101: The Crawling Eye
by Trey Yeatts
This must be a Paramount picture.
Paramount Pictures is a Hollywood movie studio, established in 1912 as Famous Players Studios by Adolph Zukor. For most of the studio’s history, the company’s logo has been some form of a mountain, sometimes stylized and sometimes more realistic. Paramount is currently owned by Viacom, which bought the studio in 1994.
That’s a bad Cary Grant back there, isn’t it?
Cary Grant (1904-1986) was an award-winning actor known for leading roles in classic films, such as 1938’s Bringing Up Baby, 1944’s Arsenic and Old Lace, and 1959’s North by Northwest.
Aw, he got that hat from Mike Nesmith.
Michael Nesmith was one of The Monkees, the 1960s musical group that had their own TV show from 1966-1968. His signature look on the show was a knit wool cap with a pompom. Nesmith wrote many songs used in the series and released as singles, but once his relationship soured with the producers and management, he withheld his best writings for after he left the group. He later co-founded the influential (but commercially unsuccessful) country-rock group First National Band. On an unrelated note, his mother, Bette, invented the correction fluid Liquid Paper in 1951. His signature was a green wool hat with a pompom.
Oh, Forrest Tucker, he’s from F Troop.
Forrest Tucker (1919-1986) was an actor who achieved a measure of fame in 1949’s Sands of Iwo Jima, starring alongside John Wayne. He also appeared regularly on stage and television. His most famous television role was as Sergeant Morgan O’Rourke in F Troop. F Troop was a comedy that aired on ABC from 1965 to 1967. It was about a dimwitted company of U.S. Army soldiers stationed at the fictional outpost of Fort Courage, Kansas, in 1865 after the end of the American Civil War.
Kinda like titles with idiot clips.
Probably a reference to those little clips they put on kids’ coats to keep their mittens attached so they can’t lose them; in the vernacular, those are often referred to as idiot clips.
Duncan Sutherland. Duncan. What a yo-yo.
Duncan Toys Company is a manufacturer based in Ohio best known for their line of yo-yos, including the famed Duncan Imperial. Duncan first made yo-yos circa 1930.
Let’s see, Gemini, Gemini. You’ll be attracted to a giant crawling eye. Leos feature prominently.
Horoscopes are listings of fortunes and predictions based upon the reader’s birthdate, most often printed in newspapers. Using the Zodiac (a collection of twelve constellations that align along the path of the sun across the sky), readers use their birthdate to decide which sign applies to them (these include Gemini, the twins, and Leo, the lion). In 2011, astrology fans were thrown into a tizzy when a Minnesota astronomer said changes in the Earth’s rotation had altered the Zodiac, adding a “new” sign (Ophiuchus, the serpent bearer), even though that constellation had been around since 1930. Astrologers quickly reassured anxious horoscope readers that their signs had not changed; Leos could remain Leos and Geminis, Geminis.
I am Mount Svengali. You will do as I say.
Svengali is a character in the 1894 novel Trilby, by George du Maurier. The story created the archetype for the “evil hypnotist” character seen in movies and other media over the past century. The character has been portrayed in several films by actors including John Barrymore and Peter O’Toole.
You’re Sergeant O’Rourke from F Troop.
See above note on F Troop.
It’s Red Dye number 7.
Red Dye number 2 (not number 7) is a food coloring, also known as Amaranth. It gives foods and makeups a dark red to purple color (depending on how it’s processed). It was banned by the FDA in 1976 due to studies that linked it to cancer.
“Geneva.” Oh, it’s a big convention town, isn’t it?
Geneva is a city in the neutral country of Switzerland known for hosting meetings between world leaders and representatives. The so-called “Geneva Convention” refers to four major treaties and other resolutions that dictate the actions of parties engaged in warfare, primarily relating to the humanitarian treatment of prisoners and wounded. They were signed and ratified in 1949 by 194 countries.
It’s Mr. Haney.
Mr. Haney was a rural salesman and con artist who appeared in the CBS sitcom Green Acres (1965-1971). He was portrayed by Pat Buttram (1915-1994).
Hey, look, you guys. They’re being followed by a movie.
A riff on the old-timey filmmaking technique of rear projection, which was often used for scenes of people driving in cars or traveling by train: a screen would be set up behind a window, and film of landscape moving by would be projected on it.
Probably a reference to the book Nonsense Songs and Stories by Edward Lear, the Victorian children’s poet of “Owl and the Pussycat” fame.
What a lovely matte painting.
In filmmaking, matte paintings are special effect backgrounds. They used to be painted on glass and placed in front of the camera; now they are mostly made on computers.
She could eat corn-on-the-cob through a picket fence.
This is a southern colloquialism meaning that the person has buck teeth.
I’m checking on it. Was he on F Troop? All right. Gotta go now.
See above note.
“Nasty Nasty” is a 1977 single from British punk band 999.
It was the fall that killed him.
A riff on a line in the 1969 movie Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Butch (Paul Newman) and Sundance (Robert Redford) must jump off a cliff into a river to escape a pursuing posse. When Sundance says he can’t swim, Butch laughs and says “Are you crazy? The fall will probably kill you!”
Meanwhile, in the observatory …
Variations of this phrase 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 of films, radio, and television shows. Most recently, it was used in the various Superfriends animated series of the late 1970s. Narrator Ted Knight would say, “Meanwhile, back at the Hall of Justice ...” or “Meanwhile, at the Legion of Doom ...”
Look, the all Weather Channel. These are mountains you won’t see on any other station.
The Weather Channel is a cable network launched in 1982 as a 24-hour weather service (featuring local positioning) and weather news. In recent years, they have begun to include weather documentaries and even weather-related entertainment shows.
Hey, it’s F Troop. [Whistling theme song.]
See above note.
Captain Parmenter was the hapless commander of F Troop; the part was played by Ken Berry.
Meanwhile, back at Daniel Boone’s house ...
See above note on “Meanwhile ...” Daniel Boone (1734-1820) was an American pioneer whose exploits have become embellished and Boone himself inflated to folk hero status. He explored and surveyed much of present-day Kentucky, fought against British-backed Native Americans, and later served in the Virginia General Assembly. His character was included in many films, but it was Fess Parker’s portrayal in the eponymous TV series (1964-1970) that shaped his appearance and stature for generations. Unfortunately, Parker’s “bigger than life” and coonskin cap-wearing Daniel Boone bore little resemblance to the real man and was simply a surreptitious continuation of Parker’s role as another early American folk hero, Davy Crockett, whom Parker had played in several movies and specials in the 1950s.
I’ll call Weight Watchers.
Weight Watchers is a company that has provided meals and weight-loss support since 1963. The phrase “weight watchers” existed before the company and since the weight-loss industry took off has gathered even more heft, if you will, as a catchall term for any weight-loss program.
Citizen Kane is a 1941 drama, acclaimed by many critics as the greatest film ever made. It was written by, directed by, and starred Orson Welles as media magnate Charles Foster Kane (based upon real-life media tycoon William Randolph Hearst). At the beginning of the film, the elderly Kane dies while holding a snow globe and saying, “Rosebud.” Much of the rest of the film consists of flashbacks of his life as a reporter tries to find out who or what this “Rosebud” referred to. Spoiler alert: it was his childhood sled, which is tossed into an incinerator at the end of the film.
Flash! Mr. and Mrs. America and all ships at sea! This is a banner extra, front-page stuff! Girl has vision!
A paraphrasing of how famed journalist Walter Winchell used to open his radio broadcasts.
It was a bizarre dream and you were all there! Fannie Flagg and Groucho and Carl Sagan and it was a Dick Cavett PBS special.
A reference to the scene at the end of 1939’s The Wizard of Oz, when Dorothy wakes up back in Kansas with her family gathered around her bed. Fannie Flagg is an actress, author, and comedian best known for her work Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe and her many appearances on The Match Game in the 1970s. Groucho Marx (1890-1977) was an American comedian known for his rapier wit, glasses, cigar, and heavily painted eyebrows and moustache. He was considered the leader of the Marx Brothers, with whom he appeared in thirteen films. He later hosted the radio and television game show You Bet Your Life. Carl Sagan (1934-1996) was an astronomer and the author of several books on popular science. He was also the host of the popular PBS science program Cosmos in 1980. Dick Cavett is a former talk show host known for his low-key conversational style. He hosted The Dick Cavett Show on six different networks from 1968 to 1996 (minus a few years here and there). The PBS incarnation of his show aired from 1977 to 1982.
He prescribed those for Elvis.
Elvis Presley (1935-1977) was one of the 20th century’s most influential pop musicians and arguably the world’s first rock & roll star. Near the end of his life, he was being prescribed a plethora of pills, including pills to wake up and pills to go to sleep. In the 1970s, he overdosed several times on barbiturates and other drugs until he finally died from either cardiac arrhythmia or a massive heart attack caused by a host of drug-induced issues in his bathroom.
Is my pizza ready? It’s been over half an hour.
Domino’s Pizza is a chain of pizza delivery stores located nationwide, founded in 1960. Beginning in 1979, they offered the “30-Minute Guarantee,” stating that the pizza would arrive at the specified address within a half-hour or the pizza was free. By the mid-1980s, this was reduced to $3 off. In 1993, after paying out millions in lawsuits due to accidents caused by speeding Domino’s drivers, the guarantee was dropped entirely.
It’s the Noid.
The Noid was an advertising figure for Domino’s Pizza in the 1980s. The Noid wore a red suit with rabbit-like ears and attempted to foil Domino’s 30-minute delivery guarantee, among other schemes. The slogan associated with these commercials was “Avoid the Noid!” In 1989, mentally ill customer Kenneth Lamar Noid became convinced that the ad campaign was an attack on him and held two Atlanta Domino’s employees hostage for five hours before surrendering to police.
Arthur “Harpo” Marx (1888-1964) was the second oldest of the brothers in the classic comedy team the Marx Brothers, who were popular on stage and screen for thirty years. Dressed in a curly red wig and a trenchcoat, Harpo never spoke in any of the films (his brother Groucho claimed he just couldn’t think of anything to say), relying on his brilliant flair for physical comedy to generate the laughs.
Oh, nice reel change.
In most American cinemas, movies are assembled by attaching twenty-minute reels of film end to end until the entire movie is placed on a single large platter in the projection booth. Decades ago, they didn’t use the platters and instead placed each reel on one of two projectors in the booth. Ten seconds before the end of the reel, a mark would appear in the upper right-hand corner of the image, letting the projectionist know the end was near. A second mark would appear when the second projector should be engaged. If the timing was right and the film was cued properly, the change should be fairly seamless. Not like this was at all.
Thumper, Fluffy, Bugs.
Thumper is the excitable rabbit character in the 1942 Disney film Bambi and the 2006 direct-to-video sequel, Bambi II. Fluffy is a common name for small pets like rabbits, hamsters, gerbils, etc. Bugs Bunny is the anthropomorphic prankster rabbit with a Flatbush accent who has appeared in nearly 200 animated shorts and films produced by Warner Brothers. His official first appearance was in 1940’s A Wild Hare. He was voiced most famously by Mel Blanc until Blanc’s death in 1989.
In the 1959-1963 ABC television series The Untouchables, two of Eliot Ness’s men were Agent Enrico “Rico” Rossi and Agent William Youngfellow (not Youngblood). In a 1976 episode of Saturday Night Live hosted by Desi Arnaz (a producer of the drama), Dan Aykroyd played Eliot Ness and called for the other members of his team, saying, “Lee! Rico! Youngblood!” The error was further solidified by Frank Zappa (who has a big fan in Kevin Murphy) in the 1988 song “The Untouchables,” in which his guitarist, Ike Willis, also called out for Rico and “Youngblood.”
“Keep away from the hut!” –And Starsky.
Starsky & Hutch (1975-1979) was a TV series about two tough cops who fought crime on the streets of Southern California. It starred Paul Michael Glaser as David Starsky and David Soul as Kenneth “Hutch” Hutchinson.
Hut, hut, hut one. Hut two.
In football, “hut” is often called by quarterbacks when initiating a play. It is believed that “hut” was woven into the game thanks to the word’s use as an accent in military marches and orders (for example, “Atten-hut!”). Before “hut” became the standard, “hip,” “hup,” or any number of other monosyllabic interjections were used. And before that, words like “hut” and “hip” were used to herd domesticated animals, like sheep. Hmmmm ...
She’s a method actor.
“Method acting” is the term given to performers who immerse themselves in their roles rather than simply recite lines and imitate emotions. The fathers of the process are regarded as Russian theater director Constantin Stanislavski and American acting teacher Lee Strasberg, while actors employing this technique include Al Pacino, Dustin Hoffman, and Marlon Brando.
Is she AM or FM?
Ah, radio. Before you kids had your iPods and such, you could wrap a wire around a quartz crystal, tie a transistor to it, plug in a battery, and listen to the Beatles. Amplitude modulation (AM) radio was developed in 1906 by Reginald Fessenden. Before Reggie, any radio broadcaster was using that entire part of the spectrum instead of an individual setting. Frequency modulation (FM) radio was developed by Edwin Armstrong in 1933. While AM radio can have greater range than FM, FM has the capacity for greater sound quality. That’s why most music stations are on the FM side of the dial.
“These blankets—frozen stiff.” Must’ve slept with his hand in lukewarm water.
An age-old prank, popular with adolescents at slumber parties or summer camp, involves placing a sleeping person’s hand in a bowl of warm water, thereby inducing involuntary urination. When the “science entertainment” TV program MythBusters tested this one, even using sleep monitoring equipment to ensure the subject was genuinely asleep, they got zero results: myth busted!
“His head’s been torn off.” Ripped off.
Rip Torn (born Elmore Rual Torn, Jr.,1931-2019) was a respected actor who appeared in many a movie and Broadway play. His films include Payday (1973) and Cross Creek (1983), for which he was nominated for an Oscar. He also played talk-show producer Artie on The Larry Sanders Show (HBO, 1992-1998) and made several appearances on 30 Rock (NBC, 2006-2013) as CEO of General Electric Don Geiss.
Two superpowers will unite to fight a third. –Stop it! –Two brothers will reach the senate. One will become president. Both will die. –Shhh. Hush.
Michel de Nostredame (a.k.a. Nostradamus; 1503-1566) was a pharmacist and supposed prophet. Much of his writings related to the then-current invasions of Europe by the Ottoman Empire and other Arab powers, but this hasn’t stopped people from believing he was predicting people and events as varied as Napoleon, Hitler, the Great Fire of London, 9/11, and many more. In 1981, a documentary-style film on Nostradamus titled The Man Who Saw Tomorrow was released that included both the “two superpowers” (the U.S. and the Soviet Union) and the “two brothers” (John F. Kennedy and his brother Robert) so-called prophecies. How the filmmakers deduced these things from his vague, cryptic and metaphor-laden writings (which had previously been attributed to other events) is beyond most people. In 1991, during the Persian Gulf War, NBC commissioned an edit of The Man Who Saw Tomorrow, working in loads of footage of Saddam Hussein to give a new meaning to the bits on “despotic tyrants.”
[Stoner voice.] Can’t miss it. Dave’s van is parked right out front.
A reference to a famous bit from stoner duo Richard “Cheech” Marin and Tommy Chong’s debut album Cheech and Chong (1971). The track was titled “Dave,” and it was essentially a pot-infused version of “Who’s on First?”, featuring Dave (voiced by Cheech) trying to get Chong to let him into his own apartment, though Chong’s character couldn’t be convinced that the man on the other side was actually Dave.
[Sung.] The hills are alive and it’s getting scary. That cloud over there wasn’t there before.
A parody of the title song from the 1959 Rodgers and Hammerstein musical The Sound of Music. In the 1965 film, it was sung by Julie Andrews. The original lyrics: “The hills are alive with the sound of music/With songs they have sung for a thousand years.”
De plane! De plane!
Hervé Villechaize (1943-1993) was an undersized actor who became famous for the line “De plane! De plane!” on the TV show Fantasy Island, which he appeared on from 1978-1983. He became depressed and worked very little after leaving the series, ultimately committing suicide in 1993.
What color is the sky in your world?
“Tell me, what color is the sky in your world?” was a line said by Dr. Frasier Crane (played by Kelsey Grammer) to postman Cliff Clavin (played by John Ratzenberger) on the popular 1980s sitcom Cheers.
An imitation of Señor Wences (real name Wenceslao Moreno, 1896-1999), a Spanish ventriloquist who made frequent appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show. He was known for his comic banter with a hand puppet named Johnny and a puppet hidden in a box who went by the name of Pedro.
They found Hoffa.
Jimmy Hoffa (1913-1975) was a labor leader who served as president of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters from 1958 to 1971. He had well-known connections with organized crime, and in 1975 he disappeared from a Detroit restaurant where he was supposed to be dining with a couple of mob figures. He was never seen again and was declared dead in 1982. Rumors have swirled for years on his resting place—most famously Giants Stadium in New Jersey. This was debunked in an episode of Mythbusters and when the stadium was demolished in 2010.
This will never replace Nintendo.
The Nintendo Entertainment System was a home video game console that debuted in 1985. It revitalized and revolutionized the home gaming industry after the gluttonous crash of 1983 (a.k.a. “The Atari Debacle”). The NES was followed in 1990 by the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES), the Nintendo 64 (N64) in 1996, the Nintendo GameCube in 2001, and the Nintendo Wii in 2006. Nintendo also produced the Game Boy (released in 1989) and DS (released in 2004) portable gaming devices, two of the best-selling video game systems ever.
“What cloud?” Bozo the Cloud.
Bozo the Clown is a beloved children’s character first introduced as the star of a series of children’s books in the 1940s. He quickly got his own television show, and soon there were Bozo shows springing up in local markets across the country. Although there were many actors who portrayed Bozo, probably the most famous was Chicago’s Bob Bell, who appeared as the clown on WGN from 1960 to 1984. Joey D’Auria replaced him and became the last Bozo on the airwaves when the show finally went dark in 2001.
Well, that was then and this is now.
That Was Then, This Is Now is a 1971 YA novel about the changing relationship between two adopted brothers; it was made into a 1985 film starring Emilio Estevez.
See above note on Carl Sagan.
[Whistling The Good, the Bad & the Ugly theme.]
This is the famous theme to the spaghetti western The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, written by composer Ennio Morricone.
[Imitating.] Four hundred twenty-nine matches exactly. Exactly four hundred twenty-nine. –That was a good impression, Servo. –[Imitating.] I’m an excellent driver.
An imitation and paraphrasing of lines from the 1988 drama Rain Man, starring Dustin Hoffman as an autistic savant under the care of his half-brother, Tom Cruise. In a diner scene, a box of toothpicks is spilled and Hoffman’s character correctly counts the 246 that land on the floor.
He’s wearing Mr. Spock’s jammies.
Spock was a character on the classic sci-fi show Star Trek. Played by Leonard Nimoy, Spock was the USS Enterprise’s half-Vulcan first officer and science officer for nearly all of the original series (1966-1969), the animated series (1973-1974), and the first six films. He also appeared in two episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987-1994) and played a pivotal role in the 2009 Star Trek reboot film (in which the part of a younger Spock was played by Zachary Quinto).
Looks like Popeye. –[Imitating Popeye.] Somebody’s coming down the hallways’guh. –[Imitating Bluto.] Doesn’t look like anybody’s in there. I’ll see about that. –[Imitating Popeye.] I think I’ll reach through and get hims’guh. –[Imitating Bluto.] Hey! Popeye! –[Sung.] I’m Popeye the sailor man! I’ve got a guy’s head in my hand!
Popeye the Sailor Man is a character created by E. C. Segar in 1919 for the Thimble Theatre comic strip. Beginning in 1933, Popeye became an animated character, thanks to the artistry of Fleischer Studios and the voice work of Billy Costello and Jack Mercer. Popeye’s foil for the affections of Olive Oyl was Bluto (sometimes Brutus, thanks to a copyright dispute), a tall, hefty fellow with black hair and a black beard. He was voiced in those classic shorts by several actors, including William Pennel and Gus Wickie.
Sounds like a bad Popeye impression to me.
See previous note.
There’s Ward Cleaver.
Ward Cleaver, played by Hugh Beaumont (Show 208, Lost Continent; Show 420, The Human Duplicators; and Show 803, The Mole People), was the all-knowing father on the television sitcom Leave It to Beaver (1957-1963).
[Imitating.] Here’s Johnny! –Wendy, I’m home!
A reference to the famous scene in the 1980 horror film The Shining, in which a crazed Jack Nicholson hacks through a door with an ax and says maniacally through the hole, ”Wendy, I’m home” and, more famously, “Heeere’s Johnny!” (itself a reference to Johnny Carson’s entrance line on The Tonight Show). Wendy was the name of his wife in the film, played by Shelley Duvall.
[Imitating.] Pretty lady?
Jerry Lewis (1926-2017) was a comedian who rose to fame thanks to his partnership with Dean Martin in the 1940s and 1950s and then in a lengthy string of zany films, including 1961’s The Ladies Man, in which Lewis belted, “Hey, laaaady!”
Norman, I told you not to bother the guests.
An imitation of “Mother” from the Alfred Hitchcock film Psycho (1960). “Norman” is Norman Bates, proprietor of the Bates Motel.
What do you think that pocket’s for? Kleenex?
Kleenex is a brand of facial tissue made by Kimberly-Clark. It was introduced in 1924 and has become an informal brand eponym for all such tissues.
Oh, look. It fell off its fabric softener box. –Now they gotta go back for the bear.
In 1983, a talking white teddy bear puppet named Snuggle first appeared in commercials for Snuggle fabric softener, produced by Sun Products; it has been voiced by several people over the years, including former Monkee Micky Dolenz.
It’s Bob Hope. –[Imitating.] Hey there. Join me this week with Brooke Shields and Erik Estrada.
Comedian Bob Hope (1903-2003) appeared in films with crooner Bing Crosby and in many television specials, often related to his service with the United Services Organization, a tradition that began in World War II and continued through Korea, Vietnam, and the Persian Gulf. Brooke Shields is an actress and model who rose to fame in a series of Calvin Klein Jeans ads and then began a film and television career. Erik Estrada is a television actor best known for playing Officer Frank “Ponch” Poncherello on CHiPs from 1977 to 1983. Both Estrada and Shields have been guests on various Bob Hope specials: Shields in 1981 and Estrada in 1979.
The Certs Encounter.
Certs are a brand of breath mints manufactured by Cadbury Adams that first appeared in 1956. In the early 1980s, their advertising campaign focused on people meeting each other, thanks to covering up their stank breath with Certs.
[Sung.] Young love, first love. –Wah, wah, wooo.
“Young Love” is a 1956 song written and recorded by Ric Cartey. It became more popular thanks to remakes by Sonny James, Tab Hunter, and The Crew-Cuts, all released in 1957. Man, didn’t people get sick of that thing?
Hans across the letter opener.
In 1986, the charitable event Hands Across America was held to benefit USA for Africa. About 6.5 million people joined hands from New York City to Long Beach, California, covering more than 4,100 miles and raising $34 million.
Is there a sequel to this movie? –Yes. The EYE-ger Sanction. –Oooh. –Starring Burl Eyes.
The Eiger Sanction is a 1975 action film directed by and starring Clint Eastwood as an art history professor/assassin who must join a mountain climbing team in the Swiss Alps and kill one of the climbers; it was based on the 1972 novel by Trevanian. Burl Ives (1909-1995) was an actor, writer, and singer. He has transcended generations thanks to his role in voicing Sam the Snowman in 1964’s Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, a Rankin & Bass stop-motion animated TV special. For that special, he recorded “A Holly Jolly Christmas” and “Silver and Gold.”
Mine eyes have seen the gory.
“Mine eyes have seen the glory” is a line from “The Battle Hymn of the Republic,” written by Julia Ward Howe in 1861. It used music from the song “John Brown’s Body” and became popular during the American Civil War.
Shaken, not stirred.
In the James Bond series of films, Bond famously drinks his martinis “shaken, not stirred.”
[Sung.] Eye, eye, eye eye.
“Cielito Lindo” is a famous Ranchera song from Mexico, best known for the line, “Ay, ay, ay, ay.” It was written in 1882 by Quirino Mendoza y Cortés and is frequently played by mariachi bands.
[Sung.] Shave and a haircut. –Who is it? Oh, it’s you.
“Shave and a Haircut” is the name given to a seven-note musical phrase most often used for comedic effect in films and animated shorts of the early 20th century. It is also often used as a kind of “secret knock,” with the appropriate response being “Two bits,” meaning twenty-five cents. The first known use of the phrase is in an 1899 song by Charles Hale, “At a Darktown Cakewalk.”
[Sung.] Here I come to save the day!
This is the rallying cry of animated superhero Mighty Mouse. He was created by Izzy Klein in 1942 as a parody of Superman, but Klein’s first pass on the character was as a fly. Terrytoons studio head Paul Terry changed it to a mouse. Mighty Mouse often fought cat opponents and rescued damsels in distress (usually either Pearl Pureheart or Mitzi Mouse). He appeared in dozens of animated shorts into the early 1960s (and comics, as well) and gained great fame thanks to Saturday morning showings on television. There were a few additional revivals in the 1970s and ‘80s, including one controversial series by animator Ralph Bakshi.
I spy, with my little eye ... –You hypocrite. –Something that sounds like a gigantic eye!
“I Spy” is a children’s guessing game that begins with one person saying “I spy, with my little eye, something …” followed by a letter, color, or other clue. The others have to then guess what the first person is looking at. The first recorded instance of the game dates to 1937.
Long, longer, longest. Beautiful eyelashes that grab people and strangle them.
In the 1980s, a series of commercials for L’Oréal mascara used the line, “Long, longer, longest eyelashes for batting at the boys.”
That is one Eye-ful Tower!
The Eiffel Tower is a Paris landmark, designed and erected by Gustave Eiffel in 1889 for the Paris World’s Fair. It stands eighty-one stories tall and was the world’s tallest structure until the Chrysler Building was completed in New York City in 1930.
I feel the need, the need ... –For speed! –Or an antidepressant.
A line from the 1986 Tom Cruise jet fighter film Top Gun. “Speed” is also a slang term for amphetamines, which were once used as antidepressants.
Tora, Tora, Tora. [With Japanese accent.] I bomb the ship Arizona! –Where’s Major Kong?
“Tora! Tora! Tora!” was the code phrase used by Japanese pilots as they prepared to attack Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. The code meant that complete surprise had been achieved. In 1970, a dramatic film depiction of the Pearl Harbor attack used this phrase as its title. The USS Arizona was a Pennsylvania-class battleship in the U.S. Navy launched in 1915. It was sunk in the attack on Pearl Harbor, killing 1,177 people. Today, the stark white USS Arizona Memorial marks the vessel’s final resting place. “Major Kong” was Slim Pickens' character in the 1964 Stanley Kubrick classic Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb. Near the end of the film, Kong famously rides a nuclear bomb down to its target in the Soviet Union, launching World War III. (Thanks to Andrew Bartmess for the correct Slim Pickens reference.)
So that’s what it sounds like when eyes cry.
A paraphrase of a line from Prince’s 1984 song “When Doves Cry.”
Kingsford eyeballs. Edges light quick, burn clean.
Kingsford is a brand of charcoal that has been around since the 1920s. “Edges light quickly” and “burn clean” are references to an old Kingsford ad slogan.
“Cigarette?” –Yes, it is.
A running gag on the short-lived 1982 absurdist comedy TV series Police Squad! : whenever Leslie Nielsen, who played Detective Frank Drebin, offered someone a cigarette, they would reply, “Yes, it is,” or "Yes, I know."
[Sung.] I can see clearly now, the rain has gone. I can see all obstacles in my way.
A portion of the lyrics to Johnny Nash’s 1972 hit single “I Can See Clearly Now.” In 1993, Jimmy Cliff released a reggae version of the song for the Jamaican bobsled movie Cool Runnings. It was a hit, too.