A guy named Associate Producer was the Dante Cucinello?
  — Mike Nelson

It Lives by Night is the 10th episode of the tenth season of Mystery Science Theater 3000 and the 195th episode overall. It premiered on July 18, 1999.

The Movie


It Lives by Night

A bat research doctor (Moss) is bitten by a cave bat and undergoes an accelerating transformation into a man-bat creature, which essentially ruins his honeymoon and causes considerable distress for his wife (McAndrew). [1] After committing a few murders and causing some mayhem, the man-bat makes love to his wife, infecting her with the bat contagion. The wife then kills the local sheriff and joins her husband in the caves.


The Episode

Host Segments

Crow as Mary Richards, Mike as Ted Baxter, and Tom as Lou Grant

Prologue: Preparing to redecorate, Mike asks for Crow and Tom's input on colors and the moods they invoke. All of them make Crow want to ask out Lisa Stansfield. ‘Eggshell’ horrifies the bots, which makes it the perfect color for Mike’s bathroom.

Segment One: Mike finds a color that makes the bots want to invest everything they have in steam-powered weaving machines. Pearl uses tactical misdirection so Mike and the bots won’t notice that she’s spraying poison on them, causing mutations.

Segment Two: Crow insists that he looks more like Mary Tyler Moore than the woman in the movie. Mike and Tom can’t deny that they didn’t forget that Crow is not Mary Tyler Moore. Mike does an impressive Ted Baxter!

Buddy Ebsen Hat Distressing Corporation

Segment Three: Finding Mike unconscious with foam on his mouth, Crow and Tom assume the worst and begin to administer rabies shots. It turns out Mike simply fell asleep while eating a cream puff.

Segment Four: Mike seeks Pearl’s opinion on his new mustache, but Crow’s larger 'stache impresses her more. Tom takes the premise too far.

Segment Five: Tom is unhappy with his franchise kit from the Buddy Ebsen Hat Distressing Corporation after he sees Crow’s franchise kit from the Red Skelton Hat Distressing Company. Down in Castle Forrester, Pearl torments Bobo and Brain Guy with slides from her many honeymoons and stories of the deaths of all of her husbands and fiancés.

Stinger: The bat guy says "Well?" and convulses.

MST3K cast


  • "He’s turning into a damned wirwilf!" (Werewolf)
  • Pearl calls Crow "Art."

Quotes & References

Lisa Stansfield is a British singer/songwriter/actress.

  • "The Left Eye of Laura Mars."

The Eyes of Laura Mars was a 1978 horror film.

  • "It's Stellaluna!"

Stellaluna is a children's book about a fruit bat.

  • "Oh!... Vikings... WHY!?"

This film was released during the same year as Super Bowl VIII, so this riff has some timely relevance. The Minnesota Vikings lost 24-7 against the Miami Dolphins, making it their second Super Bowl loss. (Incidentally this riff also carries over to the many Larry Csonka references made in The Final Sacrifice, as this was the game that won him MVP.)

  • "We're supposed to do the Humpty Hump!"

A reference to the Digital Underground song "The Humpty Dance".

  • "Bread and butter!"

Bread and butter is an superstitious phrase uttered by young couples to prevent bad luck.

  • "God, I hate festival seating!"

Festival seating is a seating method at concerts in which attendees are able to choose their own seats on a first come, first serve basis. The practice largely fell out of favor after eleven fans were asphyxiated by a rushing crowd before a Who concert in Cincinnati in 1979.

A reference to an incident in the 3000 meters race in the 1984 Olympics, in which Slaney, heavily favored to win a gold medal, collided with another runner (Zora Budd) and then blamed her for not getting out of the way.

  • "Hey, do Agony of Defeat again!"

A reference to the opening credits sequence from Wide World of Sports, in which the narrator mentions "the agony of defeat" over footage of a ski jumping accident.

  • "Suzy Chapstick and her husband Ron Chapstick."

Skier Suzy Chaffee was a spokesman for Chapstick lip balm in the 1970's. Supposedly she was so happy with the product's performance she changed her last name.

  • "Look honey, I'm doing daffies!"

The bat-ologist is swinging his legs on a ski lift in a way reminiscent of how Daffy Duck would do the same while bouncing around going "Hoo-hoo!"

  • "I'm thirsty, let's tap those."

A reference to an ad campaign for Coors Light beer that featured the slogan "Tap the Rockies".

  • "Oh, Professor Firefly!"

A quote from the Marx Brothers movie Duck Soup, in which Groucho plays a character named Rufus T. Firefly.

  • "What would you say if I sang out of tune..."

From the Beatles song "A Little Help From My Friends", in particular Joe Cocker's famous performance of the song at Woodstock, which was punctuated by spastic movements quite similar to the patient's here.

  • "Rikki-tikki-tavi's waiting for you!"

A reference to the short story Rikki-Tikki-Tavi written by Rudyard Kipling. The main character is a mongoose that kills snakes.

  • "I'm mistaking you for a hat!"

An allusion to The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, a book in which neurologist Oliver Sacks details his experiences working with people with unusual mental conditions.

  • "Please protect us from Ozzy Osbourne."

Refers to the British heavy metal songwriter who was notorious in 1982 for biting the head off a bat during a performance

  • "His hands are small, I know, but they are his, they are not our own."

Reference to the song "Hands" by Jewel.

  • "Did she marry Kevin McDonald?"

Kevin McDonald is a Canadian comic actor best known for being one of The Kids in the Hall.

  • "Big boys don't cry... big boys don't cry..."

Quoted from a spoken-word refrain in the 10cc song "I'm Not in Love".

  • "I'm not as popular as Enos and that troubles me!"

Deputy Enos Strate was a character on The Dukes of Hazzard.

  • "Admit it. It was Richard Jewell!"

Security guard Richard Jewell was briefly suspected by the FBI of carrying out the Centennial Olympic Park bombing, and later sued several news media outlets for libel after his name was cleared.

  • "Man, this remake of the The Robe is pretty bad!"

The Robe was a 1953 film about the Roman soldiers who crucified Christ.

  • "Hunter Thompson, Texas Ranger."

Hunter S. Thompson was the "gonzo" author of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (The sheriff sort of looks like him with the shades). Walker, Texas Ranger was an action crime drama that starred martial arts champion and internet meme Chuck Norris.

  • "Just a little Shakey's Pizza..."

The Shakey's Pizza chain was popular in the United States during the 1960s and '70s, but its restaurants are now found mainly in Asia.

  • "Have you seen Mother or Jugs?"

Mother, Jugs & Speed is a 1976 comedy film about ambulance drivers starring Bill Cosby, Raquel Welch, and Harvey Keitel.

  • *The doctor walks shakily towards the desert* Tom: "It's...!" *begins humming*

The show cuts to commercial before Tom could get far enough into the theme song to say "Monty Python's Flying Circus-us-us!". This refers to a frequently-used opening sequence of the show, where a character known as the "It's Man" would often run across vast landscapes to say "It's" into the camera just before the opening theme began.

  • "I think he'll be okay if he can just make it to the mountains of Busch!"

A reference to the advertising jingle for Busch Beer.

  • "It's Fred Garvin, Male Prostitute!"

"Fred Garvin, Male Prostitute" was an early Saturday Night Live sketch featuring Dan Aykroyd. Garvin was tall and wore eyeglasses, an alpine hat, and a garish plaid jacket.

  • "Hey, there he goes! Oh, it's just a crummy Balrog."

A Balrog is a large demon in J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle Earth books

  • "You know, my father was a bat master! I guess that makes me Bat Master's Son."

Bat Masterson was a famed Wild West gunfighter.

  • "Dick Dale is lightly noodling somewhere."

Guitarist Dick Dale is best known for his instrumental "Misirlou", which was featured on the Pulp Fiction soundtrack.

Memorable Quotes

Crow: Well, it shouldn't drink so much coffee!
[Cathy Beck groans as Dr. Kipling prepares a huge hypodermic needle for her husband.]
Mike [as Kipling]: Posed like this in Playgirl, only without my pants!
[Kipling and his staff finally stop John Beck's seizure from the rabies vaccine.]
Mike [as Kipling]: Um... do you have any drug allergies?
[Cathy tracks down Dr. Kipling on the ski slopes.]
Cathy: Dr. Kipling?
Servo [as Cathy]: Rikki-Tikki-Tavi's waiting for you.
. . .
Dr. Kipling: Mrs. Beck...
Mike [as Kipling]: ...you're a loser, baby.
[Man-bat Beck closes the barn door and stumbles around in the dark.]
Crow: Leave the door closed? What, were you born in a house?
[Cathy, now apparently a bat as well, walks back into the caves to join her husband]
Crow: Now, wait a minute... how did she turn into a bat? The only contact she had with him was in the hotel and...
Crow: [horrified] ...Oh, my god.
Tom: [disgusted] GAH!
[They rush out of the theater]
Crow: OH MY GOD! I get the shower first!
Tom: No, me first!
Mike: Urgh!

Video releases


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