Saturday, August 16, 2014

415 - The Beatniks

With Short: General Hospital

First Broadcast - 6 pm Wednesday, Nov 25th 1992
* Beatniks made its debut as the opening Turkey Day Marathon episode
Excellence Level: Bronze
Movie Pain: Medium - Moon's overly shrill
Riffing: Chuckle-Fest with a few peaks
Skits: Cute and movie related


Yeesh, where's Maynard G. Krebs when you need him? I was pretty disappointed in this flick as I was expecting to actually SEE a Beatnik here and there. But there was no such luck, as "The Beatniks" features no, I repeat, NO Beatniks! What it does have is a gang of polo shirt wearing punks, one (named Eddie) who makes it big as a singer. 

Peter Breck plays the annoying Moon, he voices the infamous "fat barkeep" line and seriously - his shrill, smug overacting got on my last nerve. This character practically derails the entire experiment for me. Aside from him, I didn't find the riffing to be their strongest. Lacking clever rejoinders, it leans on light one-liners. There are a few peaks. The "Ice Cream" & "Overnight Sensation" quips are a gas and anytime Eddie sings the guys rush in with a flurry of nonsensical lyric and cheeky jabs. 

Host segments are decent and wisely focus on skewering the movie (I wish Joel hadn't been so quick to pull away the Newspaper headline. I couldn’t read that last one without pausing). The Mads troll experiment got me chuckling, if only for the 'reveal' when Frank turns away from the camera. The short that opens the piece is fair.

Host Segments
Intro: Joel plays 'Rock Paper Scissors' with the reluctant bots. Invention: The Mads wear Good Luck Troll costumes. Joel plays pocket pool. Segment 1: How to know when you're not a Beatnik. Segment 2: It's a slumber party and the girls are all gaga for Eddie. Segment 3: The singing career of Tom Servo. End: A fight on the Sol, the Trolls can't push the button. Stinger: Moon throws a fit and a gun.

MST Hour Segments
Part 1: Jack recites some beatnik poetry and reveals his seedy beatnik dreams. In seg 2 he laments that he never walked the cool beatnik path and cries as credits roll. Part 2: Perkins is dressed like a hip bohemian for the recap. And in the final segment he offers up a slice of Peter Breck trivia and dances like a beatnik for the credits.

Notable Riffs
Hospital Riffs
* "Phil never eats my plaster cake at home." - Joel
* "Hello, this is Pete in props. Don't eat the cake" - Servo
* "Well, I'm gonna go over to the morgue and cheer up." - Crow

Beatnik Riffs
* "Dish of Ice Cream'? Don't tempt me" - Joel
* "Get a hold of Morrisey" - "And tell him to stop crying" - Mr. Bayliss/Crow
* "Well I desire you to stop singing." - Servo
* "Looks like this scene was shot by a bank camera." - Crow
* "Not a high school diploma between them." - Crow
* "Having a ball, with a crazy chick" - "Who, Francis Farmer?" - Eddie/Crow
* "Wait a minute, you said that great, I'd like to sign you up" - Joel as Mr. Bayliss to a mechanic
* "Boy Beatnik music is really square." - Crow
* "My friends go where I go" - Now where's the bathroom" - Eddie/Joel
* "Eddie, looks like your an overnight sensation." - "And it hasn't even been overnight" - Mr. Bayliss/Joel
* "He's an evil Gilligan" - Crow
* "Hey wait a minute, she's sleeping in a drawer" - Joel

Riff Explained 
"You're a punk!" - "I'm a New Romantic, okay" - Eddie/Joel as Moon
After the "Punk" and "New Wave" styles of the late 70's, came the "New Romantics" in the 1980's. They went for style and sex appeal rather than rebellion or experimentation. "Duran Duran" and "Adam Ant" were 2 of the more well known names in this musical movement.

Stuff and Nonsense
* Charles Delaney (Mr. Baylis) was once a stunt pilot and a leading man in many silent B movies. He died shortly after the making of the Beatniks at the age of 67.

* Paul Frees, who wrote, directed, composed the songs and provided the voice of the announcer and the cop in the Hospital... Was most noted for his voice-work. Roles included Boris Badinov as well as John & George in the Beatles cartoon.

* Karen Kadler (Iris) was born Karen Stefanee and can be seen as Ellen, the murdered scientist in "It Conquered the World". In 1954 she attended a Universal talent acting class taught by Marlon Brando. The other students in the class included Mamie Van Doren, John Saxon and Clint Eastwood.

Available on DVD: Volume 17

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