Wednesday, August 20, 2014

517 - The Beginning of the End

First Broadcast - 10 pm Thursday, Nov 25 1993
* Beginning made its debut as the second to last episode shown in the 1993 Turkey Day Marathon (Teenage Strangler aired at Midnight)
#30 in Mighty Jack's Top 100
Excellence Level: Platinum
Movie Pain: Medium - Long winded but silly
Riffing: Hilarious
Skits: Mostly funny, very steady

Director Bert I Gordon: His initials say it all: Whether it be Colossal Men, or Spiders or a Lizard that looks nothing like T-Rex, Bert likes 'em large.

In this flick he offers up gigantic grasshoppers who want to eat Chicago. And It seems appropriate that the long winded Peter Graves, is the only thing standing between them and the windy city.

Always amusing, this experiment is punctuated by frequent moments of genius -"If you could see my hands right now you'd be horrified"- and -"I'm hiding from a lion, it's got these women scared stiff" - Servo . Other sources of humor include the bombastic Albert Glasser score and the gang's use of the double entendre.

The host segments provide a behind the scenes look at the Mads, and Crows new screenplay. "Whoo-boy, lots of laughs and an episode that people seem to like better on their second or third viewing. I sure did.

Host Segments
Intro: "You got the wrong number". Lady calls the SOL. Invention: Frank works the Re-Comfy Bike. On the satellite they deal new fangled playing cards. Segment 1: The disturbing real lives of the Mads. Segment 2: Crow's screenplay on Peter Graves. Segment 3: Servo's a comedian who riffs on insects. End: A demo on the films SFX, Frank & Forrester are manly men. Stinger: "Alright, men. Into the woods"

Notable Riffs
* "Audrey Ames? I've read a lot of your stuff, seen a lot of your photographs." - "I'm reading your cleavage now" - Col. Sturges/Crow
* "Let me show you the giant crouton we're working on." - Mike as Peter Graves
* "I've had enough." - "I can't stand reality." - Audrey/Mike
* "Frank, that's filthy! I should wash your hands out with soap" - Mike as Peter Graves
* "He just polygraphed a sandwich! He needs real help" - Mike
* "Hello. Bug lab." - Crow as Peter Graves
* "I'd really like to see you rub your forearms together." - Crow as Peter Graves
* "Is that car in your area?" - "I beg your pardon!!" - Police Dispatcher/Crow
* "She's got her radio tuned to the Marching Band Station." - Mike
* "Okay, Okay forget locusts; Giant Panda Bears and they fly!" - Mike as Peter Graves
* "The name is "Jeffrey", I happen to be "in" a helicopter." - Crow as Helicopter Pilot
* "They're not gonna let us drop the bomb, Don't answer it" - Crow
* "The locusts follow a leader." - "His name's Larry." - Peter Graves/Crow
* "Thank you very much." - "Go in peace, sin no more." - General/Mike
* "This is where you step back and say, 'Thank God for my exoskeleton!'" - Crow as Grasshopper
* "Wait, this isn't a stick shift... AAHHHGHGH!" - Mike as Audrey Ames
* "We've got to get organized, We should not be losing to grasshoppers, people!" - Mike
* "I hate to ask you this but, Where are your nipples?" - Servo as Peter Graves to locust

Riff Explained
"They're scraping the grills at the Billy Goat at this very moment" - Crow
The "Billy Goat Tavern" is a famous Chicago grill which was parodied in a skit on "Saturday Night Live" in the '70s -"Cheeseburger, Cheeseburger. No fries, chips"- It's original owner, William Sianis, put a curse on the Cubs when he was forbidden to bring his goat into Wrigley Field during a 1945 World Series game. So far the curse has worked!

"When Brian Eno ruled Chicago"
One of my favorite riffs is said when Graves activates the Locust mating call. Eno is a musician and producer, a pioneer in ambient sound. He has collaborated with artists like David Bowie and David Byrne and played synths for "Roxy Music".

Stuff and Nonsense
Frank was played by character actor Than Wyenn. His many roles includes a part in the movie "Splash" (Mr. Ambrose) as well as in classic TV shows "Leave it to Beaver" (as a waiter in 'Wally's Dinner Date') and the "Twilight Zone" (a killer in 'Execution')

DVD was released as a Rhino single. And later offered through Shout Select

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