513: The Brain That Wouldn't Die
by Wyn Hilty
[Imitating.] He's not a gaffer, he's a G-A-F-er.
An imitation of beloved American actor Henry Fonda (1905-1982), who appeared in a series of commercials in the early 1970s for GAF (General Aniline & Film) products, makers of the popular View-Master line of 3-D transparency viewers. One of those commercials also featured Jodie Foster's acting debut. (Thanks to Sampo for this reference.)
Kind of looks like a Jenny Holzer piece to me.
Jenny Holzer is an American conceptual artist whose works have appeared in the Guggenheim Museum and the Hamburger Kunsthalle in Germany. She is known for projecting provocative images and phrases in public spaces.
But for Joseph Green there would come another film.
An imitation of a typically cheesy, overly dramatic announcer in any number of documentaries produced by NFL Films: “But for Vince Lombardi and the Green Bay Packers … there would come another day …”
Just a normal Tuesday for Cher.
Cher (b. Cherilyn Sarkisian LaPierre) is a singer and actress who has appeared on various television shows and in films. She first rose to fame as the co-host of a series of TV variety shows with her then-husband, Sonny Bono. Over the years she has been the subject of outlandish rumors about the plastic surgery she has had done, thanks to her seemingly eternal youth. In 1988 a French gossip column published a rumor, which spread out of control, that she had had ribs removed to make her look thinner. Cher sued the publication and was examined by physicians, who confirmed that she had had her nose, breasts, and teeth worked on, but not her ribs.
Breathe, stupid, breathe!
An imitation of Louie the parrot from the Looney Tunes animated short Dough Ray Me-ow, said to the dimwitted choking cat Heathcliff.
Well, I’m gonna go get my Eggo out of the toaster oven. Anybody want one?
Eggo is a brand of frozen waffles that can be heated up in the toaster. They are manufactured by Kellogg’s. When they were introduced in 1953 they were called Froffles, a combination of "frozen" and "waffles."
“The corpse is yours.” Go in peace.
“Go in peace” is a phrase that appears at the end of the Catholic (and other Christian sects) liturgy; the priest says it at the end of Mass to dismiss the congregation.
Geez, this man had love in his tummy!
A reference to the 1968 song “Yummy, Yummy, Yummy” by the band Ohio Express. Sample lyrics: “Yummy, yummy, yummy, I got love in my tummy/And I feel like a-lovin’ you.”
License plate, a boot, tricycle wheel—this man was a bottom feeder!
A reference to the “shark autopsy” scene in the 1975 film Jaws, in which oceanographer Matt Hooper (Richard Dreyfuss) cuts open a suspected man-eating shark and the contents of its stomach spill out, including a Louisiana license plate. Actual dialogue:
Chief Brody: He didn’t eat a car, did he?
Hooper: Naw, a tiger shark’s like a garbage can, it’ll eat anything. Someone probably threw that in a river.
Nothing up my sleeve.
An imitation of Bullwinkle the Moose from his classic ‘60s animated series.
Operation is a classic board game in which players use tweezers to remove “organs” from the “patient.” Brush the sensors on the side of the cavity and a buzzer sounds, ending your turn.
He’s only mostly dead!
A line from the classic 1987 movie The Princess Bride.
It's Gnip Gnop.
Gnip Gnop, or "ping pong" spelled backwards, was a table-top game released during the 1970s. (Thanks to Thomas Lakeman for this reference.)
Luke, join me or you’ll star in Corvette Summer.
An imitation of Darth Vader, the villain in the original Star Wars trilogy (Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi). “Luke” is a reference to hero Luke Skywalker. The actor who played Luke, Mark Hamill, starred in a flop called Corvette Summer the year after Star Wars was originally released.
In sewing, a basting stitch is a temporary, easily removed stitch.
Hey, you’re not my dad—you’re Hitler!
Adolf Hitler (1889-1945), along with his silly toothbrush mustache, was the dictator of Germany during World War II (1939-1945).
You know, they’re doctors, but they do puppet shows, too. –Oh, Judy!
Judy is the leading lady in the classic puppet show Punch & Judy. She is Punch’s wife, and is generally beaten to death during the course of the play.
Humpty-backed camels …
A line from “The Unicorn,” a song written by poet Shel Silverstein that became very popular in 1968 after it was recorded by the Irish Rovers. Lyrics: “There was green alligators and long-necked geese/Humpty-backed camels and some chimpanzees/Some cats and rats and elephants, but sure as you're born/The loveliest of all was the unicorn.”
To boldly go where no man ...
A line from the opening narration to the television series Star Trek, which aired from 1966 to 1969. The introduction, voiced by series star William Shatner, went like this: “To explore strange new worlds; to seek out new life, and new civilizations; to boldly go where no man has gone before.”
We'll call them SnapTite limbs.
Could be a reference to the SnapTite line of plastic models, or the Parker Snap-tite line of valves.
And I don’t want you reanimating anything, young man.
H.P. Lovecraft wrote a short story called “Herbert West—Reanimator.” In 1985 it was turned into a horror comedy film called Re-Animator.
You taste like Vince Edwards.
Vince Edwards (1928-1996) was an actor best known for playing the title role on the television series Ben Casey, which aired from 1961-1966. He also appeared in a number of films and released six albums.
Sylvia Plath, R.N.
Sylvia Plath (1932-1963) was an American poet and novelist whose works generally dealt with themes of alienation, destruction, and death. Her most famous work was the semi-autobiographical novel The Bell Jar (1963), the story of a suicidal young woman’s mental breakdown. Plath suffered from severe depression and was hospitalized during college. She killed herself in 1963.
Could you pee in the bell jar, please?
See previous note.
The long long trailer!
The Long, Long Trailer is a 1954 film starring Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz as a couple on their honeymoon in a trailer.
Sid and Nancy, American style.
Sid Vicious (born John Simon Ritchie; 1957-1979) was an English punk musician, bass player, and singer for the influential group The Sex Pistols. He was engaged in a mutually self-destructive relationship with Nancy Spungen (1958-1978). On October 12, 1978, Vicious claimed he woke up from a drug-induced blackout to find Spungen’s dead body in their shared apartment, killed by a single stab wound, courtesy of a knife owned by Vicious. Police charged him with the murder, but before he could be tried for the crime he died of a drug overdose, which some believe was deliberate suicide. The story was told in the 1986 film Sid and Nancy, which starred Gary Oldman as Vicious and Chloe Webb as Spungen. Love, American Style was a show that aired from 1969-1974, which consisted of anywhere up to four short vignettes about love with various celebrity guest stars. Produced by Aaron Spelling, the series often used pieces of unused pilot scripts for the vignettes. On two occasions, discarded-pilots-turned-vignettes became full-on series: Wait Till Your Father Gets Home and Happy Days.
Chukkas to the floor—hurry!
Chukkas are men’s ankle-length leather boots introduced in the late 1940s. The name for the boots likely comes from the game of polo, in which a “chukka” was a period of play.
Nick Mancuso is Stingray.
Nick Mancuso is an actor who has appeared in dozens of films and television series. He starred in the short-lived TV series Stingray in 1985, playing Ray, a mysterious man who dresses in black, drives a Stingray, and helps people with their personal problems.
A sign left by ancient astronauts.
The term “ancient astronauts” was coined by author Erich Von Daniken in his popular tome Chariots of the Gods?, in which he postulated that the pyramids of Egypt and other ancient monuments were built with extraterrestrial assistance. The ancient astronaut/architect theme was hammered hard in the TV series In Search Of … (syndication, 1977-1982), which was narrated by Leonard Nimoy.
You’ll enjoy the tight suspension of the Mercury Comet.
The Mercury Comet was a Ford model from 1960-77, similar to the Falcon or the Maverick.
I think I’ll have a Papa Burger—you?
The Papa Burger is a mainstay menu item at A&W root beer stands. It features two beef patties, mustard, ketchup, tomatoes, pickles, and onions. Cheese is optional. A&W also offers Grandpa, Mama, Baby, and Teen burger models.
Man, I want a pair of those chukkas.
See above note on chukkas.
Honey, can we stop at Grandma [garbled]? Can we stop at the Turk’s Inn? Can we stop at the Big Steer? Can we stop at Cranberry Cove?
“Turk’s Inn” was a kitschy steakhouse/Middle Eastern restaurant in Hayward, Wisconsin. It closed in 2015. The Big Steer Restaurant and Lounge is a family diner at a truck stop in Northfield, Minnesota. Cranberry Cove may be a reference to a resort outside Eagle River, Wisconsin. (Thanks to Krista Hiner for the Big Steer reference.)
Is he chasing James Dean?
James Dean (1931-1955) was an iconic young film actor and teen heartthrob who made his reputation playing bad boys and delinquents, as in his archetypal role in Rebel Without a Cause. He assured himself of film immortality by dying young in a car accident outside Cholame, California.
What’s this? Our fanatical physician and his fickle fiancee? Speeding to their country cottage?
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.
Mrs. Webb, you're doing very well, Careful now, Mrs. Webb. Stay—you're over the center line, Mrs Webb!
From reader Mike Dumas: “This is from a classic standup comedy routine by Bob Newhart, in which he plays a harried driving instructor. It was featured on his chart-topping 1961 album The Button-Down Mind of Bob Newhart.”
We now join Barefoot in the Park, already in progress.
Barefoot in the Park is a Neil Simon play, written in 1963, about two newlyweds who move into their first apartment after the honeymoon. In 1967 it was made into a film starring Robert Redford and Jane Fonda.
Look out, look out, look out!
A line from the song “Leader of the Pack” by The Shangri-Las. Sample lyrics: “Is she really going out with him?/Well, there she is, let’s ask her/Betty, is that Jimmy’s ring you’re wearing?”
[Sung.] Leader of the pack ...
Another line from “Leader of the Pack.” The song is about a girl bewailing the death of her boyfriend in a motorcycle accident.
Diarrhea is like a storm raging inside you.
A paraphrase of a line from an old Pepto-Bismol ad: "Sometimes, diarrhea can feel like a storm raging in your body." The ad used the voiceover over a rumble of thunder (to dramatize intestinal discomfort).
Well, he shouldn’t have eaten at Jack in the Box.
Jack in the Box is an American chain of fast food restaurants. In 1993, hundreds of people, mostly in the Northwest, became ill after they were exposed to the E. coli bacteria in tainted hamburger meat sold at the restaurant; several children died. The resulting outcry almost destroyed the company, but it seems to have bounced back.
Hi, I’m William Proxmire. How are you doing? Put ‘er there.
William Proxmire (1915-2005) was a Democratic senator from Wisconsin who served in Congress for 32 years before retiring in 1989. He was best known for creating the Golden Fleece Awards, which he used to highlight wasteful government spending.
Oh, thank you, God. Thank you so bloody much!
This is a line from the classic British TV show Fawlty Towers, spoken by John Cleese, who played hotel owner Basil Fawlty.
Riggins is at the 20 … He’s at the 10 … No one will catch him.
A reference to former Washington Redskins running back John Riggins, who played for the team from 1976-1986, except for a brief hiatus in 1980 due to a contract dispute. He was voted MVP of Super Bowl XVII in 1983, the Redskins' first Super Bowl championship, when he ran 43 yards for a touchdown to take the lead in the fourth quarter.
He’s either gonna win the Nobel Prize or the Heisman Trophy.
The Nobel Prize is actually six prizes (physics, chemistry, medicine, literature, economics, and peace) awarded annually for the greatest intellectual achievements of that year. The fund for the prizes was established in 1895 by Swedish industrialist Alfred Nobel, the inventor of dynamite. The Heisman Trophy is awarded every year to the outstanding college football player, as determined by a poll of sportswriters; it is named after John Heisman, a player and coach in the late 19th century.
Hey, it’s Johnny Tremain.
Johnny Tremain is the eponymous hero of the children’s book by Esther Forbes. The novel tells the story of a young boy during the Revolutionary War, whose hand is deformed in an accident.
Okay, pencils down. How much did you risk? Oooh ...
A reference to the game show Jeopardy, starring Alex Trebek.
So is it honey he’s putting in the KC Masterpiece sauce?
KC Masterpiece sauce is a barbecue sauce available in grocery stores around the country; it was invented by a Kansas City psychiatrist named Rich Davis.
Dude, he’s wiring his lab for quad! –Pro Logic.
Quadraphonic sound was an early version of surround sound. Introduced commercially in 1970, quadraphonic systems used four speakers instead of the usual two used in stereo sound systems, and were meant to play recordings mixed specifically for quadraphonic systems. Various attempts were made to broadcast quadraphonic audio over FM radio stations in the 1970s as well. Plagued by technical problems and compatibility issues, quadraphonic sound was a commercial failure, but it laid the groundwork for the 5.1 surround-sound systems that are widely used in home theaters today. Pro Logic is a surround-sound system developed by Dolby for home theaters.
Man, I am tearing through the Brawny.
Brawny is a brand of paper towels manufactured by Georgia-Pacific; it has a hunky lumberjack mascot on the wrapper.
I bet he’s gonna turn her into Mrs. Olson!
“Mrs. Olson” was a pitchwoman for Folger’s coffee in commercials that aired during the 1960s and 1970s. She was played by actress Virginia Christine.
[Sung.] Maxwell House jingle.
Despite the previous Folger’s reference, this is an old ad jingle for Maxwell House coffee from the 1960s.
Oh—you put the lime in the coconut and drink it all up! –Hmm. You say doctor.
A paraphrase of Harry Nilsson’s song “Coconut.” Actual lyrics: “She put the lime in the coconut, she drank 'em both up/She put the lime in the coconut, she call the doctor, woke 'im up/And said 'Doctor, ain't there nothin' I can take?'”
Hey, it’s Darkman.
Darkman was a 1990 film starring Liam Neeson as a scientist whose face is destroyed in a lab explosion and must don masks made of synthetic skin.
Done! Now time to make my own Bailey’s.
Bailey’s Irish Cream is a liqueur made from cream and Irish whiskey.
This is the most complicated beer bong I’ve ever seen.
A beer bong is a device designed to enable a drinker (usually a college student) to swallow a vast quantity of beer in very short order. There are a number of variants, but a bong generally consists of a funnel, a tube, and a length of flexible hose.
An American in vitro.
This is a variant on An American in Paris, a 1951 movie musical starring Gene Kelly and Leslie Caron that was inspired by the George Gershwin composition by the same name.
They saved Sister Bertrille’s brain.
Sister Bertrille, played by Sally Field, was the “flying nun” in the TV series of the same name, which ran from 1967-1970. The phrase is a parody of the terrible 1968 TV movie They Saved Hitler’s Brain.
Boss, you’ve broken the goofy meter again.
An imitation of Max, the chauffeur/butler/etc. of the Harts on the ABC mystery series Hart to Hart. He was played by Lionel Stander.
She talks like Clutch Cargo. –Clutch.
Clutch Cargo was a 1959 animated TV series that attempted to eliminate the time and expense of drawing lip movements by simply filming the voice actors’ lips through a megaphone and superimposing them onto the animated characters, with truly bizarre results.
“Transplant her into what?” Larry Storch.
Larry Storch is best known for playing Corporal Agarn in the TV series F Troop and as a voiceover artist in dozens of cartoons.
“She had a heart, and a brain.” And a noive.
In the film The Wizard of Oz, Dorothy’s companions sing wistfully about how they wish they had a brain, a heart, and a “noive,” or nerve.
C’mere—I’ve got a great idea for a practical joke. Put her neck in 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, making them wet the bed. When the “science entertainment” TV show MythBusters tested this one, even using sleep monitoring equipment to ensure the subject was genuinely asleep, they got zero results: myth busted!
Sounds like Crazy Guggenheim’s in there.
Crazy Guggenheim, played by Frank Fontaine, was a character on The Jackie Gleason Show from 1962-1966. Guggenheim, a perpetual drunk, appeared regularly opposite Gleason in the “Joe’s Bar” skits.
Hello? ... he-hello ...
Tom is imitating Flash Bazbo, Space Explorer, a recurring character voiced by Christopher Guest on The National Lampoon Radio Hour, a weekly show that ran on about 600 radio stations in 1974. In addition to Guest, the show featured early work by John Belushi, Chevy Chase, Bill Murray, and many others.
It’s like The Soupy Sales Show!
The Soupy Sales Show was a Saturday morning kids’ TV show that aired from 1959-1962. Several recurring characters always stayed behind doors or partly offscreen.
Ellu ellu ellu ellu.
An imitation of White Fang, a dog character on The Soupy Sales Show.
Eww—Dylan Thomas’s last moments on earth.
Dylan Thomas (1914-1953) was a Welsh poet (he wrote the famous lines “Do not go gentle into that good night/Rage, rage against the dying of the light”). While he enjoyed professional and critical success, he was perennially hounded by the tax man and had a serious drinking problem, which led his marriage into difficulties. Legend has it that he died after a particularly heavy drinking binge, but in reality pneumonia got him in the end.
[Moulin Rouge.] Hey, he walked all the way to Paris.
The Moulin Rouge, which is the name of the sleazy cabaret in this film, was originally a French cabaret hall. Opened in 1889, the Moulin Rouge featured can-can dancers (in fact, the can-can was first performed there) as well as musical and variety acts. Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec immortalized the Moulin Rouge in many of his paintings and drawings.
If Jack Ruby owned a Denny’s.
Jack Ruby (c. 1911-1967) was a Dallas nightclub owner who catapulted to fame when he shot and killed Lee Harvey Oswald, the accused assassin of President John F. Kennedy. Ruby was convicted of the killing and sent to prison, where he died of cancer in 1967. The Denny’s restaurant chain began franchising the same year Kennedy was assassinated. Coincidence? Or conspiracy?
I hope that’s not Rose Marie.
Rose Marie is an actress who is best known for her role as Sally Rogers on The Dick Van Dyke Show, which ran from 1961-1966. She got her start as a child actress (under the name “Baby Rose Marie”) in the 1920s.
Hey, look—the panel from What’s My Line? is behind her there.
What’s My Line? was a television game show that aired from 1950-1967, in which a panel of celebrities would try to guess the jobs of contestants with unusual occupations. Panelists at various times included Fred Allen, Steve Allen, Bennett Cerf, and Dorothy Kilgallen.
[Sung.] Pasties and a g-string, beer and a shot/Portland through a shot glass and a buffalo squeeze, heh-heh-heh ...
A line from the Tom Waits song "Pasties and a G-String." (Thanks to John for this reference.)
Our soup of the day is cauliflower au gratin. Today’s special is Salisbury steak and German potato salad.
A staple of school lunchrooms everywhere, Salisbury steak is made from minced beef formed into the shape of a steak, served with gravy or brown sauce. It was invented in the late 19th century by Dr. J.H. Salisbury as part of a low-carb diet.
Senor Wences and Evita—out on the town! –Talk to your hand.
Senor Wences (real name Wenceslao Moreno) was 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. He died in 1999 at the age of 103. Evita was the nickname of Eva Peron (1919-1952), the wife of Argentine president Juan Peron, who was wildly popular among the working classes in Argentina.
Welcome to the Diane Arbus cafe.
Diane Arbus (1923-1971) was a photographer who got her start in fashion but who became renowned for her portraits of people on the fringes of society: strippers, nudists, transvestites, giants, and other similarly marginalized groups. Her work is disturbing, not least because it is impossible to tell whether the photographer is sympathetic or condescending toward her subjects. Arbus committed suicide in 1971.
A night on the town in Escanaba, Michigan.
Escanaba is a city on the upper peninsula of Michigan, population about 13,000.
Jojo was a man who thought he was a woman.
This is a paraphrase of a line from the Beatles song “Get Back.” The actual lyrics: “Jojo was a man who thought he was a loner/But he knew it wouldn’t last.”
The spokesmodel competition!
On the 1980s TV talent show Star Search, hosted by Ed McMahon, one of the categories contestants could compete in for a $100,000 prize was “Spokesmodel.”
Rocky Graziano (1922-1990) became the world middleweight boxing champion in 1947. The 1956 film Somebody Up There Likes Me was based on his autobiography.
Hey, gang, there’s a snuff film playing over at the Rialto! Let’s go!
Snuff films, an urban legend, are purportedly movies in which one or more persons are actually killed on film. The legend dates back to a film called Snuff, released in 1976, which tacked an ending of an actress supposedly being killed onto a 1971 horror film called Slaughter; producer Allan Shackleton attempted to arouse interest in the cheaply made film by implying that the deaths in it were real. People everywhere bought into the hype, although the legal system forced Shackleton to add a disclaimer to the film stating that no one had been harmed during the making of the movie. By that point, however, the legend had taken on a life of its own. Even today, anti-pornography crusaders cite snuff films as the ultimate example of male oppression and exploitation of women, despite a total lack of evidence for their existence.
Wait for me! [Laughter.]
An imitation of 1970s game show mainstay Charles Nelson Reilly.
Um, Mr. Graziano, can I have your autograph?
See previous note on Rocky Graziano.
[Sung.] I’m getting sentimental over you ...
From the song of the same name, written by George Bassman and Ned Washington and recorded by Tommy Dorsey in 1935. Sample lyrics: “Never thought I’d fall/But now I hear love call/I’m getting sentimental over you.”
So, you a goer, eh? Goer? Nudge nudge, know what I mean?
This is a paraphrase of the Monty Python sketch “Wink Wink, Nudge Nudge,” in which a man in a pub torments a respectable chap with endless strings of innuendo. Sample lines:
Man: Evening, squire!
Squire: (stiffly) Good evening.
Man: Is, uh, ... Is your wife a goer, eh? Know whatahmean, know whatahmean, nudge nudge, know whatahmean, say no more?
Squire: I, uh, I beg your pardon?
Man: Your, uh, your wife, does she go, eh, does she go, eh?
Squire: (flustered) Well, she sometimes “goes,” yes.
Man: Oiii bet she does, I bet she does, say no more, say no more, knowwhatahmean, nudge nudge?
Meanwhile, at Kurt Cobain’s house ...
Kurt Cobain (1967-1994) was the lead guitarist and singer for the Seattle grunge rock band Nirvana, widely acknowledged as one of the most influential musical groups of the 1990s. Cobain struggled with an addiction to heroin; in March 1994 he briefly slipped into a coma after overdosing on alcohol and drugs. The next month he killed himself with a shotgun in his Seattle home.
He’s keeping her alive with Grey Poupon!
Grey Poupon is a brand of Dijon-style mustard manufactured by Kraft Foods.
Here’s Abe Burrows and Jimmy Hoffa entertaining Eleanor Roosevelt.
Abe Burrows (1910-1985) was a playwright whose works include Guys and Dolls and How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. Jimmy Hoffa (1913-1975?) was a labor leader who was president of the Teamsters union from 1957 to 1971. Hoffa, who had well-known ties to organized crime, disappeared from a restaurant in Detroit in 1975 and was declared legally dead in 1982. Eleanor Roosevelt (1884-1962) was the wife of President Franklin Roosevelt and served as First Lady from 1933-1945.
The skillet scrambler was numptious.
A skillet scrambler is a popular breakfast dish at restaurants, consisting of eggs scrambled with a variety of ingredients, such as cheese, potatoes, sausage, etc.
I liked your Nicholson impression.
Jack Nicholson is an actor who has appeared in dozens of films since he got his start in B-movies in the 1960s, working with shlock director Roger Corman for a decade. His better-known movies include Chinatown, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, The Shining, and As Good As It Gets.
“The arrangement is pretty special.” Oh, by Elia Kazan.
The Arrangement (1969) is a film written and directed by Elia Kazan (who also wrote the novel the film is based on). It stars Kirk Douglas and Faye Dunaway.
Well, I had a falling out with Delta Burke. Who hasn’t?
Delta Burke is an actress best known for her role in the television series Designing Women, which ran from 1986-1993. She famously feuded with co-star Dixie Carter and the show’s creators and was eventually let go.
[Imitating.] Hi, I’m Casey Kasem. This one goes out to a heartsick lover with a severed head.
Casey Kasem (1932-2014) was the longtime host of the syndicated radio show American Top 40. A regular feature of the show was the “long distance dedications,” in which listeners submitted requests to have a song “dedicated” to a loved one.
Lucie Arnaz is back, and she’s pissed!
Lucie Arnaz is the daughter of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz. She got her own short-lived TV show in 1985.
Shannen Doherty, no!
Shannen Doherty became famous for her role as Brenda Walsh on TV’s Beverly Hills 90210. She has acted in a number of TV series and movies since then, including the WB’s Charmed. She has a reputation for being difficult to work with and in 1992 was arrested after getting in a bar fight with another woman.
Yes, it’s Danny Bonaduce in the fight of his life!
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.
Knock three times on the ceiling if you want me.
A line from the Tony Orlando and Dawn song “Knock Three Times,” which hit number one in 1971. Sample lyrics: “Oh my darlin’ knock three times on the ceiling if you want me/Twice on the pipe if the answer is no.”
Battery acid? You’re soaking in it!
“You’re soaking in it” was the slogan in a series of commercials for Palmolive dish soap that aired from 1966 to 1992, featuring Madge the manicurist (played by Jan Miner).
Revenge—a dish best served ...
The old adage “Revenge is a dish best served cold”—meaning revenge is more satisfying if you wait until your victim is not expecting it—has uncertain origins. Its earliest use in the English language appears to be an 1846 translation of the French novel Mathilde by Joseph Marie Eugene Sue. In film, the phrase has appeared in Death Rides a Horse (1967), Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982), and Kill Bill: Volume I (2003). Its use in Star Trek II brought it into pop culture parlance, with Khan's famous addition “It is very cold ... in space.” Kill Bill's usage referenced Star Trek, in fact, calling it an “old Klingon proverb” (as did Khan).
I wonder if Silk Stalkings is on yet.
Silk Stalkings was a TV crime show that aired as part of “Crime Time After Prime Time” from 1990-1999.
The power 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.
“Across this room and through that door.” [Sung.] To Grandmother’s house we go.
A line from the traditional Christmas carol that goes “Over the meadow and through the woods/To Grandmother’s house we go.” It originated as an 1844 Thanksgiving poem by Lydia Maria Child; the family was originally headed to grandfather’s house.
Ah, I’ll tell them a joke I heard on Arsenio last night!
The original Arsenio Hall Show was a late-night talk show that aired from 1989-1994. A second series aired in 2013-2014.
Bill Clinton in the Oval Office.
Arkansas Governor William Jefferson Clinton became president of the United States in 1993. In 1998 he became the second president to be impeached, but he was acquitted by the Senate and finished out his second term in office. He had a reputation for being indecisive, taking forever to appoint his cabinet and sometimes reacting slowly to crises, such as the war in Bosnia.
A reference to The Lucy Show, a sitcom starring Lucille Ball that aired from 1962-1968. Ball played Lucy Carmichael; the line is an imitation of her boss, Theodore J. Mooney (played by Gale Gordon).
Maybe she could get work in a Peter Gabriel video.
Peter Gabriel is a musician who became famous in the rock group Genesis and went on to an even more successful solo career. This is specifically a reference to Gabriel's video for "Sledgehammer," which is a closeup on Gabriel's face singing the song while various stop-motion shenanigans go on around him.
He-hello, Mr. Thing Person … hello …
See note on Flash Bazbo, above.
Eww, she’s getting cradle cap.
Cradle cap is a skin problem common among young babies in which a crusty, scaly rash forms on the scalp.
It’s Pauly Shore.
Pauly Shore is an actor and comedian who has starred in a number of terrible films, including Son in Law, Jury Duty, and Bio-Dome. He is the son of Mitzi Shore, the legendary founder/owner of The Comedy Store comedy club in Los Angeles.
“Locked behind that door.” Beside which Carol Merrill is standing!
Carol Merrill was the model on the TV game show Let’s Make a Deal from 1963-1977.
Chicken wings, also called Buffalo wings, are a ubiquitous bar and tavern snack: unbreaded, fried chicken wings coated with an often-spicy sauce and traditionally served with celery and/or carrot sticks and blue cheese or ranch dressing. Origin stories vary, but the best known claims they were created at the Anchor Bar in Buffalo, New York, in 1964.
“But with this serum …” I thee wed.
“With this ring, I thee wed” is from the Anglican marriage ceremony in the Book of Common Prayer, first published in 1549.
A reference to any number of Star Trek episodes.
You live, Joe.
In WWII propaganda films, Japanese soldiers sometimes screamed “You die, Joe!” as they attacked the courageous GIs.
Why he gave my hand rich Corinthian leather, I’ll never know.
Ricardo Montalban did a series of commercials for the Chrysler Cordoba in which he bragged about the “rich Corinthian leather” of the upholstery. There is actually no such thing as “Corinthian” leather: it was entirely invented by the Bozell ad agency, which also gave us “Got Milk?” and “Pork. The Other White Meat.”
The chocaholic, his Godivas.
Godiva is a brand of high-end chocolates; its stores can be found in upscale shopping malls across the country. Founded in Belgium, it is now owned by a Turkish company.
“There was an accident.” I wet ‘em.
A paraphrase of a line from a Monty Python sketch: “The Visitors” in Season 1, Episode 9 of Monty Python’s Flying Circus, which aired in December 1969 (actual line: “Oooo, I’ve wet ‘em!”). The sketch features Eric Idle’s character Mr. Cheeky, a.k.a. “Mr. Nudge,” from the beloved “Nudge-nudge, wink-wink, say no more, Squire!” sketch (see note on “Wink Wink, Nudge Nudge,” above).
Does it have NutraSweet?
NutraSweet, or aspartame, is an artificial sweetener used in soft drinks, gum, breath mints, and many other foods.
Paul Newman’s Sockarooni Sauce.
Sockarooni Sauce is one of the line of spaghetti sauces founded by actor Paul Newman (1925-2008); the line is called Newman’s Own. All profits are given to charity.
“You. Behind that door.” Marilyn Chambers?
Marilyn Chambers became famous after her turn in the X-rated film Behind the Green Door (1972). She went on have a lengthy career in adult and some mainstream films.
Master Lock is a Milwaukee-based manufacturer of padlocks and other security products.
Why, you’re a freak, a superfreak, you’re superfreaky.
A paraphrase of the Rick James song “Super Freak.” Sample lyrics: “That girl’s all right with me, yeah/She’s a super freak, super freak/She’s super-freaky, yow.”
Inka dinka doo.
"Inka Dinka Doo" was comedian Jimmy Durante's signature song; he wrote the music, and the lyrics were by Ben Ryan. He first performed it in the 1934 film Palooka, and it was a major hit record for him that year. He went on performing the song for the rest of his career.
“I’m only a head.” [Sung.] That can’t say no.
A paraphrase of the song “I Cain’t Say No” from the musical Oklahoma! Sample lyrics: “I’m just a girl who can’t say no/I’m in a terrible fix/I always say ‘Come on, let’s go!’/Just when I oughta say nix.”
We are part of the rhythm nation.
A reference to the Janet Jackson song “Rhythm Nation” from the album of the same name. Sample lyrics: “People of the world today/Are we looking for a better way of life/We are a part of the rhythm nation.”
Well, back to The Unearthly set.
A reference to Show 320, The Unearthly.
I’m calling Nicole Eggert tomorrow. –Baywatch.
Nicole Eggert is an actress best known for playing Summer Quinn on the TV series Baywatch, which was a show about a group of young, hot lifeguards on a Southern California beach.
Morning. It’s a sleazy morning out there. You’re listening to KPORN, Holmes and Reems in the morning. Sleazy, slutty music all morning long.
John C. Holmes (1944-1988) was one of the main lead actors in porn films during the 1970s, known for his unusually large penis (he was discovered while standing at a urinal in a men's room). He was best known for his series of Johnny Wadd films. Holmes died from complications of AIDS in 1988. Harry Reems was also a well-known porn star during the 1970s, appearing in such adult classics as Deep Throat and The Devil in Miss Jones.
Oh, look at that house. It’s a modified Cape Cod.
Cape Cod is a style of architecture developed in 17th-century New England, designed to withstand the wet, stormy weather of that area. Houses are generally low and broad, one and a half stories tall, with a fairly steep roof, central chimney, and very little ornamentation.
Faye Dunaway! Paydirt!
Faye Dunaway is a revered actress who made it big in the 1970s in such films as Bonnie and Clyde, Chinatown, and Network.
What’s Millie Helper doing here?
Millie Helper was the perky neighbor on The Dick Van Dyke Show. She was played by actress Ann Morgan Guilbert. Guilbert went on to act in movies and other TV shows, including Picket Fences and The Nanny.
Could you just drop me off at my Minnie Mouse audition?
Minnie Mouse was Mickey’s girlfriend in the old Walt Disney shorts. She has a piercingly high and squeaky voice and often wears a red-and-white polka-dotted dress with puffed sleeves.
Hey, that Hai Karate really works.
Hai Karate was a cheap aftershave in the 1970s. It used an advertising gimmick of handing out self-defense instructions with every bottle—because men who wore it would have to fight off the women who would flock to them.
Have you seen Frankenhooker?
Frankenhooker is a 1990 horror flick directed by Frank Henenlotter (the mad genius behind Basket Case). It follows the exploits of a medical student who, armed with his dead fiancée’s head, goes out looking for prostitutes he can harvest for spare parts and bring her back to life.
[British accent.] Hello, hello, ladies and gentlemen, here’s a little thing our lads have contributed ...
An imitation of the smarmy host from Monty Python's “Sci-Fi Sketch,” featuring man-eating, tennis-playing blancmanges from outer space.
Funny man Morty Gunty!
Morty Gunty (1929-1984) was a well-known nightclub comedian in the 1960s and 1970s. He appeared as himself in the 1984 Woody Allen film Broadway Danny Rose.
All this can be yours if the price is right.
This well-known phrase is spoken by the announcer on the long-running television game show The Price Is Right. Johnny Olsen was the announcer from 1972-1985; Rod Roddy took over the job in 1986 until his death in 2003.
Jane Kean! Sheila MacRae! Art Carney!
At the conclusion of The Jackie Gleason Show—which ran in one form or another from 1952 to 1970 and is considered one of the pioneering programs in American television—host Jackie Gleason (1916-1987) would appear onstage in a smoking jacket or robe and bellow the names of key members of the ensemble cast, to thunderous applause. Among those cast members: American actress/singer Jane Kean (1923-2013), who played Trixie Norton; British actress, author, and singer Sheila MacRae (1921-2014), who played Alice Kramden; and American actor Arthur “Art” Carney (1918-2003), who played Ed Norton.
I’ll take Sweden.
I'll Take Sweden is a 1965 comedy film starring Bob Hope, Tuesday Weld, and Frankie Avalon in a story about a man who takes his daughter to Sweden to get her away from an unsuitable suitor, only to find that permissive Sweden is an even more undesirable environment.
Hey, the Jordanaires!
The Jordanaires acted as backup singers for Elvis Presley on almost all his recording sessions for 14 years, although they were a well-known group before that, performing regularly on the Grand Ole Opry. The Jordanaires also sang backup for a number of other musicians, including Johnny Cash, Patsy Cline, and Willie Nelson.
That’s Jane Russell!
Jane Russell (1921-2011) was one of Hollywood’s leading ladies in the 1940s and 1950s. The voluptuous brunette got her start in Howard Hughes’ The Outlaw (1943), a famous still from which showed Russell tumbled in a pile of hay, with her décolletage on abundant display. Her biggest success was starring opposite Marilyn Monroe in 1953’s Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.
It's like a Johnny Hodges siren.
Johnny Hodges (1906-1970) was a renowned alto saxophone player. He played in Duke Ellington’s orchestra for 40 years.
I’ll build a stairway to paradise.
A line from the song “Stairway to Paradise” from the movie musical An American in Paris (1951). Sample lyrics: “I’ll build a stairway to paradise/With a new step ev’ry day/I’m going to get there at any price/Stand aside, I’m on my way.”
This must be Pottersville.
Pottersville is the name of the town during the “what if” segment in It’s a Wonderful Life (1946), in which Jimmy Stewart sees what life in his hometown of Bedford Falls would be like if he had never been born—it's a town full of sleazy nightclubs, strippers, and pawn shops.
Uncle Fester is a character on the television series The Addams Family, which aired from 1964-1966. The role was played by Jackie Coogan. In the feature films based on the TV show, Christopher Lloyd played Fester.
Let's see, I see Stieglitz and Ansel Adams and ... Kenny Rogers!
Alfred Stieglitz (1864-1946) was an American photographer who was a pioneer of modern art photography and fought for many years to have photography recognized as an art form. Ansel Adams (1902-1984) was a photographer famous for his photographs of natural landscapes, particularly mountains. Kenny Rogers (1938-2020) was a successful country music artist who has sold roughly 120 million records over his career.
They’re taking pictures of Betty Rubble!
Betty Rubble was the wife of Fred Flintstone’s pal Barney Rubble on the animated television series The Flintstones, which aired from 1960-1966. She had short dark hair and a darling figure. The character was voiced first by Bea Benaderet and later by Gerry Johnson. In the 1994 live-action movie based on the series, Rosie O’Donnell played Betty.
I just had a great Kodak moment.
“Kodak moment” was an advertising slogan used by the Eastman Kodak company since the 1960s to signify an event so emotionally significant that it must be preserved on film for all time; it has since been enshrined in popular culture.
And now, Mel Blanc makes his move. –[Yosemite Sam voice.] You’re goin’ out with me, varmint!
Mel Blanc (1908-1989) was a renowned Warner Bros. voiceover artist who worked on many of their classic animated shorts. His characters included Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, Pepe le Pew, and others. “You’re goin’ out with me, varmint” is an imitation of another of his WB characters, Yosemite Sam—a diminutive gunslinger who squared off primarily against Bugs Bunny. Sam and his huge red mustache first appeared in 1945’s Hare Trigger.
I’ll have a drink with James Finlayson. D’oh!
James Finlayson (1887-1953) was a bald, mustachioed comedian known for his double take followed by a slow burn, seen most famously in a series of Laurel & Hardy shorts. He appeared in nearly 200 films during his career. Finlayson was known for saying “D’oh,” decades before Homer Simpson became world-famous for it, although his version was more drawn out than Homer’s (“D’oooooooh”); in fact, Dan Castellaneta, who supplied Homer’s voice, cited Finlayson as his inspiration for the character trait. Finlayson used it as a “minced oath”—that is, a way of swearing without actually uttering the naughty word (in this case, “damn”).
“You don’t remember me, do you, Doris?” I’m from the March of Dimes.
The March of Dimes was founded by Franklin Roosevelt in 1938, under the name the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis, to help fight polio (Roosevelt was himself partially paralyzed as an adult from polio). The name “March of Dimes” came from a fundraising campaign urging radio listeners to send their dimes to the White House as contributions. The organization officially changed its name to March of Dimes in 1979. Since polio has largely been eradicated thanks to Jonas Salk’s vaccine, the group now focuses on birth defects, premature birth and other problems afflicting babies and pregnant women.
“Long time ago, that fight.” The Thrilla in Manila?
The “Thrilla in Manila” was the third and final boxing match between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier, which took place in the Philippines on October 1, 1975. Ali won after Frazier’s corner called a halt to the fight after 14 horrific rounds. It is considered by many as one of the greatest fights of all time.
“You’re all alike.” [Elvis imitation.] Thankyouverymuch.
An imitation of singer and cultural icon Elvis Presley (1935-1977). “Thank you very much” was a phrase Elvis frequently used, usually at the end of a song while applause thundered. He often said it very quickly with the words all tumbled together. This, of course, led to it being used in impressions of him for decades.
“I still hate all men.” Except Donny Most.
Donny Most (or Don Most, as he’s now known) played Ralph Malph on the television sitcom Happy Days, which aired from 1974-1984.
“I trusted a man once. All the way!” A Jet!
A riff on “Jet Song” from the 1957 Broadway musical and 1961 movie West Side Story. The relevant lyrics by Stephen Sondheim: “When you’re a Jet/You’re a Jet all the way/From your first cigarette/To your last dyin’ day.”
“How can I forget?!” You’re no man to me, mister!
A paraphrase of a line from the Star Trek episode “Who Mourns for Adonais?” Kirk’s actual line: “If you want to play god and call yourself Apollo, that’s your business. But you’re no god to us, mister!”
That’s the last time I get in a car with Monty Clift, I’ll tell you that.
In a widely publicized incident, actor Montgomery Clift (1920-1966), who appeared in such films as A Place in the Sun and From Here to Eternity, ran his car into a telephone pole after leaving a party at Elizabeth Taylor’s house in 1956. He was badly injured and had to undergo reconstructive surgery on his face before he could resume his film career.
“Today nothing’s hopeless.” Not with radar!
A reference to Show 520, Radar Secret Service. Since this episode is Show 513, seven episodes prior to Radar Secret Service, presumably the writers had already screened enough of Radar Secret Service for it to have made an impression. A little riff foreshadowing.
[Sung.] There’s a place for us ...
A line from the song “Somewhere,” from the Leonard Bernstein musical West Side Story. Sample lyrics: “There’s a place for us/Somewhere a place for us/Peace and quiet and open air/Wait for us/Somewhere.”
I just thought of a funny Carrot Top bit I saw.
Carrot Top (real name Scott Thompson) is a red-headed prop comic.
“I have been knocked around so many times.” What’s one more? “I’ve lost count.” She must have lived with Ike Turner.
Ike Turner, along with his wife Tina, performed a popular R&B act in the late 1960s and early 1970s. In 1975 Tina divorced Ike and launched a stunningly successful solo career. Years later she wrote about the violent abuse she endured during their marriage.
And I believe in Crystal Light.
Crystal Light is a low-calorie drink mix, similar to Kool-Aid. The line is part of a marketing slogan used during the 1980s: “I believe in Crystal Light 'cause I believe in me.”
The calls are coming from inside the house!
A classic urban legend dating back to the early 1960s has a teenage babysitter taunted by repeated calls from a madman; when she reports the calls to the phone company, the operator traces the call and tells her frantically to get out of the house: “The calls are coming from inside the house!” The 1979 movie When a Stranger Calls is based on this tale.
“Again! Hit it again!” [Chanted.] Harder, harder, hit it again, harder!
“Hit ’em again, harder, harder, harder” is a popular football chant that got its start at the University of Wisconsin thanks to the popularity of fullback Pat Harder, who played there in 1941 and 1942. His achievements included a 17-7 win over the national champion Ohio State Buckeyes, a game in which Harder scored all 17 points. His college career was interrupted by World War II, when Harder enlisted in the Marines in 1943. When he left the military in 1946 he went pro, joining the Chicago Cardinals and then the Detroit Lions.
“A head without a body.” Is like a day without sunshine.
"A day without orange juice is like a day without sunshine" was a marketing tagline/jingle for Florida orange juice, delivered by Miss America runner-up and super-Christian Anita Bryant in the late 1960s and 1970s. The extremely successful ad series came to an end when Bryant became embroiled in a controversial hate campaign against gays, who she famously warned were out to “recruit our children.” Her excesses led to a boycott of Florida OJ, and the growers dropped her as their spokesperson. (Thanks to Dean Dierschow for this reference.)
All I need is a kimchi pot.
Kimchi is a traditional Korean dish composed of fermented sliced vegetables—usually cabbage—and seasonings. Part of the tradition is to ferment and store kimchi in a clay pot, which is kept buried underground to keep it out of summer heat and winter cold.
“A mere head in search of a body.” Is that a Pirandello play? –I think so.
Six Characters in Search of an Author is a 1921 play by Italian writer Luigi Pirandello. An absurdist metafictional play, it centers on six fictional characters interrupting a rehearsal for a play and begging the director to help them finish their story. At its premiere Pirandello had to flee the theater through a side door to avoid the unruly crowd, but later audiences were much more appreciative.
“I? Imagine?” [Sung.] All the people living in the …
A line from the 1971 John Lennon song "Imagine," which was his biggest solo hit. Lyrics: "Imagine there's no heaven/It's easy if you try/No hell below us/Above us only sky/Imagine all the people living for today ..."
No, he feeds it Science Diet.
Science Diet is a brand of specialized pet food produced today by Colgate-Palmolive. It was created in the 1960s by veterinarian Mark Morris for a seeing-eye dog with kidney disease.
You know, I keep expecting Ruth Buzzi to poke her head through there. –That would be terrifying.
Comedian Ruth Buzzi was a regular on Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In, a sketch comedy series that ran from 1968-1973. Her most famous role on the show was Gladys Ormphby, a hairnet-sporting spinster with a lethal handbag. One of the regular features on Laugh-In was the “joke wall,” a wall with small windows cut into it. At the end of the show, the cast members would swing open the doors that covered the windows and tell quick one-liners and jokes through the openings.
Oh, no, White Fang, no! –Ellu ellu ellu ellu. –Please, not the custard pie, no!
On The Soupy Sales Show (see above note), White Fang was “the biggest and meanest dog in the USA.” You never saw all of White Fang, though, just a huge paw that came in from one side of the screen. Fang spoke in growls and grunts, which Soupy was somehow able to translate into English. The custard pie in the face was Soupy's specialty—he once estimated he had been the recipient of twenty thousand pies over the course of his career—and Fang was often the one throwing them when Soupy did or said something pie-worthy.
Oh, it’s Boog Powell!
Boog Powell was a great first baseman for the Baltimore Orioles from 1961-1974. He stood 6’4” and weighed 230, and he was a slugger, logging many seasons with more than thirty home runs.
I guess you’d call that a farewell to arms.
A Farewell to Arms is a 1929 novel by Ernest Hemingway about an American expatriate serving in the ambulance corps of the Italian Army in World War I, and his love affair with an English nurse. The book, Hemingway's second novel (after The Sun Also Rises), was a best-seller, and established his reputation as a modern American novelist.
Looks like the Father Knows Best house. –Except for the blood. –Bud … Princess … help me …
Father Knows Best was originally a radio show that later made the jump to television; the TV version aired from 1954-1960. It starred Robert Young as family man Jim Anderson and Jane Wyatt as his wife Margaret. Elinor Donahue, Billy Gray, and Lauren Chapin played the three children: Betty (also known as “Princess”), Bud, and Kathy. The house was located on the Columbia Ranch; it was originally built to serve as the house in the “Blondie” serials; later it was the Wilson house in Dennis the Menace and Major Nelson's home in I Dream of Jeannie as well as the Anderson home in Father Knows Best.
Now he’s gonna write “Piggy” on the wall with his stub.
On the night of August 9, 1969, Los Angeles was rocked by a string of seven horrific murders, among them a young actress named Sharon Tate, who at the time was eight months pregnant by her husband, director Roman Polanski. The murders were committed by members of the “Manson Family,” a counterculture group living on the Spahn Ranch and led by the charismatic Charles Manson, apparently because they were hoping to start a race war. As part of their attempt to "stage" the scene of the crime, one of the killers wrote the word “pig” on the front door of Tate's house in the young woman's blood. (A couple of weeks earlier, members of the family had killed an acquaintance after failing to extort money from him and, in a similar scene, had written “Political piggy” in his blood.) Ultimately, five members of the “family” were convicted of the crimes, including Manson. They were sentenced to death, but the following year the sentences were commuted to life in prison. Susan Atkins died in 2009, Manson in 2017 at age 83; the others are still behind bars.
A reference to Show 512, Mitchell.
This jacket was a Burberry, I’ll have you know.
Burberry is a British high-end fashion house founded in 1856, most famous for its iconic trench coat, although it also makes a complete line of clothing, accessories such as scarves and umbrellas, and even its own fragrance.
Geez, Edmund Kean didn’t have death scenes like this.
Edmund Kean (1787-1833) was an English Shakespearean actor in the early 19th century, widely considered one of the greatest actors of his day. He played all the great Shakespearean heroes—Hamlet, Othello, Richard III, King Lear—as well as more contemporary roles. Kean restored the original tragic ending to King Lear, which for centuries had been saddled with an artificial happy ending that saw the villains punished and Cordelia happily married off to Edgar. Kean's tempestuous personal life—lawsuits brought by cuckolded husbands, performances spoiled by drunkenness—did nothing to dim his fans' adoration. He collapsed into his son's arms during a performance of Othello in March 1833 (his son, also an actor, was playing Iago) and died a few weeks later. There have been several plays written about Kean's life, including one by Jean-Paul Sartre and another by Alexandre Dumas.
Women without bodies who hate men without arms, and the men … you know.
A reference to the venerable self-help book Men Who Hate Women & the Women Who Love Them by Susan Forward and Joan Torres.
The Ropers: the final episode.
Helen and Stanley Roper (Audra Lindley and Norman Fell) were the suspicious landlords on the TV sitcom Three’s Company. In 1979 the Ropers got their own TV series, but it only lasted one season.
“I’ll be right back.” With a Milwaukee Sawzall.
The Sawzall is a brand name for a reciprocating saw, or an electric saw that cuts in a back-and-forth motion. It is manufactured by the Milwaukee Electric Tools Corporation, founded in 1924 and headquartered in Brookfield, Wisconsin.
[Cuban accent.] Lucy, I’m home—Lucy, oh my God!
An imitation of Desi Arnaz (1917-1986), a musician and actor who played Ricky Ricardo on I Love Lucy, the iconic 1951-1957 sitcom. Arnaz and Lucille Ball were married on the show and in real life (until they divorced in 1960, anyway).
[Sung.] You don’t bring me torsos …
A paraphrase of the song “You Don’t Bring Me Flowers,” which was a monster hit for Neil Diamond and Barbra Streisand in 1978. The song was originally written in a shorter form as the theme song for the failed sitcom All That Glitters, but wound up not being used when the show went in another direction. Diamond and Streisand originally recorded the song separately, but a Nashville radio station program director spliced the two versions together as a going-away present for his wife (the two had recently divorced). The combined version proved to be a hit, and Streisand and Diamond agreed to record an official version, which promptly leapt to the top of the charts. The song lyrics tell the story of a couple who have drifted apart.
What, did Van Cliburn just walk in?
Van Cliburn (1934-2013) was a virtuoso American pianist. In 1958 he won the first ever international Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow, at the height of the Cold War, a feat that was so celebrated that on his return to New York he was honored with a ticker tape parade.
[Sung.] We can fly in a—hey, 5th Dimension, how appropriate.
I believe Crow is singing a line from the 5th Dimension song “Up, Up and Away,” but he didn’t get the words right and he can’t carry a tune, so I can’t be a hundred percent sure.
From Hollywood’s Pantages Theatre!
The Pantages Theatre is an Art Deco theater in Hollywood, located at the corner of Hollywood & Vine. It was built in 1930 and originally showed movies and held live vaudeville shows. Starting in 1977 it closed down the movie side of its business and became a live theater venue, hosting music shows and stage shows. Well-known performances have included Les Miserables, Wicked, and The Lion King. The riff follows a drum roll, which is probably a reference to the fact that from 1950-1960, the Pantages hosted the Academy Awards—including the first televised ceremony in 1953.
Time for Sleaze Through the Night, here on KPORN.
Music Through the Night is a late-night classical music program broadcast on many NPR affiliate radio stations.
Ah love this place!
A tagline from Burger King TV ads that aired in the early 1990s; they featured MTV “personality” Dan Cortese.
“You put something in my drink!” Oh, honey, it’s just Snapple.
Snapple is a brand of bottled teas and juices. They were introduced in 1972 and are now available in eighty countries around the world.
Was it grenadine? I love grenadine!
Grenadine is a tart/sweet syrup with a dark red color used in mixing alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. It was originally made by mixing pomegranate juice, sugar, and water, but commercial grenadine is commonly made with artificial flavors. Drinks made with grenadine include the Tequila Sunrise (tequila, orange juice, and grenadine) and the Shirley Temple (ginger ale, orange juice, and grenadine).
There’s a good grab souvenir for some lucky fan.
An imitation of Harry Caray (1914-1998), longtime sports announcer. He spent 25 years with the St. Louis Cardinals, eleven with the Chicago White Sox, and then sixteen with the Chicago Cubs.
It’s your new body! [Cheers.]
An imitation of game show announcers, particularly on The Price Is Right, when the stage doors would part and reveal “A new car!”
Well, enough yappin’. I’d better get at it.
A riff on the opening of the 1984 “mockumentary” This Is Spinal Tap, in which “documentary filmmaker” Marty DeBergi (played by director Rob Reiner) concludes his introductory remarks with “But hey, enough of my yakkin’; whaddaya say? Let’s boogie!”
First, how about a Pop-Tart, huh?
Pop-Tarts are a brand of ready-made pastries that you heat in the toaster. They are manufactured by Kellogg’s. They were created when, in 1963, Post unveiled their premade pastries called Country Squares. Post wasn’t ready to mass-produce theirs, but Kellogg’s managed to develop and crank out Pop-Tarts just six months later in 1964. In the early 1990s, several house fires were caused by Pop-Tarts being left in the toaster too long. Pop-Tarts boxes actually carry flammability warnings.
I put a Libbyland dinner in here. It saves time.
Libbyland TV dinners were frozen dinners aimed at kids that were sold from 1971-1976. Their mascot was Libby the Kid (Billy the Kid spelled backwards ... sort of), who outwitted Mean Gene to deliver tasty frozen food to kids around the country in his TV commercials. The meals had cutesy names, like “Safari Supper” and “Pirate Picnic,” while the cuisine leaned heavily on kiddie standards like hot dogs, fish sticks, and burgers. The packaging included puzzles for kids to solve while they ate, reminiscent of kids’ menus in family-friendly restaurants, and under the food in each section of the divided tray was embossed a friendly smiling character, to reward the child for cleaning his or her plate.
I’ve got some Wart X here. I hope it works on the whole head.
Wart X is an OTC wart removal treatment.
Microwave Brenda Vaccaro.
Brenda Vaccaro is a Broadway and film actress who has appeared in such films as Midnight Cowboy (1969), Airport ’77, and Zorro the Gay Blade (1981).
Super-Skrull gonna jump out and bite me?
Super-Skrull is a supervillain in the Marvel comics universe, usually found attempting to thwart the Fantastic Four. There are multiple Super-Skrulls, all hailing from the Skrull homeworld; the original, whose real name is Kl’rt, had all the powers of the Fantastic Four, plus shapeshifting and hypnosis. The character first appeared in Fantastic Four #18, in 1963.
Patty Hearst is the granddaughter of tycoon publisher William Randolph Hearst. She was kidnapped and brainwashed by a militant guerrilla group, the Symbionese Liberation Army, and adopted the new name of “Tania.” After she helped the group rob a bank at gunpoint, she was arrested and charged with bank robbery. Despite testimony that she was a victim of brainwashing, she was convicted and sentenced to 35 years in prison; President Jimmy Carter later commuted the sentence and she was released after 22 months. A poster for the 1988 film Patty Hearst, about the heiress’s kidnapping, showed the actress’s head with the title across her mouth like a strip of tape.
[Three thumps.] Point! Of! Law!
An imitation of the opening of “Point of Law,” a legal radio segment hosted by Charlie Boone that aired for more than fifty years on Minneapolis radio station WCCO, from 1952 until Boone retired in 2010.
You have a kind face.
Possibly a reference to the 1980 David Lynch film The Elephant Man. There is no such exact line in the film, although John Merrick (John Hurt) frequently refers to various characters as being “kind” and at one point says “You have been so kind to me.” The voice used here sounds similar to the strange, slurred speech Hurt adopted for the character.
Oh, geez, I should have used stronger bolts. Pat Summerall, you betrayed me!
George Allen “Pat” Summerall (1930-2013) was a football player in the NFL in the 1950s and later did color commentary for CBS Sports and for a few years on Fox. For many, many years he shilled on commercials for the hardware chain True Value, with the catch phrase “Tell ’em Pat Summerall sent you”—hence the riff about the faulty bolts. (Thanks to Kenneth Morgan and Brian Sweat for this reference.)
Ew, Boo Radley.
Boo Radley is the recluse the children are obsessed with in the novel To Kill a Mockingbird, written by Harper Lee in 1960. He emerges from his house at the very end to save the kids from a knife-wielding man bent on revenge.
Does this bug you? Does this bug you?
An often-used MST3K catchphrase and a possible reference to something U2 lead singer Bono said in the 1988 concert film Rattle and Hum: “Am I bugging you? I don’t mean to bug ya.” Or it's just a reference to the timeless sibling torment of almost, but not quite, touching, tickling, or punching another sibling, and when a complaint is made, saying "What? I'm not touching you!"
Marble. Edges light quickly.
“Edges light quickly” is an old advertising slogan for Kingsford, a brand of charcoal that has been around since the 1920s.
That is one bad McNugget. Ewww.
Chicken McNuggets are fried chicken bits served at McDonald’s fast food restaurants. They come in four shapes: bell, ball, bowtie, and boot.
Always leave ‘em laughing.
“Always leave them laughing” is an old showbiz adage and the title of a 1949 musical comedy starring Milton Berle and Virginia Mayo.