K20: The Last Chase
by Trey Yeatts
[Name in credits: Gene Slott.] The Reverend Gene Slott.
The Reverend Gene Scott (1929-2005) was one of the early American televangelists, beginning his broadcasting career in 1975. He considered himself more of a teacher than a flashy preacher like Oral Roberts or Benny Hinn, with a propensity for filling blackboards with scriptural references, often in Hebrew or Greek, while puffing on a pipe and wearing a succession of eccentric hats.
[Name in credits: Martyn Burke.] Billie Burke.
Billie Burke (1884-1970) was an actress known to audiences today as Glinda the Good Witch of the North in 1939’s The Wizard of Oz.
We can rebuild this movie. We have the technology. –[Imitating sound effect.]
A reference to the opening narration of the TV series The Six Million Dollar Man, which aired from 1974-1978 and starred Lee Majors as the title character: “Gentlemen, we can rebuild him. We have the technology. We have the capability to build the world’s first bionic man. Steve Austin will be that man. Better than he was before. Better, stronger, faster.” This is also an imitation of the sound effect that was used on the TV series while Austin ran in slow motion, which was meant to indicate that he was actually running very, very fast.
Chris Makepeace? –From My Bodyguard.
Chris Makepeace is a Canadian actor whose first major role was in the 1979 comedy Meatballs. In his second film, 1980’s My Bodyguard, his character befriended a school outcast (played by Adam Baldwin) to defend him against bullies.
[Name in credits: Burgess Meredith.] –[Imitating The Penguin.]
An imitation of The Penguin, the character Burgess Meredith (1907-1997) played on the 1966-1968 series Batman. He waddled, quacked, and wore a monocle and a top hat.
Standing ankle deep in slush, holding two cords with enough energy to reanimate a dead horse, holding up a metal hood with your shoulder ... I think that’s how Spider-Man got his superpowers.
Spider-Man is a Marvel Comics character created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko that debuted in 1962. Peter Parker is Spider-Man’s alter ego, who was bitten by a radioactive spider, giving him super strength, agility, and superior sensory perception. Parker built his own webshooters. The character has appeared in several animated and live-action television series, a series of wildly profitable feature films, and a Broadway production.
[Imitating lead-up to “Charge.”] Pump, pump, pump pump. Pump, pump, pump pump.
This is a version of the “Charge” fanfare written by USC student Tommy Walker in 1946. This fanfare is popular at baseball games and is commonly followed by the word “Charge!” being shouted by the crowd.
Exxon is a fuel and oil company. In 1911, when Standard Oil Company was broken up in the antitrust fervor of the early 20th century, the Esso, Enco, and Humble brands were created. In 1973, Exxon became the corporate name, replacing these other brands in the United States. In 1999, Exxon merged with its former Standard Oil sibling, Mobil, and is now ExxonMobil.
Our gas contains no seawater.
At the time this episode aired, the Exxon Valdez disaster was only two months old. On March 24, 1989, the oil tanker struck a reef in Prince William Sound, Alaska, and spilled as much as 750,000 barrels of crude oil, making it the worst spill in U.S. waters until 2010’s Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion and leak, which released approximately 4,900,000 barrels into the Gulf of Mexico.
That was in 2001: A Space Odyssey, too, I think. It was the Monolith.
2001: A Space Odyssey is a 1968 science fiction film directed by Stanley Kubrick, based on a story by Arthur C. Clarke. In the film, a large, black, rectangular device proportioned one by four by nine was deposited on Earth by aliens at “The Dawn of Man” to inspire higher thought. A second was buried under the surface of the moon, and a large monolith was later found orbiting the planet Jupiter.
The time’s a-changin’.
“The Times They Are a-Changin’” is a 1964 song by Bob Dylan. While not exactly a hit when it was released, it is today regarded as one of the greatest songs of all time (according to Rolling Stone, anyway).
He must have had an Erector Set. –Not since his wife died.
Erector Set is a toy construction set first produced by AC Gilbert in 1911. It contains small metal beams, nuts, bolts, screws, and mechanical parts such as gears.
Must be waiting for Grateful Dead tickets.
The Grateful Dead is a famed rock band from the heyday of the 1960s, though they remained active until lead singer Jerry Garcia’s death in 1995. Their biggest commercial hit, “Touch of Grey,” was released in 1987. For some reason, they inspired thousands of hippie types to follow them around the country as they toured.
Beatlemania! –[Sung.] Close your eyes and I’ll kiss you. Tomorrow I’ll miss you. –[Sung.] I wanna hold your hand. –[Sung.] Oh please, say to me, and let me be your man. –[Sung.] Baby you can turn in my car. –[Sung.] Paperback writer!
“Beatlemania” was a phrase coined to describe the near-hysteria that the British pop group inspired in the 1960s among their many fans. It was later adopted by various tribute bands. “Close your eyes ...” is a portion of lyrics from the 1963 Beatles song “All My Loving.” “I wanna hold your hand” and the next bit (“Oh please, say to me ...”) is from their 1964 song “I Want to Hold Your Hand.” “Baby you can turn in my car” is a paraphrase of lyrics from their 1965 hit “Drive My Car.” “Paperback Writer” was a 1966 hit for the Fab Four.
I knew there was an oil shortage but not an Oil of Olay shortage. –Helsinki’s still pumping it out by the gallon.
Olay is a facial skin care cream created in 1949 by South African chemist Graham Wulff. It is produced by Procter & Gamble, which dropped the “Oil of” from its name in 1999. Helsinki Formula is a brand of “scalp health” products, including shampoos, cleansers, and baldness aversion creams.
Video cameras everywhere. A world run by Sony.
Sony Corporation is a consumer electronics company founded in 1946 and based in Japan. It is one of the largest corporations in the world.
When he shot Liberty Valance.
The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance is a 1962 Western classic about a calm, good man (played by Jimmy Stewart) who is believed to have killed the town’s menace (played by Lee Marvin), when in fact (spoiler alert) John Wayne did it.
He ran over the head of Alfredo Garcia.
Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia is a 1974 film by director Sam Peckinpah about an American and his prostitute girlfriend who try to collect a bounty while navigating the Mexican crime underworld.
[Sung.] Golden years, goo-oold. Wop, wop, wop. Oooh, wa, oooh. Chop, chop, chop.
A ... representation, I guess, of David Bowie’s 1975 single “Golden Years.”
[Sung.] California here I come.
“California, Here I Come” is a song written in 1921 for the Al Jolson Broadway musical Bombo. Over the years, several attempts were made to adopt it as California’s state song, but all failed.
Looks like his BVDs are holding up pretty good over the years. Larry Hagman’s right. For value and fit ...
BVD is a brand of men’s underwear, first produced in 1876. Trivia note: “BVD” stands for “Bradley, Vorhees & Day.” Larry Hagman is an actor best known for starring as Major Tony Nelson on the NBC sitcom I Dream of Jeannie (1965-1970) and as J.R. Ewing on the CBS prime-time soap Dallas (1978-1991). In the 1980s, Hagman was a spokesperson for BVDs.
[Sung.] And up from the ground came a-bubblin’ crude.
A line from the theme song to the CBS sitcom The Beverly Hillbillies (1962-1971).
I used to be married to Farrah Fawcett.
Lee Majors was, indeed, married to actress and model Farrah Fawcett (1947-2009) from 1973 to 1982.
It’s got real women. –Solid gold!
Solid Gold was a syndicated TV series that ran from 1980 to 1988. It usually featured snippets from the Top 10 hits of the week, played while a bevy of dancers performed; it also sometimes had musicians as live guests.
You know, he’s starting to look more and more like Boss Hogg. –Sorrell Booke? That’s the name of the same character in 9 to 5, played by Dabney Coleman.
Jefferson Davis Hogg (a.k.a. Boss Hogg) was the bumbling and scheming commissioner of Hazzard County in the CBS TV series The Dukes of Hazzard (1979-1985). The character was played by Sorrell Booke (1930-1994), who, before Dukes, was best known as a character actor on many popular TV shows. Lee Majors’ character’s name in Last Chase is Franklyn Hart, which was the name of the villainous boss in the 1980 workplace comedy 9 to 5 (Franklin Hart, in that case). Dabney Coleman played Hart in the film and he has had roles in such other films as On Golden Pond and Towering Inferno, plus TV roles in Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman and Buffalo Bill.
I think it was Atari’s Missile Command.
Atari is the video game and consumer electronics brand founded by Nolan Bushnell and Ted Dabney in 1972. The name came from the Japanese board game Go, where “atari” means “to hit the target.” In 1977, they released the famed Atari 2600 (initially called the VCS: “Video Computer System”) and soon became the fastest-growing company in the United States. After the release of the Atari 5200 in 1982 came the Video Game Crash of 1983, wherein the market was saturated with often-inferior games and personal computers were on the rise. The company became splintered among its varied divisions and corporate maneuvering led to its demise in 1984. Various companies purchased the brand and produced games under the Atari name in the ensuing years. Missile Command is a game released by Atari in 1980, in which the player tries to destroy falling missiles before they can reach the cities at the bottom of the screen.
James Earl Jones, I think.
James Earl Jones is an actor known for his deep voice, which has been heard most famously in Star Wars as the voice of Darth Vader, and for a time delivering news network CNN’s tagline (“This is CNN”).
[Whistles Close Encounters “Contact” theme.]
This five-tone motif is sometimes known as the “Spaceship Communication” theme from the 1977 film Close Encounters of the Third Kind. It was played by the humans to communicate with the visiting aliens and vice versa.
Oh, man. Headless College. –The Ichabod Crane School for Boys. –You mean there’s no headmaster? –Crow, you’re ahead. –Headbanger High.
Ichabod Crane is the pedantic schoolmaster in the Washington Irving story “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.” A petty tyrant, Crane is a gangling, awkward fellow who nonetheless imagines that he can romance the wealthy daughter of a local landowner before he is beset by the Headless Horseman. “Headbanger” is a slang term for a heavy metal fan, derived from their propensity to nod their heads violently in time with the killer guitars.
Look at the size of those Sea-Monkeys he’s got growing in there.
Sea-Monkeys are a brand name for a type of brine shrimp sold to children as pets; they were first marketed in 1957. For years the packaging has showed a family of adorable mer-creatures, and countless kids were disappointed when the Monkeys hatched and turned out to be tiny shrimp that just swam around aimlessly.
The Runaways were an all-girl group, anyway.
The Runaways were a late 1970s rock group who had one hit in the U.S. with “Cherry Bomb,” but they were huge in Japan. The all-teenage girl lineup included Joan Jett (who went on to bigger solo fame in the 1980s), Lita Ford (who became huge in heavy metal circles), and Micki Steele (who later joined the 1980s group The Bangles). A biopic about the group, starring Kristen Stewart as Jett, was released in 2010.
A Porsche. –Twelve miles to the gallon. –Or is that his bed?
Porsche is a German automobile manufacturer founded in 1931, known mostly for their high-performance vehicles, like the Porsche 911. The company also holds a majority stake in Volkswagen, which means Porsche controls Audi, Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini, and more.
It’s a car. See? –It’s my mother. –A car.
My Mother the Car was a 1965 sitcom starring Jerry Van Dyke (Dick’s brother) as a man who discovers that the spirit of his deceased mother is inhabiting his 1928 Porter touring car. It has been widely reviled as the worst TV show ever made, but in truth it was just silly and rather dull.
Goin’ to Californie. Grandma, you ride up on top.
In The Beverly Hillbillies (see above note), in the opening credit sequence when the Clampett family is shown driving to Beverly (Hills, that is), Granny (Daisy Mae Moses—played by Irene Ryan) rode in her rocking chair on top of the overloaded truck. This could also be a reference to “The Immigrants” sketch, performed by comedy troupe National Lampoon on their 1975 album National Lampoon Gold Turkey, wherein hillbilly immigrants are coming to America and John Belushi’s character makes Grandma ride on top of the ship (and, later, a taxi).
Want some Soylent Green?
Soylent Green is a 1973 science fiction film set in a dystopian 2022 where the Earth is overcrowded and polluted. The Soylent Corporation issues food rations to the billions of citizens in various forms, including Soylents Red and Yellow. Charlton Heston plays a police detective who investigates a murder that leads him to the secret behind their newest variety, Soylent Green. Spoiler alert: it’s made of people.
Come back, Shane!
Shane is a 1953 Western starring Alan Ladd as a retired gunfighter who unwillingly gets drawn into a range war. The line “Shane! Come back, Shane!” is uttered by little Joey as Shane rides off at the end of the film.
Well, let’s see: a Formula One Porsche versus a golf cart.
Formula One (or F1) is a class of racing begun in 1950. The tiny cars are held to a very restrictive set of rules and travel at speeds upwards of 220 mph. The car in this film, however, is not Formula One. This car is a Porsche 917/30, developed in the early 1970s and raced in the Can-Am Challenge, which was held from 1966 to 1974. As a matter of fact, the 917/30 is sometimes credited with killing the Can-Am because, in the 1973 season, it won every race save one. An interesting thing to keep in mind while watching this film (considering the price of gasoline) is that the 917/30 got 3.4 miles per gallon and had a 105-gallon tank.
Whoa, look out. –Suspect is driving a white dot. –You mean Dot-sun.
Datsun was a Japanese automaker bought by Nissan in 1933. The Datsun brand was phased out in 1986.
I think there’s an easier way to play flashlight tag.
Flashlight tag is a variation of the standard game of tag. The game is played at night and “it” uses a flashlight to “tag” the other players. In some versions of the game, “it” must yell out the name of the player tagged by the light.
Smokey the Bear! Only you can prevent commercials.
Smokey the Bear is the longtime spokescreature for the U.S. Forest Service. He was created in 1944 to preach the message of fire prevention, with the slogan “Only you can prevent wildfires.”
[Sung.] Fly the deadly skies of Korea!
In 1965 United Airlines introduced the advertising tagline “Fly the Friendly Skies.” The phrase was retired in 1996.
"Captain J.G. Williams." The aluminum foil magnate?
J.G. Neher & Sons owned the aluminum plant in Switzerland where the first aluminum foil was produced in 1910. (Thanks to Jeff Grindle for this reference.)
[Imitating The Penguin.]
See above note.
For the benefit of Mr. Kite. –[Sung.] There will be a show tonight on trampoline.
The Beatles’ 1967 song “Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite” appeared on the classic album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band and was based on a 19th-century poster for a circus that John Lennon saw in an antique shop. These two lines are, in fact, the opening lyrics of the song.
J.G. Williams, this is your wife!
A reference to This Is Your Life, a TV series that ran from 1952-1961 (and then again in 1971-72 and some specials in the late 1980s), in which an unsuspecting celebrity would be lured to the studio and presented with people from his past, who would talk about his life.
Is he doing Sammy Davis Jr.? –That’s what I was thinking. A white Sammy Davis. [Imitating.] Man. –Is he like a human cyborg, like Sammy is? Fake hip, fake eye. He’s gonna be the cyborg nightclub comedian. He’s going to live forever because he’ll be all replacement parts. –[Imitating.] I’ll be totally bionic, man.
Sammy Davis Jr. (1925-1990) was a Las Vegas staple and a member of Hollywood’s Rat Pack. He was known for his sense of style and a predilection for audacious jewelry. Davis lost his left eye in a 1954 auto accident, and in 1985, he had hip replacement surgery. The “bionic” line is another reference to Majors’ Six Million Dollar Man role (see above note).
J.G.? –Gigi? Oh, Gigi. –[Sung.] Thank heaven for little pilots. Because little pilots get bigger every day.
In the 1958 musical Gigi, the song “Thank Heaven for Little Girls” opens the film. It’s based on a 1944 novella by French author Colette about a Parisian girl being prepared to become a courtesan. The film is considered the last of the great MGM musicals. Actual lyrics: “Thank heaven for little girls/For little girls get bigger every day/Thank heaven for little girls/They grow up in the most delightful way!” The song became a signature number for Maurice Chevalier, who performed it in the film.
Doesn’t he have boxers to train?
A reference to Burgess Meredith’s other well-known role: Rocky Balboa’s boxing trainer, Mickey Goldmill, who appeared in the first three Rocky films. (The character also appears in flashbacks in Rocky IV, Rocky V, and Rocky Balboa.)
Are these the Oak Ridge Boys?
The Oak Ridge Boys are a longtime country-music band that have been performing, in various lineups, since the mid-1940s. Their hits include “Elvira,” “Bobbie Sue,” and “Dream On.”
If he makes it to California, he’ll make The Fall Guy.
Lee Majors’ other, well, major television role was as stuntman and bounty hunter Colt Seavers in the ABC action series The Fall Guy from 1981 to 1986. Majors also sang the theme song, “The Unknown Stuntman.”
Reminds me of an old Salem ad, but those got outlawed, too. –Yeah. –[Sung.] You can take Salem out of the country, but you can’t take the country out of Salem. –Now it’s just a Mountain Dew ad.
Salem cigarettes are a brand of menthol coffin nails introduced in 1956 by R.J. Reynolds Tobacco. In the late 1960s and into the very early 1970s, television adverts for the brand featured this catchy little ditty. Broadcast (TV and radio) commercials for cigarettes were banned effective January 2, 1971. The last ad to run was for Virginia Slims, which aired during The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. Mountain Dew is a sweet, citrus-flavored, highly caffeinated soft drink introduced in 1948 and bought by PepsiCo in 1964. A long-running Mountain Dew ad in the 1980s featured teens and adults climbing and swinging ropes and splashing into a lake.
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial is a classic 1982 science-fiction film about an adorable alien who gets stranded on Earth, and a group of kids’ efforts to get him back home.
See above note.
[Imitating.] Wilbur! –It’s a cameo. –Hi-yo, Porsche.
An imitation of the title character in Mister Ed, a sitcom about a talking horse that aired from 1961 to 1966. The horse was played by a palomino named Bamboo Harvester; his voice was provided by Allan Lane. Wilbur was Mister Ed’s owner, played by Alan Young. “Hi-yo, Silver, awaaay!” is the classic catchphrase of the Lone Ranger, a fictional renegade lawman who has been featured on radio, in movies, and on television. He was portrayed most famously by actor Clayton Moore (1914-1999), who played the character in all three mediums.
Is this like old NFL highlight music? –[Imitating.] But for Vince Lombardi and the Green Bay Packers, there would come another day. –Boyd Dowler. –Bart Starr. –Paul Hornung. –Some big guy with no neck and a helmet. –Ronald Reagan? –Woody Wood. Fuzzy Thurston. Ken Bowman. –The incredible Johnny the Wobbler. –MacArthur Lane. –Minnie Pearl. Robert and Jim Mitchum –Micky Dolenz. –Gomer Pyle. –Denver Pyle. –Shh, I wanna hear this.
An obvious reference to NFL Films, a production company started by Ed Sabol in 1962, meant to highlight great moments from football games over the decades. The film’s score at this point is reminiscent of NFL Films’ scores; often bombastic and usually uplifting. Joel and the ‘bots are imitating the deep baritones of the announcers used to narrate the action. The Green Bay Packers (whooo!) is a Wisconsin-based team established in 1919. Vince Lombardi (1913-1970) was a long-time Packers (whooo!) coach who led the team, over a seven-year span, to five championships. The Super Bowl trophy was named for him in 1970. Boyd Dowler (wide receiver), Bart Starr (quarterback), Paul Hornung (quarterback, halfback), Willie (not “Woody”) Wood (safety), Fuzzy Thurston (guard), Ken Bowman (center), and MacArthur Lane (running back) were all Green Bay Packers (whooo!). Ronald Reagan (1911-2004) was an actor, California governor, and the 40th president of the United States (1981-1989). Reagan played football in college and, in the 1940 film Knute Rockne, All American, he played college football star George Gipp (the origin of the phrase, “Win just one for the Gipper”; the nickname stuck with Reagan for the rest of his life). I was unable to identify “Johnny the Wobbler.” Minnie Pearl was the stage name of actress Sarah Colley (1912-1996), who toured with the Grand Ol’ Opry beginning in 1940. Her trademark entrance line was “How-dee!” She retired from performing in 1991 after suffering a stroke. Robert Mitchum (1917-1997) was an award-winning actor best known for his roles in Cape Fear, The Misfits, Rio Bravo, and many more. His son, James (or Jim) is also an actor who appeared in In Harm’s Way, Thunder Road, and more. Micky Dolenz is an actor and musician best known as the drummer and lead vocalist for the Monkees. Gomer Pyle (played by Jim Nabors) was the bumbling gas station attendant, sometimes deputy and later Marine who appeared on The Andy Griffith Show and Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. Denver Pyle (1920-1997) was a character actor who appeared in more than a hundred films and television shows, but he is best known for his role as Uncle Jesse on the aforementioned The Dukes of Hazzard. The inclusion of Minnie Pearl, Robert and Jim Mitchum, and Gomer Pyle here is another reference to the National Lampoon sketch “The Immigrants” (see above note). Those four (among others) were listed as being hillbilly immigrants who live among us.
How many Smokey the Bear signs can there be?
See above note.
I bet that Coke is still good after all these years. –Oh yeah. It’s melted through the cans, but it’s still good. –It’s nice to know they’ve changed it back from “Classic,” though. We have something to look forward to. ‘Cause this is such a futuristic vision.
Coca-Cola is a soft drink first made in 1886 and is the best-selling carbonated beverage in the world. In 1985, the company reformulated the drink and released it as New Coke in what is now regarded as one of the biggest commercial and marketing flops in history. Due to the backlash, the company later introduced Coca-Cola Classic, which was supposed to be a return to the old formula. “Classic,” however, used high fructose corn syrup instead of pure cane sugar, which is what Coke contained before the New Coke debacle. The line “melted through the cans” is likely a reference to the urban myth that Coca-Cola can eat through a nail (or whatever) if it’s left in the drink overnight. Not true, and it dates back to a 1950 hearing in the U.S. House of Representatives in which a Cornell University professor named Clive McCay testified that teeth left in Coke for two days become soft, when, in fact, teeth left in any solution containing normal foodstuffs for that period of time can soften.
All this Coke is mine.
See previous note.
Take the roadblock challenge.
The Pepsi Challenge is a taste-test marketing campaign that the competitor to Coke has been employing since 1975.
[Sung.] Can’t beat it. Can’t beat it. The feeling we get from a ... owwww.
A reference to the then-new commercial campaign for Coca-Cola Classic that featured some variation of these lyrics: “Can’t beat it. The feeling I get from a Coca-Cola Classic.”
Daddy, what’s Vietnam?
Ah, the 1980s. Without the Internet, people had to buy overpriced libraries of books from the Time-Life Company cataloging stretches of history. This line specifically refers to a commercial for their History of the Vietnam War series. In the ad, a father and son are at the Vietnam Memorial in Washington, D.C., and the son asks, “Daddy, what’s Vietnam?” Buy the books and find out.
Going back to their old ad campaign: Coke takes life.
From 1976 to 1979, Coca-Cola’s predominant advertising slogan was “Coke Adds Life.”
[Sung.] I’d like to blow up a truck of Coke ... –Furnish it with holes. Drive Porsches fast, break ceiling glass and get Chris Makepeace home. –That was beautiful.
“I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing (In Perfect Harmony)” is a song that first appeared in a 1971 Coca-Cola ad featuring the drink’s slogan at the time, “It’s the Real Thing,” in its chorus. The commercial was a hit, and the song (without the Coke references) was released as a single by The New Seekers (who performed in the ad). It reached number one in the U.K. and number seven in the U.S. The lyrics for the ad version of the song are as follows: “I’d like to buy the world a home and furnish it with love/Grow apple trees and honey bees, and snow white turtle doves/I’d like to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony/I’d like to buy the world a Coke and keep it company.”
[Imitating Dudley Moore.] I race cars and fondle women. But I have weekends off and I am my own boss. Hobson, can you draw a bath for me? –Shhh.
A line from the 1981 comedy Arthur, starring Dudley Moore as spoiled millionaire Arthur Bach and Sir John Gielgud as his butler/valet Hobson. The only thing missing from the line above is “play tennis,” which fits in after “race cars.”
Those supersonic fighters ain’t what they used to be. –[Sung.] Many long years ago.
A reference to and line from the folk song “The Old Gray Mare,” thought by some to have originated in 1843 with the victory of older horse Lady Suffolk at a Hoboken, New Jersey, track. The lyrics are, “The old gray mare, she ain’t what she used to be/Many long years ago.”
What a great time to Polyglycoat the car.
Polyglycoat was a chemical protective sealant for car finishes that first appeared in 1969. Its manufacturer, Polyglycoat World Enterprises, was the subject of several lawsuits allegedly due to damage caused to cars by the product. They filed for Chapter 11 in 1983.
Wouldn’t this be great at the Omnitheater? –Whoa! Wheee!
Omnitheater (or OMNIMAX) is the name given to dome movie projections usually found at museums. Developed by Canada’s IMAX Corporation, the first film shown in OMNIMAX was Voyage to the Outer Planets in 1973. In the 21st century, the name has fallen out of use in favor of “IMAX Dome,” though many museums still use the older term.
Simoniz shine. –He’s gonna wax philosophical.
Simoniz is a brand of car wax that first appeared in 1935; for a time a number of auto dealers referred to auto detailing as “Simonizing,” leading to a dilution of their trademark.
He’s turning into a werewolf! –He’s turning into Michael Landon. –He’s turning into a flying squirrel. –He’s turning into a mountainside.
Michael Landon (1936-1991) was an actor who appeared on a number of television series, including Bonanza, Little House on the Prairie, and Highway to Heaven. You can see a young Michael Landon in Show 809, I Was a Teenage Werewolf.
He’s our rocking chair. Eights to you, good buddy. Breakin’ on the one. –Hammer down. –Smokey report. Chris Makepeace is the neon peon, c’mon.
A slew of CB (Citizen’s Band) radio slang. “Rocking chair” means you’re being allowed to drive closely between two truckers on the highway, one in front of you and the other behind. “Eights” is short for “eighty-eights,” which means “kisses.” “Breakin’” means you’re interrupting the conversation and asking other CB-ers to pay attention. The number that follows is just the channel that you’re “breaking” into. “Hammer down” means you’re accelerating, usually greatly. “Smokey report” means that the speaker is going to provide the location of a police cruiser, usually one running a radar trap. I couldn’t find a “neon peon,” but a “neon jockey” is someone with too many lights on their rig.
What’s he gonna do, make fun of them when he catches up? –He’s got a couple of Genie missiles on there, those could do some damage, I think.
The AIR-2 Genie was an air-to-air nuclear missile without any sort of guidance. They debuted in 1958 and were retired in 1985. Only one was ever tested live (over Yucca Flats, Nevada ... hmmmm) and none was ever used in combat. Obviously, those aren’t Genies on Burgess’s jet. They are external fuel tanks.
I like to strike fear into them, like I did in Da Nang.
During the Vietnam War, the port city of Da Nang was a major base for South Vietnamese and American air forces.
Got him running around like a goat in a barrel. –No, that’s a goat on a rooftop. –Goat on a hot tin roof. –Fish in a barrel. –Cat on a hot tin roof. –Goat tell it on the mountain. –Cat on a tin roof sundae, isn’t it? –Out on the hill of the lonely goat sundae. Little old lady who ... –Who what? –Only drove this car to church in Pasadena once a week. –Oh, I’m not buying that. C’mon. –Okay. Would you like to buy this bridge? –Oh. Sure. I got a partial right now.
“Goat on a rooftop” refers to Al Johnson’s Swedish Restaurant in Sister Bay, Wisconsin, at which one can find goats dining on the grass roof, a marketing ploy that Johnson has used since 1973. “Shooting fish in a barrel” is a saying that means something will be very easy to do. “Cat on a hot tin roof” is a saying that essentially means “jumpy,” but it’s also the title of a 1955 play and a 1958 film. A “tin-roof sundae” is a recipe for a vanilla ice cream dish, topped with Spanish peanuts and chocolate syrup, that has been around since at least the very early 1900s. (Opinions differ as to the origin of the name, but the two leading theories are either that the red-skinned peanuts used in the dish resembled the red tin roofs of the time, or that the sound the peanuts made when you shook the can sounded like rain on a tin roof.) The next line, “Out on the hill of the lonely goat sundae. Little old lady who,” is a paraphrasing of the yodel-laden song “The Lonely Goatherd” from the musical The Sound of Music. The actual lyrics are, “High on a hill was a lonely goatherd/Lay ee odl lay ee odl lay hee hoo.”
[Imitating.] Merely a flesh wound.
A line from 1974’s Monty Python and the Holy Grail, from the scene in which King Arthur (Graham Chapman) faces off against the mysterious Black Knight (John Cleese).
[Sung.] I had too much to dream last night.
“I Had Too Much to Dream (Last Night)” is a 1966 song by the psychedelic group The Electric Prunes.
“Ungawa” or “umgawa” is a nonsense word that seems to have originated with 1932’s Tarzan the Ape Man, starring Olympic swimmer Johnny Weissmuller. Screenwriter Cyril Hume used the word as an all-purpose exclamation or command meaning whatever the context would dictate, eschewing novelist Edgar Rice Burroughs’s complex jungle language. The word was used frequently throughout the long-running Tarzan series and has even appeared in the animated George of the Jungle and Scooby-Doo television shows.
Those horses really look like they could rip apart a pair of Levi’s.
Levi Strauss & Company was founded in 1853 by a clothier who sought to make durable pants for miners out of tent canvas. So durable, in fact, that the logo for the company became two separate teams of horses trying to pull a pair of jeans apart. This logo began being stitched to the backs of their products in 1886, and commercials over the years have replicated the tableau.
Look, it’s one of the Village People.
The Village People were a campy disco group that hit it big in the late 1970s with songs like “Y.M.C.A.” Each member of the group dressed as a different gay “icon”: cop, construction worker, cowboy, Indian, and soldier (or sailor).
His name is Columbo.
Los Angeles Police Detective Lieutenant Frank Columbo is a fictional character who was most famously played by Peter Falk in a long-running crime television series and numerous TV movies that aired from 1968 to 2003.
Phantom Sabrejets and B-52 bombers generally do share the same fuel.
The F-4 Phantom II fighter jet is a different plane from the F-86 Sabre (or Sabrejet), which is the one used in this film. The F-4 was used by the U.S. Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps from 1958 to 1996, seeing a great deal of action in the Vietnam War. The F-86 was used by the Air Force beginning in 1947 and retired from service in 1970. They became well-known thanks to their role in the Korean War. Famous F-86 pilots included astronauts Buzz Aldrin, John Glenn, and Gus Grissom. The B-52 Stratofortress is a long-range bomber used by the Air Force beginning in 1952 and still in operation today. They were used extensively in Vietnam and in Operation Desert Storm.
C’mon, back to work. What do you think this is, a Spielberg film?
Popular film director Steven Spielberg has a string of classics on his résumé, including Jaws, E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and many more.
They’re not slam dancing, but it’ll do. Is he dancing with a guy?
“Slam dancing” or “moshing” is the aggressive hurling about and colliding that audience members engage in at concerts for heavy metal, punk, or other “hardcore” musical acts.
A hoedown. –Hoedown, there.
A “hoedown” refers to a fast-paced square dance or other folk dance performed primarily in rural settings or in country-tinged environs.
This is a Close ‘N Play Phonograph. It’s used to play your favorite songs in stereo. Open it. Plays. Close it. Stops.
A reference to a 1972 commercial for the Kenner Close ‘N Play Phonograph. (A phonograph was an audio media player that utilized a needle riding in the miniscule groove of a vinyl disc to produce music, most often.) Joel gets the order slightly backwards, though: if you opened it, it stopped. Close it, it plays.
He’s trying to bring the band back together.
A likely reference to the 1980 comedy The Blues Brothers, which featured the two musically inclined siblings attempting to gather the members of their band after they had gone their separate ways during Jake Blues’ stint in prison. The line “We’re putting the band back together” was a running gag in the film.
North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) is the joint military organization between the United States and Canada that seeks to protect the two nations. It was founded in 1958, and the primary operational headquarters are located in Colorado.
So the Russians were hiding behind cactuses, that was the plan? –They snuck over dressed as cactuses. –Oh. Okay. –Some of them dressed as tumbleweeds. –They invaded Nevada first. They took Vegas, they knew they would get the core of our being. Wayne Newton. –Not the Wayner. –He may already be a Wayner.
Wayne Newton is a singer who has only had a few radio hits, most especially 1963’s “Danke Schoen.” But in Las Vegas he is one of the most popular entertainers in the city’s history, earning $1 million per month at his peak. He filed for bankruptcy in the 1990s but quickly recovered financially. The phrase “You may already be a winner” likely dates back to the slew of sweepstakes mailers that swamped Americans throughout the 1980s.
“Oh boy. This is great.” –Sounds like Flounder from Animal House.
Flounder was the frat name given to Kent Dorfman (played by Stephen Furst) in 1978’s National Lampoon’s Animal House. During the Homecoming Parade chaos near the end of the film, Flounder exclaims: “Oh, boy, is this GREAT!”
What is this, Bottom Gun?
A reference to the 1986 fighter jet action film Top Gun, starring Tom Cruise.
Uh-oh. –C’mon, Burgess, we’re just trying to have some fun. –They’re getting their kicks on Route 66.
“(Get Your Kicks On) Route 66” was first recorded in 1946 by the Nat King Cole Trio and later covered by Chuck Berry, The Rolling Stones, Perry Como, and many more. Route 66 itself was a renowned U.S. highway that stretched from Los Angeles to eastern Illinois. Nicknamed “The Mother Road,” it was built in 1926 and removed from the U.S. Highway System in 1985 after falling into near-disuse thanks to the interstates. Today, most of the stretch is designated “Historic Route 66.”
Once you’ve been bionic, there’s no taming you.
See above note.
It’s so golden and free looking. –I can see Disneyland. –Shouldn’t there be a Last Chance Casino first?
Disneyland is a Disney theme park located in Anaheim, California. It first opened in 1955. Two possibilities on Last Chance Casino: there is a real Last Chance Casino, located in Helena, Montana, or there was an attraction by that name in the defunct San Jose amusement park Frontier Village.
See above note.
Having a Nesbitt soda.
Nesbitt’s was a brand of orange soda introduced in 1924. They were the best-selling orange soda in the nation until the 1960s, when competition from Orange Crush and Fanta pushed them into decline. In 1975, the company was sold, and the brand has changed hands several times since.
Scraping off the underside of a Chevy.
Chevy is the short name for automaker Chevrolet. It was founded in 1911 and bought by General Motors in 1917.
Leaving on a jet plane.
“Leaving On a Jet Plane” is a 1966 song written by John Denver. It was recorded by the Chad Mitchell Trio and Spanky & Our Gang in 1967 before it was most famously covered by Peter, Paul & Mary that same year. However, the song didn’t become a hit for them until 1969, when it was released as a single.
[Sung.] You can do what you want to. You can drive a LeMans across the desert, but if there’s no desert you have to be hazardous [?]. Sabre jet. Fly the Sabre jet. It’s a Sabre jet.
Riffing on the 1983 song “The Safety Dance,” by Canadian new wave group Men Without Hats. Sample lyrics: “Say, we can dance if we want to/We can leave your friends behind/Because your friends don't dance and if they don't dance/Well, they're no friends of mine.” LeMans is an endurance race built around the concept of having a small team of drivers driving the same car over a 24-hour period. It was first run in LeMans, France, in 1923. (Thanks to Kevin Stafford for “The Safety Dance” reference.)