“And stock up on socks! You know, you’re never gonna have this chance again!”
  — Joel

The Movie


The Magic Voyage of Sinbad

Sinbad the sailor, known for sailing the world and seeing many wondrous and magic things, returns to the city of Copasand, with nary a piece of gold to his name. Sinbad soon sees that many of the people of the city are poor and hungry, while the city's merchants are still quite rich. Sinbad proposes that the merchants should fund a journey for him and a crew to find 'the Bird of Happiness,' figuring that it will cure the ailment of the city. The merchants (naturally) deride Sinbad's words and send him away.

Having returned, Sinbad is charmed by two women. The first is one named Lubiria, but while Sinbad is charmed by her, she claims she has not known him long enough. The next woman is the young daughter of King Neptune, who finds Sinbad singing near the waters. Sinbad explains his problems trying to convince the merchants, and the young woman formulates a plan: take a boat into the waters, and she will provide him with golden fish.

Sinbad then awakens the city, and makes a proposal: if he can catch golden fish in the nearby waters, the merchants must surrender all their goods to the people. If he fails, they can have his head. The merchants balk at such a gesture, but figure there's no way Sinbad can win, and agree.

The Magic Voyage of Sinbad

Thanks to Neptune's daughter, Sinbad catches the golden fish, and the merchants relinquish their goods to the people. However, one of the men notes to Sinbad that not everyone has been able to partake in the distribution of goods, and now that everything has been given away, there is no money left for Sinbad to make his journey with.

Dejected, Sinbad is at a loss for what to do, until Neptune's daughter causes the golden fish to become actual gold! With his newfound riches, Sinbad has the money to build his boats and prepares for his journey. Lubiria sees him off, promising to send a bird to find him every year until he returns.

Sinbad's journey leads him to several lands. Their first encounter is with a group of barbarians along a rocky cliff. The group attempts to make peaceful talk, but the barbarians intend to kill them outright. The group holds them off, and takes the leader's horse. Much later, they arrive in India.

It is here that one of the men hears of a magic bird that the King has. Sinbad wishes to trade for the bird, but the King wants Sinbad's horse (which actually can talk!). Sinbad then accepts the King's wish to play a chess game. If the King wins, he gets the horse. If Sinbad wins, he can have the bird.

The Magic Voyage of Sinbad

Sinbad wins the game, but upon seeing the bird, he and his crew note that it is not the bird they are looking for. It does not bring happiness, but has the power to put people asleep. The group still takes it anyways, and manages to escape from the Kingdom by using the bird's powers.

Deciding to go home, the group run into rough waters. In order to dispel the the waters, Sinbad sacrifices himself to Neptune.He arrives in the King's court, and offers to play a song for the royal.


  • "Sadko" (the movie's original title) won the Silver Lion Award at the 1953 Venice Film Festival.
  • This movie's hero is obviously not Sinbad, and director Aleksandr Ptushko never intended him to be. But when this Soviet-financed film was released to American audiences, the lead character Sadko was given the name "Sinbad" in hopes of misleading American filmgoers, who the American importers expected would not care to see a movie made by Russians.[1]
  • "Sadko” was based on an opera by Rimsky-Korsakov. It was adapted for the American screen by Francis Ford Coppola. To learn more about the epic hero, visit here.
  • The city of Copasand is actually Sadko's traditional hometown of Novgorod.
  • The instrument that the protagonist is seen playing is known as a gusli.
  • In The Amazing Colossal Episode Guide, Kevin Murphy expresses fondness for the Soviet/Finnish fantasy films covered by the show. Murphy notes that they have moments of true cinematic beauty followed by patently ridiculous scenes, making them easy to riff and a more enjoyable experience than other "bad" movies.

The Episode

Host Segments

The 3rd Annual SOL-Tie Awards

Prologue: The 3rd annual SOL-tie awards are held. Crow T. Robot and Gypsy present the award for "Best Performance by a Red Gumball Machine-Looking Robot in a Funny Situation". It goes to Crow. Tom Servo calls a fix.

Rat Pack Chess

Segment One (Invention Exchange): The Bots discuss how it's really an honor just to be nominated, but not really. The Mads introduce the latest disturbing fashion trend: Chin-derwear, for cleft chins. Joel & the Bots invent the Rat Pack chess set to honor "the closest thing royalty our great nation has yet produced". Explaining the rules is extremely complicated, but it's okay because Frank Sinatra can move "wherever the hell he wants to".

Segment Two: The Junior Jester Club cavorts, but realizes they may have to dissolve the chapter when they can't agree on a meeting date.

Segment Three: In a skit, Persia's bearded town council debates the Sinbad problem. The Honorable Mr. T. Robot keeps pointing out "he's not Sinbad", but the Honorable Mr. Servo wants Sinbad held responsible for his disruptive ways. The Honorable Mr. Robinson wants more water.

The Junior Jester Club

Segment Four: After being inspired by the movie and sneaking out of the theater, Crow disappears. Joel and Servo search desperately over the ship before finding a note announcing Crow's life-long quest. They then receiving a radio transmission and find out isn't going so well; after launching himself out an airlock, Crow's thrusters are out of control and he keeps running into the Satellite of Love. Joel leaves an airlock open, hoping Crow can make his way back in.

Joel's channel catfish puppet

Segment Five: The Bots, especially Gypsy, are amazed by Joel's channel catfish puppet, but Crow and Tom drive themselves crazy coming up with complicated reasons for its existence. Joel sets the puppet down to read a letter. Frank meets Mr. Fistie.

Stinger: A creepy laughing horse.

MST3K cast

Regular cast

Guest cast




  • Dr. Forrester and Frank wear their Chinderwear backwards relative to their chin butts.
  • The blue parts of Joel's jester hat are the same shade as the bluescreen used to display the footage from the movie. This results in the projected image appearing on the matching parts of the cap whenever Joel passes in front of the bluescreen.

Obscure References

  • "It's fear of a short, red planet..."
A reference to the Public Enemy album "Fear of a Black Planet".
  • "O.C. and Stiggs are calling!"
O.C. and Stiggs is a 1987 movie based on two characters from a series of National Lampoon stories.
  • "...Kitty Kelley..."
Kitty Kelley is the author of several sensationalist biographies of questionable veracity, including a 1991 unauthorized biography claiming that First Lady Nancy Reagan had had a series of extramarital affairs with Frank Sinatra.
  • "...Sam Giancana..."
Sam Giancana was a Chicago mob boss.
  • "I saw The Magic Voyage of Brad Garrett!"
At the time this episode first aired, comedian and actor Brad Garrett was primarily known for his work as a stand-up comic and voice actor. He has since become famous for his roles on the popular TV series Everybody Loves Raymond and Til Death. The joke is derived from the fact that there is another popular comedian/actor named Sinbad, who had had a career path similar to Garrett's.
  • "This is the most twisted version of Battle Chess I've ever seen!"
Battle Chess is a videogame that plays animated fight sequences when one piece captures another.
  • "Due east..." "Defeats Truman!"
Refers to the famous headline "Dewey Defeats Truman" that ran in the Chicago Tribune, incorrectly announcing that New York governor Thomas Dewey had defeated President Harry Truman in the 1948 Presidental election.
  • "Romper, bomper, stomper boo..."
Tom is quoting the rhyming spell which ended each episode of the children's TV show Romper Room.
  • "That bear has Hammer pants on!"
The bottom of the bear costume resembles the parachute pants worn by rapper MC Hammer.
  • "It's the Ozark Mountain Daredevils taking out the laundry."
The Ozark Mountain Daredevils were a 1970s Southern rock band known for their long hair and beards.
  • "They call me Mr. Tibbs."
They Call Me MISTER Tibbs! is the sequel to In the Heat of the Night, featuring Sidney Poitier's character. It was Poitier's most famous line from In the Heat of the Night.
  • "Howard Johnson is right!"
A quote from Blazing Saddles.
  • "It's Paul Winter!"
Paul Winter is a bearded jazz saxophonist, referencing the bearded fife player in the film.
  • "The two stages of Jackie Cooper... young and old."
Jackie Cooper was one of the Little Rascals. He later went on to have a successful career as an adult, most notably playing Perry White in the Superman films.
  • "...what condition their condition is in..."
Servo is paraphrasing the song "Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In)" by The First Edition.
  • "Jim Dandy to the rescue..."
Joel is quoting the Black Oak Arkansas song "Jim Dandy".
  • "Oh no, it's Siddhartha!" "Was that a Howard Hesseman reference? Rudolph Hess?"
Siddhartha was actually written by Hermann Hesse. Servo jokingly confuses him with actor Howard Hesseman and Nazi Rudolf Hess.
  • "Al Martino?"
Al Martino is a singer who also played Johnny Fontane in the The Godfather films.
  • "Next on The Price is Right... John Rhys-Davies, come on down!"
The Price is Right is an American TV game show in which contestants are chosen from the audience and invited to "come on down" to the stage to compete. Welsh actor John Rhys-Davies is heavily bearded like many men in the movie. At the time, he was probably best known for playing Sallah in two of the Indiana Jones films. Since this episode, his most famous role has been the dwarf Gimli in the Lord of the Rings films. Those films and Raiders of the Lost Ark were both later taken on by RiffTrax.
  • "What fresh hell is this?"
A quote usually attributed to poet Dorothy Parker when answering phone calls.
  • "Anthony!" "Here on the north side of Persia, it's Prince Spaghetti Day!"
A reference to an old commercial for the Prince Pasta Macaroni Company.
  • "If I could just do my opening joke... women be different from men you see..."
This is one of the comedy routines done by comedian Sinbad.
  • "I can't tell if that's a Magritte or a hole in the wall!"
A reference to surrealist painter Rene Magritte.
  • "It's Dance Party Persia. Or Finland."
A reference to the TV show Dance Party USA.
  • "And I ran, I ran so far away..."
Cued by the flock of seagulls in the movie, the guys are singing the lyrics to the '80s classic "I Ran" by New Wave band A Flock of Seagulls.
  • "They look like the knights who say 'Ni!'."
Reference to the well-known segment in the 1975 film Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
  • "Now, where's that Pronto Pup stand?"
Pronto Pup claims to be the "original" corn dog. Stands can be often be found at fairs or tourist destinations in the U.S.
Another reference to Sinbad the comedian, who had a supporting role in the film Necessary Roughness.
  • "Hey, suddenly it's F-Troop!
F-Troop is a 1960's sitcom about a group of bumbling soldiers and Native Americans in the Wild West. The tune Joel and the Bots sing afterward is an "Indian" (as in southern Asia) version of the theme song.
  • "She's doing an Ed Grimley dance!"
Ed Grimley is one of Martin Short's characters from SCTV and Saturday Night Live. He would dance in a similar fashion while playing the triangle.
  • "Look out Mr. Maxwell!" "I gotta go sleep with Luca Brasi."
Robert Maxwell was a British media tycoon who died in 1991 after falling (or jumping, or being pushed, according to some theories) off the deck of his yacht.
Luca Brasi is a character in The Godfather.  When he is killed, his bulletproof vest is wrapped around a fish and sent to the Corleones as a message: "It means 'Luca Brasi sleeps with the fishes'." Since this episode, Mike Nelson has told fans of RiffTrax that he would be interested in riffing this classic film.

Video releases