I've never known more about what ISN'T going on in a movie.
  — Mike


The Movie

Main article: The Undead (film)

Synopsis

An unscrupulous psychic researcher hypnotizes a street-walker and learns of her past life as a falsely-accused witch in the Middle Ages.

The Episode

Host Segments

  • Mike tries to explain the season's plot

    Prologue Mike attempts to bring the viewing audience up to speed on the show's current plot. The Bots, though, keep asking for more context, for what led up to what he wants to explain. Mike ends up bitterly recalling a temp job he once had.
  • Segment 1 The Observers send everyone intelligence tests to determine their fates. Pearl Forrester gets frustrated by a question about the Periodic Table of Elements and refuses to finish the test, claiming that it is culturally biased. Professor Bobo is less intelligent than most mollusks, leading him to prove his intellect by stacking boxes. Crow sleeps through the test, Mike is still stuck in the past, Gypsy does moderately well, and Tom Servo turns out to be smarter than Observer. His brain gets to go to the Enrichment Chamber.

    Servo joins the Observers

  • Segment 2 As a result of his test scores, Servo is invited to join the Observers. He ends up getting chased and expelled after he forgets to fill out his non-existent forms, can't read Pearl's mind, and steals all the spoons.
  • Segment 3 Lydia, a witch similar to the one in the movie, appears on the SOL. She can't control her transformations, but she tries to steal the crew's souls anyway. She ends up stuck in the form of a bottle of bleach.
  • Segment 4 Mike finds his copy of Digger Smolkin's cover album. Smolkin takes popular songs and replaces the words with "rat", "corpse", "filth", and other death references. He has a nice "straight" cover of "Greensleeves".
  • Bridget Jones as Lydia

    Final Segment Crow is a creepy imp while Mike helps Tom expresses his outrage over the fact that Leonard Maltin rated The Undead three stars. Meanwhile, Bobo makes a nice sandwich with rye, lettuce, tomato, a little mayonnaise, and, courtesy of the Enrichment Chamber, Observer's Brain.
  • Stinger The Observers offer you their brains...again.

MST3K cast

Regular cast

Guest cast

Trivia

  • Bobo's stacking of crates is based on the observations made by Wolfgang Köhler in his book The Mentality of Apes, where he noted that chimpanzees would stacks crates into makeshift ladders to obtain bananas that were out of reach.
  • Mike's album cover spells Digger's last name as "Smolken". IMDB.com (which was not as prevalent or complete at the time of the episode's production as it later became) spells the name "Smolkin". The character's name is not provided in the film's credits.
  • During a shot of Billy Barty as the Imp, Crow describes the scene as "Good, old-fashioned nightmare fuel." The phrase "nightmare fuel" would later be consistently used by Kinga Forrester to describe the experiments to which she subjected Jonah Heston and his robot companions, as she would invite them to "enter the nightmare-fueled world of" the various movies she had chosen. Crow uses the term sensibly, inasmuch as the image of the imp is the type of disturbing visual that might prompt (or "fuel") nightmares. Kinga suggests that the movies she is presenting are fueled BY nightmares, which is nonsense.

Callbacks

Running Jokes

  • Benjamin Franklin quotes whenever the bust of Franklin in the office is visible.
  • Lord of the Rings jokes for PENDRA-gon. "Gotta help Strider move a couch."
  • Several references to various witches that have occurred in popular culture.
  • Servo making snoring noises over shots of the sleeping Diana.
  • STAAAAAAAY!!!

Quotes & References

  • "I saw the Undead at Un-Alpine Un-Valley."
The music group the Grateful Dead are often referred to as simply "The Dead". Alpine Valley is a music venue in southeastern Wisconsin. The Grateful Dead played there 20 times between 1980 and 1989.
  • "Roger Corman's Backdraft."
Backdraft is a 1991 drama film about firefighters. It was directed by Corman protégé Ron Howard.
  • "Smokey says: Only YOU can prevent Roger Corman."
Smokey the Bear is a mascot for the U.S. Forest Service anti-wildfire ad campaign. His slogan is "Only YOU can prevent forest fires."
  • "Thank you Mr. Zebub."
In Christian theology, Beelzebub is another name for Satan, also known as the Devil.
  • "You have fingers. I like that in a man."
In the 1981 neo-noir movie Body Heat, Kathleen Turner's seductress character says "You're not too smart, are you? I like that in a man." to Mickey Rourke's character.
  • "All your rowdy friends are coming over tonight."
"All My Rowdy Friends (Are Coming Over Tonight)" is a hit country song from 1984 by Hank Williams Jr. Williams later adapted it into the theme for the TV sports program Monday Night Football.
  • "Don't you have any Proust?"
French author Marcel Proust is known for his long, dense, slow-moving, introspective narratives.
  • "Take it easy, Diana." "Don't let the sound of your own wheels drive you crazy."
Excluding the name Diana, these are lyrics from the song "Take it Easy" recorded by the band Eagles.
  • "Like a circle in a spiral... Like a wheel within a wheel..."
Lyrics from the English-language version of the song "The Windmills of Your Mind" that were written by Alan & Marilyn Bergman.
  • "When I touch you-" "I think about myself. No, wait..."
An inversion of the lyric "When I think about you, I touch myself" from the song "I Touch Myself" by the Divinyls.
  • "Must... Not... Look... Like Mr. Weatherby..."
Mr. Weatherby is the heavyset, bald, bespectacled high school principal in Archie comics.
  • "Oui." "Are family! I got all my sisters with me!"
Lyrics from the 1979 song "We Are Family" recorded by the group Sister Sledge.
  • "Tish! That's French!"
Tom is mimicking the character Gomez Addams from the various incarnations of The Addams Family. When Gomez's wife Morticia ("Tish") would speak French to him, Gomez would be overcome with passion and start kissing Morticia's arm amorously, making his way up to her neck and cheek.
  • "As through a glass darkly, yeah."
A reference to the Biblical verse 1 Corinthians 13:12 "For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known."
  • "But, my dear-" "I don't give a damn."
In Gone With the Wind, Rhett Butler rebuffs Scarlett O'Hara by saying "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn."
  • "She's all the way back to Quest for Fire time."
Quest for Fire is a 1981 prehistoric fantasy film directed by Jean-Jacques Annaud. It co-starred Rae Dawn Chong.
  • "It's Must See TV night, I have to get home!"
Must See TV was the name of NBC programming blocks from the 1990s and into the 2000s. It was originally applied to their popular Thursday night sitcoms, and was then extended to additional nights on the week for a time (Tuesdays and Sundays).
  • "Slightly risky liaisons."
Dangerous Liaisons is a 1988 period drama film adapted from the 1985 stage play Les Liaisons Dangereuses by Christopher Hampton, which was adapted from the 1782 novel of the same name by Pierre Choderlos de Laclos.
  • "Sir Ray Nitschke!"
The jailer looks a bit like former Green Bay Packers linebacker Ray Nitschke.
  • "She's got the Flashdance look going."
The 1983 film Flashdance features a dancer played by Jennifer Beals who wears a sweatshirt with an extra-large hole cut at the top, causing it to ride low and fall off one shoulder.
  • "Am I not Devo?"
The debut album of the American new wave band Devo was entitled "Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo!". It was inspired by the refrain of the Law of the Beast Folk in the novel The Island of Doctor Moreau (1896) by H. G. Wells.
  • "Yes, Computer."
On the science fiction TV series Star Trek: The Next Generation (and later incarnations of the Star Trek franchise) the ship's computer speaks with a woman's voice and can interact with the crew through voice commands.
  • "This is harassment, and I don't have to take it."
This line occurs in a PSA about sexual harassment in the workplace from the 1990s. It is spoken by a woman addressing her male superior after he makes inappropriate comments to her.
  • "Get that cat out of here..."
In the 1983 comedy film The Man with Two Brains, Steve Martin plays a successful brain surgeon. During several scenes in which he is performing surgery, a cat makes an inexplicable appearance in the operating room, to which Martin's character calmly says "Get that cat out of here..." while remaining focused on his task.
  • "Warriors of the Wuss-Land!"
Possibly a pun on the Italian-Made post-apocalyptic movie, Warriors of the Wasteland, which would later become a Rifftrax presentation. Or it could also be referencing a song by Frankie Goes to Hollywood.
  • "The Wizard of Oz!"
In the 1939 film adaptation of The Wizard of Oz, young Dorothy Gale meets a traveling fortune teller in a wagon before her journey to the land of Oz. Later, she will discover that the famous Wizard in Oz looks the same as this fortune teller. His wagon resembles the hearse seen here.
  • "Meatloaf!" "Phil Harris!" "Topol!"
All heavyset male singers. Meat Loaf is known for his album "Bat Out of Hell" and his appearances in the films The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Fight Club, To Catch a Yeti, and Spice World. Phil Harris was a regular performer on The Jack Benny Program (radio show) and voiced several characters in Disney animated features (including Baloo the Bear in The Jungle Book). Topol starred in the film adaptation of Fiddler on the Roof.
  • "Great, I'll send that off to Phil Spector today."
Phil Spector is a successful record producer who pioneered the "Wall of Sound" audio mixing technique in the 1960s. He was later convicted of murdering Lana Clarkson.
  • "Oh, God, no! Mike Farrell!"
Mike Farrell is an American actor, author, and activist known for having played Dr. B.J. Hunnicutt on the TV series M*A*S*H.
  • "How will ZZ Top carry on?"
ZZ Top is an American rock band whose members all have long, thick beards.
  • "One Adam-12, see thouest the man, corner of Coldwater and Mulholland."
On the TV police procedural Adam-12, the officers would often be contacted through their radio and instructed to "see the man" (typically a witness, victim, or other complainant) at a particular address or intersection. Coldwater Canyon Blvd. and Mulholland Dr. are both thoroughfares in Los Angeles (the city in which Adam-12 was set).
  • "Oh, hey, the Hooters mascot!"
Hooters is an American restaurant chain. Its locations feature attractive female waitstaff in skimpy clothes. The mascot for the chain is indeed an owl, though "hooters" is also a slang term for breasts.
  • "The Couple Seconds of the Iguana."
The Night of the Iguana is a 1961 stage play written by Tennessee Williams. It involves a number of disparate characters who find themselves in a run-down hotel on the U.S.-Mexico border.
  • "Weekend at Bernie's The Early Years."
Weekend at Bernie's is a 1989 comedy film about two men who must maintain the appearance that their deceased boss (Bernie) is still alive. Butch and Sundance: The Early Days is the 1979 prequel to the 1969 western film Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. It is sometimes mis-identified as Butch & Sundance: The Early Years (such as in the 1991 comedy movie Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey, in which the character Death says the wrong title during a game of charades).
  • "This is how Anthony Quinn's wife must feel."
Anthony Quinn (1915-2001) was a Mexican-American actor, writer, painter, and a film director known for his starring role in the film Zorba the Greek. He often wore a thick beard.
  • "Ah, medieval Squiggy..."
Squiggy (played by David Lander) was a supporting character on the TV sitcom Laverne & Shirley, which was set in the 1950s and 60s. Squiggy and his best friend Lenny were greaser characters who were friends with (but also often annoyed) the titular female duo.
  • "Let's see... What rhymes with "coffin"...Often...Soften...John McLaughlin..."
There are two notable John McLaughlins. One was an American broadcaster who hosted the long-running TV political commentary show The McLaughlin Group. The other is a British musician.
  • "You are bewitched? "Bothered? Bewildered?"
"Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered" is an American popular song by Rodgers and Hart. It was first performed as part of the 1940 stage musical Pal Joey, and has since become a standard for lounge and torch singers.
  • "Wouldst thou pick me up a Mad Magazine?" "I have to watch Mad About You tonight."
Mad Magazine was a long-running humor publication. Mad About You was a popular TV sitcom in the 1990s that starred Paul Reiser and Helen Hunt as a newly-married couple.
  • "And back to my Tin Pan Alley songs..."
"Tin Pan Alley" is a term applied to the popular music publishers and writers based in New York City during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Their product tended to be melodramatic ballads or comedic novelty songs that could be sold as sheet music around the United States and abroad.
  • "Apparently there were Hardware Hanks during the middle ages."
Hardware Hank is a chain of retail hardware store in the American midwest. The joke seems to be that Smolkin's shovel is clearly mass-produced, rather than the type of hand-made tool that would have been available at the time.
  • "Gettest thou a cemetery full of savings at Menards!"
Menards is a different chain of retail hardware stores with locations in 15 states throughout the mid-western United States. They are the third-largest home improvement retailer in the U.S. after Home Depot and Lowe's.
  • "I may be James Coco."
James Coco was a rotund American actor. He starred in several plays and films written by Neil Simon, and as Sancho Panza in the film adaptation of Man of La Mancha.
  • "And I'll leave the light on for you."
"We'll Leave the Light on for You." is the slogan of the Motel 6 chain of American motels.
  • "Falstaff'll be down in a sec..."
Sir John Falstaff is a character in three plays by William Shakespeare. In Henry IV, Part 1 he acts as a friend but bad influence to Prince Hal, the future King. He has a diminished role in Henry IV, Part 2 and his death is reported in Henry V (after Hal has become King). He is also in The Merry Wives of Windsor. He is consistently depicted as a heavyset glutton and a heavy drinker who is also vain, boastful, and cowardly.
  • "Her breath smells like Fancy Feast."
Fancy Feast is a brand of wet cat food. It is marketed as being slightly more upscale than other brands.
  • "That frog's a good licking size."
Certain species of toads (including the cane toad) secrete a poison that can have a hallucinogenic affect on humans if ingested. This has caused some people engage in the practice of licking any toad or frog that they encounter in an attempt to alter their consciousness, despite the significant danger of this practice.
  • "What a pretty yarmulke!"
A yarmulke is a skullcap traditionally worn by practitioners of the Jewish faith. They are typically only worn by men. Helene's hat resembles one.
  • "Grumpy! Sneezy! Let me in, it's Snow!"
Grumpy and Sneezy are two of the dwarves who befriend Snow White in the Walt Disney animated feature Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, which is based on one of the Grimm Brothers' Fairy Tales (in which the dwarves are not named).
  • "James Woods!"
American actor James Woods has a pock-marked face.
  • "Oh, it's the Olive Garden!"
The Olive Garden is a chain of American casual dining restaurants. The chain specializes in Italian food and promotes itself as having a welcoming atmosphere.
  • "She sounds like David Brinkley."
David Brinkley was an American journalist and broadcaster.
  • "I'm going down to the Winn-Dixie for some of the grease that sweaten from the murderer's gibbet."
Winn-Dixie is chain of grocery stores in the American south. In William's Shakespeare's play Macbeth, one of the witches mentions "grease that sweaten from the murderer's gibbet" as an ingredient in their brew. In olden days, the bodies of executed murderers were left hanging on the gallows (gibbet) for weeks until they decomposed. Eventually, liquefied body fat (grease) would start seeping through the bodies' skin as if it was sweat.
  • "Could you pick me up some Rice Dream?"
Rice Dream is a brand of low-fat, non-dairy alternative to ice cream.
  • "She's hitting happy hour with Margaret Hamilton."
Margaret Hamilton played the Wicked Witch of the West in the well-known film adaptation of The Wizard of Oz.
  • "The door is unlatched. Pray enter." "Ba-da-dada-dada-dada..."
As Meg-Maud enters the room, Mike and the 'Bots sing a bit of the instrumental theme song to the TV sitcom The Dick Van Dyke Show, which would play as Van Dyke's character entered the door to his home.
  • "What is this, blank verse?"
Blank verse is a type of poetry that does not rhyme but has a regular meter. It is typically in iambic pentameter.
  • "What is this, a bust of Chiang Kai-shek made out of liver?"
Chiang Kai-shek was the leader of the Republic of China from 1928 to 1975. He was known for shaving his head bald.
  • "Do you get free tailoring on every suit you buy? I guarantee it..."
In an apparent non-sequitur, Crow is mimicking George Zimmer, the founder, former executive chairman (1973–2013), and former CEO (1973–2011) of the Men's Wearhouse chain of clothing stores. Beginning in 1986, Zimmer narrated and appeared in many of his company's television commercials, usually closing with the company slogan: "You're going to like the way you look. I guarantee it."
  • "I sense radon."
Radon is a colorless, odorless, tasteless noble gas that affects indoor air quality and can cause lung cancer. Increased awareness of radon and its effects led to a new industry of radon detection services for homeowners in the 1980s and 90s.
  • "-And your little dog, too!"
A line spoken by the aforementioned Wicked Witch of the West in The Wizard of Oz.
  • "Now I understand dwarf-tossing."
Dwarf-tossing a fad in bars that began in Australia in the early 1980s. Patrons would compete to see how far they could throw a (willing) adult little person. It has since fallen out of favor for being demeaning and exploitative.
  • "Me in white satin..."
Referencing The Moody Blues most famous song, "Nights in White Satin".
  • "Let us be little B-1 bombers."
The Rockwell B-1 Lancer is a variable-wing strategic bomber used by the U.S. Air Force since 1986. It is designed to penetrate radar-guided air defenses by flying at low levels.
  • "Sir Bob of Packwood."
Bob Packwood is a former United States Senator from Oregon. He resigned his Senate seat in 1995 after credible allegations of sexual harassment and assault were brought against him.
  • "Rivendell...", "I have to help Strider move a couch", "Bought some land on the edge of Mordor, it's really coming back"
All references to the Lord of the Rings series of novels: Rivendell is a part of the Elvish realm, "Strider" was the alias used by Aragorn during his time as a wandering ranger, and Mordor was the location of Mount Doom and the base of operations of the dark Lord Sauron. 
  • "There's something wrong with my King Koil!"
King Koil is a mattress manufacturer.
  • "Rob, I'm telling Alan what you're doing!"
References to the bald and bespectacled character Mel Cooley (played by actor Richard Deacon) from The Dick Van Dyke Show, whom the character resembles. Rob Petrie was one of his co-workers, and Alan Brady was their temperamental boss.
  • "Who are you?" "Who-hoo... Who-hoo..."
A refrain from the song "Who Are You" recorded by the band The Who.
  • "No. Over to you, Kitty Carlisle."
On the TV game show What's My Line panelists would ask probing yes-or-no questions to a mystery guest to try to determine their identity and/or occupation. Once a panelist asked a question to which the answer was "no" their turn would end and another panelist would be allowed to ask questions. American actor Kitty Carlisle was a frequent panelist.
  • "A strange interlude."
Strange Interlude is a 1928 play by Eugene O'Neill. It is non-traditional in its structure and composition. Several times in the 1930 comedy film Animal Crackers, Groucho Marx (whose voice Crow is mimicking) parodied Strange Interlude by stepping away from the action and addressing the audience with a brief monologue.
  • "What'chu talkin' 'bout, Willis?"
This was the catchphrase of the character Arnold Jackson (played by Gary Coleman) on the TV sitcom Diff'rent Strokes. Willis was the name of Arnold's older brother.
  • "Neil Simon!"
American playwright Neil Simon had a large nose, a high forehead, thin hair, and typically wore eyeglasses, like the character seen here.
  • "Help me, Obi-Wan Ke- Oh, different movie..."
In the science fiction film Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, Princess Leia sends a distress message to the Jedi Knight Ob-Wan Kenobi just before she is captured by the evil Galactic Empire. Leia wears a long white robe, similar to the dress Helene wears in this vision.
  • "You want me to tape Wings? Well I'm not a fan of the show..."
Wings is a TV sitcom that ran on NBC from 1990 to 1997. It was set at a small airport in Nantucket. In the years before DVRs, people recorded TV shows on VHS tapes.
  • "Oh, it's beautiful when the tortillas come back to Capistrano."
The migration pattern of the multi-colored cliff swallows of San Juan Capistrano, California is such that thousands of them leave every year in October to fly south and then return in mid-March. The swallows' return is a popular tourist event and it inspired the romantic song "When the Swallows Come Back to Capistrano" (which Bobo sings to himself at the end of this episode).
  • "It's a door-slamming Feydeau farce but without any humor or wit or intelligence..."
Georges Feydeau was a French playwright who pioneered the genre of the "bedroom farce" (or "door-slamming farce"), a style of comedy that uses near-misses, hasty exits and entrances, and comic misunderstandings.
  • "She's free-range."
Free-range livestock are animals that are not raised in cages. This practice is considered to be less cruel and supposedly results in a better quality of meat.
  • "If this was a Coen Brothers film, he'd be in the wood-chipper so fast." "Oh, ya."
The films written and directed by Joel and Ethan Coen sometimes involve graphic depictions of violence. This is occasionally meant to be funny. One notable example of this occurs in their 1996 film Fargo in which a bumbling criminal played by Steve Buscemi is killed by his accomplice, who then attempts to dispose of the body by shredding it in a wood chipper. Crow's "Oh, ya" mimics the mid-western accent that some of the characters in the film have.
  • "Fight choreography by Leo Sayer."
Singer Leo Sayer has a high voice and a slender build. While he is a good dancer, he is not known for being especially rugged or physically intimidating.
  • "If I was starting a pyramid scheme, I'd start with Pendragon."
Pyramid schemes (also known as multi-level marketing schemes) rely on people to recruit their friends and neighbors into the scheme as well in order to reap any financial benefit. Contrary to Crow's implication, those who get involved at the earliest point stand the best chance of monetary gain.
  • "The widow Wences!"
Señor Wences was an Mexican ventriloquist who enjoyed great fame in America during the early days of television. While he sometimes used puppets, one of his most well-known acts involved drawing a face on the side of his hand and moving his thumb to be the character's mouth.
  • "I could not tell you this before..." "I'm Kaye Ballard."
Kaye Ballard was an American comic actor. She had a long and successful career on the stage and appeared on several television shows. She had dark hair.
  • "...the devil and he claims a price." "Ray Price!"
There have been several notable people named Ray Price. One was an American country music performer. There have also been two professional rugby players, a cricket player, a motorcycle designer, a Canadian geologist, and a speechwriter for U.S. President Richard Nixon named Ray Price.
  • "Ozzy's gonna play."
Ozzy Osbourne was the lead singer for the heavy metal band Black Sabbath.
  • "Give to me your leather, take from me my lace."
A lyric from the 1981 song "Leather and Lace" written and recorded by Stevie Nicks with Don Henley.
  • "Ah, she went to Burger King for her birthday!"
The fast food restaurant chain Burger King provides cardboard crowns for young patrons on their birthdays.
  • "Gird your loins..."
A phrase meaning to prepare oneself, with the implication of a difficult or dangerous task ahead. It comes from the Bible (Proverbs 31:17) and originally referred to tucking a long robe into a girdle (that is, a belt) so it wouldn't impede physical activity.
  • "...First we have too many serfs and not enough fiefs, let's snap it up people."
Serfs were a class of people in the feudal system. They were peasants who were bound to property and under the control of a Lord. "Fief" was the term for property under the control of a lord that could be granted to one of their subjects in exchange for service or fealty. "Fief" rarely referred to a person.
  • "He comes with the slinking fog." "He's Mel Torme!"
Singer and actor Mel Tormé (star of Girls Town) was known by the nickname "The Velvet Fog" due to his smooth vocal style.
  • "...the Emperor of Hell." "You know Michael Eisner?"
Michael Eisner was the long-time head of the Walt Disney Corporation. The company's product under his tenure was financially successful, but was often criticized for being artless and mercenary.
  • "The June Taylor Corpses!"
The June Taylor Dancers were a troupe of 16 female dancers under the instruction of choreographer June Taylor. They came to prominence for their regular appearances on the TV variety series The Jackie Gleason Show. They were known for their complex routines that incorporated a variety of styles from ballet to tap-dancing.
  • "Limbo, limbo, limbo..."
The Limbo is a Caribbean dance in which the participants bend backwards to go under a stick. "Limbo" also refers to a realm of the afterlife in Catholic theology that is neither Heaven nor Hell.
  • "Last night's performance was hardly a graveyard smash. It makes one pine for the Transylvania Twist."
Tom is referring to lyrics from the novelty song "Monster Mash".
  • "If you pledge your soul, you get a Satan tote bag!"
Tote bags are often offered to those who make pledges to local PBS stations.
  • "Oh, so I can get back in if I leave the bar?"
Many bars and performance venues will use an ink stamp on the hand of patrons who have paid to get in, which will allow them to return without paying again if they need to leave for some reason.
  • "Press hard, you're making four copies."
Pressure sensitive paper or carbon paper was sometimes used in circumstances where multiple copies of a signed document were necessary. This practice became less common with the ubiquity of photocopiers.
  • "I am Nimrod, from the future."
Nimrod is a Biblical figure, identified as a mighty hunter and ruler. Folklore has associated him with orchestrating the construction of the Tower of Babel, and the term "Nimrod" has come to mean a foolish or dim-witted person. Nimrod is also the name of a killer robot from the future in X-Men comics.
  • "So, Quintus." "Crisp."
Quentin Crisp was an effete British writer and actor.
  • "Satan, I'd like to move up the ladder in the Lollipop Guild."
The Lollipop Guild was one of the groups of Munchkins that welcomed Dorothy to the Land of Oz in The Wizard of Oz. They were played by little person actors.
  • "This guy was never in Heaven, he was cast out of community theater..."
In Christian theology, Satan (or Lucifer) was originally one of God's angels. He challenged God for dominion over God's kingdom and was cast out, taking on the position as ruler of Hell, a realm of suffering and torment.
  • "Livia!" "That encyclo-pidia!"
This is one of the comic rhymes in the novelty song "Lydia the Tattooed Lady" popularized by Groucho Marx and later Kermit the Frog.
  • "So, is Helene a hag-hag?"
A twist on the undiplomatic term "fag-hag", which refers to a heterosexual woman who surrounds herself with gay male friends.
  • "I come to show you the miracle of Mylar!"
Mylar is a polyester film made from stretched polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and is used for its high tensile strength, chemical and dimensional stability, transparency, reflectivity, gas and aroma barrier properties, and electrical insulation. It was the subject of a short industrial film that was planned to used on the unproduced Mystery Science Theater 3000 CD-ROM in 1995.
  • "Okay, just don't try to sell me encyclopedias!"
Reference to the Monty Python's Flying Circus "Encyclopedia Salesman" sketch, in which a housewife suspects that a man claiming to be a burglar is actually a door-to-door encyclopedia salesman.
  • "A role that by all rights should have gone to Nancy Walker."
Nancy Walker was an American actor known primarily for her work in television. Her defining traits were her red hair, small stature, slightly raspy voice and sardonic, no-nonsense demeanor. She was a regular on the series Rhoda (as Rhoda's mother) and McMillan & Wife (as the McMillans' housekeeper). She later played Rosie the diner owner in a long-running series of ads for Bounty paper towels.
  • "Anyway, I'm collecting for the Knights of Columbus..."
The Knights of Columbus is a Catholic fraternal service organization. They raise money to aid the poor, the ill, disaster victims, and the mentally disabled.
  • "Well said, Mother." "Well said, Faddah..."
Mike is mimicking the opening to the novelty song "Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah" recorded by Allan Sherman, which takes the form of an unhappy youth writing a letter to his parents from summer camp. It uses the tune of Amilcare Ponchielli's "Dance of the Hours".
  • "Here comes Friar Tucks Medicated Pads."
Friar Tuck is a clergyman character in most incarnations of the Robin Hood mythos. An ally of Robin Hood and his band, Tuck provides information and occasional sanctuary. He is usually depicted wearing typical monk's garb and hair (similar to Smolkin's). Tucks Medicated Pads are an over-the-counter sanitary product that is primarily used to relive the pain of hemorrhoids.
  • "Sam!"
Spoken in the exasperated tone used by the character Darren Stevens (played by Dick York and later Dick Sargent) with his wife Samantha (a witch) on the TV sitcom Bewitched. Darren preferred that his wife not use witchcraft and he became annoyed when he found her doing so.
  • "Noel Coward?"
Crow seems to think that Meg-Maude has mentioned the name of British composer, writer, and bon-vivant Noël Coward.
  • "Meg looks like Tom Glavine."
Tom Glavine is a former Major League Baseball pitcher. He was the MVP of the 1995 World Series in which his team the Atlanta Braves defeated the Cleveland Indians.
  • "Amongst our weaponry..."
Reference to the Monty Python's Flying Circus "Spanish Inquisition" sketch, in which a zealous inquisitor keeps revising the list of weapons at his disposal.
  • "Take the death!" "No, take the curtain!" etc.
On the TV game show Let's Make a Deal, contestants are often given the choice between keeping a prize that they've already won or exchanging it for another, unknown prize (often hidden behind a curtain) that could be better or worthless. The members of the audience will shout suggestions for what course of action they should take.
  • "Stop da movie!"
A twist on a quote from the comedic actor and singer Jimmy Durante, who would occasionally yell at his orchestra to "Stop da music!" so he could deliver some patter. The phrase was also employed by the gangster character Rocky (who had a similar tough-guy accent) in the Bugs Bunny cartoon The Unmentionables, in which he was repeatedly kicked by Bugs (who was dancing, disguised as a flapper).
  • "I swallowed a bug."
Possible reference to Marlon Brando in the documentary Hearts of Darkness.
  • "Jeeves and Satan."
Reginald Jeeves is the extremely competent valet employed by the wealthy layabout Bertie Wooster in a series of stories by author P. G. Wodehouse. Set in the 1910s and 20s, the stories are sometimes referred to as the "Jeeves & Bertie" stories or "Jeeves and Wooster", which was also the name of a television adaptation starring Stephen Fry as Jeeves and Hugh Laurie as Bertie.
  • "I'm Mayor Ed Koch. How'm I doin'?"
Ed Koch was Mayor of New York City from 1978 to 1989. Koch enjoyed publicity, and would often ask his constituents "How'm I doin'?" in an effort to get praise or show that he could take criticism.
  • "I'm Jan Murray. Welcome to Las Vegas!"
Jan Murray was an actor and comedian. He did live shows in Las Vegas many times, on the same bill as prominent performers including Robert Goulet and Juliet Prowse.
  • "I'm Dennis James. Veterans, you can not be turned down for this policy."
Dennis James was a television personality and game show host. He was the long-time spokesman for Physicians Mutual Insurance Company, appearing in commercials in which he would assure veterans that they would be eligible regardless of their current health.
  • "Hogan!"
Mike is mimicking the ineffectual POW Kommandant character Colonel Klink (played by Werner Klemperer) from the TV sitcom Hogan's Heroes. Klink would often become exasperated by Hogan's antics, which undermined Klink's authority.
  • "Wynonna, in The Crucible."
Presumably a reference to country music singer Wynonna Judd, whom Livia slightly resembles. She has sometimes gone by her first name only. The Crucible is a stage play by Arthur Miller. In it, several members of a Puritan community are falsely accused of practicing witchcraft.
  • "Thank God she's got her Mithril longline bra."
A longline bra is a type of support undergarment for women. Mithril is a type of metal in the world of J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings series of fantasy novels. It is uncommonly strong, making armor and chainmail made of it virtually impenetrable.
  • "John Goodman's first role."
John Goodman is a heavyset actor known for having starred on the TV sitcom Roseanne and in multiple films written and directed by the Coen Brothers (among many other roles).
  • "Medieval Gallagher, I guess."
Gallagher is a popular comedian whose stage shows usually end with him doing an extended routine in which he smashes a number of items (mostly foodstuffs) with an oversized wooden mallet.
  • "I'm ready for my execution, Mr. Demille."
At the end of the film Sunset Boulevard, deranged former silent movie star Norma Desmond approaches the news cameras that have arrived at her home after she has committed a gruesome crime, saying "I'm ready for my close-up, Mr. DeMille" (referring to filmmaker Cecil B. DeMille).
  • "Sunrise, you better take care..."
Mike purposely misquotes the Gordon Lightfoot song, "Sundown".
  • "On-tari-ari-ari-ari-o!"
The refrain of the song "A Place to Stand, a Place to Grow", written by Dolores Claman for the film of the same name. It is the unofficial anthem of Ontario, Toronto, Canada.
  • "He found out that if you lose, the Devil take your soul!"
A lyric from the song "The Devil Went Down to Georgia" recorded by the Charlie Daniels Band. In it, the Devil challenges a young man from Georgia to a fiddle contest with exceptionally high stakes.
  • "You've got a Denver boot on your soul."
"Denver boot" is a colloquial term for a type of wheel clamp that can be attached to motor vehicles to prevent them from moving.
  • "Oh, tidings of comfort, sport, and joy..."
A slight rewording of the Christmas carol "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen".
  • "Outdone by Bob Fosse in a Peter Pan hat."
Bob Fosse was an American choreographer and film director. He had a wiry build and typically wore a goatee.
  • "I thought this movie was supposed to be about an old woman and her driver?"
Apparently a reference to the 1989 film Driving Miss Daisy which was adapted from the stage play by Alfred Uhry. It won four Academy Awards, including Best Picture.

Memorable Quotes

[A fire is being used as a background for the opening credits.]
Crow: Fire in the projection room! Guess we can't watch the movie!
[Crow darts toward the exit but is restrained by Mike.]
[The movie opens with a flamboyant Satan speaking to the viewers.]
Mike: Satan, the Prince of Cabaret.
. . .
Mike: This guy was never in heaven, he was cast out of community theater!
[Quintus is hypnotizing Diana. A bust of Benjamin Franklin looks over his shoulder.]
Quintus: We breathe as one. We are one.
Servo [as Franklin]: You know, early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.
Quintus: When I touch you…
Crow [as Quintus]: I think about myself. No, no, no, wait.
Quintus: …we will be one.
Servo [as Quintus]: We'll be me, for convenience' sake.
[As Smolkin the gravedigger slouches around.]
Servo: Smolkin's naked sometimes, Mike.
Mike[cringing] Ohh. Damn you, Servo!
[A knight demands to look inside a coffin in a coach being pulled by a gravedigger.]
Servo [as Knight]: Towest thy vehicle to the curb and showeth me thy driver's license and registration. Did thou knowest how fast thou was driving?
[Satan explains to Quintus how he cannot return to his own time.]
Satan: Thy voyage to this age was down a long, long road…
Crow [as Satan]: Route 666!
Satan: …that tied Diana to Helen. It was a road from living mind to living mind.
Mike [as Satan]: …to sleeping audience.
. . .
Satan: Here you are fixed! Make of a local life what comfort, sport, and joy thou may.
Servo[singing to "God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen"] O-ho, tidings of comfort, sport, and joy!
Mike: There. Sure glad I don't look stupid in this.
[Quintus sets upon and subdues an unprepared knight.]
Mike [as Knight][in stilted "medieval" grammar that parodies the knight's own dialogue] Me help! Attacked I am being! Hitting me stop you must! God dear! Bleeding am I! Break my leg think I did you!
Mike: I've never known more about what isn't going on in a movie.
Quintus: STAAY!!

Video releases

MST3K DVD Cover


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