1011: Horrors of Spider Island
by Wyn Hilty
Ah, Temple Foster—where they worship Australian beer.
Foster’s Lager is a brand of Australian beer popular in the United States and Europe, although oddly not very well liked in its home country.
I mind very much if you smoke.
“I mind very much if you smoke” was the slogan in a series of anti-smoking ads produced in the early 1970s by the American Lung Association.
Hey, quit doing your Sharon Stone impersonation.
In the 1992 film Basic Instinct, there is a notorious scene in which actress Sharon Stone, during a police interrogation, crosses her legs, showing quite explicitly that she is not wearing underwear.
In the 1964 film Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb, Peter Sellers plays the title role in a wheelchair, black gloves, and a sinister pair of tinted glasses.
This is how Ms. magazine does its hiring.
Ms. magazine is a feminist publication founded in 1972 by Gloria Steinem.
Babs played fullback for the Lions.
The Detroit Lions are an NFL football team in Detroit, Michigan.
Is this the Ensure auditions?
Ensure is a nutritional drink that boasts of containing vitamins, minerals, protein, etc. It is manufactured by Ross Products.
He’s supported by a generous grant from the Onan Foundation and the Chubb Group.
The Chubb Group of Insurance Companies is a large international insurance consortium founded in 1882. Onanism is a term for masturbation; it is derived from the biblical character Onan, in the Book of Genesis, who "spilled his seed upon the ground" rather than impregnate his late brother's widow, so that he could inherit the share of his father's estate that would otherwise go to the child. God smote him good.
All right, can the crap, Giselle.
Giselle is an 1841 ballet about a young peasant girl who protects her lover from a group of vengeful female spirits.
I guess it’s back to my dead-end job as principal dancer with the Bolshoi.
The Bolshoi Ballet is a professional ballet company based at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow; it is considered one of the most prestigious ballet companies in the world.
The Indigo Girls of dancing.
The Indigo Girls are a folk rock duo, one of the staples of the Lilith Fair in the 1990s. They have long been active in the LGBT movement.
"Hello there." It’s Marty Allen!
“Hello dere!” was the catchphrase of standup comedian Marty Allen, half of the comedy team Allen and Rossi, which was popular in the 1950s and 1960s. They were a particular favorite on the Ed Sullivan Show, appearing more than forty times. Allen, and his catchphrase, also had a successful solo career, mostly on TV.
Pat Nixon gets down at the White House.
Pat Nixon (1912-1993) was the wife of disgraced President Richard Nixon, who resigned in 1974 after the Watergate scandal. During her tenure as First Lady, she took up volunteerism as her personal cause, much as fellow Republican First Lady Nancy Reagan would embrace the “Just Say No” campaign against drugs.
She studied under Rose Marie.
Rose Marie is an actress who is best known for her role as Sally Rogers on The Dick Van Dyke Show, which ran from 1961-1966. She got her start as a child actress (under the name “Baby Rose Marie”) in the 1920s.
Like my Transition lenses?
Transition lenses are a brand of photochromic lenses: lenses for glasses that darken on exposure to sunlight and lighten indoors. They were introduced in 1991.
Okay, there, I’ve looked at clouds from both sides now and, you know, frankly, I’m not that impressed.
A reference to the Joni Mitchell song “Both Sides Now.” Sample lyrics: “I’ve looked at clouds from both sides now/From up and down, and still somehow/It’s cloud illusions I recall/I really don’t know clouds at all.”
This is a good storm, but it’s not the perfect storm.
The Perfect Storm is a 1997 book by Sebastian Junger about a phenomenal nor’easter that hit the East Coast in October 1991; it was made into a movie in 2000. Since the success of the book, “a perfect storm” has come to mean a situation in which events conspire to create a catastrophe.
Oh, they had to divert around Charlie Rich’s hair.
Charlie Rich (1932-1995) was a country musician popular in the 1970s, with hits such as “Behind Closed Doors” and “The Most Beautiful Girl.”
Clinique is a brand of cosmetics and skin-care products manufactured by Estee Lauder.
Oh, Abby’s running more “how we met” stories.
Advice columnist Ann Landers (born Esther Friedman; 1918-2002) regularly ran heart-warming “how we met” stories sent in by readers; many of the stories were eventually collected in book form.
Finally, I can read “Savage Love.”
“Savage Love” is a syndicated sex advice column written by Dan Savage, editorial director of the Seattle alternative weekly newspaper The Stranger. It covers all manner of topics with a focus on alternative sexualities.
[Sung.] Sun is rising …
“The Sun is Rising” is a song written and performed by Chicago blues legend Howlin’ Wolf (born Chester Arthur Burnett, 1910-1976) that was originally recorded in 1952 but didn’t see the light of day until his 1962 compilation album Howlin’ Wolf Sings the Blues. Sample lyrics: “You know sun is rising just about three/The sun is rising just about three/I have nobody hoo to talk with me.”
When did they pick up k.d. lang?
Country/rock musician k.d. lang has released such hit songs as “Constant Craving.” She has publicly declared her lesbianism and is an outspoken advocate of animal rights, both traits that have occasionally brought her into conflict with her country-music audience.
That’s my Hai Karate.
Hai Karate was a cologne popular in the 1970s. It used an advertising gimmick of handing out self-defense instructions with every bottle—because men who wore it would have to fight off the women who would flock to them.
They’re already planning a Playboy’s Girls of the Plane Crash issue.
Playboy is a “men’s magazine” that celebrates the aspects of a “playboy” lifestyle: cocktails, gadgets, cars, and naked women with large breasts. The magazine also publishes some of the most respected fiction and journalism in the country. Playboy regularly puts out special issues such as “Girls of the Pac 10” and “Girls of the ACC.” In 2015, in a major shift, Playboy announced it would no longer feature nude women.
I see a tall Spaniard in a white suit with a midget.
Fantasy Island was a TV series that aired from 1978-1984. It starred Mexican actor Ricardo Montalban as the white-clad Mr. Roarke, who with his diminutive assistant Tattoo (of “De plane! De plane!” fame) ran an island resort where visitors’ fantasies came to life.
The name “bullhead” is given to a number of species of fish, including catfish, which are common in North American waters.
An Exxon girl tanker ran aground.
On March 23, 1989, the Exxon Valdez, an oil tanker carrying 53 million gallons of crude oil from Alaska, ran aground on a reef, spilling nearly 11 million gallons of oil into Prince William Sound. The captain had been drinking earlier in the day, and the third mate who was on duty when the accident occurred may have been working for as long as 18 hours straight. Roughly 1,300 miles of beach were contaminated, and estimates of wildlife killed by the spill include 250,000 birds, 2,800 sea otters, 300 harbor seals, 250 bald eagles, 22 killer whales, and billions of salmon and herring eggs. Cleanup efforts cost more than $2 billion.
Oh, you gotta get back on the Figurines, honey.
Figurines diet bars were the Slim-Fast bars of the 1970s.
I gotta go back and get Camryn Manheim—it may take a while.
Camryn Manheim is a plus-size actress best known for her roles on the TV series The Practice (1997-2004) and Ghost Whisperer.
He’s kind of an early Carmine Ragusa.
Carmine Ragusa, a.k.a. “The Big Ragu,” was the Italian singer with a crush on Shirley on the TV sitcom Laverne & Shirley, which aired from 1976-1983. The part was played by Eddie Mekka.
I can’t believe Northwest only offered us mini pretzels.
Northwest Airlines was a passenger airline that merged with Delta in 2008. Their hub was the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, so the MST3K gang would have pretty much had to deal with them if they did any traveling. At the time this episode was written, Northwest had a good on-time record, but appallingly bad customer service, which might explain the writers' ire.
And Hedonism II is born.
Hedonism II is an adults-only resort in Jamaica with a reputation for, well, hedonism. It has an area reserved for naturists/nudists, hosts conventions for naturists and swingers, and takes a tolerant attitude toward sexual hijinks, drug use, and alcohol consumption. The resort opened in 1976; Hedonism III followed in 1999.
Let’s go visit Brooke Shields and Christopher Atkins.
The Blue Lagoon is a 1980 movie about two children who are shipwrecked on a deserted island and grow up together, ultimately falling in love. The film starred Brooke Shields and Christopher Atkins.
Um, schlemiel, schlimazel, anyone?
A reference to Laverne & Shirley, a TV sitcom that aired from 1976-1983; it starred Penny Marshall and Cindy Williams in the title roles. “Schlemiel, schlimazel, hasenpfeffer incorporated” is a line from the show’s theme song.
“Ouch, my shoe!” Feels like a sneaker, my ass.
Easy Spirit is a brand of women’s shoes. In 1989, the company ran a TV commercial bragging that their shoe “looks like a pump, but feels like a sneaker!”
It’s the Leatherface residence.
“Leatherface,” played by Gunnar Hansen (1947-2015), was the villain in the classic horror film The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974). Leatherface, who wears a creepy stitched-together mask and has a fondness for power tools, is part of a family of cannibals that takes apart a carload of hapless hippies in 1970s Texas.
Charlotte’s killing spree.
A reference to the classic children’s book Charlotte’s Web, by E.B. White, about a young pig who befriends a motherly spider named Charlotte.
A reference to the opening host segment of Show 810, The Giant Spider Invasion.
Hey, they brought Virginia Graham along.
Virginia Graham (1912-1998) was one of the first television talk show hosts; she hosted Girl Talk, a talk show for women, from 1963-1969, as well as several other shows during her long career.
Excuse me, Charo?
Charo is a singer, actress, and flamenco guitarist originally from Spain. She was a regular on The Hollywood Squares during the 1970s and appeared frequently on The Love Boat. She performs regularly in Las Vegas.
Hey, I have some Slim-Fast bars. We’re saved!
Slim-Fast is a weight-loss product consisting of a diet plan in which you consume two Slim-Fast shakes plus a “sensible dinner” every day. The product line has since branched out into snacks and bars and whatnot.
He has Torgo area. –Blech.
A reference to Show 424, Manos, the Hands of Fate.
Hey, this is not the Amelia Earhart story! Who are they kidding?
Amelia Earhart (1897-1937?) was a world-renowned aviator; in 1932 she became the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean. Three years later she became the first person to successfully fly from Hawaii to California. In 1937 she and her navigator, Fred Noonan, set out on an attempt to fly around the world. Their plane disappeared in the central Pacific after completing two-thirds of the journey; the remains were never found.
With my luck, I’d crash with ZZ Top.
ZZ Top is a blues-rock band based in Houston, Texas, known as much for their lush, majestic beards as for their hit songs, which include “Sharp Dressed Man” and “Legs.”
So this is a sexy, spider-filled version of The Tempest.
The Tempest is a play by William Shakespeare about a group of seafarers washed up on a remote island ruled by a sorcerer, Prospero.
Hey, come into my parlor!
A paraphrase of the poem “The Spider and the Fly” by Mary Howitt. Sample lines: “’Will you walk into my parlor?’ said the Spider to the Fly,/’'Tis the prettiest little parlor that ever you did spy;/The way into my parlor is up a winding stair,/And I've many curious things to show when you are there.’”
Red Lobster’s snow crabs finally fight back.
The Red Lobster chain of seafood restaurants has occasionally offered an all-you-can-eat snow crab leg special.
The endangered wild Daryl Hannah.
Daryl Hannah is a tall, slender blond actress known for such films as Splash (1984) and Roxanne (1987).
I know you’re out here—I can smell your Brylcreem!
Brylcreem is a brand of hair pomade for men first marketed in 1928.
Don’t buy extra-strength Bioré.
Bioré is a brand of skin-care products manufactured by the Kao Corporation; the best-known product is the Bioré pore strip, an adhesive strip designed to remove blackheads.
I’ve got feet like Billy Pilgrim.
Billy Pilgrim is the central character in Kurt Vonnegut Jr.’s classic novel Slaughterhouse-Five (1969). During Billy’s time as a prisoner of war in World War II, his feet become ragged and frostbitten.
She’s a sexy Henry David Thoreau.
Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) was an American author known for his writings on natural history such as Walden (1854), the journal of his time living in a cabin in the Massachusetts woods.
Carmelite nuns. The real story.
The Carmelite order is a Catholic religious order; the nuns are a contemplative order particularly devoted to the holy face of Jesus and are known for having religious visions.
The Lennon Sisters were fighting more and more.
The Lennon Sisters are a singing group who made regular appearances on the Lawrence Welk Show in the 1950s and 1960s; they still perform in Branson, Missouri.
Man, they’re future governors of Minnesota.
Jesse “The Body” Ventura was a professional wrestler in the 1970s and 1980s and continued as a wrestling commentator after he left the ring. In 1990 he successfully ran for mayor of Brooklyn Park, Minnesota, and in 1998 his political career took off when, running as the Reform Party candidate, he beat the Democratic and Republican candidates for governor of Minnesota. He served a single term and declined to run for re-election, being replaced by Republican Tim Pawlenty when he left office in 2003.
Daisy Mae is upset.
Daisy Mae Scragg was the voluptuous love interest of L’il Abner in the comic strip of the same name; the couple married in 1952 and produced a child, Honest Abe, the following year.
Backstage at Lilith Fair, Joan Osborne and Jewel have another brawl.
Lilith Fair was a traveling music festival featuring female musicians; it was founded by musician Sarah McLachlan in 1997 and ran through 1999. Joan Osborne is a singer-songwriter best known for her 1995 hit “One of Us”; Jewel is a singer-songwriter popular in the 1990s, with hits like “Who Will Save Your Soul” and “Foolish Games.” Both Osborne and Jewel played at the inaugural Lilith Fair.
[Sung.] Da-da-da-dum …
This is the well-known opening motif to Ludwig van Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 in C minor.
Kathie Lee Gifford tried to rescue them, but they turned her down.
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.
Damn Californian, it never helps anyone. –Even zo ve said, “Hallo, take us vith you!”
The SS Californian was a British steamship that gained notoriety for failing to act on the night of April 15, 1912, when the RMS Titanic struck an iceberg and sank in the North Atlantic, even though the Californian was nearby and presumably could have saved many, if not all, of the lives lost in that disaster. The captain, Stanley Lord, gave conflicting and contradictory accounts of his and his crew's actions on the night of the disaster; a Senate investigation harshly criticized him, as did a later inquiry by the British government. The Californian was sunk in November 1915 by a German submarine during World War I.
Turns out we’re on Catalina!
Santa Catalina Island is a large island off the coast of Southern California and a popular tourist destination. Most of the island is a nature reserve under the control of the Catalina Island Conservancy. The majority of the island’s small permanent population lives in its only town, Avalon. Show 204, Catalina Caper, was set on the island.
We’ll have to eat the Hormel stuff.
Hormel Foods manufactures a number of products, including deli meats, hot dogs, canned chili, and more.
So they founded the Isle of Lesbos.
Lesbos is a Greek island in the Aegean Sea. The island’s most famous native is the ancient poet Sappho (c. 610-c. 570 B.C.E.), who wrote about her love for other women; the word “lesbian” is derived from the name of the island. In 2008 a group of islanders unsuccessfully sued to force a gay group to stop using the word “lesbian” in its name, claiming that the use of the word to denote homosexual women had caused native Lesbians a great deal of embarrassment.
Hey, they have a Swiss Colony booze basket!
Swiss Colony is a mail-order gift basket business based in Wisconsin; in 2010 the company changed its name to Colony Brands Inc.
Mmm, Pearl Drops.
Pearl Drops is a brand of whitening toothpaste that uses the slogan “Mmmm … it’s a great feeling.”
Wow, a whole island full of Gingers.
Sultry starlet Ginger Grant was the glamorous castaway on Gilligan’s Island (1964-1967); the part was played by Tina Louise.
The Dixie Chicks go big game hunting.
The Dixie Chicks are an all-female country music band that had a string of hits in the late 1990s, including “Wide Open Spaces” and “Long Time Gone.”
“The gun!” Wayne LaPierre’s on the island.
Wayne LaPierre is the executive vice president of the National Rifle Association and one of the chief advocates for gun rights in the country.
Ya know, Burt Lancaster he’s not. –Not even Bert Lahr.
Burt Lancaster (1913-1994) was a hunky leading man in the 1950s; Bert Lahr (1895-1967) was an actor who was best known for playing the Cowardly Lion in the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz. From Here to Eternity (1953) starred Lancaster as an army sergeant who falls in love with his captain’s wife (played by Deborah Kerr). The scene in which the couple makes out in the surf on a beach has become iconic, endlessly imitated and parodied.
[Sung.] Allons enfants de la Patrie/Le jour de gloire est arrivé …
These are the opening lines to “La Marseillaise,” the national anthem of France. Translation: “Come, children of the Fatherland/The day of glory has arrived …” The song was written by Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle (1760-1836) in 1792 and adopted as the nation’s anthem three years later.
Give us all your Pamprin!
Pamprin is a pain reliever specifically marketed as relief for menstrual discomfort.
That woman sounds like Urkel.
Steve Urkel was the annoying, ultra-nerdy neighbor kid on the TV series Family Matters, which aired from 1989-1998. The part was played by Jaleel White.
I just escaped from Beau Geste.
Beau Geste is a 1939 film starring Gary Cooper as a disgraced castoff of the aristocracy who joins the French Foreign Legion; there was a 1926 version starring Ronald Colman, but the Cooper film is better known. (There is also a 1966 version starring Guy Stockwell and Telly Savalas [!] and a 1982 BBC adaptation.) All are based on a 1924 novel by P.C. Wren. In 1977 Marty Feldman made a parody version called The Last Remake of Beau Geste. (Thanks to Paul Castaldi for spellchecking Telly Savalas.)
“Where’s Gladys?” Spying on the Stevenses.
Gladys and Abner Kravitz were the Stevens’ nosy neighbors on the TV sitcom Bewitched (1964-1972). Gladys was played by Sandra Gould and later Alice Pearce, while her husband Abner was played by George Tobias.
“Just look at what’s coming down the path.” Huh? Mr. McFeely?
Mr. McFeely was the mailman on Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. He was played by actor David Newell.
Boys? Who’s there, a Cub Scouts troop?
Cub Scouts are proto Boy Scouts; the program is aimed at young boys in elementary school.
Wow, these Amish barn raisings get wilder all the time.
The Amish are a conservative Christian sect found predominantly in North America; there is a large population of Amish in Pennsylvania. They are known for their plain, old-fashioned manner of dress and their rejection of much modern technology, including electricity and cars. A barn raising is a community gathering, common in 19th-century America and still used among the Amish and Mennonites, in which everyone comes together to help build a barn for one member of the community; the expectation is that the others will return the favor when it is time to build your own barn.
Well, she dances as well as Bruce Springsteen. –[Sung.] This dance for hire ...
Bruce Springsteen is an iconic folk and rock musician who has remained consistently popular since the early 1970s. The tune sung here is “Dancing in the Dark,” a 1984 song by Springsteen. Sample lyrics: “You can't start a fire/You can't start a fire without a spark/This gun's for hire/Even if we're just dancing in the dark.”
Unfortunately, she took lessons at the Arthur Miller dance studio.
Arthur Murray Dance Studios is a dance studio franchise that was widely popular during the middle of the century. In the 1970s the company boasted some 3,500 locations; now that number has been reduced to fewer than 200. Arthur Miller (1915-2005) was an American playwright known for such classic works as Death of a Salesman and The Crucible.
“Her folks live in Minnesota.” Their governor’s a huge bald Nazi.
See note on Jesse Ventura, above.
So. Minnesota. That must be passive aggressive.
“Minnesota nice,” the social culture of many Midwestern and Upper Plains states, is marked by politeness, friendliness, understatement, and an aversion to overly emotional expression, aggressiveness, or boasting of any kind. “Death before confrontation” is their watchword. Some contend that the Minnesota nice culture is a breeding ground for repressed emotions and passive-aggressive behavior. Minnesota nice behavior is front and center in the Coen brothers’ 1996 dark comedy Fargo. Oh, yah, real good there.
So, you into scouting?
See note on Cub Scouts, above.
I’m worried that Eric Von Zipper’s gonna show up.
Eric Von Zipper was the bumbling outlaw biker in the Beach Party movies of the 1960s; the part was played by Harvey Lembeck.
Why can’t this be on every channel, like the State of the Union address?
The State of the Union address is a speech made annually by the president of the United States to a joint session of the U.S. Congress, in which the president reports on the condition of the nation (as set forth in Article II of the Constitution) and outlines his agenda for the coming year. Traditionally the speech is carried live on all major television networks.
Minnesota, huh? Boy, that Harold Stassen is a bright young face, huh?
Harold Stassen (1907-2001) was governor of Minnesota from 1939-1943; he resigned in 1943 to serve in the Navy during World War II. After the war, he became best-known as a perennial also-ran for the Republican presidential nomination, seeking it twelve times between 1944 and 2000; he came closest in 1948 but lost the nomination to Thomas Dewey, who ultimately lost the election to Harry Truman.
Are you attracted to my Jeff Conaway hair?
Jeff Conaway (1950-2011) was an actor best known for playing Kenickie in Grease (1978) and cab driver/aspiring actor Bobby Wheeler on the TV show Taxi (1978-1981), as well as playing security chief Zack Allan on Babylon 5. He also had severe and long-term issues with drug abuse, and appeared on the first and second seasons of the reality series Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew. He ultimately died of pneumonia complications brought on by his drug use.
“Hello, big boy.” Oh, hello, Jessica Rabbit.
Jessica Rabbit is the sultry, glamorous wife of cartoon star Roger Rabbit in the mixed animation/live action film Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988); the part was voiced by Kathleen Turner.
The many loves of Michael Landon.
Michael Landon (1936-1991) was an actor who appeared on a number of television series, including Bonanza, Highway to Heaven, and Little House on the Prairie—and, of course, played a young delinquent werewolf in Show 809, I Was a Teenage Werewolf. The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis was a TV sitcom that aired from 1959-1963. It starred Dwayne Hickman in the title role.
An injured member of the Swedish bikini team.
The Swedish bikini team was a group of attractive blondes clad in bikinis who appeared in a series of commercials for Old Milwaukee beer in the 1990s. Pressure from groups angry about the commercials’ portrayal of women (and a sexual harassment lawsuit by Stroh’s female employees, who cited the ads as evidence of the company’s sexist attitudes) forced the company to drop the campaign after a few months.
Jackie Gleason’s Music for Lovers Only.
Music for Lovers Only was Jackie Gleason’s first album of orchestral arrangements, released in 1952, and one of his most popular; it still sells through reissues today.
Gosh, I love Michelle Shocked. Don’t you?
Michelle Shocked is an alternative folk singer who was popular on college radio in the late 1980s.
“Gladys.” And a few Pips.
Gladys Knight and the Pips was one of the most popular R&B groups of the 1960s and 1970s. The Pips, consisting of Merald “Bubba” Knight, William Guest, and Edward Patten, were the backup singers on such songs as “Midnight Train to Georgia” and “Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me.”
“For a guy like you, the worst girl in the world is too good.” But I like Tonya Harding.
Tonya Harding was a figure skater who won the national championship twice; she is the only American female skater to complete a triple axel jump in competition. She is infamous for allegedly conspiring to injure fellow skater Nancy Kerrigan before the Olympics; she almost lost her spot on the 1994 Olympic team but was allowed to compete after she threatened legal action. She finished eighth; Kerrigan, who recovered from the attack, finished second. After the Olympics, Harding pleaded guilty to conspiracy for her role in the assault and was banned from skating for life.
Oh, thanks. Now I smell like Midori.
Midori is a bright green, melon-flavored liqueur manufactured by Suntory, a Japanese distilling company.
Wait, not here. Over by the Sung vase.
The Sung Dynasty in China (960-1279 B.C.E.) preceded the Ming Dynasty and is regarded as the “classical” period of Chinese porcelain work; it was during this period that Chinese artisans perfected the art of porcelain and began to create vases and other works that were simple and unadorned compared with the often lavishly decorated Ming porcelain ware.
Ah, he learned from his master, Moe Howard.
Moe Howard (1897-1975) was a founding member of the Three Stooges, a comedy trio that appeared in nearly 200 short films. Moe was the “boss Stooge,” constantly rebuking his hapless fellows and beating the hell out of them in allegedly hilarious ways.
“I’ve got news for you.” I’m Clint Howard.
Clint Howard, brother of actor/director Ron Howard, is an actor who has appeared in such films as Apollo 13 (1995) and Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (1997), usually in small supporting roles. He got his start as a child actor, appearing in the TV show Gentle Ben (1967-1969) and playing a creepy childlike alien on the original Star Trek series (“The Corbomite Maneuver”).
Look at that shadow—it’s Sideshow Bob! –Bart.
Sideshow Bob, a.k.a. Robert Terwilliger, is the scheming ex-sidekick of Krusty the Clown on the TV series The Simpsons. Over the years, he has framed Krusty for armed robbery, married and then attempted to murder Aunt Selma, become mayor of Springfield by stealing the election, and tried to kill Bart, among many other criminal plots. He has famously huge hair that resembles a palm tree in silhouette. The character is voiced by Kelsey Grammer.
Still, the movie’s better than A Midsummer Night’s Sex Comedy.
A Midsummer Night’s Sex Comedy is a 1982 Woody Allen film starring Mia Farrow as the young fiancée of a respected philosopher who goes to spend a weekend in the country with his cousin and a group of other people. Hijinks ensue. Farrow was nominated for a Worst Actress Razzie for the movie, the only one of Allen’s films to be so (dis)honored.
Soundtrack by Schroeder.
Schroeder is the piano-playing boy in the comic strip “Peanuts,” created by Charles M. Schulz (1922-2000).
Christine Todd Whitman on vacation.
Christine Todd Whitman is a Republican politician who served as the governor of New Jersey from 1994-2001 and later as head of the Environmental Protection Agency under President George W. Bush from 2001-2003; she resigned in 2003, citing policy differences with the administration.
I wonder if my Lightdays with wings will actually get me airborne.
Lightdays Panty Liners are small, thin pads designed to be worn while menstruating. Some come with “wings” that fold around under the user’s underpants to prevent the sides of their underwear from being stained. They are manufactured by Kotex.
When did Duke Ellington do this soundtrack?
Duke Ellington (1899-1974) was a composer and jazz musician whose orchestra was one of the best known and most respected jazz ensembles in the world. Ellington did score a number of films, most notably Anatomy of a Murder (1959) and Paris Blues (1961).
I want Joe Frazier!
“I want Joe Frazier!” is what Muhammad Ali famously screamed after one of his fights. The two fought for the third and last time in 1975 in Manila (the “Thrilla in Manila,” as the fight was dubbed). Ali won on a technical knockout after fourteen rounds.
I have a good mind to put this up my butt and entertain at Lollapalooza.
Lollapalooza was a hugely successful touring rock festival during the 1990s, with such bands as Pearl Jam, Rage Against the Machine, Nine Inch Nails, Smashing Pumpkins, and other alt.-rock stalwarts. In addition to the musical acts, a hugely popular show was the Jim Rose Circus Sideshow, which featured acts like a man having liquids pumped into and back out of his stomach, with audience members invited to drink the resulting brew; a man eating light bulbs; and another lifting weights with his genital piercings. Lollapalooza was revived in 2003 as an annual summer weekend event in Grant Park, Chicago, featuring alternative rock, hip-hop, and heavy metal bands, as well as dance, comedy, and performance art. Beginning in 2011, Lollapalooza events were also held in Chile and Brazil, and in 2014, Berlin. The name for the festival comes from a 19th-century phrase meaning “an unusual thing,” later taken to mean “a giant lollipop.” According to festival organizer Perry Farrell, he decided on the name after he heard it in a Three Stooges short.
Suddenly I want to do the Charleston.
The Charleston was a dance popular in the 1920s; it became a craze in 1923 after the song “The Charleston” in the Broadway musical Runnin’ Wild introduced it to a wider audience.
Paparazzi are photographers who specialize in getting candid photos of celebrities and politicians, often in unflattering or scandalous situations. The word comes from a character in the 1960 Italian film La Dolce Vita, a news photographer named Paparazzo.
So, um, is he strong? –Hey, listen, bud, he’s got radioactive blood! –Oh, sorry.
A riff on the lyrics to the theme song of the 1967 animated TV series Spider-Man (ABC, 1967-1970). Sample lyrics: “Is he strong?/Listen, bud/He’s got radioactive blood/Can he swing/From a thread?/Take a look overhead.”
They will not come if I build it, shut up!
“If you build it, they will come” is a line from Field of Dreams, a 1989 movie starring Kevin Costner as a Midwestern farmer who hears a mysterious voice instructing him to build a baseball diamond in his field.
You know, the Dukes of Dixieland also did the Psycho soundtrack, I think.
The Dukes of Dixieland were a Dixieland jazz band during the 1950s and 1960s; the group was founded by brothers Frank and Fred Assunto and also featured Pete Fountain on clarinet and Artie Seelig on piano. Psycho is a 1960 horror film directed by Alfred Hitchcock; the famous soundtrack, with its shrieking violins, was composed by Bernard Herrmann.
Wow, he found out too late that CoCo Wheats can’t be beat.
CoCo Wheats is an instant chocolate-flavored wheat cereal. The jingle goes: “CoCo Wheats, CoCo Wheats can’t be beat/They’re the creamy hot cereal with a cocoa treat/To be big and strong, have lots of fun/Eat CoCo Wheats, everyone!” It is manufactured by Little Crow Foods.
The bad news is that they were picked up by Captain Ron.
Captain Ron is a notoriously bad 1992 film starring Kurt Russell as a one-eyed, maniacal sailor in the Caribbean.
Shrimp kabobs. Shrimp gumbo. Shrimp ice cream. Shrimpskin coats. Shrimp hubcaps. Shrimp contact lenses. Shrimp-based religion …
An imitation of Bubba Blue (played by Mykelti Williamson) in the 1994 film Forrest Gump. The actual line: “Dey’s, uh, shrimp kabobs, shrimp creole, shrimp gumbo. Pan-fried, deep-fried, stir-fried. There’s pineapple shrimp, lemon shrimp, coconut shrimp, pepper shrimp, shrimp soup, shrimp stew, shrimp salad, shrimp and potatoes, shrimp burger, shrimp sandwich. That’s about it.”
[Imitating.] So anyway, that was my experience on the island of the girls when I became a spider. Did it teach me anything? Maybe not. But you know, really, in the end … hey!
An imitation of Woody Allen, a nebbishy comedian/actor/writer/director whose most famous films include Annie Hall (1977), Manhattan (1980), and Broadway Danny Rose (1985).
Shrimp personal watercraft …
See previous note.