"You know, people are gonna hate you for quite a while after this, Davey."

The Movie


A laid-back "made-for-TV hippie".

In this TV-movie, the people who run a large metropolitan airport handle several crises. The swaggering security chief (Pernell Roberts), who doesn't play by anyone's rules, stages a phony crisis aboard an airplane full of congressmen in order to demonstrate the need for a new runway. Clu Gulager plays head of security for San Mateo County. The two must stop Tab Hunter and his gang from stealing a shipment of newly-printed currency. David Hartman also appears as a pilot whose wife is being held hostage so that Hartman will delay a plane's takeoff long enough for the criminals to remove the money from the cargo hold.

Subplots include that of a teenage boy with no flight experience who takes to the air in a stolen Ercoupe because his parents (Van Johnson is the dad, a newspaper columnist extraordinaire) are getting a divorce, and a case of mistaken identity between an uptight bookkeeper and a laid-back "made-for-TV hippie."

Will Pernell get the appropriations for the airport—or be canned for ruffling the wrong feathers? Will the criminals get away with the money? Will mixed-up teenager Davey auger his stolen plane into the bay? Will all the other sub-plots be resolved?


  • San Francisco International

    The movie was developed as a pilot for the TV series San Francisco International Airport and aired as a TV-movie on September 29, 1970, before the TV series made its debut as part of NBC's wheel series Four in One around a month later. Despite the movie's underwhelming reviews, the initial six episodes that comprised the series were still ordered and aired as part of said wheel program.
    • The show's ratings are unknown, but it was cancelled due to its lack of popularity with no more episodes created.
    • When the show went to series, Pernell Roberts was replaced by Lloyd Bridges, who later played a similar (though comedic) role in the movie Airplane!. [1]
  • Actor Russ Conway, perhaps best known to MST3K fans as the Reverend Snow in The Screaming Skull, briefly appears in a blink-and-you'll-miss-it role as the airline mechanic who looks at the "mushy nose wheel."
  • As listed above, Pernell Roberts was replaced for the short-lived TV series based on this movie by Lloyd Bridges. Roberts would later replace Wayne Rogers in the role of Trapper John McIntyre from M*A*S*H in the series Trapper John MD. Rogers was cited in the episode Hercules Against the Moon Men as being the actor who often replaced other actors in their former roles. This would seem to place Lloyd Bridges at the top of a very specific food chain.

The Episode

Host Segments

Crow and Servo debate politics

Mike as Urkel

"I gotta say, I've never been a big Urkel fan..."

Prologue: Crow and Servo hold a political debate on politics, moderated by Mike. Politics is a loose description for the subject.

Segment One: The Mads are very manly construction workers. Mike and the Bots do the old board slapstick routine.

Segment Two: Mike is Urkel! It's funny!Frank, Dr. Forrester and Santa Claus laugh along with the bots.

Segment Three: Mike’s still Urkel! It's still funny. Pitch shows up to laugh, along with Jan in the Pan.

Segment Four: Urkel is still funny. Santa Claus, Nuveena, Huggy Bear, and Rooster join in the laughter. Everyone is enjoying themselves... until Torgo shows up.

Segment Five: Mike and the Bots ponder the film and determine that David Hartman is extremely ugly. Letters are read, including one of an image of Crow found in ancient cave etchings. Dr. F’s ears have become hideously large.

Stinger: "My job, my way," smug Pernell Roberts says.

MST3K cast

Regular cast

Guest cast


  • This episode was ranked #99 among backers of the Bring Back MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000 campaign in the Top 100 Poll.
  • At the time of the original broadcast, the running "Urkel" gag of the Host Segments was not well-received. Fans online expressed displeasure at the repetitive nature of the bit and at the lack of jokes. While this may have been deliberate satire on the part of the MST3K writers, reaction was decidedly mixed.
  • At one point during his Urkel imitation, Mike says "What'chu talkin' 'bout, Willis?". This was the catchphrase of a young African-American character (Arnold Jackson, played by Gary Coleman) on the TV sitcom Diff'rent Strokes.


Obscure References

  • "And that's the truth - pffft!"

Catch-phrase of the young girl character "Edith Ann" played by comedian/actress Lily Tomlin. She initially appeared on the TV series Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In, and has since become one of Tomlin's most enduring characters.

  • "He's got to get to his Lust in the Dust audition."

Tab Hunter played the lead role of Abel Wood in Lust in the Dust.

  • "I know Yngwie Malmsteen!"

Yngwie Malmsteen is a Swedish heavy metal musician.

  • "I'm sleeping with Herb Caen."

Herb Caen was a columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle from 1938 until his death in 1997; he worked for the Examiner from 1950 until 1958. Caen is credited with creating the word "beatnik." His columns are still reprinted in the Chronicle.

  • "Tsk, tsk, Lucas Tanner!"

Lucas Tanner is a television show starring David Hartman that ran from 1974-1975.  Hartman portrayed the title character, a former baseball player and sportswriter that became an English teacher.

  • "We don't allow hippies, or anyone else to start fights at this airport." "Except Jackson Browne."

Singer and song writer Jackson Browne had been accused of domestic violence while he was in a relationship with Daryl Hannah.

  • "All of a sudden this dirty-looking, long-haired creep with a guitar on his back..." "Shawn Phillips?"

Shawn Phillips is a Texas born folk musician who played alongside other noted talents such as Donovan and Eric Clapton. The "made for TV hippie" in the movie does bear some resemblance to him.

  • "The answer my friend, is blowin' out your ass!"

Parodied line from the Bob Dylan song "Blowin' in the Wind".

  • "Hey, more Reba!"

A callback to Episode 610, in which the Mads promote their new country music radio station by listing the artists it plays, including repeated proclamations of "more Reba!" Nancy Malone bears a vague resemblance to Reba McEntire in the shot, especially her hairstyle.

  • "I think I see some Israeli commandos."

A reference to the 1976 rescue of hostages by the Israel Defense Forces at Entebbe Airport in Uganda.

  • "Jeez, ever since Vatican II, these guys..."

The Second Vatican Council (also known as "Vatican II") was held from 1962–65 and resulted in significant modernizations of the Catholic Church's doctrines and rituals.

  • "All the church will do is move this guy to another parish."

A reference to the Catholic Church's long-standing policy of reassigning priests accused of sexual misconduct.

  • "Sounds like the Avengers are here!"

A reference to the 1960s British TV series The Avengers.

  • "I can't wait 'til Reagan fires us."

In August 1981 the air traffic controllers union, PATCO, went on strike demanding shorter work weeks and improved conditions. President Reagan, citing the Taft-Hartley Act of 1947, ordered them back to work. Ninety percent of the controllers refused. All 13,000 controllers were fired and blacklisted from government employment.

  • "He looks like Dr. Zaius. He even has the Dr. Zaius suit."

A reference to the Planet of the Apes series character Dr. Zaius, played by Maurice Evans.

  • "They should have gotten Schneider to do this."

Schneider is the building supervisor on One Day at a Time, a sitcom from the late 1970s and early '80s.

  • "Megaweapon!"

Megaweapon originally appeared in the Season 5 episode Warrior of the Lost World.

  • "Guess we better slow that Mustang down."

A reference to the R&B song "Mustang Sally" written by Mack Rice and popularized by singer Wilson Pickett.

  • "Chain link! Julie! Pete!"

A reference to the three leading characters - Linc, Peter, and Julie - from the TV series The Mod Squad.

  • "Torn between two airplanes..."

A reference to the pop song "Torn Between Two Lovers".

  • "Suddenly... I am Starbuck."

Starbuck is a character in the television series Battlestar Galatica.

  • "I was on the 12th level of Dungeons & Dragons, now there's blood on my knife!"

This is a mash-up of a reference to the actual pen and paper role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons and the anti-D&D made-for-TV movie Mazes and Monsters. The film featured a young Tom Hanks playing a boy who'd had a psychotic break and began to believe himself to be his actual Mazes and Monsters character, eventually leading to him stabbing a man then sobbing in a phone booth about the blood on his knife.

  • "Ooh, he's got Palmolive hands!"

A reference to the dish detergent Palmolive, frequently advertised to soften skin.

  • "Serum - the new CD from Rush."

A reference to the Canadian rock band Rush.

  • "Pablo Casals is in the back seat."

Pablo Casals was a preeminent 20th century Spanish Catalan cellist.

  • "Pufnstuf, help me!"

A reference to the children's television series H.R. Pufnstuf.

  • "Davey, you're gonna meet a guy in a black robe who wants to play chess with you..."

A reference to the Ingmar Bergman film The Seventh Seal, in which a knight who has just returned from the Crusades plays chess with the Grim Reaper in an effort to forestall his (and others) fate.

  • "I did it all for Jodie Foster!"

A reference to John Hinckley, Jr., who attempted to assassinate then-President Ronald Reagan for reasons stemming from his own unhealthy obsession with actress Jodie Foster.

  • "But dogs told me to do it!"

A reference to serial killer David "Son of Sam" Berkowitz, who claimed that he killed his victims on orders from his neighbor's dog.

  • "Um, Lloyd Bridges is replacing you when we go to series."

Indeed, Pernell Roberts was replaced by Bridges for the short-lived 6 episode television series version of San Francisco International Airport.

  • "Now stay tuned for The Name of the Game!"

The Name of the Game is a TV series that ran from 1968 to 1971.

  • "Sounds like King Friday music!"

A reference to the Mister Rogers' Neighborhood character King Friday XIII.

  • "He had an awesome dream!"

A reference to the Lionel Richie song "Say You, Say Me".

  • "We've gotta close the beaches!"

A reference to Steven Spielberg's 1975 film Jaws.

  • "You're gonna high-tail it as fast as you can, down the main concourse to the men's room..." "Joe Orton will be there."

The posthumously published diaries of British playwright Joe Orton revealed that he was fond of anonymous sexual encounters in public restrooms.

Video releases


External links

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