FANDOM


(Johnny watches himself jump in a distorting mirror)

"Afterwards, Johnny can't stop going up and down."

"The drugs from the Chemical Wonderland start to kick in."

  — Narrarator and Crow


The Short

Synopsis

419s

At the 1947 Canadian National Exhibition, a young boy ditches his parents and sets off for adventure, meeting some celebrities along the way, including world heavyweight boxing champion Joe Louis, Canadian figure skater Barbara Ann Scott (who won the gold medal in the 1948 Olympics), comedians Ole Olsen & “Chick” Johnson, and former Canadian prime minister McKenzie King. This short was narrated by Lorne Greene.

Information

  • The short was released by Rhino Entertainment on DVD on Mr. B's Lost Shorts, part of The Mystery Science Theater 3000 Collection: Volume 6

The Movie

Synopsis

Rebelset

The Rebel Set

Mr. Tucker (Platt), proprietor of a Los Angeles coffee house, hires three down-on-their-luck patrons - out-of-work actor John Mapes (Palmer); struggling writer Ray Miller (Lupton); and George Leland (Sullivan), the wayward son of a movie star - to participate in an armored car robbery to take place during a four-hour stopover in Chicago during the trio's train trip from Los Angeles to New York. Tucker and his henchman Sidney fly ahead to set up the robbery, which goes off without a hitch. However, once back on the train, Leland's greed gets the better of him, but Tucker double crosses the trio, eliminating Leland and Miller, leaving Mapes as the only one left to stop Tucker from getting away with murder - along with the entire haul.

The Episode

Host Segments

RebelSetHost

Joel tries to read a scary story

Prologue: Joel attempts to read the Bots a scary story, but Tom and Crow are too jaded and aren't biting, until Joel produces the unrelenting terror that is Life's Little Instruction Book...

Invention Exchange (Segment One): While Dr. F has an even scarier book, Frank introduces the time saving but rather cumbersome Quick Primp Kit styling station, where as Joel removes all the trouble from modern art production with the Mark Rothko Paint-by-Number kit.
Rebelsethost

Quick Primp Kit styling station

Segment Two: "Co-starring with Scott Baio" acting lessons.

Segment Three: Inspired by the movie, Joel asks the Bots what they'd do with a four-hour layover in Chicago, but only Crow gets into the spirit. Rather too into it.

Segment Four: Joel hosts a writing workshop with the Bots using the supposed Merritt Stone method, but seems interested only in stories that reference, take place on or otherwise involve trains.
Rebelsethost

SOL writing workshop

Closing (Segment Five): Murder on the Orient Express style, Tom "Hercule Poirot" Servo has an elaborate process of elimination to settle once and for all the identity of Merritt Stone, but things end up becoming much more confused and Servo's head explodes. Down in Deep 13, a now also obsessed TV's Frank fares no better.

Stinger: The weird old beatnik poet proclaims, "I am bugged!"

Other Notes

  • Upon returning to the movie after Segment Two, Tom says "Hey look, you know who that is? I'll give you a hint- 'I sing whenever I sing whenever I sing...'." Tom is identifying actor Don Sullivan (in the role of George Leland), who had previously appeared as the singing mechanic Chase Winstead in The Giant Gila Monster.
  • Later, Tom is correct when he points out that Merritt Stone is not the actor playing the train conductor and doesn't appear in The Rebel Set. The role is played by fellow Bert I. Gordon regular Gene Roth.
  • For the record:
    • Merritt Stone played the spider-eaten dad Pete Flynn in Earth vs the Spider, the clergyman in Tormented, an uncredited role as a policeman near the end of War of the Colossal Beast and the king in The Magic Sword.
    • Apart from the train conductor in this movie, Gene Roth played the sheriff in both Earth vs the Spider and Attack of the Giant Leeches as well as the lunch stand guy in Tormented.
    • Jack Kosslyn played a lieutenant in The Amazing Colossal Man, the KTLA newscaster in War of the Colossal Beast, Fraser in Earth vs the Spider and the ogre in The Magic Sword
    • The only experiment in which all 3 men appeared was Earth vs. the Spider. Coincidentally, none of these 3 actors appeared in any subsequent experiments after The Rebel Set.
  • At the end of the final host segment, Frank identifies Gene Roth as having appeared in "She Demons, a 1958 film with Irish McCallahan". The actress' name is actually Irish McCalla. She Demons became a RiffTrax Presents: Bridget & Mary Jo presentation in 2019.
  • When Frank obsesses over "Who is Merritt Stone?", Dr. Forrester's closing remarks are "I'll get you for this Joel!" This could be foreshadowing the season's remaining episodes, which include some of the most infamously bad movies they ever riffed: Monster A-Go Go, Bride of the Monster, and Manos: The Hands of Fate.

Obscure References

  • "I'm reading for Mel Brooks tomorrow."

Mel Brooks was one of the producers of the popular 1960s TV series Get Smart in which actor Edward Platt (who plays Tucker) gained fame as the Chief. The rest of episode contains several references to Get Smart, including the show's characters (Max, Agent 99, Larrabee) and catchphrases ("Sorry about that, Chief..." "Missed it by that much..." "The Cone of Silence", etc).

  • "RUN, VON RYAN!"

A quote from the 1965 World War II movie Von Ryan's Express.

  • "Jeez, the horse from Equus had it better than this!"

Equus is a play about a mentally ill stable boy who blinds six horses.

  • "He's about so high." "Well, yes, there was a Mr. Barty here..."

A reference to little-person actor Billy Barty.

  • "Looking very relaxed, Adolf Hitler on vibes."

A line from the song "The Intro and the Outro" by the Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band, in which various notable people were credited as being among the musicians performing in the song.

  • "We have nothing to fear but fear itself."

Spoken as Mr. T puts a cigarette holder in his mouth, this is a well-known quote from the United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who often used a cigarette holder.

  • "It's Miss Hathaway!"

Miss Hathaway was the loyal secretary to the irascible bank manager on the TV comedy The Beverly Hillbillies. The voice of the actress on the record sounds a bit like her.

  • "A cock's comb?" "By Henry Miller." (repeat)

Henry Miller was an American playwright and author. Some of his work was sexually-charged. This would seem to be a reference to his novel Crazy Cock.

  • "Hey, Vern!" "Ernest does a dime in Attica!"

Ernest P. Worrell was a well-meaning yokel character played by actor Jim Varney. He appeared in a series of commercials, and later movies including Ernest Goes to Jail. He often addressed the unseen character Vern.

  • "Theo Bikel? Must be 200 Motels."

Theodore Bikel appeared in Frank Zappa's movie 200 Motels.

A play by Samuel Beckett, in which an old man listens to monologues he has recorded on tape over the course of his life.

  • "May I...Dance with your dates?"

Line from Animal House spoken by a burly bar patron who confronts the Delta Tau Chi frat boys trying to fit in at a bar with a primarily African-American clientele.

  • "She's Danielle Quayle."

Spoken after the waitress misspells a word, this is a reference to an incident in which former Vice-President Dan Quayle, using a card prepared by a teacher, had "corrected" a grade-school student's spelling of the word "potato" by telling them to add an "e" to the end.

  • "Travelin' along... Footloose and fancy free..."

Sung over a shot of a car driving along a back road, Joel is paraphrasing the song "Movin' Right Along" from The Muppet Movie.

  • "Ya know, the committee to re-elect the president!"

Richard Nixon's 1972 re-election campaign was run by an organization with the acronym CREEP: the Committee to RE-Elect the President. Its list of prominent members was essentially a roster of those who would later face charges for various crimes revolving around the Watergate scandal. There is subsequently a reference to Howard Hunt, who was a former CIA officer and member of this organization.

  • "My boss, always comin' up with phrases like that."

Spoken in the manner of the opening narration for the TV show Hart to Hart in which Max, the roughneck valet (played by Lionel Stander), affectionately describes his employers Mr. & Mrs. Hart. Subsequent takes on this riff from Crow occur throughout the episode.

  • "Visit the off-world colonies!"

Referencing the inviting offers spoken through the city intercoms from Blade Runner.

  • (Singing over an establishing shot of Chicago.)

Joel and the 'bots are singing the instrumental theme tune from The Bob Newhart Show which was set in Chicago. The opening credits sequence depicted Bob's commute home through the city from his office.

  • "...And Cucamonga"

A recurring joke on the Jack Benny radio program involved Jack waiting to board a train. The announcer (played by Mel Blanc) would announce boarding for a list of cities which would always end with Cucamonga, CA. As the joke was repeated over the course of the series, Blanc would make the pause between "Cuc" and "-amonga" longer and longer.

  • "Super Dave!"

Super Dave Osborne was a character created by comic actor Bob Einstein. An incompetent daredevil, Osborne was the star of a TV show which depicted his attempts to perform various stunts which always went wrong. He typically wore a crash helmet.

  • "I'm gonna kill that milk to impress Jodie Foster."

John Hinckley Jr. was supposedly motivated to make his attempt on the life of U.S. President Ronald Reagan out of a desire to impress actress Jodie Foster, upon whom Hinckley was fixated.

  • "Tonight's episode- Milk: It Does a Body Dead."

For many years during the 1980s, the slogan of the National Dairy Board was "Milk: It Does a Body Good". Additionally, many crime/police dramas (including a lot of Quinn-Martin Productions) would feature ominous episode titles with twists on common phrases.

  • "Mrs. Webb... You're backing up... That's a one-way, Mrs. Webb..."

Crow is mimicking the vocal style of Bob Newhart's Driving Instructor character (who was addressing his student, the easily confused and distracted Mrs. Webb) in one of Newhart's best-known stand-up comedy routines.

  • "I wish I had my Carmex..."

Carmex is a brand of lip balm.

  • "Maybe I can get on that Bizarre show with John Byner..."

Bizarre was a Canadian sketch comedy TV show in which the aforementioned character Super Dave Osborne first appeared. It was hosted by John Byner.

  • "Joe Doakes. Not a very good driver."

A callback to the driving safety short X Marks the Spot which appeared in Experiment #210.

  • "Pardon me, boy! Oh, forget it..."

"Pardon me, boy" is the first lyric in the song "Chattanooga Choo-Choo".

  • "Reverend" "...blue jeans"

A pun on the title of the Neil Diamond song, "Forever In Blue Jeans".

  • "Art Linkletter! They all have Art Linkletter on them!"

Art Linkletter was the long-time spokesman for the board game The Game of Life, and appeared on the $100,000 bills in that game as late as the 1985 revision.

  • "Alright, who wants gum?"  "I DO, I DO!"

A play on the slogan used by Trident gum in commercials shown in the nineties.

  • MST3K 419 Promos

    MST3K 419 Promos

    "I write about the life of the mind."

A reference to the movie Barton Fink -- in that movie, Barton declines a similar offer from a working-class guy to give him stories he can use.

  • "A screaming comes across the sky..."

The first line of the novel Gravity's Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon.

  • "In nomine Patri!"

Latin for "In the name of the Father", this is part of the blessing bestowed by a priest during a Catholic mass.

Video Release


Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.