This is the complete seventh season on 2 DVD's Great quality no artwork or case if you want a individual episode message me thanks.
Turkey Day host
First shown: 11/23/95
Opening: Happy Thanksgiving! Did you see the game?
Intro: Dr. F.’s party continues with Pearl providing the movie
Host segment 1: “Stuffing vs. Potatoes”
Host segment 2: “Art” and Pearl chat
Host segment 3: Thanksgiving dinner on the SOL and in Deep 13
End: Pearl’s “Turkey surprise” is a hit in Deep 13
Regular show host
First shown: 2/3/96
Opening: Crow and Tom are concerned about their personal security
Intro: Dr. F. has a traumatic trombone recital, but Crow shines
Host segment 1: Decorating with phones
Host segment 2: Pearl makes Dr. F. to apologize
Host segment 3: Crow is pregnant with shrimp babies
End: Crow’s rant about babies disrupts Mike’s attempts to read letters; Pearl wants Dr . F. to act like a baby
both: “Wounded animal that large isn’t
Okay, Steves, off we go:
• I’m not sure why (since I was around and keeping track of this sort of thing when all this was happening) but the old version of the episode guide says the Turkey Day version “was only shown twice: once during the 1995 Turkey Day marathon and again a few weeks later (apparently in error).” But that’s not really right. Our broadcast schedule indicates that it debuted on Nov. 23, 1995, and then ran three more times on Dec. 2 (at 5 p.m.) Dec. 3 (at 10 a.m.) and Dec. 4 (at 2 a.m.). So that makes a total of four showings.
• This was the first new episode in EIGHT MONTHS. Fans were jonesing bad.
• The segments were a continuation of the Turkey Day bumpers, in which a bunch of characters from previous shows (Kevin as the Kitten with a Whip, Bridget as Mr. B Natural, Mike as Jack Perkins, Paul as Pitch) all arrive unexpectedly at Deep 13 for Thanksgiving dinner (Frank invited them months ago, before he was assumed into Second Banana Heaven, but never told Dr. F). Their presence complicates things for Dr. F, who is preparing for a visit from his mother.
• The opening is fun and breezy, with poor Gypsy trying to make sense of M&TB as they spout endless sports cliches.
• Why does Pearl call Crow “Art?” [Deep breath] Calling Crow “Art” is an obscure BBI in-joke. During a host segment in episode 203- Jungle Goddess, Joel was introducing the ‘bots at the end of a sketch in the same manner Jackie Gleason used to use at the end of his TV show: bringing out each cast member to take a bow. In fact, when he got to Crow, he got so into the Jackie Gleason premise that he introduced Crow as “Art Crow!” much as Gleason would yell “Art Carney!” when introducing his long-time co-star. Well, apparently some little kid saw that, didn’t get the Jackie Gleason reference, and assumed that Crow’s name was actually Art. That kid wrote a letter to the show, which was read in episode 402- The Giant Gila Monster. The letter included pictures of each of the robots, and the drawing of Crow was labeled “Art.” When Pearl calls Crow “Art,” it’s a reference to that. [Exhale]
• The stuffing vs. potatoes bit is very funny, one of their best bits. Too bad it’s so rarely seen.
• Mike is hilarious as a smitten Jack Perkins, prepared to admit to a change in orientation if necessary to the enjoy the pleasures of MISTER B Natural and Bridget is equally funny as a guy who isn’t really into what Jack has in mind.
• Although Dr. F would be browbeaten and henpecked by Pearl — to the dismay of some fans (see below) — later in the season, there is very little of that here in this first pairing. Though there’s some tension, the two seem to work reasonably well together, working together to defeat the unpleasant guests.
• I had forgotten Pearl’s hilarious “Turkey Surprise” recipe: “Bake at 200 degrees for one hour and then rub with a turtle.” Hysterical.
On to the regular episode:
• This was the first new episode (sort of) in six weeks.
• Of course, we have new theme song lyrics, mostly involving changing the personal pronouns from plural to singular, reflecting the departure of Frank. There’s also some great new footage in the opening.
• Note that in the background of the redecorated Deep 13 is the projector from opening of MST3K: The Movie. I guess they attempted to slightly approximate the Deep 13 of the movie.
• The opening, with the bots torturing Mike for no discernible reason, is the beginning of what will be a season 7 running theme.
• Ah, the trombone recital. The beginning of all “the troubles” in the view of some folks (again, see below). I will be honest: I laughed. I thought it was pretty funny and I think Trace and Mary Jo do a great job in the scene. But not everybody thought so. Another reason there was some dismay about this segment came later: the outtake that appeared in “Poopie 2,” when it appears that Trace actually was injured slightly during the filming. A bit disturbing.
• Crow’s solo is the same song — “Getting Sentimental Over You” — that our hero plays at the end of Mr. B Natural. And, hey! Crow’s arms work!
• Nice job on the prop trombone that constantly shoots spit.
• Pearl again calls Crow Art.
• Pearl makes several references to wishing she’d had a girl, topped with the announcement that Dr. F’s two middle names are “Deborah Susan.”
• The short is a gem: One of those weird promotional things that never actually comes right out and says what they’re selling. Fave riff: “What would Liberace do? Oh, better not do that!” Honorable mention: “What rhymes with blue balls?”
• Annoying commercial: There’s a riotous AOL commercial on my copy that gives you a really close look at the AOL interface back in the day. Yeesh, bad memories. Runner up: Comedy Central promos for reruns of “Dream On.” Bleah.
• “Line em up against the wall and pop goes the weasel,” is from “Duck Soup.”
• Crow misprounouces Ray Manzarek’s name.
• During the riffing they do a parody of Eddie Bauer — “comes in loden, pant and twerp” — that they would expand on in a later episode.
• My copy also has a CC promo done by Trace and Mary Jo promoting the next episode — Brute Man — and it looks very improvised.
• I love Tom singing the sign in the movie.
• One riff, “We learned not to send Polacks into space” caused a small kurfuffle after the episode aired. Some felt it was an uncharacteristically mean-spirited riff.
• A couple of times they make a reference to “undercupping.” Read the “A Modern Woman” section of this site, for an explanation of what that term means.
• Okay, I want to address what happened in the fan base when Pearl arrived and the whole dynamic in Deep 13 changed. What happened, I believe, was an unfortunate disconnect between the writing staff and the fans, and although the fans might have made more of an effort to understand what was happening, I must lay most of the blame at the feet of the writing staff. Let me lay it out for you.
In the writing room, it’s clear they felt they were running out of fresh comedic permutations for the characters. I think they felt they’d taken these characters in every direction they could possibly go. And I got the sense that they were thrilled at the arrival of Pearl, and the chance to “shake things up” — a phrase they would use often later on, when fans began to ask them what the hell was going on. From their point of view, Dr. F and Pearl were simply characters on a page, representing a whole new set of comedic possibilities.
But for a lot of fans, Dr. F was not a concept on a page, to played with any way the writers liked. He was an established character, a personality they had come to love and appreciate. And when the writers took that established character and began to take it in directions, some fans didn’t like it. Put simply, they liked to see Dr. F. evil and in charge. They didn’t want to see him henpecked and timid, even if that allowed the writers to try new comic ideas. It was really one of the first times on this show that the fans and writers parted company.
In public appearances and interviews, Mary Jo and Trace expressed genuine confusion when fans questioned the direction they were taking Dr. F (and that’s when the “we just wanted to shake things up” explanations began coming out). It was pretty clear they simply didn’t see any reason not to change the characters any way they liked, as long as it was funny.
In the end, for most fans, it wasn’t a deal breaker (though for a few it was). But it was something new for a show where, previously, the cast and the writers could virtually do no wrong.
• Fave riff: “No more questions! More boobies!”
Opening: Tom is getting into real estate
Intro: Pearl is going out and puts Crow in charge!
Host segment 1: Tom is inside an egg
Host segment 2: Mike calls his old girlfriend to ask her to help him escape
Host segment 3: Crow wants Mike and Tom to sing “Hang down your head, Tom Dewey”
End: Letters, Tom is not a good landlord, and Dr. F. turns Pearl’s date into a chicken of tomorrow
Stinger: “Creeper, Creeper, Creeper! YOU give me the creeps!”
All I can say is: Poom!
• This is one of those episodes where the short really builds up a head of steam, but the riffing of the movie just can’t maintain the pace, so it’s starts to drag in the last half hour. But overall a great episode, with mostly good host segments.
• In the opening, watch Mike think about Crow’s “cajones” remark for several moments before objecting. Nicely done.
• I had no memory of the bit in the intro where they seem to be extracting a portion of a stuffed animal from Gypsy’s teeth. Nice little random element.
• In Deep 13, Dr. F is quietly sewing the head of piglet onto the body of a fish. No explanation necessary.
• Of course that’s Paul as the oily lothario Sandy. Poom!
• Pearl again calls Crow Art.
• Mike is pitch perfect as a pouting 7-year-old when told Crow will be his babysitter.
• Note for anyone seeking an unMSTed version of this short: There is a different short with same title at archive.org. It does include some of the same footage, but it’s definitely a different short.
• Obscure reference: Mike mentions a painter named Susan Rothstein. I’ve googled her and there does appear to have been such a person, but she’s pretty obscure.
• Only slightly less obscure: Alicia de Larrocha. Also pretty obscure: references to jazz musicians Terry Gibbs and Diane Schuur.
• We’re not sure exactly what year the short was made. Daddy-O guesses early ’50s. I think it looks more late 40s (postwar). But it contains a fascinating comment by the narrator: He claims there is NO county in a America where somebody is not raising chickens. That’s a remarkable thing, if true. I bet that’s not true anymore!
• Sadly, this is the last short for more than 30 episodes.
• Season seven brings us a new non-spaghetti ball bumper: A shot of a movie projector with the name of the movie on a card nearby. Rather than the rotating series of bumpers we had in season six, either the projector or the spaghetti ball was used.
• Callbacks: “Oh, it’s true.” (The Dead Talk Back)
• This is one of the oldest movies MST3K did. Only “The Corpse Vanishes,” “The Mad Monster” and “I Accuse My Parents” are older. By the way, the woman playing Joan Bemish is Mickey Dolenz’s mom.
• Of course, an early highlight is the old grumpy shopkeeper Mr. Harkins, who seems to have cracked them up.
• In segment two, for the first time in a long time, we find Mike actively trying to escape the SOL. That’s not something that had really been on the front burner in the latter half of season six.
• That’s Bridget on the phone, and, I think, Paul as the little kid.
• Interesting line when Crow sees the “23″ on the Creeper’s lair: “Hey. it’s KTMA!”
• Segment 3 is one of those sketches about a bad idea for a sketch. The brains seem to enjoy the metaness of them. But they’re not so much funny as kind of wry.
• Fave riff: “Honey? My face is as big as ever and someone shot my sizzler off!”
Opening: Crow has new hair–and calf and hinder implants
Intro: Pearl is sick, and M&TB make things worse as a fast food restaurant
Host segment 1: The bots put on a Ren Fest for Mike
Host segment 2: Mike just can’t get enough of the Ren Fest
Host segment 3: Crow reads a trashy romance novel to a medicated Pearl
End: Letter, Servo forges the “One Ring,” and Dr. F. goes Hitchcocky
Stinger: “Potatoes are what we eat”
Please call me Escobar, and let’s begin.
• First of all, I cannot believe we are this far into season seven and I have not mentioned our EXCLUSIVE season-seven continuation of the Amazing Colossal Episode Guide, here on this site. We paid good money to get these! You’re welcome. Read them! You can read Kevin’s comments on this episode here.
• After two good-but-not-great installments, the season really picks up steam with this one. I love it! Zany movie, great riffing, funny segments, just lots of fun.
• Kevin has a few thoughts about Pearl’s endless cry of “Clayton!” I loved it. Great work by Mary Jo. Great work by Trace. Hilarious bit, but even funnier by the intrusion of M&TB doing an elaborate fast food bit that drives Dr. F to the brink.
• Note that Crow and Tom’s name tags say “Mary Jo” and “Paul.”
• Crow and Tom wear the goofy hats into the theater, but Mike soon removes them.
• “Aw, this is a sequel to somethin’!” cries Crow in dismay. Indeed it is. It is a sequel to “Deathstalker” (1983) and “Deathstalker II: Duel of the Titans” (1987). But wait! There’s more! It is also a prequel to Deathstalker IV: Match of the Titans (1990). Sheesh.
• M&TB take on Ren Fests once again (previously pumelled in episode 303- POD PEOPLE and also given the razz by Frank in an invention exchange in episode 402- THE GIANT GILA MONSTER with his renaissance festival punching bags. But here they devote two entire segments to it.)
• Annoying commercial: Nike’s “Ken Griffy for President” campaign, featuring James Carville spouting buzzwords on cue.
• The bots mention Edgar Bronfman a guy who was looming large in BBI’s life at the time: he was at the heart of a series of big media deals that were causing various companies that were paying BBI to repeatedly change hands.
• The line “I dreamed a gold man was reading to me from a dirty book” will live forever in the hearts of humankind.
• When, toward the end of the movie, they yell “Sampo! Sampo!” I assume they are talking about me. You are invited to think so too.
• Callback: “Mr B! Natural!”
• Somebody mentions a Gavin Sabatini? Google turns up nothing.
• Being a LOTR buff makes this episode extra fun (and remember that this was still years before the popular movies came out, and LOTR was still the province of uber-nerds). We hear Tolkien proper nouns like Saruman, Gandalf, Radagast, Khazad-dum and nazgul. There’s even a segment in which Tom tries to forge The One Ring (and apparently succeeds–good for him!). I know that Paul was a LOTR fan (when Erhardt and I visited BBI just before the beginning of season eight the topic somehow came around to Tolkien and he admitted to being a fan and even used the phrase “ash nazg gimbatul,” which caused much derisive snickering among his cohorts).
• The final bit with the glass of milk is a reference to Hitchcock movie “Suspicion.”
• Fave riff: “Guess what I’ve been doing!”
Opening: Playing a little hardball
Intro: Crow’s “Earth vs. Soup” screenplay is being made into a movie, with Dr. F. and Pearl in charge
Host segment 1: A script conference goes nowhere
Host segment 2: Crow shoots his movie
Host segment 3: Dr. F. leads a focus group
End: Crow learns the fate of his movie
Stinger: “Let’s get the hell out of here!”
First, let me just say: Ajka!
• You can read Mary Jo’s entry thoughts on this episode here.
• Of course, this ep is dominated by the movie-making segments. The Brains openly admitted that this was their chance to get even with the Hollywood suits who made their lives a living hell during the making of MST3K: The Movie. If they saw it (and they probably didn’t) a few execs may have recognized themselves. In any case, the segments are great fun, the movie is dumb and a little drippy and the riffing is very memorable. A great episode.
• Trace and Mary Jo are pitch-perfect as smug studio heads and it’s nice to see Dr. F and Pearl working together, rather than being at odds. Trace’s running gag with the water bottles is classic.
• As Mary Jo noted, this acting, drama, plot and pretty much everything else takes a back seat to the real star of this movie: Rick Baker’s makeup chops.
• Baker has gone on to better things, winning Oscars for 1981’s “An American Werewolf in London” (the first year that the make-up category was created), 1987’s “Harry and the Hendersons,” 1994’s “Ed Wood,” 1996’s “The Nutty Professor,” 1997’s “Men In Black” and 2000’s “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.”
• Tom is singing “Are you happy in your work” (from “I Accuse My Parents”) as segment 1 begins.
• This is one of those movies where the Brains find themselves having to riff the same scene (in which our hero Steve gets a bloody nose) several times. They managed it remarkably well.
• Obscure/then-current reference: “He’s gonna steal back his snowblower.” (A reference to the Paul Newman movie “Nobody’s Fool.”)
• Callbacks: “What’s the matter, don’t you like it?” (Brute Man) “You always were a good judge of men, Deathstalker.” (Deathstalker) “The melting man was found alive and of normal size” (Monster A-Go-Go).
• Director crow is wearing a Deep 13 hat.
• Anybody else have “Seasons in the Sun” in their head now?
• Annoying commercial: Comedy Central’s “Finger that candidate” bits.
• This is the movie that features the great “ What did we learn?” conversation. They should have done it for every movie, and a lot of riffing groups have adopted it as a great way to fill the time while watching the credits.
• Daddy-O notes: “Confused about the scene showing a girl sobbing in a police car and a photographer taking pictures of everything in sight? That’s because the scene just before it was cut from the MSTed version. In the scene, the photographer gets the girl model (played by Cheryl “Rainbeaux” Smith) to pose and bounce around, then forcibly removes her top after she refuses to. She starts hitting him as he continues to take pictures, and then trips over the Bill-Gates-look-alike corpse, making an oozy mess and screaming a lot. That’s why she’s crying in the police car, and that’s why the photographer happens to be there. (By the way, Smith is also in 706-LASERBLAST.)”
• Fave riff: “You know, I’m actually starting to hate Hans Geiger.” Honorable mention: “Did they have a race horse tied up there?”
Opening: Crow’s charity auction
Intro: Crow starts a fire on the SOL, Dr. F. puts his mother in a “home”
Host segment 1: Mike helps Crow try bio-feedback, a fire starts
Host segment 2: Men’s night on the SOL
Host segment 3: Dr. F. has a plan to boost ratings: Timmy Bobby Rusty
End: Letter, Servo arrives by helicopter, and Toblerone visits Deep 13
Stinger: “PTOO!” “HA, HA, HA!” sez Toblerone
• This one is hit and miss for me. Some funny segments, some
“meh” ones. Some great stretches of riffing, some quiet
sections. And the movie: wow. Boy, is it stupid but, wow, does it
have some wacky characters. But above all, there is Toblerone,
Dablone, or whatever his name is.
• Mary Jo also provided the commentary for this episode in our season seven episode guide. Did she mention she loves Dablone? Yes. Yes, she did.
• Fans had been getting episodes pretty regular for the past month, but this was the last one we would get until mid-May (about 10 weeks away) and THAT would would the last one we’d get for close to a year…:::sigh:::?
• By this time, fans knew the show had been canceled on CC and suddenly, on this brand new thing called World Wide Web, there were already hundreds of “Save MST3K” sites. It would be several more months before Sci-Fi Channel would make the announcement that the show was coming back.
• Between this and the next episode, “MST3K: The Movie” hit theaters. Indeed, by the time the next episode aired, the movie was already fading fast.
• My copy of this episode has a lonnng commercial for the movie “Fargo.” I haven’t timed it, but it feels like more than a minute. I’d forgotten there were commercials that long.
• The opening is a cute idea but it kind of gets driven into the ground. The intro, in which Dr. F puts Pearl “in a home” is a very nice reveal. And nothing says “We’ve been canceled” having a big fire for no reason.
• Nice reference to the Spinal Tap song “Sex Farm.”
• The “men’s night” bit is great, with poor Crow completely unfamiliar with Mike’s 700 different slang requests for a brewski. Nice and breezy.
• Sometimes in an MST3k episode, they’re going along, riffing the movie, minding their own business, then all of a sudden a larger than life character appears. Torgo is like that, of course. And later there would be Rowsdower. But in season seven, there was Toblerone. Ha-ha!
• The Timmy Bobby Rusty stuff definitely reflects the kind of notes I’m sure they’d been getting from the suits at Comedy Central at this point. Not terribly funny, but probably cathartic for them. Segment 3 is also the first reference in a long time to Dr. F “selling the results of his experiments to cable TV” as Joel used to tell us all the time.
• Annoying commercial: Apparently some sort of flower shop association ad in which “Buzz the bee” suggests that we “think flowers.” Well, okay, then.
• Callbacks: “I’m Cherokee Jack.” (Red Zone Cuba) “No, Lupita!” (Santa Claus)
• With only one episode to go, BBI seems to have created a brand new bumper for this episode, one with the planet Earth in the background and the SOL going by. It’s pretty, and we never see it again, I don’t think.
• Somebody makes a riff that is premised on the notion of a Kinkos being on every corner. I’d forgotten that era 15 years ago when Kinkos was aggressively expanding. They’ve now been absorbed by FedEx and the brand is fading away.
• Fave riff: “Kill us! … Thank you!”
Opening: With Mike tied up, Crow and Tom present the “Thunderdome” joke
Intro: Dr. F.’s funding has been cut, so he cuts the SOL loose! But Tom gets the thrusters working
Host segment 1: The SOL picks up Monad, an annoying robot
Host segment 2: The SOL hits a field of star babies–and one of them needs changing!
Host segment 3: With the SOL heading toward a black hole, Mike undergoes a terrifying but useful transformation!
End: The SOL reaches the edge of the universe and its inhabitants become beings of pure energy! Meanwhile, Dr. F. becomes unstuck in time, has a revelation and is reborn
Stinger: “Faaar out!”
• First, housekeeping: We will start right in on season 8 next
• Joel Hodgson’s “TV Wheel” was shown immediately following this episode’s debut, so it was kind of a big day for MSTies.
• It had been 10 weeks since the last new episode and, as far as anybody knew when this first aired, there would never be another episode again. As it turned out we would have to wait 8 and a half months.
• Mike writes about the episode and then Paul, Mary Jo and Kevin wrap up the season here.
• And so we come to the end of another era of MST3K and the departure of MST3K’s powerhouse, Trace Beaulieu. It really is hard to imagine that the show could have become the classic it was without him, and while it did manage to find its footing again after his departure, his absence was keenly felt for a long time. Thanks for everything, Trace.
• In his writeup, Mike explains that the hilarious opening sketch was something that arose from a running gag in the writing room. I actually had an opportunity to use the thunderdome joke recently. Its message is still relevant.
• I love how Mike does the Star Trek “shirt tug” before he says “Engage!”
• It’s fun to make fun of Kim Milford, who plays Billy, but that becomes more difficult after you find out that Milford died of a young age from complications due to AIDS of heart failure following open heart surgery several weeks earlier. He was 37. RIP Kim (and my apologies for repeating old info I hadn’t rechecked).
• Callbacks: “Roxie!” (Eegah) also “Eegah!” “It’s the Coleman Francis mountain!” Also a mention of Cherokee Jack. And “Leave the Bronx!”
• I love the riff: “Let’s pop amyls and watch ‘Days.’” Is that from something?
• As a commenter noted last week when I foolishly said we only saw that brand new bumper once, I was wrong. It was featured a couple of times in this episode as well.
• Of course that’s Jim as the voice of Monad the perfection-seeking robot. It’s a funny idea but the bit feels a little rushed to me.
• After going several seasons without so much as making mention of it, this episode features not one but two uses of the “hatch” at upstage left.
• The “changing the starbaby” bit is a cute idea (I especially like Mike as the quintessential NASA administrator) but in the end it doesn’t add up to much.
• Obscure riff: “This sucks, I was supposed to headline,” as the characters pull up in a car together. This is reference to the experience many of the writers had as traveling comics working a circuit of comedy clubs in Minnesota. They tended to travel in one car, with the headliner getting the best seat, etc.
• Over a couple of seasons, they’d established Mike’s bizarre ability to become other people at times of stress. He became Carol Channing and Kenny G in previous instances. The strange notion finally pays off in segment 3 when Mike — in one of the most notorious segments of the series — becomes “Star Trek Voyager”’s Captain Janeway and saves the day.
• Somebody references “Williams and Reed.” Google turns up nothing.
• The whole Leonard Maltin thing really does point up the flaw of his rating system. I was once a devotee of his book: buying a new one every year was an annual rite of fall. And before the arrival of the IMDB (which pretty much made Maltin’s guide superfluous) it was pretty handy. But I always felt his rating system was completely out of whack. I’d always felt that he should have used at least a five-star system, especially because, for reasons that I never saw adequately explained, his lowest rating (other than “bomb”) was 1-and-half stars. Had he made use of the 1/2-star and 1-star ratings at least, he might not have let himself in for this well-deserved mockery.
• By the way: in Ward E we have a list of MSTed movies that have been given 2-and-a-half stars by Leonard Maltin.
• The final bit, of course, is amazing; as Mike notes, that’s Trace’s dad as “old Forrester.” The final moment of that segment gives me chills every time.
• Fave riff: “So they’re just off County Road C goin’ at it, huh?” Honorable mention: “Look! Everyone was sending a sheet of paper to everyone else.”
I’m going to review this short. You?
• You can watch this one
• The short was originally intended to be one of two that were to be included on a planned MST3K CD-ROM (back when CD-ROMs were a big thing; recall “Monty Python’s Complete Waste of Time”). The project fell through when the bottom fell out of the CD-ROM market and the company that was going to produce the product, Voyager Company, got radically downsized.
• For the record, the second short, never seen by anyone outside of BBI as far as we know of, riffed on an industrial film called “Mylar, What’s It To You?” You can watch the unMSTed original here and here. Although the short we’re discussing today is generally thought of as MST3K’s “lost” short, that description is literally true of the “Mylar” short. The master somehow got misplaced at the BBI studio. In the Sci-Fi era, following the release of this short, a concerted effort was made to find the tape but it never turned up. It appears to be lost to the ages.
• This short was shown to the public for the very first time on Friday, Aug. 30, 1996, in a large hall of the Minneapolis Convention Center, at the second MST3K convention. Those who were there, please correct me if I’m wrong, but if I remember correctly it was Paul Chaplin who introduced the short. He coyly teased the audience a bit, saying that the short existed, but then saying he wasn’t supposed to show it and then finally giving in and off they went.
• For several years, the only publicly available version of that short was video footage recorded by convention attendees. The angles to the screen were not great, and the sound was terrible (the acoustics in the large hall were atrocious, and several of the riffs were obscured by laughter and/or applause in reaction the previous riffs), but MSTies will take what they can get. These videos, along with videos of the “MST3K: The Movie” outtakes that were also shown that night, soon found their way onto bootleg “MST3K: The Movie” DVDs that were selling on E-bay for $100 and more.
• It was eventually released on a VHS shorts collection and later that collection was also an extra on a Rhino set.
• The short was an incredible treat for fans, who had not had any new MST3K for months, and did not expect to get any more for a long time. I can remember, as the short ended and the lights came up, seeing more than one fan around me wiping tears of laughter from his or her eyes. One was my friend Jon Whitney, who, quoting Joel from Season Two, muttered, “Wow, blindsided by a short!”
• Crow channels “Apocalypse Now” with the riff “Never get outta the boat. Absolutely Goddam right.”
• Tom Servo and then Crow BOTH invoke country music personality Minnie Pearl with a boistrous “HOWWWDEE!”
• The whole “narrow-wide” thing really had folks roaring. It was one of those running gags that just gets funnier and funnier. “Well, if it isn’t Mr. Big Lake!”
• However, it was the riff “Bag-o in car-o!” that really brought the house down. It was a little like the recent “Rudolph, I need you tonight,” moment at the RiffTrax Live show. People just fell out. On the videos taken by the convention attendees, you can’t even hear the next two or three riffs. It was one of those memorable moments of being a MSTie, when you’re in a large group and the funny just gets funnier because there’s more of you to enjoy it.
• Fave riff: “I saw a nude midget circus.”