This is a song that I wrote in a time in my life when I was very, very, very sad. Breakfast, actually. It's called "Hairdresser in a Coma": I cried last night, I died a million deaths. Thinking of your sweet face, and the way you sing. I cried inside, we lied and died. And then I cried again. I must have weep for hours...
  — Morrissey

"City Limits? Sounds like a clothing store for high school girls."
  — Joel

The Movie



City Limits

Fifteen years from now the world is a dystopia. The film's hero is a motorcycle cowboy with a cow skull helmet who becomes a pawn in a battle between biker gangs. Meanwhile Kim Cattrall and Robbie Benson attempt to exploit the gangs for commercial profit.

Robbie Benson's business (the Sunya corporation) comes under attack once cow-skull guy convinces the assorted biker types to team up with James Earl Jones and fight back.


Joel's way of covering nudity


  • Dean Devlin, who went on to co-write and produce blockbuster films such as Independence Day, plays the character Ernie in this movie.[1]
  • Character actors Tony Plana (Ugly Betty, Miami Vice) and John Diehl (Miami Vice, The Shield) also have small supporting roles.
  • "Sunya" is Sanskrit for "emptiness".

The Episode

Host Segments


Joel screams "ping-pong balls!"

Prologue: Joel says "ping-pong balls" just like Captain Kangaroo, with similar results. Poor Joel!

Segment One (Invention Exchange): Tom Servo's head is full of ping-pong balls, and he has somehow acquired Crow's eyes. Joel shows off his Mr. Meat & Potato Head toys. The Mads demo Pop Star Tupperware - currently featuring Morrissey.

Segment Two: Deeply smitten, Crow sings an ode to Kim Cattrall, appropriately titled "Oh, Kim Cattrall!". With the help of Joel, Tom Servo, and Gypsy, Crow them attempts to re-enact a sequence from Cattrall's 1987 film Mannequin, with predictably shambolic results.

City Limits Superhero

Tom, Crow, and Joel invent comic book superheroes

Segment Three: Tom, Crow, and Joel invent comic book superheroes.

Segment Four: Tom, Crow, and Joel invent even more superheroes.

Segment Five: Joel and the bots try to play the City Limits trivia game, but they can’t remember anything about the movie. They read some letters instead. In Deep 13, the Mads have had it with Morrissey.

Stinger: Remote-controlled airplane attack!


MST3k City Limits- MN as Morrissey

Mike Nelson as Morrissey.

Guest Stars


  • The AV Club did a piece on this episode for their "A Very Special Episode" feature. It can be found here.
  • When Kim Cattrall appeared at ConventioCon ExpoFest-A-Rama 2: Electric Boogaloo in 1996, she shared this story: "I was in my hotel room and was channel surfing. And what do I hear but my own name being sung by a small golden man. And it just went on like that. I yelled for my boyfriend to come in and see this. We were just in shock. A few minutes later, one of my lesser accomplishments came on: City Limits. I called my publicity agent and asked him if Mystery Science Theater 3000 was a real show. He said yes. I called my florist and had an odd request: to send a bouquet of flowers to a Crow T. Robot." [2]
  • Production person Ellen "Ellie" McDonough joins the show with this episode.
  • Dr. F’s name is still spelled "Forrestor" in the credits.
  • Though this is the first episode without a "Turn Down Your Lights (Where Applicable)" screen before the opening credits, it's not the first to regularly feature a title slate instead. The title slate did air for it at least once on a later repeat, and is featured on the DVD release, but the vast majority of airings of this episode cut straight to the opening.


Obscure References

  • "...Get on with the invention exchange, Crocodile Kangaroo."

Dr. Forrester may be referring to The Monkees episode "Captain Crocodile", in which the band met an amoral children's TV show host who was a parody of the wholesome Captain Kangaroo.

  • "Meat is murder, Frank."

This line is a subtle nod to fans of Morrissey and The Smiths; Meat Is Murder is the name of one of their albums.

  • "Is it wrong not to always be glad?"
The only actual line from a song written by Morrissey in the Invention Exchange, from the song "Sheila Take a Bow" (there's a Smiths song called "Girlfriend in a Coma" and a Morrissey solo song called "Hairdresser on Fire", but no Smiths or Morrissey song called "Hairdresser in a Coma").
MST3k John Stockwell, Darrel Larson, Kim Cattrall in City Limits

Cast of "City Limits"

  • "So like, do you think you could get your dad to sign my Big Bambu album?"

Big Bambu was a comedy album by Cheech and Chong.

  • "Thomas Hewitt Edward Cat!"

A reference to the short-lived TV series T.H.E. Cat.

  • "...I'm Charlton Heston for Contel..."

A reference to an ad campaign in which Heston endorsed Continental Telephone.

  • "Burger Chef! He's incrediburgible!"

Burger Chef was a fast food chain that went defunct in 1982; their eponymous mascot, voiced by Paul Winchell, was described by his sidekick Jeff as "incrediburgible".

  • "It's the BART system!"

BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) is the official name of the San Francisco subway system.

  • "I'm dead now!"

A reference to an anti-smoking PSA that actor Yul Brynner filmed shortly before his death from lung cancer and had aired posthumously, in which he said "I'm dead now. Don't smoke."

  • "I don't care what you do/Just take me with you!"

Tom is quoting the Prince song "Take Me With U".

  • "It's the New Power Generation!"

The New Power Generation was the name of Prince's backup band in the early 1990s.

  • "Gary Busey sold it to me."

Actor Gary Busey suffered severe head injuries in a motorcycle accident in the late 1980s.

  • "Then Came Boredom!"

A reference to the short-lived TV series Then Came Bronson.

  • "Now it's American Hot Wax!"

American Hot Wax was a 1978 movie about Alan Freed, the Cleveland DJ who first coined the term "rock 'n' roll".

  • "Look Smithers, I'm Davey Crockett!"

Tom is quoting Mr. Burns in the Simpsons episode "Treehouse of Horror II".

  • "Jim Henson's Flying Leatherneck Babies!"

Flying Leathernecks was a 1951 movie about Marine aviators in World War II. It also references Jim Henson's Muppet Babies.

  • "Hey! Sonny Corleone's final destination!"

Referring to the toll booth scene from The Godfather where Sonny Corleone is brutally gunned down.

  • "He's humming the Roger Ramjet song!"

Roger Ramjet was a 1960s Saturday-morning satirical cartoon about a comedic superhero. The Roger Ramjet theme is set to the tune of Yankee Doodle.

  • "Sing it! It worked for Mel Tillis."

Mel Tillis is a famous country singer who spoke with a stutter due to a case of malaria he caught when he was sixteen.

  • "Stalag 90210"

Stalag 17 is a 1953 war film about a group of allied P.O.W.s trapped in a German prison camp. Beverly Hills, 90210 was a television drama which aired on the FOX Network from 1990 to 2000 about high schoolers in an affluent California city.

  • "When I grew up and went to school, there were certain teachers who would shoot the children..."

A reference to the Pink Floyd song "The Happiest Days of Our Lives," from their 1979 album The Wall. The music playing in the background during the scene is similar to the music in the song.


  • At about 10:54 minutes into the episode the sound of a page being turned can be heard. Probably one of the cast; Joel, Trace, or Kevin turning a page of their script. Likely Trace, as Crow's Joke was the next one following the sound.

Video releases

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