So the main causes of accidents are joy, sex, and old age?
  — Mike


He's amazing and amusing,

he's delicious and nutritious,

two for breakfast, one for...

  — Servo (singing along to the music)


The Short

The Days of Our Years

Synopsis

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Another Union Pacific short, this time a preacher talking about avoiding work accidents and providing three examples. As Mike points out, the main causes of workplace accidents are, apparently, joy, sex, and old age.

Information

The Movie

Synopsis

The Amazing Transparent Man

Former U. S. Army major, Paul Krenner (James Griffith), plans to conquer the world with an army of invisible soldiers and will do anything to achieve that goal. With the help of his hired muscle, Julian (Red Morgan), Krenner forces Dr. Peter Ulof (Ivan Trisault) to perfect the invisibility machine Ulof invented. He keeps Ulof’s daughter, Maria (Carmel Daniel) imprisoned to keep Ulof in line.

The nuclear materials Ulof needs to better his invisibility machine are extremely rare and kept under guard in government facilities. Krenner arranges the prison break of notorious safecracker, Joey Faust (Douglas Kennedy), to steal the materials he needs. Of course Faust will do the jobs while invisible. Krenner offers Faust money for the jobs and Faust expresses his grievances against working for him. Faust tells him that he’ll sing like a canary if he’s returned to prison. Krenner tells Faust that he’s wanted alive or dead. Faust reluctantly complies. However, when he meets Faust’s woman, Laura Matson (Marguerite Chapman), he slowly charms her into a double cross.

"Hayley Mills in The Amazing Trans-PARENT Trap!"

Faust continues attempting to escape and tries to get one over on Krenner. It looks like he may have the edge on Krenner when Faust attacks Krenner while invisible. However, Dr. Ulof’s guinea pig dies and, during the second time he’s invisible, Faust uncontrollably reverts from invisible to visible and back again. Despite these drawbacks Faust forges ahead intent on breaking free from Krenner’s control. [1]

Information

The Episode

Host Segments

Auntie McFrank’s Tangleberry Inn

Prologue: Tom’s science project is a Crowtus Robotus Horribilus, trapped in a giant bottle.

Segment One: Crow gets mounted among the other insects of Servo's collection. Deep 13 has been transformed into Auntie McFrank’s Tangleberry Inn, a colorful bed and breakfast. After being served a meal of cold lo mein, Mike and the Bots provide some "local color" for the guests by presenting a llama. "Don't you give no matches to Mikey!" The guests can't pack fast enough, and Dr. F is peeved.

Segment Two: Based on the tragic short, Crow learns the hard way about "gentle pressure".

"You people bring matches for Mikey?"

Segment Three: Frank finally gets a day off and buys a ticket from a scalper for Squanto: A Warrior’s Tale. Dr. F tactlessly lets Frank know it's already left theaters.

Segment Four: After failing to impress the Bots with his new electric organ, Mike gets caught pretending to be Rick Wakeman when he tries to perform The Six Wives of Henry VIII.

Mike's new organ

Segment Five: Mike and the Bots try to answer the film’s dilemma of either having an invisible army or blowing up a county in Texas. They read an amazing transparent letter. Back in Deep 13, it's teatime, though Frank still mourns for Squanto.

Stinger: Petting the invisible guinea pig is fun!

Other Notes

  • Squanto: A Warrior's Tale was released to theaters on October 28, 1994. Forrester's comment that it had "opened and closed three weeks ago" would tend to indicate that this episode takes place in late-November of 1994, three-and-a-half months before its original airing. Crow and Tom recommend two other potential films for Frank to see - The Road to Wellville was also released on October 28th, 1994, and Camp Nowhere was released on August 26th, 1994. Neither film was likely to still be in wide theatrical release by the end of November.

Guest Stars

Callbacks

Obscure References

  • "They should have had a train scene here!"

Crow is suggesting that some Freudian imagery would have rounded out the montage.

  • "...when he was good friends with Dean Rusk."

Dean Rusk was the U.S. Secretary of State under the Kennedy and Johnson administrations.

  • "The doctor's wife had died. He paused to smell a rose..." "Plan 5 from Outer Space!"

All references to the notorious Ed Wood film Plan 9 from Outer Space, which would later become a RiffTrax presentation.

  • "Oh, no- cops!"

Mike is imitating the Simpsons character Snake.

  • "Must escape from Barbara Woodhouse!"

Barbara Woodhouse was a British dog trainer.

  • "Shadowlands II: Escape from Oxford!"

Shadowlands was a 1993 film about C.S. Lewis' relationship with poet Joy Davidman.

  • "Is your knob turned to Bob?"

A reference to "Turn your knob to Bob", a former slogan for the Minneapolis radio station KTLK-FM. The slogan had inspired the "Turn Your crank to Frank" sketch in Experiment #610 The Violent Years.

  • "Burgess Meredith is in there reading..."

A reference to the Twilight Zone episode "Time Enough at Last", in which actor Burgess Meredith played a bank teller who could typically be found reading in the bank's vault during his lunch break.

  • "I'm not a telephone junkie... There's no action..."

These are lines from the Elvis Costello song "No Action".

  • "Keep your eyyyyeeee on the guinea pig!"

A reference to "Keep Your Eye on the Sparrow", the theme song from the TV series Baretta.

  • "It's kind of an abstract sculpture of Jayne Mansfield."

Jayne Mansfield was a blonde movie actress during the 1950s and 60s, known for her voluptuous figure. None of Jayne's films were used on MST3K until Season 11's The Loves of Hercules.

  • "Ben, some people will turn you away..."

Mike is singing the theme song from the 1972 horror movie Ben, which was about a socially awkward young man and his friendship with a rat. The song was performed by a young Michael Jackson.

  • "It's just me and the latest issue of Sassy!"

Sassy was a magazine for teenage girls published during the 1990s.

  • "Goofus pisses me off."

Goofus and Gallant are two characters who regularly appear in the magazine Highlights for Children. Goofus is generally thoughtless, lazy, and inconsiderate.

  • "Spies Like Us!"

Spies Like Us was a 1985 movie starring Chevy Chase and Dan Aykroyd, with a theme song by Paul McCartney.

  • "Thanks a lot, Bill W...."

Bill W. is the name of the founder of Alcoholics Anonymous.

  • "As long as he needs me..."

From the musical Oliver!, this is sung by the character Nancy who is lovingly devoted to the villainous Bill Sikes despite his cruelty to her.

  • "David McCallum is booked for midnight."

David McCallum played the titular role of The Invisible Man in a 1975 NBC TV Series. McCallum's series was canceled and replaced with the cheaper invisible man series called Gemini Man, episodes of which were later re-purposed and released as Riding with Death. McCallum had appeared in Experiment #324.

  • "Oh, you're gonna pay me, Norton..."

Tom is mimicking actor Jackie Gleason's character Ralph Kramden from the TV comedy The Honeymooners, who was often overbearing to his friend Ed Norton.

  • "You gotta have heart...!"

A song from the musical Damn Yankees.

  • "Oppenheimer cupped Einstein's breasts as Nils Bohr let his lab smock slip to the floor..."

Oppenheimer, Einstein, and Nils Bohr were all scientists who worked on the United States' atomic weapons programs.

  • "Jeannie!"

Crow is mimicking actor Larry Hagman's role as Maj. Tony Nelson from the TV comedy I Dream of Jeannie. The beleaguered Nelson would often scold Jeannie for using her supernatural powers in public places.

  • "He's moshing by himself!"

"Moshing" (also known as slam-dancing) became popular in 1990s at hard-rock concerts. Participants would jerk their bodies around and smash into each other. This activity was often confined to a specific area of the audience known as the "mosh pit".

  • "Gerry Cooney: Security Guard"

Professional boxer Gerry Cooney (sometimes referred to as The Great White Hope) lost high-profile boxing matches against Larry Holmes, Michael Spinks, and George Foreman.

  • "Put a hundred down and buy a car..."

A lyric from the song "Do You Know the Way to San Jose?".

  • "The strawberries, yes..."

A references to actor Humphrey Bogart's performance as the paranoid Captain Queeg in the film The Caine Mutiny. Queeg became determined to find out who had stolen some strawberries from the officers' mess. Krenner's tense appearance and mannerisms here are similar to Queeg's.

  • "Mr. Keesterman's mailbox!"

Mr. Keesterman is a character in the daily newspaper comic strip Crankshaft. A recurring joke is that Keesterman's curbside mailbox is frequently damaged by the titular character's careless driving of a school bus.

  • "Tonight on 21, Charles Van Doren vs. Leopold Stokowski..."

21 was a popular TV game show in the 1950s. The contestants were asked general knowledge questions, which were purported to be held in a sealed vault until the show was recorded. It was eventually revealed that the producers were giving the answers to contestants that they favored, such a Mr. Van Doren. The scandal was dramatized in the 1994 feature film Quiz Show. It was implied that the producers' selection of who would win was partially inspired by anti-Semitism or a disdain for ethnic minorities, hence Tom's reference to Leopold Stokowski, the orchestra conductor of Polish-Irish heritage.

  • "Chief, there's an invisible man to see you."

Tom is mimicking actor Nancy Culp's role as Jane Hathaway from the TV comedy The Beverly Hillbillies. She was the secretary to bank president Milburn Drysdale, whom she often addressed as "Chief".

  • "Rod Serling!"

With his thick dark hair, one of the bank tellers resembles Rod Serling, creator and host of The Twilight Zone.

  • "Kevin Costner as Jim Garrison!"

Jim Garrison was a New Orleans District Attorney who popularized the theory that President John F. Kennedy's assassination was the result of a larger conspiracy. Garrison was played by actor Kevin Costner in Oliver Stone's 1991 feature film JFK.

  • "This happened in Point Break, only you could see everyone."

The action movie Point Break involves an undercover FBI agent who infiltrates a gang of bank robbers.

  • "It's Donald Nixon!"

Francis Donald Nixon was a younger brother of United States President Richard Nixon. Faust resembles him slightly.

  • "I just know I'm gonna show up in News of the Weird now!"

News of the Weird is a syndicated newspaper column by Chuck Shepherd.

  • "We return now to Paris, Texas."

Paris, Texas was a 1984 film directed by Wim Wenders.

  • "My own personal McCloud..."

The 1970s TV show McCloud featured a lawman named McCloud (played by Dennis Weaver) who relocated from the country to the city and surprised people with his effective though rustic methods. Julian - with his hat, jacket, and moustache - resembles McCloud.

  • "He overdid the Clearasil again..."

Clearasil is a topical acne treatment.

  • "Let's put our lips together and blow!"

A reference to a scene in the film To Have and Have Not in which a sultry Lauren Bacall instructs Humphrey Bogart on how to whistle.

  • "Bob Dornan!"

Conservative congressman Bob Dornan had starred in The Starfighters before entering politics.

  • "Oh no, it was a bottle of Jolt Cola!"

Jolt Cola was named and marketed on its higher-than-usual caffeine content compared to other colas.

  • "With every punch he looks more like James Garner."

Wavy-haired and ruggedly-handsome actor James Garner had starred in the TV series Maverick and The Rockford Files.

  • "You brute! You brute! You brute!"

Referring to a scene at the end of the comedy film Blazing Saddles in which a group of effete tuxedo-clad male dancers engage in a brawl with a mob of cowboys.

  • "All my exes died in Texas..."

A pastiche of the country music song "All My Ex's Live in Texas", popularized by singer George Strait.

  • "It's a Frank Gehry building!"

Frank Gehry is an architect known for designing asymmetrical, ultramodern structures.

  • "Forget it, Jake. It's Chinatown."

The final line from the film noir Chinatown. Private detective Jake Gittes is advised to maintain emotional distance from an unpleasant situation that he is powerless to resolve.

Goofs

  • At the end of the movie, shortly after the question 'What would you do?' is asked, Mike's microphone is briefly visible.

Video releases

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