K21: The Legend of Dinosaurs
by Trey Yeatts
[Sung.] Here comes ol’ flattop, he got groovin’ up slowly, he got … –Foot of Mount Fuji. He’s got ramblin’ cowboy.
Paraphrased lyrics to The Beatles’ 1969 hit single “Come Together.” The actual first verse is, “Here come old flattop, he come grooving up slowly/He got joo-joo eyeball, he one holy roller/He got hair down to his knee/Got to be a joker, he just do what he please.” The active volcano Mount Fuji is the highest mountain in Japan, standing about 60 miles southwest of Tokyo; it is Japan’s most recognizable landmark.
[Sung.] To the Land of the Lost, lost, lost, lost. –She’s Marshall, Will and Holly all wrapped into one, I think.
A portion of the lyrics to the theme song from Land of the Lost, the 1974-1976 Saturday morning children’s sci-fi series produced by Sid and Marty Krofft (who also gave us H.R. Pufnstuf). Rick, Will, and Holly Marshall were the characters stranded in the dinosaur-laden alternate universe.
No more Cuervo with Wheaties for her.
José Cuervo is a brand of tequila from Mexico first produced in 1900. Wheaties is a General Mills cereal known for its association with athletes and sports. Marketed as “The Breakfast of Champions,” the wheat and bran flake mixture was first sold in 1924.
I thought this was Japan, not China. Maybe they had a torture trade deal. –It’s one of their chief exports, you know. –Torture? –Yeah. How do you think we got this film? –Bamboo shoots for torture and Chinese food.
So-called “Chinese water torture” was actually invented in the late 1400s by French lawyer Hippolytus de Marciliis and is not known to have ever been used by the Chinese. It works by restraining the subject and allowing single drops of water to fall upon their foreheads irregularly over a long period of time with the aim of driving the subject insane. The name “Chinese water torture” likely became associated with this practice thanks to escape artist Harry Houdini’s act “Chinese Water Torture Cell,” which actually involved a full tank of water. De Marciliis also developed sleep deprivation as a means of torture. Great guy. Bamboo torture has been used in southeast Asian countries for centuries, most recently by Imperial Japan in World War II. It involved restraining a subject over recently planted bamboo and allowing the shoots to grow through their body (which they would with ease).
[Sung.] In the land of Dairy Queen, we treat you right.
Lyrics from an old advertising jingle for the Dairy Queen chain of restaurants. Commercials for the chain in the 1970s featured close-ups of sundae toppings as though they were mountains.
I’m not in Kansas anymore. –I’m not even in Kyoto anymore.
A paraphrasing of a famous line from the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz. The original line, said by Dorothy (Judy Garland) to her dog, Toto (Terry the Dog), is, “Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.”
Wasn’t this in Hogan’s Heroes? Stalagmite 13? Sorry. –You’re reaching. –It’s kinda my job. Part of my program. One of my robotic laws is “Annoy at all costs.”
Hogan’s Heroes was a CBS TV sitcom that aired from 1965-1971. It was about a group of Allied service members imprisoned in a German POW camp during World War II. Yes, I typed “sitcom.” “Stalag 13” was the name of the fictional prison camp. In real life, Stalag 13 was a post-WWII POW camp operated by Soviets and containing former SS personnel. “Robotic laws” refers to the Three Laws of Robotics created by writer Isaac Asimov in his 1942 short story “Runaround.” “Annoy at all costs” isn’t actually one of them.
Uh-oh. They’re all filled with pantyhose. –Attack of the fifty-foot pantyhose. –Oh, don’t egg him on. –You guys crack me up. –But the yolk’s on you. We’ve barely scratched the shell.
A reference to L’eggs brand pantyhose, famously sold in plastic egg-shaped containers starting in 1969. In 1991 the company phased out the containers in favor of cardboard boxes, citing the higher transportation and packing costs associated with the oddly shaped eggs. Attack of the 50 Foot Woman is a 1958 sci-fi film about a woman who is greatly enlarged by an alien and then seeks revenge on her cheating husband.
That guy’s wearing a parachute on his head. –I think he [garbled] for Pan Am.
Pan American World Airways was a major airline founded in 1927 and closed in 1991. The Pan Am name has been sold to four different air companies since.
Is that Wayne Newton-san?
Wayne Newton is a singer who has only had a few radio hits, most especially 1963’s “Danke Schoen.” But in Las Vegas he is one of the most popular entertainers in the city’s history, earning $1 million per month at his peak.
Hey, how many matches, Servo? –[Imitating.] 448 matches, I’m very sure of it. 448. 448. Sally Dibbs. Dibbs, Sally. 938-0291. I’m real sure of it. I gotta go watch Wapner.
An imitation and paraphrasing of lines from the 1988 drama Rain Man, starring Dustin Hoffman as an autistic savant under the care of his half-brother, Tom Cruise. In a diner scene, a box of toothpicks is spilled, and Hoffman’s character correctly counts the 246 that spilled onto the floor. In the same scene, the character encounters waitress Sally Dibbs, recalls her name from the phone book, and recites her phone number, “461-0192.” As part of the character’s daily routine, he watched the popular syndicated courtroom program The People’s Court (original run: 1981-1993), presided over by retired judge Joseph Wapner, every night.
The legend of Dinah Shore? –The Legend of Dinah Shore!
Dinah Shore (1916-1994) was a singer, actress, and television personality who starred in her own eponymous series in the early 1950s and two daytime talk shows in the 1970s. Her last talk show, A Conversation with Dinah, aired on TNN from 1989 to 1992.
Sounds like “Shaft.” Who’s the pterodactyl cat, who’s a sex machine and not a hat. Shaft. –Good God! Huh! –John Pterodactyl Shaft. –I think someone’s gonna get the shaft. Could be the viewer. –He’s a soul by himself who must risk his life for his other elf. Shaft. –Who’s the guy with the big ol’ ‘fro, who comes originally from Tokyo? –Dinosaur Shaft. Good God. –Huh! –Hey, I’m just talkin’ about Dinosaur Shaft. –Good God. –That Shaft is one bad, one bad ... shut your mouth. I’m just talkin’ about Dinosaur Shaft.
A paraphrasing of lyrics to the aforementioned song by Isaac Hayes, “Shaft.” Actual lyrics: “Who’s the Black private dick/That’s a sex machine to all the chicks?/Shaft! … You see this cat Shaft is a bad mother—/Shut your mouth!/But I’m talkin’ about Shaft.”
What’s that? Oh. Cool. –It’s the two eyes of Sumuru.
A reference to Show K18, The Million Eyes of Sumuru.
Only you can prevent ... bad movies.
A paraphrasing of the slogan “Only you can prevent forest fires,” often uttered by Smokey the Bear, the longtime spokescreature for the U.S. Forest Service. He was created in 1944.
Wallet. Keys. Watch. Checkbook. –Glasses. –Dorky yellow sunglasses. –Nilsson ripoff song.
Harry Nilsson (1941-1994) was an American singer-songwriter best known for several folksy singles in the 1970s, including “Everybody’s Talkin’” and “Without You.”
Let’s see. Around the tree, through the hole, that’s not right. How does it go? Oh well. –And back in the hole [too low].
A fairly common method for teaching kids to tie their shoes is to tell them that a squirrel (or bunny) runs around the “tree” (the loop they’re holding), jumps into the hole under the tree, and comes out the other side.
He’s flossing the mountain. –Takes a big man to floss a whole mountain. –Kinda like gleaming the cube.
Gleaming the Cube is a 1989 film starring Christian Slater as a skateboard enthusiast investigating the death of his adopted Vietnamese brother.
With his sidekick, Babe the Blue Stim-U-Dent.
Babe the Blue Ox is the mythological companion to “fakelore” gigantic lumberjack figure Paul Bunyan, created in 1916 for advertising pamphlets for the Red River Lumber Company. Stim-U-Dent is an oral hygiene product manufactured by Johnson & Johnson. Resembling toothpicks, the devices are made of softer bass tree wood and are shaped to clean around the teeth and gums.
“Mugu.” –Gai pan. –Mr. Magoo?
Moo goo gai pan is a stir-fry dish common to Cantonese (Chinese) cuisine. It consists of chicken, mushrooms, snow peas, and so on. Mr. Magoo was the elderly, nearsighted star of a series of short cartoons that first appeared in 1949 and lasted well into the late 1970s. He was voiced by Jim Backus, who played Thurston Howell on Gilligan’s Island.
[Sung.] Nothing you can say can tear me away from my guide.
A paraphrasing of a line from the 1964 Motown hit “My Guy,” written by Smokey Robinson and recorded by Mary Wells.
[Sung.] Heartbeat. It’s a love beat. And when we meet, it’s a good vibration. –I feel like buying a Chevy truck.
Joel is singing “Heartbeat (It’s a Lovebeat),” the 1973 hit by the pop group The DeFranco Family featuring Tony DeFranco. “The Heartbeat of America” was the ad slogan for automaker Chevrolet from 1987 to 1994.
[Sung.] Tall and tan and young and lovely, the girl from Hiroshima goes diving, and as she passes each one, each one goes glub-glub-glub-glub [nonsense Japanese-esque exclamations].
“The Girl from Ipanema” is a bossa nova song that became a worldwide phenomenon in the mid-1960s. It was written about (then) fifteen-year-old Helô Pinheiro, an attractive girl who walked by the songwriters in Rio de Janeiro’s Ipanema district every day. She later became a model and businesswoman. The English lyrics for the first verse go like this: “Tall and tanned and young and lovely/The girl from Ipanema goes walking/And when she passes/Each man she passes/Goes Aaah!”
It’s Brooke Shields, the creature from the Blue Lagoon.
Brooke Shields is an actress and model who rose to fame in a series of Calvin Klein Jeans ads and starred in the 1980 drama The Blue Lagoon, about two young cousins who become marooned on an island and enter puberty ... with each other. Creature from the Black Lagoon is a 1954 monster film about an Amazonian “Gill-man” that wreaks havoc on a scientific expedition. It was sequelized in 1955’s Revenge of the Creature, which served as the basis for Show 801.
My God, honey, it’s a Jeep.
Jeep is the oldest brand of SUV, first produced by Willys-Overland during World War II (now the brand is a division of Chrysler). Thanks to their wartime ubiquity, Jeep became a genericized trademark for just about any kind of small, no-frills vehicle.
[Imitating Jaws theme.] –[Whistling Close Encounters “contact” theme.] Oh, sorry. Wrong film.
The famous theme to the 1975 movie Jaws, about a killer great white shark, was composed by John Williams. Williams also composed the five-tone motif sometimes known as the “Spaceship Communication” theme from the 1977 film Close Encounters of the Third Kind. It was played by the humans to communicate with the visiting aliens and vice versa.
My God, it’s a pen! –Symbolic, don’t you think? The pen is mightier than the swordfish. –It wrote this movie. –And the thong is floating.
The well-known phrase “The pen is mightier than the sword” was coined by English author Edward Bulwer-Lytton in his 1839 play Richelieu, Or the Conspiracy. “Thong,” in this case, refers to a thong sandal or flip-flop, and not the skimpy underwear we associate with the term today.
[Imitating Psycho stabby violins.]
An imitation of the shrill orchestral piece that plays during the infamous shower scene in Alfred Hitchcock’s 1960 film Psycho; the music was composed by Bernard Herrmann.
That was no boating accident.
A paraphrased line from the aforementioned Jaws, spoken by Richard Dreyfuss’s character, Dr. Matt Hooper: “This was no boat accident!”
[Sung.] Beach Blanket Sushi. Beach Blanket Sushi.
A paraphrased version of the title song to the 1965 film Beach Blanket Bingo, starring Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello.
My God, it’s Dorca! –The killer premise.
Orca was a 1977 action film with the tag line, “The Killer Whale!” It was produced to capitalize on the unprecedented success of Jaws, and was poorly reviewed by critics and poorly attended by audiences because of the transparency of this ploy.
Had a nice beat you could dance to. Made your body flail around the room a little bit.
A reference to the long-running musical television program American Bandstand (1952-1989), hosted by Dick Clark. For much of the show’s run, a segment called “Rate-a-Record” featured teens commenting on new singles. A common response was something along the lines of, “It’s got a good beat and you can dance to it.”
Total panic. That’s like “pure chewing satisfaction.”
“Pure Chewing Satisfaction” was an advertising slogan for Wrigley’s Spearmint gum used in the 1980s.
Why do they call it “magnitude” earthquakes? I guess it’s because they can’t say “Richter.” Lichter scare.
Charles Richter (1900-1985) was an American seismologist who developed the Richter magnitude scale, measuring the size of earthquakes. The scale was first used in 1935 and quantifies their destructive force on a logarithmic scale between 1 and 10.
The weather today, muggy. Tomorrow, tuggy, followed by wetty and thirty. –Don’t ever say that again.
A bit of old vaudeville wordplay that appeared on the radio courtesy of comedian Henry Morgan and on television courtesy of I Love Lucy. It was also included by singer-songwriter John Lennon in a book of poems that he wrote (or copied) in his childhood.
[Sung.] Mazola corn oil tastes better. –You amaze me.
A reference to a jingle used in Mazola corn oil commercials in the 1970s. Also, “You amaze me” is a reference to a mid-‘70s Mazola spot that featured a Native American woman discussing the goodness of Mazola and saying, “You call it corn. We call it maize.”
Had a nice beat.
See above note on American Bandstand.
Over here. –Gumby, come back. Gumby?
Animator Art Clokey created Gumby, the green, lopsided claymation figure, in 1956. The television show starring Gumby, Pokey, and friends aired original episodes for seven years, from 1956 to 1963. A Gumby short, “Robot Rumpus,” aired as part of Show 912, The Screaming Skull.
It’s a headless horse, man.
A reference to Ichabod Crane’s nemesis in the 1820 Washington Irving story “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.” A petty tyrant, Crane is a gangling, awkward schoolmaster who nonetheless imagines that he can romance the wealthy daughter of a local landowner before he is beset by the Headless Horseman.
Flicka! –I guess they took the head to use in The Godfather.
Flicka is the name of the horse from the 1941 novel My Friend Flicka by Mary O’Hara. The basic story of a boy (sometimes girl) and his horse was adapted into several films and television series over the ensuing six decades. In the award-winning 1972 gangster film The Godfather, a movie studio chief refuses to cast a singer dear to the heart of the titular godfather, Don Vito Corleone (Marlon Brando), in a film, so Don Corleone has the head of the studio boss’s prize racehorse cut off and placed in his bed. The head used in the film was real--the filmmakers got it from a slaughterhouse that provided horsemeat for dog food companies.
Oh, there was a pool of blood. –We thought it was raspberry. –That must have been that big mango [too low]. –We’ll call Bartles & Jaymes.
Bartles & Jaymes is a brand of fruit-flavored wine cooler first produced in 1981. It became a household name thanks to a series of commercials in the mid-to-late 1980s, featuring two elderly gents, Frank Bartles (who spoke) and Ed Jaymes (who did not), who acted all folksy and what-not, and ended each ad with the line, “And thank you for your support.”
Freddie’s on the corner now. –Shut your mouth! –If you want to drive a Toyota, wow!
A reference to the song “Freddie’s Dead” from the 1972 film Super Fly. The actual lyrics are, “A Freddie’s on the corner now./If you wanna be a junkie, wow./Remember, Freddie’s dead.” “Shut your mouth!” is likely a reference to the theme to “Shaft,” mentioned above.
Kinda like a Bond theme, isn’t it? [Imitating “James Bond Theme.”]
James Bond is the British superspy character created by author Ian Fleming and seen in two dozen films. In each of the twenty-two “official” films made by EON Productions, the “James Bond Theme” is used (beginning with 1962’s Dr. No), most often in the so-called “Gunbarrel Sequence” that opened the majority of the movies. It was written by Monty Norman and arranged in eleven films by composer John Barry. In fact, Norman successfully sued the Times of London for asserting that Barry and not Norman had in fact composed the theme.
We’ll see what develops.
“See what develops” was an advertising slogan for Polaroid, the camera and film manufacturer.
I’m Johnny Paycheck. [Sung.] Take this job and shove it.
Johnny Paycheck (1938-2003) was a country music singer who is best known for his hit 1977 cover of the David Allen Coe song “Take This Job and Shove It,” about an embittered blue-collar worker. Paycheck’s career suffered in the 1980s, thanks to his various addictions, and in 1989, he began a twenty-two-month prison sentence in Ohio for shooting a man. He was pardoned by then-Governor Richard Celeste, thanks to loads of mail sent by Paycheck fans.
[Sung.] Well, I gotta little rickshaw and they call it a woody.
A paraphrased line from the 1963 Jan and Dean single “Surf City,” written by The Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson. The original lyric is, “I bought a ‘30 Ford wagon and we call it a woody/Surf City, here we come.”
A plesiosaur is a marine reptile, not a dinosaur, that lived on Earth between 210 million and 65 million years ago. The name “plesiosaur” applies to a specific species (Plesiosaurus), as well as to an order of marine reptiles that includes several different species.
Think about it, won’t you?
A reference to an anti-smoking PSA that first appeared in the late 1960s called “Like Father, Like Son.” The message ends by showing the cute little boy grabbing Dad’s smokes while the announcer says, “Like father, like son. Think about it.” (“Won’t you?” wasn’t part of it.)
It’s Waylon Springroll. –Jimmy Buffet. –Jimmy Chinese Buffet. –Arr you can eat. All you can listen to, which has already passed.
Waylon Jennings (1937-2002) was a country singer and songwriter. He was a bassist for Buddy Holly, a founding member of The Highwaymen, and the theme song singer and narrator for the CBS series The Dukes of Hazzard (1979-1985). Jimmy Buffett is a singer-songwriter whose biggest hits are 1977’s “Margaritaville” and 1978’s “Cheeseburger in Paradise.” His devoted fans are called “Parrotheads.”
Mammas, don’t let your babies grow up to be samurai.
A paraphrasing of the 1978 song “Mammas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys,” by the aforementioned Waylon Jennings, which was his biggest hit.
[Sung.] Up against the wall, redneck mama-sans.
“Up Against the Wall, Redneck Mothers” is a 1973 song recorded by Jerry Jeff Walker and written by Ray Wylie Hubbard.
I’ve got this on CD.
CD, or compact disc, is a polycarbonate disc with binary data burned onto it and sandwiched between plastic discs and a reflective disc designed to reflect the laser that reads the data. They were designed in the late 1970s as a smaller-scale spinoff of Laserdisc video technology by Sony. In 1982, the first CD sold in stores was Billy Joel’s album 52nd Street. At this time, the discs themselves were $30+ and the players were $900. By 2007, more than 200 billion CDs had been made, but their decline was in full swing as downloadable music files took hold.
This is better than The Wall.
The Wall was prog-rock band Pink Floyd’s eleventh album, containing their most famous song, “Another Brick in the Wall (Parts 1 & 2).” Live performances featured an enormous wall of cardboard bricks used as a projection screen and set piece for the concert. It was demolished at the end of each show. A film based on the album was released in 1982, titled Pink Floyd The Wall.
It’s a punker! It’s Sid Vicious!
Sid Vicious (1957-1979) was an English punk musician and member of the influential group The Sex Pistols.
It’s a Cabbage Patch Kid!
Cabbage Patch Kids were a fad that took off in 1983, although the dolls had been around since 1979. Designed by sculptor Xavier Roberts, the soft, pudgy-faced dolls with their hanks of yarn hair were highly sought after by children and adults alike, leading to mob scenes, pulled hair, tears, and recriminations at toy stores. Alas, the craze only lasted a few years, and by 1986 the dream was largely over; the company that produced the dolls filed for bankruptcy two years later. Cabbage Patch Kids are now made by Mattel, and they continue to sell reasonably well, if no longer spectacularly.
It’s Dick Clark!
Dick Clark is an American television personality and former head of Dick Clark Productions. He has received several Emmy awards for his work in the Pyramid series of game shows, was the only host of the aforementioned American Bandstand, and has often been the butt of jokes for his seemingly ageless appearance year after year as the host of Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve. After a stroke in 2004, no one makes those jokes anymore.
A little Hopalong Szechuan.
Hopalong Cassidy was a cowboy character created by Clarence Mulford in 1904. He appeared in twenty-eight novels and even more short stories. In 1935, the character made the move to the big screen with the first of sixty-six films. In 1949, edited versions of the films began airing on NBC television and in the early 1950s, a radio series began on the Mutual Broadcasting System and later CBS. Actor William Boyd (1895-1972) kept the character alive throughout all of these various media and even helped kick off Hoppyland, a Hopalong Cassidy theme park that was based in Los Angeles in the early-to-mid-1950s. Szechuan is a province in China (not Japan) well known for its cuisine. Dishes you may be familiar with include kung pao chicken and twice-cooked pork.
Who wants to be named after a Greek sandwich? A gyro? –I thought it was Cheeto. –That’s even worse. A snack food.
A gyro is a Greek sandwich of roasted meat served with vegetables and tzatziki sauce in pita bread. Cheetos are a brand of cheese-flavored snacks manufactured by Frito-Lay and first made in 1948.
What’s his name? –Charles Martin. –I think it’s “Martian.” [Imitating.] You make me very angry. Very angry, indeed.
Marvin the Martian is a Warner Bros. Looney Tunes character who first appeared in the 1948 Bugs Bunny short “Haredevil Hare.” He is a diminutive alien with an apparently all-black body (or body covering) wearing a Roman-style helmet and skirt with large white sneakers. He was voiced by Mel Blanc until his death in 1990.
Adam and Eve on a raft. Wreck ‘em.
In diner lingo, when a waitress shouts to the chef, “Adam and Eve on a raft,” that means, “Two poached eggs on toast.” “Wreck ‘em” means the eggs should be scrambled.
That was the theme from S.W.A.T., wasn’t it?
S.W.A.T. was an ABC police drama about a group of Special Weapons And Tactics officers in an unspecified California city; it aired from 1975 to 1976. The show was spun off from another ABC police drama, The Rookies, but met an early demise in part because it was a very violent show for the time. The up-tempo theme song was actually a hit single for funk group Rhythm Heritage in 1975.
The boy who cried pterodactyl.
“The Boy Who Cried Wolf” is a fable dating back to Greek fabulist Aesop as “The Shepherd Boy and the Wolf.” It deals with a boy who lies twice about seeing a wolf because he desires attention (or is bored), and when he truly spots a wolf, the predator eats him because no one believes him. It is usually told to kids to teach them about the dangers of lying, but one study showed that children actually lie more after hearing the tale.
[With Scottish accent.] He’s got fangs like this and a mean streak a mile wide.
A paraphrasing of lines from the 1975 film Monty Python and the Holy Grail regarding the Rabbit of Caerbannog.
It’s Hoyt Axton.
Hoyt Axton (1938-1999) was a country-western singer/songwriter whose best-known works were generally those covered by other bands, including “Joy to the World,” covered by Three Dog Night, which hit No. 1 on the charts. He also appeared in many television series and films over the years, perhaps most memorably as the father in 1984’s Gremlins.
Super Sugar Crisps. –[Imitating.] Can’t get enough Super Sugar Crisps. –Honeycomb’s big ...
Introduced in 1949 as Sugar Crisp, advertisements for Post Cereals Golden Crisp featured an anthropomorphic bear who often would sing, not unlike Bing Crosby, “Can’t get enough of that Golden Crisp,” or “Can’t get enough Super Sugar Crisp.” The makers added the word “Super” to the name in the 1970s and changed “Sugar” to “Golden” a few years later. A 2008 study of cereals’ sugar content found that Golden Crisp were more than fifty percent sugar by weight. Honeycomb is a honey-flavored corn cereal made by Post since 1965. A popular series of commercials in the 1970s and ‘80s featured the lyrics, “Honeycomb’s big. Yeah, yeah, yeah! It’s not small. No, no, no!”
[Sung.] Getting to know you. Getting to know all about you …
“Getting to Know You” is a song from the 1951 Rodgers & Hammerstein musical The King & I.
He’s no fun. He fell right over.
An MST3K favorite line that appears twice in the 1969 album How Can You Be in Two Places at Once When You’re Not Anywhere at All by surrealistic comedy troupe Firesign Theatre. On side one of the album, a male character falls down, and Firesign member Phil Austin says “He’s no fun! He fell right over!” On side two, in a completely different sketch, a female character faints, and a different character being played by Phil Austin says “Why, she’s no fun, she fell right over. Wait. Didn’t I say that on the other side of the record?”
[Sung.] Dream. Dream, dream, dream. Dream.
The chorus from the 1958 hit single “All I Have to Do Is Dream” by The Everly Brothers.
Like a fish in a barrel. –Like a dinosaur hors d’oeuvre. –Let’s get out of here. –She looks like she’d be good sitting on a Ritz. –Everything’s good on a Ritz.
Ritz Crackers have been made by Nabisco since 1934 and were so named after the Ritz-Carlton Hotel, in order to conjure up a sense of glamour. A long-running ad slogan for the cracker was “Everything sits better on a Ritz.”
Like a gummi bear. Gummi worm.
Gummi bears are a soft, chewy, bear-shaped candy invented by German sweet maker Hans Riegel in 1920. They began to be manufactured by Haribo in 1967. The success of gummi bears spawned many, many imitators, including gummi fish, gummi worms, and gummi frogs, to name a few.
That’s gotta hurt, with the salt water ... –No matter what your background is, that’s gotta hurt.
Presumably an imitation of sportscasters tsking over injured athletes, but whether they’re imitating a specific announcer is a mystery. Anyone?
Maybe there’s just a thorn in his paw.
A reference to the Aesop fable “Androcles and the Lion,” wherein a lion is injured by a thorn in its paw and an escaped slave helps remove it; George Bernard Shaw wrote a 1912 play by the same name retelling the story.
He likes her. –Hey, Mikey ...
A reference to the famed Life cereal commercial seen from 1974 to 1986 featuring Mikey, the kid who hates everything.
What’s that mean? –I think he’s hungry. And salivating. I can understand it. He hasn’t eaten in three million years. –He had that horse. –Just the head. –The best part. –Sure, rich in fiber ... a guy can’t live on head alone.
A variation on Matthew 4:4: “But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.”
It’s Dino’s Theme. Music to munch by.
Music to (whatever) By is a structure of album titles dating back several decades. Perhaps the best-selling was 1967’s Music to Watch Girls By from The Bob Crewe Generation. Others include Music to Shave By, Music to Suffer By, Music to Strip By, and Music to Be Murdered By.
When there was no fowl, we ate crawdad. When there was no crawdads, we ate sand. –You ate sand? –Sand.
A paraphrasing of lines from the 1987 comedy Raising Arizona, between H.I. (Nicolas Cage) and “Ear-Bending Cellmate” (Sidney Dawson) as they passed time in jail.
Sounds like Bernadette Peters, doesn’t it?
Bernadette Peters is a singer and actress who rose to fame in the 1970s thanks to her appearances on TV shows The Carol Burnett Show and The Muppet Show and in films like 1976’s Silent Movie, 1979’s The Jerk, and 1981’s Pennies From Heaven. She has also had an extensive career on Broadway.
She’s come undone. –[Sung.] She’s come undone!
Lyrics from the 1969 song “Undun” by the Canadian rock group The Guess Who.
“A real dinosaur!” –Like Keith Richards?
Keith Richards is the lead guitarist for the Rolling Stones.
Isn’t “petrified stone” redundant? –Kinda like “Hard Rock Cafe.” –Kind of. Like “wooden wood.” –Kinda like “military intelligence.” –No, that’s a contradiction in terms, Joel. –It’s an oxymoron. –Oh, yeah.
Hard Rock Cafe is a chain of rock & roll–themed restaurants established in 1971 by Peter Morton and Isaac Tigrett. In 2006, the chain was bought by the Seminole Tribe of Florida. They currently have 149 locations in 53 countries.
[Imitating “Suicide Is Painless.”]
M*A*S*H was a classic 1970 movie and later a television show (1972-1983), which began every week with a shot of helicopters coming over a mountain range. The theme song was called “Suicide Is Painless.”
It’s a machine that goes ping.
In the 1983 comedy film Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life, “The Miracle of Birth” sketch was set in a birthing theater loaded with high-tech equipment, including the “Machine That Goes PING!”
There’s Clint Far-Eastwood.
Clint Eastwood is a tough-guy actor famous for such roles as the Man With No Name in a series of spaghetti westerns and brutal cop Harry Callahan in the Dirty Harry movies.
Loch Ness is a body of water located in Scotland, fabled to be the home of the Loch Ness Monster. Thought by some to be a surviving dinosaur, numerous sightings, including several photographs, have been reported, although the most famous photo, taken in 1934, was revealed as a hoax. Several scientific expeditions have uncovered no hard evidence.
Is that Floyd the Barber in the back?
Floyd Lawson was Mayberry’s barber on the TV sitcom The Andy Griffith Show from 1961 to 1967. In his first appearance, the character was portrayed by Walter Baldwin. In every subsequent episode, he was played by Howard McNear (1905-1969), who brought a trademark vocal style to the part. The character was based on a man named Russell who cut Andy Griffith’s hair at the barber shop in his hometown of Mt. Airy, North Carolina, on which Mayberry was based.
That is Floyd the Barber. –[All imitate now.] Ooooh, Andy. –Where’s Opie, Andy, ooooh? –Plesiosaur’s so big, ooooh.
See previous note.
He’s gonna go do some yodeling. –Srim Whitman.
Slim Whitman is a yodeling country singer known for his 1952 hit “Indian Love Call,” which was used to implode Martian brains in Tim Burton’s 1996 film Mars Attacks!
Here’s my high school yearbick [sic] photo. –Yearbic? You got lighters? –Yep. Pens.
Société Bic is a French manufacturer of disposable plastic products, including razors, lighters, and ballpoint pens. The Bic Cristal pen was their first product when they were founded in 1945.
Mt. Fuji. –At night. –Just before sunrise. –It’s actually kinda moist, covered with Fuji film.
Fujifilm is a Japanese manufacturer of photographic products established in 1934.
“You want to monopolize the whole thing.” –No, just Boardwalk and Park Place. –Park Place? He’s not in this film.
Monopoly is a board game that dates back to 1903, when Lizzie Phillips created The Landlord’s Game to help explain tax theory and monopolies. In the 1920s, after playing Phillips’ game, Charles Darrow created Monopoly, using street names from Atlantic City, New Jersey. He sold the game to Parker Brothers in 1934. Boardwalk and Park Place are the highest-valued properties on the game board.
Close her mouth before striking.
The phrase “Close Cover Before Striking” usually appears on the outside of matchbooks so that the entire package of matches won't be ignited when you light one.
The music’s all wrong again. –This is not a tender moment. –Playing Jethro Tull. –Well, he had an aqualung. –Oh, that’s right.
Jethro Tull is a British prog-rock band started in the 1960s. Distinguished by the flute playing of lead singer Ian Anderson, the band is known for such concept albums as Aqualung and Thick as a Brick.
Nice tattoo. –It’s a tattoo of Hervé Villechaize. –It’s a Tattoo tattoo.
Hervé Villechaize (1943-1993) was a midget actor (his preferred term) who became famous for the line “De plane! De plane!” on the TV show Fantasy Island, on which he appeared from 1978-1983, playing the part of Mr. Roarke’s assistant, Tattoo. He worked very little after leaving the series and became depressed, ultimately committing suicide in 1993.
Huzzah! Come to the Renaissance Festival, we’ll annoy you by sundown. –Bring the family. Eat big turkey legs. –Spend a week’s salary.
Ah. The first of many references to Renaissance Festivals (or Faires) on MST3K. They are an entertainment phenomenon that began in Southern California in the 1960s and spread first to the rest of California and then the nation. Generally, they feature a number of vendors selling leather mugs, swords, jewelry, and so forth; singers, dancers, and comedians performing; a “court” complete with king, queen, and courtiers; and rides and games for both children and adults.
[Sung.] And up from the ground came a-bubblin’ crude. –Hey, it’s Maypo. –Farina, that is. With maple.
A line from the theme song to the CBS sitcom The Beverly Hillbillies (1962-1971). Maypo is a brand of maple-flavored oatmeal cereal first sold in 1953 and famous for celebrity endorsement ads with the slogan, “I want my Maypo!” The brand changed hands several times beginning in the 1960s, and is still made today. Farina is a type of soft wheat cereal sold most often as Nabisco’s Cream of Wheat and Malt-O-Meal’s Farina. It inspired the name of a character in Hal Roach’s Our Gang short films from 1922 to 1931, played by Allen Hoskins (1920-1980).
Mt. Fuji. –[Imitating Rocky the Flying Squirrel.] Again?
An imitation of Rocky the Flying Squirrel from the cartoon series Rocky and His Friends (1959-1961) and The Bullwinkle Show (1961-1964). The character was voiced by June Foray.
Lake Fuji. –Mr. Fuji. –Kung fuji.
Mr. Fuji was the “ring” name of former wrestler Harry Fujiwara. He began wrestling in 1964 with the NWA and joined the WWF in the early 1970s as a “heel” (bad guy). He rejoined the WWF in the 1980s and became a manager who blinded opponents with salt. Kung fu is a style of Chinese martial arts that dates back some three thousand years and became popularized in the West thanks to martial arts movies and the skills of Bruce Lee.
They’ll get the dinosaur drunk on Kirin beer. –It’s a kegger.
Kirin is a Japanese beer that has been brewed for more than a century. The company also makes nonalcoholic beverages such as tea, coffee, and fruit juices. A kegger is an informal party in which a keg, or many kegs, of beer is the central focus. Keggers are an underage drinking rite of passage for American high-school students, and pretty standard social gatherings on or around college campuses.
The Boatniks (1970) is a film comedy about three inept jewel thieves.
[Bubbling.] Over this way. Let’s go in this cave that looks like a dinosaur’s mouth. –I can’t. I’ve got a haddock. –A headache? –No, a had-dock.
A reference to an often lengthy tale about a fisherman and his wife. The joke can be boiled down thusly: What did the wife say to the fisherman? Not tonight, dear. I have a haddock.
I think it’s a pterodactyl ... isn’t usual to be around, it’s a periodontisaur. –Drinks only mineral water. –A periodontisaur? –Yes. Like an orthodontisaur, but ...
Pterodactyl is not the name for a specific species, but instead an entire family of flying reptiles within an order called pterosaurs. Like the plesiosaur, pterosaurs are not actually dinosaurs (funny, given the name of the film). The animal onscreen appears to be a Rhamphorhynchus: a pterosaur that lived 150 million years ago, but was actually rather small (wingspan of about six feet), compared to the gargantuan monster in the movie. Since we have the opportunity, let’s look at the difference between periodontists and orthodontists. Periodontists deal with teeth supports, including the gums and jawbone tooth sockets. An orthodontist deals with the shape of the bite, and are thus the ones who enslave children with braces.
A giant collapsible drinking straw. –A bendy. –A straw made out of straw. –And Steven Spielberg effects.
Bendable drinking straws were invented by Joseph Friedman in 1934 when he saw his young daughter struggling to drink from a straight straw. He created the accordion-like indentations in a straight straw (allowing it to bend) by inserting a screw. He later formed the Flexible Straw Corporation but wasn’t able to attract any interest until after World War II, when his first customers were hospitals. Popular film director Steven Spielberg has a string of visual effects-laden classics on his résumé, including E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and many more.
It’s Glinda! –[Imitating.] Are you a good witch or a bad witch?
Glinda was the Good Witch of the North in the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz. She was played by Billie Burke. “Are you a good witch or a bad witch?” was one of her first lines in the film.
Hit somebody with a chair. –Geraldo.
Geraldo was a syndicated daytime TV talk show hosted by Geraldo Rivera from 1987-1998. Very often, the show’s topics were salacious and, on one occasion, led to a well-publicized brawl between white supremacists and Black activists in which chairs were thrown, leaving Rivera with a broken nose.
[Imitating Close Encounters “Contact Theme.”]
See above note on Close Encounters.
It’s a pterodactyl, all right. With a ... [Interrupted.] –Kinda remind me of a brontosaurus. –It’s a pterodactyl with a tow rope on it.
Apatosaurus is a species of herbivorous four-legged dinosaur that lived more than 150 million years ago. Its fossil was first uncovered in 1877 by famed paleontologist Othniel Charles Marsh. Two years later, Marsh found another fossil that appeared to be a different species, so it was given a new name: Brontosaurus. These fossils were among the largest found by that point, and their mounted skeletons (along with the Brontosaurus name, meaning “thunder lizard”) captured the public’s imagination. In 1903, paleontologists realized that the Apatosaurus and Brontosaurus fossils were actually from the same species, so the first name prevailed among scientists. But, again, the public didn’t care about accuracy, and the error continues to this day. Yes, I’m a dork. I’ve accepted it. In fact, I even refuse to buy books or toys for my son that use “Brontosaurus.” That’s right; I’m that guy.
[Sung.] Who’s the dinosaur with the vest?
See above note on “Shaft.”
Anyone have a hard time believing that it’s real? –You’re so jaded. –I think it’s this music. This music sounds like something from Super Fly.
Super Fly is a 1972 blaxploitation film about a cocaine dealer trying to leave the business. Sales of its soundtrack actually outgrossed the film’s receipts.
Run! Panic! –Run away! Run away! –Hide behind these cans of explosives!
“Run away!” was screamed by King Arthur (played by Graham Chapman) in the 1975 comedy Monty Python and the Holy Grail as the French hurled animals at his party with a catapult.
There’s two of them. One from Kyoto. The other from Tokyo. A tail of two cities.
A Tale of Two Cities is an 1859 novel written by Charles Dickens. It is set in London and Paris during the French Revolution.
The next ten pages of dialogue are grunting. –No, it’s just one grunt with a bunch of ditto marks. –Ibid.
Ditto marks are usually represented as a single set of quotation marks indicating that the words above the marks are being repeated. The first known usage of ditto marks was, believe it or not, nearly three thousand years ago on a cuneiform tablet from Assyria. “Ibid.” is an abbreviation of the Latin word “ibidem,” meaning “the same place.” It is usually seen in research papers when the same source is referenced for two different citations.
[Whistling “Optimistic Voices.”]
This is the tune of the song “Optimistic Voices” from The Wizard of Oz, sung after Dorothy and company are awakened by snow in the field of poppies and approach the Emerald City.
They are happy to see me. –No more spicy food. –Is that a geyser in your pocket?
The line “Is that a pistol in your pocket, or are you just glad to see me?” appears to have originated with queen of the double entendre Mae West, who said it in 1936 to a Los Angeles police officer assigned to escort her home from the train station.
It’s E.T. –The Extra ... –Tyrannosaurus.
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial is a 1982 film about an adorable alien who gets stranded on Earth, and a group of kids’ efforts to get him back home. Tyrannosaurus rex is one of the best-known species of dinosaur. At the time of its discovery in 1905, it was the largest carnivorous dinosaur found (at the time of this writing it’s considered the fourth largest).
Funky Dino. Dino, funky. [Sung.] Who is the tyrannosaur, who’d risk his life for a brontosaurus? Funky Dino.
On the animated TV series The Flintstones (1960-1966), Dino was a small purple dinosaur pet of the modern Stone Age family, most likely supposed to be a sort of Apatosaurus. See above note on “Shaft.”
Kinda has a mouth like Daffy Duck. –Looks like a Labrador retriever gone bad.
Daffy Duck is a Warner Brothers Looney Tunes character who first appeared in the 1937 short Porky’s Duck Hunt. Daffy was, initially, very screwball in his antics; he evolved over the next decade or so to become an angry foil for Bugs Bunny, Elmer Fudd, and other characters.
While Jim subdues the pterodactyl, I’ll move upstream and talk to the native women.
A reference to the long-running nature show Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom (1963-1988; revived 2002). This particular line emulates original host Marlin Perkins and his tendency to do mundane tasks while his assistant, Jim Fowler, was off doing something dangerous.
[Sung.] Who’s that knocking at my door? Who’s that knocking at my door?
A line from the drinking song “Barnacle Bill the Sailor.” It was first published in 1927 and was loosely based on California sailor and Gold Rush miner William Bernard. It’s a bawdy song, containing many profane references to sex and body parts. Regardless, it inspired three live-action films, a 1930 Betty Boop animated short (Barnacle Bill), and, most famously, a 1935 Popeye cartoon, Beware of Barnacle Bill. In it, the song is used to weave dialogue throughout as Popeye fights Barnacle Bill (played by Bluto) for Olive Oyl’s affections.
Dino-wrestling. –With Mick Hart. –It’s tar wrestling. –Two points. Reversal. –What’s this? His manager, Gamera, is coming in with a card chair! Bobby “The Weasel” Heenan would have to be in on this.
Mick Hart isn’t a wrestler, but there are more than twelve members in the famous Hart family. The most famous may be Bret “The Hit Man” Hart, who held the World Wrestling Federation and World Championship Wrestling’s heavyweight titles seven times. Gamera is a popular Japanese franchise of “kaiju” (“monster”) films about a giant flying turtle who befriends children and occasionally stomps Tokyo. Five of his films were riffed upon earlier in the season and later in season three. Bobby “The Brain” Heenan (derisively called “The Weasel”) is a former wrestling manager and commentator known for his “heel” ways. He spent two decades with the American Wrestling Association and another two decades with the WWF (now WWE) and WCW.
Look, it’s Spanky, the Jack Daniel’s-drinking possum.
Jack Daniel’s is a brand of Tennessee whiskey well known for its recognizable bottle and black label. It was first produced in 1875.
Whoa. He’s angry. –Isn’t that Steve Austin’s bionic noise?
Steve Austin (played by Lee Majors) was the lead character on the TV series The Six Million Dollar Man, which aired from 1974-1978. When Austin ran in slow motion, a sound effect was used to indicate that he was actually running very, very fast.
He flies around like he's controlled by a skittle pool machine.
Skittle pool is a tabletop game, similar to the better-known skittle bowling, in which the cue stick is replaced by a ball on a string, which is swung like a pendulum to knock the cue balls into their pockets. Popular during the 1960s and '70s, the game is still sold today. (Thanks to Scott Graser for this reference.)
It’s the piledriver. –The Gomer Pyledriver. [Imitating.] Goll-lee!
The piledriver is a professional wrestling maneuver wherein one wrestler turns the opponent upside down and then falls to the mat in a seated position, meaning the opponent’s head hits the mat first. Gomer Pyle (played by Jim Nabors) was the bumbling gas station attendant, sometimes deputy, and later Marine who appeared on The Andy Griffith Show and Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.
Clash of the Titan! [Imitating theme.]
Clash of the Titans is a 1981 fantasy film notable for featuring special effects by stop-motion animation master Ray Harryhausen; it was remade in 2010.
Earache. –Earache who? –Earache my eye. –Lake Earache. –Earache Stoltz. –Earache the Red.
Eric Stoltz is an actor best known for roles in 1982’s Fast Times at Ridgemont High, 1985’s Mask, and 1994’s Pulp Fiction. He famously was cast as Marty McFly in Back to the Future before being replaced by Michael J. Fox mid-production. Erik Thorvaldsson (a.k.a. “Erik the Red”; 950-1003) was a Norwegian-Icelandic explorer and murderer who founded the first settlement on Greenland. His son, Leif Ericson, is credited as being the first European to land in continental North America in the early 11th century.
Oedipus. Rex. –Oedipusaurus. –Rex. –Anchorsaurus.
The Greek legend of Oedipus centers on a young prince foretold by an oracle to kill his father and marry his mother. Although his family abandons him on a mountainside to die, his life is saved and he grows up to bring the prophecy to reality. It was chronicled in the tragedy Oedipus Rex, written by Sophocles and first performed in 429 BCE.
[Sung.] I don’t need no Lava soap, no. Not particularly, no. I don’t need no Lava soap. Robot hands don’t get that dirty.
Lava soap is a heavy-duty hand cleaner originally developed by the Waltke Company in 1893. Currently it’s manufactured by WD-40. In the 1980s, a series of commercials featured a little ditty not unlike the one Servo’s singing. The actual jingle is, “I don’t need no Lava soap, nope. Ladies’ hands don’t get that dirty. I don’t need no Lava soap.”
They’re between the dino and the deep blue sea.
An altered version of the nearly 400-year-old idiom “Between the devil and the deep blue sea,” meaning that one has to choose between two unwanted outcomes (not unlike “between a rock and a hard place”).
They’re going back to their roots. –The Alex Haleyosaurus? –The Emily Brontësaurus.
Alex Haley (1921-1992) was an American Black author, best known for Roots: The Saga of an American Family, which, in 1977, became the most watched miniseries in television history. The book and the miniseries centered on Haley’s ancestor, Kunta Kinte, and a fictionalized account of his capture in Africa and experiences in slavery in the United States. Emily Brontë (1818-1848) was an English author known for her only novel, the classic Wuthering Heights.
Since this is about prehistoric things, can I do my Barney Rubble laugh? –Go ahead. –[Laughs and imitates.] Okay, Fred. –Good. –Thanks. Well, you programmed it.
Barney Rubble was Fred Flintstone’s best buddy on the animated TV series The Flintstones, which aired from 1960-1966. Voiced by Mel Blanc, Barney was based on the character of Ed Norton (played by Art Carney) from The Honeymooners.
[Sung.] Smoke on the lava ...
A paraphrased version of “Smoke on the Water,” a 1972 song by the band Deep Purple.
[Sung.] Fell into a burning ring of fire.
“Ring of Fire” is a song written by June Carter and Merle Kilgore in 1963 to help her deal with her feelings over falling in love with Johnny Cash. The song was recorded and released by June’s sister Anita. That version didn’t catch on, and Cash released his now-famous cover several months later.
[Sung.] Lava, American style.
Love, American Style was an anthology series that aired from 1969 to 1974. There would be up to four short vignettes about love featuring various celebrity guest stars. Produced by Aaron Spelling, the series often employed parts 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.
[Sung.] The Lava Boat.
An imitation of the theme song for TV’s The Love Boat, which aired from 1977 to 1986. It was sung by Jack Jones (who had a cameo singing it in 1982’s Airplane II: The Sequel) until the last season, which featured a cover by Dionne Warwick.
Meanwhile, back at dinosaur mountain. Flamebroiled. –Take some of the Earth’s mantle home as a souvenir. –It’s a Brazier-saurus. –A mantlepiece. –We make it the way you make it. –We do it like we do it at Burger King.
The phrase “Meanwhile, back at _____,” originated with cards inserted in silent films in the early 20th century. In westerns, this was often “Meanwhile, back at the ranch ...” Once audio became a common component, the phrase was still used by narrators in films and radio and television shows. Most recently, it was used in the various Superfriends animated series of the late 1970s. Narrator Ted Knight would say, “Meanwhile, back at the Hall of Justice ...” or “Meanwhile, at the Legion of Doom ...” In Dairy Queen restaurants, the device used to cook their food was a brazier; the company turned the device’s name into a brand in 1957. The fast food chain Burger King was started as Insta-Burger King in 1953 in Jacksonville, Florida. Today, there are over 17,700 locations in 100 countries. In the 1980s, one of several ad slogans Burger King used was “We do it like you’d do it.”
Is that dinosaur singing? –Yeah. It’s Dinah Shore.
See above note on Dinah Shore.
Frogmen on a stick. –They serve that at the Renaissance Festival, I think. –Get ‘em while they’re hot. –They’re in their own special zip-up wrapping. Sealed in flavor.
See note on the Renaissance Festival, above.
You realize in another ten million years, that dinosaur will come back as an Exxon product? –So that dino’s going to be covering a beach in Alaska? –Killing otters.
Exxon is a fuel and oil company. In 1911, when Standard Oil Company was broken up in antitrust fervor, the Esso, Enco, and Humble brands were created. In 1973, Exxon became the corporate name, replacing these other brands in the U.S. In 1999, Exxon merged with its former Standard Oil sibling, Mobil, and is now ExxonMobil. At the airing of this episode, the Exxon Valdez disaster was two months old. The oil tanker struck a reef in Prince William Sound, Alaska, and spilled as much as 750,000 barrels of crude oil, making it the worst spill in U.S. waters until it was dwarfed by 2010’s Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion and leak in the Gulf of Mexico.
Michelangelo will roll in his grave. –This is the scene from E.T., isn’t it? [Imitating.] Elliott? Elliott? Ouch.
Michelangelo Buonarroti (1475-1564) was an Italian artist, writer, and engineer. He is known for his sculpture of David and for painting the Sistine Chapel, among many other works. He is considered (along with Leonardo da Vinci) to be the paragon of Renaissance virtue. See previous note on E.T. Elliott (played by Henry Thomas) was one of the kids who helped the little lost alien.
The Lava Machine. The fastest machine on wheels.
The Lava Machine was a jet-powered funny car (sponsored by the aforementioned Lava soap) used in drag races in the 1980s, primarily by Roger Gustin. While not the fastest funny car at the time, it was damn fast, regularly reaching speeds in the mid-260 mph range.