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


The Short

Synopsis

Speechshort.jpg

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 Red Zone Cuba. 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 rmapage through town before being destroyed.

The Episode

Host Segments

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): TV's Frank steals the idea for a cheese phone from Joel. Joel presents the CD Blow Dryer to replace the In-Salon 8-Track and the Portable Dryer Cassette models.

Segment Two: Crow writes a screenplay, Earth vs. Soup. Joel and Servo are not impressed. This doesn't discourage Crow in the least.

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

Earthvsthespider.jpg

Segment Four: Joel and the Bots lament the loss of cool, yet dangerous toys of the past, like 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. Frank has repercussions 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, either (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 films such 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 The Rebel Set).
  • During Crow's report on Bert I. Gordon, he mentions some of his other films. One he mentions in particular was Beginning of the End, which became a future 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 the experiment The Incredible Melting Man. It was horribly tampered with, crushing Crow's dreams. That episode was the MST3K crew's way of recovering from a similar ordeal with Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie.
  • 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 very nearly elected governor of Louisiana around the time this first aired.

  • "Dr. Erhardt! 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!" – Mike Simpson "Where you goin’ with that gun in your hand?" –Tom Servo

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

MST3K_313_Promo

MST3K 313 Promo

  • 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.

  • Mike Simpson: "My dad just got in a new picture, and I haven't seen it yet.  Something about puppet people.  It sounds pretty wild." Joel: "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, such as 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.jpg

  • 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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