K05: Gamera

by Trey Yeatts

[Sung.] Who’s the atomic turtle that’s as strong as he can be? Gameron [sic]! Who’s got a head the size of a Harvestore silo? Gameron! He can walk through any snow cloud’s fury ... They used a snow blower for that effect.
Harvestore is a manufacturer of farm structures, including silos, based in DeKalb, Illinois. They’ve been in business since the mid-20th century.

No tickee, no shirtee.
“No tickee, no shirtee” (sometimes rendered “no tickee, no washee”) is the punch line to a joke about a Chinese laundry that has been around since at least 1903; in 1921 a film came out under this title.

Flubber is the anti-gravity goop that makes it possible for Fred MacMurray to fly in the 1961 film The Absent-Minded Professor. The film was remade in 1997 with Robin Williams in the MacMurray part.

Put salt on his tail.
The old wives tale that you can catch a bird by putting salt on its tail appears to date back at least to the 16th century.

Piper Cub is Gamera’s own natural enemy.
The Piper Cub is a popular two-seater airplane manufactured by Piper Aircraft Corporation. The Piper Cubs were used in World War II as reconnaissance planes.

Looks like Spiny Norman the Hedgehog.
Spiny Norman was the name of the giant hedgehog that stalked Dinsdale Piranha in the “Piranha Brothers” sketch on Monty Python’s Flying Circus.

It’s “Pipeline”!
“Pipeline” is a 1963 instrumental surf-rock song by the Chantays.

[Sung.] Save the Earth, ah, Gamera. Gamera’s coming to your hometown. Twist and twist on down.
In the 1971 film Godzilla vs. Hedorah (a.k.a. Godzilla vs. the Smog Monster), a psychedelic rock band performs a song titled “Save the Earth.”

They’re into the politics of dancing, though.
“The Politics of Dancing” is a 1983 song by British New Wave group Re-Flex, from the album of the same name.

Oh, not the Tokyo Tower. Do you realize how long that took to put up?
The Tokyo Tower is a communications tower in Tokyo, Japan. Built in 1958, it is the second-tallest structure in Japan and bears a striking (and conscious) resemblance to the Eiffel Tower in Paris. It took about a year and a half to build, from June 1957 to October 1958.

“We’re indebted to you.” Sure, until we’re in debt.
In the late 1980s there was a certain degree of anti-Japanese sentiment in the United States, mostly having to do with Japan’s perceived economic prosperity at the cost of the United States’. This was focused mainly on the success of the Japanese auto industry (as the Big Three automakers in America floundered) and on several high-profile Japanese purchases of American companies, including Columbia Records and Rockefeller Center. As the American economy improved in the 1990s, the grumbling about Japan largely disappeared.

Would that be Clap-On?
“Clap on, clap off, the Clapper!” is an advertising slogan for one of those “as-seen-on-TV”-type products: a gizmo that plugs into an outlet and turns two appliances—lamps, TVs, etc.—on and off in response to clapping. It was first sold in 1985.

[Sung.] Roll out the barrels.
“Beer Barrel Polka” is a traditional drinking song. The music was composed by Jaromir Vejvoda in 1927; the lyrics were written by Vaclav Zeman in 1934. Sample lyrics: “Roll out the barrel/We’ll have a barrel of fun/Roll out the barrel, we’ve got the blues on the run/Zing Boom Terrara/Join in a glass of good cheer/Now it’s time to roll the barrel/For the gang’s all here.”

He likes it!
A reference to an old TV ad for Life cereal, which ran from 1972-1984, making it one of the longest-lived commercials ever. In the ad, two boys are arguing over which of them has to try a new cereal first. Suddenly, inspiration strikes: they’ll get their younger brother, Mikey, to try it. “He hates everything!” Except Life cereal, evidently: “He likes it! Hey, Mikey!” The role of Mikey was played by John Gilchrist, who appeared in more than 250 commercials over his career; the older brothers were played by his actual siblings. Gilchrist now works as an advertising executive.

Maybe he’ll act like a giant Jiffy Pop container.
Jiffy Pop popcorn comes in an aluminum pan with a spiral foil lid. As the pan is heated over the stove, the kernels pop and expand the lid into a bulbous container. It was first made by Fred Mennen in 1958. It is currently manufactured by Conagra Foods.

No giant turtle can resist the rich taste of lava. In quarts and quarts, straight out of the volcano.
These Gamera movies are full of "resist the rich taste" riffs. Our best guess is that it's a take on the old Brim coffee slogan: "Fill it to the rim with the rich taste of Brim."