to lie when questioned in the House of Commons, and the general priggishness of 1960s England made the scandal a major factor in Prime Minister Harold McMillan’s resignation a month later.
Whoa! Sonny Liston came in and hit her!
Charles “Sonny” Liston (1928/1932-1970) was a boxer who became the 1962 heavyweight champion of the world when he defeated Floyd Patterson. In 1964, in one of the most famous fights in history, he unexpectedly lost to underdog Cassius Clay (Muhammad Ali). Liston was a controversial figure in the boxing world: he had regular altercations with the law and the criminal underworld even after his name became world-famous, and he died in mysterious circumstances (most likely of a heroin overdose).
She still lip-synchs better than Jewel.
Jewel is a singer-songwriter who was popular in the 1990s, with hits like “Who Will Save Your Soul” and “Foolish Games.” Her performance of “The Star-Spangled Banner” at Super Bowl XXXII in 1998 was a badly lip-synched failure.
Okay, Merlin Olsen, let’s go.
Merlin Olsen (1940-2010) was an NFL football player for the Los Angeles Rams and later became a football commentator. He starred in Little House on the Prairie, Father Murphy, and Aaron’s Way, but perhaps his greatest role came in Show 512, Mitchell. He was a spokesman for FTD for many years.
Lord Melbury! –Hey!
Lord Melbury was the gentlemanly con artist in the pilot episode of Fawlty Towers, “A Touch of Class.” He was portrayed by Michael Gwynn (1916-1976), who plays Dr. George Lang in The Deadly Bees.
Babe here. What can I do ya for?
Babe (1995) was a successful live-action film about a talking piglet called Babe who resolves to become a sheepdog.
Thanks for stuffing the chair with Top Choice. Nyom, nyom.
Top Choice is a brand of cat and dog food made by Purina.
“Who?” Lillian Hellman? She’s fine.
Lillian Hellman (1905-1984) was a playwright and screenwriter whose best-known works include The Children’s Hour and The Little Foxes. She had a long-term relationship with novelist Dashiell Hammett that lasted until his death in 1961.
Can I have another Tareyton?
Tareyton is a brand of cigarettes produced by the R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company.
Hey, they’re growing Bill the Cat.
Bill the Cat is a wild-haired, gangly-limbed cartoon cat from the “Bloom County” comic strip and its successor strips. His creator is Berkeley “Berke” Breathed.
Andy Capp: The Movie.
Andy Capp is the eponymous star of the long-running comic strip, which first appeared in Britain in 1957 and was then syndicated worldwide. He is, as the Toonopedia says, “lazy, belligerent, unskilled at any socially acceptable occupation, and usually drunk.” He always wears a hat pulled down low over his eyes.
You up for a crop circle later?
Crop circles, believed by some to be evidence of alien visitations to Earth and by others to be an elaborate hoax, have been common since the 1980s in a few counties in southern England, although they have occasionally been found elsewhere. They range from the simple—a circle of flattened corn in a field—to the ridiculously elaborate—a pictogram that spells out “WE ARE NOT ALONE.” They are generally accepted by all but the Area 51 crowd to be a series of hoaxes by some Brits who apparently think they’re hilarious. But you still run into the occasional conspiracy-minded holdouts who believe they’re UFO landing sites.
She’s dressed for her shift at Perkins.
Perkins Restaurant and Bakery is an all-day-breakfast style of franchise diner. It was founded in 1958.
Kathy Lee Gifford arrives to see the dog’s meat.
Kathie Lee Gifford is a TV show host best known for her lengthy run on Live with Regis and Kathie Lee, which she co-hosted from 1985-2000. Starting in 1984, Gifford appeared in a series of commercials for Carnival Cruise Lines.
A vole is a small rodent, a somewhat beefed-up field mouse that is a relative of the lemming and the muskrat. Rat Patrol was a TV series set in North Africa during World War II, which aired from 1966-1968.
Picked up Jeremiah Johnson.
Jeremiah Johnson is a 1972 film starring Robert Redford as a reclusive mountain man who inadvertently becomes the target of a vendetta by the Crow Indians. As the film progresses, his costume becomes increasingly fur-based.
Plochman’s Mustard gave me this coat.
Plochman’s Mustard Co. is an Illinois company that started in Chicago; it makes, as you might have guessed, mustard.
Meow, meow. Sanctuary, meow.
A reference to a scene in The Hunchback of Notre Dame, in which the hunchback Quasimodo carries the limp, unconscious body of the condemned Esmerelda up into the bell tower and cries out to the crowd, “Sanctuary! Sanctuary! Sanctuary!”
I used to live next to the Jeffersons.
The Jeffersons (1975-1985) was a CBS sitcom that starred Sherman Hemsley and Isabel Sanford as George and Louise Jefferson, former neighbors of the Bunkers in All in the Family. Their affably English next-door neighbor Harry Bentley was played by Paul Benedict.
“My name is Manfred.” You’ve heard of my Earth Band.
Manfred Mann’s Earth Band is a British progressive-rock band named after lead singer Manfred Mann. Their biggest known hit is Bruce Springsteen’s “Blinded by the Light.”
[Sung.] Chain, chain, chain … chain of pig farms.
“Chain of Fools” is a 1967 soul-rock anthem written by Don Covay and performed by Aretha Franklin. Sample lyrics: “Chain, chain, chain, chain, chain, chain, chain, chain, chain, chain of fools/For five long years I thought you were the one/But I found out I’m just a link in your chain/You have me where you want me/I was nothing but your fool.”
“Like what?” “Like …” A rock.
“Like a Rock” is a song by Bob Seger, initially released in 1986. Chevrolet used the song for more than a decade to market its cars and trucks.
Don’t walk into the cyc.
“Cyc” is short for cyclorama: a revolving backdrop used in theaters and cheap productions to create the illusion of background depth.
Catherine? Is it … oh, it’s you.
After the death of Tsar Catherine II (the Great) of Russia (1729-1796, reigned 1762-1796), her son and successor Paul I, who was not fond of the woman who had essentially usurped his throne, was happy to cultivate and spread rumors about her promiscuity—the most persistent of these urban legends is the account that she died in dalliance with a horse.
Oh. This starts the Great Chicago Flood.
The Great Chicago Fire was a major disaster of 1871. The inferno consumed large portions of the city and killed an estimated two hundred to three hundred people. The exact cause of the blaze is still unknown, but a popular folk myth asserts that it was caused by Catherine O’Leary’s cow kicking over a lamp in the O’Leary barn. This story was originally stated in a Chicago newspaper at the time, but the reporter (twenty-two years) later retracted the story and admitted it was completely false.
[Sung.] Que sera, sera …
Doris Day is a singer and actress who became the epitome of wholesome American womanhood in a series of films during the 1950s and 1960s. She got her own TV show, The Doris Day Show, in 1968; it ran for five years. ”Que Sera Sera (Whatever Will Be, Will Be)” is a 1956 song that was originally performed by Day in the Alfred Hitchcock film The Man Who Knew Too Much. It became her signature song, and was the theme to her TV show.
[Sung.] Hosanna superstar, hosanna superstar …
Chorus lines from the song “This Jesus Must Die” from the Andrew Lloyd Webber-Tim Rice musical Jesus Christ Superstar. The opening lyrics to the song: “Gentlemen, you know why we are here/We’ve not much time and quite a problem here/Hosanna Superstar/Hosanna Superstar/Hosanna Superstar/Hosanna Superstar.”
Still not enough for Robert Downey, Jr.
Robert Downey, Jr. is an actor who has had lengthy and well-publicized battles with drug abuse. In 1996, while under the influence, he wandered into a neighbor’s house and was discovered asleep in a spare bed.
I can’t believe all this blood came out of one turnip.
A riff on the old expression “You can’t squeeze blood from a turnip,” meaning you can’t get something, especially money, from someone if they don’t have it in the first place. The origin is uncertain, but it dates back at least to the early 19th century; the similar idiom “You can’t get blood from a stone” goes back to15th-century England.
[Sung.] Old McWartface had a farm, dee dee …
“Old MacDonald Had a Farm” is a traditional children’s song. Sample lyrics: “Old MacDonald had a farm/Ee I ee I oh!/And on this farm he had some chicks/Ee I ee I oh!/With a cluck-cluck here …,” etc., etc.
She’d be a little more relaxed at the Lockhorns’.
Leroy and Loretta Lockhorn are a married couple who hurl hurtful barbs at each other every day in the syndicated newspaper comic strip “The Lockhorns.” The series was created in 1968 by Bill and Bunny Hoest.
“Doris?” Do I look like Lee Marvin?
Lee Marvin (1924-1987) was an actor who generally played heavies, although he won an Oscar for his comic turn as a drunk gunfighter in Cat Ballou. He also had prominent roles in The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, Ship of Fools, The Dirty Dozen, Emperor of the North Pole, The Iceman Cometh, The Big Red One, Gorky Park, and MST3K favorite Paint Your Wagon.
A bucket of filth, filth, filth. A bucket of filth, filth …
A reference to Digger Smolken’s timeless song stylings in Show 806, The Undead.
That horse also plays Wilson on Home Improvement.
On the Tim Allen sitcom Home Improvement (1991-1999), Allen’s wise neighbor Wilson (veteran actor Earl Hindman) never revealed the lower half of his face from behind his fence.
Chickens must all be scared Ozzy Osbourne’s gonna show up later.
Heavy metal musician Ozzy Osbourne once bit the head off a bat during a concert. He later claimed that he thought the bat—which had been thrown onstage by a fan—was a toy. At an earlier date, he also tore the head off a live dove. This riff is possibly also a reference to an infamous 1969 concert in Toronto, at which career shock-rocker Alice Cooper threw a live chicken into the audience. Frenzied, they apparently tore it to pieces. This evolved into a rumor that he bit the animal’s head off himself. Fowl play was later ruled out.
Turn down that annoying Beatles group again.
The Beatles were a staggeringly influential British rock band, consisting of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr. They produced a lengthy string of number one hits, inspired countless bands, caused riots among female teenage fans, annoyed the Establishment, and generally set the stage for the rock & roll revolution of the 1960s.
Joe Orton and his roommate got along better than these two.
Joe Orton (1933-1967) was an English playwright of dark comedies like Entertaining Mr Sloane and Loot. In 1967 he was beaten to death by his partner Kenneth Halliwell, who then committed suicide. The film Prick Up Your Ears (1987) was based on their lives.
Fly away, Raisinets, fly away.
Raisinets are a brand of chocolate-covered raisins made by Nestle.
Tramp Douglas, super spy.
Tramp was the pet hound of the Douglas family in the TV sitcom My Three Sons (1960-1972).
And Field Marshal Montgomery arrives.
Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery (1887-1976) was a British soldier and officer. During the Second World War he was a field commander of the British and Commonwealth forces in the North African theater, and later in Europe when the war in North Africa turned in favor of the Allies. He had a reputation for bickering with the other leaders of the war effort, especially American General Ike Eisenhower.
What’s that, boy? Use a front-projection system or a beam splitter and you’ll get better results with your process shots?
An imitation of the television show Lassie, which aired from 1954-1974. Lassie, the hyperintelligent collie, was constantly hastening to warn her owners that various family members had fallen down wells or been trapped in cave-ins or pinned under tractors. Lassie appears in Show 510, The Painted Hills.
She hasn’t moved that fast since Lucky Strikes went on sale.
Lucky Strike cigarettes were one of the most popular brands in America during the first half of the 20th century, and the first brand to be marketed directly to women. Thanks to an ad campaign in the 1920s that urged women worried about their weight to “reach for a Lucky instead of a sweet,” the number of teenage girls who smoked tripled in a decade.
“He did this. He did it.” Foghorn Leghorn did it.
Cartoon rooster Foghorn Leghorn is a member of the Looney Tunes-Merry Melodies roster; he is a pastiche of the radio character Senator Claghorn from The Fred Allen Show. He first starred in the 1946 short Walky Talky Hawky as a foil for the character Henery Hawk.
She walks like Kevin McHale.
Kevin McHale is a former Boston Celtics basketball player (1980-1993) and head coach for the Houston Rockets, both of the NBA.
It’s Popeye in drag. –Ack-ack-ack-ack-ack.
The Popeye series of short cartoons starred a diminutive sailor with a jones for spinach, his skinny girlfriend Olive Oyl, and his arch-nemesis, alternately called Brutus and Bluto. “Ack-ack-ack” was his characteristic laugh.
Save the royal jelly!
Royal jelly is a high-powered food for bee larvae and adult queen bees that is secreted by worker bees. It has been marketed to humans as a health supplement, claiming to be effective on everything from infertility to broken bones to baldness. Needless to say, these claims have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not supported by scientific evidence.
Backdraft is a 1991 film about two firefighting brothers in Chicago who come up against a deadly arsonist. It was directed by Ron Howard.
Do you at least have shuffleboard here?
Shuffleboard is a low-intensity sport played with pucks (biscuits) and paddles. Players use the paddles to propel the puck into marked scoring sections on the triangular playing area. The game is of European origin and dates to at least 1532, in the reign of Henry VIII.
Valerie Bertinelli in The Outlaw.
Valerie Bertinelli is an actress, best known for playing daughter Barbara Cooper on the TV sitcom One Day at a Time (1975-1984). The Outlaw (1943) is a western motion picture that starred sex symbol Jane Russell in her breakout role as a woman caught between Billy the Kid, Pat Garrett, and Doc Holliday. Publicity shots and the poster for the movie would have you believe that the movie consists entirely of Jane Russell provocatively posing in a haymow.
I don’t know why they didn’t include this scene in, uh, That’s Entertainment!, y’know? –Yeah.
That’s Entertainment! (1974) is a retrospective film that consists mostly of archival footage of Golden Age Hollywood song-and-dance numbers, interrupted by host segments from the studio stars of the day.
Hey, he’s in Starfleet.
In the TV series Star Trek, which aired from 1966-1969, Starfleet was the exploratory/military body of the Federation and the employer of all the principal characters.
Romulan ale for you?
Romulans were one of the villainous races on the original Star Trek TV series. They closely resembled Vulcans, with their pointed ears and slanted eyebrows. Romulan ale was a blue alcoholic beverage in the series.
[“Theme from Star Trek.”]
An imitation of the theme from the TV series Star Trek, composed by Alexander Courage. The instrumental piece technically has lyrics—Gene Roddenberry, creator of Star Trek, wrote them to be eligible for half of the song’s royalties. See previous notes on Star Trek.
One of Elisabeth Kübler-Ross’s stages of grief: heavy smoking.
Elisabeth Kübler-Ross (1926-2004) was a psychiatrist and writer who devised the famed Kübler-Ross model (better known as the “Five Stages of Grief”) for predicting the general behavior and thought processes of people facing imminent death or loss. The five stages are Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance; these emotions aren’t necessarily experienced in this sequence or even in full.
[Sung.] One less poop to scoop up …
A play on the lyrics to “One Less Bell to Answer,” written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David, about the difficulty of recovering after a breakup. It was a hit for The 5th Dimension in 1970. Sample lyrics: “One less bell to answer/One less egg to fry/One less man to pick up after/I should be happy/But all I do is cry.”
Starring John Hurt as Mrs. Hargrove.
John Hurt (1940-2017) was a British actor known for his roles in such films as The Elephant Man, in which he played title character John Merrick, and Alien, in which he played the victim in the famous “chest-burster” scene.
This is nothing a little Centrum Silver wouldn’t take care of.
Centrum is a multivitamin brand currently owned by Pfizer.
Did El Greco do the backdrops?
El Greco (1541-1614) was a Greek painter and sculptor who spent most of his adult life as an émigré in Toledo, Spain. Far ahead of and underappreciated in his time, he would provide a source of inspiration for 20th-century expressionists. His mature work often contained demented exaggerations of Mannerist figures.
Honey Bunches of Death!
Honey Bunches of Oats is a whole grain cereal manufactured by Post Cereals.
Bee side. Denorex 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.
[The Wedding March.]
“The Wedding March” is traditionally the music played during wedding ceremonies to usher the bride down the aisle. It was written by Felix Mendelssohn.
She would have had a better vacation in Cambodia.
Cambodia is a Southeast Asian country that borders Vietnam, Laos, and Thailand. Though officially uninvolved in the conflict between the United States and North Vietnam (1955-1975), Cambodia was not-so-secretly bombed to smithereens by the U.S. beginning in 1969. During this time, the country was so thoroughly destabilized that a bloodthirsty offshoot of the North Vietnamese army, the Khmer Rouge, took power and embarked on a horrific campaign of ethnic and social genocide that murdered more than 2 million Cambodians in four years—roughly 20 percent of the country's population.
Hey, it hardly seems time for a Mariah Carey tape.
Mariah Carey is a soprano pop singer who hit it big in the early 1990s with hits like “Emotions” and “Hero.”
“A few dead bees.” Starring Tom Cruise.
A Few Good Men is a 1992 film about a young military lawyer (played by Tom Cruise) who tries to prove that Marines charged with killing another soldier were acting under the orders of their commander (Jack Nicholson).
The British Commish.
The Commish (1991-1996) was an ABC procedural drama series that starred Michael Chiklis as Tony Scali, a police commissioner in upstate New York.
She’s headed into the kitchen for the last banger.
“Banger” is a British name for sausage, so called because they often split open with a popping sound when cooked.
Breathe deep gathering gloom. Watch lights fade from every room.
A paraphrase of the song “Nights in White Satin,” by the Moody Blues. Sample lyrics: “Nights in white satin, never reaching the end/Letters I’ve written, never meaning to send/Beauty I’d always missed, with these eyes before/Just what the truth is, I can’t say anymore.” The song ends with a spoken-word poem using the above words.
James Galway is in the bathroom.
James Galway is an Irish flute player who has enjoyed an extremely successful performing career, one of the first flautists to succeed as a soloist. He got his start in the Berlin Philharmonic in the 1970s but quickly struck out on his own.
Peter was quite worried. He knew the Wolf would be coming soon.
Peter and the Wolf is a 1936 music composition for children by Sergei Prokofiev (1891-1953). In the story, Peter encounters a forest wolf that has eaten his duck friend; against his grandfather’s advice, he tricks the wolf and captures it in a trap. The piece is famous for its use of different instrumental leitmotifs for each character.
We go now, live, to the heat lamp at Rax.
Rax is a chain of fast-food restaurants based in Columbus, Ohio, selling roast beef sandwiches, hamburgers, and the like.
“Yes, I think I’ve got it.” The rain in Spain …
A reference to the song “The Rain in Spain” from the musical My Fair Lady. Sample lyrics: “The rain in Spain stays mainly in the plain!/By George, she’s got it! By George, she’s got it! Now, once again where does it rain?/On the plain! On the plain!/And where’s that soggy plain?/In Spain! In Spain!”
Let’s crack open those Cheetos Paws, shall we?
Cheetos are a brand of cheese puffs owned and manufactured by Frito-Lay. Paws are a now-discontinued flavor.
Ah. Forget Sandals, this is a real vacation.
Sandals Resorts are a company of holidaying spots for couples that operate in the Caribbean.
Hey, he’s the Hugh Hefner of Seagull Island.
Hugh Hefner, a.k.a. “Hef,” (1926-2017) was the founder of Playboy magazine and one of the last bastions of the 1960s bachelor lifestyle. He famously attired himself in a red dressing gown.
Hey. Bobbing-head Shakespeare up there.
William Shakespeare (1564-1616), it hardly needs explaining, was an Elizabethan playwright, dramatic actor, and poet whose works are credited as the highest possible standard of English literature. For such a celebrated figure, tantalizingly little is known about his personal life, complete authorship, or even his physical appearance. Bobble-head dolls are a popular collectible toy with oversized heads attached to the doll body with tightly wound springs.
Actually, this is about as titillating as a Montgomery Ward catalog. –Frankly, to me, any bra is a Wonderbra.
Montgomery Ward was a chain of lower-scale department stores; the chain closed in 2000 after 128 years in business. The Wonderbra is a push-up bra introduced in 1994; it quickly became one of the best-selling bra lines of all time.
Aeon Flux (1991-1995) was an animated sci-fi series that aired on MTV. In 2005 an unenthusiastically received film adaptation was released, starring Charlize Theron. The opening sequence of the program showed a close-up of a fly crawling over an unblinking eye, which then trapped the fly in its lashes.
Mind if we watch the Manchester United game in here?
Manchester United is a world-famous soccer team based in Manchester, England.
I dreamed I was being attacked by bees in my Maidenform bra.
“I dreamed I was ____ in my Maidenform bra” was the tagline for a series of print advertisements for Maidenform underwear. It ran from 1949 to approximately 1969 and was succeeded by the equally famous “The Maidenform woman: you’ll never know where she’ll turn up!” campaign.
No! She washed the towel in new, fear-scented Tide!
Tide is a brand of laundry detergent first introduced in 1943, when it quickly became the best-selling detergent in America. It is manufactured by Procter & Gamble.
I see a red door, and I want to paint it black.
A reference to the Rolling Stones song “Paint It Black.” Sample lyrics: “I see a red door and I want it painted black/No colors anymore I want them to turn black/I see the girls walk by dressed in their summer clothes/I have to turn my head until my darkness goes.”
A bee too far.
A Bridge Too Far is a 1977 film, directed by Richard Attenborough and starring Dirk Bogarde and Robert Redford, about a failed attempt by the Allies during World War II to capture several German bridges.
Paul Prudhomme is blackening some catfish in here!
Paul Prudhomme (1940-2015) was a Louisiana chef, the owner of K-Paul’s Louisiana Kitchen in New Orleans and purveyor of a line of seasonings. Prudhomme also helped popularize the blackening method of cooking meats, especially fish. Blackening consists of coating the meat in butter, dredging it in a spice mixture, and then pan frying it in a very hot cast iron skillet, producing a black crust on the meat and a lot of smoke in the kitchen.
London’s in the bathroom.
Heavily industrialized 19th- and early 20th-century London was often afflicted by thick, greasy smog. This infamous “pea soup fog” was assimilated into the city’s identity. The Great Smog of 1952, which was an intense period of air pollution in the city for a few days in December, caused an estimated four thousand deaths and led to the passage of the Clean Air Act in 1956.
Wardrobe from the Jim Fowler collection.
Zoologist Jim Fowler was the co-host of the TV show Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom; when venerable host Marlin Perkins retired in 1985, he took over hosting duties completely
Quick! EastEnders is on!
The soap opera EastEnders, which first aired in 1985, is a popular BBC series set in London’s East End, in the fictional Albert Square.
Move, UPS worker.
United Parcel Service, or UPS, is a package delivery service founded in 1907; today it is a multibillion-dollar corporation. The company uniform is a brown cap, shirt, and pants.
Why do I dream of Clamato?
Clamato is a beverage made from tomato concentrate, clam broth, and spices—you know, for all those times you’ve said to yourself, “I like tomato juice, but what it really needs is the great taste of clam.” Now owned by the Dr Pepper Snapple Group, Clamato is much more popular in Canada and Mexico (where it is used as a mixer for cocktails such as the Caesar, which is basically a Bloody Mary with Clamato in place of the tomato juice) than in the United States. It has been in continuous production since 1969.
You know, a couple of No-Pest Strips could make this whole movie go away.
No-Pest Strips are pest-control strips used to kill a wide variety of common pesky insects: flies, roaches, ants, and so forth.
Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf—in hell!
Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? is a play by Edward Albee about a bitter couple who abuse each other mercilessly in front of their dinner guests. It first premiered in 1962 and was made into a movie starring Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton in 1966.
She’s gonna surprise General Halftrack wearing nothing but a light wrap. –Miss Buxley.
General Halftrack and Miss Buxley are characters from the “Beetle Bailey” newspaper comic strip, which was first published in 1950. Brigadier General Halftrack is the commander of U.S. Army training outpost Camp Swampy, and Miss Buxley is his shapely secretary.
He’s driving a Matchbox car, look at that.
Matchbox is a brand of die-cast miniature cars first manufactured in the early 1950s. The brand is now owned by Mattel.
I’m off to become Lulu.
Lulu Kennedy-Cairns, known mononymously as “Lulu,” is a Scottish singer and pop icon of enduring popularity. Her career peaked in the late 1960s and ’70s, during which she represented the U.K. in the Eurovision Song Contest with the timeless “Boom Bang-a-Bang.” She is best known in the United States for the song “To Sir With Love” and the title song for the James Bond film The Man With the Golden Gun.
Giddy up, giddy up, giddy up, let’s go …
“Sleigh Ride” is a popular Christmas song written in 1948 by Leroy Anderson. The relevant lyrics: “Giddy up, giddy up, giddy up/Let’s go, let’s look at the show/We’re riding in a wonderland of snow.”
Hey, it’s Nondescript Spice.
The Spice Girls (1994-2000) were a British band and pop phenomenon of the 1990s. The five members of the group (Geri Halliwell, Melanie Chisholm, Melanie Brown, Victoria Beckham, and Emma Bunton) adopted the nicknames “Ginger,” “Sporty,” “Scary,” “Posh,” and “Baby,” which fans and the media quickly latched onto.
Whose woods these are? –I think I know.
A line from the Robert Frost poem “Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening.”
Damn. It’s that “bee-loud glade” that Yeats spoke of.
William Butler Yeats (1865-1939) was an Irish poet and playwright. His bucolic poem “The Lake Isle of Innisfree” (1888 or 1892) is one of his more famous works. The first quatrain: “I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree/And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made/Nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honey-bee/And live alone in the bee-loud glade.”
She’s headed right for the Honeycomb Hideout!
Honeycomb is a honey-flavored corn cereal made by Post since 1965. Advertising for the cereal during the 1970s and ‘80s focused around a children’s secret headquarters called the “Honeycomb Hideout.”
Now she jumps in the water, and they’re Class IV rapids.
The International Scale of River Difficulty is a scale of river difficulty gradings for rafters and kayakers that runs from Class I (easy) to Class VI (nigh-impossible).
Okay, I’ll lend him this, but he has to let me borrow Mandingo.
Mandingo (1957) is a novel by Kyle Onstott about a Mandinka slave called Ganymede and his conflicts with both whites and blacks on an Alabama cotton plantation in the 1830s. It was made into a film in 1975, starring the boxer Ken Norton.
I hope you won’t find it off-putting when I dress like my mother.
(Spoiler alert!) In the horror-thriller movie Psycho (1960), Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins) keeps the corpse of his mother in the cellar and commits murders when controlled by his alternate personality, who thinks and dresses like her. Coincidentally, Robert Bloch, the author of the novel Psycho, on which the movie was based, wrote the screenplay for The Deadly Bees.
This is great. What other vacation can you pretend you work at a PROEX lab?
PROEX Photo & Portrait is a professional photography franchise owned by Ritz Camera & Image. It appears to be limited to Minnesota.
Just had to adjust my truss there.
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.
This is an odd version of Shadowlands.
Shadowlands is a dramatic play by William Nicholson about the marriage of British author and Christian scholar C. S. Lewis and Joy Davidman Gresham, who died of bone cancer three years after their wedding. A filmed version of it was released in 1993, starring Anthony Hopkins as Lewis and Debra Winger as Gresham.
Well, I think there’s room in the crawl space for one more body.
John Wayne Gacy (1942-1994) was a successful businessman who lived in an affluent Chicago suburb. He was well known locally for dressing up as a clown and visiting children’s hospitals. In 1978 police discovered the bodies of 28 young men buried in the crawl space under Gacy’s house; for several years Gacy had been methodically kidnapping, torturing, and murdering them. He ultimately confessed to the murders of 33 people and was executed in 1994.
Fly, monkeys, fly!
A riff on a scene, the source of nightmares for generations of children, in the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz. As legions of flying monkeys disperse from the Wicked Witch of the West’s castle on their mission to capture Dorothy, the Witch (Margaret Hamilton) urges them on, shrieking “Fly, fly, fly!” The line is often misquoted as “Fly, my pretties, fly!”
Hat from the Norman Fell line.
Norman Fell (1924-1998) was an American character actor, best known for playing the skeptical landlord Stanley Roper on Three’s Company (1977-1984) and the spinoff The Ropers (1979-1980).
Jerry Orbach in Hatari!
Jerry Orbach (1935-2004) was one of the lead actors on the television series Law & Order, which debuted in 1990. He played the role of Detective Lennie Briscoe from 1992 until his death from prostate cancer in 2004. Hatari! (1962) is a film starring John Wayne and directed by Howard Hawks; it is about the exploits of wildlife catchers in Africa.
Cinematography by Angel Cordero.
Angel Cordero, Jr., is a retired Puerto Rican jockey; he won many races during his career, including the Kentucky Derby three times.
“Hawkins, don’t move!” Especially don’t do the Watusi!
The Watusi was a dance craze in the 1960s, likely the second most popular of the decade behind the Twist. The Orlons released “Wah-Watusi” in 1962, and the song was covered many times. The dance was performed by bending the knees and alternately flailing one’s arms up and down.
Harris Tweed: it drives bees crazy.
Harris Tweed is a twill cloth from Scotland; for large portions of the 19th and 20th centuries it was the height of fashion for gentlemen.
This Tommy-Chong-in-a-can will take care of it.
Tommy Chong is a comedian, half of the stoner comedy team Cheech and Chong.
Xeroxed her expression and taped it to her face.
Xerox Corporation was founded in 1906 in Rochester, New York, as a manufacturer of photographic paper and equipment. Xerox became a household name thanks to their pioneering work in the field of document copying. Their first automatic copying printer, the Copyflo, was marketed in 1955. By the early 1980s, Xerox copiers dominated the marketplace and led to the company’s name becoming a brand eponym. The name comes from the word “xerography,” which is derived from the Greek words “xeros,” meaning “dry,” and “graphia,” meaning “writing.”
Aromatherapy is a method of altering one’s mood or psychological state using aromatic oils or powders.
The guy from the Magritte painting!
The Son of Man (1964) is a painting by surrealist artist René Magritte (1898-1967). One of his most famous works, it shows a bowler-hatted man standing in front of a seaside, with a large green apple obscuring his face. It was intended as a self-portrait. Images of apples and bowler hats recurred in many of his other works.
I think he’s showing up for a Pink Floyd video.
The British band Pink Floyd, best known for its albums The Wall and Dark Side of the Moon, is a perennial favorite at laser shows. Pink Floyd had a penchant for using conservative, establishment figures in their music and films.