Saturday, August 16, 2014

419 - The Rebel Set

With Short: Johnny at the Fair

First Broadcast - 10 am Saturday, Dec 12 1992
#55 in Mighty Jack's Top 100
Excellence Level: Gold
Movie Pain: Low - Decent B-Beatnik-Movie caper
Riffing: Wildly Funny, great short
Skits: Okay, mostly a chuckle-fest

This weeks episode features two Johnny's, both of whom face serious jail time: First off, we finally get a REAL Beatnik movie: 'Rebels' stars Edward Platt of "Get Smart" fame, who masterminds a million dollar heist. Not a bad flick, and though the riffing it receives is good at the beginning; the guys really get into the groove at the end. The big chase -with our hero trying to confess to a fleeing Priest- is an absolute gas, one of MST's classic moments to my mind.

Armed to the teeth with pop culture references, this is also the episode which features the constant argument between Servo and everyone else about Merritt Stone (Tom is right BTW, Merritt is actually Gene Roth, both were seen in many a Bert I. Gordon movie).

My favorite part of this experiment is the short. "Johnny At the Fair" tells of the adventures of a runaway child and showcases the Brain's comedic talents to hilarious effect. Bad parenting and the inner thoughts of a lad on the loose are the subjects Joel and the bots mine in this one. The results are huge laughs from start to finish.

Host Segments
Intro: Joel reads the Bots scary stories. Invention: Frank's "Quick Primp Kit" and the SOL have a "paint by number" Mark Rothko kit. Segment 1: Crow takes acting lessons from Scott Baio. Segment 2: What would you do with a 4 hour layover in Chicago? Segment 3:Writing - the Merritt Stone way. End: Servo unravels the great Merritt Stone mystery. Stinger: Beat Poet with a patch says "I am bugged"

Notable Riffs
Fair Riffs
"At first they don't miss him" - Who would"- Narrator/Crow
* "Half the pain of having feet, is red goose shoes." - Joel
"Geez, the horse from Equis had it better than this." - Crow
"Boy, they're sure tough on drunk drivers in Canada" - Joel
* "Jiminy thinks Johnny, if only I could get a ride in one of those." - Crow
* "The drugs from the Chemical Wonderland start to kick in." - Crow as the Narrator

Rebel Riffs
* "It's the Law of Averages" - " I'm average, I'll make it!" - Johnny Mapes/Servo
"The cops ate my Chiclets" - Joel as Leland
"Kazan wants me for OnThe Waterfront 2: Electric Boogaloo" - Joel as Johnny Mapes
"There are no small laws, just small criminals." - Servo
"Conductor..." - "I'm lonely." - Old Lady/Crow
"Boss, why are you in your pajama's" - Crow
"Sure, I'll have a ball." - "On a dollar, Thanks." - Wife/Joel
* "Geez the donuts are cheap in this town, man" - Joe
"Oh, oops, I accidentally tied up one of our gang." - Joel
"Kettle drum?" - "In the hole" - Crow/Joel
"Hey a picnic casket." - Servo
"All I did was hit him" "With a bullet." - Mapes/Servo
"Father hold up there's some stuff I wanna confess!" - Joel as Mapes
"Priest on a hot tin roof." - Joel
* "Father Mannix wait!" - Crow
"Merry Christmas, have some tinsel" - Crow
* "Hey weren't you just nude?" - Joel as cop
"See what coffee houses can do." - Joel

Stuff & Nonsense 
The waitress Karen (pictured right) was played by popular 1950's pin-up model Vikki Dougan. Best known for her low cut backless dresses (She was nicknamed "The Back"), Vikki inspired a humorous folk song by "The Limeliters".

* A year before acting in this movie, Edward Platt, Ned Glass and Robert Shayne all had roles in the vastly superior North By Northwest

* The big cop was played by Tiger Joe Marsh. Marsh was the world wrestling champ (starting in 1937) and the model for the original Mr. Clean.

Riff Explained
When starving actor Johnny Mapes learns he might have a gig, Servo adds "Show called Moose Murders" - An infamous Broadway disaster, the very weird "Moose Murders" opened and closed after one performance at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre on Feb 22 1983.

"Bernie" - "How's Bridget" - Johnny/Crow
This references a short lived situation comedy called "Bridget Loves Bernie" (1972-73). Which was about a wealthy Irish Catholic girl (Meredith Baxter) who marries a Jewish cab driver (David Birney). Ned Glass -Sidney in the Rebel Set- played Uncle Moe in this series.

Available on DVD: Collection Volume 12

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