207: Wild Rebels
by Sean Marten
What’s the extra “e” for? –Well, it’s for extra ... –[Cough.] Ixnay ... –I’ll tell you later.
The extra “e,” as devotees of Manhattan public access cable knew all too well, was for extra pee. This line is a reference to an ad for a phone sex line for watersports enthusiasts that used to run on Channel J in New York. The name of the line was 976-PEEE: “The extra 'e' is for extra pee!”
Uh-oh. Here comes the Sermon on the Gran Torino. –Blessed are the grease monkeys, for they will lube …
Gran Torino is an automobile produced by the Ford Motor Company between 1972 and 1976. High performance versions led to the Torino’s status as one of the definitive “muscle cars” to come out of that era. In the New Testament of the Bible, the Sermon on the Mount is the longest and most often quoted set of teachings from Jesus Christ. It contains the Beatitudes, expressed as eight blessings, which include the famous “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the Earth.”
Hi, my name's Rod and I’m a gasoholic. –Hi, Rod!
A variation of the standard introductory statement made by a person speaking at an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting.
How about these Robert Culp I Spy pants?
Robert Culp (1930-2010), along with Bill Cosby, starred in the secret-agent television adventure series I Spy from 1965 to 1968. Aside from being the first American TV drama to feature a black actor in a lead role, the show was notable for its hip banter between the two leads, and the stylish (for the era) men’s fashions the pair wore.
“Four-fifty once … four-fifty twice …” Four-fifty three times a lady?
“Three Times a Lady” is a 1978 single, written by Lionel Richie, from the Commodores album Natural High. The chorus sings: “You’re once, twice, three times a lady/And I love you.” It became the Commodores’ first number one hit.
Get off that Batmobile, creep. –Look at that dent. –Look at the body work they’ll have to do on that now.
The Batmobile is comic book/TV/movie superhero Batman’s car. Since its introduction in Detective Comics 27 in 1939, the gadget-laden Batmobile has gone through many incarnations, including the 1955 Lincoln Futura concept car used in the ‘60s ABC series.
Looks like some local color there. –Yeah, “white trash.”
Interesting side note for “white trash”: a journal entry by English actress Fannie Kemble in 1833 states that it was a term used by black slaves in the South for white servants.
If you take these bikers internally, do not induce vomiting. –The movie will do that for you—like an Ipecac. –An Ipeca—oh, that Genesis album?
“If swallowed, do not induce vomiting” is a warning found on bottles of some poisonous substances, such as household cleaners and other commonly available chemicals. (The medical reasoning behind the warning is that poisons that cause chemical burns on the way down can also cause more damage on the way back up.) Syrup of Ipecac is an over-the-counter medicine meant to induce vomiting in the case of accidental poisoning. The 1981 album from the British band Genesis, their eleventh studio album, is titled Abacab. It was the number one album on the U.K. charts for 27 weeks.
Tommy Lasorda? Thanks for the ride, Mr. Lasorda. –Now remember, just one delicious shake in the morning and lunch and then a sensible meal after ... –Yeah, whatever. Thanks for the ride. Hey, good luck with the football team or whatever it is you do.
Former baseball player, manager, and Baseball Hall of Fame inductee Tommy Lasorda was also a commercial spokesperson for the Slim-Fast diet and weight-loss plan, which involved replacing breakfast and lunch with premixed shakes.
Kinda like the back yard of the Brady Bunch house.
The Brady Bunch is a sitcom that aired on the ABC television network from 1969 to 1974 and then went on to international syndication. Most of the scenes in the show, about a large blended American family, take place in the Brady home—a sprawling example of the split level suburban dream house of that era. The actual house filmed for exterior establishing shots was built in 1959 and is located in Studio City, within the city limits of Los Angeles, California. The house sold in 1973 for $61,000, then went on the market again in 2018, listed at $1.8 million. After a bidding war with TV host Lance Bass, Home & Garden Television (HGTV) purchased the property for $3.5 million, and announced plans to “restore the Brady Bunch home to its 1970s glory.”
Ronald McDonald, shakin’ his McBooty.
Ronald McDonald, a clown character dressed in bright primary yellow and red, is the main mascot of the McDonald’s fast food restaurant chain. He was first depicted in three 1963 television commercials by Willard Scott, later The Today Show meteorologist.
Hey, look! They turned the flying sub from the Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea show into a bar! –Richard Basehart?! –No, Gypsy. –Sorry. –Poor girl.
Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea is a 1961 science fiction film, which spun off into a series on the ABC TV network from 1964 to 1968. Most of the story takes place on a futuristic nuclear submarine, the Seaview -- The Flying Sub, officially the FS-1, was a bright yellow two-man mini-submarine that launched from a hatch in the bottom of the Seaview. Yep, it could fly. Richard Basehart (1914-1984) starred as Admiral Harriman Nelson in the Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea television series. On the Satellite of Love, Gypsy frequently displays an inexplicable obsession with Richard Basehart.
Ring around the collar. Hmmm, I really like you, but we could never wash our clothes in the same load.
“Ring around the collar” was the catchphrase of a very successful ad campaign for Wisk laundry detergent. The campaign began in 1968 and ran for more than 30 years.
[Imitating.] Would you believe mildly infatuated? How about a schoolboy crush?
Get Smart is a television comedy series, spoofing the secret agent/spy genre, that aired from 1965 to 1970. Among the many catchphrases spawned by the series, “Would you believe …” was how bumbling Agent 86 (Don Adams, imitated here) would begin each attempt to revise his description of something his boss was finding implausible.
Ladies and gentlemen, from England, the Femtones. –Nice haircut. –Nice vests.
Led by singer Bernard Jewry (using a pseudonym), Shane Fenton and the Fentones was a British pop band that enjoyed moderate success in the pre-Beatles early ‘60s. The band broke up in 1963, and Jewry—still using the name Shane Fenton—went on to a solo career before reinventing himself in 1973 as glam-rock singer Alvin Stardust and hitting the charts with the single “My Coo Ca Choo.”
Oh, brother. Joel, is this Catalina Caper all over again? –I don’t think so, but it’s the same spirit.
A reference to Show 204, Catalina Caper.
Okay, I can get you Bob Denver. –As a romantic lead? I just don’t see it. –No really, I know the Gilligan’s Island thing typecast him but you should see him dance. –Oh, you’re always trying to pawn off your has-been TV talent on me … hold it, I got Bill Bixby on line one. –The press agent sketch, ladies and gentlemen.
Bob Denver (1935-2005) was best known for his roles on the television comedies Gilligan’s Island and The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis. Bill Bixby’s (1934-1993) career spanned three decades. He is best known for his starring roles in three television series: My Favorite Martian, The Courtship of Eddie’s Father, and The Incredible Hulk.
I will. I will! I will kill you! I WILL kill you!
A paraphrase of a line from the 1984 movie Dune, spoken ever so dramatically by Sting, who played the wild-eyed na-Baron Feyd-Rautha Harkonnen: “I WILL kill him!” It is an MST3K favorite, and has been repeated in many, many episodes.
Hey, are you guys wearing Toughskins?
Toughskins is a line of children’s jeans sold by Sears, Roebuck & Co. that are marketed for their durability. The line has expanded to include corduroy pants, denim jackets, and men’s work clothes.
Oh, a Teamster.
The International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT or Teamsters) is one of the largest trade unions in the United States. In modern English, “teamster” means truck driver, originally referring to a person who drove a team of draft animals.
“How interesting.” But stupid.
“Very interesting, but stupid” is a catchphrase from Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In. Hosted by comedians Dan Rowan and Dick Martin, Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In is a sketch comedy television program that ran on NBC from 1968 to 1973. It ranked at #42 on TV Guide’s 50 Greatest Shows of All Time. In a recurring sketch, cast member Arte Johnson, helmeted as a German WWII soldier, would poke his head out from behind a potted plant and utter the phrase periodically.
“Mr. Tillman, I presume.” Yes, Dr. Stanley?
Dr. David Livingstone (1813-1873) was a Scottish medical missionary and explorer in Africa. After having lost contact with the outside world for four years, he was located in Tanzania by Welsh journalist Henry Morton Stanley, who greeted Livingstone—the only other white man for hundreds of miles—with the now famous words “Dr. Livingstone, I presume?”
“We are avid fans of yours.” We like your early, funny stuff.
American filmmaker Woody Allen began his career with straightforward, almost slapstick comedies. When he ventured into more thoughtful, serious, relationship-based films, fans would sometimes tell him that they enjoyed his “earlier, funnier stuff.”
“Your friend over here is Banjo.” He came from Alabama on my knee.
“Oh Susanna,” a song by Stephen Foster (1826-1864), contains the lyrics: “Oh, Susanna/Oh don’t you cry for me/For I come from Alabama/With a banjo on my knee.”
“Betty” is a slang term for an attractive woman. Theories on its origin include ‘40s pinup legend Betty Grable, Archie Comics’ Betty Cooper, and The Flintstones neighbor Betty Rubble.
“Where are you staying?” Motel 6?
Motel 6 is a major chain of inexpensive, no-frills motels in the U.S. and Canada. The chain was founded in 1962, and originally charged $6 a night for rooms, hence the name.
What you call home, Rambo calls hell.
Rambo: First Blood Part II, the second in Sylvester Stallone’s Rambo series of action films, contains the memorable line “What you choose to call hell, he calls home.” The film also used “What most people call hell, he calls home” as one of its advertising tag lines.
“Linda baby, come here.” You rang?
Having been summoned by the clanging of a gong, “You rang?”—in an extremely deep and gravelly voice—is the signature line spoken by Lurch, the tall, ghoulish butler in the 1964-1966 television series The Addams Family. The part was played by Ted Cassidy.
Yeah, they gotta go past the LaBianca place.
Pasqualino “Leno” and Rosemary LaBianca were a well-to-do Los Angeles couple who were murdered in their home by the Manson family the night of August 10, 1969. Following the murders of actress Sharon Tate and four others the night before, the LaBianca murders were the second killing spree orchestrated by Charles Manson in his effort to bring about an apocalyptic race war he termed “Helter Skelter” (see note on Manson, below).
Nice guitar. Not!
Though the use of “Not!” as a negating declarative is generally connected to the late-’80s/early-’90s Saturday Night Live sketch “Wayne’s World,” it can be traced even further back to SNL’s first season and a 1976 episode hosted by Madeline Kahn. In a slumber party sketch, the female cast members and Kahn played young girls talking about boys. Laraine Newman said, “Oh, yeah. Now I really wanna get married. Not!” Its usage dates further back, of course, but that’s the earliest appearance in popular culture I could find.
“Wango Tango” is the title of a 1980 song by rock musician and right-wing loudmouth Ted Nugent. The song was ranked seventh on Guitar World’s list of the “100 Worst Guitar Solos” and has been parodied thanks to its nearly incomprehensible lyrics. Wango Tango is also the name of an annual day-long concert produced by Los Angeles radio station KIIS-FM.
We gotta find a way to sew up the copyright on those Hells Angels logos. These are going nowhere.
The Hells Angels (in the United States and Canada, the Hells Angels Motorcycle Corporation) is a worldwide motorcycle club, or organized crime syndicate, depending on who’s describing them. Their members typically ride stripped down Harley-Davidson motorcycles and sport sleeveless denim or leather jackets displaying their official “winged skull" insignia on the back.
Tickle, tickle. Does that bug you? Does that bug you?
A reference to something U2 lead singer Bono said in the 1988 concert film Rattle and Hum: “Am I bugging you? I don’t mean to bug ya.” Or it's possibly just a reference to the timeless sibling torment of almost, but not quite, touching, tickling, or punching another sibling, and when a complaint is made, saying "What? I'm not touching you!"
Look at all those books up there … –Leaves of Grass. –Trump: The Art of the Deal. –Mein Kampf. –The Essays of Pat Buchanan.
Leaves of Grass is a collection of poems, mostly exalting sensuality and nature, by American poet Walt Whitman (1819-1892). Trump: The Art of the Deal is a 1987 autobiography by real estate mogul, reality show host, and 45th President of the United States Donald Trump. Mein Kampf is an autobiography/political manifesto published in two volumes in 1925/1926 by failed painter Adolf Hitler. Pat Buchanan was a senior adviser to American Presidents Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, and Ronald Reagan, and remains an active conservative political commentator and author. Though he has written many essays and books, there is no publication titled The Essays of Pat Buchanan.
So how long you been working on the David Dukes campaign, honey?
David Duke is a former Grand Wizard of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan and a former Republican Louisiana State Representative. He was a candidate in the Republican presidential primaries in 1992 and in the Democratic presidential primaries in 1988. Over the years he has unsuccessfully campaigned to be elected state senator, U.S. senator, congressman, and governor of Louisiana. He remains an activist, writer, and punch line.
Two roads diverged into a yellow wood, and sorry I could not take my hog down both, and be one traveler, long I stood …
A paraphrase of the opening lines of “The Road Not Taken,” a famous poem by Robert Frost, first published in 1916 in the collection Mountain Interval. The title is often mistakenly given as “The Road Less Traveled.” The actual lines: “Two roads diverged in a yellow wood/And sorry I could not travel both/And be one traveler, long I stood …”
You’ve beat the stuffing out of three preppies and given away the girl. But before the day is through, you’ll take enough drugs to kill a horse. Now it’s Miller Time.
Miller Brewing Company has produced several varieties of beer since 1855. Beginning in the 1970s, Miller’s began marketing to “the working man,” essentially saying, after a hard day’s work, you’ve earned a break, so “it’s Miller time.”
Guys, it doesn’t get any stupider than this.
TV ads in the 1980s for Old Milwaukee brand beer featured outdoorsy guys doing lots of fishing and camping, capping off their day with Old Milwaukee beer and the pronouncement “Guys, it just doesn’t get any better than this.”
Boy, you taste like Joseph Goebbels.
Joseph Goebbels (1897-1945) was one of Adolf Hitler’s closest associates, who served as the Nazi Minister of Propaganda from 1933 to 1945. Many historians believe Goebbels’ fervent anti-Semitism helped speed the beginning of the Final Solution, leading to the Holocaust. He was also known to be an enthusiastic womanizer.
They say the neon lights are brighter on Broadway …
The opening line (actually, it’s “They say the neon lights are bright on Broadway …) from the song “On Broadway,” which was a major hit for The Drifters in 1963, and for George Benson in 1978. Over the years it has been recorded or referenced by more than 25 pop and jazz artists, from Frank Sinatra to Kermit the Frog.
Orange Cappuccino? Suisse Mocha?
A reference to flavors in the General Foods International line of instant coffees. (See note below.)
[Imitating the Penguin.] Maaak … maak, maak, maak.
With a long cigarette holder clenched in his teeth, this was the signature sound made by Burgess Meredith (1907-1997) in his portrayal of The Penguin in the Batman television series of the 1960s, and in the 1966 spinoff film Batman. Danny DeVito made a similar sound in his portrayal of The Penguin in the 1992 film Batman Returns.
Celebrate the moments of your life with General Foods International Ripple.
General Foods International is a product line of several flavors of instant coffee. On the market since the early 1970s, it is one of the most enduring and recognizable brands of instant coffee. “Celebrate the moments of your life” was one of its early advertising slogans. Ripple was a brand of low-end fortified wine produced by the E & J Gallo Winery, popular during the 1970s. It is no longer made.
Who the hell are you, Falstaff?
Sir John Falstaff is a character who appears in three plays by William Shakespeare: Henry IV Parts I & II, and The Merry Wives of Windsor. His death is also described by Mistress Quickly in Henry V. A comic figure, Falstaff is fat, vain, boastful, and cowardly, but also joyful, frank, full of panache, and aware of his own absurdity. Many literary scholars consider Falstaff to be one of Shakespeare’s greatest creations.
Sit a spell, take your shoes off …
The theme song from the popular sitcom The Beverly Hillbillies (1962-1971)—“The Ballad of Jed Clampett,” sung by Jerry Scoggins and performed by bluegrass musicians Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs (of Foggy Mountain Boys fame)—ends with the lyrics: “You’re all invited back again to this locality/To have a heapin’ helpin’ of their hospitality.” Then, in spoken word: “Hillbilly, that is/Sit a spell, take your shoes off.”
“As you might have surmised, my happy little group here is from California.” Uh, Stanford, right?
North of San Jose and south of San Francisco, Stanford University resides on an 8,180-acre campus near Palo Alto, California—the heart of Silicon Valley. A private research university founded in 1891 by Leland Stanford, it was one of the four original ARPANET nodes that formed the backbone of the global Internet, and Stanford faculty and alumni have founded such tech companies as Google, Yahoo!, Hewlett-Packard, and Sun Microsystems.
Does he mean bad-bad, or good-bad? –Sinbad.
Sinbad the Sailor is the Persian hero of a series of adventure stories popular for generations among young readers. There have been numerous television and film adaptations over the years, including Show 505, The Magic Voyage of Sinbad. Stand-up comedian and actor David Adkins also performs under the stage name Sinbad.
We’re opening our own S&L.
“S&L” is short for “savings and loan,” a particular type of financial institution that underwent a meltdown in the 1980s and ‘90s. S&Ls found themselves unable to make sufficient capital once interest rates were doubled to stave off inflation and many lenders engaged in fraudulent tactics to stay afloat. Thanks to a push for deregulation, the fraud went unnoticed until a quarter of the country’s S&Ls collapsed. Nearly $100 billion dollars was lost and had to be repaid with taxpayer funds because of insured accounts.
“Real kicks.” Yeah, Lucky Charms ... –Honeycomb …
Kix is a popular brand of breakfast cereal, made of extruded and puffed whole grain corn, that was introduced by General Mills in 1937. General Mills introduced Lucky Charms cereal, a mixture of toasted oat-based pieces and multi-colored marshmallow bits in various shapes, in 1964. Honeycomb cereal, consisting of honey-flavored corn pieces in a honeycomb shape, was introduced in 1965 by Post Cereals. This is the first of many kicks/Kix wordplays in this episode.
[Whispered.] Join us.
A reference to the famous line from the 1981 camp horror classic The Evil Dead.
“... stocks for someone else? You get peanuts.” Yeah, but junk bonds? Now, they’re a different story.
Junk bonds (a.k.a. high-yield bonds) are risky investments due to a higher risk of default. However, there is a larger yield at their maturity.
“Dillinger, Pretty Boy Floyd.” Michael Milken, Leona Helmsley, you know.
John Dillinger (1903-1934) and his gang robbed two dozen banks and four police stations (that’s right, robbed police stations) in the Depression-era United States. He also escaped from jail, twice. His exploits were exaggerated by the newspapers of the time, turning the outlaw into a kind of folk hero. Dillinger was gunned down by federal agents as he left a Chicago movie theater in July 1934. Charles Arthur “Pretty Boy” Floyd (1904-1934) was also an American bank robber, operating mostly in the Midwest. He too was killed by law enforcement officers, and remains a notorious figure in American popular culture. Michael Robert Milken is a business magnate and financier, noted for his role in the development of so-called “junk bonds” (see previous note). In 1990 he pleaded guilty to felony charges of violating U.S. securities laws; he paid $1.1 billion in various fines and lawsuits and was sentenced to ten years in prison, but served less than two. Leona Helmsley (1920-2007) was a businesswoman and real estate investor, the owner of a chain of luxury hotels. Dubbed “The Queen of Mean,” she served 19 months in prison after she was convicted on federal income tax evasion and other crimes in 1989. A housekeeper testified she heard Helmsley say, “We don’t pay taxes. Only the little people pay taxes.”
Shouldn’t have had that Cobb salad. Ooooh.
Hollywood’s Brown Derby Restaurant, and its owner Robert Howard Cobb, made this main-dish salad famous in the 1930s. It consists of finely chopped chicken or turkey, bacon, hard-boiled egg, tomatoes, avocado, scallions, watercress, cheddar cheese, and lettuce tossed with a vinaigrette dressing and topped with an ample portion of Roquefort or other blue cheese.
See previous note on The Evil Dead.
But at Foreman & Clark, you can get a second suit for just a dollar.
Foreman & Clark was a department store chain founded in 1909 in Los Angeles. The chain closed in 1999.
He hasn’t been the same since The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band broke up.
Founded in 1966, folk-country-rock group The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band has never actually broken up, but their lineup has shifted dramatically at least twelve times over the years, and in the late 1970s they recorded and performed under the name The Dirt Band. Best known for their 1970 cover of Jerry Jeff Walker’s “Mr. Bojangles,” The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band is considered highly influential in the growth of contemporary country and roots music.
What is this, The McLaughlin Group?
Broadcast since 1982, The McLaughlin Group is a weekly half-hour syndicated television program in which five pundits—moderated by John McLaughlin—discuss current political issues in a round table format. Critics complain that it values sensationalism over journalism; Ronald Reagan, when he was in the White House, called it “a political version of Animal House.”
Note to myself: never negotiate with bikers hopped up on goofballs.
“Goofballs” is a slang term for barbiturates, which are depressant drugs that cause relaxation. Popular recreational barbiturates include Nembutal and Seconal.
We’ve got Moog synthesizers; we could kill you from here.
“Moog synthesizer” is kind of a catchall term for an older generation analog music synthesizer, originally designed and developed by Dr. Robert Moog in the early 1950s. A synthesizer demonstration booth at the Monterey International Pop Festival caught the attention of musicians and producers in the summer of 1967. The Moog synthesizer became widely known the following year, with the release of the multiple Grammy–winning album Switched-On Bach, by musician and composer Wendy Carlos. Diana Ross and the Supremes, The Doors, and The Rolling Stones began using the instrument in their recordings soon after. The fundamentals established by the Moog synthesizer made modern electronic music possible, so you can either thank or blame Dr. Moog for that.
Pat him down. He's probably packing a capo.
A capo, short for capotasto, is a small device that attaches to the neck of a stringed instrument, such as a guitar, and, by essentially shortening the length of the strings, raises the pitch of the instrument. It was invented in the 17th century.
We’re booking you for impersonating Trini Lopez.
Trinidad Lopez III is a singer, guitarist, and actor who enjoyed thirteen chart hits in the 1960s. His best known recordings are his versions of the folk songs “If I Had a Hammer” and “Lemon Tree.” With his acoustic guitar and white bellbottom slacks, he became a top nightclub performer, regularly headlining in Las Vegas.
They call me Mister Tibbs!
“They call me Mister Tibbs” is a famous line spoken by Sidney Poitier in the 1967 film In the Heat of the Night. Poitier plays police detective Virgil Tibbs, and the movie is considered by many critics to be the stylistic forerunner of other ‘70s cop movies, such as The French Connection and Dirty Harry. Poitier reprised the role in a 1970 sequel titled They Call Me Mister Tibbs!
Now put ‘em back up again! Didn’t say "Simon says."
“Simon says” is a children’s game: with three or more players, one player assumes the role of “Simon,” who issues instructions to the other players—usually a physical action such as “put your hands over your head”—which are to be followed only if the phrase “Simon says” is spoken before the command. Players are eliminated if they either follow a command that wasn’t preceded by “Simon says” or if they fail to follow a command that was. The game dates back to Rome, where the commands were given by Cicero (a well-known Roman politician); the origin of “Simon” may come from 13th-century England and the nobleman Simon de Montfort, who imprisoned King Henry III and replaced him with a parliament. Anyone who wanted to find out the king’s opinion on a matter of state had to go through de Montfort—in other words, everyone had to do what Simon said.
What do you want to hear? “Melancholy Baby”? “Canadian Sunset”?
A popular song first published in 1912, the actual title is “My Melancholy Baby.” It was first sung publicly by William Frawley, who later played Fred Mertz on I Love Lucy. Judy Garland sang it in the 1954 movie A Star Is Born, in a scene where she responds to a drunk audience member shouting “Sing ‘Melancholy Baby’!” Similar scenes, with hecklers calling for the song, appeared in various television shows in the 1960s, which in a way makes “My Melancholy Baby” the original “Free Bird.” (See below note.) "Canadian Sunset" is a song by jazz pianist Eddie Heywood and Norman Gimbel; Heywood released a hit instrumental version in 1956, and Andy Williams had a popular lyrical version hit #7 on the charts that same year.
Bavarian Mint? You can keep the mug.
Presumably another reference to General Foods International instant coffees (see above note), although there is no such flavor. There are two discontinued mint flavors: Dutch Chocolate Mint and Irish Mocha Mint.
“Kicks.” It’s a cereal, man. Really good.
See above note on Kix.
It’s Joe Namath. Oh, no.
Joseph William Namath is a former American pro football quarterback who played for the New York Jets for most of his career. In his twelve years as a quarterback he threw 173 touchdowns and 220 interceptions, and completed 1,886 passes for 27,663 yards. In a famously successful 1974 television ad for Hanes Beautymist pantyhose, the camera panned up a pair of smooth, nylon-clad legs that turned out to belong to a reclining Joe Namath, who then said: “Now, I don’t wear pantyhose, but if Beautymist can make my legs look good, imagine what they’ll do for yours.”
No, it’s Marcia Brady, all grown up and back from college! –And she’s wearing her man’s Van Heusen!
Portrayed by Maureen McCormick in the 1970s Brady Bunch television series (see above note), and by Christine Taylor in the 1990s Brady Bunch films, Marcia Brady is the eldest daughter of the fictional blended Brady family. Her unstoppable optimism and relentless grooviness—not to mention her long blond hair, blue eyes, wide smile, and short skirts—made Marcia Brady a template for the all-American dream girl for a generation of boys coming of age in the ‘70s and cemented her status as a cultural icon. Van Heusen is a popular brand of shirts sold in American department and outlet stores. In the early 1980s a memorable series of television ads showed a sequence of beautiful young women lounging alone in luxury apartments—wearing only a man’s dress shirt. The tagline was “Van Heusen—for a man to wear, and a woman to borrow.”
Five minutes, Mr. Manson.
Charles Manson (1934-2017) was a convicted murderer (by way of conspiracy) who was the leader of the “Manson family,” a commune-like group of young followers who believed Manson to be a Christ-like messiah and obeyed his every command, including those that led to the shockingly brutal murders of actress Sharon Tate and four others the night of August 9, 1969, and Leno and Rosemary LaBianca the following night (see above note).
Let’s take a look here. Anaconda’s up three and a half. American Can is down a point. Look at this. Zack Norman is Sammy in Chief Zabu?
Anaconda Copper Mining Company was a huge trust in the late 1800s/early 1900s. Right at the start of the Great Depression in 1929, speculation on Anaconda stock rose, and the big players got out of the game after others bought in, leaving many smaller stock owners utterly bereft. A Senate committee later called it one of the major causes of the Depression. Why would Tom Servo reference this? Well, in The Three Stooges’ 1934 short Men in Black, they are medical students who come across a patient named Anna Conda. To diagnose her, Moe reads her thermometer like a stock ticker, sees that it’s “ninety-five and an eighth,” decides it’s low, and sells. American Can Company was founded in 1901 and quickly became one of the nation’s largest manufacturers of tin cans and packaging. In fact, for more than thirty years, it was part of the Dow Jones Industrial Average. It diversified into financial services and retailing in the ‘80s and in 1986, the company got rid of its packaging business; it changed its name to Primerica the following year. As for Zack Norman, according to the Amazing Colossal Episode Guide’s list of the Fifty Most Obscure References, this is a reference to a "long-running ad in Variety. It ran forever: Don’t know if Chief Zabu ever made it past the stage where you talk about it over liver dumpling soup at Jerry’s Deli, but you might remember Zack from Romancing the Stone or his role as the woman-slapping thug in the despicable Henry Jaglom film Sitting Ducks.” In fact, Chief Zabu—the story of a New York real estate tycoon whose dreams of political power lead him to attempt a takeover of a Polynesian island—was written, produced, and directed by Zack Norman, under the pseudonym Howard Zuker. Production began in 1986, and although the film was given an R rating in 1988, it was never completed or released. The ads, however, ran continuously in Variety between 1985 and 1988. In late 2016, in light of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, the movie was taken off the shelf and given a limited release in Los Angeles and a screening at the Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival.
Could be a double reference. Another term for “chopper” (a modified, or “chopped,” Harley Davidson motorcycle) is “hog.” So “boss hog” could mean “I say, what a delightful motorcycle you have there.” Also: Jefferson Davis “J.D.” Hogg, better known as “Boss” Hogg, is a character in the 1979-1985 television series The Dukes of Hazzard, played by Sorrell Booke. He was the greedy, unethical commissioner of Hazzard County—a big, fat, mean, cigar-chomping, white suit–wearing, cowboy hat–sporting good ol’ boy.
What is it, boy? What do you see?
A reference to the Lassie radio and television series and films. MST3K riffed on a Lassie film (though the lead canine was called “Shep” in that film) in Show 510, The Painted Hills.
Legs Diamond got an excellent review.
Legs Diamond was a Broadway musical that ran for about six weeks in early 1989. Written by Peter Allen, it told, in song, the story of a Depression-era gangster who dreamed of breaking into show business. Savaged by critics, Legs Diamond is considered one of the great flops of Broadway history, its failure so total that the theater where it played was sold to a church.
The Lockhorns’ wife burns the dinner? Husband gets drunk? I’ve seen it.
“The Lockhorns” is a single panel cartoon created by Bill Hoest in 1968, currently written and drawn by Bunny Hoest and John Reiner respectively and syndicated to 500 newspapers worldwide. Depicting a frumpy, middle-aged, and unhappily married couple, the cartoon rarely strays beyond the Lockhorns expressing their misery with sarcastic insults that point out each other’s failings as a spouse. Har-de-har-har.
No, we’re going to Disneyland.
Shortly after Dick Rutan and Jeana Yeager completed their historic round-the-world-without-refueling flight in 1986, they had dinner with Disney CEO Michael Eisner. When asked what they were going to do next, they said, “Well, we’re going to Disneyland.” This led to the slogan being used in an ad campaign the following year: high-achieving athletes—Super Bowl quarterbacks, World Series MVPs—would be filmed at the end of a triumphant game and asked what they were going to do next, to which they would declare, “I’m going to Disney World!” or “I’m going to Disneyland!” California rock band Dada’s popular 1992 single “Dizz Knee Land” contained the refrain “I’m going to Dizz Knee Land.” (The altered spelling was apparently just to amuse themselves, not out of fear of a lawsuit for trademark infringement.)
Hey look, it’s Mount Rushmore. Mount Trashmore.
Mount Rushmore, near Keystone, South Dakota, is the site of the Mount Rushmore National Memorial—a sculpture of the faces of American presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln carved into the granite face of the mountain by sculptor Gutzon Borglum. The original concept was to depict the presidents from head to waist, but lack of funding ended the project with only the heads depicted—and a big pile of rubble underneath them. Technically there is room for one more bust, and urban legends about plans to carve one (and the identity of the person to be honored) have circulated for years. Mount Trashmore is a park in Virginia Beach, Virginia, that sits atop an abandoned landfill. It opened in 1974.
Old Blue Eyes is back.
“Old Blue Eyes” is a nickname for singer and actor Frank Sinatra (1915-1998). After phenomenal success in the early to mid-1940s, his career had stalled by the early 1950s. He made a remarkable comeback in 1954, winning the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in From Here to Eternity. He continued to enjoy great success and acclaim as a singer, arranger, and recording artist, and as an actor, until his death in 1998.
[Imitating.] Well, the driver is missing or he’s gone.
This is a reference to a moment in the “Phantom Creeps” short in Show 205, Rocket Attack USA, when a character says, “The driver is gone or he’s hiding” in a very Ronald Reagan-like voice. From 1964 to 1965 Reagan hosted the Western anthology series Death Valley Days, his final work as a professional actor before entering politics. Some MST3K fans came to believe that “The driver is either missing or he’s dead” was something that Ronald Reagan was actually known for saying on the show. Not true. (Thanks to Satellite News for this reference.)
Two Nobel Prize winners and a Pulitzer. What do you think?
Established in the 1895 will of Swedish chemist Alfred Nobel, the inventor of dynamite, and first awarded in 1901, the Nobel Prizes are international awards bestowed by Scandinavian committees in recognition of cultural or scientific advances. The Pulitzer Prize is an annual award for achievements in newspaper and online journalism, literature, and musical composition; it was established in 1917 by American publisher Joseph Pulitzer.
It’s an average day out here on the A1A, going up the coast to Cocoa Beach.
Running from Key West at the southern tip of Florida to just south of Georgia, State Road A1A is a Scenic and Historic Coastal Highway that runs along the Atlantic coast of Florida. When eastern universities disgorge their student bodies for spring break, A1A serves as “The Strip” in both Fort Lauderdale and Daytona Beach. The highway has also been referenced in many popular songs—Jimmy Buffett’s 1974 album is titled A1A. Cocoa Beach is a small city on the Atlantic coast of central Florida, close to the John F. Kennedy Space Center; space tourism has been an economic boon to the town.
Grazing in the grass is a gas, baby, can you dig it?
Originally an instrumental song featuring South African trumpeter Hugh Masekela and a lot of cowbell, “Grazing in the Grass” became a number one hit song in 1968. The following year The Friends of Distinction recorded a vocal cover version, which also reached the Top Ten, and featured the lyrics, “Grazin’ in the grass is a gas/Baby can you dig it?”
Hey, did anybody see that Tom Cruise film this summer? Uh, no. –No.
Days of Thunder is a 1990 auto racing film starring Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman. The film received mixed reviews, with many critics writing it off as a formula Tom Cruise vehicle: “Top Gun in race cars.”
How fortunate! Deez vill simplify everything!
A line spoken by Bela Lugosi in Episode Two of The Phantom Creeps, which aired as a short in Show 205, Rocket Attack USA; it later turned up in many, many other episodes. Lugosi (1882-1956) was a Hungarian actor who most famously played Dracula in the Broadway play and 1930 Universal film bearing that name. He also starred in several of director Ed Woods’ low-budget flicks.
Hot car in the old Rod tonight.
A ragtime song composed in 1896 by Theodore Metz and Joe Hayden, “A Hot Time in the Old Town” was popular with the American military during the Spanish-American War and the Boxer Rebellion. With altered lyrics, it is the fight song of Texas A&M University, and it is traditionally played at University of Wisconsin sporting events.
Gee, Wally …
Leave It To Beaver is a popular television sitcom that ran from 1957 to 1963. Centering around the exploits of naive but curious grade-schooler Theodore “The Beaver” Cleaver, the show has become iconic for its portrayal of white, middle-class suburban family life in postwar America. Among the many oft-repeated lines in the show that became catchphrases, “Gee, Wally …” was how Beaver usually began explaining his latest misadventure to his older brother, Wally Cleaver.
“Dondi” was a daily comic strip that ran in more than 100 newspapers from 1955 to 1986. It followed the adventures of a small Italian boy, a World War II war orphan, who was adopted and brought up in the United States. Like “Dennis the Menace,” Dondi always stayed the same age.
Give a hoot. Don’t pollute.
Woodsy Owl is the cartoon spokes-owl for the United States Forest Service. Designed to provide information and advice to help children appreciate nature, Woodsy’s motto for many years, and many ad campaigns, was “Give a Hoot, Don’t Pollute!” Woodsy’s current motto is “Lend a Hand, Care for the Land!”
Fruity, kooky Pebbles. –Nutty.
Fruity Pebbles is a brand of breakfast cereal introduced by Post in 1971, along with Cocoa Pebbles, as a commercial tie-in to the successful Flintstones animated TV series. Fruity Pebbles, as one might guess from its name, is a rice cereal in a variety of fruit flavors, while Cocoa Pebbles is chocolate flavored.
Hey, they're going to the turd museum. –World's largest.
A reference to a Steve Martin joke: “I went to the turd museum today. They’ve got some great shit there. You know, some of that crap is worth a lot of money.”
Is this Bruce Wayne’s house?
Bruce Wayne, the millionaire (later billionaire) playboy industrialist secret identity of superhero Batman, resides in a stately gothic mansion (Wayne Manor) on the outskirts of Gotham City. Wayne Manor has had many incarnations in various interpretations of the franchise, usually as a large Tudor mansion with expansive grounds. In the 1989 Tim Burton film Batman, special emphasis was placed on Bruce Wayne’s collection of antique implements of war, from medieval swords and shields to ancient Japanese samurai wicker armor; the exterior was shot at Knebworth House in Hertfordshire, England.
Hmmm … Winchester 408, 200 grain bullet with 2,400 feet per second muzzle velocity and an incredibly flat trajectory. Hmm. High-powered rifle.
Established in 1866, the Winchester Repeating Arms Company has manufactured many types of firearms, including the Winchester Model 1873 repeating rifle that became known as “The Gun That Won the West,” for its role in the hands of settlers moving into the American western states in the 1800s. There is, however, no such model as a “Winchester 408.”
This must be where the South bought all the stuff for the Civil War. –And the Spanish-American War. And the War of 1812.
The American Civil War (1861-1865) resulted in the deaths of approximately 625,000 Americans, and the wounding of another 412,000. The Spanish-American War was a conflict in 1898 between the United States and Spain resulting from U.S. involvement in the Cuban War of Independence—approximately 17,000 soldiers were killed on both sides before Spain sued for peace. The War of 1812 was fought between the United States and the British Empire and continued until 1815, ending in a stalemate and ushering in an era of peace between the two nations. Factoring in disease, the conflict resulted in the deaths of approximately 20,000 people.
Oh, Paul. Have you ever robbed a bait shop? –Ah, I don’t think so, Dave.
David Letterman is a comedian and former television host. His eccentric talk show career began in 1980 with The David Letterman Show, an Emmy-winning morning program that aired on NBC for one season. In 1982, NBC launched Late Night with David Letterman, which aired after The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. He remained there until Carson’s retirement and a highly public kerfuffle with NBC about who would be taking over The Tonight Show. NBC went with frequent guest host Jay Leno, and Letterman decided to jump ship to CBS when his contract ended. He started The Late Show with David Letterman in 1993 and remained there until he retired in 2015. Paul Shaffer is a musician who was in Saturday Night Live’s house band in the 1970s (during which time he occasionally appeared in sketches). Post-SNL, Shaffer co-wrote “It’s Raining Men” and produced albums for The Blues Brothers and Gilda Radner before joining Letterman in 1982 for Late Night (as the leader of “The World’s Most Dangerous Band”). He jumped ship to CBS with Dave in 1993, where he led “The CBS Orchestra.” Though his role was officially bandleader and musical director, Shaffer and Letterman's banter pretty much made Shaffer a sidekick as well.
Wow, check out the Ray Kroc death mask up there.
Raymond Albert “Ray” Kroc (1902-1984) was an American businessman who bought a small Southern California hamburger chain in 1961 and built it into the largest, most successful fast-food operation in the world: McDonald’s. With more than 33,000 outlets worldwide, there is at least one McDonald’s on every continent on Earth, except Antarctica.
This is the one Ruby used to shoot Oswald.
Although conflicting conspiracy theories continue to duke it out, the facts—and live television coverage viewed by millions—show that Dallas, Texas, nightclub operator Jack Ruby (1911-1967) shot and killed accused John F. Kennedy assassin Lee Harvey Oswald with a Colt Cobra .38 revolver the night of November 24, 1963, while Oswald was being transported out of the Dallas police headquarters. Ruby was convicted of the killing and sent to prison, where he died of cancer in 1967.
What is this, a Shedd’s Spread commercial?
A reference to a series of ads for Shedd’s Spread Country Crock margarine. Throughout the 1980s and into the ‘90s, commercials featured hands spreading the product on various things while the owners of the hands conversed. For a stretch in the late ‘80s, there was even a romantic plot line between the hands (or, rather, the people attached to them).
This is my rifle, this is my gun. One is for retail, the other’s for fun.
A paraphrase of a well-known Marine Corps joke. After “The Rifleman’s Creed” was written in 1941 by Major General William H. Rupertus (“This is my rifle. There are many like it, but this one is mine ...”), this shorter version was created, mostly as a way to teach new recruits not to call their rifles “guns”: “This is my rifle [grab rifle]. This is my gun [grab crotch]. One is for killing. The other's for fun.” It was famously used in the 1987 Stanley Kubrick film Full Metal Jacket.
And you get the Sneaker Phone, too!
In the 1990s, Sports Illustrated magazine offered the "Sneaker Phone" as a free gift to new subscribers. It was pretty much what the name implies: a shoe-shaped phone with buttons, speaker, and microphone on the bottom. This followed the popular “Football Phone,” which was offered in the late ‘80s.
Very interesting …
See above note on “Very interesting, but stupid.”
In the television sitcom Hogan’s Heroes (1965-1971), German POW camp commandant Colonel Wilhelm Klink (Werner Klemperer) would often hiss “Hogan!” or “Schultz!” when calling to crafty American prisoner Robert E. Hogan, or to Klink’s inept sergeant-at-arms, Schultz.
“She’s a born actress.” She’s no Streep …
Mary Louise “Meryl” Streep is an Academy Award–winning actress who is widely respected and regarded as one of the most talented actresses in contemporary cinema. She has won Oscars for Best Actress for her roles in Sophie’s Choice (1982) and The Iron Lady (2011), and one for Best Supporting Actress for Kramer vs. Kramer (1979). That makes her one of only six people who have won three or more Academy Awards for acting (and she was nominated twelve more times).
He looks like Michael Caine in Zulu Dawn.
Zulu Dawn is a 1979 prequel to the 1964 historical war film Zulu, both of which document the warfare between the British Empire and African Zulu tribesmen in 1879. However, Michael Caine starred in the original 1964 film, Zulu. Zulu Dawn starred Peter O’Toole and Burt Lancaster. I should really just relax.
Let’s watch as Benny Hill buys a gun.
Benny Hill (1924/5-1992) was a British comedian and actor, best known for his long-running television comedy/variety program The Benny Hill Show. The show relied heavily on slapstick, parody, and sexual innuendo, and, like Monty Python’s Flying Circus, struck a chord with American audiences.
I think he’s funnier than Benny Hill. –Definitely.
See previous note.
Blue Light Special on chromosomes. Extra ones.
Discount retail chain Kmart, which in the pre–Wal-Mart era was often parodied as a magnet for low-income (and poorly behaved) customers, often has “Blue Light Specials,” wherein a flashing blue light in one area of the store indicates a temporary sale on a particular item. In human genetics, an extra chromosome is a common cause of birth defects, including mental developmental defects.
[Imitating Elvis.] Love me … ahem … thankyouverymuch. Now I’m gonna have a peanut butter and ‘nana sandwich.
Elvis Presley (1935-1977), the King of Rock and Roll, was one of the most popular musicians in the world from the 1950s until his death in the late 1970s. He was a teen idol in the late ‘50s, helped usher in the era of rock and roll, became a movie star, created an enormous and opulent home at Graceland in Memphis, developed problems with drug abuse, and finally died of a heart attack at the age of 42. “Love Me Tender” was a hit 1956 single for Elvis, recorded for the movie of the same name that opened that year. “Thank you very much” was a phrase Elvis frequently used, usually at the end of a song while applause thundered. He often said it very quickly with the words all tumbled together. This, of course, led to it being used in impressions of him for decades. One of Presley’s trademark affectations was a desire for the above sandwich, often called an “Elvis.” It is often forgotten that bacon slices are another key ingredient. It is prepared on slices of toasted bread, smeared with peanut butter (and sometimes honey) and then padded with banana slices and bacon. Then the whole thing is cooked in a frying pan.
I wonder if he knows “London Bridge Is Falling Down”? –And “The Girl from Ipanema”?
“London Bridge Is Falling Down” is a traditional nursery rhyme and children’s singing game dating back at least to the 17th century. Although there can be as many as twelve verses, the best known first verse is “London Bridge is falling down/Falling down, falling down/London Bridge is falling down/My fair lady.” “The Girl From Ipanema” (“Garota de Ipanema”) is a hit song that helped popularize the Brazilian bossa nova style. Written in 1962 by Antônio Carlos Jobim, a version by jazz saxophonist Stan Getz won the 1965 Grammy Award for Record of the Year. Ipanema is a seaside neighborhood at the southern end of the Brazilian city Rio de Janeiro.
[Imitating Elvis.] I call that the devil’s tritone. People go crazy for it.
See previous note on Elvis. In music, the tritone is a musical interval formed by three whole tones—for example, the chord between C and F#, which is an augmented fourth, is a tritone. Tritones are often used to introduce dissonance in western music. Medieval musicians avoided tritones; by the early 18th century, the tritone had earned the nickname "diabolus in musica," or "the devil in music." Later, romantic and classical musicians frequently used the tritone to evoke feelings of evil, dread, or doom in their compositions.
Is this bugging you guys? I mean, just let me know if it’s bugging you. It tends to annoy some people sometimes. I find that I—I don’t know. Is that bugging you?
See above note.
Hey, get that shotgun to sing a song.
Possibly intended as a paraphrased line from The Who’s 1971 hit “Won’t Get Fooled Again,” written by Pete Townshend: “They decide and the shotgun sings the song.”
Oh, there's Don Ho’s jacket up there.
Donald Tai Loy “Don” Ho (1930-2007) was a singer and entertainer who helped popularize Hawaiian music. His 1966 hit song “Tiny Bubbles,” along with his casual lounge-singer persona and colorful Hawaiian shirts, made him a one-man spokesperson for the Hawaiian Islands as a tourist destination in the 1960s and earned him his very own kitschy niche among cultural icons.
Let’s see. "We hold these truths to ..." Wait a minute. This isn't right.
The second paragraph of the Declaration of Independence of the United States of America begins: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” The Declaration was written in 1776 primarily by Thomas Jefferson as a statement by the Continental Congress that the Thirteen Colonies were free and independent of Great Britain after more than a year of armed conflict.
“Go out and serenade the moon.” Wear a necktie so I know it’s you.
A reference to the Marx Brothers’ 1929 film The Cocoanuts and a line spoken by Groucho: “I’ll meet you tonight under the moon. Oh, I can see you now, you and the moon. You wear a necktie so I’ll know you.”
“Okay, it’s your race.” White Nazi race.
The National Socialist German Workers’ Party was a political group founded in Germany in 1920. Adolf Hitler did not found it; Anton Drexler did, and its first leader was Karl Herrer. Hitler rose to power within the group in 1921, and by the 1930s, their power grew to encompass part of the German parliament and Hitler’s appointment as chancellor in 1933. Things went downhill from there. Part of the Nazi platform involved capitalizing upon a nationalist movement that had started in the 1800s, when the word “Aryan” was intended to refer to Germanic or Nordic people, known for their white skin, blond hair, and blue eyes. These people, they believed, had a “manifest destiny” to claim land and defeat people of other races. Nazi symbols and emblems are often used by white supremacists today, reflecting the centrality of their racist beliefs to the Nazi cause.
[Holding up lighter.] Aqualung! –Free Bird! –Whoo! –Free Bird! Whipping Post!
The practice of holding up lighters at concerts began at Woodstock in 1969. After a rough storm, singer-songwriter Melanie took the stage, perhaps wondering if she still had an audience out there in the dark. People began holding up lighters, torches, and other burning objects. Despite the fire hazard, Melanie was moved and wrote the song “Lay Down (Candles in the Rain),” which became a hit for her in 1970. “Aqualung” is a 1971 single by English prog-rock band Jethro Tull. “Freebird” (or “Free Bird”) is one of the best known and most requested songs by the rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd, featured on their 1973 debut album Pronounced Lynyrd Skynyrd. Beginning in the very early ‘70s, audiences would yell out requests for the Allman Brothers song “Whipping Post” at concerts of any artist, regardless of genre. This dubious pop culture joke continued with “Freebird” a few years later, which has since overshadowed its predecessor.
Hey, that's a pretty good G. Gordon Liddy impression there.
G. Gordon Liddy was a member of President Richard Nixon’s administration, organizer of the Watergate burglary and leader of the so-called “Plumbers” who broke in. At parties, Liddy was sometimes known to hold his hand over a candle flame until it burned, to show off his will power. Liddy was convicted for his role in the burglary and subsequent cover-up and spent fifty-two months in prison. He became a right-wing radio talk show host in the 1990s.
Meanwhile, in Africa.
The phrase, “Meanwhile, back at/in _____,” originated with cards inserted in silent films of the early 20th century. In westerns, this was often “Meanwhile, back at the ranch ...” Once audio became a common component, the phrase was still used by narrators in films, radio, and television programs.
[Imitating Elvis.] Uh-oh, uh ... [Sung.] Love me tender, love me sweet … thankyouverymuch. Elvis has left the theater.
More Elvis! See above note. The phrase “Elvis has left the building” was first used by promoter Horace Logan in 1956 after a concert in an effort to make the concertgoers remain in their seats to see the rest of the musical acts rather than try to rush the backstage areas or Presley’s vehicles outside.
“Play on.” Macduff.
A paraphrase of William Shakespeare’s 1603-ish play Macbeth, Act V, Scene 8, as the title character taunts his rival into fighting him, “Lay on, Macduff, and damn’d be him that first cries ‘Hold! enough!’”
Ah, ze Wango, ze Tango, huh?
See above note on “Wango Tango.”
[All.] [Spastic Jerry Lewis singing parody.]
One of comedian and actor Jerry Lewis’s (1926-2017) best known shticks was lapsing into the voice and mannerisms of a spastic, geeky, awkward, and semi-moronic man-child. This personality can suddenly emerge at any time, including unexpected and inappropriate times, like when Jerry is about to sing a romantic song, for example.
Looks like Frank Sinatra’s junior.
Frank Sinatra, Jr., is the son of famed singer and actor Frank Sinatra (see above note). Ever in his father’s shadow, Frank Jr. has enjoyed a moderately successful singing and acting career. In 1963, when he was 19, he was kidnapped and released two days later after his father paid a ransom. Rumors at the time, since proven false, suggested the kidnapping was all a publicity stunt.
Special music by the Ant Farm Family Singers.
Possible reference to the Trapp Family Singers, the Austrian family that inspired the 1959 Broadway musical and the 1965 film The Sound of Music.
Good thing the Nelson Riddle gang is in the next cottage.
Nelson Smock Riddle, Jr. (1921-1985) was a bandleader, arranger, and composer whose distinctive style helped shape the sound of such iconic vocalists as Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Nat King Cole, and Ella Fitzgerald. He became known to a new generation of listeners in the 1980s with a series of albums with singer Linda Ronstadt.
Do some backup. –[Tom Servo provides some “bum-bum-bums” straight out of “Earth Angel.”]
“Earth Angel (Will You Be Mine)” is a 1954 doo-wop song performed by The Penguins and written by Curtis Williams. It was covered by The Crew-Cuts the following year and became an even bigger hit.
Take it, Chipmunks!
In the late 1950s a new singing group burst onto the American pop scene: Alvin and the Chipmunks. The voices of the Chipmunks—Alvin, Simon, and Theodore—were all performed by creator Ross Bagdasarian, Sr.; their distinctive high pitch was achieved by speeding up the playback of the recorded dialogue or songs. For a fictional, cartoon-based novelty recording act, Alvin and the Chipmunks were remarkably successful, releasing a long line of albums and singles, including “The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don’t Be Late),” which reached number one on the charts and won three Grammy Awards in 1958. There have been a number of incarnations of the Chipmunks, including The Alvin Show, an animated TV show that aired from 1961-1962, and a series of CGI/live action films beginning in 2007.
This is a cover of an old Christy Weasel song. –New Christy Weasels? –Yep. –I thought it was Up with Weasels.
The New Christy Minstrels is a Grammy-winning folk music group formed in 1961 by Randy Sparks. With an ever-changing lineup that continues to this day, the group helped launch the careers of Kenny Rogers, Kim Carnes, Barry McGuire, and Gene Clark. Up with People is a nonprofit international education organization that tours the world with “casts” of college-age members who engage in performing arts and community service. There are more than 20,000 Up with People alumni in 79 countries.
You talkin’ to me?
Probably a reference to an iconic line of dialogue from Martin Scorsese’s 1976 film Taxi Driver, wherein the increasingly unstable lead character Travis Bickle (Robert De Niro) holds a disturbing conversation with his own reflection in the mirror. The line has become a catchphrase; Roger Ebert called it “the truest line in the film.” And it goes a little something … like this:
“You talkin’ to me?
You talkin’ to me?
You talkin’ to me?
Then who the hell else are you talkin’ to?
You talkin’ to me?
Well I’m the only one here.
Who the fuck do you think you’re talking to?”
A little B.J. Thomas there.
Billy Joe “B.J.” Thomas is a singer who had a string of hit songs make it onto the pop, adult-contemporary, and country charts in the 1960s and 1970s. His best-known songs are “Hooked on a Feeling” from 1968 and his performance of Burt Bacharach’s “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head” from the 1969 film Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, which won the Academy Award for Best Original Song that year.
Does light stand still on the edge of a black hole?
No. The question is usually, “Does time stand still on the edge of a black hole?” The answer is still “no.”
Yeah, just like the Algonquin Round Table.
The Algonquin Round Table was a gathering of New York City authors, critics, playwrights, journalists, and actors who would meet each day for lunch at the Algonquin Hotel from roughly 1919 to 1929. The witticisms and wordplay bandied about at these gatherings would find their way to a larger audience through the written works and newspaper columns of its members. Sometimes also called “The Vicious Circle,” members included Dorothy Parker, Robert Benchley, George S. Kaufman, and Alexander Woollcott. A 1987 film about the group and its members,The Ten Year Lunch, won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature, and the 1994 dramatic film Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle examines Dorothy Parker’s experiences as a member of the group.
“The kicks, baby, the kicks …” The cereal? –Kids like Kix for what Kix has got. Moms like Kix for what Kix is not.
Kix is a popular brand of breakfast cereal (see above note). “Kids love Kix for what Kix has got/Moms love Kix for what Kix has not” was a television commercial jingle for the brand in the 1980s. Another popular slogan for Kix cereal, introduced in 1978: “Kid Tested, Mother Approved.”
“You used to get them from having four hundred horses in front of you and death staring you in the face.” Yeah, but that’s when he was in Ben-Hur.
Ben-Hur is a 1959 epic film starring Charlton Heston. There is a commonly believed urban legend that a stuntman died during the filming of the chariot race (with some versions having it that the death scene remained in the final cut of the film), but the story is untrue. Heston's autobiography specifically states that no one was seriously injured during the scene. The source of the tale is an earlier, silent film, also titled Ben-Hur, with a not-so-sterling safety record; on this film, made in 1926, a chariot driver was killed while shooting a race scene in Rome.
Silly rabbi, kicks are for Trids.
A punch line to an old, bad joke about a troll who lives under a bridge near a village of Trids. (What are Trids? Never mind.) Every day, when the Trids try to cross the bridge, the troll climbs up and kicks them all back to the village. Desperate, they ask the local rabbi for help. But when he gets to the bridge, the troll is nowhere to be seen, and he crosses without incident. Joyfully, the Trids stampede toward the bridge--and the troll leaps out and kicks them all harder than ever. The rabbi confronts the troll and demands to know why the troll attacks the Trids but not him, to which the troll replies with the above. The joke is, of course, a reference to the long-running ad campaign for Trix cereal, in which an animated rabbit is constantly trying to trick children out of their bowls of Trix cereal, and is constantly thwarted in those efforts with the reminder: “Silly rabbit, Trix are for kids.”
Banjo and guitar together. And they’re dueling.
"Dueling Banjos" is the name of the famous song that plays in Deliverance as the creepy hillbillies stalk the canoeists. It was composed by Arthur "Guitar Boogie" Smith in 1955.
[Imitating Elvis.] Thank you, thank you very much. I think I’m gonna go write a song about this.
See note on Elvis, above.
[Imitating.] Oh the shame, the shame. The pain and shame.
Lost in Space was a campy science fiction TV series that aired on CBS between 1965 and 1968. The show centered on the Robinson family, whose spaceship had become lost in uncharted quadrants of the galaxy, and their stowaway, Dr. Zachary Smith (Jonathan Harris). Originally cast as a villain, Dr. Smith soon became a sympathetic character and comic relief in the series, with most of the conflicts resulting from his harebrained schemes gone awry. Dr. Smith’s relentless cowardice resulted in frequent emotional breakdowns, wherein he would either hide behind other characters and howl “We’re doomed!” or confess his shortcomings and whimper, “Oh, the shame …”
Meanwhile, Napoleon Solo is in Hungary. Open channel B.
See above note on “Meanwhile ...” The Man from U.N.C.L.E. is a secret agent television drama series that aired on NBC between 1964 and 1968. Though originally conceived to have only one star, it soon focused on a two-man team of globetrotting super-spies: Russian Illya Kuryakin (David McCallum) and American Napoleon Solo (Robert Vaughn). The show was considered so cutting-edge in its time that some of its “high-tech” props now reside in museums of the CIA and other intelligence-gathering organizations.
I gotta go see a man about a horse.
A colloquialism sometimes rendered as “see a man about a dog” that means “I must go, but I don’t want to tell you why.” Often used to excuse oneself for a trip to the restroom. It first appeared in print in the 1866 play Flying Scud by Dion Boucicault, using the “dog” version. The phrase was used extensively in the 1920s as a discreet way of saying you were going to buy alcohol, which was then illegal thanks to Prohibition.
Hey! How would you like someone putting a cigarette out on you?!
A paraphrasing of the line spoken by an anthropomorphic tree in the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz: “How would you like it if someone picked apples off of you?”
[Sung.] Figurines—the diet crunch.
Figurines Diet Bars, introduced by Pillsbury in 1972, were the Slim-Fast bars of the 1970s and ‘80s. Television ads for Figurines tended toward the tuneful, with “The Diet Crunch” and “Sweet Revenge” among the refrains.
Except for Streep.
See above note on Meryl Streep.
It’s Spiro Agnew and Spiro Agnew in The Parent Trap.
Spiro Theodore Agnew (1918-1996) was the 39th vice president of the United States, serving under President Richard Nixon. In October 1973 he was charged with having accepted more than $100,000 in bribes when he was governor of Maryland. He was allowed to cop a plea of no contest to a single income tax evasion charge, if he agreed to resign. He was replaced by House Minority Leader Gerald Ford, who became president when Nixon was forced to resign in his turn just ten months later. The Parent Trap is a 1961 Walt Disney film starring Hayley Mills in a dual role, portraying identical twins (the movie was remade in 1998 starring Lindsay Lohan in the dual role). Advertisements for the original film proclaimed: “It’s Hayley Mills … and Hayley Mills in The Parent Trap!”
This is a map of London. –Hmmm?
Its history going back two millennia to its founding by the Romans, London is the capital city of England and the United Kingdom. Retaining its medieval boundaries at its core, and being the largest urban area in the European Union, a tourist in London would be well advised to use a map.
“Let’s just be one big happy family.” Yeah, the Mansons.
See above notes on Charles Manson's family, and their crimes.
Huh? What is it, little fella? You workin’ on your doctorate over there? A train? In Deadrock Canyon?
An exaggerated (but not much) imitation of “dialogue” between Lassie and any one of several human characters from the 1947-1950 radio series, the long-running television series (1954-1973), two sequel series, an animated series, and eleven films. All of which, by the way, can be traced back to the 1940 novel Lassie Come-Home by Eric Knight.
Citrusville. A great place to ... get some orange juice.
This seems to have started as a reference to the offbeat 1971 musical film 200 Motels, written and directed by Frank Zappa, starring Zappa, his band (The Mothers of Invention), and Ringo Starr. Centerville (“A great place to raise your kids up”) was the small town wherein the characters were driven insane.
Ah, Miss Hathaway, Mr. Drysdale has been looking for you.
In The Beverly Hillbillies (CBS, 1962-1971), Jane Hathaway is the prim and long-suffering secretary of tightfisted and perpetually harried bank president Milburn Drysdale. She was played by Nancy Kulp.
Four eighty-six. That’s what they’ve got in the vault. - That’s what they’re insured to.
At the time the movie was made (1967), the FDIC insurance limit was $15,000. Today it is $250,000.
[Imitating Jimmy Stewart, I guess.] Ah, yeah, we’re gonna have to mail the money to you in six weeks.
James Maitland Stewart (1908-1997) was a star of stage and screen beloved for his many “everyman” roles. Stewart’s distinctively folksy, stuttering manner of speaking became the source of many parodies. We think this is supposed to be Stewart, thanks to his role as banker George Bailey in 1946’s It's a Wonderful Life, and not tough guy actor Edward G. Robinson (1893-1973), which is what the impersonation sounds more like.
A “jimmy hat” is one of the many slang terms for a prophylactic condom (“jimmy” being a slang term for “penis” and the condom being a “hat” for ... oh, you can figure it out).
What, is he speaking in Sanskrit?
Sanskrit is the primary language of Hinduism, Jainism, and Buddhism, and one of the 22 scheduled languages of India. It dates as far back as 1500 B.C.E.
Oh, great! There’s stamps and some paper clips! And Garfield stickers. Hey, grab that statue that says “World’s Greatest Grandma”!
The “Garfield” comic strip, featuring the fat, lazy, sarcastic orange cat, was created by Jim Davis; it first appeared in 1978 and was hugely popular during the 1980s.
Hey, they play The Ventures at this bank!
The best-selling instrumental band of all time, The Ventures were formed in 1958 in Tacoma, Washington, by Don Wilson and Bob Bogle. Their innovations with guitar effects and instrumental virtuosity made The Ventures very influential, earning them the nickname “The Band That Launched a Thousand Bands.” Their popularity faded in the United States in the 1970s, but they remain enormously popular in Japan, where they continue to tour extensively.
They’ve got everything! Stadium blanket, calendar, Lincoln coin bank …
In the 1950s, ‘60s and ‘70s, banks would often give small gifts, such as pens and calendars, to regular customers as a token of appreciation for their business. Banks would also offer gifts such as a toaster or coffeemaker as incentives to open new accounts, or offer gifts to encourage thrift, such as a coin bank in the form of a hollow bust of Abraham Lincoln.
I’m thinking of growing a Van Dyke. What do you think?
A Van Dyke is a combination of beard and mustache named after 17th-century Flemish painter Anthony Van Dyck. Though there are many variations, the basic elements of a Van Dyke are a mustache and goatee beard, with all the facial hair under the chin and on the cheeks shaved off.
Did you see Cop Rock last night? It sucked.
Cop Rock is a television police drama/musical that was cancelled after only eleven episodes on ABC in 1990. Created by Hill Street Blues producer Steven Bochco, Cop Rock was ranked #8 on TV Guide’s list of the 50 Worst TV Shows of All Time—somehow, audiences didn’t take to a gritty police drama in which characters spontaneously broke into choreographed song-and-dance numbers, Broadway-style.
Now if I could just remember my Aldis code from the Navy.
Aldis lamps, named after their inventor, Arthur C. Aldis, are signal lamps that were adopted by the British Royal Navy during the 19th century. The large versions of the lamps have metal shutters on the front that open and close to produce a blinking light that the operator can use to communicate in Morse code, with long bursts of light standing for dashes and short ones standing for dots; smaller handheld lamps use a tilting mirror to turn the light on and off.
Hey, man, he’s doin’ Aldis code.
See previous note.
No, he’s just testing his lights. Let’s go dunk a couple of Spudnuts, eh, Phil?
Spudnuts are a type of doughnut made from potato flour, with origins going back to German immigrants. Brothers Al and Bob Pelton founded a franchise in 1940, and by 1954 there were more than 300 Spudnut Shops in 38 states in the U.S. There is no longer a franchised chain of Spudnut Shops (the parent company folded after the owner got caught up in a fraudulent marina development in the 1970s), but some 35 independent shops in nine states remain.
“There’s three men and a girl robbing that bank.” And a baby.
Three Men and a Baby is a 1987 comedy about three bachelor roommates (Ted Danson, Steve Guttenberg and Tom Selleck) who find a baby on their doorstep, supposedly the product of one of their loins. It was directed by Leonard “Spock” Nimoy and based on a 1985 French film. In 1990, a poorly received sequel, Three Men and a Little Lady, was released.
“It’s the Gestapo and they’re talking to Rod! Let’s split!” You’re the Gestapo.
The Gestapo (a shortened form of "Geheime Staatspolizei") was the official secret police of Nazi Germany. Formed in 1933 and administered by SS leader Heinrich Himmler after 1934, the Gestapo grew into a meticulously organized and efficient bureaucracy. During World War II the Gestapo had almost unlimited power to investigate, detain, and execute German citizens, and it used that power to crush dissent and terrorize its enemies.
We all saw the Zapruder film. You be Kennedy.
The Zapruder film is a 26.6-second sequence of silent 8mm home-movie film shot by Dallas businessman Abraham Zapruder on November 22, 1963, that unexpectedly captured the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Its role in the Warren Commission hearings and all subsequent investigations of Kennedy’s assassination makes it one of the most studied pieces of film in history.
Nelson Riddle and his Orchestra!
See above note on Nelson Riddle.
Oh, Calgon, take me away!
“Calgon, take me away” is a longtime advertising slogan for Calgon scented bath products, which include bubble bath, body lotions, and more. They were first sold in 1933. The name itself comes from “calcium gone.”
I’ll get a Kleenex, Bob. Stay there.
Kleenex is a registered trademark of Kimberly-Clark Worldwide Inc. and the brand name of many paper-based toiletry products manufactured by that corporation. One of their products—Kleenex facial tissues, originally marketed as a “disposable handkerchief”—has become so universally well known since its introduction following World War I that all similar products, made by any manufacturer, will likely be referred to as a “Kleenex.” The terms “Band-Aid” and “Q-Tip” enjoy similar recognition/infringement conflicts for the copyright holders of those brand names—a process known as “genericization.”
Here comes the fuzz! Here comes the fuzz! Da fuzz is comin'.
A reference to a comedy routine by comedian and singer Pigmeat Markham that appeared on Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In (see above note), a 1968 song called “Here Comes the Judge” released by Markham, and a different 1968 song called “Here Comes the Judge” by Shorty Long (which was inspired by Markham’s comedy routine). “Fuzz” is a slang term for police that dates back to the 1920s. The origins are suitably fuzzy. Some say it’s a corruption of “force”; others say it’s a corruption of “fuss,” because the police cause a lot of it; still others say it’s a period term for “incompetent” or “soft.”
Guess we’re not in Kansas anymore, dude. Go kill Dorothy.
A paraphrase of the line, “Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore,” from the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz. Dorothy Gale was the main character, played by Judy Garland.
I’m huge. I’m immense.
This appears to be the first use of this bedrock bumper sticker MST3K catchphrase. In a 2009 online forum, Joel Hodgson noted that the phrase originally came from the comic Jimbo, Adventures in Paradise, by illustrator and Emmy award–winning Pee-wee’s Playhouse set designer Gary Panter.
Look, Erik Estrada!
Henry Enrique “Erik” Estrada is an actor best known for his co-starring role in the 1977-1983 television drama series CHiPs. His later work leaned toward reality television shows, infomercials, and voice work on the animated series Sealab 2021. In 2009 his acting career blended into real life, as he became a full-time deputy sheriff in Virginia.
Did he say “Two Bowels for Banjo?” –Bedtime for Banjo?
Bedtime for Bonzo is a 1951 comedy film featuring future president Ronald Reagan as a college professor who attempts to raise a young chimpanzee as a human child, using 1950s child-rearing techniques. Hilarity ensues, mostly ironic hilarity unintended by the screenwriters. Although it was Reagan’s least favorite (he claimed he never actually watched it until decades after its production), it is the film title most often mentioned when his acting career is the topic of conversation.
Gonna get some raggots … an’ some rolls … and some reesin-risin'. … Ha ha ha ha ha. Every day. All my love away.
An impression of the ending credits theme music of The Bill Cosby Show, a TV sitcom that aired on NBC’s from 1969 to 1971. The song, “Hikky Burr,” became a popular single in 1969, beloved for its nonsense “scat” style lyrics. It was written and performed by Bill Cosby and 27-time Grammy Award–winning composer Quincy Jones. The Cosby Show, which aired on NBC from 1984 to 1992, features an instrumental theme song titled “Kiss Me,” composed by Stu Gardner and Bill Cosby, which is remarkably similar to “Hikky Burr.”
By this time the ol’ Duke Boys had killed just about every cop in town. Daisy had slipped into something comfortable.
See above note on The Dukes of Hazzard. The Duke boys were Bo and Luke Duke (John Schneider and Tom Wopat), hard-driving cousins perpetually in trouble with the law; Daisy was yet another Duke cousin, played by Catherine Bach. Her teensy denim cutoffs were so iconic that that style of shorts was dubbed “Daisy Dukes.”
Lighthouse? –It’s for Winnebagos.
The former name of a Native American tribe (now known as the Ho-Chunk) with reservations in Nebraska, Iowa, and Wisconsin, Winnebago is also the name of a popular line of motor homes, or recreational vehicles, manufactured by Winnebago Industries, based in Forest City, Iowa.
Look, they’re in a Nautilus, you guys.
Nautilus is the common name of a form of a snail-like marine creature that has survived relatively unchanged for millions of years, giving them the rare and informal status among biologists of “living fossil.” The logarithmic spiral shape of a nautilus shell is reflected in the design of the central cam of exercise equipment developed and manufactured by Nautilus Inc. of Vancouver, Washington.
It’s like the Time Tunnel.
The Time Tunnel is a science fiction television series that aired on ABC between 1966 and 1967. Though the series won an Emmy Award for special effects, it has often been mocked for its casual approach to historical accuracy—such as portraying passengers on the Titanic wearing groovy ‘60s clothes. Just the same, the show’s short run produced some iconic images; the opening credits, for example, which either recalled the old Flash Gordon serials or predicted the opening credits of Star Wars, or the often imitated hypnotic spiral of the “time tunnel” itself.
For the glory of the SLA, Tania!
Patty Hearst is the heiress granddaughter of tycoon publisher William Randolph Hearst. In 1974, she was kidnapped and brainwashed by a militant guerrilla group, the Symbionese Liberation Army (SLA), and adopted the new name of “Tania.” After she helped the group rob a bank at gunpoint, she was arrested and charged with bank robbery. Despite testimony that she was a victim of brainwashing, she was convicted and sentenced to 35 years in prison; President Jimmy Carter later commuted the sentence and she was released after 22 months.
Here you go, Hoss. Nice shootin’, Little Joe.
Bonanza is a western television drama that ran on NBC from 1959 to 1973. At 430 episodes, it is the second longest running western drama series, behind Gunsmoke. Bonanza ranked at #43 in TV Guide’s 50 Greatest Shows of All Time. The stories centered around the Cartwright family: widowed rancher and patriarch Ben Cartwright (Lorne Greene) and his three sons, each by a different wife—Adam (Pernell Roberts), Hoss (Dan Blocker), and Little Joe (Michael Landon). Bonanza was at the vanguard of American television’s conversion to color programs, and, though the characters were beloved and iconic, they were also the source of many parodies, often pointing out that the father and eldest sons appeared to be very nearly the same age.
I’m old enough to drive and drink, but not be in a war. What do you think?
“Old enough to fight, but not old enough to drink” is a slogan that dates back to the Vietnam War, when 18-year-olds could be drafted into the U.S. military and sent off to die for their country, but were not old enough to drink a beer at the end of the day, a situation that struck many people as hypocritical. A similar slogan was “Old enough to fight, but not old enough to vote,” which led to the passage of the 26th Amendment to the Constitution, which lowered the voting age from 21 to 18. The drinking age, however, consolidated nationwide in the 1980s at 21 thanks to a strenuous push by the Reagan administration, which threatened to withhold federal highway funds unless states fell into line.
Hey, it’s Diana Rigg.
Dame Diana Rigg is a British actress best known for playing Emma Peel for two seasons in the “spy-fi” series The Avengers, and as the ill-fated bride of James Bond in 1969’s On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.
See above note on The Evil Dead.
Banjo, don’t be a hero.
“Billy Don’t Be a Hero” was a hit in the U.K. in 1974 for the British band Paper Lace; in the U.S., people are more familiar with the cover version released the same year by Bo Donaldson and the Heywoods, which hit #1 for two weeks. Though associated with Vietnam, the lyrics are actually about the Civil War.
Fun trivia time! “Criminy” is a pseudo swear word (a.k.a. a “minced oath”), likely in substitution for saying “Christ” but without the fear of blasphemy. First known use: 1681.
Oh, they got my foot, Charlie, they got my foot!
A paraphrase of a line spoken by Eric Roberts in the 1984 film The Pope of Greenwich Village. Actual line: “Charlie, they took my thumb!”
It’s a double helix. –Thank you for the Crick and Watson joke.
Francis Crick (1916-2004) and James Watson are credited (along with Maurice Wilkins) with discovering the double-helix nature and nucleotide composition of DNA molecules.
You know, he’s kind of an easy target. Fat, drunk, and stupid. I wonder …
In the 1978 comedy film Animal House, an often-quoted line has Faber College Dean Vernon Wormer informing frat boy “Flounder” that his grade point average is 0.2, and warning him: “Fat, drunk, and stupid is no way to go through life, son.”
One if by land, two if by stupid.
During the American Revolution, the battles of Lexington and Concord were preceded, legend has it, by Paul Revere’s “midnight ride” on the night of April 18, 1775, to warn colonists of the British soldiers’ advance. A lookout in the tower of the Old North Church, in the North End of Boston, was to signal whether the arrival of British forces was over land or by ship by hoisting up lanterns: “One if by land, two if by sea.” The story is told in great detail in Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s poem “Paul Revere’s Ride,” which is where the phrase entered into the popular imagination.
Philip Glass music.
Philip Glass is a minimalist composer known for his operas (Einstein on the Beach) as well as his film scores (Koyaanisqatsi, A Brief History of Time).
Wow, I always thought only the good die young. –Live fast, die young, leave a fat bloated ugly corpse.
The oldest version of the saying “Only the good die young” likely belongs to Menander, a fourth century B.C.E. Greek playwright, who wrote “Those whom the gods love die young.” “Only the good die young” was used by 19th-century poet William Wordsworth, and, in 1977, a song by that title was released by Billy Joel. The saying, “Live fast, die young, and have a good-looking corpse!” is often attributed to James Dean, Jim Morrison, or any other relatively young person who did, in fact, die young. It was spoken on film first by actor John Derek in the 1949 Humphrey Bogart movie Knock On Any Door. The film was based on the 1947 novel of the same name by Willard Motley.
[Imitating Jimmy Stewart.] Uh, uh, now wait a minute, just wait a minute here.
See note on Jimmy Stewart, above.
I WILL kill you!
See note on Dune, above.
It’s filled with Pez.
Pez candies, originally introduced in Austria in 1927 and marketed as a breath mint for adults, are small, dry, brick-shaped confections that are designed to be loaded into mechanical dispensers. In 1955 the Pez company first placed heads on the dispensers and marketed them to children, with Santa Claus and Mickey Mouse among the first designs. The brightly colored plastic dispensers have since become a part of popular culture around the world. With over 550 unique dispenser heads and thousands of variations, there is an active community of Pez dispenser collectors, who hold conventions and have bought and sold collectible dispensers for as much as $11,000.
Johnny Cash music.
Johnny Cash (1932-2003) was a country-western singer known for his black garb and his sympathy for men in prison, for whom he frequently performed.
Oh, man, you got my windbreaker! This is a Members Only, too, it’s not cheap.
Members Only is a brand of clothing that began in 1975, was introduced to American markets in 1979, and achieved iconic status thanks to the Members Only jacket, which was immensely popular in the 1980s and has since come to symbolize the now-passé styles of that era. In the 2001 film Shallow Hal, a character wearing a Members Only jacket is asked, “So, what are you, like, the last member?”
Jeepers, I’ll never get in another movie.
“Jeepers” is another minced oath (subbing for “Jesus”). It first appeared in the 1920s.
"See ya later." Alligator. Not.
In the early 20th century, an “alligator” was a groupie, wannabe, or “hanger on” who tried to be “in” with jazz bands and other music groups. The phrase “See you later, alligator,” came from that. In 1956, the phrase (along with the response “After a while, crocodile”) entered the mainstream when Bill Haley and His Comets released a song under that title. The song had been written and released by Cajun musician Bobby Charles the year before to little notice. See above note on Wayne’s World.
Kinda looks like the beginning of a Bond film, doesn’t it?
The James Bond film series is a long-running series of British spy movies based on the fictional super-spy James Bond created by author Ian Fleming, beginning with Dr. No in 1962. Part of the enduring popularity of Bond films is their absolute predictability; though updated with modern special effects, technology, and current fashions, all Bond films unfold according to pretty standard templates, including the opening title sequence of each film, which always shows Bond firing at his foe, viewed from within a gun barrel.
Hey, there’s the girl with the golden gun!
The Man with the Golden Gun is the ninth film in the James Bond film series (see previous note). Released in late 1974, it was successful at the box office, but many critics consider it to be a low point in the James Bond franchise.
“Kicks, baby.” They’re not for Trids.
See above note.
Kicks just keep getting harder to find.
A line from the song “Kicks,” which was a huge hit for Paul Revere & the Raiders in 1966.
You know, I love that song. And I like your Ralston Purina suit, too. –Check.
The Ralston Purina Company (now merged with Nestlé’s Friskies PetCare Company to form Nestlé Purina PetCare Company) was a major American manufacturer of feed for farm animals and food for domestic pets. Ralston Purina products were easily identified by the company’s distinctive red and white “checkerboard” trademark.
[Sung.] Cause I get a kick outta … oh, wrong song, sorry.
“I Get a Kick Out of You” is a song by American composer Cole Porter (1891-1964) that was originally featured in the Broadway musical Anything Goes and in the 1936 musical film of the same name. Originally sung by Ethel Merman, it became a signature song for Frank Sinatra, Billie Holliday, Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, and many others.
Louie, this could be the start of a beautiful friendship.
One of the all-time great movie misquotes. In the final scene of Casablanca, as the camera’s perspective grows increasingly high and wide, Rick (Humphrey Bogart) says to Captain Louis Renault (Claude Rains), “Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.” Casablanca is also the source of what is probably the single most misquoted line in cinema history: “Play it again, Sam.” In the Café Americain, Ilse (Ingrid Bergman) tells piano player Sam (Dooley Wilson) “Play it, Sam. Play ‘As Time Goes By’.” Later, Rick tells Sam, “You played it for her, you can play it for me. If she can stand it, I can. Play it!”