802: The Leech Woman
by Sheba Sullivan
The Sean Young saga!
Actress Sean Young, best known for her roles in Blade Runner and No Way Out, had a very public feud with her ex-boyfriend James Woods in 1988, when Woods took Young to court for allegedly harassing him. Young’s career has been less than notable since 1992.
And the Leech Family Singers!
Probably a reference to the Trapp Family Singers, the singing group headed by Maria von Trapp. Her 1949 memoirs, The Story of the Trapp Family Singers, was the basis for the Rodgers & Hammerstein musical The Sound of Music and its 1965 film adaptation.
That’s the runway system for the Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport in a couple years.
The Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport is the largest airport in the upper Midwest. Certain scenes for the 1970 disaster movie Airport were filmed there.
And Lee Meriwether.
Lee Ann Meriwether is an American actress who played the slinky burglar Catwoman in the 1966 Batman film, among other roles. Although she didn’t get a verbal shout-out from an announcer, her opening screen credit for the 1966-1967 TV show The Time Tunnel, on which she played “electro-biologist” Ann McGregor, was called out in this fashion. This type of credit is known as “last billing,” and usually indicates a smaller role played by a more famous actor.
Ah, it’s a Rorschach test! –I see a lot of spilled ink, congealing in random patterns. –That means you’re a sexual predator … I think.
The Rorschach inkblot test, developed by psychologist Hermann Rorschach, is a diagnostic tool that was used widely in the 1940s and 1950s. It fell into disfavor because many clinicians felt it was too subjective, although in recent years it has enjoyed renewed popularity. The test consists of a series of abstract shapes, or inkblots, on cards; the subject reports what images he or she sees in the blots.
Ed Gein!? Oh! Oh.
The notorious serial killer Ed Gein (1906-1984) lived in Wisconsin. In 1957 police discovered the headless body of a local shopkeeper hanging in a shed outside Gein’s farmhouse near Plainfield, Wisconsin. They searched the house and found belts, lampshades, bowls, and other items fashioned from body parts. Gein confessed to the murders of only two women, although he was suspected in four other cases; most of his “trophies” had been obtained by exhuming recently buried corpses from the local graveyard. Gein was committed to a psychiatric hospital and remained there until he died. Several movie killers have been based more or less on Gein: Norman Bates in Psycho, Leatherface and clan in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and Buffalo Bill in The Silence of the Lambs.
Eubie Blake (1887-1983) was a ragtime musician, composer, and actor. His best-known works include “I’m Just Wild About Harry” and “Shuffle Along.” In later life, as you would expect, his face became extremely creased from age.
Okay ... threw my endocrine back in Tomah.
Tomah is a small city in central Wisconsin, with a population of approximately 9,000 people.
It’s Five Alive.
Produced by Minute Maid, Five Alive (or 5 Alive) is a sweetened fruit juice mix that comes in several flavors.
See, I blame this on the HMOs.
The health maintenance organization, or HMO, is a type of health care insurance in the United States, widely used but often criticized.
“... guardian of all frustrated wives.” Defender of truth. Friend to children.
Superman was often referred to as the “defender of truth, justice, and the American way” in the 1950s television show Adventures of Superman (1952-1958). Also a callback to the Japanese Gamera movie series, Gamera being, of course, a flying, fire-breathing giant turtle who is “friend to all children.” Gamera also happens to occasionally destroy large tracts of Tokyo, presumably killing thousands, including, presumably, children. MST3K riffed on five Gamera movies, originally in the KTMA days (K04-K08), and then again on revised versions of those films in Season Three (302, 304, 308, 312, and 316).
This week on WB: the sarcastic endocrinologist!
The WB Entertainment Network was an American television network launched in 1995, bringing many popular comedy and drama television shows of the 1990s and the millennium to audiences. In 2006 the WB merged with UPN to form the CW, with many of the WB’s shows continuing to air on the new network. Endocrinology is a medical specialty that deals with hormones, which are secreted by the body’s endocrine system.
And don’t forget, Nick and Honey are coming over tonight.
A reference to the young dinner guests invited by bickering spouses George and Martha in the 1962 Edward Albee play Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? A 1966 film adaptation starring Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton won five Academy Awards.
Mmm-hmm, would you like to super-size it?
Super-sizing was a fast-food service technique pioneered by the McDonald’s corporation in the 1990s. Tellers would ask customers, after ordering, if they would like to super-size their order, and often they would acquiesce. In other businesses and contexts, this is called up-selling. Super-sizing was phased out in 2004, as public perception of the practice became negative along with America’s soaring obesity rates. The controversial 2004 documentary film Super Size Me followed filmmaker Morgan Spurlock as he ate nothing but McDonald's food for 30 days. It didn't end well.
This is when Hazelden didn’t have it all worked out yet.
The Hazelden Foundation is a not-for-profit organization in Minnesota that runs several alcohol and drug dependence centers across the United States.
I’d like to announce the engagement of me and Johnnie Walker!
This extremely popular Scotch whisky, with its distinctive bowed-rectangle bottle design, is one of the world’s best known brands of spirits.
“Old women always give me the creeps.” Except Carol Channing!
Carol Channing (1921-2019) was an actress best known for her role as Dolly Gallagher Levi in the Jerry Herman musical Hello, Dolly!
D’ya have any Reader’s Digest?
Reader’s Digest magazine is one of the world’s best-selling and most popular general interest periodicals. Founded in 1922, it is almost aggressively inoffensive. Much of the content is compiled from reader submissions. Long-running regular features like Humor in Uniform, Laughter: The Best Medicine, and Kindness of Strangers are well-known in popular culture.
I had an affair with Lincoln, y’know.
Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) was the sixteenth president of the United States, who guided the nation through the Civil War (1861-1865) and was assassinated shortly after its end by disgruntled Southerner John Wilkes Booth. Lincoln married his wife, Mary Todd, at the age of 33, after a period of uncertainty and cold feet. By most reports they had a comfortable sex life.
An imitation of Granny Clampett on the sitcom The Beverly Hillbillies, which aired from 1962-1971; the part was played by Irene Ryan (1902-1973). Family patriarch Jed Clampett, played by Buddy Ebsen, was her son.
Ohhh, Otis Nixon’s twin sister.
Otis Nixon is a former baseball player who has played both left field and center field. He has played for such teams as the Atlanta Braves and the New York Yankees. He does have something of a shrunken head.
“Mrs. Talbot?” Have you tried Phillips?
This is apparently a reference to a vintage commercial for Phillips Milk of Magnesia, a brand of magnesium hydroxide (milk of magnesia), used as an antacid or laxative.
“What things?” Decoupage.
Decoupage is a decorative folk art in which an object such as a hatbox or a small item of furniture is covered with small pieces of colored paper, gold leaf, or pictures or text cut out of magazines, which are glued in place and then covered with multiple layers of varnish.
“I am of the Nando people who once lived in Tanganyika, beyond the Kalambo Falls.” Outside Pittsburgh.
Pittsburgh is a highly developed city, the second largest in the state of Pennsylvania. It was founded in 1758 and named for English statesman William Pitt the Elder. In 2009, it hosted that year’s G-20 Summit.
I’m gonna put on a dashiki and blow your mind.
A reference to the 1970s blaxploitation film Ghetto Freaks, about a Black man in New York City who seduces white women into being his love slaves. A line in the trailer intones, “A sweet funky Black chick is all he wanted, but a freaked-out white chick in a dashiki blew his mind.”
“… the life-giving Nipee.” Or my Copenhagen.
Copenhagen (est. 1882) is an American brand of dipping tobacco, sold in small and distinctive tins.
This is a ketchup packet from Denny’s.
Denny’s is a budget chain of restaurants found across the length and breadth of this fair land. It was founded in 1953 by Richard Jezak and Harold Butler as Danny’s Doughnuts in Lakewood, California.
It’s Flavorite brand Nipee.
Flavorite is a commercial line of food sold by grocery chain Supervalu, with a focus on low-cost soft drinks.
Who’s that, Dick Butkus on there?
Dick Butkus (1942-2023) was a linebacker for the Chicago Bears, considered by many the greatest linebacker ever to grace the sport of football.
Oooh, that’s good Nipee!
An impression of Jackie Gleason’s character Reginald Van Gleason III, from The Jackie Gleason Show. He would take a swallow of a drink and exclaim in the character’s reedy voice, “Mmm, that’s good booze!”
Look, she has an original Ray Kroc on the wall.
Raymond Albert Kroc (1902-1984) was the businessman and entrepreneur who purchased and built up fast food franchise McDonald’s into the enormous business it is today. He also established many of the conventions now common to the industry, like standardization of preparation, the menu, and methods regardless of the location of the individual restaurant. The painting in question turned up in the set decorations for various other Universal pictures that MST3K has riffed, including This Island Earth.
Ooh, I’d say it’s worth about four hundred gimlets.
A gimlet is an alcoholic drink consisting of gin or vodka, Rose’s Lime Juice (a sweetened, strongly flavored lime juice), and ice. It is similar to the gin rickey.
“It’s trash. Everything’s trash.” Except for the Zenith hi-fi.
The Zenith Electronics Corporation is an electronics company, formerly an American manufacturer and retailer. Founded in 1918 in the days of radio and making the transition to television in the 1940s, it encountered financial difficulties in the 1980s and 1990s and was eventually sold to South Korean company LG Electronics. It still manufactures electronics today.
Open wide, Dino! –Well thank you very much!
Dean Martin (1917-1995) was a singer and actor, a member of the Rat Pack of actors led by Frank Sinatra. He got his start as half of the Martin and Lewis comedy team, which propelled him and partner Jerry Lewis to superstardom. Martin was considered the epitome of 1950s cool, and his persona as a hard-drinking playboy persisted throughout his film career in the 1960s and 1970s. He maintained this reputation throughout his life, often seeming to drink during stage performances and playing heavy imbibers in films like Rio Bravo and Kiss Me, Stupid.
I wanna show you my Mexican jumping beans.
Mexican jumping beans are actually a type of seed pod native to Mexico that contains the larvae of a certain kind of moth. When warmed, the larvae move inside the pod, causing it to roll around a bit.
Codependent some more.
Codependent No More was a 1987 self-help book, written by Melody Beattie and published by the Hazelden Foundation (see above note). It established the role an addict’s network of friends and family could have in influencing their behavior.
You are looking live at sold-out Serengeti!
Sportswriter and announcer Brent Musburger adopted “You are looking live at …” as a catchphrase during his years on CBS Sports’ football program The NFL Today. The Serengeti is a wildlife-rich region of Africa that covers about 12,000 square miles. It is the best place on earth to observe lions in their natural habitat.
Oh, I love World Music.
World Music is an umbrella term that encompasses many different non-Western musical styles, including African, Asian, Middle Eastern, Nordic, Indian, and Chinese styles.
“I’ve heard you’re a gambler.” And a rambler, and I guess you always will.
A paraphrase of the 1977 song “Heard It in a Love Song” by The Marshall Tucker Band. The lyrics seem to have been conflated with various other popular tracks that use the words “gambler” and “rambler” in their lyrics. Sample lyrics: “Always something greener on the other side of that hill/I was born a wrangler and a rounder/And I guess I always will.”
Look at the wall—did he bag the Grinch’s dog? –Max!!?
The Grinch is the main character in the 1957 children’s book How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, by Dr. Seuss. A grouchy fellow who dwells in a cave, he sets out to steal Christmas from the Whos in Whoville, but eventually learns the true meaning of Christmas and has a change of heart. He is reluctantly assisted in the scheme by his dog Max, who dons a reindeer guise.
You know it, Sam. [Sung.] Da dum da dum da dum, da dum da dum da dum …
In the classic 1942 film Casablanca, Ilsa urges Sam the piano player to play “As Time Goes By” for the sake of nostalgia, and demonstrates the tune. Dialogue:
Ilsa: Play it, Sam. Play “As Time Goes By.”
Sam: Why, I can’t remember it, Miss Ilsa. I’m a little rusty on it.
Ilsa: I’ll hum it for you. [Hums.]
[Sung.] … the Indian Boy.
A line from the theme song to “The Adventures of Pow Wow the Indian Boy,” a cartoon segment that ran on the Captain Kangaroo Show during the 1950s. Sample lyrics: “Pow Wow, the Indian boy/Loved all the animals and the woods/Pow Wow was a friend of all the animals in the woods/If there was any trouble he would help them if he could.”
[Sung.] Hahahahaha … Wipeout!
An imitation of the distinctive laughter/spoken-word intro to the otherwise instrumental surf-rock classic “Wipe Out.” Composed by Bob Berryhill, Pat Connolly, Jim Fuller, and Ron Wilson, The Surfaris' 1963 version of it became a huge hit, and it has been embedded in popular culture ever since, appearing in countless films and TV shows.
Still, this is better than Congo.
Michael Crichton’s 1980 book Congo, about a diamond expedition into the Congo being attacked and harassed by almost-human gorillas, was made into a film in 1995.
Filmed entirely on location at Bachman’s Floral!
Bachman’s Floral is a florist and garden supply franchise in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area of Minnesota.
They glued ears onto him!
In the 1932 Disney film Tarzan the Ape Man, starring Johnny Weissmuller, the filmmakers used Asian elephants, which have smaller ears than their African counterparts. In an odd stab at achieving authenticity, they glued large fake ears onto all the elephants.
Babar, in Southern Comfort.
Babar the Elephant is a globally popular French children’s book character. The book series was adapted for an animated cartoon in 1989, and again in 2010. Southern Comfort is a 1989 film about a squad of National Guardsmen being stalked in the Louisiana bayous by local Cajuns.
A reference to singer/actor Al Jolson (1886-1950). Specifically, an imitation of his performance of his signature song, “My Mammy.”
Um, eeh eeh ooh ooh ah ah.
Most likely just a monkey impression, but possibly an aborted reference to David Seville’s 1958 novelty song “Witch Doctor.” Sample lyrics: “I told the witch doctor I was in love with you/I told the witch doctor I was in love with you/And then the witch doctor/He told me what to do/He said that/Ooo eee ooo ah ah ting tang wallah wallah bing bang.”
Out of Africa! –No, no, there’s more in the trunk.
Out of Africa is a 1985 drama starring Meryl Streep and Robert Redford, based on Isak Dinesen’s memoir of her life as a settler and plantationeer in colonial Kenya.
I’ve got the Seagram's; the mixer’s behind me.
Seagram’s Seven Crown is a brand of blended whisky and a favorite for mixing, currently distilled and distributed by Diageo. The Seagram label also has an affordable gin.
[Sung.] Moving to Montana soon, gonna be a mental toss flykune …
Frank Zappa’s 1973 song “Montana.” Sample lyrics: “Movin’ to Montana soon/Gonna be a dental floss tycoon.” At one point the second line is replaced by “gonna be a mennil-toss flykune.”
Don “The Snake” Prudhomme is a legendary drag racer who hit his peak during the 1970s. He earned his nickname from his lightning-quick reflexes at the starting line. Prudhomme retired in 1994.
Hoo now, good Entmoot. Hoom hum. Hum hoom. Hoom.
In J.R.R Tolkien’s beloved fantasy series The Lord of the Rings, the forests of Fangorn are inhabited by a race of tree giants called Ents. A meeting of many Ents, an extraordinarily rare occurrence, is called an Entmoot. The most prominent Ent character in the books, Treebeard, occasionally said “hoom hoom” as a kind of verbal tic.
The lion does not sleep tonight, I’ll tell ya that.
“The Lion Sleeps Tonight,” probably best known as a 1961 hit for the Tokens or for its use in Disney’s The Lion King, was written in 1920 by South African songwriter Solomon Popoli Linda. Sample lyrics: “In the jungle, the mighty jungle/The lion sleeps tonight/In the jungle, the quiet jungle, the lion sleeps tonight/Wimoweh, wimoweh, wimoweh, wimoweh …”
[Sung.] I enjoy being a girl …
A reference to the song “I Enjoy Being a Girl,” from the musical Flower Drum Song. Sample lyrics: “When I have a brand new hairdo/With my eyelashes all in curl/I float as the clouds on air do/I enjoy being a girl!”
Tonight, we ride minibikes and throw hard candy!
In addition to wearing fezzes, the Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine (a.k.a. the Shriners) are known for buzzing around on minibikes or in tiny cars during parades and showering the spectators with candy.
Alfred Hitchcock’s The Us!
Alfred Hitchcock’s 1963 thriller The Birds centers on a mysterious and lethal series of bird attacks in a small California town.
Yahweh, Yahweh, Yahweh.
Yahweh is the god of the ancient kingdoms of Israel and Judah. Early on he was a warrior god, the son of another god named El, but with the rise of monotheism he gradually evolved into the one true god, the creator of the earth.
You’re seeing Estelle Getty, aren’t you?
Estelle Getty (1923-2008) was an actress best known for playing Sophia Petrillo on the TV sitcom The Golden Girls, which aired from 1985-1992.
Her shirt’s gonna look like the Shroud of Turin.
The Shroud of Turin was for centuries an object of veneration in the Roman Catholic Church. Purported to be the winding cloth of Jesus Christ, the length of cloth bore a faint image of a man with the marks of nails through the wrists, whip marks on the back, and lacerations around the head, as if from a crown of thorns. Numerous tests over the years meant to determine its authenticity proved inconclusive, but carbon dating in 1988 finally showed that the Shroud dated only to about the 13th or 14th century C.E. The Catholic Church has described the shroud as an "extraordinary icon," but it has not taken an official position on its authenticity.
I wonder if that’s a Congoleum floor?
Established in 1886, the Congoleum Corporation is an American manufacturer of flooring surfaces and products.
What? I can’t hear you, I’m deaf!
Def Leppard is an enduring hard rock band first formed in 1977 in Sheffield, England.
Just follow the scent of Metamucil.
Metamucil is a bulk fiber laxative that comes in powdered form; when mixed with water or juice, it acts to relieve constipation.
Don’t worry, June, it’s just the DTs!
The delirium tremens (from Latin: “trembling delirium”) is a condition resulting from withdrawal in long-term alcoholics. The most common symptoms are disorientation, hallucinations, confusion, anxiety, and the characteristic tremors in hands and fingers.
“The leopard’s killed, and you’re safe.” You’re with Peter Allen now.
Peter Allen (1944-1992) was a songwriter and cabaret performer popular during the 1970s and 1980s. He was briefly married to singer Liza Minnelli and wrote hit songs for performers like Melissa Manchester and Olivia Newton John.
Chicken Soup for the Soul.
The Chicken Soup for the Soul series has produced more than two hundred titles and been translated into forty different languages. Typically containing motivational stories and having a reputation for platitudes, they are popular light reading.
“Now c’mon, let’s get back to the camp.” We’ll make S’mores.
A S’more is a common camping snack. A fire-toasted marshmallow is placed between two graham crackers with a square of chocolate, ideally Hershey’s.
Um. Hakuna matata?
“Hakuna matata” is a Swahili phrase that approximately translates to “Have no worries.” It was explained and used extensively in Disney’s The Lion King by characters Timon and Pumbaa.
I guess she shipped herself here UPS.
United Parcel Service, or UPS, is a package delivery service founded in 1907; today it is a multibillion-dollar corporation.
Hey, the Good Humor man!
Good Humor is a brand of ice cream treats first marketed in 1920. The “Good Humor Man” became an American institution, as kids across America lined up during the summers to buy ice cream from the men who drove the trucks with the tinkling bells.
“Something’s been frightening the scavengers away.” Marge Schott.
Marge Schott (1928-2004) was a businesswoman who owned and managed the Cincinnati Reds baseball team between 1984 and 1999. She was known for making highly controversial remarks throughout her career, such as the occasions on which she praised Adolf Hitler as a good leader who “went too far” or the time she said she would rather have a trained monkey working for her than a [particularly offensive term for a Black person]. As a result Major League Baseball repeatedly banned her from day-to-day operations of the team until she sold it in 1999.
“Ladu!” Scott LeDoux.
Politician Scott LeDoux (1949-2011) was a professional heavyweight boxer (“The Fighting Frenchman”). In 2006 he became head of the Minnesota State Boxing Commission, a position he held until his death from Lou Gehrig's disease in 2011.
Okay, ollie ollie oxenfree.
“Ollie ollie oxenfree” is a safe word used in the game of hide-and-seek to indicate to remaining players that the round is over and they are free to reveal themselves.
“Ladu!” Nanoo, nanoo!
“Nanoo, nanoo!” is a catchphrase from the TV comedy Mork & Mindy, which aired from 1978-1982. It starred Robin Williams as an alien sent to Earth to study its inhabitants.
[Sung.] She’s a very kinky girl, the kind you don’t bring home to mother.
Lyrics to Rick James’ “Superfreak.” Sample lyrics: “She’s a very kinky girl/The kind you don’t take home to mother/She will never let your spirits down/Once you get her off the street.”
Where’s the Winnebago?
Winnebago Industries (est. 1958), manufacturer of the Winnebago motor home, has seen their brand name become a genericized term for all recreational vehicles. The name was taken from Winnebago County, Iowa, which in turn appropriated it from the alternate name of the Ho-Chunk Native American tribe.
“What do we do now?” Well, I brought Scattergories.
Scattergories is a game by Milton Bradley in which players have to match categories using words that begin with the same letter.
It’s the Earl Camembert tribe.
Earl Camembert was a recurring twerpy anchorman played by Eugene Levy in the Canadian sketch comedy series SCTV. The character wore a modest half-afro and a tartan-check suit.
I’m doing it, Shaka Zulu! Gawd!
The 1986 television miniseries Shaka Zulu was loosely based on the life and exploits of the Zulu king Shaka kaSenzangakhona, nicknamed Shaka Zulu (1787-1828), who united many of the tribes of southern Africa into the Zulu Kingdom. The state he created was strong and lasted many years after his death, but because of his violent rule he has a complicated eminence in African history.
They got the Grain Belt! –Noooo! –My God!
Grain Belt is a popular Minnesotan beer label.
Wouldn’t it be great if you were kidnapped by an African tribe and they brought beer? Really good beer?
In the early 1990s, Keystone beer ran a series of commercials along the theme of “Wouldn’t it be great if …” followed by some sort of extended fantasy riff, and ending with, “and they served beer? Really great beer, like Keystone and Keystone Light—bottled beer taste in a can.”
Friends are visiting 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 actually not being famous, but being presented as if she were. A series of ads 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 followed quickly: a sketch 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 series Pee-wee’s Playhouse (CBS, 1986-1990).
[Sung.] Sunny days, sweeping the clouds away!
Sesame Street is a long-running PBS program aimed at preschoolers, which uses puppets, animation, and live actors to teach numbers, letters, and the like. It has been on the air since 1969. The opening theme includes the lyrics “Sunny days/Sweeping the clouds away/On my way to where the air is sweet/Can you tell me how to get/How to get to Sesame Street?”
No justice, no peace!
“No justice, no peace” was a chant heard during the 1992 Los Angeles riots, after the acquittal of four LAPD officers who arrested, tasered, and beat motorist Rodney King.
He’s not that great a white hunter, is he? A pretty crappy white hunter.
Big-game hunters in colonial Africa, invariably European, often styled themselves as “Great White Hunters.” An entire subculture and literary obsession sprung up around their safaris in the late 19th/early 20th centuries, best exemplified in the stories of H. Rider Haggard, Rudyard Kipling, and Edgar Rice Burroughs.
“They’re working themselves up to something.” Thanks, Margaret Mead.
Margaret Mead (1901-1978) was a cultural anthropologist who wrote Coming of Age in Samoa, an account of her personal research on adolescence and sexuality in Samoan Islanders and how it differed from that of the Western world. Despite some controversy over the conclusions she drew in the book, Mead is still highly regarded in her field.
I see a huge jar of Mrs. Dash.
Mrs. Dash is a brand of seasoning blends manufactured by Alberto Culver. Available flavors include Garlic & Herb, Lemon Pepper, and Classic Italiano.
Ooh, Alberta Hunter’s gonna do a striptease!
American jazz-and-blues singer Alberta Hunter (1895-1984) performed extensively until 1954, when she enrolled in nursing school. She worked as a nurse until she was forced to retire in 1977, at which point she resumed her singing career and continued performing until shortly before her death.
“I think we’re about to have company!” It’s the Mertzes!
Fred and Ethel Mertz were the neighbors, friends, and landlords of Lucy and Ricky on the television series I Love Lucy, which aired from 1951-1957. They were played by William Frawley and Vivian Vance.
See note about Granny Clampett, above.
Miss Jane Pittman and Mr. George Clinton were wed today in a traditional African Polynesian Nando ceremony ...
The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman is a 1971 novel written by Ernest J. Gaines. The titular character recaps her century-long life as a Black woman in the Deep South. In 1974 it was adapted as a made-for-TV movie on CBS. The flamboyantly dressed George Clinton is a singer and songwriter who was a pioneering member of the funk movement and one of the founders of the band Parliament-Funkadelic.
“The sacred Nipee.” The sacred Nike?
Named for the Greek personification of winged victory, Nike Inc. is a major manufacturer and supplier of athletic equipment and sportswear in the United States.
“I’ll give your people whatever they want. Money, cattle, guns, anything!” Lakers tickets!
The Lakers are a professional basketball team based in Los Angeles. Floor tickets for a Lakers game cost thousands of dollars apiece, assuming you can even get them.
She looks like Lee Marvin.
Lee Marvin (1924-1987) was an actor who generally played heavies, although he won an Oscar for his comic turn as a drunk gunfighter in Cat Ballou. He also had prominent roles in The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, Ship of Fools, The Dirty Dozen, Emperor of the North Pole, The Iceman Cometh, The Big Red One, Gorky Park, and MST3K favorite Paint Your Wagon.
[Sung.] Have you heard the drums, Unando …
One of Swedish 1970s supergroup ABBA’s biggest chart-toppers was “Fernando.” Sample lyrics: “Now we’re old and grey, Fernando/Since many years I haven’t seen a rifle in your hand/Can you hear the drums, Fernando?/Do you still recall the fateful night we crossed the Rio Grande?”
Man, I really hate how these guys are ripping off David Byrne’s music. Jeez.
The Talking Heads (lead singer: David Byrne) experimented with incorporating African percussion rhythms into their fourth studio album, Remain in Light (1980). It was a commercial and critical success.
Paul Simon’s backyard barbecues are getting out of hand.
Singer-songwriter Paul Simon, known for his partnership with Art Garfunkel, wrote many of the pair’s most familiar hits. He has also had significant success as a solo artist, particularly with his 1986 album Graceland, which was recorded in Johannesburg, South Africa, and featured an eclectic mix of African-influenced musical styles.
She dances like a drunk girl at the Blainbrook Bowl.
The Blainbrook Entertainment Center is a hall, bar, arcade, and bowling alley in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
I don’t know what it is, we’re all just so restless.
“The natives are restless” is a cliché associated with colonial adventure fiction and cinema. The origin is likely the 1933 film The Island of Lost Souls, based on the H.G. Wells novel The Island of Dr Moreau. The relevant dialogue:
Dr. Moreau: The natives, they have a curious ceremony. Mr. Parker has witnessed it.
Ruth Thomas: Tell us about it, Edward.
Edward Parker: Oh, it’s … it’s nothing.
Dr. Moreau: They are restless tonight.
Ricker racker firecracker, sis boom bah! Bugs Bunny, Bugs Bunny rah rah rah!
A paraphrase of a cheer that originated in the 1943 Bugs Bunny short Super-Rabbit. The actual cheer begins with “Bricka bracka firecracker.”
She needs Bag Balm.
Bag Balm is an ointment designed for use on animal skin irritations, particularly on cow udders. It is also unofficially used for chapped skin problems in humans or to prevent rust in machinery.
She’s forgetting Bingo!
Bingo is a game played with a small card on which are printed numbers in a grid arrangement; an announcer calls off numbers, and if a player has that number on his card, he covers it with a small marker. When he has covered a whole row vertically, horizontally, or diagonally, he calls out “Bingo!” The game has traditionally been the domain of little old ladies, who routinely play several cards at a time.
Free inside each specially marked skull.
The phrase “Inside each specially marked box” is commonly used in promotional giveaways such as the toys cereal companies offer to further entice children to buy their Sugar Coated Cavity Flakes.
He’s not a very good mohel, is he?
A mohel is an observant Jew who performs the Jewish ceremony of bris, or the ritual circumcision of a male infant.
It’s Retsyn. Ding!
Certs breath mints advertise being made with a “drop of Retsyn.” Retsyn is the trade name for a compound of copper gluconate, hydrogenated cottonseed oil, and flavoring. “Ding!” is a reference to one of their commercials.
But she actually ordered a Gibson, so, yep, she’s sending it back now.
The Gibson is a gin and vermouth cocktail, a slightly drier alternative to the standard martini. It is garnished with a pickled onion to distinguish it from the martini.
“Daigariye!” Like a storm raging inside you.
A slogan from an old Pepto-Bismol commercial: “Sometimes, diarrhea can feel like a storm raging in your body.”
And Agnes Moorehead as Endora!
In the 1960s sitcom Bewitched, Agnes Moorehead’s appearances as Samantha’s mother Endora were often presaged by billowing smoke.
See note about Granny Clampett, above.
It’s Janet. Ms. Jackson, if you’re nasty.
A reference to the song “Nasty” by singer and actress Janet Jackson, of the musical Jackson superfamily. She was one of the most successful female pop stars of the 1980s and 1990s, and her popularity has continued into the 21st century. Sample lyrics: “My last name is control/No my first name ain’t baby/It’s Janet/Ms. Jackson if you’re nasty.”
It’s Dubble Bubble, so you get two of them, ma’am.
Dubble Bubble is a brand of bubble gum that has had a market presence since 1937. Until 1998, each piece of gum came with a comic strip. In 2004 it was acquired by Tootsie Industries.
This looks suspiciously like Griffith Park to me.
This municipal park in Los Angeles, California, has been used routinely by production crews as a film backdrop. Through creative cinematography, it has represented dozens, if not hundreds, of different locations in television and film. The most famous area of the park, the observatory, was prominently featured in Show 319, War of the Colossal Beast, and Show 522, Teen-age Crime Wave.
She enjoys snowboarding and playing with her cats, Miss Ohio!
Contestants of the Miss America beauty pageants are typically introduced with depthless, inoffensive banalities. The winner becomes the Miss America titleholder for the year. Miss USA, a similar but separate pageant, is used to select the American entrant for the global Miss Universe competition.
How’m I doin’?
Ed Koch (1924-2013) was the three-time mayor of New York City, from 1978-1989. His well-known catchphrase was “How’m I doin’?”
“Yes, but she must choose the man for the sacrifice.” I choose Adam Sandler!
Adam Sandler is a comedian and actor who has enjoyed amazing success with a series of lowbrow, feel-good movies, including The Wedding Singer (1998) and Mr. Deeds (2002). He got his start on Saturday Night Live, where he appeared from 1991-1995.
Wah wah. Wah wah!
An impression of Patty Duke’s pronunciation of “water” in the 1962 filmed adaptation of The Miracle Worker, a play based on the life of Helen Keller (1880-1968). Keller was a writer and educator. As a child she was left deaf and blind after being afflicted with a disease, which may have been scarlet fever. She was unable to communicate with the outside world until a young woman named Anne Sullivan became her teacher and taught her to read with her fingers. She ultimately learned to speak and graduated from Radcliffe College in 1904. She became a champion for the cause of educating physically disabled students.
“Any man.” Except Warren Christopher.
Warren Christopher (1925-2011) was an American lawyer, politician, and public servant who had a very distinguished career. He served as deputy attorney general during Lyndon Johnson’s presidency, deputy secretary of state during Jimmy Carter’s, and secretary of state during Bill Clinton’s. As secretary of state, he was involved in many foreign policy victories for the United States.
You know, you can go overboard on the film noir look.
Film noir is a genre of movies that evolved during the 1940s. Noir (French for “black”) refers both to the stark, gloomy visuals of the films and to their moral content: flawed heroes, scheming femme fatales, corrupt cops, and cynical, disillusioned storylines.
So, how you likin’ the rains here in Africa? –Well, I’m gonna take some time to do the things I never had.
A reference to the 1982 song “Africa” by the musical group Toto. Sample lyrics: “It’s gonna take a lot to take me away from you/There’s nothing that a hundred men or more could ever do/I bless the rains down in Africa/Gonna take some time to do the things we never have.”
It’s from the Mr. T collection.
Mr. T (a.k.a. Laurence Tureaud) is an actor and 1980s personality best known for his mohawk, gold chains, muscle shirt, impressive physique, and roles on The A-Team and in Rocky III.
A couple of A. Fuente Rothschilds here …
Arturo Fuente is a premium cigar brand, headquartered in Florida. One of their high-end sellers is the Rothschild.
It’s a Fruit Roll-Up, see?
Fruit Roll-Ups are a sticky, flat, fruit-flavored snack manufactured by General Mills.
This guy’s the Kramer of east Africa.
Seinfeld was a television sitcom starring comedian Jerry Seinfeld that aired from 1990-1998. Jerry’s neighbor Cosmo Kramer (played by Michael Richardson) made a recurring gag of bursting into Jerry’s apartment violently and without warning.
What a sticky wicket!
In the sport of cricket, “sticky wicket” means a wet and/or muddy playing field, but in everyday parlance, the term “sticky wicket” is a veddy British metaphor for any sort of difficult situation.
This Gaelic drinking toast is usually translated as “To your health/good health.”
When serving the Greek dish saganaki (flaming cheese), the waiter pours retsina all over the top of the cheese and lights it, crying, “Opa!” The owner of the Parthenon restaurant in Chicago, Christos Liakouras, claims credit for inventing the tradition.
Dreezle drazzle drozzle drome, time for this one to come home!
Let’s open the Mystery Science Theater 3000 Amazing Colossal Episode Guide: “Kevin tells me that this comes from the ‘Tutor Turtle’ cartoon. Uh-huh. That’s great, Kevin. I know it from the Replacements’ song ‘Hold My Life’ off the album Tim. Now, which would you rather do, try to find old episodes of a really stupid, ancient cartoon and wade through looking for a dumb reference, or simply buy the classic ‘Mats album and enjoy hours of listening pleasure? –MJN”
Watch this—she comes out looking like Nancy Kulp.
Nancy Kulp (1921-1991) was an actress best known for playing the part of secretary Jane Hathaway on The Beverly Hillbillies (1962-1971).
I thought I was Dale!
From the MST3K Info site (www.mst3kinfo.com): “Back in the 1970s, there was a series of commercials for Ivory dishwashing liquid, in which mothers were mistaken for their daughters—because the mom used Ivory and so her hands were young-looking. At around the same time, there was also a commercial for Grape Nuts, in which a teenage boy mistakes teenage girl Dale’s mother for Dale and utters the deathless line: ‘I thought you were Dale!’ Best Brains only vaguely remembered these two commercials, and apparently mixed them up in their minds. There were apparently never any Ivory Liquid commercials in which a character said, ‘I thought you were Dale!’ And the Grape Nuts commercial in which that line was spoken had nothing to do with hands. So basically they goofed. But the writers thought they were making a reference to the Ivory Liquid commercials.”
“Is it true?” Kroger’s has double coupons?
Kroger is a chain of supermarket retailers, one of the largest in the United States.
They turned her into Leni Riefenstahl!
German director and actress Leni Riefenstahl (1902-2003) is today best known for her role in the prewar Nazi Germany film division. She directed the films Olympia and The Triumph of the Will; the latter is generally regarded as one of the greatest documentary films ever made. After World War II she embarked on other projects, although her past associations with the upper echelons of the Third Reich ensured that her output was met by public resistance. Today, although her legacy is still marred, she is considered one of the greatest female directors of all time.
So it gave her a Wonderbra, too?
The Wonderbra is a push-up bra introduced in 1994; it quickly became one of the best-selling bra lines of all time.
Next in the Spokesgoddess competition!
The Spokesmodel category was a category of competition in the television program Star Search, which aired from 1983 to 1995.
M-80s, man, got ‘em in Wisconsin.
An M-80 is a powerful firework that has been banned in the United States since 1966. It is a small, tube-shaped firecracker that contains about 3,000 milligrams of pyrotechnic explosive (the legal limit in the U.S. is 50 milligrams).
Oh, they have a Heat n’ Glo campfire.
Heat n’ Glo is a manufacturer and installer of gas fireplaces.
[Hummed.] Mission: Impossible theme.
This is the famous theme to the TV show Mission: Impossible, composed by Lalo Schifrin.
The menstrual hut! –Well, they needed a new one anyway.
Several African peoples, like the Dogon of Mali and the Khoisan and Khoikhoi of southern Africa, practice the segregation of young girls into an isolated hut of the village when they begin menarche. This becomes a monthly occurrence as they age. The huts also function as a meeting house for the women of the village.
You guys seen Pogo?
“Pogo” was a satirical comic strip about a group of creatures living in a swamp; the title character was an opossum. The strip, created by Walt Kelly, ran from 1948-1975 and has been collected in a series of books. Pogo’s best friend in the strip was Albert Alligator.
Bernard Waber’s Lyle, Lyle Crocodile was a 1965 picture book for children about Lyle, an urbanite crocodile who lives in a New York City brownstone. It was a sequel to an earlier picture book, The House on East 88th Street. Both were followed by further Lyle stories.
Aaayyyhh, we’ll just go hang out with Paul Hogan, then.
Paul Hogan is an Australian actor best known for his portrayal of Crocodile Dundee in two mid-1980s movies. He made a third, 2001’s Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles, that broke even but was savaged by critics.
“We’re safe, as long as we stay away from the river’s edge.” That Crispin Glover is creepy.
The 1986 film River’s Edge starred the pallid Crispin Glover and Keanu Reeves as members of a group of teens dealing with a murder committed by one of their own.
Oooh, Miss Havisham.
Miss Havisham is a character in the Charles Dickens novel Great Expectations. Miss Havisham is a bitter and reclusive old woman, clad in the decaying remains of a wedding dress, which she has worn ever since she was jilted on her wedding day years earlier. As her revenge, she has raised a girl named Estella to be a plague on men: beautiful, cold, and heartless, Estella breaks the hero Pip’s heart.
Oh, look, he’s Niven-ing.
Hollywood turned to British actor David Niven (1910-1983) when it needed the quintessential debonair Englishman. His break came in Around the World in Eighty Days (1956), which propelled him to stardom. He also had major roles in 1937’s The Prisoner of Zenda, the Pink Panther series, and The Guns of Navarone. James Bond creator Ian Fleming personally considered him the best choice to play the character in film, although he did so only in the Bond spoof Casino Royale (1967).
See note about Granny Clampett, above.
Come on, Huggy Bear, gimme some pineal!
Huggy Bear is a character on the TV police drama Starsky & Hutch, which aired on ABC from 1975 to 1979, and was remade into a tongue-in-cheek film in 2004. Played by Antonio Fargas on the series and Snoop Dogg in the film, Huggy Bear is a flamboyantly dressed pimp who is a reliable source of “word on the street” information for the police.
I need the Lillian Vernon catalog!
The Lillian Vernon Corporation is a mid-range catalog retailer in the United States specializing in women’s and children’s clothing, household goods, and decor. It was founded in 1951 by Lillian Hochberg and named for herself and her hometown of Mount Vernon, New York.
Elizabeth Taylor ... and Nikita Khrushchev.
Elizabeth Taylor (1932-2011) was an Academy Award-winning actress best known for her violet eyes and her many marriages. Her most acclaimed roles are, frankly, too numerous to list. Nikita Khrushchev (1894-1971) was the bilious Soviet premier who succeeded Joseph Stalin after his death in 1953. He was removed from power by old-guard members of the party in 1964. Several of the worst confrontations of the Cold War (e.g., the 1956 Hungarian revolution, the 1961 Berlin Crisis, the Cuban Missile Crisis) took place during his premiership. Photographs of both Taylor and Khrushchev alighting from planes exist.
It’s Wally Cox.
Nebbishy, bespectacled character actor Wally Cox (1924-1973) made numerous TV appearances on such shows as The Beverly Hillbillies and Alias Smith and Jones, and he supplied the voice for the cartoon superhero Underdog. He is also known for his sitcom Mr. Peepers (1952-1955). Incidentally, Cox was a close lifelong friend of Marlon Brando’s.
No customs. People walkin’ off with green monkeys, giant African termites …
The Callithrix or green monkey is an African species with gold-to-pale-green fur. Macrotermes bellicosus, the mound-building termites in Africa, are the largest termites in the world; their queens can reach more than ten centimeters (four inches) in length.
“Are you Neil Foster?” No, but I play one on TV.
A series of commercials for Vicks Formula 44 cough syrup in the 1980s featured General Hospital actor Chris Robinson dressed in a white lab coat, saying, “I’m not a doctor, but I play one on TV.” Fellow soap actor Peter Bergman, of The Young and the Restless, later took over the role.
“No, June came down with the flu.” 3.2 flu.
A 3.2 flu is a euphemism for a hangover, named for the percentage of alcohol present in low-alcohol beer that is easier to sell and purchase in several drier American states, including Minnesota.
“I’m Sally Howard. I used to work for your uncle.” Of the Moe Howards.
Moe Howard (1897-1975) was a founding member of the Three Stooges, a comedy trio that appeared in nearly 200 short films. Moe was the “boss Stooge,” constantly rebuking his hapless fellows and beating the hell out of them in allegedly hilarious ways. Moe was easily identified among the trio by his brutishly trimmed bowl cut.
“Yes, she did.” She described a Popsicle with a bad haircut.
Popsicle is the best-selling brand of frozen confection and consists of fruit-flavored slurry frozen on a stick. It began in 1905 when 11-year-old Frank Epperson accidentally left a cup of flavored soda water (with a spoon in it) outside overnight. The next morning, he found it had frozen. Years later, in 1923, he began selling “Epsicles” on a California beach. His children consistently asked for “Pop’s sicle,” and he changed the name.
[Sung.] I am Mister Ed.
An imitation of the theme song to Mister Ed, a sitcom about a talking horse that aired from 1961-1966. The horse was played by a palomino named Bamboo Harvester; his voice was provided by Allan Lane.
“She keeps it under the bar.” And under the couch, and in the toilet tank, and a few fake books, and there’s a hollow lamp, and hung out a window with a rope.
Among these time-honored methods of concealing booze are a couple of probable references. In the 1993 Simpsons episode “Duffless,” Homer’s habit of keeping beer in the toilet tank was evidence of his alcoholism. The window method is one of many used by hopelessly dependent Don Birnam (Ray Milland) in The Lost Weekend. (Other hiding places in that film include inside a vacuum cleaner bag, in a ceiling fixture, and behind the bathtub.)
I read the funniest subparagraph in the Uniform Commercial Code.
The Uniform Commercial Code is a dense and elaborate reference book that details the law of commercial sales and trade between state jurisprudences in the United States. It was first published in 1952 and has been through frequent revisions over the past half-century.
Oh, grandma decorations make me so hot! Cover me in doilies and read me Ann Landers!
Ann Landers (b. 1918 as Esther Pauline Friedman) wrote a newspaper advice column starting in 1955 and lasting until her death in 2002. Landers’s twin sister, Pauline Esther Friedman, also wrote an advice column as “Dear Abby,” which was continued after her death by her daughter Jeanne Phillips. (Landers' daughter, Margo Howard, also became an advice columnist, writing first under the title "Dear Prudence" and later as "Dear Margo.")
Kiss me like I’m not Eve Arden.
Eve Arden (1908-1990) was an actress best known for playing English teacher Connie Brooks in the radio and TV series Our Miss Brooks. The series aired on the radio from 1948-1957 and on television from 1952-1956; there was also a 1956 feature film.
There was a Bushman in the luggage, and he attacked.
Many of the peoples of southern Africa can collectively be referred to under the blanket term “Bushmen.” Although this can be and sometimes is considered a slur, like “Hottentot,” the most common alternative name (the San) is considered even more derogatory by some groups.
“June!” You’re busting out all over!
“June Is Bustin’ Out All Over,” from the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical Carousel, includes the lyrics: “June is bustin’ out all over/The sheep aren’t sleeping anymore/All the rams that chase the ewe-sheep/Are determined there’ll be new sheep/And the ewe-sheep aren’t even keepin’ score!”
He belonged to the Stephen King book club for a month.
Stephen King is an extremely prolific horror novelist known for works like The Shining (1977) and Misery (1987).
Hoyo de Monterrey?
Hoyo de Monterrey is a popular brand of Cuban cigar. The tobacco is harvested from both Cuban and Honduran crops.
I’m gonna cut off my ear and box it up, could you run it over to your niece for me?
Dutchman Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890) is considered one of the greatest painters of all time, although he failed to sell any of his paintings during his lifetime. (His paintings now sell for tens of millions of dollars at auction.) Van Gogh suffered all his life from bouts with mental illness, including one famous incident in which he cut off part of his own ear with a razor and entrusted it to a passing prostitute, consequently spending a year in a sanatorium. In 1890 van Gogh died of a self-inflicted gunshot, driven to despair over his financial failures and his illness.
[Sung.] Love for sale.
A prostitute sings about her profession in the famous Cole Porter song “Love for Sale,” from the satirical musical The New Yorkers (1930). Further lyrics include: “When the moon so long has been gazing down/On the wayward ways of the wayward town/My smile becomes a smirk/I go to work” and “Love for sale/Appetising young love for sale/If you want to buy my wares/Follow me and climb the stairs/Love for sale.”
Oh, hi, Peter Lorre as M!
Fritz Lang’s 1931 noir thriller M starred Peter Lorre (1904-1964) as a child murderer being hunted by both the Berlin police and criminal underworld. This was a breakout role for Lorre, also known for his roles in The Maltese Falcon and Casablanca. Lorre’s unctuous performances and wheezy Austrian accent are such common fodder for parody that some people are more familiar with the parodies than the actor himself.
Sharky W. Lothario.
The slang sobriquet “Lothario” is drawn from the name of a seducer in Nicholas Rowe’s Fair Penitent (1703). The name appears earlier in Miguel Cervantes’ Don Quixote (1605), but the modern usage of the name to mean a seductive ladykiller dates from Rowe’s play.
Heh-heh, Foster Brooks!
Foster Brooks (1912-2001) was a comedian known for a shtick in which he impersonated a drunk. Although Brooks had struggles with alcohol, he gave up drinking entirely in 1964—but continued to milk the routine for decades.
Oh, Uncle Billy!
George Bailey’s useless, life-wrecking uncle in the 1946 film It’s A Wonderful Life was played by Thomas Mitchell. One scene required a memorably sotted performance from the actor.
“No thanks, I’m on the wagon!” Oh, Bill W., you imp!
William Griffith Wilson (1895-1971), usually abbreviated to “Bill W.” according to his organization’s tradition of anonymity, was a co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous after he achieved sobriety in his own life. He was a spiritual man who spent most of his life trying to find new methods of curing and preventing alcoholism, experimenting with alternative medicine, LSD, and niacin therapy.
Mario Cuomo, gigolo.
Democrat Mario Cuomo (1932-2015) was the fifty-second governor of the state of New York, from 1983 to 1994. His eldest son, Andrew Cuomo, became the fifty-sixth governor of that state in 2011.
Desperately poor man’s Humphrey Bogart.
Humphrey Bogart (1899-1957) was a Hollywood leading man who practically defined the film noir genre. In his early roles he was typecast as a heavy, but after successes in High Sierra, The Maltese Falcon, and Casablanca, he became one of the biggest cinema stars of all time. Some other notable roles include The African Queen, To Have and Have Not, The Caine Mutiny, The Treasure of Sierra Madre, The Big Sleep, Key Largo, and The Barefoot Contessa.
Looking for my little liver pills.
Carter’s Little Liver Pills (now called Carter’s Little Pills) was a popular patent medicine in the first half of the 20th century. It was a trade name for the strong laxative bisacodyl, although it claimed to cure all sorts of other ailments until the FTC cracked down on the manufacturer in the early 1950s.
Sure, Bobby and Cissy, I know ‘em. Myron Floren, personal friend of mine.
Dancers Cissy King and Bobby Burgess are both former regulars on the TV variety series The Lawrence Welk Show (1955-1982). They were dancing partners for several years. Myron Floren (1919-2005) was an accordionist who was also prominent on the show and held in high esteem by show impresario Lawrence Welk (1903-1992).
Whaddaya say we go home, turn up the thermostat to 85, and watch a little Matlock?
Matlock (1986-1992) was a legal drama that aired first on NBC and later on ABC. It starred Andy Griffith (1926-2012) as the eponymous defense attorney Ben Matlock. Griffith being a fairly mature actor at the time, the show was immensely popular among the geriatric set and became a sort of verbal shorthand for references to old folks.
And then you put those Durkee French Fried Onion Rings right on top of it? That sounds great!
Durkee’s Famous Foods Inc. is a condiment and seasoning company famous for making Durkee French Fried Onions, a vital ingredient in green bean casseroles every Thanksgiving. Sadly, in 1995 the product was sold to French’s, the mustard company, and renamed French’s French Fried Onions, which just does not have the same ring to it at all.
Hey, I can warm up the sitz bath.
A sitz bath (from the German for “sit”) is a bath where one sits in warm, possibly medicated water up to hip level. They are used to alleviate various complaints “down there,” including hemorrhoids and bladder infections.
The only lyric to the instrumental song “Tequila,” originally recorded by a group of studio musicians (later dubbed the Champs) in about ten minutes in 1957. It won a Grammy for Best R&B Song in 1958.
There’s a million pairs of circulation hosiery in the naked city.
A reference to the famous closing line from the 1948 film The Naked City and the TV series based on the film: “There are eight million stories in the naked city. This has been one of them.” Circulation hosiery, also called compression garments, are very tight socks and/or leggings that provide relief for people with poor blood circulation in their legs and feet.
That’s not Alan Shepard, is it?
Alan Shepard (1923-1998) was an American astronaut who on May 5, 1961, became the first American to travel into space. He also commanded the later Apollo 14 mission to land on the moon (February 5, 1971), and famously became the first man to play golf on the moon. Shepard was a high-profile Chevrolet Corvette aficionado and owner.
Let’s escape to Branson, you and I.
Branson is a city in southwestern Missouri. Starting in the 1930s, the city began consciously to position itself as a tourist attraction; it is now considered the “family-friendly Las Vegas” because of its many attractions, which are located along a neon-lighted “strip.” It is particularly known for its musical acts, which consist largely of country and bluegrass. Featured acts include Roy Clark, Mel Tillis, and the Osmonds.
It’s from the Sarah Coventry collection.
The American jewelry retailer Sarah Coventry sold its wares at women’s home parties from 1950 to 1984. The brand name was sold to a Canadian company, which continues to sell jewelry via the QVC network. A Sarah Coventry piece is usually marked “SC,” “Sarah Coventry,” or “Coventry.”
She’s in the zone! She’s hitting pineal glands at will! Inside the paint, outside the paint!
What I believe is an impression of sportscaster Howard Cosell (1918-1995).
“I won’t lie to you.” I was with Michael Irvin. No, wait!
Michael Irvin was a wide receiver for the Dallas Cowboys from 1988-1999. In 1996 police broke up his 30th birthday party, discovering cocaine, marijuana, and two topless dancers. Irvin allegedly threatened one of the strippers; her boyfriend was later arrested for attempting to have Irvin killed. Irvin ultimately pleaded no contest to cocaine possession and was sentenced to probation and community service.
“In about an hour.” And my glasses will be done?
LensCrafters is a chain of eyeglass stores founded in 1983; it promises its clients that their glasses will be ready in “about an hour.”
Mmm, TJ Swann, Mellow Nights.
TJ Swann was a brand of cheap wine popular in the 1970s, sometimes known as “soda pop” wine because it contained a lower percentage of alcohol than typical wines. The flavor was actually called Mellow Days, along with such treats as Easy Nights, Magic Moments, and Stepping Out.
June Cleaver, after the divorce!
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).
Hi, hell hath no fury like me.
“Heav’n has no rage, like love to hatred turn’d, nor hell a fury, like a woman scorn’d,” a line in William Congreve’s play The Mourning Bride (1697), is usually reduced to the pithier “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.”
[Sung.] Jolene, Jolene, Jolene, Jolene!
Dolly Parton’s 1974 song “Jolene” is a housewife’s plea to a seductress not to tempt her husband away from her. Sample lyrics: “Your smile is like a breath of spring/Your voice is soft like summer rain/And I cannot compete with you, Jolene.”
“Champagne. Soft music. Very nice.” Chicken in a Biskit.
Chicken in a Biskit is a savoury Nabisco snack biscuit.
“I’m putting you on the next plane to New York.” I’ve enrolled you in Juilliard.
The Juilliard School, located in New York City, was founded in 1905. It’s considered one of the most prestigious performing arts conservatories in the world. Notable alumni of its drama school include Kevin Spacey, Kevin Kline, and William Hurt.
Go ahead and take and make my day.
In the fourth Dirty Harry film, Sudden Impact, Harry Callahan (played by Clint Eastwood) is introduced saying “Go ahead, make my day” to a criminal, intimidating him into backing down. He says a variation of it again at the end of the film. This line is often conflated with the first movie’s famous “Do you feel lucky, punk?” monologue, probably due to the similar set of circumstances under which it is uttered.
Dear Heloise, I got some pineal juice on my shag rug.
Heloise Bowles (1919-1977) began writing a column of household advice in the Honolulu Advertiser in 1959 called “Hints from Heloise.” It was soon syndicated nationwide in more than six hundred newspapers. Bowles wrote the column until her death in 1977; her daughter, Poncé Kiah Marchelle Heloise Cruse Evans, now writes the column and hosts the radio show Ask Heloise.
William Conrad was once stuck to that chair.
William Conrad (1920-2004) was an actor known for his roles in such TV series as Cannon (1971-1976) and Jake and the Fatman (1987-1992).
I got this at SuperAmerica. Red grape Malt Duck.
SuperAmerica is a chain of gas stations/convenience stores located throughout Minnesota, Wisconsin, and South Dakota. Malt Duck was an American liquor brand that enjoyed popularity during the 1970s and 1980s. It came in sweet flavors like red grape and apple, similar to the pre-mixed drinks that are sold today.
It’s a sauna suit. What, does she have to make weight tonight?
A sauna suit is a piece of apparel worn to induce sweating. The resulting dehydration can often give the impression that the wearer has lost weight.
Love is a many tepid thing.
A reference to the song “Love Is a Many Splendored Thing” by Jerry Vale and the 1955 film that was named for the song and helped popularize it. Sample lyrics: “Love is a many splendored thing/It’s the April rose, that only grows/In the early spring …”
“Oh, Neil, I can’t.” Starfleet forbids it.
In the TV series Star Trek, which aired from 1966-1969, Starfleet was the exploratory/military body of the Federation and employer of all the principal characters. The main operating rule of Starfleet, the Prime Directive, forbade direct interference with developing civilizations, a rule that was broken nearly every week on the show.
“No, she isn’t. She’s spending the night with friends.” From Europe.
See note on Rula Lenska, above.
“A small-time con man.” Low rent rendezvous.
“Third Rate Romance,” the 1975 Amazing Rhythm Aces song (also recorded by Sammy Kershaw), contains the lyrics: “She said ‘You don’t look like my type/but I guess you’ll do’/Third rate romance, low rent rendezvous.”
This is like a murderous episode of Lucy.
See note on I Love Lucy, above.
That lamp looks like the fatted hen.
In biblical scripture, particularly I Kings 4:23, the “fatted fowl” are referred to as a provision for King Solomon’s feast.
The Torgo theme!
A reference to Show 420, Manos, the Hands of Fate.
Pff! Barbara Stanwyck!
Actress Barbara Stanwyck (1907-1990) had a long Hollywood career. She is best known for film noirs like The Lady Eve, Double Indemnity, and Sorry, Wrong Number and her starring role on the television show The Big Valley. Throughout her life she maintained a matronly hairstyle that once prompted producer Buddy DeSylva to comment, “We hired Barbara Stanwyck and here we get George Washington.”
Well, that’s what happens when you buy Shurfine pineal juice.
Shurfine is a private label distributer for independent supermarkets in the United States. It is known for selling knockoffs of brand-name products, like its “Double Duos” cookies, which are a cheapie version of Oreos.
“Hit it!” [Sung.] Oh, goodbye, my Coney … oh.
“Goodbye, My Coney Island Baby” is a well-known barbershop ballad, composed in 1924 by Les Applegate.
She destroyed her promotional-size bottle of White Shoulders!
White Shoulders is a women’s perfume manufactured by Evian.
See note about Granny Clampett, above.
She missed the see-ment pond.
Granny Clampett (see above note) persistently referred to their swimming pool as the “cement pond,” stressing the first syllable.
Old Hickory is dead.
Andrew Jackson (1767-1845) was the seventh president of the United States, from 1829-1837. He was a Tennessee lawyer who became a national hero in the War of 1812 after he defeated the British army at the Battle of New Orleans. His nickname, “Old Hickory,” was a reference to his toughness. Many surviving portraits of Jackson show that he had a thick, full head of hair well into his golden years.
See note about Granny Clampett, above.
See note about Granny Clampett, above.