I killed that fat barkeep!

The Short


Jessie loves her husband Phil, who is in love with another woman - who is engaged to another man - so Jessie decides to host a painfully awkward engagement party.


The Movie


The Beatniks

It's 1960 Los Angeles, and petty thug Eddie Crane (Tony Travis) is headed nowhere. He leads a pack of hoodlums who rob mom-and-pop stores for drinking money, then decamp to a one-table diner to squabble over their ill-gotten spoils. Eddie is cynical and he seems to harbor a grudge against the world.

When talent agent Harry Bayliss (Charles Delaney, who passed away before the film was released) chances to hear Eddie sing, he wants to sign him to a recording contract. Eddie is initially disinterested, but when the potential of large sums of money is mentioned, Iris (Eddie's girlfriend) goads him into accepting the proposition.

Eddie and his friends arrive at Bayliss' office. He auditions for one of Bayliss' contacts and then he's on his way to fame and fortune. After a shopping montage with Bayliss' secretary Helen Tracy (and a tender sharing of intimacies over lunch with same), Eddie delivers a couple of television performances that inspire feverish screams of girlish desire, causing the studio switchboards to be jammed with fans' phone calls and rocket his career skyward.

Eddie is drawn to Helen - perhaps the only decent girl he has ever known and a stark contrast to Iris. He begins to sense the existence of a better world and starts to take a poorer view of his buddies.

The Beatniks

Bayliss installs Eddie et al in a local hotel while Eddie awaits the next step in his career. They celebrate by drinking, dancing, playing loud music and wrecking the place. When the hotel manager shows up to complain, Eddie's friend Mooney (Peter Breck) amuses himself by tormenting him.

As Eddies' star rises, his "pal", the jealous, semi-psychotic Mooney waxes ever more violent and determined to keep Eddie in his place - with the gang. When Mooney shoots a barkeep during a robbery, Eddie plunges into existential despair. He telephones Helen and tells her he's not going to continue in show business. When she tries to talk him out of it, declaring her love for him, he rebukes her, accusing her of being motivated by greed. She hangs up on him and he realizes he needs to apologize.

Meanwhile, at Helen's insistence, Bayliss goes to the hotel room of "the gang" to find out what the problem is, where the shrieking, paranoid Mooney promptly slashes him with a straight razor. Bayliss is taken to the hospital in serious condition and the police begin a manhunt for Eddie, thinking he is the culprit.

Eddie goes looking for Mooney, and a confrontation ensues. When the police arrive on the scene, Eddie cooperates and confesses his involvement. His show business career may be delayed (or ended entirely), but he clears his conscience and reconciles with Helen.


  • First and only directorial effort from voice actor Paul Frees, who can be heard introducing Eddie when he makes his first TV appearance and also as the voice of the police detective in the hospital.
  • The film was shot in 1958 under the title Sideburns and Sympathy.
  • In 1958 it was announced the film was to have been produced by Elmer Carl Rhodan Jr (1922-1959).
  • In addition to producing teen exploitation films such as Daddy-O, Rhodan was the son of the owner of a chain of Midwestern Commonwealth Theater chain.

The Episode

Host Segments

Pocket pool

Prologue: Joel cruelly dominates the Bots in a painful game of rock-paper-scissors, until Gypsy crushes Joel in revenge.

Segment One (Invention Exchange): Everyone recovers from their injuries received the prologue. The Mads have developed Good Luck Troll Costumes, based on those weird little plastic troll dolls that were all the rage in the 90's, complete with exposed plastic butts. Joel demos his literal take on Pocket Pool, though he denies Tom Servo the use of the bridge.

Segment Two: Either you are or you aren't a beatnik, according to Joel and the Bots, and the folks in the movie really aren't. To help the folks at home, they helpfully list ways to tell if you aren't a beatnik.

Either you are or you aren't a beatnik

Segment Three: The Bots hold a slumber party, and discuss dreamy Tony Travis from the movie. Turns out he's a high school pal of Joel's; however, the phone call they end up placing is less than inspiring. They then aim their swooning in Mooney's direction.

Segment Four: Servo stars in a dramatization of the life of a 50’s rock star based on the movie, from anonymity to overnight stardom to pathetic has-been.

Good Luck Troll Costumes

Segment Five: Crow goes nuts like Peter Breck's character Mooney. Joel reads a letter in the meantime, and he and Tom debate if "dickweed" a swear word. The Mads find their costumes less than ideal for pushing the button.

Stinger: A crazed Mooney throws his gun.

MST3K cast

Regular cast

Guest cast



  • "Rock candy baby you’re mine, yeah!" (Daddy-O)

Obscure References

  • "I have seen the best guys of my emanation deployed by badness."

Frank is misquoting the Allen Ginsberg poem "Howl".

  • "...Mrs. Harvey." "She's a big rabbit!"

A reference to the 1944 stage play Harvey, (which was subsequently made into a feature film starring Jimmy Stewart) in which the main character is a man with a six-foot-tall rabbit named Harvey for an imaginary friend.

  • "E-O eleven..."

From the theme song to the original version of Ocean's Eleven.

  • "Let's do some crimes!"

A quote from the 1984 movie Repo Man.

  • "They robbed Paul Wellstone!"

Paul Wellstone was a Senator from Minnesota, serving from 1991 until his death in a plane crash in 2002.

  • "Travis Bickle?!" "Sometimes I wish a rain would come and wash away all the scum of the city."

Travis Bickle was the title character in the 1976 film Taxi Driver (which is also the source of the "rain" line).

  • "Havin' a ball/With a crazy chick..." "Who?  Francis Farmer?"

The actress Frances Farmer struggled with mental illness throughout her life, and was allegedly lobotomized during one of her institutionailzations.

  • "Get in touch with Morrisey..." "... And tell him to stop crying."

A reference to singer Morrisey, known for his depressing songs.

  • "Hey, I was watching She's the Sheriff!"

She's the Sheriff is a TV sitcom that aired in first-run syndication from 1987 to 1989 that starred Suzanne Somers.

  • "I was thinkin' we could go down there, grab us some quick loot, go down to Mexico and be Ban-Dee-Dos!" "Yeah and we can then ride Yoshi to the Mushroom Kingdom."

A riff playing off of Mooney's complete detachment from reality. In video games, Yoshi is the friendly green dinosaur-ish creature which the Super Mario Brothers would occasionally ride. When this episode aired, Yoshi had recently made his debut in Super Mario World (which takes place in Dinosaur Land rather than the Mushroom Kingdom).

  • "Hey, I found a wheat penny!"

The US 1 cent coin had an image of stalks of wheat on its reverse side from 1909 until 1958 (so it probably wouldn't have been as impressive to find a wheat penny at the time the movie was made as it would be now).

  • "Bernardo, No!"

Bernardo was the hot-headed brother of Maria who tried to kill her lover Tony in the musical West Side Story.

Video releases

MST3K DVD cover

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