Monday, August 11, 2014

201 - Rocketship X-M

First Broadcast - 7 pm Saturday, September 22 1990
#89 in Mighty Jack's Top 100
Excellence Level: Gold
Movie Pain: Medium - It tries hard, but is heavy handed and dull
Riffing: Wildly funny, very steady
Skits: Solid, good humor


Everything that can go wrong, will go wrong. In this "Expedition to the moon": Rocketship X-M, or R.X.M. (but which actually should have been called R.E.M.), is shot into space with a crew that includes Lloyd Bridges and the annoying dad from the "Rockford Files" (he plays an annoying Texan here). Also on board: A blowhard scientist, an icy female scientist and Dirk Square Jaw. Together they get lost, wind up on Mars (which is inhabited by a colony of rock tossing Eegahs) and then die. Ahh yes, it's the feel good film of the year!!

While I enjoyed much of season 1, Joel and company reached a whole new level of funny when they opened their second season. The comedy seems tighter, more focused. As witnessed in the way the gang expertly plays off the dialog and zeros in on each characters personality with razor sharp bon mots (the "Texas Toastings", in particular, are gems)

Some of this new spark can be attributed to two changes: The arrival of TVs Frank as Clayton's new assistant and for the change in Servo's voice (supplied by Kevin Murphy). While I miss Josh's observational style; Murphy's hammy wit and vocal prowess adds new spice to the mix on the SOL. While Frank Conniff's off-kilter but lovable oaf is the perfect foil for the good Doctor in Deep 13.

Of Note: Mike visits as Valeria (his first time on screen). And when Joel complains about the movie, he wonders why Dr. F doesn't just send them "Marooned". Funny because he will get that to open season 4! As for what Dr. F is doing to Frank with that string? It was part of Frank's training. Referenced in show #211 during the "junk drawer" skit - Mr. Conniff holds up a plastic butt and asks if Clay remembers it from the "Thruster Buster" bit. He does a motion with his hand with sound FX, as if a string were being pulled through it and Forrester mentions that it was an important part of his training.


Host Segments
Intro: The SOL is redesigned and Crow has a toothache. Invention: Meet TV's Frank, he rips off Joel's invention, the "BGC-1.9 Drum machine.Segment 1: A look at the reporters in the movie. Segment 2: Joel gives Tom & Crow a quiz on what is, or isn't funny flying. Segment 3: Hexfield visit from Valeria. End: J&TBs didn't care for the movie and let Forrester know it! No Stinger -But if I chose one? Astronauts laugh at a floating jacket


Notable Riffs
"At this point the rocket becomes engorged with astronauts." - Joel
"Maybe somebody don't want us to get where we aim to get." - "Yeah, the god of grammar." - Tex/Joel
"A fellow can get used to anything, I guess." - "Yeah. I once ate a woodchuck!" - Tex/Crow
"How do we stand on fuel?" - "I'm for it." - Lisa/Crow
"I just ate my own vomit!" - Joel
"It's an entire race of mimes! We've got to get back and warn Earth!" - Joel
"Down on my ranch, I used to throw a little ol' thousand pound steer over my shoulder every morning." - "Then I married her." - Tex/Crow
"Sorry to have interrupted your production of the Lottery!" - Joel
"Let's go kill something we don't understand." - Crow
"Oh, great, a harmonica. As if this guy wasn't annoying enough." - Crow (On Tex of course)
"Oh, shut up! Ever since we left, all it's been out of you is 'Texas this' and 'Texas that'... Well, listen, bub, I've been to Texas, and it's not all that great!" - Crow as Lloyd
"Well at least he hasn't been hit by a rock yet." - Joel (just before Huge gets struck by a rock! LOL)
"Thank you for being gutless." - Crow as head of NASA
"The reason Miss Van Horn is making this trip is because of her pioneering research with monatomic hydrogen." - "And, she's cute as a button." - Space guy/Crow
"Uh, the press is a bunch of wussies. Are you alone in there?" - Joel as Hugh O'Brien
"You do the voice, I'll move the jaw." - Crow as Lloyd
"You know the consequences of a body moving with unchecked velocity in free space!!" " - "Uh... We're our own grandparents?" - Space guy/Crow


Tex - "I wish you fella's could've seen the look on her face when I walked in and told her, in the strictest confidence of course, 'Honey, I'm going to the moon.
Reporter - "And what did she say?"
Joel - "Not tonight dear, I have a headache."


Riffs Explained
Help Mr. Wizard! I don't want to be an astronaut any more!" - Joel
This comes from the 1960's cartoon Tooter Turtle. In it, Tooter would go to Mr. Wizard the Lizard and ask to be an astronaut or a knight or a shoe salesman (just kidding). When the adventure goes awry, Tooter cries out for help and the Wizard -with his Germanic voice- brings the turtle back by saying: "Dreezle drazzle drozzle drome, time for this one to come home"

Stuff & Nonsense
Judd Holdren, credited as the reporter interviewing Lloyd Bridges, starred in several serials in the 50's. As "Captain Video" in 1951, "Commando Cody" in the 1955 TV series, as well as battling a young Leonard Nimoy in an underwater knife fight in "Zombies of the Stratosphere" ('52). Not much is known about the actor, he had a short-lived career then moved into real estate. He was born in 1915 and committed suicide on March 11, 1974.


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