508: Operation Double 007
by Wyn Hilty
Hey, assault on a queen!
Assault on a Queen is a 1966 film about a group of adventurers who get their hands on a submarine and plan to rob the Queen Mary at sea. It starred Frank Sinatra and Tony Franciosa.
The Danny Bonaduce story.
Danny Bonaduce played Danny Partridge in the TV series The Partridge Family, which aired from 1970-1974. In 1991 he was arrested for assaulting a transvestite prostitute whom Bonaduce had mistaken for a woman. (Thanks to Bill Stiteler for this reference.)
Mutiny on the Betsy.
Mutiny on the Bounty is a novel by Charles Nordhoff and James Norman Hall about a group of sailors who mutiny against the tyrannical Captain Bligh. It has been made into films several times, with the most famous being the 1962 version starring Marlon Brando and Trevor Howard.
Kid Power was an animated TV series that ran from 1972-1973. Its theme song sounded a lot like this movie’s theme.
I sailed to Tahiti with an all-girl crew and all I got was this wet T-shirt.
I Sailed to Tahiti with an All-Girl Crew is a 1968 film starring Gardner McKay as a man in charge of a boat crewed entirely by women. “I [fill in the blank] and all I got was this lousy T-shirt” was a T-shirt slogan popular in the 1980s; the phrase has since become a common cliché.
You know, I’m suddenly hungry for Cracker Jacks, and I don’t know why.
Cracker Jacks are a snack consisting of caramel-coated popcorn and peanuts. They were introduced in 1896. The mascot for Cracker Jacks is a young boy in a sailor suit named Sailor Jack.
[Sung.] He’s a real big fan of Delta Burke …
Delta Burke is an actress best known for her role in the television series Designing Women, which ran from 1986-1993.
[Sung.] He prefers stuffing to potatoes …
In early ads for Stove Top Stuffing, the tag line used was, “Stuffing or potatoes?”
[Sung.] His favorite movie is Turner & Hooch …
Turner & Hooch is a 1989 movie starring Tom Hanks as a cop who teams up with a dog to solve a crime.
[Sung.] Hooray for Santy Claus!
A reference to Show 321, Santa Claus Conquers the Martians.
Women who sing too much. –And the men they sing about.
A reference to the venerable self-help book Men Who Hate Women & the Women Who Love Them by Susan Forward and Joan Torres.
Port of call: Cindy.
TV ads for the U.S. Navy in the 1970s attempted to glamorize enlistment with the statement “Port of call …,” followed by the name, and scenes of, some exotic destination. Saturday Night Live (NBC, 1975-present) parodied them with lookalike “ads” saying things like “Port of call … Bayonne, New Jersey.”
Now this is one naughty navy!
The Naughty Navy Show is a Spike Milligan radio show from 1965.
We do more hair and makeup before breakfast than most people do all day.
“We do more before 9 a.m. than most people do all day” is an old marketing slogan for the U.S. Army.
Hey, it’s the Old Spice guy.
Old Spice is a line of men’s fragrance manufactured by Procter & Gamble.
Must be one of those airplanes I’ve heard them talk about so much lately.
“That must be one of those ____ I’ve heard them talk about so much” is a recurring riff originating in Gamera, which was riffed twice, first in K05 and again in 302.
Paul Williams’ lunchbox.
Paul Williams is a singer/songwriter known for such hits as “We’ve Only Just Begun” and “The Rainbow Connection.” He is extremely short (5 feet nothing).
We now return to Ship of Fools.
The ship of fools is an old allegory for humanity—a group of people on a ship without any idea of where they’re heading. The image has been used in any number of artistic works, from a painting by Hieronymus Bosch to a novel by Katherine Anne Porter. In 1965 a film based on the Porter book was made; it starred Vivien Leigh and José Ferrer.
[Sung.] You taught me how to …
A line from the song “You Showed Me,” which has been recorded by the Byrds, the Lightning Seeds, and the Turtles, among others. Sample lyrics: “You showed me how to do exactly what to do/How I fell in love with you/Oh oh oh it's true/Oh oh I love you.”
Huh. You know, if William Conrad were there, they could watch a letterbox version.
William Conrad (1920-1994) was a portly actor known for his roles in such TV series as Cannon (1971-1976) and Jake and the Fatman (1987-1992).
Oh, yuck, she’s Flowbeeing his back!
The Flowbee Precision Home Haircut System is a combination vacuum cleaner and hair trimmer; the idea is that the suction lifts the hair while the trimmer cuts it to precisely the desired length.
Hello, I’m Merv Griffin.
Merv Griffin (1925-2007) started out his career as a singer, but he came to fame as a TV talk show host during the 1960s and 1970s. The Merv Griffin Show was the source of much controversy, as it frequently espoused anti-war views and invited such controversial guests as comedian Dick Gregory. Later Griffin developed game shows, including Wheel of Fortune.
What’s it like being the TV, Cindy? –Well, it’s better than Flowbeeing his back.
See previous note on the Flowbee.
Now showing on my back: Morgan Stewart’s Coming Home at 2, 4, 6, and 8.
Morgan Stewart’s Coming Home is a 1987 film about a teenager who destroys his parents’ mansion while they’re away; it starred Jon Cryer.
This is one great Motel 6.
Motel 6 is a chain of budget motels.
Eleanor? Is this your robe?
An imitation of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who, with Eleanor Roosevelt as his first lady, served as president of the United States from 1933 until his death in 1945. Roosevelt was known for his long cigarette holder, which he clenched between his teeth at a jaunty angle.
They’re on the PMS Pinafore.
HMS Pinafore is an operetta by the famous 19th-century musical team Gilbert and Sullivan. It is a comic tale about a young woman in love with a common sailor, although she is engaged to the First Lord of the Admiralty.
Someone’s on a pogo stick.
The pogo stick, a short, pole-like device with a spring in the shaft that allows the user to jump in a standing position, was invented by Germans Max Pohlig and Ernst Gottschall in 1920. Pogo sticks have been marketed as both toys and exercise equipment.
Hey, Buck, bitty-bitty-bitty.
An imitation of the robot Twiki on the TV series Buck Rogers in the 25th Century (1979-1981), which starred Gil Gerard as an astronaut who awakens 500 years in the future. The robot’s voice was supplied first by legendary voiceover artist Mel Blanc, and later by Bob Elyea.
What’s Moneypenny doing there? Isn’t that a conflict of interest?
Lois Maxwell (1927-2007), who plays Miss Maxwell in Operation Double 007, is best known for playing M’s loyal secretary, Miss Moneypenny, in the series of James Bond films. Altogether, she appeared in fourteen Bond movies, finally being replaced by Caroline Bliss and later Samantha Bond.
Tora! Just the one.
Tora! Tora! Tora! is a 1970 film that told the story of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor during World War II from both the Japanese and American points of view. (“Tora tora tora” was the Japanese signal to launch the attack.)
Come in, Thunderbirds!
Thunderbirds was a Supermarionation children’s show that aired on British television from 1965-1966, about a family of adventurers, mostly pilots and astronauts, who rescue people with their squadron of advanced vehicles, all code-named Thunderbird.
Johnny Astro! Real radar!
Johnny Astro was a toy in the 1960s that allowed you to launch a balloon (with a tiny astronaut dangling underneath) across the room. It was marketed as a space-age toy that would allow you to “command your own moon shot.”
Claude Rains pops the clutch and tells the world to eat his dust!
Claude Rains (1889-1967)was an actor known for playing the Invisible Man in the 1933 film of the same name; he also appeared in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939) and Casablanca (1942). The phrase “Ron Howard pops the clutch and tells the world to eat my dust!” is a line from the movie trailer for the 1976 film Eat My Dust.
James Brolin in The Car.
The Car is a 1977 film starring James Brolin as a man tormented by a possessed car.
Michael, I want all episodes of Captain Nice burned.
Captain Nice was a 1967 TV show starring William Daniels as a police chemist who discovers a formula that turns him into the superhero Captain Nice. Daniels also supplied the voice of the car on the TV series Knight Rider (1982-1986).
Oh, my God, Herbie’s gone bananas!
Herbie Goes Bananas is a 1980 film about a lovable VW Bug that helps its owners crack a Mexican counterfeiting ring. It was the fourth movie in the series, which also spawned a TV show.
This is Bob “Going to My Imminent Death” Hope.
Comedian Bob Hope did a number of radio shows intended to entertain American troops, a tradition that began during World War II. He began most of his shows with the words: “This is Bob [insert name of remote location] Hope.”
A Screen Gems presentation.
Screen Gems is a production division of Columbia Pictures that has had many different incarnations since its founding in 1934. Probably it is best known for its television productions between 1948 and the 1970s, which include The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin, Bewitched, I Dream of Jeannie, and The Monkees.
The late Waldo Pepper.
The Great Waldo Pepper is a 1975 film starring Robert Redford as a barnstorming pilot.
Thanks for the all-clear, Moneypenny.
See note on Miss Moneypenny, above.
I think I know why Thunderball was a hit—you never saw him kiss anyone in it.
Actor Adolfo Celi, who plays bad guy Thair Beta in Operation Double 007, also played bad guy Emilio Largo in the 1965 James Bond film Thunderball.
This is Rita Braver reporting to you live from Krakatoa, east of Java.
Rita Braver is a longtime correspondent for CBS News; she covered the Iran-contra scandal and was the White House correspondent for four years during the Clinton administration. Krakatoa, East of Java is a 1969 film about the catastrophic eruption of the volcano Krakatoa in 1883. Unfortunately for the makers of the film, Krakatoa is in fact located west of the island of Java.
He’s Cajun now—better call Paul Prudhomme.
Paul Prudhomme (1940-2015) was a Louisiana chef, the owner of K-Paul’s Louisiana Kitchen in New Orleans, purveyor of a line of seasonings and author of eleven cookbooks. He popularized blackening, which involves fish or other meat being dipped in butter, dredged in spices, and seared on a very hot cast iron skillet, creating a black crust on the outside and a lot of smoke in the kitchen. Blackening was a regional and fairly obscure technique, but it became wildly popular nationwide in the 1980s, thanks to Prudhomme.
You know, there’s probably nothing but bass jigs in there.
A bass jig is an artificial lure with a metal head, often decorated with feathers, that is joggled up and down in the water to attract fish; hence the name.
Gillette Foamy is so thick it can put out this fire.
Gillette Foamy is a brand of shaving cream put out by the same folks who make Gillette disposable razors.
“It’s too late. He’s dead.” Jim.
A reference to Leonard “Bones” McCoy, the doctor on the original Star Trek series, which aired from 1966-1969. Along with “I’m a doctor, not a [fill in the blank],” “He’s dead, Jim” is the catchphrase McCoy is best known for. He said it in only two episodes—“The Enemy Within” and “The Devil in the Dark,” although variants (such as “You’re dead, Jim”) appeared in three others. The “Jim” in question is Captain James T. Kirk.
Now, why is she dressed like Barney Rubble?
Barney Rubble was Fred Flintstone’s best buddy on the animated TV series The Flintstones, which aired from 1960-1966. Voiced by Mel Blanc, Barney was based on the character of Ed Norton (played by Art Carney) from The Honeymooners.
Mustang Sally, you better slow that mustang down!
A reference to the Wilson Pickett song “Mustang Sally.” Sample lyrics: “Mustang Sally, think you better slow your mustang down/You been running all over the town now/Oh! I guess I'll have to put your flat feet on the ground.”
Oh, and happy Secretaries Week. I bought you a gun.
National Secretaries Week (since renamed Administrative Professionals Week) was started in 1952; it takes place in the last week in April.
[Sung.] How will you make it on your own?
Line from "Love is All Around," the theme song to the first season of The Mary Tyler Moore Show, which aired in 1970. Sample lyrics: “How will you make it on your own?/This world is awfully big, girl this time you’re all alone/But it’s time you started living/It’s time you let someone else do some giving.”
Oh, and lose the Ringo hat.
Ringo Starr was the drummer for the Beatles. He also occasionally tried his hand at acting, including the 1981 epic Caveman.
The banks of Circle Pines.
According to writer Mary Jo Pehl, “Circle Pines [Minnesota] is Everytown, USA. ... When I was growing up in Circle Pines, it was a small town and had Lee and Iris’s Bar and Grill, ... the Down Under On/Off Sale, ... two rival gas stations, no stoplights, and the weekly newspaper called The Circulating Pines. ... The sign still reads—as it did all my twenty-some years there—POPULATION: 4,731.”
Get Christie Wong!
Get Christie Love was a short-lived (1974-1975) TV series about a sexy Black undercover cop named Christie Love (Teresa Graves).
I suggest we oxycute them.
“Oxycute ‘em!” is an old advertising slogan for the Oxy line of OTC acne-treatment medications.
Uh, it’s great to be here. Thanks for supporting live surgery.
A riff on a “Thanks for supporting live music …” announcement typically heard from a nightclub or music venue stage.
Now Michael Jackson’s journey is complete.
Michael Jackson (1958-2009) was a singer and dancer who began his career as a child, performing with his brothers as the Jackson 5 in the 1960s and 1970s. He became super-ultra-mega huge as a solo pop singer in the 1980s, with hits such as “Beat It” and “Thriller.” Over the years his appearance changed dramatically due to numerous plastic surgeries, including multiple nose jobs and possibly a forehead lift, thinned lips, and cheekbone surgery (the last three according to surgeons, although Jackson denied them).
Oh, she’s turning Japanese, I really think so.
A reference to the song “Turning Japanese” by the Vapors. Sample lyrics: “I'm turning Japanese/I think I'm turning Japanese/I really think so …”
Sukarno (1901-1970) was the first president of Indonesia after it won its independence from the Netherlands in 1945. In 1967 he was deposed by one of his generals, Suharto. He remained under house arrest for the rest of his life.
Thank you, Mr. Connery’s brother.
An imitation of Mrs. Livingston, the housekeeper on The Courtship of Eddie’s Father (1969-1972), a sitcom about a widower struggling to raise his young son alone. Mrs. Livingston (played by Miyoshi Umeki) called widower Tom Corbitt “Mr. Eddie’s Father.”
A frequent MST3K riff, “SLEEP!”—usually employed at any hint of hypnotism, or whenever someone is nodding off or just seems dazed—first appeared in Show 302, Gamera, and was driven home when Bela Lugosi uttered the line (repeatedly, while hypnotizing young damsels) in Show 423, Bride of the Monster. A possible origin: in the 1980s, supposed “World's Fastest Hypnotist” Marshall Sylver appeared on several TV shows, including Late Night with David Letterman (NBC, 1982-1993), where he would entrance people while barking “Sleep!” at them.
All right, here’s the church, here’s the steeple, open the door and go to sleeple.
“Here is the church, here is the steeple, open the doors and see all the people” is an old childhood rhyme accompanied by appropriate hand movements.
The Sixth Sense with Gary Collins.
The Sixth Sense was a 1972 TV series that starred Gary Collins as a university professor with a yen for the supernatural.
The powers of Matthew Star.
The Powers of Matthew Star was a short-lived television series that aired from 1982-1983. It starred Peter Barton as a teenage boy who was actually a superpowered alien.
You know, is Rick Wakeman on the premises?
Rick Wakeman is the keyboardist for prog-rock band Yes.
The cast of Jacques Brel arrives on the scene.
Jacques Brel Is Alive and Well and Living in Paris is a musical revue of the songs of Belgian composer Jacques Brel (1929-1978).
She thinks she’s in Dresden during the war.
A reference to the Kurt Vonnegut novel Slaughterhouse-Five. (Thanks to Bill Stiteler for this reference.)
An imitation of the film version of Frankenstein’s monster. Frankenstein is an 1818 novel by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley about a scientist who transgresses the laws of God by bringing a dead man back to life. It has been adapted to film countless times, with the most famous being the 1931 version starring Boris Karloff as the monster. Although in the novel the creature is sensitive and articulate (having learned to speak by listening to a poor family in the woods and even teaching himself to read), in the movies he usually communicates only with grunts and roars.
Well, the Rodney King verdict just came in.
In 1991, motorist Rodney King was viciously beaten by Los Angeles police officers. The beating was videotaped and caused an enormous outcry among the public. In the subsequent trial, held in sheltered Simi Valley, the officers were acquitted on charges of excessive force, and the verdict touched off a devastating riot in Los Angeles.
Nancy Sinatra’s kicking ass!
Nancy Sinatra, the daughter of legendary crooner Frank Sinatra, is a singer best known for her 1966 hit “These Boots Are Made for Walkin’.”
Uh-oh, Lyn Nofziger fights back!
Franklyn “Lyn” Nofziger (1924-2006) was Ronald Reagan’s press secretary when Reagan was governor of California. He also worked in the Reagan White House as an aide. He was one of several Reagan staffers investigated in an illegal lobbying scandal and was the only one convicted; his conviction was overturned on appeal.
Not exactly Jackie Chan, is it?
Jackie Chan is a Hong Kong martial artist who has achieved worldwide fame in a series of action movies featuring death-defying stunts (Rumble in the Bronx and Supercop, among others).
Sam Donaldson is a venerable television journalist who has appeared on ABC News in various positions since 1967. Most recently, he became co-anchor of the news show 20/20.
Tales from the dark side.
Tales from the Darkside was a TV horror anthology series that aired from 1984-1988.
It’s Michael Caine, look out!
In the 1980 movie Dressed to Kill, actor Michael Caine plays a therapist whose patients are being murdered by a woman armed with a straight razor. In the end (spoiler alert), it turns out that a cross-dressing Caine is the killer.
[Sung.] Poor Jud Fry is dead …
A line from the song “Pore Jud Is Daid” from the musical Oklahoma! Sample lyrics: “Pore Jud is daid/Pore Jud Fry is daid/All gather 'round his cawfin now and cry/He had a heart of gold/And he wasn't very old/Oh why did such a feller have to die?”
“What can I do to make it up to you?” Paint my house.
A riff on an old joke: a call girl is having a slow night, so she makes an offer to a lonely businessman in a hotel bar: “I’ll do anything you want for $100.” To which he replies, “Paint my house.”
I’m talking to Fudgie the Whale!
Fudgie the Whale is a well-known cake in the shape of a whale. It is made by Carvel, which also makes the Hug-Me Bear and Cookie Puss cakes.
The former Miss Moneypenny, sir.
See note on Miss Moneypenny, above.
He’s hardly Sean, I realize, but he comes cheap.
Sean “James Bond” Connery is of course Neil Connery’s older brother.
The Osterman weekend.
The Osterman Weekend is a novel by Robert Ludlum about a TV reporter who discovers that his weekend guests may be KGB agents. It was made into a movie starring Rutger Hauer in 1983.
“You can see the resemblance.” To John Saxon.
John Saxon (1935-2020) was an actor who never quite made it as a major star, although he worked with some respected filmmakers. He also appeared in a string of B-movies, including Show 512, Mitchell, in which he played villain Walter Deaney.
“You are the brother of our top agent.” Michael Ovitz.
From 1975-1995, Michael Ovitz was the founder and head of the Creative Artists Agency and one of the most powerful talent agents in Hollywood. In 1995 he left to become the president of Disney, a position he held for only 14 months before being dismissed.
[Sung.] Dominique, nique, nique … ewww.
A line from the song “Dominique” by the Singing Nun, a.k.a. Sister Luc Gabrielle, a Belgian nun in the Dominican order. Sample lyrics: “Dominique, nique, nique, over the land he plods/And sings a little song/Never asking for reward/He just talks about the Lord.”
The flirting nun!
See previous note about the Singing Nun. May also be a reference to The Flying Nun (1967-1970), a TV sitcom starring Sally Field as a nun with the power of flight.
You know, Dave Barry’s not funny.
Dave Barry is a syndicated humor columnist who wrote for the Miami Herald from 1983-2005; he won a Pulitzer for humor writing in 1988.
I shoulda used Mitchum.
Mitchum is a brand of men’s deodorant.
I … I am the walrus … koo-koo-ca-choo …
A line from the Beatles song “I Am the Walrus.” Sample lyrics: “I am the eggman, they are the eggmen/I am the walrus, goo goo g’joob.”
She’s a flibbertigibbit. A will o’the wisp. A clown.
A line from the song “Maria” from the musical The Sound of Music. Sample lyrics: “How do you solve a problem like Maria?/How do you catch a cloud and pin it down?/How do you find a word that means Maria?/A flibbertigibbet! A will-o'-the wisp! A clown!”
I want this problem called Maria taken care of. Permanently.
See previous note.
Maybe there is a role for women in the church. Sisters are doing it for themselves.
“Sisters Are Doin’ It for Themselves” is a song by Aretha Franklin. Sample lyrics: “Sisters are doin' it for themselves/Standin' on their own two feet/And ringin' on their own bells/Sisters are doin' it for themselves.”
Sin and the art of archery.
Zen in the Art of Archery is a book by philosophy professor Eugen Herrigel that serves as an introduction to the practice of Zen meditation.
The few, the proud, the Opus Dei.
“The Few, the Proud, the Marines” is a longtime recruitment slogan for the United States Marine Corps, having been first used in 1977. It won a place in the Advertising Walk of Fame in 2007. Opus Dei is a Catholic “personal prelature,” an organization of laypeople and secular priests founded in 1928 that works to spread the message of Catholicism. It is generally regarded as a conservative force in society and within the church.
[Sung.] Benedictus qui venit in nomine domini, boo-doo-pow!
“Benedictus qui venit in nomine domini” is a Latin phrase meaning “Blessed be he that cometh in the name of the Lord,” a phrase found in Psalm 118 in the Bible.
She’s a stunt nun, you know. I saw her get interviewed on the Sci-Fi Channel.
The Sci-Fi Channel (now known as Syfy) is a basic cable channel launched in 1992; it is known for both second-run series and original programming. MST3K, of course, aired on the Sci-Fi Channel for seasons 8-10.
Geez, they send her to an Outward Bound and this is the result.
Outward Bound is a group that offers “wilderness adventures” for kids, teens, and adults, although students are their primary focus. They promise to teach teamwork, self-confidence, and self-reliance through a variety of activities, including rock climbing, kayaking, dog-sledding, and more. The organization was founded in 1962.
[Sung.] Let Hertz put you in the ambulance …
“Let Hertz put you in the driver’s seat” is an old advertising slogan for the Hertz rental car company. It has been in use since at least the early 1960s.
Looks like Turk 182!
Turk 182! is a 1985 movie starring Timothy Hutton as a young man on a crusade against a corrupt mayor.
Dodge vans. More room. Same ride.
Auto maker Dodge has several models of vans, of which the best known is the Dodge Caravan.
Um, could we stop at a Baskin-Robbins?
Baskin-Robbins is a chain of ice cream retail stores founded in 1945. It has more than 5,000 locations worldwide.
The Shriners are a fraternal organization known for their circuses, good works, and silly-looking fezzes.
Is this a Barnaby Jones wrap-up?
Barnaby Jones was a TV series that aired from 1973-1980. It starred The Beverly Hillbillies’ Buddy Ebsen (1908-2003) as an elderly private eye.
[Sung.] What happened was just this …
A line from the song “Munchkin Land,” from the 1939 movie musical The Wizard of Oz. Sample lyrics: “It really was no miracle/What happened was just this/The wind began to switch/The house to pitch/And suddenly the hinges started to unhitch.”
He died listening to Rush. –2112.
Rush is a progressive rock band known for its impressive technical artistry, although some have criticized the band for being emotionally empty. It was formed in 1968 and remained popular throughout the 1990s. 2112 is the band’s fourth album and its first big hit, released in 1976.
A pocket-sized machine that goes ping!
“I see you have the machine that goes ping” is a line from the 1983 film Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life.
This is the GAF Murder View-Master.
The View-Master is a children’s toy that resembles a pair of binoculars; when the viewer inserts a special disc containing photographic images, they appear in 3D. It was created by a company called Sawyer’s in 1939; in 1966 Sawyer’s was bought by the General Aniline & Film Company (a.k.a. GAF). The rights have changed hands several times since then; currently the brand is owned by Fisher-Price.
Sister Chuck Yeager!
Chuck Yeager is a pilot who won acclaim in the Air Force during World War II and subsequently became a test pilot. In 1947 he became the first pilot to break the sound barrier, flying at Mach 1.06. He went on to break many other speed records before retiring in 1975.
A spy movie is starting to sag, and Ed Asner is there.
Ed Asner is an actor best known for his portrayal of crusty journalist Lou Grant, first on The Mary Tyler Moore Show (1970-1977) and later on the eponymous spinoff Lou Grant (1977-1982). In the 1980s he served two terms as president of the actor’s union the Screen Actors Guild, also known as SAG.
Looks like the Bigfoot video. Same stride.
Bigfoot, a.k.a. Sasquatch, a.k.a. the Abominable Snowman, a.k.a. Yeti, is a legendary apelike creature. Sightings have been reported in the Himalayas, northern California, the Pacific Northwest and elsewhere. One famous piece of film shot in northern California, which shows it glancing over its shoulder while walking through a clearing in the woods near the Klamath River, purports to have actually captured proof of the creature, but skepticism remains widespread.
The Alps are beautiful, but dumb.
A line by acerbic writer Dorothy Parker. (Heartfelt thanks to James Thompson for this reference.)
I’ve decided. We’re ordering from Schlotzsky’s.
Schlotzsky’s is a chain of sandwich restaurants founded in 1971. The company experienced financial hard times starting in 1999 and finally filed for bankruptcy in 2004.
He’s standing in front of a trompe l’oeil.
Trompe l’oeil (French for “fool the eye”) is a type of painting that uses extremely realistic imagery to create the illusion that you are looking at an actual space. An example is a wall painted with a window, with a view of a garden beyond.
“Gentlemen …” Start your engines.
“Gentlemen, start your engines” is the traditional pre-race PA announcement at the Indianapolis 500 car race, a tradition begun in 1946.
Pearl Bailey (1918-1990) was a singer and actress who appeared in many Broadway musicals (including Hello, Dolly!) and films (Porgy and Bess, Carmen Jones).
Splunge for me, sir.
“Splunge for me, too” is a line from the “Twentieth-Century Vole” skit on the BBC comedy series Monty Python’s Flying Circus.
Operation Double O Girl Scout.
The Girl Scouts of the United States of America is a youth organization for girls, modeled after the Boy Scouts and founded in 1912.
[Sung.] Well shake it up baby now …
A line from the Isley Brothers song “Twist and Shout.” Sample lyrics: “Well, shake it up, baby, now (shake it up, baby)/Twist and shout (twist and shout)/C'mon c'mon, c'mon, c'mon, baby, now (come on baby)/Come on and work it on out (work it on out) …”
Man, it sounds like the British Invasion is waiting for a flight out.
The “British Invasion” refers to a period of time in the mid-1960s when a string of British rock bands achieved widespread popularity in the United States. Led by the Beatles, the invasion included such bands as the Rolling Stones, the Animals, and Herman’s Hermits.
And when you deplane in Malaga, you’ll be greeted by Manfred Mann!
Manfred Mann was a British pop group in the 1960s, founded by Manfred Liebowitz, a.k.a. Mann. Hits included “Doo Wah Diddy Diddy” and “She La La.” Later Leibowitz went on to form Manfred Mann’s Earth Band, which had a more progressive sound.
They call it the mercy beat—in five minutes, you’ll be screaming for mercy. Thank you!
Probably a reference to a music newspaper called the Mersey Beat, published in Liverpool in the 1960s. It had a close association with the Beatles, and the phrase "mersey beat" was often used to describe the music that came out of Liverpool in that era. (Thanks to Jenny Ashford for this reference.)
They’re playing a Penguins song!
The Penguins were a doo-wop band from the 1950s, whose best-known song was their 1954 hit “Earth Angel.” The group disbanded in 1959 without ever scoring another big hit.
An imitation of Burgess Meredith as the villainous Penguin on the campy TV series Batman, which aired from 1966-1968.
Hey, it’s Moneypenny! Pull over, it’s Moneypenny!
See note on Miss Moneypenny, above.
See note on Miss Moneypenny, above.
Hey, it’s Bernie from Room 222!
Room 222 was a TV series about a Black teacher in a Los Angeles high school. It ran from 1969-1974. Bernie was a frizzy-haired, wild student in the class; the part was played by David Jolliffe.
Hair by Jim Henson.
Jim Henson (1936-1990) was a puppeteer and the creator of the Muppets, the half-puppet, half-marionette creatures who appeared on the TV shows Sesame Street and The Muppet Show.
Hey, who’s your favorite clown? –Bozo! –Hey, that’s me!
These were the opening lines to Bob Bell’s Bozo the Clown show in Chicago.
[Imitating.] My husband, Fang. Ha-haaa!
See note on Phyllis Diller, above.
This Friday, on Streets.
The Streets of San Francisco was a TV series that aired from 1972-1977. It starred Karl Malden and Michael Douglas as police detectives.
Go out and get some air, fatso.
“Go on out and get some air, fatso” is a line from the 1971 Clint Eastwood film Dirty Harry.
He who withdraws the blade as rightwise-born king of England.
A reference to the legend of King Arthur, in which the sword Excalibur is magically embedded in a stone set on top of an anvil. All the knights in the realm, told that he who can remove the sword from the stone is the rightful king of England, give it a shot, but no one succeeds but the unprepossessing boy Arthur. In Sir Thomas Malory’s 15th-century version of the legend, Le Morte d’Arthur, the relevant text reads: “Whoso pulleth out this sword of this stone and anvil, is rightwise king born of all England.”
There was no Yachuko.
A reference to Show 421, Monster A-Go Go.
Pantsuits from the Mary Tyler Moore collection.
Mary Tyler Moore (1936-2017) was an actress best known for her eponymous TV series The Mary Tyler Moore Show, which aired from 1970-1977. She also appeared on The Dick Van Dyke Show from 1961-1966.
Not in front of Sir Walter Raleigh!
Sir Walter Raleigh (1554-1618) was a popular English courtier during the reign of Elizabeth I. A famous though apocryphal story has him laying his cloak over a mud puddle so that the queen might cross it without dirtying her shoes. He was involved in the unsuccessful early attempts to colonize Virginia. After Elizabeth’s death, he was accused of treason, spent thirteen years in the Tower of London, and was ultimately beheaded in 1618.
A reference to suave super-spy Derek Flint, played by James Coburn in two memorable tongue-in-cheek films, Our Man Flint (1966) and In Like Flint (1967).
Secret agent John-Ivan Palmer.
John-Ivan Palmer is a Minneapolis-based stage hypnotist. He bills himself as the “world’s fastest hypnotist.”
“Who was their chief?” Edward Platt?
Edward Platt (1916-1974) played the Chief on the TV spy spoof series Get Smart (1965-1970).
“Nobody knows.” [Sung.] The trouble I’ve seen …
“Nobody Knows the Trouble I’ve Seen” is an American slavery-era spiritual song of uncertain origin that was first published in 1867. Many artists have performed and recorded the song, but Louis Armstrong's interpretation of it is the best known. Sample lyrics: “Nobody knows the trouble I’ve seen/Nobody knows but Jesus/Nobody knows the trouble I’ve seen/Glory Hallelujah.”
By a Tom Thumb.
Tom Thumb is a chain of grocery stores based in Dallas.
The president’s analyst.
The President’s Analyst is a 1967 film starring James Coburn as the president’s confidential therapist; he winds up being pursued by spies from all sides, eager to pick his brain or shut him down.
Martha Graham with her hair down.
Martha Graham (1894-1991) was a dancer and choreographer who founded her own dance company in 1926. The Martha Graham Dance Company still performs; there is also a school of dance with a troupe of student performers. She is considered one of the most influential dancers of the 20th century.
Here, have some new Miller Clear.
Miller Clear was part of the clear-beverage craze of the early 1990s; it was regular beer that had been intensively filtered to remove its natural amber coloration. It was test-marketed in 1993 but failed to catch on.
Water. It’s what’s for dinner.
“Beef: it’s what’s for dinner” is the longtime marketing slogan of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association.
Hello, Vincent! –Hello, Theo! –Where is Vincent? –I am here, Theo!
An imitation of Siegfried Fischbacher and Roy Horn, German-born entertainers known for their illusions and Las Vegas show featuring white tigers. In 2003, Horn was critically injured by one of their tigers during a show. In 2009, after more than five years hiatus, they staged a final performance and retired. "Vincent" and "Theo" are a reference to painter Vincent van Gogh and his brother Theo, who supported him emotionally and financially while he painted. (Thanks to Bill Stiteler for this reference.)
Geez, I feel like Gauguin in frigging Tahiti here.
Paul Gauguin (1848-1903) was a French postimpressionist painter. For a time he focused on painting Breton peasants, but in 1891, broke and dissatisfied with European society, he left the country for Tahiti, where he remained for years, subsisting on fish and fruit and painting a lot of pictures of topless women.
Charlie, you’re my knight in shining armor.
An imitation of aristocratic actress Katharine Hepburn; the line “You’re my knight in shining armor” is from the 1981 Hepburn/Henry Fonda movie On Golden Pond. Charlie Martin was the postal carrier in that film, played by William Lanteau.
Hey, Greg, heard it through the grapevine.
A reference to the Marvin Gaye song “I Heard It Through the Grapevine.” Sample lyrics: “I heard it through the grapevine/Not much longer would you be mine/Oh I heard it through the grapevine/Oh and I'm just about to lose my mind/Honey, honey yeah.”
Operation Double double-o Hee Haw.
Hee Haw was a syndicated country variety show hosted by Buck Owens and Roy Clark. The show featured cornpone humor and appearances by virtually every major star in country music, including Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, and Loretta Lynn. It ran from 1969-1992.
Fran Lebowitz is a humor writer who has written for Mademoiselle and published several books of essays. She is eminently quotable, e.g., “Success didn’t spoil me. I’ve always been insufferable.”
Junior Samples and Linda Hunt in a deadly game of cat and mouse.
Junior Samples (1926-1983) was a cornball comedian/country singer/harmonica player known for his long run on Hee Haw; Samples appeared on the show until his death in 1983. Linda Hunt is a diminutive actress who won an Oscar for her portrayal of male photographer Billy Kwan in The Year of Living Dangerously (1983). She has appeared in more than 30 films and TV shows.
The sod squad. Julie! Pig! Eb!
Julie Barnes (Peggy Lipton), Linc Hayes (Clarence Williams II), and Pete Cochran (Michael Cole) were the three hip young police narks in the TV series The Mod Squad, which aired from 1968-1973.
Norman, the calla lilies are raining hot lead.
“The calla lilies are in bloom” is a famous line from the 1937 film Stage Door, spoken by Katharine Hepburn (see above note).
ChemLawn, coming through! ChemLawn!
TruGreen ChemLawn is a mammoth lawn-care company founded in 1979.
Katharine Hepburn is the shakiest gun in the west.
See note on Katharine Hepburn, above. In her later life, Hepburn suffered from something called “essential tremors,” which meant that her head and hands shook constantly and a quaver affected her voice. The Shakiest Gun in the West is a 1968 comic western starring Don Knotts as a dentist who unwittingly becomes a gunfighter.
Cover me, Norman.
Norman Thayer Jr., played by Henry Fonda, is Katharine Hepburn’s husband in On Golden Pond (see above note).
The Rocketeer is a comic book created in 1982, about a test pilot who finds a jet pack that allows him to become a superhero. In 1991 it was made into a movie starring Billy Campbell.
“I am Ward.” You are June.
Ward and June Cleaver (played by Hugh Beaumont and Barbara Billingsley, respectively) were the all-knowing parents on the television series Leave It to Beaver (1957-1963).
A take on the song “Xanadu,” from the movie musical of the same name. Sample lyrics: “A place where nobody dared to go/The love that we came to know/They call it Xanadu …”
Judy Carne is an actress best known for her regular spot on Laugh-In, where she popularized the immortal phrase “Sock it to me!” After she left the show she had numerous struggles with drug addiction, including a stint in jail.
Wait a minute, she looks like Shields and Yarnell!
Shields and Yarnell (Robert Shields and Lorene Yarnell [1944-2010]) were a mime/comedy/dance team who got their start on the streets of San Francisco during the hippie era. From 1977-78 they had their own TV series, The Shields and Yarnell Show. Even without their mime makeup, they looked a lot alike.
She’s a Toni girl!
Toni was an early brand of home permanent that used pairs of twins to advertise its product—one with a home perm and one with a salon perm.
Lady, you are due back on the Space: 1999 set.
Space: 1999 was a British TV series about the people trapped on a moon base after the moon is knocked out of orbit; it aired from 1975-1977.
Joan Jett just walks in and she takes over.
Joan Jett is a rock musician whose biggest hit is “I Love Rock ‘N Roll,” which hit No. 1 in 1982.
I’m a-pickin’. –And I’m a-killin’!
“Pickin’ and Grinnin’” is a 1963 bluegrass song by Jim and Jesse McReynolds that was appropriated into a segment of the cornpone comedy TV show Hee Haw (CBS/syndication, 1969-1992). Hosts Buck Owens and Roy Clark, with guitar and banjo at the ready, would begin a batch of quick jokes and one-liners by saying “I’m a pickin’” (Owens). “And I’m a grinnin’” (Clark). (Thanks to Bill Stiteler for this reference.)
Nice going—you just killed Sacagawea.
Sacagawea was an Indian woman married to a French-Canadian trapper, Touissant Charbonneau, who was hired to act as an interpreter for Lewis and Clark on their famous expedition. Sacagawea accompanied her husband on the journey. She wound up serving as a de facto guide for the explorers and helped them deal with the Indian tribes they encountered en route to the Pacific.
Consider Northern Illinois University.
Northern Illinois University is a four-year college located in DeKalb, Illinois, west of Chicago.
Hey, Here Come the Brides does a roadshow!
Here Come the Brides was a TV show that aired from 1968-1970. It focused on the adventures of three brothers in the Pacific Northwest in the 1870s, who, in an effort to save their sawmill, bring out 100 women as prospective brides for their loggers.
Why, Matthew, it’s a herd of Miss Kittys!
Kitty Russell, or Miss Kitty, was the saloon owner on the TV series Gunsmoke. She was played by Amanda Blake.
Tailhook takes it on the road!
The Tailhook Association is a private association of people who support Navy pilots, specifically those operating off aircraft carriers; many of its members are naval officers. In 1991, the organization held its annual convention in Las Vegas, where, according to a number of complaints, attendees harassed and sexually assaulted women, forcing them to run a gantlet where men groped them and attempted to tear off their clothes. A number of high-level naval officers’ careers were ended over the scandal, although the junior officers accused of the actual assaults largely escaped unscathed. Seven women ultimately sued the association and the hotel where the convention took place, charging that it had failed to provide adequate security to prevent the attacks; they won multimillion-dollar judgments.
A few good men meet a few naughty women.
The Marines ran recruiting ads using the slogan "We're looking for a few good men" in the 1970s and '80s, although the line was first used to attract recruits in 1779, when a Marine captain used it in a newspaper ad. The 1992 Tom Cruise film A Few Good Men took its title from this slogan. (Thanks to Roman Gheesling for this reference.)
It’s a man’s life in the new modern army!
In the episode of Monty Python’s Flying Circus titled “Owl-Stretching Time,” Graham Chapman appears several times as “The Colonel” to protest the show’s mocking of the British Army slogan “It’s a man’s life in the modern army.” The actual slogan, going by 1960s-era recruitment posters, seems to have been “It’s a real man’s life—join the regular army.”
Uh, our Partridge Family van broke down.
The Partridge Family was a TV series about a musical family that traveled the country in a wildly painted school bus. It aired from 1970-1974 and starred Shirley Jones as the family matriarch.
It’s the Pousette-Dart Band! No!
The Pousette-Dart Band was a pop-music band in the late 1970s, led by singer/guitarist Jon Pousette-Dart. The band broke up in the early 1980s, but Pousette-Dart himself continued to tour as a solo act.
[Sung.] Gamera! Gamera!
Gamera is the giant, fire-breathing turtle that starred in a series of Japanese monster movies. A “friend to all children,” Gamera would also occasionally destroy large tracts of Tokyo, presumably killing thousands, including, presumably, children. MST3K riffed on five Gamera movies, originally in the KTMA days (K04, K05, K06, K07, and K08), and then did revised versions of those same five in Season Three (302, 304, 308, 312, and 316).
[Sung.] And Felina goodbye …
A line from the song “El Paso” by Marty Robbins. Sample lyrics: “From out of nowhere, Felina has found me/Kissing my cheek as she kneels by my side/Cradled by two loving arms that I'll die for/One little kiss and Felina goodbye.”
Where angels go, trouble follows.
Where Angels Go, Trouble Follows is a 1968 film starring Rosalind Russell and Stella Stevens.
She could be a candidate for Big Bird. Definitely.
Big Bird is a character on the classic children’s television show Sesame Street, which has aired on PBS since 1969.
Bury my dress at Wounded Knee!
Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee is a book by Dee Brown about the American campaign of genocide against Native Americans. Wounded Knee was a creek in South Dakota that in 1890 was the site of a massacre of Indians by army officers.
We’ve got to hit Le Pew’s place.
Pepe Le Pew is the love-starved French skunk featured in many a Warner Brothers animated short. Created by Michael Maltese in 1945, Pepe was perfected over the years and made famous by director Chuck Jones. A typical Pepe Le Pew cartoon has a hapless black and white cat somehow getting a white stripe painted/dyed down her back, and then being mistaken for a skunk by the amorous Pepe, who proceeds to woo her in a most vigorous and insistent manner. When Pepe was created, he was seen as a parody of the “French lover” stereotype (and in fact was based on the character Pepe Le Moke, played with panache by Charles Boyer in the 1938 film Algiers). Today, with increased societal awareness of and decreased tolerance for the problems of sexual harassment and date rape (as in the #MeToo Twitter campaign of 2017), his hijinks seem a lot less amusing.
And Las Vegas was born.
Las Vegas is the most populous city in the state of Nevada, a neon-lit mecca of casinos, resorts, and entertainment in the heart of the desert. Thanks to the ease with which you can get a marriage license in Nevada, Las Vegas is also known as “The Marriage Capital of the World.” About 80,000 weddings were performed in Clark County (home to Vegas) in 2014, although that number is far down from the high of 128,000 in 2004.
[Sung.] Jesus loves me/The Bible tells me so.
A line from the traditional children’s song “Jesus Loves Me.” Sample lyrics: “Jesus loves me! This I know/For the Bible tells me so/Little ones to Him belong/They are weak but He is strong.”
Tonight: The Dirty Dozen meets Blansky’s Beauties.
The Dirty Dozen is a 1967 movie about a group of murderers trained to assassinate German officers during World War II. Blansky’s Beauties was a 1977 TV show starring Nancy Walker as the coach of a troupe of showgirls.
Seems like the seductress polecat had other things on her mind.
An imitation of cowboy singer/actor and renowned voiceover artist Rex Allen (1920-1999), whose warm, down-home tones narrated countless Disney “nature” and Western films and shorts, including The Incredible Journey (1963), Charlie, the Lonesome Cougar (1967), and Charlotte’s Web (1973).
They’re setting up a Goony Golf!
Goony Golf was a chain of miniature golf courses; the first one was built in 1960. The chain eventually boasted more than 35 locations nationwide.
This is even badder than Mission: Impossible when they take a street in LA and make it look like Belgium!
Mission: Impossible was a TV spy show that aired from 1966-1973. It starred Peter Graves, Barbara Bain, and Martin Landau as members of an international espionage team.
It’s Big Al Hirt and Pete Fountain marching us all out of this scene! Thank you!
Al Hirt (1922-1999) was a legendary New Orleans trumpeter who ran a club on Bourbon Street for more than 20 years. Pete Fountain (born Pierre LaFontaine Jr., 1933-2016) was a jazz clarinetist who recorded more than 50 albums and appeared on television and before presidents and popes. He too owned a jazz club in New Orleans.
“Gentlemen.” I prefer blondes.
Gentlemen Prefer Blondes is a 1925 novel by Anita Loos that has been turned into two different stage plays and two movies, of which the most famous is the 1953 musical version starring Jane Russell and Marilyn Monroe. The plot revolves around the romantic escapades of two showgirls.
Carrot Top (real name Scott Thompson) is an American prop comic known for his striking curly, clown-red hair, as well as for a series of TV commercials for AT&T phone services. Since 2005 he’s had a headlining show at the Luxor Hotel in Las Vegas.
Yes, I did the atomic nucleus, you know.
Sounds like an imitation of Peter Sellers as the bumbling Inspector Jacques Clouseau from the series of Pink Panther movies.
Animals will be bred and slaughtered!
A paraphrase of a line from the 1964 movie Dr. Strangelove: or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb. The actual line, spoken by Peter Sellers in the title role: “Nuclear reactors could provide power almost indefinitely. Greenhouses could maintain plant life. Animals could be bred and slaughtered.”
Chilitos will be half off.
Chilitos, also known as chili cheese burritos, were a menu item introduced by Taco Bell in the early 1990s.
“Dinah-moe-hum” is a 1973 song by Frank Zappa. Sample lyrics: “I couldn’t say where she’s coming from/But I just met a lady named Dinah-moe-hum/She stroll on over, say look here, bum/I got a forty-dollar bill say you can’t make me come.”
From high atop the Topkapi Palace in downtown Istanbul, it’s Fred Waring and his orchestra.
The Topkapi Palace is a complex of buildings in Istanbul, Turkey, that served as the administrative center of the Ottoman Empire for nearly 400 years. Today it is a museum and a major tourist attraction. Fred Waring was a musician and bandleader for more than fifty years starting in the 1920s; his hits included “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes” and “Sleep.”
“Take it to the red room.” One more time.
A reference to the 1975 Eagles song “Take It to the Limit.” Sample lyrics: “So put me on a highway/And show me a sign/And take it to the limit one more time.”
They look like Electra Woman and Dyna Girl.
Electra Woman and Dyna Girl was a TV series from 1976 about a pair of gorgeous costumed superbabes. It starred Deirdre Hall and Judy Strangis.
“Other guests are coming.” From Europe.
A riff on the line “Friends are here from Europe,” immortalized in a TV commercial featuring Rula Lenska. Lenska is a Polish-born British actress who became famous in the U.S. in the late 1970s and early 1980s for not being famous, but being presented as if she were. A series of commercials for Alberto VO5 hair products began with her saying “I’m Rula Lenska …” in the classic celebrity endorsement style, as if everyone naturally knew who she was. However, she was virtually unknown to American audiences at the time. Parodies quickly followed: a sketch aired on Saturday Night Live with Jane Curtin portraying Lenska, and “Who the hell is Rula Lenska?” became a running gag on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. The “friends are here from Europe” line was also parodied by the character Jambi in the 1981 HBO special The Pee-wee Herman Show, which became the blueprint for the children’s TV seriesPee-wee’s Playhouse (CBS, 1986-1990).
Arthur Rubenstein and Sammy Cahn walking arm in arm.
Arthur Rubenstein (1887-1982) was a Polish pianist who embarked on his first American tour in 1906, at the ripe old age of nineteen. He continued to perform for the next seventy years until his failing eyesight forced him to retire. Sammy Cahn (1913-1993) was a composer who worked with any number of performers over his lengthy career. He contributed many songs to movies, including “High Hopes” and “Thoroughly Modern Millie”; the latter was nominated for an Oscar, the former won one. In 1974 he got his own Broadway show, called Words and Music, which was hugely successful, touring for nearly two decades.
Bob Eubanks is a television host, best known as the on-again, off-again host of The Newlywed Game, which he hosted at various times between 1966 and 2000. He has also hosted several other game shows, including Card Sharks.
Welch’s is a well-known brand of grape juice made by Welch’s Foods Inc., which also makes jellies, cranberry juice, and fruit snacks. The company has been around since 1869.
Bobbie Gentry—so good to see you again.
Bobbie Gentry is a singer/songwriter best known for her monster 1967 hit “Ode to Billie Joe.” After her popularity waned in the 1970s, she retired from show business.
Rocky Mountain oysters?
Rocky Mountain oysters are bull or calf testicles, dredged in flour and fried.
Possibly a reference to magician David Roth, widely acknowledged as an expert on coin tricks.
Marla Maples is a model who is best known for being married to real-estate mogul, reality show host, and 45th President of the United States Donald Trump. Maples was Trump’s second wife; she married him in 1993 shortly after his divorce from Ivana Trump and was widely seen as “the other woman.” Maples and Trump divorced four years later.
“Doctor.” [Sung.] My eyes have seen the …
A line from the song “Doctor My Eyes” by Jackson Browne. Sample lyrics: “Doctor, my eyes have seen the years/Through the slow parade of tears without crying/Now I want to understand/I have done all that I could/To see the evil and the good without hiding/You must help me if you can.”
Looks like her tomato aspic got away from her.
Aspic is a dish that features savory ingredients suspended in a gelatin made from meat stock. Sweet ingredients in regular gelatin are called a gelatin salad.
An imitation of Marlo Thomas in her role as Ann Marie on the TV series That Girl; her boyfriend on the show was Donald Hollinger (played by Ted Bessell).
Jessye Norman wants her caftan back.
Soprano Jessye Norman is a highly respected opera singer; she also often performs at public events, including two presidential inaugurations and Queen Elizabeth II’s 60th birthday celebration.
Melvin Laird’s getting cheesed.
Melvin Laird was Richard Nixon’s secretary of defense from 1969 to 1973; he presided over the troop drawdown from Vietnam and coined the term “Vietnamization,” which referred to the U.S. policy of shifting the responsibility for defending their country over to the South Vietnamese forces, which worked better in theory than in practice.
I’m Rue McClanahan.
Rue McClanahan (1934-2010) was an actress who appeared in All in the Family and Maude, in addition to a regular role on Mama’s Family. But she is probably best known for playing Blanche Devereaux on The Golden Girls (1985-1992).
The Beatles! Oh.
The Beatles were a staggeringly influential British rock band, consisting of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr. They produced a lengthy string of number one hits, inspired countless bands, caused riots among female teenage fans, annoyed the Establishment and generally set the stage for the rock & roll revolution of the 1960s.
Jeron Criswell King (1907-1982), better known as the Amazing Criswell, was a psychic who rose to fame in a series of roles in Ed Wood films. In 1968 he published a famous book of predictions entitled Criswell Predicts. His predictions included a warning that a space ray would strike Denver in 1989, causing metal to assume the properties of rubber and leading to chaos at local amusement parks.
[Sung.] Oh my man, I love him so …
A line from the song “My Man,” from the musical Funny Girl. Sample lyrics: “Oh, my man, I love him so, he'll never know/All my life is just despair, but I don't care/When he takes me in his arms/The world is bright, all right …”
“You read too many novels by Fleming.” Jerry Fleming, Ian’s brother.
Ian Fleming was the author of the James Bond novels. He had one older brother, named Peter.
With my Control Top pantyhose.
Control top pantyhose are hose for women that have extra elastic and fabric on the top to provide a slimming effect, similar to a lightweight girdle.
He sounds like Hercules.
A reference to the Steve Reeves series of Hercules movies, of which several were given the MST treatment, including Show 408, Hercules Unchained.
See note on Thunderball, above.
Das Boot (“The Boat”) is a 1981 film about the crew of a German U-boat during World War II.
It’s Red October. Hi, Sean!
The Hunt for Red October is a 1991 film starring Sean Connery as the captain of a Russian submarine who steals the vessel and takes off for the United States.
Michael O’Donoghue (1940-1994) was a comedian and writer known for his work on National Lampoon and later as the head writer for Saturday Night Live. He also made occasional appearances on SNL and was best known for his creation “Mr. Mike,” a grim-visaged reader of “Least-Loved Bedtime Stories,” and a sketch in which he speculated, and graphically demonstrated, how various celebrities would react to having steel needles plunged into their eyes.
Hoo-ha! Hoo-ha! Hoo-ha!
An imitation of Al Pacino as the blind wild man Frank Slade in the 1992 movie Scent of a Woman.
To see your land!
A reference to Show 505, The Magic Voyage of Sinbad.
I hope he can read Braille lips.
Braille is a system of raised dots standing for letters that allows blind people to read; it was invented in 1821 by Louis Braille (1809-1852), a blind French musician and teacher.
[Hummed.] The Bunny Hop.
This is the tune to the "Bunny Hop," which accompanies a dance performed by a line of people, their hands on the shoulders of the people in front of them. (Thanks to Heather Williams for this reference.)
And they say a Lou Reed shall guide them.
A reference to Isaiah 11:6 in the Bible: “The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them.” Lou Reed is a musician who was one of the founding members of the Velvet Underground. Since leaving the group, he has pursued a varied and successful solo career.
It’s a casting call for Name of the Rose.
The Name of the Rose is a novel by Umberto Eco about a series of mysterious deaths at a 14th-century monastery. It was made into a movie starring Sean Connery in 1986.
It’s the boys in the hoods.
“Boyz-n-the-Hood” is a rap song by hip-hop group N.W.A. In 1991 director John Singleton made a film called Boyz n the Hood, starring N.W.A. MC Ice Cube.
You know, I bet Dolphin Temp has a hard time filling these positions.
Dolphin Temporary Services is a temp agency based in Minneapolis-St. Paul; it was founded in 1969.
Dick Enberg here.
Dick Enberg is a TV sportscaster, known for his play-by-play coverage. He has been in sports broadcasting for more than 50 years.
So, any of you sure play a mean pinball?
A reference to the song “Pinball Wizard” from the Who rock opera Tommy. Sample lyrics: “But I ain't seen nothin' like him/In any amusement hall/That deaf, dumb and blind kid/Sure plays a mean pinball.”
“Listen, all of you.” And you shall hear.
A paraphrase of the opening line to the Henry Wadsworth Longfellow poem “Paul Revere’s Ride”: “Listen my children and you shall hear/Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere/On the eighteenth of April, in Seventy-five/Hardly a man is now alive/Who remembers that famous day and year.”
Goodwill Industries: now it can be told.
Goodwill Industries is a nonprofit group that provides education and job training to the disadvantaged. It was founded in 1902 by a Methodist minister in Boston and now has chapters all over the world.
What’s this? The blind leading the blind? Wall-to-wall trouble in Carpetland USA?
An imitation of the announcer from the 1966 TV series Batman, starring Adam West. The announcer, who was voiced by executive producer William Dozier, led into commercial breaks with similarly portentous phrases. Carpetland USA is a chain of carpeting stores in the Midwest.
You know, ironically, Connery wears a rug.
Sean Connery began losing his hair when he was in his early twenties. He wore a toupee for his appearances as James Bond, although in his later years he has seemed content to go bald gracefully.
Hot L Baltimore. Hot L Baltimore. Hot L Baltimore.
Hot L Baltimore is a play by Lanford Wilson about a seedy hotel that has become a den for hookers. (The hotel’s sign is missing its “E”; hence the title.) In 1975 it was turned into a short-lived TV series starring James Cromwell.
This is like Silkwood, only in a rug factory.
Silkwood is a 1983 film starring Meryl Streep in the true story of Karen Silkwood, a worker at a nuclear plant who may have been murdered to prevent her from telling a reporter about safety violations at the plant.
Sometimes I think you want me to fail!
A line from an episode of The Simpsons, “New Kid on the Block.”
It’s gonna take you, the police, the fire department and the National Guard to get me out of here!
"It's going to take you, and the police department, and the fire department, and the National Guard to get me out of here” is a line from the 1979 film Norma Rae, which starred Sally Field as a young woman trying to unionize her textile mill.
You want it when?
“You want it when?” is the caption to a cartoon of a group of people laughing hysterically; it has been posted in countless workplaces over the years. The cartoon appears to be the work of Henry Syverson, who drew regularly for the Saturday Evening Post.
Oh, gee, I was just on the road to Damascus and whammo! Look at me!
In the Bible, in the book of Acts, St. Paul the Apostle is converted to Christianity by a vision of Jesus he has on the road to Damascus. As a result of the vision, Paul is struck blind but later has his vision restored by a Christian disciple named Ananias; he becomes a missionary and sets out to convert the gentiles to Christianity. His letters, or Epistles, appear in the New Testament.
Is he wearing a Braille jacket?
See note on Braille, above.
Is it my scene now? Largo, is it mine now, huh?
See note on Thunderball, above.
Ladies and gentlemen, Maynard Ferguson in the Centennial Senior High School gym.
Maynard Ferguson (1928-2006) was a jazz trumpeter and bandleader who formed the Birdland Dream Band in 1957 and enjoyed success for many decades. He is best known for his song “Gonna Fly Now,” which was the theme for the movie Rocky. He often performed in high school auditoriums. Centennial High School is a 9-12 school located about 20 minutes north of Minneapolis-St. Paul.
Bobbie Jo, get back here!
Bobbie Jo is one of the three buxom lasses seen swimming in the water tank at the beginning of every episode of the CBS sitcom Petticoat Junction, which aired from 1963-1967. (The other two are Billie Jo and Betty Jo.) The part of Bobbie Jo was played by Pat Woodell and later by Lori Saunders.
Let me show you my Time-Life library.
Time-Life is a book and music marketing company founded in 1961 that specializes in series of books (called libraries) that are shipped monthly to subscribers. Sample libraries include The Old West, The Library of Photography, and The Good Cook. In recent years, some customers have complained about deceptive advertising practices by the company.
It’s a new car!
An imitation of the announcer on the long-running game show The Price Is Right.
[Sung.] You’ve come a long way, baby, to get where you got to today.
This is an old jingle for Virginia Slims cigarettes.
Can I borrow your miniskirt for the party on the lido deck?
In Great Britain, a lido is a swimming pool and surrounding facilities, or a part of a beach where swimming and sunbathing are allowed. On a cruise ship, the lido deck is where you’ll find the swimming pool, water slides, Jacuzzis, and the like.
Can we have the night canopy, please?
“Could we have the night canopy, please?” is a line from the 1972 film Slaughterhouse-Five.
Steve Austin was the title character on the TV series The Six-Million-Dollar Man (1974-1978). The part was played by Lee Majors.
A couple of tucks, he could be Roy Thinnes.
Roy Thinnes is an actor who has appeared on numerous TV shows; he is best known for his role as David Vincent on the sci-fi series The Invaders (1967-1968).
It’s Toni Basil!
Toni Basil is a singer best known for her 1981 hit “Mickey.”
We’re on the lust boat!
The Love Boat was a TV romantic comedy that ran from 1977-1986, about a cruise ship on which a succession of washed-up guest stars found love every week.
It’s closing time at Hooters.
Hooters is a chain of restaurants whose attractive waitresses all dress in tight tank tops and very short shorts. Its corporate symbol is an owl.
Can you even dye my eyes to match my doll? –Any old time.
A paraphrase of lyrics from the song “The Merry Old Land of Oz,” written by Y.E. Harburg and Harold Arlan, from the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz. Actual lyrics: “We can make a dimple smile out of a frown/Can you even dye my eyes to match my gown?/Uh-huh. Jolly old town!”
Now, how do you like your martini? Shaken or stirred?
Martinis are a type of alcoholic cocktail made with gin or vodka and vermouth and usually garnished with olives or lemon rind. They were first served in the late 1800s. “Shaken, not stirred” is an iconic line from the James Bond books and movies. In the Fleming novels, the line appeared first in Diamonds Are Forever. It was first spoken in the original Bond film, Dr. No, although it was said not by Bond but by the title villain; the superspy himself did not say the line until the third film, Goldfinger.
[Imitating.] I’m taking the president’s nose.
An imitation of comedian/actor Woody Allen, from a scene in his 1973 film Sleeper, in which Allen joins a group of rebels attempting to steal a dictator’s nose, the only part of him to survive a bomb attack, which the government is using in an effort to clone him.
Police Squad! In color.
Police Squad! was a brilliant if short-lived 1982 TV series about an incompetent cop (played by a deadpan Leslie Nielsen). Every episode began with the words “Police Squad! In color.” Nielsen later reprised the role in the successful series of Naked Gun movies.
Take this, John Entwistle!
John Entwistle (1944-2002) was the bass player for the Who.
An actual donnybrook in Easy Spirit pumps.
Easy Spirit is a brand of women’s shoes. In 1989, the company ran a TV commercial in which women played “an actual game of basketball,” bragging that their shoes “looks like a pump, but feels like a sneaker!” (Thanks to Bill Stiteler for clarifying this reference.)
It’s the wackiest ship in the navy!
The Wackiest Ship in the Army is a 1960 film starring Jack Lemmon as a lieutenant who takes command of a ship full of misfits during World War II.
When Up with People goes bad.
Up With People was an extremely upbeat and wholesome touring musical act founded in 1965. Money woes forced it to close its doors in 2000, but it reopened four years later and continues to perform, although on a smaller scale.
That was a real Capezio kick.
Capezio is a company that sells dancewear, including tights and shoes.
Enter the chiropractor.
Enter the Dragon is a classic martial arts movie from 1973 that stars Bruce Lee as a martial artist who agrees to spy on a crime lord during a tournament.
Chuck Taylors are a style of basketball shoe named after the legendary player in one of the earliest athletic endorsements.
I woke up, you weren’t there—I hate that.
“I woke up, you weren’t here. I hate that” is a line from the 1987 Glenn Close/Michael Douglas film Fatal Attraction.
Right into a Bob Fosse routine!
Bob Fosse (1927-1987) was a choreographer and director who stood behind some of the all-time classic musicals of the 20th century, including Cabaret and All That Jazz (which was loosely based on his life).
Mrs. Partridge, look out!
See note on The Partridge Family, above.
It’s Hullabaloo, or Where the Action Is, or Hootenanny! –Happening ’68? –Yeah!
Hullabaloo was a pop music TV show that aired from 1965-1966. Where the Action Is was a rock & roll variety show that aired from 1965-1974. Hootenanny was a 1963 musical variety show. And Happening ’68 was a 1968 rock music series.
If Sam Peckinpah directed The Boatniks.
Sam Peckinpah (1925-1984) was a director known for such notoriously violent movies as The Wild Bunch (1969) and Straw Dogs (1971). The Boatniks (1970) is a film comedy about three inept jewel thieves.
He’s wearing a Linus shirt! –That’s no reason to hit him.
Linus is a character from the comic strip “Peanuts,” created by Charles Schulz. He wears a red-and-black striped shirt.
And then Falco shows his true colors of yellow and flees the Calypso.
Albert Falco (1927-2012) was the chief diver aboard French ocean explorer Jacques Cousteau’s boat, the Calypso.
And as we left the Clam Flowage that day, we … –Stop that.
From the Amazing Colossal Episode Guide: “This is not actually from anything, but rather suggestive of those achingly depressing fishing shows that pullulate on Sunday morning television.”
High on a hill lay a lonely goatherd, so you might want to take an alternate route this afternoon.
A reference to the song “The Lonely Goatherd” from The Sound of Music. Sample lyrics: “High on a hill was a lonely goatherd/Lay ee odl lay ee odl lay hee hoo/Loud was the voice of the lonely goatherd/Lay ee odl lay ee odl-oo.”
Now it’s The Outer Limits!
The Outer Limits was a sci-fi/horror anthology show, similar to The Twilight Zone, that aired from 1963-1965. The opening credits of the show featured a close-up of the fluctuating lines of an oscilloscope screen. In 1995 a new version of the show began airing; it ran until 2002. The remake’s opening credits were much snazzier, but retained a hint of the oscilloscope at the very beginning and end.
That’s for stealing my Naugahyde couch!
Naugahyde is a kind of artificial leather made from plastic, commonly used in upholstery. It gets its name from Naugatuck, Connecticut, where it was originally manufactured.
So how come everybody’s got Count Basie following them?
Count Basie (1904-1984) was an American jazz musician known for his spare and economical piano playing. He led the Count Basie Orchestra, which had numerous hits during the 1930s and 1940s. He formed a second orchestra during the 1950s and 1960s and continued as a bandleader until shortly before his death in 1984.
Heidi’s grown up.
Heidi is a children’s book by Johanna Spyri, first published in 1880, that tells the story of a young girl sent to live with her crotchety grandfather in his home in the Swiss Alps. She learns to love her new home, and he learns to love her, before they are cruelly torn apart and Heidi is sent back to languish in the big city. Fortunately everything turns out happily in the end.
The backstabbers! Stabbers!
A reference to the O’Jays song “Back Stabbers.” Sample lyrics: “(What they do!)/(They smile in your face)/All the time they want to take your place/The back stabbers (back stabbers) …”
Thank you, Ron Popeil.
Ron Popeil is an inventor and infomercial mainstay who founded the company Ronco, manufacturer of such classic gadgets as the Dial-O-Matic, the Veg-O-Matic, and the Mince-O-Matic.
Sun Ra’s band!
Sun Ra (1914-1993) was an eccentric jazz composer and bandleader who toured for many years with his “Arkestra.”
Airwolf meets Doctor Zhivago.
Airwolf is a TV series about a super-fast combat helicopter; it aired from 1984-1987. Doctor Zhivago is a 1956 novel by Boris Pasternak, a love story set against the 1917 Russian Revolution. It was made into a movie starring Omar Sharif in 1965.
Well, there’s Waldo.
Where’s Waldo? is a series of children’s picture books that ask the reader to find Waldo, a fellow clad in a striped shirt and hiking gear, among an enormous crowd of people.
Thank you Charles Aznavour.
Charles Aznavour is a French singer/songwriter, sort of the Gallic equivalent of Frank Sinatra.
“Five.” Bottles of beer on the wall. “Four.” Bottles of beer on the wall.
A reference to the classic field trip standby “Hundred Bottles of Beer on the Wall.”
A lonely goatherd?
See note on “The Lonely Goatherd,” above.
“One.” [Sung.] Singular sensation …
A line from the song “One,” from the musical A Chorus Line. Sample lyrics: “One singular sensation/Every little step he takes/One thrilling combination/Every move that he makes/One smile and suddenly nobody else will do/You know you'll never be lonely with you know who.”
Probably an imitation of Ricky Ricardo (played by Desi Arnaz) on I Love Lucy (1951-1957).
“Hello, hello!” I don’t know why you say goodbye I say hello.
A line from the Beatles song “Hello Goodbye.” Sample lyrics: “You say yes, I say no/You say stop and I say go, go, go/Oh, no/You say goodbye and I say hello/Hello, hello/I don't know why you say goodbye/I say hello.”
“I’m wondering …” What do the simple folk do?
A line from the song “What Do the Simple Folk Do?” from the musical Camelot. Sample lines: “What do the simple folk do/To help them escape when they’re blue/The shepherd who is ailing/The milkmaid who is glum/The cobbler who is wailing/From nailing his thumb …”
Whatever will this do to my underwire bra?
An underwire bra is a brassiere with some sort of plastic or metal material sewn into the underside of each cup. “Underwires” can also be sewn into other garments, especially swimsuits. They became popular by the 1950s and today account for about 70 percent of the U.S. market.
[Sung.] When you say Bud you’ve said it all …
An old ad jingle for Budweiser beer, from the 1980s.
McCloud was a television series starring Dennis Weaver as a rural lawman who joins a big city police force. It ran from 1970-1977.
Oh, you get A&E!
The Arts & Entertainment Network, or A&E as it is more commonly known, is a basic cable channel that shows documentaries and second-run shows like Crossing Jordan.
Suddenly it’s the Brothers friggin’ Karamazov!
The Brothers Karamazov is an 1880 novel by Russian writer Fyodor Dostoyevsky, about the bitter rivalry between two brothers and their foolish father.
Gene Krupa’s down there.
Gene Krupa (1909-1973) was a jazz drummer credited with making drums a solo instrument in the big band sound.
There’s my Phillips screwdriver.
Henry Phillips (1890-1958) was a businessman who (with an engineer friend, John Thompson) developed the Phillips screw. The plus-sign shape on the screw’s head forces the screwdriver to stay centered on each turn, thus ensuring that the screw goes in straight. Phillips formed the Phillips Screw Company (snicker) in 1933, and manufacturers adopted the design rather quickly over the following years.
[Sung.] Oh-wee-oh, wee-oh-oh …
An imitation of the guards outside the Wicked Witch of the West’s castle in the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz.
Hey, that looks just like a U2 video.
U2 is an Irish rock band that has remained consistently popular since the 1980s. Albums include War (1983) and The Joshua Tree (1987). They are known for socially conscious music and for their support of numerous causes, especially relief for Africa. The video for their 1983 song “New Year’s Day” features the band riding horses through a snowy landscape.
[Sung.] Under a blood-red sky …
Under a Blood-Red Sky is a live concert album by U2 (see previous note). Parts of it were recorded at Red Rocks Amphitheater in Colorado; a video was also released of the performance there.
Come on, girls, they hurt Buddy!
A paraphrase of a line from the 1974 Mel Brooks comedy Blazing Saddles. Actual line: “They’ve hit Buddy! Come on, girls!”
It’s the Elmer Fudd brigade!
Elmer Fudd was a character in the Looney Tunes cartoons, a hunter usually pitted against Bugs Bunny.
Lou Archer must be on this case. The Archers.
Lou Archer is a fictional detective created by mystery writer Ross MacDonald. MacDonald wrote nineteen Archer mysteries in all, starting with 1949’s Moving Target, which was later turned into the 1966 film Harper, starring Paul Newman. The Archers is a long-running radio soap opera in Britain, about a middle-class family in an English village.
See note on Al Jolson, above.
Mr. Belvedere was a TV sitcom that aired from 1985-1990. It starred Christopher Hewett as the title character, an English butler who winds up living with a middle-class American family.
Stunt Largo. Look, guys.
See note on Thunderball, above.
Hey, somebody punched the Foley guy!
Foley artists are sound technicians that specialize in creating noise effects to make the film seem more realistic. Typical effects include walking on various surfaces to simulate the sound of footsteps and hitting or smashing various objects to simulate the sound of blows for a fight scene.
Oh, man, am I moist. Totie Fields was never this moist!
Totie Fields (1930-1978) was a comedian who was a regular on the Ed Sullivan Show. (Thanks to Tom Carberry for this reference.)
Ha-ha! Prepare to meet Kali’s brother!
“Mola Ram, prepare to meet Kali … in hell!” is a line from the 1984 movie Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.
Bow fight at the O.K. corral.
Gunfight at the O.K. Corral is a 1957 film about the famous 1881 gunfight in the town of Tombstone, Arizona, with the Earps and Doc Holliday on one side and the Clantons and McLaurys on the other. (The Earps won.) It starred Burt Lancaster and Kirk Douglas.
They’re beating up LeBeau!
Corporal Louis LeBeau was one of the prisoners on the TV show Hogan’s Heroes; the part was played by Robert Clary.
The Brigadoon compound exploded today. Fiona and Meg escaped unharmed; unfortunately, Bonnie Jean has died.
Brigadoon is a 1947 musical about a disappearing village in Scotland that only appears once every hundred years. Fiona McLaren is a young woman in the village and Meg Brockie is a dairymaid. “Bonnie” Jean is Fiona’s younger sister.
Kinda like watching Bonanza in reverse.
Bonanza was a TV western that aired from 1959-1973. The opening credits began with a shot of a map bursting into flame.
Settle back with a smooth Canadian Club.
Canadian Club is a brand of whisky made by Hiram Walker.
Yes, church, steeple … sleeple?
See note on “Here’s the church,” above.
George O’Dowd, a.k.a. Boy George, is a flamboyant British new wave singer. His band Culture Club scored two major successes in the early 1980s with the songs “Do You Really Want to Hurt Me” and “Karma Chameleon.” The band broke up in 1986 but reunited in 1998; George has also had a successful solo career in Britain.
Major Tony Nelson, played by Larry Hagman, was an astronaut who stumbles on a bottle containing a female genie (Barbara Eden) on the TV sitcom I Dream of Jeannie. The show ran from 1965-1970.
I’m Mrs. Norman Maine.
“Hello, everybody. This is Mrs. Norman Maine” is a line from the 1954 film A Star Is Born.
Sean Connery’s brother won’t be back again! In anything!
The line “James Bond will be back in [insert name of sequel here]” appears at the end of the credits in the Bond films, starting with the first one, Dr. No.