Friday, August 15, 2014

401 - Space Travelers

First Broadcast - 10 am Saturday, June 6 1992
Excellence Level: Bronze
Movie Pain: Medium - Big budget, No thrills
Riffing: Chuckle-Fest
Skits: Induced mostly smiles

This story of astronauts stranded in space is actually a hacked up version of "Marooned". The all-star cast includes Gregory Peck, Gene Hackman and the guy who "didn't" star in 'Finder of Lost Loves'. But even they can't save this snore-fest - and it challenges Joel and the Bots as well.

The riffing on the experiment starts slow, but picks up steam as it goes; I especially liked it when Crow made fun of the, "Stupid guy stranded in space, head looks like a gumball machine...", while Servo stirs in obvious indignation. And Trace does a great Peck imitation. There is something richly delicious in hearing the Oscar winner talk about "...trying to get the bebe in the bears eye".

Host segments are fair, I got a few snickers out of the "Movie re-creation" skit, and Frank’s antics tickled me. Still, the film is a drag and the riffing, while decent, isn’t a non-stop killer (meaning I'm not rolling with laughter, as I am with the upper echelon episodes). So I'll give it a healthy bronze award.

Host Segments
Intro: Crowdini, the escape artist. Invention: Joel develops the "Dollaroid". The Mads offer up Celebrity tissues. Segment 1: Space program technology. Segment 2: The gang do a scene from the movie. Segment 3: Much ado about oxygen. End: Magic tricks with action figures. Stinger: Hackman and his pill.

MST Hour Segments
Part 1: Jack wonders if space is anything like his parent’s basement and shares his childhood memories. Later, Mr. Perkins says that Joel really cracks him up, and then he makes an urgent plea to our scientists to leave space alone. During credits, Jack goes mannequin like and a crewmember has to carry him off stage. Part 2: Jack uses a toy rocket to re-enact the previous scene from the movie and then presents a very funny recap. Afterwards, he plays with the rocket as credits roll.

Notable Riffs
"Produced by me, Al Frankovich." - Joel
"So; let the carnage begin." - Servo
"Do you read Iron Man?" - "No but I read "Final Exit" and it's going to come in handy." - Ground control/Joel
"We suggest you start breathing in shifts." - Crow, as Gregory Peck
"Your paper came out..." "You got a B minus." - Teresa/Joel
"I just gave Houston the finger" - Crow
"Hey check out Pee Wee's evil brother on the right." - Crow
"Can you launch your rocket through the eye of the hurricane." - "Uh, if I felt like it." - Peck/Joel
"Here at Phillips Petroleum, we've found new ways to replace the environment. Take for example these plastic, self cleaning ducks." - Crow
"Just trying to get the be-be in the bears eye." - Crow as Peck
"I AM IRONMAN!!!" - Joel
"I'm a highly trained professional and it's still cool!" - Joel, as Stony
"I want this man savagely beaten." - Crow, as Gregory Peck
"Read you? I love you!" - Joel, as NASA technician
"Since when did NASA paint anything red?" - Servo
"We had to scrub the launch." - "Hey! Hey! There are ladies present" - Gregory Peck/Tom Servo

Stuff and Nonsense
* In March of 1964, Frank Capra (It's A Wonderful Life) signed with Columbia Pictures to direct this film. When he could not get approval for the budget he needed, he pulled out of the project citing studio interference. His son stayed on as associate producer, and while Capra never directed another movie, he did receive a percentage of the films profits.

* The actress who portrayed James Franciscus' wife was Nancy Kovack (Mehta). 3 Stooges fans might recognize her for her role as Annie Oakley in their film "Outlaw is Coming". She also played Media in the great"Jason and the Argonauts", was Darren's ex-girlfriend in TVs "Bewitched" and Nona in the Star Trek episode, "A Private Little War".

Riff Explained 
"Cause they're technicians, identical technicians" - Joel
Joel is singing a variation on the "Patty Duke Show" theme song (They're cousins, identical cousins...)

"Seka? On the ship, Becca-wow!" - Servo
Seka (Real name? Either Lynda Grasser or Dotty Yontz) was a porn star in the 1970's.

Available on DVD: Volume 32

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