Thursday, August 28, 2014

1003 - Merlin's Shop of Mystical Wonder

First Broadcast - 11 am Saturday, Sept 18th 1999
#77 in Mighty jack's Top 100
Excellence Level: Gold
Movie Pain: High - Dark and cruel
Riffing: Wildly funny
Skits: Hilarious, some of my favorites


Ernest Borgnine tells his grandson nightmare inducing tales of death and destruction, centered around Merlin and his Monkey of doom.
     
There are many goofy moments in this one: A kid who sings about a "Rock N' Roll Martian" (Tho the 2nd line sounds like F*** old Martian to most ears). Merlin wandering around town, showing girls a picture of his monkey; and an encounter with a hyper-angry psychic (She's only on the screen for a moment, but her round seething face will leave scars that last a life time).
     
The best lines take issue with the heart of the plot, as Grandpa's story is both mundane -A guy parks his blue car- and horrifying -loving pets are killed in droves- Add in a couple of funny host segments (Mike as a baby, the Borgnine children books) and "Presto Chango", comedic magic.
     
Of Note: Rhino released a terrible looking copy of this for the Volume 5 boxset. The picture is dark (you can hardly see the shadowrama in certain scenes) and images often look muddy (when the thief runs off with the monkey, his face loses all definition). Thankfully there's a nice interview with Mike & Kevin and a funny intro by Mr. Nelson included, or I'd forever avoid this disc and stick with my taped copy. Shame on you Rhino (or BBI for sending them a bad master?)

Host Segments
Intro: 1920's pranks: Mike swallows gold fish, Servo's stuffed in a phone booth and Crow is cold and lonely. Segment 1: Pearl gives Servo complete power, and fire ants in his underpants. Segment 2: The bots review one another in hopes of becoming famous. Segment 3: Tom uses Merlin's book to turn Mike into a baby. Segment 4: Ernest Borgnine's Children Books. End: Bobo's an evil monkey and Brain Guy attempts to knock him into a bag. Stinger: Rock N' Roll Martian.


Notable Riffs
* "Oh good, now she has to raise her own husband" - "That's what most women think they do anyway" - Mike/Crow
* "Don't I get a kiss?" - "You'll get a lot more than that if you don't get out there and find that thing. Now go!" - "So she threatened him with sex?" - Merlin/Zurella/Mike.
* "Oh please, since when does a man ever notice a plant in the house?" - Mike
* "Those Altoids are curiously strong." - Crow as Jonathan
* "He was drawn by Dave Berg" - Servo
* "Welcome to Knight Burger, what will ye have?" - Servo
* "It's time for a strongly-worded review of my cat, Miffy." - Crow
* "Oh no, the cat's got a knife too!" - Crow "The cat was made of oily rags." - Crow
* "Well, son, if you hold the lid open, we'll bury her at sea." - Mike
* "You bit yourself? What an idiot." - Servo
* "We're gonna change the dog's name to Crispy." - Servo
* "So, Billy, the boy who looks just like you went through terrible, irredeemable grief." - Crow as Ernest Borgnine
* "That's it, look at the monkey." - Mike as Merlin
* "You stupid Ba$+@#! I could stab you in the eye right now, so help me God!" - Servo as angry psychic
* "It's nothing more than a rock." - "Like your womb." - Jonathan/Crow
* "Tum te tum tum, just taking my monkey-less garbage out to the curb, tum te tum, I can't wait to get back inside to my monkey, tiddily to te tum..." - Servo
* "Doesn't he know it's "Dig" a pony and "Shock" the monkey?" - Crow
* "See here's his problem, going around town dressed like that, asking women "Have you seen my little monkey?" - Crow
* "You do this and I will call a legion of Beanie Babies down on you" - Servo as Monkey
* "No, Grandpa Borgnine, leave light and hope for me please!" - "Get out from behind that cushion, Billy, it gets worse!" - Servo/Crow
* "Remember to believe in magic... or I'll kill you." - Crow as Merlin

Riff Explained
"Hi guy" - "Mona!" - Servo/Crow
There was a Right Guard deodorant commercial in the late 60's, early 70's. Which showed a tired fellow rubbing the steam off his bathroom mirror. Once cleared, he spots his neighbor staring back at him. The neighbor says "Hi, guy", there's a sales pitch and then the tired fellow calls out to his wife, Mona (Perhaps to have her call the cops on the bathroom peeper!)

"Why It's the Wallace method for going down to breakfast" - Mike
Spoken when the jerk husband brings the wife downstairs, bed and all. References "Wallace & Gromit", the claymation stars of several award winning shorts. In "The Wrong Trousers" (& again in "Close Shave") Wallace orders breakfast and a device then tilts his bed, sending him through a trapdoor to the floor below.

Stuff & Nonsense
Bits of an older movie called "The Devil's Gift" (1984) are incorporated into MSOMW. It tells of an old lady who conjures up an evil spirit, which kills her and then takes up residency in her toy monkey. The monkey winds up in a second hand store and is purchased as a birthday gift for the young "rock n' roll martian" boy. Merlin, his shop and the story-telling scenes are not part of the "Devil's Gift".


Available in box set volume 5

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