Sunday, August 10, 2014

109 - Project Moonbase

With Shorts: Commando Cody part 7 & 8

First Broadcast – January 1990
#59 in Mighty Jack's Top 100
Excellence Level: Gold
Movie Pain: Medium – Sexist pigs in space!
Riffing: Wildly funny, very steady
Skits: Solid, good humor


Col. Briteis trip to the moon is fraught with danger. As spankings, sabotage and great quantities of flatulence stand in her way.

When I saw that this experiment had two Commando Cody shorts, I was bummed. But during the usual dull fight scenes, Joel holds up a few Batman style signs that say things like, "Pow!" & "Bam!" and all was good again. There's actually some pretty sharp riffing on the first short,"It's me! It's always going to be me!!" says a frustrated Cody (voiced by Joel) who's simply trying to phone in some instructions to his dim witted pilot friend.

And this solid work
 carries through to the film. Good thing to because I HATED this movie’s condescending attitude towards women. I really wanted to see Colonel Briteis give Dr. Bellows a swift kick in the nether regions!
 
Beyond this distasteful thread, there's a lot to poke fun at in this movie -- From the unemotional villain to the cheap "space-age" props that are employed. The guys do a great job in the theater (I loved it when Joel holds up the Cue cards during the Generals halting techo-babble speach), and out (Joel's water juggling bit, Tom as Cody, Crows napkin tie) all of which blend together to make this experiment my favorite from the first season.

Of Note: This episode was dedicated to the Skipper; Alan Hale Jr. Who had recently passed away. Also: Notice at the end of the movies credits, someone returns to the theater, with what looks like a bot, and bends down as if to retrieve something. Curious.

Host Segments
Intro: Bath time for the Bots. Invention: Joel soaks the crew with his water-juggling act. The Mad’s bring us the "Insect-A-Sketch" which combines the classic drawing toy with an ant farm. Segment 1: Servo (with Joels help) flies around as Cody, while Crow makes like Krog. Segment 2: Neckties of the future! Segment 3: It slices, it dices, it's the miracle home product called SPACOM! End: Crow and Servo read letters upside down. No Stinger -But if I chose one? I'd select the scene where Briteis goes -as Servo calls it- ballistic.

Notable Riffs
Cody riffs
* "Meanwhile, at the Cody institute for people who almost die every week." - Servo
* "Hey, I'm not looking for trouble in here." - "So I'm just gonna hit you with this crow-bar." - Mechanic/Joel
* "I sent Ted to pick up some light bombs." - "He hasn't been able to lift heavy bombs since his hernia." - Cody/Crow
* "He's got a nasty tail wind."- "Must have been something he ate." - Joel/Crow
* "Hope this trips as easy as the last." - "Should be, since we are using the same stock footage." - Some guy/Servo

Moonbase riffs
* "Sorry, I blew up like that" - Crow, as slow speaking bad guy
* "She enters a room like a float"- Servo
* "I spanked your co-pilot didn't I?" Joel as the General
* "He's so Military... I bet he gives good spankings." Joel as Prattles
* "Inspector 12? He checked my underwear" - "Hey, who hasn't" - Joel/Crow
* "This is the future where they sold the Dodgers "back" to Brooklyn." - Crow
* "I love the smell of SPACOM in the morning. Smells like... chicory?" - Servo
* "Now that we have a space station..." "or FRISBEE" "it is at last possible to send a ship..." "or BATTERIES" "all the way around the moon." "or PLAYGROUND BALL." - General Greene/All 
* "...Or large Barge." - All
* "Your over by a metric ton" - Servo
* "She's absolutely ballistic" - Servo on Briteis
* "Shove off" - "Same to you toots!" - Briteis/Servo as shovee
* "Look their using view-master technology." - Joel
* "He's not real, he just crawled into the septic tank." - Servo
* "It's filled with cat food! This rocket was suppose to go to the Cat Women of the Moon!" - Joel as Bill
* "She wouldn't have me on a silver platter." - "How about on an air mattress slathered with butter?" - Major Moore/Tom Servo
* "That's the tee-shirt her mom got married in." – Joel

Riff Explained
As 2 space men trek across the moon, Crow tried to goad one into climbing a rocky hill by promising… “I’ll show you my sore toe…” Crow is quoting a line in Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. Tom attempts to get another boy to do his chores and sweetens the deal by offering to show him his sore toe.

"Atlantic City? Slooowly I turned, step by step..." - Servo
This references a comedy sketch made famous by Abbott & Costello and involves a guy who goes off whenever he hears the words "Niagara Falls". Though often associated with the bit, the duo didn't originate it. It's an old Burlesque skit that's been around for years, it has also been done by "The 3 Stooges", and was performed on the "I Love Lucy" show.

Stuff & Nonsense 
Donna Martell, the actress who plays Briteis, said in an interview that this was originally going to be a TV series called "Ring Around the Moon". Donna recalled that in the middle of shooting, she was handed a new page of dialogue and told that the producers had decided to make a feature film instead. Oh, and she thought the "stinky" felt skullcaps looked stupid too. LOL


 Available on DVD: Volume 20