K06: Gamera vs. Gaos

by Trey Yeatts

You ever been trapped in a pagoda with Tritia Toyota? –No, but I was trapped in a Toyota with Abe Vigoda once.
“(I’m Stuck in a Pagoda with) Tricia Toyota” is a 1979 song by punk band The Dickies; Tritia Toyota is a former Los Angeles television news anchor. Toyota Motor Corporation was founded by Kiichiro Toyoda as a spinoff of his father’s company in 1937. Today, it is the world’s largest automobile maker in sales and production. Abe Vigoda is an actor best known for his portrayal of Sgt. Phil Fish on the TV series Barney Miller and its spinoff Fish. In recent years, he has attained a level of cult stardom with the younger set thanks to his many appearances on Late Night with Conan O’Brien and a popular Snickers commercial. (Thanks to Michael Grutchfield for the Dickies reference.)

They must be on the Loop in Chicago.
The Loop (or Chicago Loop) is the common name for the commercial center of downtown Chicago. It includes theaters, offices, retailers, and the government buildings of both the city of Chicago and Cook County.

It’s the Sears Tower Monster! Ahh!
Chicago’s Willis Tower is a 108-story skyscraper; at the time of its completion in 1974, it was the tallest building in the world, holding that title for twenty-five years. It was officially called the Sears Tower until 2003, when the retailer’s naming rights expired. In 2009, London-based insurer Willis Group Holdings obtained the naming rights. Colloquially, many still refer to it as the Sears Tower.

That’s Gaos, is that his name? Looks like a bat and a hammerhead shark. –Looks like Jim McMahon.
Jim McMahon was quarterback with the Chicago Bears from 1982-1988, winning one Super Bowl with the team in 1985. He retired from football in 1996 after his current team, the Green Bay Packers, won Super Bowl XXXI (McMahon played backup to team quarterback Brett Favre). He was well known for constantly wearing large sunglasses off the field due to an eye injury sustained in childhood. (Thanks to Sam Murn for the Super Bowl XXXI reference.)

The ocean. The beginning of all life and all Sandy Frank films.
A callback to the previous Gamera films, which opened with shots of the undulating sea. Sandy Frank is an American film and television producer. In the 1960s and ‘70s, Frank imported, redubbed and distributed dozens of Japanese films, including the Gamera series.

That is what Gamera uses to clean up. –Lava? –Yeah. –With pumice action? –Yeah.
Lava soap is a heavy-duty hand cleaner originally developed by the Waltke Company in 1893. Currently, it’s manufactured by WD-40. Lava contains ground pumice to act as an abrasive in cleaning the skin.

Pretty advanced Etch A Sketch. Bet you it still can’t draw a circle, though.
The Etch A Sketch is an art toy made by the Ohio Art Company since 1960 until it was bought by Spin Master in 2016. It was developed by Frenchman André Cassagnes, who named it “L‘Ecran Magique” (“The Magic Screen”). The device uses a fine aluminum powder coating on the inside of a glass screen. Two knobs control a stylus on the inside that scrapes off the powder to draw lines. Since the lines can only be drawn side to side or up and down, curves have always been a bit challenging. 

That would be about the size of Jiffy Pop popcorn to Gamera.
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.

Kenny the turtle boy.
A reference to Show K05, Gamera.

Gay-os. –Guy-os. Let’s call the whole thing off.
A reference to the song “Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off,” written by George and Ira Gershwin for the 1937 film Shall We Dance. Actual lyrics: “You like potayto, and I like potahto/You like tomayto, and I like tomahto/Potayto, potahto/Tomayto, tomahto/Let’s call the whole thing off!”

What would stop him? –Probably a giant mutant ninja turtle with flames shooting out of it.
The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are a quartet of tongue-in-cheek superheroes created by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird. They started out in comic books and eventually graduated to their own animated series (plural) and live-action movies. The turtles are named Michelangelo, Leonardo, Donatello, and Raphael.

It’s not a volcano; it’s a giant turtle.
A paraphrase of a line from the 1977 film Star Wars: “That’s no moon. It’s a space station.”

What tastes better on chopped turtle than A.1.?
A paraphrase of an A.1. Steak Sauce commercial from the early 1980s. A.1. Steak Sauce itself was created in 1824 by Henderson William Brand, a chef to King George IV. He declared it “A1,” meaning “really good,” and the moniker stuck. Currently, A.1. is manufactured by Kraft Foods in the U.S.

Big fat Japanese guy sounds like Jerry Lewis.
Jerry Lewis (1926-2017) was a comedian, actor, director and producer who got his start in the 1940s alongside Dean Martin in the Martin and Lewis comedy team. He made an enormously popular series of slapstick comedies in the 1950s and 1960s, including The Bellboy (1960) and The Nutty Professor (1963). He later became associated with the Muscular Dystrophy Association's Labor Day Telethon, which he hosted for 44 years. 

Thank you, Sherlock.
Sherlock Holmes is a fictional detective created by author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in 1887. Holmes was well known for his great deductive skill and genius. Today, calling someone “Sherlock” sarcastically calls into question their intelligence.

That’s right, Dean.
A reference to Dean Martin, partner of Jerry Lewis. See previous note.

It’s slingshot. It’s fun, it’s a wonderful toy.
A paraphrase of the Slinky jingle from a 1960s advertising campaign for the classic children’s toy: “It’s Slinky, it’s Slinky, for fun it’s a wonderful toy.”
I hope that kid packed a lot of Twinkies.
Twinkies are a yellow, cream-filled snack cake currently manufactured by Hostess, but invented by James Dewar in 1930.

It’s a battle of wits between two unarmed opponents.
The saying “I refuse to have a battle of wits with an unarmed opponent” has been attributed to many sources, including William Churchill, Mark Twain, and William Shakespeare (!); most commonly it is said to originate from Walt Kelly’s comic strip “Pogo.”

Maybe it’s just a thorn in his foot.
Probably 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.

It was a little Japanese boy who killed the beast.
A paraphrase of the final line in the film King Kong (1933 and 2005), “It wasn’t the planes. It was beauty that killed the beast.”

Kem-Tone Paint everywhere.
Kem-Tone was the first commercially successful water-based interior paint, introduced by Sherwin-Williams in 1941 due to the shortage of oil-based paints required for wartime production. It quickly became one of the best-selling paints in the United States.

He was palming the little boy. –He’s exactly like an olive. A Palmolive! Ha-ha!
In 1898, B.J. Johnson made a soap entirely out of palm and olive oils. It was named Palmolive and soon became the world’s best-selling soap. In recent decades, Palmolive dish soap entered the pop consciousness thanks to Madge and her series of “You’re soaking in it” commercials, which aired from 1966-1992. Palmolive is made by Colgate-Palmolive Company.

Wonder if that’s some kind of promotional tie-in? Gamera landing at some kind of amusement park. You think that’s Japanese Disneyland?
The Disneyland theme park was opened by the Walt Disney Company in 1955 in Anaheim, California. Its Japanese counterpart, Tokyo Disney, opened in 1983.

South Dakota’s world famous Dinosaur Park.
Dinosaur Park is a tourist attraction in Rapid City, South Dakota. It was opened in 1936 and features seven large iron and concrete dinosaurs.

Gamera wants a Scooby Snack now. –Shaggy?
Scooby-Doo was the name of the anthropomorphic dog who first appeared in the animated TV series Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!, which aired from 1969-1972. He was voiced by Don Messick. The show spawned several dozen series, TV movies, videos, and live-action films. Scooby Snacks were treats given to Scooby in the show. Norville “Shaggy” Rogers is the scruffy, cowardly, and eternally hungry human companion of Scooby-Doo. Originally voiced by radio host Casey Kasem, the role has been voiced by several others, including Matthew Lillard, who portrayed Shaggy in two Scooby-Doo live-action feature films.

Stevie Ray Vaughan.
Stevie Ray Vaughan (1954-1990) was an American blues/rock guitarist, singer and songwriter.

Looks like Big Daddy Roth drew that.
Ed “Big Daddy” Roth (1932-2001) was a countercultural artist best known for creating the icon Rat Fink. He was also a major figure in the Southern California Hot Rod movement of the 1960s.

And he can still cut through this tomato like butter. The Ginsu ray.
Ginsu Knives is a brand of cutlery marketed in endless television commercials during the 1970s and ‘80s. Nearly every commercial featured one of the knives cutting through an aluminum can and then immediately slicing smoothly into a delicate tomato. (Ironically, the “Japanese” knives were actually manufactured in Ohio.)

Do androids dream of electric sheep?
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? is a science fiction novel by Philip K. Dick. The book’s plot served as the basis for the classic 1982 film Blade Runner.

Looks like Jerry Mathers before he got his eyes fixed.
Jerry Mathers is an American actor best known for his role in the TV series Leave It to Beaver (1957–1963).

Gaos and Joe Walsh aren’t the only two mutants who come out at night.
Joe Walsh is an American musician and songwriter best known for his participation in the rock bands The James Gang and The Eagles. In 1980, he staged a tongue-in-cheek campaign for the presidency of the United States to raise election awareness. Though he wasn’t old enough to assume office, he promised free gas for everyone and to make his hit “Life’s Been Good” the new national anthem.

Looks like they’re sleeping on the Seaview. –On the what? –The Seaview from Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea.
The Seaview was the high-tech submarine on the TV series Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea (and the film of the same name), which aired from 1964-1968.

Uh-oh, they’re floating away. –The power of flubber.
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.

There goes the pagoda. –Abe!
See note on Abe Vigoda, above.

This footage looks familiar, Josh.
Joel is mistakenly calling Tom Servo by the name of his puppeteer.

These people are going to look like King Oscar Sardines in a can.
The King Oscar brand of sardines was founded in 1902 when King Oscar II of Norway & Sweden gave special permission to a Norwegian cannery to use his name and likeness on a line of products. In the 1920s, King Oscar brand sardines began to be imported into the U.S. and U.K. Today, they are Japan’s most popular imported sardine.

It’s a shame about Wrigley Field, isn’t it?
Wrigley Field is a stadium in Chicago that has been home base for the Cubs for more than ninety years. Built in 1914, it is the second-oldest major league ballpark, edged out by Fenway Park in Boston. A few months before this episode initially aired, in August 1988, Wrigley had finally installed lights and begun hosting night games, agreeing to do so only under pressure from baseball officials.

I like the way he used the Tokyo Tower as a diversion on that one.
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.

Kinda sounds like the Perry Mason theme music.
Perry Mason was a legal drama that aired on CBS television from 1957-1966. It starred Raymond Burr in the title role and was based on the series of detective novels by Erle Stanley Gardner.

Sandy Frank presents ...
See note on Sandy Frank, above.

So that’s what he’s doing. –Like a Tom & Jerry cartoon, kind of.
Tom & Jerry is a series of cartoons about an eponymous cat and mouse duo, initially created by Hanna Barbera in 1940. In the early cartoons Tom and Jerry are mortal enemies; in the later episodes produced for TV, they are bosom buddies who go on kid-friendly adventures together.

He’s gotta find a mouse to take it out of his foot. Or a little Japanese boy.
See note on “Androcles and the Lion,” above.

I bet Coppertone would be interested in him for their ads.
Coppertone is a brand of suntan lotion first made in 1944.

It’s a giant Sit ‘n Spin!
Sit ‘n Spin is a toy that first appeared in the early 1970s. A child sits on a circular platform while holding a smaller circle that extends upward from the base. The child then pulls themselves along, causing the larger circle to spin them around, thus the spinning. It is currently manufactured by Hasbro.

What about the giant tone arm?
The tone arm is the long, slender rod on a phonograph (record player) that contains a needle. The needle lies in the groove of the album and the arm allows the needle to spiral inward as the record plays.

This would make a good psychedelic album cover. You can be Phil Spector, the producer.
Phil Spector (1939-2021)was a well-known music producer who worked with such groups as the Ronettes and the Righteous Brothers. He created the famous Wall of Sound, in which he used full orchestras to produce a richer, overwhelming sound in contrast with the rather thin, tinny sound of many rock groups at the time. In 2003 he was charged with murdering B-movie actress Lana Clarkson, who was found shot to death in his California home. He was convicted in 2009 and sentenced to 19 years to life in prison; he died of COVID-19 related complications in 2021.

Make ‘em think it’s Epcot Center.
Epcot (which stands for Experimental Prototype Community Of Tomorrow) is a Disney theme park in Orlando, Florida, dedicated to visions of a utopian future. It opened in 1982.

He’ll think it’s Space Mountain and want to go for a ride. And that’s when we’ll get him.
Space Mountain is the name of the space-themed indoor roller coaster attractions at the five Magic Kingdom Disney theme parks. The first opened in Walt Disney World in 1975.

What about Preparation H?
Preparation H is a brand of hemorrhoid medication. It was first made in 1935 and is currently produced by Wyeth.

[Something] Okinawa. –Telly Savalas.
Okinawa is the name given to one Japan’s southern prefectures. It is made up of hundreds of islands and was the site of one of World War II’s fiercest battles. Telly Savalas (1922-1994) was an American actor best known for his role as the titular detective in the TV series Kojak (1973-1978).

There’s nothing like a trace of Mace for smoking out giant reptiles.
Mace was originally a kind of tear gas delivered in aerosol form, but this formulation is largely illegal now; most Mace you hear referred to now is a brand of pepper spray manufactured by Mace Security International.

There. Breathe deep. That’s vapor action.
Halls is a popular mentholated cough drop first made in the 1930s. For decades, advertising for Halls has included the phrase “Vapor Action.”

It is a Sit ‘n Spin!
See note on Sit ‘n Spins, above.

I would stop drinking if I were you. –He’s getting a little light headed. –I said a “Blood Light.”
A reference to an old ad for Bud Light, the light beer made by Anheuser-Busch.

Nobody slips Gaos a Mickey.
A Mickey, a.k.a. Mickey Finn, is a drink laced with knockout drops, traditionally chloral hydrate, fed to an unsuspecting victim prior to robbing and dumping him. The origin is obscure, although one version claims it is named after a Chicago bartender in the late nineteenth century.

It’ll be even bigger than Yellowstone.
Yellowstone National Park sprawls over 2.2 million acres of Wyoming, Montana and Idaho. It was established in 1872 as the world’s first national park. In 1988, Yellowstone experienced the largest wildfire in the United States’ recorded history with nearly 800,000 acres burned.

Maybe he’s Green Lantern.
Green Lantern is the name assumed by several superheroes in the DC Comics universe. The Green Lantern is a kind of interplanetary beat cop and a member of the Green Lantern Corps. The first Green Lantern, Alan Scott, was created by Martin Nodell and Bill Finger in 1940. Later Green Lanterns for Earth included Hal Jordan, Kyle Rayner and John Stewart.

That’s where I draw the line. It’s impossible that he could do that. –It would only be impossible if it was a grease fire. He’s an “A”-type monster.
Fire extinguishers are rated according to the chemical compounds they contain and what types of fires they can effectively douse. Most extinguishers found in offices and public places are classified as “A,” meaning they can extinguish paper, wood, and other minor fires. Class B extinguishers can put out grease, oil, and gasoline fires.

Is that illegal in the Monster Wrestling Federation? –Seems legal to me. There hasn’t been any hair pulling.
The Organization Formerly Known as the World Wrestling Federation (until they lost a cage match with the World Wildlife Fund over their conflicting acronyms) is the pro wrestling league behind the television shows Raw and Smackdown, Wrestlemania pay-per-view, live wrestling tours, and umpteen other wrestling-intensive franchises. They are now known as World Wrestling Entertainment.

Dodge, turtle. Dodge. –I think it’s an Oldsmobile turtle.
Dodge is a brand of vehicles produced by Chrysler. The Dodge Brothers Company (before being bought by Chrysler) first made automobiles in 1914. Oldsmobile was an auto manufacturer founded by Ransom Olds in 1897. The brand was sold to General Motors in 1908. Due to shortfalls in sales and profitability, GM phased out the Oldsmobile brand in the early twenty-first century, with the final vehicle being assembled in 2004.

He’s got a shell harder than carbonite steel. What’s he going to do to him?
Carbon steel is steel in which the main alloying ingredient is carbon; it is the most common kind of steel used in the United States. Carbonite, on the other hand, is the substance used to freeze Han Solo for transport in the 1980 film The Empire Strikes Back.

A good dunking. That’s what that reptile needs. –A yo-yo? –No, dunking. As in water.
Duncan Toys Company is an Ohio-based manufacturer best known for their line of yo-yos, including the famed Duncan Imperial; they have been manufacturing yo-yos since 1929.

Why does the blood look like doughnut frosting? –Looks like Burple to me.
Burple was a drink mixture and container that was popular in the 1980s. An expanding, accordion-style plastic bottle was sold that had a powdered drink mix inside—just add water.

Do-do-do-do. Here comes the sun.
“Here Comes the Sun” was a song written by George Harrison and performed by the Beatles. It appeared on their 1969 album Abbey Road.

He’s going to become a giant WondeRoast chicken, what with the volcano.
WondeRoast is billed as “high temperature, high humidity, true rotisserie ovens” for roasting chickens. The WondeRoast company was founded in 1954 in Hopkins, Minnesota, and many stores that carried WondeRoast chickens boasted of this as a selling point.

There’s Barugon.
A reference to Show K04, Gamera vs. Barugon.

Maybe they worship Timothy Leary.
Timothy Leary (1920-1996) was a psychologist and a professor at Harvard University when, in the early 1960s, he began experimenting with psilocybin, a hallucinogenic drug synthesized from a particular variety of mushrooms. He gradually came to believe that psychedelic drugs possessed “consciousness-expanding” properties and advocated their use among general society. In 1963 he was dismissed from Harvard for his controversial views, and on his own he began experimenting with LSD, touring and lecturing to spread his ideas. Conservatives regarded him with horror (Richard Nixon called him “the most dangerous man in America”), but the counterculture of the 1960s embraced him and put many of his ideas into practice.