MST3K
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Joel, I hate to break it to you: KISS were NEVER cool!
- Crow


The Short[]

Synopsis[]

Speechshort

In Speech: Using Your Voice, Professor E.C. Buehler tells us how to be effective speakers. He has a nifty wire rack to display his points on, and places an emphasis on being heard, understood, and especially "pleasing".

Information[]

  • This short was part of a series produced in the late 1940s and early 1950s. The preceding short in the series - Speech: Platform Posture and Appearance - would later be used in Experiment #619. Professor Buehler was a technical supervisor on that earlier short, and appeared un-credited as the various improper male 'Type's.
  • This short was included on Shorts, Volume 3, released by Rhino Entertainment on VHS in January 2001, and on DVD in August 2004 as an limited time exclusive bonus for ordering Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Essentials from a specially created Rhino site.

The Movie[]

Main article: Earth vs the Spider (film)

Synopsis[]

Teenagers discover a giant spider in a secluded cave. The spider is subdued and presumed dead, but it revives and goes on a rampage through town before being destroyed.

The Episode[]

Host Segments[]

Earthspiderhost

Spidorr!

Prologue: It's "Inside the Robot Mind" with host Crow T. Robot and special guest Tom Servo! They don't get past the introduction.

Segment One (Invention Exchange): The Mads present the Cheese Phone, an idea that Joel insists that they stole from him. Joel demonstrates the CD Blow Dryer to replace the In-Salon 8-Track and the Portable Dryer Cassette models.

Segment Two: Crow recruits the SOL crew for a reading of his screenplay, entitled Earth vs. Soup. Joel and Servo find flaws with the script, but Crow is not discouraged.

Segment Three: The hot new rock group Spidorr is interrupted by a visit from the cranky Custodian of the 7th Galaxy.

Earthvsthespider

Segment Four: Joel and the Bots lament the loss of cool yet dangerous toys of the past, such as Creepy Crawlers and Lawn Darts.

Segment Five: Tom and Crow write reports. Tom's report focuses on Bert I. Gordon's common themes. Crow's isn't finished yet. TV's Frank is ill from consuming the entire Cheese Phone.

Stinger: A poor speaker from the short rambles on.

MST3K Cast[]

Regular Cast

Guest Cast

Trivia[]

  • When Joel berates the Mads for idea theft and reaching "a new high in stupidity and evil", Dr. Forrester and Frank respond by saying "Thank you!" in the same manner Dr. F and Dr. Erhardt would reply during Season 1 whenever Joel commented on their evilness. The Mads then stare at each other uncomfortably. This wouldn't be the only callback to Larry this episode (see below).
  • The Custodian's ship appears to be a model of a high school (complete with flagpole) with the front end and nacelle wings of an AMT/Ertl Klingon D-7 class battlecruiser model.
  • Upon appearing in the Hexfield Viewscreen, the Custodian asks "What the Heck-tor Alonzo's goin' on?". This is apparently a reference to the actor Hector Elizondo, who was best-known at the time for his recurring roles on television and in such films as The Flamingo Kid and Pretty Woman. He would later achieve greater fame as a cast member on the TV hospital drama Chicago Hope and for appearing in many films directed by Garry Marshall. Mike mis-pronounces the name a bit. A similar joke (with the correct pronunciation) would be made by Crow during the last Host Segment of Riding with Death.
  • The Custodian makes reference to a "pep rally on Tralfamadore". Tralfamadore is a fictional distant planet that is featured or referred to in several novels by the author Kurt Vonnegut, home to an advanced alien race. A significant plot element in Vonnegut's stories is that the Tralfamadorians have a bizarre way of perceiving time and space which causes them to believe all events are predetermined, which in turn has rendered their culture unable to truly care about or become invested in anything. The joke, presumably, is thus that a "pep rally on Tralfamadore" would be distinctly un-peppy.
  • Creepy Crawlers toys made a comeback for a few years in the early 1990s. In addition to the toys, there was a Saturday morning cartoon based on them.
  • This is the only experiment in which all 3 of the actors Merritt Stone, Gene Roth, and Jack Kosslyn appear, though they do not share any screen time and Stone's character is killed in the first scene without speaking (see Experiment #419).
  • During Crow's report on Bert I. Gordon, one of Gordon's other films that he mentions is Beginning of the End, which became an experiment not long after Mike took Joel's place on the SOL.
  • This episode depicts the beginning of Crow's ambitions as a screenwriter with Earth vs. Soup. It would later be picked up by Dr. Forrester and his mother during Episode #704. It was significantly tampered with, crushing Crow's dreams.
  • This episode aired seventh during Turkey Day '93.

Callbacks[]

Obscure References[]

  • "It's called Herbalife!"

Herbalife is a brand of personal health products sold via multi-level marketing.

  • "Ven David Dukes (sic) is elected, ve vill take over ze country..."

David Duke is a white supremacist and neo-Nazi who was nearly elected governor of Louisiana around the time this experiment first aired.

  • Joel: "Now why did they invite the milkman?" Tom: "Well, something new is comin' to town..."

From 1978 to 1981, the character George the Milkman appeared in a series of commercials for the Kellogg's breakfast cereal Graham Crackos. The jingle in the commercials went "Something new is comin' to town, and George the Milkman's bringin' it 'round."

  • "Oh, Dr. Erhardt, NO! So that's what happened to him!"

This is a reference to the unexplained disappearance of the MST3K character Dr. Laurence Erhardt. The actor being attacked by the spider in the movie looks a bit like him.

  • "Hey Joe!" "Where you goin’ with that gun in your hand?"

Refers to the song Hey Joe by the Jimi Hendrix Experience.

  • Custodian of the Seventh Galaxy

A likely reference to the seminal 70's jazz-fusion album "Hymn of the Seventh Galaxy" by Chick Corea and Return to Forever.

  • "My dad just got in a new picture, and I haven't seen it yet. Something about puppet people. It sounds pretty wild." "Oh, shame on you, Bert I. Gordon."

Attack of the Puppet People is another one of Bert I. Gordon's films. It became available as a RiffTrax presentation in 2014. Several posters for other Bert I. Gordon films, including The Amazing Colossal Man, are also visible throughout this scene.

  • "The count is up five, $325."

Said during a shot which opens on a telephone, after a commercial break. Local TV stations used to encourage viewers with a call-in lottery, updating the count and amount after commercial breaks. To win, a person had to be home to receive the phone call, and then correctly state the current count and amount.

  • "I gotta go play with my pig Arnold."

Hank Patterson, who played Hugo the Janitor, later enjoyed success on television in the recurring role of Fred Ziffel on the sitcom Green Acres. Ziffel was a farmer who treated his pig Arnold as if he were his son.

Video Releases[]

EarthvsTheSpiderDVD
  • Commercially released on DVD by Shout! Factory in July 2015 as part of Volume XXXIII, a 4-disc set along with Daddy-O, Teen-Age Crime Wave, and Agent for H.A.R.M..
  • This episode was included as a bonus feature on the Shout! Factory DVD release of the film (under its alternate title The Spider). The DVD also includes a feature commentary by film historian Ted Newsom. Shout! Factory's 2020 Blu-Ray release of the unriffed film also includes the episode and a new commentary by Newsom.[1]
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